How things all connect together. And how things are lovely

by Sayraphim on July 14, 2009

I went to Brown Owls last night, it’s such a wonderful thing. Sitting in a room filled with people who are jsut as interested in craft as you are. The lady next to me was granny squaring her away towards a beautiful white, gray and dark gray scarf. The lady next to her (the noise in the room meant I missed their names) was sewing little magnets to cute pear covered kitchen curtains so she can fold it up during the day. It was nominally an embroidery night, so I took the peacocks I bought the other day from Kristen Doran. After 2 hours, they’re coming along.

Last night’s meeting was filmed by Anna Brownfield, who is making a documentary called “Making it HANDMADE” and I ended up talking to her at the end of the night for quite some time about craft history in Australia and about her film making adventure. She was really interesting and I’m so glad I got to chat to someone jsut as interested in craft history as I am!

There was also a number of sort of raffle prizes given out at Brown Owls, So at the right is a huge piece of blue and white material i won (won! me! I’ve never won a raffle in my life, how lovely is it that my first was from Brown Owls!) which is big enough for a skirt, so that’s what it’s going to become. There were also printed embroidery patterns from (I think) Sublime Stitching, so I bought a simple one to do.

Anna was telling me about a knitter she’d found who used to knit huge bedspreads, but not with knitting needles but with PIANO WIRE.

Read that again, just in case you missed it. She wanted very, very fine knitting, and she couldn’t get needles thin enough, so she knitted it on piano wire.

Mind boggling. I’m too impacient to knit big things with real needles, let along with such small needles! Imagine the stitch gauge she would have gotten with those!

This morning I’m back to making props for the Fringe show. It’s with small puppets, so everything has to be small. I need to knit a balaclava for a character who’s about the size of a GI Joe or Ken doll. I had in mind some crochet cotten I’ve got, maybe 2 ply or so. I tried rummaging up my smallest needles (and then using kebab stitcks.) but it still looked like fishnet. Toothpicks wern’t an option because a) they’re too short, the knitting would fall straight off the end, b) they’re often cheap wood so they split and splinter easily and c) we don’t have any. So instead I went to the Cupboard of Fun and grabbed out some wire. I did this once before, I was knitting a martini glass in the round and I wanted to be able to reduce the size of the circular part of the needle as the glass got smaller towards the stem. So I bought some thin plastic tubing used in jewelery and inserted wire into each end for the points. As the glass grew, I’d take the wire point out of the tube, snip a bit off and put the point back in. It worked, not elegantly, but it worked. The problem with using wire is that when it’s cut, most of the time there remains a sharp lip in the middle of the wire where the cutters met. That can catch, stab through or even cut through the yarn. It’s not a great solution but it’s the best one I have at the moment.

So that’s the balaclava, knitted on wire. It’s now finished and looks great. I’m now making the two main characters a couch, out of polystryne, stuffing and material.

And this is really what I want to use this blog to show, that props and art dept of film, tv and movies is really just about craft.
And anyone can do it.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jodie August 5, 2009 at 7:51 am

Love it – knitting on wire !!!

Not that I can really even knit on needles to be honest.

Sayraphim August 6, 2009 at 1:42 am

But imagine knitting on piano wire! Blows you away… Well, if you ever feel the need to learn, it's pretty easy and I'm sure you'd pick it up fast. Look at all the other things you've mastered!

Come to a Brown Owls, there's always loads of ladies who would be happy to teach you, me included 🙂

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