Thursday, July 06, 2006

Stitch Markers 101

Or something like that. This is what I've been doing to make stitch markers for myself and for friends. Please note, I'm crazy. I go into full production mode when I make these, so I make them in batches of 150 to 200 at a time. Photo heavy posting follows.

First, I take craft or jewelery wire (look for a wire that's got some stiffness of its own and that won't rust/tarnish) and "turn" rings from it -- essentially bending the wire tightly around the core piece (sticks and a crochet hook in that photo) to form a spring-like coil. Warning though: if you're turning more than a few rings at a time, it's very hard on the hands.

Then I cut the individual rings apart with a pair of wire cutters. Normally I'm really picky about how clean the cuts are, but as the ends of the wire are going to get glued into the beads, they don't have to be perfect. The second photo is some rings already cut from a coil in a little container, sans beads. Those are added next. When you start choosing beads, look for ones that best fit the wire and curve of the rings.

When putting the beads on the rings, don't pull them out of the "o" shape to fit the bead on the wire. Instead, hold the ring with the cut pinched between both hands. Then rotate one hand toward you and the other away, so the cut ring won't lay flat on the table anymore. Then slip the bead onto the ring and twist the ring closed again. If the bead doesn't slide easily onto the ring or gets stuck with the wire end not all the way through the bead, it doesn't fit. Try a different size bead, or a bead with a bigger hole.

Last step, gluing the bead over the cut in the ring. Slide the bead so that both ends of the wire are hidden inside the bead, then put a drop of glue into the hole of the bead to keep it in place. I use this glue because it has a neato mosquito little needle tip so I can get the glue into the bead and not all over my fingers. Set the bead down carefully so it doesn't slip off of the cut in the ring, and let it rest for at least an hour before moving it again. If you use the same glue I do, it will take at least 24 hours to be COMPLETELY dry.

And that's it. Have fun.

Knitting: Started Lead or Follow lace stole (making it bigger than scarf size in original pattern), started an original design blouse for myself from the yummy Anny Blatt Pirouli that Mary, Mary brought me from her trip to France, Lace Insanity is plugging along slowly but surely, and railroad ribbon torture is resting for a few days so I don't throw it against a wall.

Spinning: Have one bobbin of Lorna's Laces left to ply, and it's DONE. Woo! Of course, don't know when that'll happen.

Other stuff: Heading up to Dallas with Ceci to visit her college friend Sarah before she and her family move to Oregon. Won't be going to Sundy knitting, obviously. Maybe, if Ceci will let me, I can sneak out away from her and Sarah and their monsters and go meet up with some of the Dallas Knitty folks. Hm....

entrelac at 5:30 PM :: |