Welcome to the CRAFT-y Corner of my Web!
A place for my Workings, my Weavings ...
oh, and my more mundane crafts as well.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Chainmail: Kara's pink die bag

I got Kara's die bag completed (all but for a drawstring which I'll do today) last night ... I'm extremely pleased with how it turned out. It's the first one that I have made that actually looks like your typical pouch.
Pink Die Bag

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Chainmail: Pink Die Bag for Kara

So, Kara asked me to make her a die bag the day before she went in for her surgery. I agreed that I would, as soon as I could locate some pink wire.

While Kara was recovering and after my cold had improved enough for me to venture outside (but not enough for me to risk bringing the bug into the recovery residence), Jen and I made a quick trip to ClubBEADplus which just happened to be in Montreal. OMG! I fell in love with the place, so wish we had something of that calibre on this end of the country but, thankfully, they have an online store and will ship to BC (Huzzah!!!).

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Viking Weave: Double Weave 1st Attempt

Well this sucks ... I'm sick. I can't afford to be sick with Kara recovering from major surgery ... I also can't take this bug into the recovery residence with me. That's just plain wrong ... for me to bring a cold into a place where people already have their immune systems and healing factors challenged due to the procedures they underwent. I cannot do it even though I want to be there with Kara.

Blue craft-wire bracelet with handmade
findings that I wove the second night here.
Instead of making myself insane fretting, I decided that today would be the day that I would experiment with trying to master the double weave technique of trichinopoly ... I used some of the 24g copper wire that Jen had gifted me with.

My first attempt was a 6 sided weave and it didn't work out so well ... I did learn from it. I learnt that I need to make the weave far looser, with longer loops, than when I'm doing a single weave. It quickly became too difficult to get the wire through the very tight loops and I was forced to abandon it before I'd gotten too far.
1st try at a double weave ...
didn't get too far.
It has just enough length to it to hint at the very attractive weave that would have resulted had I known what I was doing and been able to complete it.

I decided to go with a 4 sided weave for the next attempt in order that I could practice weaving loosely before again trying the 6 sided one I prefer. This worked considerably better.

Completed 24g 4 sided
double weave.

After being put through the
draw plate.

Closeup of the finished wire.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Viking Weave: End caps

I went back to the 24g antiqued copper bracelet I wove the other day. Beginning by drawing it through my new draw plate to smooth and soften out the links, I coiled some 20g copper and turned them into a mighty nice end cap I can actually be proud of.

Had an idea using coiled 20g copper.

Add a simple two amethyst bead dangle,
and it's complete.
Finally an end result I like!   ^_^

Then I revisited the 24g silver and antiqued copper weave I made earlier today for testing the draw plate ... Kara called dibs on it, so finishing it nicely was kind of necessary.

Having gotten a bit too enthusiastic during my trial run with the draw plate (drew it through every one of the drilled holes), I ended up with a two tone weave that was just slightly too long to be a bracelet if end pieces were used. So, I opted to make it a bangle instead (for those who don't know a bracelet differs from a bangle in that the former has a clasp/closure of some sort while the latter is one continuous piece that the wearer slides over the hand to put on). Some 20g coiled copper and a three bead dangle (a piece of magnetized lodestone sandwiched between two purple sheen glass beads Kara really liked) turned this into a wearable piece.

Kara modelling her new bangle.

Viking Weave: Draw plate ...

I managed to pick up the four missing drill bits that I needed (only to find later that the two largest won't fit my drill chuck *faceplam*) and I picked up an Oregon Myrtlewood (Bay Laurel) napkin holder from Value Village. Repurposing the Myrtlewood, which is a very hard hardwood with a reputation for dulling carving tools, by separating the two large pieces from each other, left me with a nice large flat surface into which to drill the holes.

Even with not being able to use the two largest drill bits, everything worked out quite nicely ... large enough to be held and braced, small enough for ready portability. Although it's not pretty, I'm quite pleased with the end result. The drill bit thing isn't such a bit problem unless and until I get a bigger dowel to work with ... the one I am currently using creates a tube the right size for the holes I was able to drill. ^_^

Of course, once the holes were drilled and sandpapered to remove the worst of the rough edges and splinters, there was only one way to make sure that it would do the job ...

Assembled materials.

Battery all charged up.

Myrtlewood draw plate.

Only one way to test it ...
24g antiqued copper.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Viking Weave: Plotting ...

Well, a quick trip to New Westminster and several phone calls to various bead and craft places in the Lower Mainland has resulted in no one having the draw plate I need ... closest I can get is Moody Beads in New West. They actually have some on order but won't have them in for at least two weeks at which point I'll be in Montreal and getting ready to come home. Being that I'm wanting to have the draw plate to take with me to Mtl to help keep my hands and mind busy while Kara is in surgery ... so that won't work.

I did a quick inventory of my drill case, turns out I have all but the four largest bit sizes I need to make my own ... so, I'll be making a quick trip to a hardware store for the missing bits and the Port Kells Irly Lumber tomorrow to see if I can get hold of some scraps of oak, walnut, cherry or hickory wood (I only need a piece about 2x6 inches). All my research indicates that making the draw plate out of an actual hard hardwood allows it to last longer against the bite of the wire when being pulled through.

Wish me luck ^_^

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Viking Weave: Getting practice ...

Having woken up way earlier than I would have liked, courtesy of the post-banging, metal on metal sound being generated from the construction site down the hill from here ... I decided to get a little weaving done before I hit the books.

I chose an antiqued copper (so pre-dulled and darker than the usual copper) in 24 gauge. I'm definitely liking this technique .. it's rhythmic and forgiving and the end result comes together fairly quickly. Allowing me to get a bracelet length (13 ft of wire cut into one foot sections for ease of weaving) piece done by the time I had done using the drill gauge to smooth and lengthen it.

I don't, however, like the drill gauge ... because it is metal, it's far too hard on the weave while it is being pulled through. I definitely NEED to find a piece of oak, cherry or hickory (read as HARDwood) and get the right sized holes drilled into it so that I can have the proper finishing tool. The drill gauge, while it does reduce the size of the woven wire tube like I need it to, it causes the reduction to occur unevenly AND, to my fingers, causes the weave to feel ever so slightly rough (which is not such a big deal for a bracelet ... but would feel awful on the far more sensitive skin of the neck and throat).

Even allowing for the fact that I have near to the tactile sensitivity of the Princess from the Tale of the Princess and the Pea (an exaggeration, but still based upon repeated observation of my over and hypersensitivity to tactile irritants), I would prefer to see an end product that was smooth and soft ... I can only deduce that it would be far more pleasant to wear. So, I will need to find somewhere that I can purchase a small quantity of the necessary hardwood and then purchase the needed drill bits to make the larger holes (I already have approximately half of the drill bit I will need ... but they are all the smaller finishing sizes).

Rough finished 24g antiqued copper weave.

Same photo as above using Jasc Paintshop Pro 8 to magnify the
weave allowing for a better view of the intricacy of the weaving.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Chainmail: Jump Ring Day ...

Coiled and cut 4 packs of 16 gauge wire today ... I now have in the approximate of 2500 rings ready to go to Montreal in my suitcase with me for me to busy my hands and mind with while Kara's in surgery and recovery.

I'd like to get another 4 packs and get them done before we leave but, even if I can't, I'll have enough to work with while I'm there.

Tomorrow, to give my hands a rest, I'll go back to the Viking weave.

Approximately 2500 rings coiled, cut and ready for weaving.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Viking Weave - my first try ever o.O

While I'm enjoying the chainmail, I thought I'd give something different a try ...
... Viking wire weave.

It's a form of jewellery making that incorporates weaving a wire around a form (in this case a dowel) and then drawing it through a successively smaller set of holes (ideally in a wooden block, but I haven't found anything that would be suitable yet ... I'm using a drill bit size gauge atm).

It's called Viking weave because pieces of it have been found in ancient Scandinavian gravesites ... it's believed that. because the weaves were usually made from precious and semi-precious metals (gold, silver, copper) that pieces of the weave could have been broken/cut off and used for currency.

This is my very first time trying this technique so, from the outset, I expected that the end result wouldn't be quite right and/or pretty. Rather than waste my good copper and silver wires on what are, essentially, practice runs, I am using coloured craft wire (it's cheap so it's not a big deal if I mess it up a few times or ten before I get the hang of it).

Casting on ... I really need to stop
using my iPhone to take my pics.

Ahh, yes ... my
"concentration face"
and my new magnifying specs.