Thursday, April 06, 2006

impractical tools

A common reaction to my glass knitting needles seems to be fear. "I wouldn't ever use those, I'm afraid they'd break." Well, they do break. If someone sits on them. Or knocks them off the table. Or crashes a bike while carrying them in their backpack (although of the 6-8 pairs in my pack, I only lost two needles which isn't a bad survival rate considering my knee is still tender). But the needles I make have been plenty sturdy for everyday use...until now...

Presenting: trees!
Highly impractical, but I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out, even though I shattered one shortly after taking some pics by putting them down too hard on the table. I guess I had some stress at the base of the trunk. With the first one, I didn't have the ball hot enough when attaching roots and trunk; the second worked better. I'll try again next week. I'm excited about the potential, although for useable needles, I might have to pick a more compact tree shape.

Another newly made, short-lived creation was this hairstick/shawl pin:
It's reason for being is that knitting store owners keep suggesting I make glass shawl pins for hand-knit shawls. The only problem is that I'm not really into knitting shawls and hence have never had a use for shawl pins. Actually it never really occurred to me that a shawl wasn't just wrapped around the shoulders and neck and left to hang like a scarf. I guess I should have remembered the White Queen in Alice Through the Looking Glass. Anyway, other than googled photos, I'm not sure how a lampworked glass shawl pin would need to be. The fused glass pins seem super simple, so maybe I should do some fused shawl pins and buttons. But going on the principle that a shawl pin would just have to be a textured peg to weave through the knitting, I made this twisty fellow which I decided to transport home as a hairstick. The only problem was that I went climbing at the gym on the way home, and apparently glass hairsticks are not ideal for climbing. For most aerobic exercise, I tie my hair back with an elastic, but I'm a fairly gentle climber, very much slow and controlled, not much into dynamic moves, so I've been getting away with having my hair pinned up in a French twist when climbing. I must have been having a naughty hair day today, because they just didn't want to stay up. Making your belayer hold you up while you fix your hair must be against some climbing etiquette rule, though I already stick out my tongue and talk to myself on the wall, so my belayers must be indulgent. But it was a little awkward when my hair started falling down while I was belaying and I dropped my two glass hairsticks on the mat (thereby breaking the tip of the new one), then got my ridiculously long hair caught in the belay device while lowering my climber, forcing him to grab back onto the wall with his exhausted arms and support enough of his weight to let enough slack in the line for me to release my hair.

I did make some other things that shouldn't break.

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