tutorial

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Of late I’ve become enamored of chunky knits. Ridiculously chunky knits. Knits so chunky they become hindering, wearable sculptures.

via the V&A Museum via http://wool-rocks.com/ via http://madamebarry.tumblr.com/

Nah.                                    Getting warmer….                            YEP, that’s the stuff.

The problem is, how to create a super-bulky garment without an excess of weight? Two out of three of the above use what looks like roving – open, light, fluffy wool not spun or wound around other bits like most yarns. The downside is, being nearly raw wool, roving tends to pill, stretch, and shed more than other yarns. The last appears to be some form of fabric, which when rolled upon itself would have the structural strength to hold shape without stretching, but which very quickly becomes a stiff, heavy garment (try knitting with yarn made from t-shirts some time – it’s more suitable for floor mats and baskets than clothing. Little drape, heavy on the skin).

Examining a young lady’s giant knit rugs, her ‘raw material’ looked like giant, soft rope - rope made from roving. Of course! A slight felting of the roving, especially wound into ‘yarn’, would give structural stability without losing the fluffiness that gives roving bulkiness without bulk! Looking into methods of felting roving, I came across this:

Whaaaaaa….what is this magical device? Where can I get a giant version?!!? Why can’t I stop watching these videos? Aside from being a neat little tool, I found the videos’ aesthetic hypnotizing.

The well-manicured but bare hands!
japanese felting- poking

The bubble lettering backed by pastel!
japanese felting - braider rolling

The soothing background music, reminiscent of Lionel Richie played on MIDI keyboard! (You’ll…have to watch the video.)

The COLORS! (Well, pink isn’t my thing but imagine this in different shades of blue or green!)
japanese felting - braider

japanese felting - braider CU

 

In this tutorial, you’re shown how to make a tiny decorative cake.

Picture 3

japanese felting - tiny cake

Why you would need a tiny felt cake is beyond me, but the information’s there if you need it. After falling down the rabbit hole of  Japanese felt crafting YouTube videos, I found….THIS:

japanese felting - creepy unfinished face

While this looks like a kawaii version of the cover of ‘Pet Sematary’, it’s from a full video tutorial of someone making their own cat in felt form. Unintentional freakiness ensues.

japanese felting - cat stick japanese felting - cat stick embarassed

I couldn’t decide which of the wire body shots cracked me up more, so here’s both.

japanese felting - headless cat

Headless cat on a table.

japanese felting - cat butt

Is that…..

japanese felting - cat butt

Yes, that is a needle-felted cat anus. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d type. Perhaps someone who reads kanji characters can explain why there’s a music note at the end?

I also couldn’t decide which side-by-side comparison shot was my favorite, so again, here’s both:
japanese felting - cat expressions

See, on the one hand, this one has a completely disembodied cat head and a shared expression of confused fear.
japanese felting - cat expressions

On the other hand, this one has wall-eyed staring in super-close-up.
japanese felting - cat staaaaare

SUPER CLOSE-UPPPPPP.

The company that makes the neat little rope device has many adorable video tutorials, including this more stereotypic one wherein a squeaky cartoon cat walks you through the steps:

japanese felting - cat bands?

Their main website also has patterns for these lil’ charmers (Full title: “The Twin Hamanaka wool felt that it is mew about time when it”.)

kawaii kitties

Enjoy!

 

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Some time ago on the internet I came across a gigantic triangle necklace retailing for the ungodly sum of $300 dollars. It was just a giant metal triangle dangling from some non-magical cord, and it didn’t even light up or have embedded fancy stones. Like David Bowie before me I took one look and thought, “I can do better than that”.

One outing to Metalliferous and 20 minutes later, I DID. The level of skill involved was about the same as kindergarten-style stringing beads on a shoelace, and most of the 20 minutes was waiting for the glue to dry. Wearing the necklace around my neighborhood I get at least one ‘YO, ILLUMINATI!’ per outing (usually followed by a flash of the Hova sign), and it seems selfish to hoard such joys. So forthwith are instructions to make your own sigil of secret initiation (mystical handshake instructions not included).

You Will Need:

-1 stick of 1/8″ square brass tubing
(found at most art supply stores, some hardware stores, and definitely any place with an architecture/model building section. If you want to use a thicker cord, use wider tubing- it comes in all sizes)

- 9 feet of 1/16″ thick cording
(I used three strands held together of some elastic cording I had about for this necklace; you can use leather, cotton, embroidery floss, whatever you’d like. If you want to use a single thicker strand, you only need 3-4 ft. at most)

-A metal tube deely
(Home Depot’s plumbing aisle is a goldmine of random metal bits to use for jewelry. I’m fond of brass barb connectors in all sizes, but anything termed ‘brass nipples’ (hee, tee hee hee hee) will work as well. I specifically used the 1 1/2″ guy from this pack, again, because I had it about already. Any metal tube about 1/4″ in internal diameter that won’t stab your neck will work just fine. Heck, pick up some extra brass tubing and use that)

-E6000 glue

-Heavy Duty sandpaper
(60-80 grit should do the trick, preferably a type intended for ‘metal deburring’. A dremel with a deburring attachment will also work)

-a coping saw, hacksaw or jewelry saw
(A dremel with a metal-cutting attachment will do too. If you’re using the coping or hacksaw, you can pick up metal-cutting blades at most hardware stores, though the regular blades will also do the trick)

Great! So you’ve got your supplies together and are ready to begin your ascension to higher planes of wisdom and flair. I’ve drawn the steps below; click any for larger images.












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