Sunday, October 6, 2013


Carpal, sadly. I'm all about the wrist braces and ergonomic mouse. Oh joy.

Knitting hurts too much, so I'm avoiding it; temporarily I hope.

My portable projects (I have to have something) are kumihimo instead.

I've dabbled in the past, a project here, a project there, but never did anything terribly interesting, or bothered to attempt to control it particularly.

I like using Czech size eights because they're already strung, so they make a very quick start: tie a knot and slide them onto the cord I'm planning to use and go. The first beaded kumihimo project I ever did was a lariat which I started and finished in a single evening, including stitching the finials (the ends look a bit like turned finials). 

I noticed that my ropes weren't nice and round, the way bead crochet is, and I thought it was perhaps because I was using Czech beads which are a little irregular. 

Almost every beading class I teach, I mention thread control and thread tension, and when I'm doing bead weaving I'm acutely aware of when the thread tension is important enough to make or break a project, and when there's leeway.

In knitting I'm acutely aware that tension affects gauge which affects not only size but durability, wearability, drape, feltability and a whole host of other attributes.

In weaving the selvages are dependant on thread tension.

I know these things.

Why I never stopped to think about thread tension with respect to kumihimo is beyond me.

And then I started thinking and noticing and adjusting.

The gold rope on the right? Not a care in the world, and it's uuuuuugly and uneven. The purple rope and the grey-and-white rope? Better, right? Attention to tension. There's undoing and redoing in my future (what's new, eh?)

 The purple rope was a bit meh until I decorated it. I think it's better now - the dangles move and swing and the centre section no longer threatens to dissolve in a puddle. (And it's more purple than the picture suggests).
I started this rope at one of the Bead Fests I think, and it's been sitting in one of the Drawers of Partial Things since then. Love the colours and shaping, but could never find the will to finish it. I'm not actually sure why this weekend was different. (Perhaps I was inspired by the very pleasant surprise that was the start of the dance season on Friday night. More about that below). Finally, a little appalled at myself, I did [find the will to finish it] - and it turns out to be the perfect rope for a pendant that was hangin' out on a ribbon which was doing it no favours.
 And then there were earrings, which is often the case.

So, the ballet.

Much to my dismay (I was going to say "disgust", but that's really quite rude) the subscription this year included (as last year) an evening of four pieces executed by local dance companies, choreographed especially for the season. Last year's set of four was frankly dreadful, and this season has no extras (I don't count Broadway shows. Musicals are not dance, even if they include song-and-dance numbers. I hate the way everything has to be diluted to have broadest appeal leaving nothing special and unique and intense. Yes, I'm turning into a curmudgeon), leaving nothing to swap in to replace the show.

I fully expected another evening in which the highlight was at best mediocre, but it turns out that two of the four pieces were actually very enjoyable: engaging, intelligent and well-executed, while the other two were as expected boring, predictable and sloppy. The good ones more than made up for them, leaving me energized and more willing to apply myself to what I ought rather than what I wanted.

Turned out quite well.


marsspyder said...

I love adding peanuts and drops and magatamas and all sorts of seed sizes in the same rope. You get nice texture quickly. And if I decide I want to have some idea of how the thing will look, I cheat with the following...

Charlene said...

Yes! I was playing with this last week.