twisting LEDs and a boring sweater picture

This week is the sewn circuit project that I do with my sewing class. Part of prepping for it is turning LEDs with straight leads into ones with round leads that are sewable. I spent a bit of time doing that today.


I am always nervous that I am going to somehow ruin the LEDs when doing this part. I’m not even sure if that is possible. It probably isn’t. Up next: threading about 20 more needles with conductive thread that has been pulled through beeswax (to make it easier to sew) and prepping a few pieces for the kindergarteners, in case they don’t feel up to all of the sewing. Last year we had to make some of the kids redo parts of they sewed their circuit closed, which would short if they actually put the battery into the holder. The kinders in our class this year are surprisingly adept at sewing already so I’m not actually sure they’ll want them but I want to be ready.

In other news, this is what my sweater looks like now:

boring sweater progress

Terribly exciting, no? I am pretty happy because I reached the halfway point across the back. That means I might actually finish this piece of it and be able to pick up stitches for the other part. You know you are knitting something boring when picking up stitches is something to anticipate with excitement.


NaBloPoMo Day 8: the wonder of yarn construction

I was hoping to have a progress picture for you of my sweater sleeve. I sort of do. I mean, I have a picture but you can’t really see the progress. Sweater sleeves that don’t have a cable or something are pretty boring to watch being knit. I sometimes wonder if knitting progress pictures are like watching paint dry. I kind of hope not.

With that wonderful intro, here’s my progress.

Kiama sleeve continued

I’m kind of mesmerized by this yarn. The more I look at it the more I wonder why I thought i could produce the same garment with this pattern with another yarn. The yarn is Berroco Origami. Since I decided that I love it, it has, of course, been discontinued. Such is my lot. In any case, it’s about 10 plies or variously colored and textured yarns held together by a single strand of something (I’d guess it’s either cotton or nylon). The result is intriguing to me.

origami yarn

The frustrating thing is that I can’t think of another yarn constructed this same way. A friend was looking for something similar for a project she wanted to knit (as I mentioned a few days ago) and I was knitting something with ArtFibers Brogue, which is another yarn with an intriguing construction. That one is a core of fluffy, unplied microfiber encased in a knitted tube of cotton. The cowl I knit out of it is squishy and warm and the yarn holds lovely stitch definition but is also quite stretchy. I would love to knit a sweater jacket out of that too but that would break the bank. Bank breaking aside, I was wrong about the constructions being similar. They are only similar in that they intrigue me.

I consider intriguing yarn construction to be both one of the blessings and curses of knitting without wool. Wool yarn tends to be straightforward. It’s sometimes spun with unusual fibers but as far as I know most of it is plied to varying degrees. With the nonwool yarns you get a wide variety of construction methods. Many of which are discussed in Amy Singer’s wonderful No Sheep for You. She includes much discussion of her favorite nonwool yarn: calmer. Which has, of course, been discontinued.

Those yarn manufacturers sure know how to keep us on our toes!