Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

07 June 2006

A Completely Different "Lost" Art

My husband gave me a Memorex thumb drive. The problem was, it's about the size of two or three sticks of gum. I didn't use it much, because I was afraid it would get lost.

But now it looks like I'll need it if I'm going to borrow his laptop. So this tiny little lose-able thing needs a lanyard. I knew what technique I wanted to use to make it, and it wouldn't be knitted "I-cord", because I value my sanity.

Knitted I-cord, or "idiot cord", is a small knitted tube made of a few stitches. It can be made on a spool knitter -- I already did that when I was about 8, thangkyew -- or on a double-pointed needle, sliding the stitches first to one end, then the other. I believe it was Elizabeth Zimmermann who dubbed it I-cord, because making a sufficient length of it does reduce the mind to a quivering jelly.

My plan is to make the lanyard by finger-loop braiding. All those braids I've done at various times, and none of them are quite the length I want!

This finger-loop braiding website can tell you far more than I can about different braids.

We call them braids these days, but it is just as correct to call them "laces", meaning a long narrow string-y thing like a shoelace.

And now my son is awake and we have to go look at comics on the computer.

PS: The mosquito hatch was late (hooray!) but abundant (boo!). And so was the hatch of little-brown-beetle-that-turns-off-the-well-pump. Booooooo!

Explanation: Regularly every May, usually around the 24th, a little brown beetle crawls into one of the four contacts of the controller that turns our well pump on and off. When that contact snaps shut, MASH!, the beetle becomes flat. Unfortunately, the mashed beetle is thick enough that it insulates the contact so no current flows, and our well pump does not turn on and fill the pressure tank.

We find this out when our water pressure goes away, usually during something that needs water, like rinsing hair that is full of shampoo, or washing some dishes. Grr.

The solution is to go down to the well pit (enchanting place, you can tell just from the name), lift the cover, which weighs about 300 pounds, unplug the pump, open the contact and scrape the beetle off (I find a nail file works well), plug the pump back in (and it starts right back up!), and put the 300-lb. cover back down. Oof.

So far I have done this three times in the last four days. And now the water is off a-GAIN, which means I have to go down there and lift that blinkin' cover a-GAIN.

Here is a weird fact, in this litany of weirdness: every single time, the beetle is in the same contact out of a choice of four. Do I even want to know why?


Blogger Megan said...

No, ALwen, I don't think you do want to know why. You also just might be the only person in the world who has bought a teapot out of pity for the teapot.

7:17 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Here I was thinking that finger loop braiding was just a fancy term for finger crocheting, something I can actually do! Alas, the photo (with a *helperP, no less!) makes it look far more complicated then my little editors brain can handle. Ah well.

I think your doily is looking quite lovely! I really like the the curved leafy pattern at the edge.

Also, yes, I'm now dying to figure out why the beetles always end up on the same contact. Damn it, you know how obsessed I get about those little mysteries! Perhaps the 300 lb cover will deter me from investigatiing further. Thank goodness I am easily discouraged by the prospect of physical injury.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Now my editor's brain is really upset that there are typos in my comment. Specifically, *helper* now says *helperP. Sigh. Perhaps someday I'll learn to preview before I post.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Alwen said...

My husband had a theory about the beetles getting zapped by the same contact, something about pheromones . . . it was funny, but I don't think "WA-HOO BABY! zzzzt" comes across the same in print as out loud.

9:46 PM  

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