Wander the Web 47

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Inspiring, fun, thought-provoking, and crafty links to round out the week and jumpstart your brain.

Stumbled across Nimona this week and it’s now one of my favorite comics.

Flight of the origami birds

A visit to the Voss Folkemuseum

Check out this awesome library in Sweden

Hasty and passionate scrawlings

Creative Thinking hits close to home

I would love to walk this path through the treetops 

Enjoying listening to Sunny War

Wander the Web 31

I see a pair of tall, fiery-orange socks in my future. 

I see a pair of tall, fiery-orange socks in my future. 

A collection of fun and interesting links from the week. 

 

A nursing home floor becomes one giant touchscreen

Adaptable Knitted Survival Clothing

Sipho Mabona folds a life-size elephant from a single 50x50” sheet of paper

How to Measure the Yardage and Width of Handspun Yarn

Herb Williams’ Crayon Sculptures. The tree trunk is my favorite. 

The Default Techniques of Knitting by Ysolda Teague

Origami Stars

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Now that my Christmas cards are in the mail and winging their ways across the States, it’s time to show off the goodness inside: origami ornaments. I like to make ornaments every year for the tree and add them as special touches with friends’ gifts. This year, I’m taking a break from knitted leaves, birds, stockings, mittens, and pom-poms for origami. There’s no lack of holiday knitting around here and origami is a nice change. The ornaments are much faster to fold than to knit, easy to make, and just the right size to mail to friends across the country.

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There are tons of instructions for origami stars across the internet and I fell for the Robin Star by Maria Sinayskaya. This video helped clear up some of the more complicated parts of the folding and assembly. I used 3” foil origami paper and the completed stars came out 4” across. The only thing I changed was to tuck the “triangle”, that is normally folded behind all layers, under the last layer to hide the paper’s wrong side.  Once all the stars were folded, a hole punch (an awl would work too) and some craft thread quickly turned the bunch into ornaments. 

After folding 20 of these stars I have a few tips :

  1. Don’t wait to the last minute. The stars are quick to make but won’t just appear in your hands. I made mine over the course of a week. 
  2. Assembly line the process. Once I’d picked the paper for a particular star, I worked the same fold on all the pieces before moving to the next step. Seemed to make the whole process go a lot faster.
  3. Practice first. Before I started using the small, foil squares, I practiced making the stars from larger paper. I was able to memorize the steps and make sure the process wasn’t too finicky before making the real thing.
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Origami for Plying

Since I started seriously learning to spin, I have been monogamous spinner. Just one bump of fiber on the spindles at a time, thank you. I don’t want to confuse my hands with wildly different fibers and jump between lace and worsted weight all in the same day. So when I pick some fiber to spin, I see it through to the end and don’t start something new until the yarn is drying on the rack. For the past few weeks my default spinning project has been a lovely bunch of lace weight singles which are be chain plied for some self-striping goodness. The time had finally come to ply the first singles a few days ago but I only had one plying ball and two singles. I didn’t want to wrap both singles around the same ball since I wouldn’t know where one ended and another began. One single went on the ball and I wrapped the second around a box of sewing pins. That box kept the singles orderly but it wasn’t quiet about it. “Oh, you need more singles? I shall play you the song of my people.”

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Until I get around to knitting up a few more plying balls, origami to rescue. I love making modular origami where a bunch of simple folded pieces combine to create something wonderful and complex. Stars are a particular favorite. In the rare moments of silent plying, I remembered the Gudrun Star over on GoOrigami.com. I’ve made them before and they seemed perfect for holding bits of handspun. The stars are simple to make, easy to memorize, and don't take up much space. I made these units listening to podcasts and watching movies.

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I know I could have just cut out a few squares of card board instead of folding stars but there is a method to my madness. The extra points make it easier to wrap and secure the yarn. Plus, I’m going to be using these stars a lot and I’d rather look at them than a drab piece of cardboard or an advertisement on the back of a cereal box.

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To make your own stars, you’ll need the Gudrun Star diagram from GoOrigami.com and a sheet of scrapbook paper cut into 2 x 3” rectangles. Scrapbook paper is thicker than origami paper but still easy to fold and makes a sturdy star too. One sheet is enough to make 3 stars 3.25” across. FYI, the diagram is in German but the illustrations are clear without the words. Don’t forget that Google Translate is your friend if you need it. 

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Once you’ve made your stars, they’re ready for yarn. Hold the end in a valley and wrap the yarn around the opposite side of the star 3 or 4 times. Rotate and repeat. When you can’t see the points anymore, you can wrap the yarn just like on any other ball.

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Wrapped and ready to go! Time for some plying that won’t outdo the television speakers.