Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Knitted Knecklaces

It turns out that my ''Wonder Knitter'' is pretty addictive and I've made a couple more button-necklaces. The only major difference between these and the first one is that these use stash buttons*, which means there's much more variation and the resultant necklace is a bit more interesting. It also makes the preparation stage into a mathematical puzzle: FUN! Essentially you need to create the effect of the buttons just being randomly distributed, whist simultaneously ensuring that the various colours and sizes are evenly spread along the length: you don't want a clump of bluey-greens in one patch and none anywhere else, and you don't want all the biggest buttons clustered together. So, you need to vary carefully and deliberately arrange the buttons into order in way that ensures a good spread, but is not a predictable pattern.
Creating a random looking pattern is never best achieved by actual randomness, if done that way things never appear random; for example the shuffle function on MP3 players always used to seem to have a preference for songs from Sondheim musicals** - Apple had to write loads of parameters into how the function chooses it's next song,  to make it seem more disordered because humans find patterns where there are none, and because probability doesn't always work the way that intuition tells us it should. If I'd used a random button selecting machine, clusters of shape, shade and size would have occurred naturally, a complete disaster, right?
So, I had lots of fun designing my own 'random' button selecting parameters.
The other major difference between these and the first necklace is that I came up with a method of hiding the join (between the woven section and the ribbon fastening) with an oversized button - I was pretty pleased with the results of this, and I think chunkier ribbon works better to, it makes a slightly bolder statement than the thin stuff.
I've had to put away the ''Wonder Knitter''*** to get on with a bit of physics, as I'm appraoching the end of year coursework and exam, so should really be getting on with that. Though, I must admit the temptation to sit in a park playing with buttons is pretty overwhelming...
I'm far too easily distracted
Noo.... oh - look - an ant...

* Everyone else in the craft-iverse refers to that as 'vintage' and it does my head in. Something cut off an old Primark jumper and then stored in a jar next to your sewing machine for 2 years before you select it for inclusion in a project is not vintage - overuse and incorrect application of a 'buzz' word is infuriating, Stop it all of you.
** Ok, maybe that's just me.
*** I'm never gonna get bored of that name. I can so vividly picture a group of executives in suits sat around with pie charts of exciting words discussing the most customer-grabbing title for there newest gizmo. What was I saying about Buzz words? Though here they have come out as hilariously naff, rather than rage-inducing, so I suppose that's a win.

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