Archives for November 2004

Little Sock Christmas Decoration

A teeny, little sock; perfect for decorating the tree or warming the feet of small dolls. Try hanging one over the mantelpiece in the hopes of attracting jewellery from Santa — via EJ Slayton at Joy Knits

SiroSPUN: Spinning Process

Traditionally, two-fold yarns have been used for weaving because they are stronger, and the twisting operation binds the surface fibres into the yarn structure so that it is smoother and more resistant to abrasion during weaving. The SiroSPUNTM process adapted some of the self-twist discoveries of CSIRO to the ring spinning technology of the worsted system, and combined spinning and doubling in the one operation. The technology maintains two separate strands during the spinning process, and this allows a number of fibre-binding mechanisms to operate before the strands are twisted about each other. An important aspect of the SiroSPUN system is a simple device to break out the remaining strand if one of the strands should be accidentally broken.
SiroSPUN is especially suited to the production of lightweight trans-seasonal fabrics, and a significant proportion of the world’s worsted spinning installations have been converted to this cost-saving and innovative CSIRO technology. ABARE estimated the benefits of SiroSPUN to the industry to be over $8 billion by 1992.

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Knitted Angel Decoration

Why not try triming the tree this year with a knitted angel ornamentvia J Barrett at About Knitting

Knitting Patterns Under Creative Commons Licence

Knitty is a web-published knitting magazine that normally comes out quarterly. They’ve done a special issue for breast cancer awareness [PDF] that’s just come out, and they’ve published it under a Creative Commons licence. (See the last page of the special issue for details). This is the very first time I’ve seen knitting patterns published under a CC license, and I think it’s splendid! — via BoingBoing

The History of Aran Jumpers

The Aran Sweater takes its name from the set of islands where it originated many generations ago, off the West coast of Ireland. The Aran Islands lie at the mouth of Galway Bay, at the mercy of the relentless Atlantic Sea. The Islanders were fishermen and farmers whose lives and livelihoods were deeply intertwined. The Aran Sweater was born of this environment, passed down from generation to generation, and has since become the ultimate symbol of Irish Clan heritage.

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Library News

Don’t forget to look at the newsletters, which we receive from local textile organisations, and also from America and New Zealand. They have news of exhibitions, book reviews and Creative Fibre, which is from the New Zealand Spinning, Weaving and Woolcrafts Society, has interesting colour photos of work as well.
I was surprised to see the Tasmanian Guild welcoming a whole page of new members, perhaps they had an open day as well!
We bought five new books from Anne Miller on Open Day: Domino Knitting by Vivian Hoxbro, An Australian Afghan by the Kurringai Branch of the Knitters Guild.
Color Works: The Crafter’s Guide to Color by Deb Menz, Men in Knits: Sweaters to Knit That He Will Wear by Tara Jon Manning, also The Best of Weaver’s: Thick ‘n Thin by Madelyn Van Der Hoogt.
We will have lots of second-hand books and magazines for sale. If you are unsure how much it is to borrow a book after all our changes, it is now 30 cents per book per month — Patricia Buick

Handbag That Never Forgets

MIT researchers are developing fabric swatches outfitted with sensors, microprocessors, and conductive velcro. The electronic patches can be quickly slapped together to provide different functionality in various form factors.
To make a bag that prevents people forgetting things, the inventors have equipped a module with a radio antenna and receiver. The unit is programmed to listen for signals from radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on objects like mobile phones, keys and wallets.
A sensor module in the bag’s handle detects when the bag has been picked up, indicating that the owner might be leaving. This triggers the reader to check through the objects the computer module has been programmed to look for. If it does not detect a required item, it uses a voice synthesiser module in another patch to warn: Mobile phone, yes! Wallet, yes! Keys, no!
As helpful and slightly disturbing as your bag reminding you that you’ve forgotten your keys is, it could be worse. If you usually transport the detritus of everyday life around in your pockets, having your trousers or jacket remind you about your wallet would be even stranger — New Scientist