Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Box thoughts

I really wanted to add a top to the box, but as I wrote before, then it would have been a box for *me* instead of for young P. My compromise was to work two sets of double decreases at the corners to make the lip curve in, like pottery.

Tops are heavy, thus I would have needed to use garter all the way up the sides, or drop down to size 2's (I used a mix of 4's and 5's that were at hand) or do twisted stockinette. PHW fulls beautifully, but garter takes two times through the wash cycle and doesn't compress as much, so another option is to knit the sides with a doubled strand in stockinette. From the point of view of a structural engineer, vertical ribs or rotating the fabric so the sides are knit right to left instead of bottom to top might increase the integrity of the sides.

Sara, I adore buckram, but it goes against my philosophy to introduce another form of textile when I can probably solve the problem with the original format, in this case, knitting. I hardly ever even crochet an edge, but will figure out a knitted version that satisfies the parameters. You'll find I rarely mix beadwork stitches for the same reason -- I push to do an entire piece in peyote, sometimes a modified form of peyote stitch, but about the only area where I'll step outside is to add fringe. I'm not a purist by any stretch of the definition; it's more the way my brain is wired. If I were to pull out the buckram stash, I'd never finish the knitting because I would end up building something with ONLY buckram...

I was concerned also with the variations in fulling. I rarely full by hand. I rather enjoy the surprise method of throwing the things in with the usual load of laundry (no towels, though! Lint!) and seeing what I have when the dryer dings. I have a stacking Maytag top-loading agitator that does a lovely job. However, a lid is going to shrink more than a box simply because there aren't the long sides providing stability, thus there is less resistance.

I daydreamed about hinges. I'm not fond of wool hinges, and linen cord has less of a friction problem but doesn't look right to me, not with a fuzzy wool box. I have some beautiful little glass rings that would be lovely, and matching beads could be used for embellishment. It would require hand fulling, though, as the rings would shatter in the washing machine. I have funky colorful plastic poultry leg split rings that I use as stitch markers, easily applied after fulling, just need a bit of filing with a fine nail buffer to take any rough bits off the clipped plastic ends. Not elegant, but fun, and I could find matching snippets of colorful sock yarns in the leftovers bin to knit into the sides of the box. Then there's always wire... You could make an entire box out of puka shells interlaced with silver wire, but that's beadwork!

What I really wanted to make was an integral sectioned top of four interlocking triangles, probably with little bead tassels added to the points after fulling. The tassels would act as locks. I just did an origami version and it looks as if it will work. I'll knit it and post here when it's done.