Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Click on the picture to make it bigger.
My sister, Alissa, is an awesome knitter. She even spins her own yarn. Upon her request, I've been working on some stitch markers for her knitting projects.

About a year ago, I really started getting into metal working, wireworking, stamping, beadweaving, glass beadmaking, metal clay, you name it. I couldn't get enough information into my brain to satisfy me. I wanted to do EVERYTHING! I couldn't sleep because I had too many ideas floating around in my head. And when I did sleep, I drempt about my ideas. And since then, I've gotten to try a lot of these things. I still NEED to do some metal clay! But, one of the first things I did was buy myself a soldering iron. Took it home, and realized after several attempts at soldering some copper wire, that I needed flux. Can you tell I am a novice? Then I realized that I needed a torch, I got to check that off my list. So, then I (meaning my husband) did our first soldering project. And it was fun.

But I knew that I couldn't use electrical solder on sterling silver wire and metal, so after I moved home, I went to the local bead store and bought some silver solder.

Okay, now this is where my sister comes in. She asked me to make her some stitch markers. And my first question (knowing nothing about knitting) was what the heck are stitch markers. I ventured online and found a whole array of them, did some research, and came back with tons of questions. And since I try to make sure the are perfect, I had to know...snagless or not, open or closed, hanging bead or strung right on the ring, large or small, how many, what color, any in a different color, what size bead, what size wire. You get the picture. I was nervous to try because I had no idea what I was doing. But today, I got my stuff out and took a swing at it.

And guess what? I did just fine.

Okay, so the picture isn't actually the stitch marker. There is no bead hanging from it. But I soldered this ring...all by myself. You may think that isn't really an accomplishment, but I just had to revel because to me it was.

Of course, I always feel like I can do better. So, I'll let you know what I did, and what I'll do differently when I actually make the real stitch markers.

1. I made my ring with sterling silver and cut a very small piece of silver solder.
2. I brushed the ring with flux and placed the solder right on top at the connection.
3. I lit my torch and fired the ring...and fired...and FIRED!
4. Then realized that maybe they accidently put wire in the bag instead of solder. (They cut them at the store and put them in individual ziploc bags. They aren't pre-packaged). But I also realized that maybe it requires a higher flowing temperature than my micro torch will allow.
5. @#$%@#$
6. Tried some electrical solder to make sure I wasn't stupid.
7. And whalah! We have a soldered ring!

Okay, so afterwards I went online and ordered some paste solder in a syringe. So, the real stitch markers will have to wait until it comes in the mail. But I was so darn excited. And I think with the paste solder, I won't show as much. You actually can't see it that well up close, but my camera is awesome and really brought out the bad spot. So, to bring an incredibly long post to an end...I'll post the finished product soon!

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