Monday, March 21, 2011

Windows - New Crochet Hooks!

I try to update my blog regularly, but time just gets away from me! However, I DO add new items to eBay every other day, so please check out some brand new crochet hooks, posted just this evening! Check Etsy too for new items!

Today I'd like to introduce a new series of crochet hooks -- Windows! (I have some on auction right now!)

These are what woodturners call "multi-axis turnings" because they are mounted two different ways on the lathe.

I took inspiration from the 2011 Winter issue of Woodturning Design magazine (#28), (thank you Thomas R. Farrell for the idea!) and adapted the turning style to my crochet hooks, and to the wood being used.

Indeed, they remind me of the colorful glass ornaments on a Christmas tree -- the ones that have a concave opening, faceted on the inside, that sparkle wildly in the lights of the tree!

First, I mount the rectangular block of wood sideways, so that I can turn the hollow. (Good thing I have a enough swing on my lathe!) I create "steps" that become progressively smaller as they go deeper into the wood. I take advantage of the layered nature of this wood by making each step a different color. I then drill a calibrated hole for the silver setting to rest within.

Now, time to flip the blank around and turn as spindlework, with the grain running parallel to the bed of the lathe. I then turn the piece almost as normal, making sure to be careful around the hollowed area.

The depth of the hollowed bit is crucial: it allows more "steps" to be seen, more colors to show. Therefore, I leave as large a diameter as possible on that part of the hook, (and hence the larger rag/rug hooks that I've been making).

When turning this area, you much make sure to take gentle cuts -- the layers of dyed wood want to chip off fairly easily. Sharp tools are a must. (As always! :-)

After turning and finishing the crochet hook, I then choose a matching stone. In these hooks I've used a cubic zirconia gemstone, set in sterling silver. Not a simple crystal, cubic zirconia has the the second-highest refractive index in the world, (just below diamonds on the scale!)

In the light, these stone sparkle like mad! The drilled hole is precise so the setting fits in with a snug fit, secured by a drop of epoxy.

The photos don't show the depth of the hollowing, but they are really cool to look at in the hand! They remind me of the stepped wells of old India and other ancient cultures.

I love to experiment with new designs, and these are just the latest! It's always fun to take an idea seen in a magazine, or the world, and apply it to what you do, and make it your own.

Have fun!