slide fronts After work yesterday I decided to take some first steps in my new craft project.

I intend to make some microscope slide jewelry. It seems to me that these would make not only cool pendants — that is how they are usually used — but also very snazzy Christmas tree ornaments, bookmarks (on a length of cord or something), music placeholders, and so forth.

The basic process is to sandwich an image between a pair of microscope slides and surround the sandwich with copper tape. Then you solder them.

I’ve done some soldering before. #1 son says that soldering is officially defined as “Adhering metal to metal with heat,” which sounds like a good definition to me. I do not own a soldering iron, so I have only taken these to the point of putting on the copper tape. It is presumably the metal to which the solder (another metal) is adhered with heat. Some people who make these things stop right there, but I think the soldering would not only look better, but also make them much sturdier.

These slides are literally experimental: I was experimenting with different ways of putting on the tape, whether it was better to begin with a single surface and fold it, etc. And then they will be experimental as I go through the trial-and-error process with soldering. So I did not put a great deal of effort into the collaging process. slide backs The first picture is of the fronts and the second picture is of the backs. Obviously, I haven’t yet figured out how to wrap text properly with the new xanga editor.

The woman by whose examples I was inspired had made full-sized collages and scanned them, then shrunk them down to the size of the slides. She came into the shop a month or so ago to get microscope slides and showed me her work. They were so splendid, I would have bought them from her if she had been selling them.

So I am going to try to make some myself.

Now, it is possible that some of these may become Christmas presents, once I get skilled at the process.

There is a dilemma for bloggers when it comes to Christmas presents. We want to post about our progress for all the usual reasons, namely

* We want the feedback and helpful suggestions of our fellow craftspeople.

* We want a record of how the project went for next time we make such a thing.

But of course, we do not want the recipient to see it and have the surprise spoiled.

Fortunately, Crazy Aunt Purl alerted us all last year to the existence of the special gift filter. This automatically protects all posts from the recipients of the gifts therein depicted. Thus, if you see a gift here, you can be sure that it is not for you.

wrong tychus This is a bit of a cautionary tale, the picture on the left. After I had made my slides, #1 son began agitating for me to begin his new hat, so I did. The picture on the left shows my progress up to the point at which I thought, “Hmm… this doesn’t look quite right…”

#1 son had said quite firmly that he wanted this hat to be just like the one I made for him last year, but with a paler shade of gray yarn.

The hat is Tychus, from Knitty, and you can see last year’s version, below.

This is what happens when you think to yourself, “Oh, yes, I remember how that pattern went.


Plus I was reading the new Terry Pratchett, and possibly not paying sufficient attention.

Anyway, I started over. It now looks very like last year’s hat. I really like this hat. It seems quite cool and op-art-ish. I believe I made one for Son-in-law last year as well, and I plan to make one in different colors for #2 son this time around. As I knit, I am thinking of ways that I might make this hat a little different. Multicolored, of course. I can also see it with a plain cuff knitted on after it is finished. And perhaps the solid-color version I started by accident would actually be nice. If you do garter stitch scarves, it would go well with such a thing.

tychus corrected You can find the pattern here. I am making it with worsted weight Wool-ease on #6 needles.

Today is my first day of teaching the high school Sunday School class. Then there is church and I must finish my errands from yesterday. And I never did make a freezer meal last week, so I intend to make both chili and meatballs for the freezer this afternoon.

Once I have completed all of that, though, I plan to loll around knitting and reading for the rest of the day. I didn’t complete my lolling and knitting yesterday and feel a need to catch up.