Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

What a Childless, Adult Couple Does When Snowed In On Valentine’s Day

Filed under: Crafting Miscellany,Gryphon,Knitting — folkcat at 1:29 pm on Thursday, February 15, 2007

Plays with Perler Beads, of course. (Yeah, Gryphon and me – we’re an exciting pair!)

Gryphon was concerned enough – and rightly so – about the weather yesterday that he took a vacation day from work. Given the conditions we had out there, it would have been risky for him to try to travel our country roads to and from the plant in his 13 year old truck.

So we got to spend Valentine’s Day together. Such as we do these things. We had a nice spaghetti dinner, with refrigerator biscuits brushed before baking with garlic butter. And we played with Perler Beads.

Gryphon's Perler Coaster
Gryphon’s Coaster

Gryphon created this coaster. He’s got mad skillz when it comes to the ironing, too. This looks barely fused, but it’s actually holding together quite solidly. He may be the official Perler Fuser from here on.

I found a pattern at the Perler Bead website for a 3-d puzzle box. You start with these six pieces, all different:

Puzzle Box Pieces
Puzzle Box Pieces

You fit the notches together to build the box.

Perler Puzzle Box in Progress
Piecing it Together

Et voila! You have a neat little cube, solidly locked together. Until you choose to take it apart, that is.

Perler Puzzle Box, Assembled
Pieced and Complete

There are a couple of things I love about this little box. First, that I made things that I could make something else out of. So cool! I have a notion now that I could design some little part that I can make from Perler Beads that will be my own building toy, something that notches together in multiple ways.

Second, this was a good practice piece for my Perler fusing skills. If you over iron the pieces, you don’t get as good a fit, because the ends of the beads spread out a little more. I still didn’t get good, even fusing by the time I was finished with this, so I need more practice.

The Craft Goddesses and I will be having a Perler Bead night at our craft circle next week. I love the idea of getting several crafty women together in one place, all working with the same type of materials. Everyone comes with their own ideas, and you feed off of each other’s creativity. No telling what we’ll come up with!

Oh, yeah – and I knitted, too.

WIP: Carnival Glass Shawl, Chart C
Carnival Glass Shawl – Midway Through Chart C

Gryphon did manage to walk down to the Post Office yesterday, and lo! in the mail was my package from Knit Picks, containing the Options needles I bought for knitting the Carnival Glass Shawl. (I had chosen to begin it with a 20″ Addi Turbo I had in the house, knowing I wouldn’t need more length than that for a bit.)

I switched over to the 40″ Options cable with the size 6 tips, and knitted my shawl onto the new needle. And let me tell you, it was pretty interesting having such a direct comparison between knitting with the Addi, and knitting with the Options.

The Options needles, of course, have sharper tips. This makes knitting laceweight yarn, especially with Slip Two Knitwise, K2Tog, and other instructions like that to deal with. The point on the Options just gets in there much more smoothly.

What surprised me the most, however, was the difference in the joins. I think we all expect and assume that any circulars with interchangeable components must, by the nature of the beast, have a less smooth join than circulars that are constructed as a single piece.

Wrong.

With the Addi Turbo that I started this shawl on, the join made a little hump that it was annoying to have to move the stitches over. With the Options needles – no hump. Nada. Rien. Zip, zilch, and zero. The thin little stitches slide from cable to needle as smooth as butter.

I’m more convinced than ever. The Options needles don’t offer all the cable lengths I may want – yet – but they are in every way superior even to Addi Turbos, and they cost far less. I’m going to be saving every penny to build my Options collection!

5 Comments

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Comment by Elspeth

February 15, 2007 @ 5:35 pm

Great bead projects! I really like the Options needles too, although I’ve only bought the circulars so far, not the interchangeable sets.

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Comment by Anne

February 15, 2007 @ 6:44 pm

I like how the lace works with the color variations in that yarn! Nice choice!

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Comment by Emma

February 15, 2007 @ 10:38 pm

Looks like a fun time was had by all. The shawl looks gorgeous so far. And I got my KnitPicks Options set yesterday too–very exciting.

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Comment by JessaLu

February 20, 2007 @ 5:21 pm

Your lace looks wonderful!

Oh I looooove the Options needles…all my poor Addi’s are sitting in the corner pouting because they are nowhere near as smooth.

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Pingback by Crafting Jen » It’s (Almost) All About the Perlers

February 23, 2007 @ 3:01 pm

[…] I took the pencil cup directly from one of the many projects listed at the official Perler Beads website. It’s built like the puzzle box I made the other day, flat pieces with tabs and notches on the side that lock together to form the structure. […]

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