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Corn and Chaff

I couldn't get a better photo, but isn't it a pretty pattern?

I couldn’t get a better photo, but isn’t it a pretty pattern?

I finally got the pattern for the Corn and Chaff design by Mary Konior!! Apparently Corn and Chaff is considered a braid and is worked from side to side, so the “RW” in the pattern, which means “reverse work” and generally means to flip it upside down, in this case means flip from left to right! Good thing someone informed me of that, because I would never have gotten it right otherwise!

I had a very hard time getting this pattern going. According to the pattern, there are four rings labeled A through D. A and C are exactly the same, and B and D are exactly the same also, so really, it’s only two rings, and you’re repeating the pattern until you reach the length you want. I had to rewrite the pattern to grasp it in my head, because when it said to attach a ring to ring A, it threw me off. Which ring A? Because as you’re repeating the pattern, every other ring is ring A. I know it seems stupid that I didn’t automatically assume it was the ring A that I had just completed, but I really couldn’t grasp the idea until I re-labeled the rings A through H and rewrote the pattern using those designations. In hindsight, now that I have the pattern working right, it’s not a difficult pattern at all and it’s very pretty, but because it was worked differently from everything I’ve tried up until now, I just couldn’t wrap my head around it.

This is a single-shuttle pattern. Now, everything I’ve done up until now has technically been a single-shuttle pattern, but has included a ball thread. Because I have so much trouble with working thread right off the ball, I’ve adopted working from two shuttles instead, with the second replacing the ball. This pattern really is single-shuttle!! There is no ball thread, only the one shuttle and whatever thread you’ve loaded it with. That’s another reason I had so much trouble; it was so not the way I had gotten used to working!!

I’ve also found a few Celtic tatting projects I’d like to try, which essentially means lots of chains made and woven into the work, so it’s actually Celtic knotwork. It looks beautiful, and it looks complicated as all get out, so I’m dying to try it, though I’m pretty sure I’m going to be frustrated sooner rather than later!

My gripfids for ply-split braiding came in yesterday too, along with some cord, and I can now see that when I make my own cord, it has to be a good bit tighter than I’ve been making it. I was also advised that when I do make my own cord, I need to put the aglets on each end while the cord is still under tension, and the end that is anchored should have all four cords on cup hooks in the same configuration as my cordmaker. The configuration can be more spread apart than the cordmaker, but not closer, so once I find a way to create an anchoring end, I’ll be giving that a try. As skeins go, the cord I bought is expensive, so it’ll be much more cost effective to make my own. I’m looking forward to trying it. It’s not rocket science, but there’s still more to doing it than I expected. When I say expensive, I’m speaking relativity. The skein is only $3.25, but it’s not very much cord when you look at the length. On the other hand, what I’ve been using, the perle cotton I already had in my stash from my cross-stitching days, is a little over $1 per skein, and you need four of them to make a cord. Of course, after you’ve unwound the skein in order to make the cord, lengthwise you get more out of it. It’s really a case of 6 on one hand, half a dozen on the other. In other words, I’d probably break even no matter which way I go on this. The biggest plus to making my own cord, though, is color selection. The online store I ordered the cord from has a selection of eleven colors. I’ve got to have more choice than that: enter the perle cotton!

So, since I’m up so early today (okay, I haven’t gone to bed yet. Or rather, I did, but couldn’t sleep), I’m going to work some more on Corn and Chaff until I finally get sleepy! If I’m lucky, it won’t be long!

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