March 5, 2015

28 Triangles, and Planning for New Projects

Well, that’s done. I have 28 little gray triangles and 28 little purple triangles, woven with and as prayers to the Hyades and the Women of the Purple Thread. Now I just need to stitch them all together.

Now to start on the next big project, the 6’x6’ rainbow flag afghan for my wife and I. Buying even a skein of Red Heart Super Saver is difficult these days, but a friend was kind enough to get me a thing of bright, pure re d so I can get started on it.

The plan looks something like this:

Each triangle is about 4” on the long side and 2” on the short side. To get a 1’ stripe, I need three rows of 4” width each. I’m going to fiddle around with it, but I’m thinking of alternating rows of meshed-teeth style and square-block style:

The math for either type of row works out the same. Each row needs 54 block, times three rows is 216 triangles. 216 triangles is 648 yards. Round up to 700 for extra for stitching. A single skein of Red Heart is 364yds, so two is enough plus 28yards of squish room. Fortunately, Red Heart, being synthetic and mass produced, doesn’t have dyelots and is consistent. Color #319 will always be the same shade of red.

At 216 triangles per stripe, that’s 1296 triangles for the whole thing. Even at ten triangles a day — which I am not going to average, that’s a good day — that would be 130 days, that’s more than four months. Probably more like 6 or 8, because me. Even more if I get into the school I’ve applied for, which is very intensive. Fortunately, the triloom is such that I can do other projects at the same time, so I don’t get too bored. Also fortunately, it’s easy to use the tail at the start of each triangle to tie it to the next one, and it’s easy to make both types of rows from long strings of them. Which makes the project much easier to keep track of. Individual triangles are too easy to lose.

I’m assigning a different quality I want for our little family to each color, magic to support us in each of them. Red for protection, orange for strength, yellow for wisdom, green for health, blue for peace, and purple for passion. The recited charms for each are proving annoying to write. I’ve got a version for protection, but I’d rather get them all written and posted together. They’re doggerel, really, and won’t scan well. Just something to recite while I work, to shape the intent and energy.

I’m also playing with the notions of using the triloom to build an ABRACADABRA spell, an ancient diagram spell of protection that dates back to at least the 3rd century CE and the physician of the Emperor Caracalla, who prescribed it worn as an amulet against disease.

A - B - R - A - C - A - D - A - B - R - A A - B - R - A - C - A - D - A - B - R A - B - R - A - C - A - D - A - B A - B - R - A - C - A - D - A A - B - R - A - C - A - D A - B - R - A - C - A A - B - R - A - C A - B - R - A A - B - R A - B A

This, obviously, lends itself to the triloom pretty well. It would probably work better on a equilateral triloom, but I don’t have one of those. This would, obviously, make a good-sized wall hanging rather than a wearable amulet — the top edge would be 44” across if made on this triloom! — but I think the spell could be easily applied to a household rather than an individual.

I’m also thinking about the idea of making spell-nets out of wire and beads to catch bad influences trying to come in at windows, like a witch’s ball, dreamcatcher or spirit trap. I want to do combinations of the rigidity of the weave and more freeform, organic shapes. Even a single triangle — and I’d rather do 4-piece squares, to keep the inward motion toward the central stone — will take 3 yards of wire just for the base, plus another foot or two for the other work, so I’ll have to work in copper wire for now, as much as I prefer sterling. I’ll have to see what I’ve got in the house.

For a square, the idea is to have sparkly beads throughout, both glass and various stones, to catch the eye of spirits, with an inward movement or progression, and a large stone bead at the center, made of something suitable for capturing and storing them. Probably glass seed beads on the weave, and stone beads on the flourishes, so I can better control those for flow. I suppose a single tringle would have all motion moving towards the right angle point, but that feels very incomplete. The concept needs more work before I really try it out, and I need to see what I’ve got to play with for now, but I may see if I’ve got enough wire just to how it behaves on the loom.

I’m trying to post more regularly, but having two picture-heavy posts planned was really slowing me down, because I hate my image-editing software** and it makes it hard to get a bunch of pictures resized and ready to post. So I had this one and the previous one about the fortune teller both written and queued up, and then accidentally posted the other one first when this one was meant to go first. (As part of posting regularly, I'm trying to space out posts when I have more than one already written.) So by the time this goes up, I'll have been working on the flag afghan for several days and will have a whole string of little red triangles. Yay!

** I used to have an application called Graphic Converter, which had been packaged with OSX for years and years, and I knew how to use it and it did everything I wanted it to do. The last time I upgraded my OS, it stopped functioning. So I tried to upgrade it, and discovered that it apparently didn't exist anymore. So then I flailed around trying to find a new application, that would do what I wanted and was free. The only thing I could find was GIMP, which is massively overpowered for my needs, eats all my resources, overcomplicates everything (I open up JPGs in it and want to save them as JPGs, but it converts them to its own weird-ass format as soon as it opens them and I have to export them (not even save-as, export) to get them back to JPGs, for example), and in addition I can't make the color balancing work right, I have no fucking clue what I'm doing. So now image editing is miserable for me. And all I need to do is resize them and maybe fiddle the colors a little and maybe clean up a couple of things or crop something out or mark a detail. I absolutely do not want to take more than 90 seconds per image to do all of the editing, and yet I keep finding myself spending that long just to add an arrow, resize, and save, because now that I've drawn on it, it won't convert it back to a fucking JPG, and I have no idea why. Also it has a horrible fucking name.