Friday, January 28, 2011
The Roman Gate
I love this picture, I took it my first day in Rome, the first day of my first vacation in Italy. It's the gate to the garden belonging to a monastery, right in the heart of Rome. I see this image every time I upload new pictures and I always have to pause and look at it for a moment, it takes me right back to Italy.
And here is my tribute to that beautiful image, made with knitted wire and beads.
I made my wire fabric especially to fit this glass vase, and added a wreath of pink mother of pearl discs around the top. The beaded wire fabric really draws your eye, lots of sparkly beads to look at. I didn't scrimp on the beads as you can see!
If you want to create something similar for yourself, I can give you some details that will help you estimate the materials you will need. This vase is 8" tall with a 10" circumference, so I needed to make a knitted wire panel 8"wide by 10" long. I took those measurements and used them to figure out the square inches, this helped estimate how many beads/wire I would need. So 8x10=80sq inches. I knew from my test swatch that I liked how it looked when I used approximately 15 beads per square inch. Let me just stop and talk about beads here for a moment, I used a variety of sizes from seed beads on up to around 10 mm. I chose a color palette of pinks, purples and blues and some beautiful Swarovski lead crystal, clear beads for extra sparkle. When I was stringing them, I counted groupings of smaller beads like the seed beads as one bead, so 3 seed beads = 1 regular bead. For this project I used nearly two 40 yard spools of 28 ga wire, I had probably 10 yards left over, but for something like this it's better to have too much than too little. So lets just use a nice round figure, two spools equal to 80 yards total divided by the 80 square inches of fabric created, means that for every knitted square inch, you will need approximately 1 yard of wire. Calculating the number of beads, as I said I used 15 per square inch, so 80 sq inches x 15 = 1200 beads. I strung half on each spool and wound it back around the spool to keep things tidy and organized, plus I used some iridescent beads and I wanted to protect that surface from getting scratched and banged around. So now, the last important detail, how many stitches to cast on? I used size 7 bamboo and for every inch of wire fabric I wanted to create, I cast on 5 stitches, so for my 10" circumference vase I cast on 50 stitches. Your gauge may be different, with something like this, it couldn't hurt to do a test swatch. When it was done, I sewed the butted up ends together with wire, and slipped it over the vase. I like that it comes off so that I can wash and dust the vase if I need to.
Have a wonderful weekend! Blessings Friends!
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