Fun with Quill Grips - Yarn Edition

by Terri

Facebook can get both Ariela and me into a lot of trouble. To wit:

Ariela Housman:

Dear Chicago Facefriends with children. Would any of your kids be willing to let me use their Rainbow Loom for a 20 minute project? I will supply my own bands and happily let them have the extras in exchange.

(My quill is narrower than an average pencil and therefore kinda uncomfortable to hold for long periods. And also therefore too narrow for a store-bought pencil grip to be of any use. The interwebs informs me it is easy peasy to make a pencil grip with a Rainbow Loom. Hence asking.‪ #‎CalligrapherProblems‬)

Jen Taylor Friedman: Wow. I've always just sort of wadded up masking tape. Rainbow Loom is a MUCH better idea.
Ariela: The other suggestion the Interwebs furnished was foam roller curlers. Downside being that the foam squooshes lots. But I do have those on hand. I tried it. Works okay, but I am still interested in trying the rainbow loom trick with gel bands. I could color code my quills by size that way!
Ariela: Behold the silliness.
Quill shoved through the middle of a green foam hair curler
Jen: Heh. Yes that is Quite Silly.
Jen: You should get Terri Ash to knit you something.
Ariela: I'm not making Terri knit me a Quill Cozy.
Terri Ash: Quill cozies.... Hrm. I suppose the simplest method would be to knit a rectangle and seam it into a tube. Should it be ribbed for grippiness?
Ariela: Also, the elastic will help it both fit and grip better. And I want Terri to continue to like me, so asking her to knit with elastic is probably right out.
Jen: I think the problem is that the quill is so narrow that if you used yarn that was thick enough to make a good finger grip, you'd have like 3 stitches, and it wouldn't make a very good seam.
Ariela: Yah, that. Laceweight won't increase the diameter enough, and that's what you'd have to use.
Terri: You could do it width wise with 4 rows in DK or worsted, leaving the cast on edge live and graft the top to the bottom.
Jen: This is why it'd be a Terri-worthy challenge :)
Terri: Now I feel like I need to do this, just to prove it's doable
Jen: Terri blame me not Ariela
Ariela: Things you never thought would be part of your job description.
Terri:

Jen - I'm totally blaming you.

Ariela - I think it falls under the subset of artist-wrangling.

Ariela: One of these days we really will have to write out a list of responsibilities entailed in Artist Wrangling, if only for the entertainment value.
Terri: Mostly it involves a lot of "Ariela, NO"
Liz Shayne: Wouldn't the alternative be just knit an icord?
Terri: You could do that. I may have to try out a couple of options. After being told that it's about creating bulk though, I feel garter is what's called for, and that makes icord tricky.

At first I thought that it might be best to try making a small rectangle and seam it into a tube. But after Liz suggested I use i-cord, the wheels started turning. Ariela told me that it needed bulk, and garter stitch is the best way to get that. Garter stitch in the round is tricky, all the more so when you're making a teeny-tiny tube. But I hunted up some scrap yarn and the correct size needles and made a couple of samples. 

 Leftover sock yarn held double

Leftover sock yarn held double

 Random yarn sample (I *think* it's DK weight)

Random yarn sample (I *think* it's DK weight)

I started with the sample on the left, which is a self striping sock yarn held double knit on US size 7 needles. Even while knitting, I felt this one was very squooshy.* After testing, my assumptions were confirmed - it wasn't going to work. 

 Testing,,, Testing... too squooshy

Testing,,, Testing... too squooshy

The second sample was some stiffer wool that I had lying around. I knit that one on US size 6 needles. According to Ariela, this one is actually usable**, but she has some requests for the next prototype. It needs to be one stitch narrower, and probably knit on yet smaller needles. I'm planning on doing another sample out of the blue wool with the proposed modifications, but we're well on the way to a standard pattern for a useable item. This is really cool, because it didn't exist a week ago and now it does.

 Testing... Testing... Needs work, but much better.

Testing... Testing... Needs work, but much better.

 

Check back next week for the results of the Rainbow Loom experiments!

 

*Technical term

**You can tell this in the sample image - it has its ends woven in and everything