Friday, April 06, 2007

Fish For Days and Hair for Months

I have been knitting fish for days, in my spare time. Which as you can see, has not been much.

A few years ago I saw the Tessellating Fish blanket somewhere on the web. I can't find a photo but the pattern is here. I was interested in it, but never mind.

The other day I got the idea to create a modular sweater , using the tessellating fish concept, alternating with strips or something. I haven't quite worked it out yet, but came up with my yarn pallette and have been making fish instead of socks as my carry-around, waiting at Dr. office project.
I had to change the pattern. Mine is much easier to knit and the tail is more 'anatomically correct'. There are 6 connected fish I was experimenting with a technique of crocheting together. The major bummer of this fishy idea is there are MANY ends to weave in. When I knit modularly, I like to weave in ends as you go, but this one doesn't lend itself to that technique.

Many have been asking, "How is the WIG WIP?" Well, it is almost done! Here you see the back:
And here is the top. There is just this small patch remaining unfinished:
After I fill that in, there is the finishing! No small job, it involves coating the inner edge about 1" deep with 3 layers of a brush-on liquid that dries into a firm and flexible latex-like surface where the tape tabs can be applied and easily removed with solvent. If the wearer has any hair of his own, it can be braided into a tiny horizontal cornrow and the center of the wig can be stitched onto the braid for extreme stability, but the outer perimeter still needs to be secured.

After that, you must ventilate the edge. Imagine a row of fringe, double knotted, made of individual hairs, side by side with no space between each hair. This must be ventilated through 3 layers of net and the latex edge! The hairs are very brittle, despite the fact that you soak them in water with oil (I am using olive oil) before ventilating which softens them up and makes the knots grip tighter. I imagine that this edge row will be quite challenging, with much breakage and lots of do-overs (and overs).

Since under ideal circumstances, I can ventilate about 84-87 hairs in 15 minutes, I am certain that the number will be half that or less for the edge. I calculate that it takes about an hour to do a square inch, but my guess is that the edge will take 8 - 12 hours.

Then comes the part I am looking forward to! Styling! I will spray in some oil and pick out the afro, then rough trim it to get an idea if there are areas that need more hair or different colors. The colors are looking much more contrasty in the photo than in real life. This worries me.

The final styling is done by the hairdresser on the set.

You could film, edit and score a complete movie in the time it has taken me to make this wig! Good thing it wasn't for a specific movie. Vicki is just going to add it to her stock and see if someday someone wants to buy it for an extra or background character. Or maybe I will keep it as a reminder of my first wig.

Will there ever be a second? I don't know. It's pretty tedious work. Today's understatement!