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Elemental: Birth of a Supernova


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  • Lace

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All matter in the universe comes from stars. What starts as a ball of hydrogen and helium gases, becomes the building blocks for everything through millions and billions of years of gravity and pressure. In some stars, with enough gravity, pressure, and heat, nuclear fusion occurs and new elements are formed. With the right conditions, fusion continues to create new elements by smushing (technical term) together atoms until it makes iron. Once iron has been created, fusion stops and the core begins to collapse. In less than a second, the star collapses and explodes into a supernova. This in turn creates the heavier elements and propels them into space. The Elemental: Birth of a Supernova shawl is from my "SCIENCE IS BEAUTIFUL" series and shows the evolution of a star as it dies and becomes a supernova. Each element is depicted with its accurate electron configuration with "electron" beads in the color of the element. There is an outer core of hydrogen and helium, followed by carbon, neon, oxygen, silicon, and finally iron. This is the first of three designs involving elements (see also, Elemental: Noble Gases & Halogens and Elemental: Colors of Metal). PATTERN NOTES: You will need 3 skeins (1386 yds) of the listed yarn in the Gypsy colorway. With the gauge listed, this pattern uses just under the full three skeins. If you don't want to check gauge and you knit loosely, you may want a fourth skein just in case!! You need #8 (5.0mm) double-pointed needles, and #8 (5.0mm) 16 in (40cm), and 40 in (100 cm) circular needles, and a size 12/1.00mm crochet hook for attaching beads. You will need size 6.0 beads in the following colors/amounts: 1 purple (Hydrogen), 2 red-orange (Helium), 6 black (Carbon), 10 orange-red (Neon), 8 light blue (Oxygen), 14 bluish-white (Silicon), 26 metallic grey (Iron). BASIC SKILLS NECESSARY Knitting in the round, lace, beading GAUGE 18 sts x 29 rows in 4 inches in stockinette in the round on #8 (5.0mm) SIZING / FINISHED MEASUREMENTS one size, 50 inch (127 cm) diameter SUGGESTED YARN 1386 yards of Fingering weight PREFERRED BRAND/YARN Knit Picks Stroll Tonal COLORWAY Gypsy

Recommended with this pattern

  • #8 (5.0mm) double-pointed needles, and #8 (5.0mm) 16 in (40cm), and 40 in (100 cm) circular needles, #12/1.00mm crochet hook for attaching beads
  • 6.0 beads: 1 purple (Hydrogen), 2 red-orange (Helium), 6 black (Carbon), 10 orange-red (Neon), 8 light blue (Oxygen), 14 bluish-white (Silicon), 26 metallic grey (Iron) Place markers (at least two colors - one at cast on to mark the start of a new row and the rest at row 17 for pattern repeats/bead placement), rust-proof pins for blocking

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Kimberly found her love of design while knitting plastic bags into shoes and fishing nets for her Master’s thesis (for resource poor areas of the world with lots of errant polyethylene - not just for funsies). She found that working with yarn was sooo much nicer and the possibilities to make beautiful things were endless. Kimberly is now a full-time designer and an aspiring knitting travel writer - it may not be a profession yet, but give her time! Check out - a blog tour talking to fiber artists about their inspirations!