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20140912 yarn 48inchtube

40-foot+ tube made with 48" yarn top-string modular setup. Dawn Pro/Guar juice at 20 to 1.

20140911 7912 craft yarn

Acrylic "craft yarn" purchased for 99 cents at Michael's craft store

20140912 7921 braided yarn label

Front label of acrylic/wool/polyester blend yarn purchased at Michael's that works quite well.

20140912 7920 braided yarn label back

Back label of the acrylic/wool/polyester blend that worked well as a top-string

Darn it! and HURRAY! There are great wick materials that are easy to find and don't require a lot of work to prep. I wish I had found these yarns earlier. In today's (brief) session with excellent conditions that compared favorably to some of my favorite materials. This is only one session, but the results were good enough that I think that others should try these out.

I have had to take a break from the color profile studies that I have been doing since the sky was cloudless and bright -- which makes it impossible to get meaningful video. So, I decide to quickly test out a couple of yarns that I purchased at Michael's, a popular chain of craft stores in the U.S.

Wayne had mentioned having good luck with a pre-braided knitting yarn. I purchased the only yarn that I could find that matched his description. I also picked up some 100% acrylic "craft yarn" since Dr. Sin on SBF, the Soap Bubble Fanciers Yahoo Group had mentioned liking "art yarn". I asked for art yarn and the people at Michael's had no idea what I was talking about. So, I purchased something labeled as "craft yarn". It is very thin yarn, maybe 2-3mm diameter -- about the same diameter as the cotton twine that I use.

I made a 48" top-string from the braided yarn by cutting it to length and tying a split ring on either end. I made a 96" bottom string from the acrylic yarn.

I did not have much in the way of expectations. I was shocked by the results. The conditions were nice despite being sunny. Very mild to no breeze. 80-85% humidity and an air temp of about 61F.

I made several 40 foot or longer tubes and closed several 30-35 foot tubes.

I will definitely be making some larger loop parts out of these materials to see how they do making super giants.

20140912 48inch yarnLoop

48" top-string from the acrylic/wool/polyester blend. Bottom made from craft yarn.

I did a minor pre-treatment after tying on the split rings and before using them -- since yarn often has sizing in it that harms bubbles. I boiled a bowl of water in the microwave. I added a teaspoon of borax when I took the bowl from the microwave and put in the wicks. I soaked them for 15 minutes, rinsed them, then soaked them in water and Dawn for a few minutes before rinsing them thoroughly. NOTE: later that day, I made a loop with no pre-treatment other than soaking in hot water that had some Dawn in it, and it worked great. The borax treatment is not needed.
20140914 Cool Supergiant Bubble

20140914 Cool Supergiant Bubble

Juice: Dawn Pro at 14:1 with guar gum and citric acid

 

More Pics

20140912 yarn 48inchtube2

Dawn/Guar at 20:1. 48" modular loop. Top: acrylic/wool/polyester blend. Bottom: craft yarn.

20140912 yarn48inch dawn20to1

Dawn/Guar at 20:1. 48" modular loop. Top: acrylic/wool/polyester blend. Bottom: craft yarn.

20140913 yarnloop 20to1 3

Massive tube (about 40+-feet long made with a 70"-top string using these two yarns

20140914 UB 100inch 1 CROP

Juice: Uncle Bubble Ultra Concentrate in this pictures. The top-string is a 100-inch length of the acrylic/wool blend. The bottom string is soda-washed Bed, Bath and Beyond cooking twine.

20140914 100inch dawn14or15to1 4 CROP

100-inch top-string. 15-to-1 guar-based juice. Temp: 63. Humidity: 80%

 

Observations

Since the lighting was not what I am used to -- and the mix was a bit of a mongrel (20:1 Dawn Guar with some odds-and-ends of other Dawn/Guar mixes thrown in) -- it was hard to fully analyze the flow from the wand. One thing was clear was that once the film started to be 'stretched' there was a fair amount of available juice as the tubes grew a considerable amount after the colors switched to the 'stretched' profile. You will notice in the pictures that the back end of the tube has a noticeably different color set. This is the stretched profile.

I am looking forward to more trials.

FOLLOW-UP (2014 Sept. 15) I have now used the acryclic/wool blend yarn in several sessions. It is an excellent material that is especially nice as it does not require the labor-intensive prep that mop yarn and many other common wicks require. While the yarn is very light (much lighter than the RubberMaid Webfoot Microfiber mop yarn), it absorbs more juice than the mop yarn -- and is a bit drippy. For my taste (I don't like heavy/drippy wicks), it is well-suited to use as a top-string but is too heavy/drippy to be used on the bottom. Uniform loops made from it will make lots of large bubbles, but they will waste a lot of juice as the bottom strings will soak up a lot of juice that just gets dumped on the ground.

I have not tried the acrylic craft yarn as anything but the bottom string of a 48-inch top-string loop. It is quite self-closing and low-capacity -- which balances well with the high capacity of this acrylic/wool blend. It remains to be seen if the craft yarn is worthwhile with very large loops -- it might need an extra strand or some weight to be useful at very large sizes.

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