Category Archives: beading

Mad Knitting Skills: 1 Up!

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Knitting skills: They’re cumulative! Each new skilled learned is another tool in the toolkit, leading to another idea. What else can I do with this skill? I love that!

One new skill that I’ve learned this past year is adding beads to my knitting. Actually, I learned the basics of this at a “one hour wonder” workshop with Sivia Harding at Sock Summit in 2009, but the new skill languished until I wanted to embellish a shawl I was designing, Pacific.

beads

pacific

I love this method of adding beads as you go. It’s a little fiddly, but you only do it when you need to. That works for me. I once started a project that began with pre-stringing a hundred beads. I didn’t like the way it felt with the beads hanging on the working yarn, and I never finished it.

In case you’re interested, I’m donating 100% of my proceeds from now until April 30 from online sales of my Pacific shawl pattern to the Red Cross for Japan Earthquake/Tsunami relief. I’m paying the Ravelry and paypal fees myself; 100% of the purchase price is going towards disaster relief. I’m hoping the gentle waves on this shawl will help bring healing to our neighbors across the Pacific.

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Pacific Shawl, published

I keep forgetting to post this, but the pattern is officially up!

Pacific Shawl, details here.

pacific

I saw Anna’s last night at book group. The lighting wasn’t ideal, but the shawl is gorgeous!

anna pacific

She used Blue Moon Fiber Arts Woobu, and it is a bit heavier, lovely and drapey. Anna’s shawl is the large size, and the yarn is heavier, too. It’s very cozy, but elegant.

anna pacific full

You can kind of see the beads on the left, here. They’re much sparklier in person.

anna beads

Thanks for knitting, Anna!

test knitting?

I’m looking for a few test knitters to knit my Pacific Shawl. I finished the final (I hope!) edits last night. The two smaller sizes take a skein or less of fingering weight yarn (440 yards or less), and some beads. It looks like this:

pacific

The beads are optional, but they’re fun! The small size is sweet worn as a scarf. The medium is…a little larger than the small, but smaller than the large!

If you’re interested in test knitting for me, either this project or another, let me know in the comments and I’ll contact you. I can’t offer you diamonds, gold, or even yarn, but you’d have access to a new design that will be fun to knit, and you get to keep the final project.

Knit on!

back from crafting, I mean camping…

I’m home, skeeter-bit, itchy, and happy. We were at Swift Forest Camp on the Lewis River in Washington. It was marvelous to look up and see this by day…

trees

…and a million stars by night. Being away from city lights really changes the night sky. It’s too early for the Perseid meteor showers, but we saw several meteors streak across the sky each night, including a very bright one tracing the Milky Way. Gorgeous!

I brought my knitting, and I was completely engrossed in my ruffle tank. I ripped both front and back down to the neck shaping so I could adjust the depth of the neckline. I had a “duh!” epiphany: I needed to figure how far *down* from the shoulders I wanted the neckline before I could figure how far *up* to start it from the armhole shaping, since I was changing the depth of the armhole, too. That sounds like gibberish, but it makes perfect sense. I wish I’d thought that through the first time. I also decided to forego the keyhole neckline on the back, and give it the same shaping as the front. I finished front and back, and started adding the ruffles.

ruffle

I love how this is turning out; the ruffles are fun to make and charming to look at.

anklet

I shopped for these beads for an ankle bracelet last month and hadn’t gotten around to making it. Carole designed and put this together for me since I was otherwise obsessed.

bead1

We had some bead stash sharing and swapping.

beading

It’s a multi-family camp out, which makes it all the more fun. The teens woke up on Thursday and decided to try to make a sailboat with the inflatable raft. It’s amazing what they can do with sticks, duct tape, rope, and the rainfly from a tent.

sailboat

And it worked! Mast, sail, working boom, and a paddle as a rudder.

sailing

We had a great time, even without our electronic toys. There was no cell service in the area, and sometimes it’s nice to be untethered. But I’m looking forward to my new iPhone4 on Tuesday!

Pacific, round 1

I love this so much more than the first try, it’s ridiculous. Lemons to lemonade…

pacific1

It’s not rain; it’s the Pacific Ocean.

pacific

The waves are rolling. The sun is shining on the waves. It reminds me of Crafty Mom Weekend, watching the endlessly undulating ocean. (I wrote lyrics for a song that weekend, and the waves were in the lyrics, too. I sense a theme.)

beads

I love working with beads. They’re so small, but they add such nice sparkle.

This is definitely a shawlette rather than a shawl. I had a fair amount of yarn left. I’m knitting this again with another skein of the same yarn, making it a bit bigger but still trying to keep it as a one skein project. I’m also fine-tuning a few things on it. I’ll eventually write up the pattern, and I’ll also do a video tutorial on adding beads. I like this “add as you go” method rather than pre-stringing all my beads at the beginning. Have you used beads in your knitting?

pdxfroggerati

I had a lot of practice with tinking and frogging on this last project. I figured I should live true to the class that I teach at Twisted, ” Tink, Drop, Frog.” Yes, all those fixes really work, even on things more complicated than stockinette!

I frogged (rip-it, rip-it) 12 rows of lacy knitting when I realized that I didn’t have enough yarn to do an extra 16 row repeat *and* a border. And then I had to frog again when I messed up the border. While I was frogging that, I decided to take it back even further so I could have a deeper border. Here it is unblocked.

unblocked

I love blocking. It’s like magic…

blocked

But I don’t love this shawl.

blocked piano

:sigh:

It’s pretty, but I think the pattern in the body is too bold for the more delicate border. And I love the undulating border, with its little sparkly beads.

beads

This was my first experience with adding beads to my knitting, other than a one hour wonder class with Sivia Harding at Sock Summit last summer. I really like it! These are a little subtle with this yarn, but the blue on the inside of the beads was such a perfect match, I had to use them.

beads 2

When I first envisioned this shawl, it was all about the pattern in the body. I was inspired by raindrops running down a window. So maybe that part of it needs a different border, but for now, I’m going to knit another shawl and play with this border some more.

Raindrop Shawl (my own exploration)
Knitted Wit Superwash Merino fingering weight, 100 grams
US size 6 needle
Size 6/0 Toho beads

Stitch markers, redux

I made some new stitch markers this week. I needed some markers with smaller loops for smaller needles. The round ones that I made before are great for knitting with worsted weight yarn on 7′s or 8′s, but they really stick out on a size 2. Rather than trying to make smaller loops with wire, I opted to use flex cord this time. Here are the new ones.

blue markers

purple green markers

Do you want to make some, too? They’re a bit easier than the round ones I made here because you don’t have to finesse the round loop and twisted end. You’ll need some flex-cord (fine weight), some beads, and some crimp tubes in a size appropriate for your cord. You’ll also need something to cut the cord, and either a crimp tool or pliers. Ready?

Cut flex cord in 4 inch (10 cm) lengths, one for each stitch marker.

wire

Put both ends of the cord into the crimp tube, and slide the tube until your loop is the size you want. Then crimp the tube with your crimp tool or pliers.

crimp

Add the beads, again putting both ends of the cord into each bead.

beads

Add another crimp tube, make it snug up to the beads, and crimp. Trim the cord as close to the bead as possible.

stitch markers

That’s it! You may want to add crimp covers over the crimp tubes, but I think these look fine. (And I fail at getting the crimp covers on without either dropping them or destroying them.) One marker is different; I like to make one out each set different so I can use it to denote the beginning of a round, or the beginning of a right side row, or whatever.

While I had the beads out, I made this necklace.

bw necklace

Time to get back to knitting!

Single Skein Club is leading me down the path to Sock Summit

It’s June, and that means it’s time for the next installment of Twisted’s Single Skein Club. This club has updates every other month. I still haven’t knitted April’s project, a cool toe-up sock by Chrissy Gardiner. But I will conquer my toe-up aversion soon. Sock Summit is coming!

Enough chit-chat. If you don’t want to see what’s in June’s package, avert your eyes.

Still here? Let’s see!

june pkg

Look at this yarn! Malabrigo Lace yarn, one skein (of course). The color is “glazed carrot,” and that’s a great description. It’s not plain orange. There’s a depth to the color that looks like it has a brown sugar glaze.

carrot

The exclusive club pattern is the Seedling Sampler Scarf by Sarah Pope. It has three lace patterns in it, and best of all, it has beads! The beads are a bronzy color (I thought they were purple in the shop, go me) and look like seeds. The beads are strung onto the yarn before knitting. How? With this cool collapsible bead needle! I’m going to be using this needle for my other beading projects, too, so this is a great tool. And there’s a sweet SSC stitch marker to round out the package.

june goodies

I think the gals at Twisted are leading me down the garden path to Sock Summit. First there’s that toe-up thing. Yup, need to know that for a couple of my classes. Now there are the beads. I’m taking a bead class at Sock Summit, too, but I think we’re adding beads as we go, instead of pre-stringing. But still…

Speaking of Sock Summit, DH is bemused by how excited I am about the prospect of a knitting conference. I’ve gone to other conferences before (Stitches and TKGA) but the buzz around those is nothing like the Sock Summit buzz. I keep telling him that it’s the power of personality (Stephanie and Tina), and it’s almost like a cult. DH has also been fascinated by the whole Sock Summit registration ruckus. He’s in marketing, and you can see his take on it here.

And because it’s the beginning of June, I have to show you where that pile of bark mulch ended up:

stones

front flowers

Two thirds of it is in the front and side yards. The last third has made it to the back yard, but it’s in a pile! Soon and very soon…

School supplies

Remember how thrilling it was to get your school supplies each fall? The smell of new pencils and crayons…

Now imagine buying supplies for Sock Summit classes. Even better, right? Especially with a friend! Anna is taking two classes with me, so we went bead and yarn shopping this morning.

Here’s what I have:

supplies

Both yarns are Louet Gems sport weight. Yes, sport is as thin as I’ve knitted for socks. And I figure I’ll get further, faster with a fatter yarn!

The lilac yarn is for Star Athena’s Sock Design Workshop. The supply list said sock yarn, not too busy and not too dark. Perfect. Even more perfect is that this is the same color I’m using for Kai-Mei, and if I run out before I’m finished with the toe, I’ll just borrow a little of this. It may not be the same dye-lot (I haven’t checked), but it’s better than nothing! And it was very fun shopping for supplies at Twisted, because Star was there and now she’s met Anna, too.

The white yarn is for Hooked on Beads with Sivia Harding. And the beads are for…yeah, you guessed it. I think that some plain white yarn is fine, because I want to see what’s going on with the beads! You may find it boring, but remember, it’s just practice! Perhaps a cute sock cuff, or fingerless mitts. By the way, Dava Bead in Portland is a place of great temptation. I buy a lot of my beading supplies there.

And for Cat Bordhi’s Dancing with Socks class? I’ll probably just play with some natural colored worsted that I use for teaching. Or go shopping again. I was much more restrained than Anna, so I may have to catch up…

Sock Summit: I’m in!

That was a wild romp with the Sock Summit server this morning! It kept timing out, but the clock was still ticking, and I'd go back in and see that whatever it was that I tried to add didn't make it, so I had to try again. I finished registration with 48 seconds to spare (they gave a 15 minute hold).

I’m sorry that it didn’t go as smoothly as planned, after all the hard work into the wee hours by Stephanie and Tina. (Stephanie’s updates on twitter were quite informative.) If you didn’t get in, try again; classes that were being held during those 15 minute hold periods go back to the queue if the registration doesn’t go through, and apparently there was also a server glitch that made things look full when they weren’t.

Here’s what I’m taking:

Dancing with Socks with Cat Bordhi
Sock Design Workshop: Know the Rules, Then Break Them with Star Athena
Hooked on Beads with Sivia Harding (one hour wonder)

I’m looking forward to these classes, and to just checking out the market and hanging out with knitters!

And because I can’t run a post without a picture, here are the stitch markers I made to use in Cat Bordhi’s class. The picture is a re-run, but it’s a picture!

markers