Tag Archives: beading

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!

Birthday bumper crop

April seems to be full of birthdays! I’ve been making all sorts of jewelry gifts this past week, and I’m not done yet.

spirals bracelet

I fell in love with these lilac colored spiral beads at Dava. The spiral is kind of a bronze color, and the bronzy beads were a perfect match. But the bracelet was boring with just the two beads alternating, so I added the white ones. The white ones have square holes lined with something shiny; it doesn’t show that much but it adds a little zing. And the white beads meant that I could use silver findings that I already had, rather than bronze. I like this piece so much that I’m going to have to make one for me, too.

pink pearls

I really like knotting pearls on silk cord. The more I do, the better they get. It was hard to photograph this correctly, but these pearls are pink, and the cord is purple. Very girly for a 7 year old girly-girl! I hope she likes it. I also made a green on green set for Carole, but forgot to take a picture.

pearl crystal necklace

And fresh water pearls and Swarovski crystals for DH’s 17 year old niece. A bit casual, a bit grown up. Just like her.

Beading is faster than knitting! But I’ve been knitting, too. Just not enough to have any FO pix yet. Last night was knit nite, and I helped Sarah turn her very first sock heel. The first one is a leap of faith, and suddenly it goes from flap to heel, a little miracle. Sarah won one of the Lantern Moon needle cases, so I brought that to her last night, too. I’m not sure which was the bigger thrill, the heel or the case! Pretty happy all around.

Knit? Knot!

Not knitting, knotting. I learned to string pearls! Pretty cool. I had a choker length necklace that broke, and it’s been waiting for about a year for me to fix it. I finally decided to give it a try. New silk cord (comes with needle attached), an awl, really pointy tweezers. Check.

pearls

It looks as good as new! There is a knot on either side of each pearl, and about 1/2 inch of silk cord between each pearl. Here’s how it goes: Start with a length of cord twice as long as you want the necklace. Too much is better than too little! Tie the non-needle end of the cord around a seed bead. I can’t tell if I have a square knot, or not! It’s too small for my eyes. So I tied 3 or 4 times. Then add the bead tip (the clamshell shaped thing that the bead sits in; this will also attach to the clasp). You don’t have to tighten it at this point; just let it hang there.

*Make a simple overhand knot about 1/2 inch away. I used the awl to slide the knot close to where I wanted it, and then just my fingers to tighten the knot in place. Add a pearl. For the knots after each pearl, I used the awl to place the knot, and then used the tweezers to slide the knot against the pearl. The tweezers were really helpful in getting the knots snugly against the pearls. Repeat from * until the strand is the desired length.

knots

Add another bead tip, and then tie cord around another seed bead about 1/2″ away. Dab some glue (Elmer’s is fine, according the the helpful woman at the bead store, but superglue is not; it cracks) on the end knots (the ones on the beads). Let dry, clip the excess cord. Close the clamshell bead tips around the beads. Attach clasp to the hook on the bead tip; pinch closed. Voila!

toggle

I did have to do this twice. The first time I got to the end, I put the end bead on before the bead tip that it sits in. The end beads should always be LAST. They’re the ENDS. Oops. I couldn’t get the knot out to fix it. And of course this happened 15 minutes after the store closed last night. I had to wait for morning to buy more cord and re-string the whole thing. Practice makes perfect.

I think I could actually do this without a little bead in those end thingies, if I tied a triple or quadruple knot to go inside the bead tip. That would make it easier to close the clamshell completely. My original necklace didn’t have bead tips at all; the cord was just tied around the jump rings. I don’t trust my knots enough to do that, yet.

I completely winged this, so if there’s a “right way” that’s different, I don’t know. But I liked it so much that I made a necklace for my sister’s birthday, too!

pink

I also made these stitch markers with goodies from my trip to the bead store. Cat Bordhi suggests stitch markers labeled by letter for some of the socks in her New Pathways for Sock Knitters book. I plan to use these soon!

markers

Beadazzled

I spent some time on Friday putting some things together.

markers

These are the stitch markers for the January event at Twisted. I made 16 of each kind; they’re in school colors. I ended up not using the beads that I bought for the project, because they just didn’t look that good! So these are freshwater pearls on the top row, and blue crystals on the bottom row, plus some miscellaneous beads.

I also made a bracelet for a holiday gift (no names! no hints!).

copper2

I love this bead; the whole piece was built around it.

nautilus

And one more gift. The shell in the middle is from our trip this summer.

beach

You can see the sand inside!

detail

That should be a nice souvenir.

Turkey in the oven. I’m using my Dad’s oyster/Chinese sausage/water chestnut fried rice stuffing. He’s been gone since 2001, but I remember him in little ways, always. Baba’s Bed Socks were designed for him, way back when. Mom’s coming for dinner. It’s Thanksgiving preview; she’s going to LA for Thanksgiving!

Weekend update

We spent last weekend at Black Butte in Central Oregon, with a couple other families. The house was spectacular; there was room for the 12 of us but could easily have accommodated more.

The back of the house overlooked a lake.

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Here’s the view from the hammock:

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It was a pretty busy weekend, biking, swimming, hiking. We stopped at the Camp Sherman general store:

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Picturesque and well stocked. The gas pumps are just for show; they only have three digits, and one of them is a decimal!

The headwaters of the Metolius River are here. They come from an underground spring, but they don’t look very impressive at the head. The river is known for its excellent fly fishing. We hiked from the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery to these springs, which come out of the river bank. It’s a strange and beautiful sight, a water fall without a visible stream behind it.

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I knit three tiny hats over the weekend:

hats

I re-strung my ankle bracelet, which was previously strung on thread but had frayed. Now it’s on wire:

anklet1

And I made a new one, which includes a shell from last month’s trip to the British Virgin Islands.

anklet2

I also started the back of my Central Park Hoodie.

cph1

Aside from my usual angst about gauge, it’s going pretty well. It’s blockable to the right size, but knowing me, I may start it again on larger needles. Even though I did make a gauge swatch. Sweater starts usually end up being my real gauge swatch!

All in all, a great weekend!