27 March 2007

La Beada Loca

Woohoo! I finished Scout's Bauble and I am in love! I may have to make another for myself. But that's ok, (right?) because we probably won't ever run into each other at the grocery store wearing the same thing.

So here's the quick overview of the process. I started out with my "yarn" - a strand of beads:

Robin asked before whether I had any tips to for stringing, because it takes awhile. I just put all my beads in bowls and leave them out so that I can string when I feel like it - very much like my knitting. I rarely ever get any uninterrupted time, so I work on things piecemeal. Sometimes I really get into the Zen of it and then I can bead or knit for hours on end. With so much going on, however, those days are very few! I strung the beads for this Bauble over about 5 days.

After putting bead stop coils (I made my own from copper wire, but you can get them pre-made at a beading store) on both ends of the strand, I cast on. Note: I did *not* cut the elastic at this time, in case I needed to add more beads at the end of the bracelet.

It's a backwards loop cast-on with a little trick thrown in. I put the bead stop coil over the needle when I begin. It holds everything in place so I don't need to tie a knot. Once I get to the end of the second row, I no longer need the coil around the needle, and I just take it off when I come to it and knit on. I knit the 35 rows:

And then it was time to graft the ends together. I first checked to make sure that the bracelet was long enough, and since it was, I cut the elastic. I couldn't find my large eye needle, so I didn't take any pictures of the ensuing mess. *g* I was tired of looking for the needle and I just threaded the bead stop coils through. It worked, but it was ugly. At the end, I had a few beads too many so I just took those off.

Now, several people have asked questions about the crimping portion of the bracelet, so I decided to come up with another option. For this Bauble, I tied a square knot, put a dab of superglue on it and tucked it inside a 6mm bead. You can see the knot here, with the light behind it:

After the glue was perfectly dry, I trimmed the ends of the cord. Et voila!!!

Isn't it purdy? I'm very happy with it. I hope Scout likes it! :)

In other news, I have been cheating on my orange sweater. The siren song of fuzzy soft mohair came to me and I was lost, because if you have a ton of UFOs, everyone knows you should cast on for something else. Right? I decided to give Poppy a try, but in mohair. I am following the true spirit of Yarn Play: experimentation. :) Of course, that means I am only following the pattern peripherally. Heh. But I am loving it! It has turned into more of an empire waist sweater, with a cowl. I haven't knit the sleeves yet, but they will be very similar to the book. I am using black mohair and a variegated mohair. I am really happy with it so far; there's nothing like mohair to make you feel happy!

Next up: sleeves!

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Blogger Nathania said...

Oh, so pretty. I adore the colors. Have to get to the bead shop so I can start mine!

8:51 PM  
Blogger LesleyD said...

Love the Bauble colors!!! It is really nice!!! One day I'll brave poppy. :-)

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Kath said...

OMG, the Bauble is gorgeous!

11:22 PM  
Blogger Stephannie said...

Bauble looks great. Thanks for all the tips. My seed beads came pre-strung, so I just stick my large eye needle into eleven and pull them off the strand--it goes a lot faster that way.

And your poppy is lovely--nice departure from the original.

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bauble is so, so pretty! And I love your take on Poppy. I can't wait to see that finished.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Scoutj said...

Oh my GOODNESS! I can't wait to see it in person. It's beautiful! Thank you so much!

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Robin said...

Very cool! Thanks for the tips. I also like the idea from the other commenter regarding pre-strung seed beads - hmmm, haven't seen those but maybe worth checking out. Although you'd give up something in terms of flexibility on the ordering of the colors, I guess.

Your sweater looks great - love the shape!

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Dipsy said...

My gosh - you *so* inspired me with your beautiful photos and your interesting description! I'm still sure that I'll never manage to do any bead work whatsoever, I guess I'm just too clumsy and hectic for that - but I'd so love to try it out after reading your post!
Your version of Poppy is coming along so beautifully - I actually like your much better than the original!

10:41 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

Thanks for the tutorial, that's really helpful, and Bauble is so pretty.

Your Poppy is the nicest ever - the cowl and the longer bodice are an improvement on the original design.

2:09 PM  
Blogger kathy said...

Your Bauble is fantastic! I am so inspired to try one myself now - thank you for your tutorial.

8:30 PM  

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