11 June 2007

Venezia Redux


After my Venezia napkin rings came out in the fall 2006 issue of Knitty, several kind people sent me notes about the gate in Venice that inspired the design. Yes! It was the gate into the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and your kind notes and photos allowed me to relive a wonderful trip, and remember my mother as she was so many years ago. Thank you all!

Others wrote wanting to make a bracelet, but I told them that the pattern would be too flimsy at the larger size and if they could wait just a little while, I was working on a solution. So here it is! And true to its sculptural heritage, it uses an armature to shape the wire and bead skin and provide stability. And this time, I used recycled glass that reminds me of the ocean on the other side of the Guggenheim Collection. You can use anything you want, though.

One size

Measurements are taken after pulling fabric into shape.

Measured flat before seaming:
Width: 2.25 inches
Length: 10.25 inches

Measurements after seaming:
inner circumference: 7.5 inches
outer circumference: 11.5 inches

Beading wire, 32 gauge [30 yards per spool]; color: silver, one spool

1 set US #6/4mm needles: Bamboo is recommended, and you may find it easier to use two double-point needles rather than long straight needles.
Recycled glass beads, ranging in size from 2-4mm: 135
Clear plastic or acrylic bangle bracelet
OR 1/2 inch diameter clear acrylic flexible tubing with 5/16 inch thick wall: 1 foot

7 sts/69 rows = 2.25 inches by 10.25 inches (exact gauge is not critical for this project)

I used two double pointed bamboo needles because they are short and not very slick, and I found it very easy to manipulate the wire. I had no problems losing stitches. You can use any needles you like, though.

One of the seven stitches in each row functions as a selvage stitch. Do not put any beads between this stitch and the next stitch. The area without beads will be on the inside of the bracelet and enables the wearer to slide the bracelet on and off with greater ease, and with a minimum of wear and tear.

Beads are placed between stitches. To place a bead in your work, knit the stitch before the place you want your bead to go, slide the bead up the wire until it rests next to your right needle, then knit the next stitch. It's as easy as that!

To make working with the beads and wire easier, you can place the spool of wire into a small ziplock bag, approximately 2 x 3 inches and close the top around the wire. Do not use a larger bag, as this will encourage the wire to kink.

Clear tubing can be purchased in hardware stores, and has text printed on portions. Ensure you have enough area without text printed on it to reach around your hand - I used 10.25 inches. Bits of the lettering can be scratched off with a utility knife, if need be.

Make armature: bend tubing around hand and cut a length sufficient to pass over hand when joined. Cut another piece of tubing approximately an inch long. Cut smaller piece in half lengthwise. Roll smaller piece to fit inside larger piece snugly. If need be, wet the tubing to make insertion easier. Insert other end of smaller piece of tubing into the other end of the large piece to complete circle. If need be, heat tubing by dipping into boiling water or applying hair dryer, form into circle, and then hold under cold water to set shape. Any small gaps in the tubing will be covered by the beads and wire.

Pre-string beads on wire.

Using the Backward Loop technique, CO 7 sts, placing at least 1 bead in the CO row.
Knit approximately 69 rows garter stitch, using 2 to 3 beads per row, and scattering them evenly across piece. Place the beads in different places in the rows; you want to achieve fairly even coverage, with a seemingly random appearance. Remember to leave a bead free zone between the selvage stitch and the next stitch (only on one side). As you knit, pull the rows you have knitted into shape after each row. Having exactly 69 rows is not crucial. The most important thing is that the knitted fabric fit snugly around the armature. When you have achieved the proper length, cut the wire, leaving a 20 inch tail. Ensure that all the beads are on one side of the fabric, so that they will face out when the rectangle is seamed. It is easy to push the beads through and close the wire so they do not slip back through.

Stretch rectangle to proper dimensions if you have not already done so. Remove needle from live stitches, inserting a piece of waste yarn to keep them from unraveling. Wrap rectangle lengthwise around armature, making sure the beads are on the outside of the fabric. Graft together live stitches with cast-on edge. Remove waste yarn. Wrap knitted fabric around armature so that the area without beads is on the inside. Without cutting wire, sew together lengthwise edges of knitted rectangle around armature.

Wrap wire around itself several times and clip, being careful not to leave ends sticking out. Tuck wire in.

The fine print: Copyright 2007 Rosemary Hill. This pattern is for personal use only and may not be sold or knit for profit. Thank you and enjoy!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

How cool is that!!! Totally FABULOUS!!!

10:40 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

This is SO cool!!! I never in a million years would've thought of using plastic tubing for support.

You totally rock. Thanks for writing this up!

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is absolutely awesome, what an amazing idea! Unfortunately I couldn't see all the pics in this entry of yours, but thanks so much for writing all this up!

11:50 PM  
Blogger 5penny said...

oh, i cannot wait to make this! thanks!

12:46 AM  
Blogger Marina said...

Gorgeous! And very generous of you!

3:09 AM  
Blogger lv2knit said...

That is a really cool idea! Now I have even more on my to do list -- it never gets shorte, only lllll-oooooooooo-nnnnnnnnnnn-gggg-eeeeeee-rrrrrrrrrrrr.

4:53 AM  
Blogger e's knitting and spinning blog said...

Wow!!! You are a genious!!!

5:08 AM  
Blogger e's knitting and spinning blog said...

Wow!!! You are a genious!!!

5:09 AM  
Blogger The A.D.D. Knitter said...

Wow, thanks!! Do you think that my 12 yo daughter could do this, or would it be too hard for her?

5:13 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

5:35 AM  
Blogger NH Knitting Mama said...

Beautiful! You're so creative.

5:39 AM  
Blogger Lorraine said...

Rosemary- Really cool, but I think I'll leave those skills in your capable hands.
I'd probably end up in the ER.

5:43 AM  
Blogger amanda said...

Thanks for writing this out! What a smart idea.

6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, that's pretty groovy. I'm always tempted to knit with wire and beads because the result looks so nice (and I'm a beader, primarily - theminx.com), but I'm afraid I'll kill my poor hands (yarn is hard enough on me). A bracelet, however, is a limited amount of work, so I may well give this a try.... Thanks!

7:57 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I really love the thought of doing that, but I'm allergic to most metal. I doubt string of any sort would hold up that. Any ideas for what else I could use?

8:53 AM  
Blogger Bea said...

That is SO cool! I wonder if copper wire would work?

10:18 AM  
Blogger Melanie said...

Gosh, another wonderful creation! It's so pretty, and you're so kind to share it.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Valerie said...

What a beautiful bracelet! Your talent never ceases to amaze me!

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gorgeous! It's really knitting? I can do it? Thanks so much for sharing your idea; it's wonderful!

About the email addresses...I'm not a Blogger user, so I comment as "other". There is no slot to include email address.

Funny enough, when I get comments on my blog, I'm generally notified by email. I then hit "reply" and respond via email. However, when you comment, it doesn't come through on my email at all! Gah! Computers.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sooooo beautiful!

5:15 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I love that bracelet!! One day one day I'll make it!!!! You rock Romi!!!

5:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very cool!

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, that's so pretty!
thanks for such great ideas. :)

11:04 AM  
Blogger Vivian said...

Your pictures are always so incredibly delicate and beautiful. Can you share what kind of camera you use?

3:48 PM  
Blogger AR said...

Oh, neat! Thanks for sharing! Smarty!

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How completely cool! Plus it gives me an opportunity to go to a hardware store, which I find fascinating.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Marji said...

LOVE it.
I've been wanting to do something with wire for quite some time - this may actually prompt me to get off my duff and Do something.
Thank you much!

3:25 PM  
Blogger Hege said...

That is so beautiful! Thank you for showing us how to do it. It looks like so much fun!

5:04 PM  
Blogger N. Maria said...

You have talent beyond words!
I am definitely going to be making that beautiful bracelet!

8:18 AM  
Blogger Jean said...

Soooo cool! I love your way of using tubing to create a custom size. I have small hands and wrists and most bangle style bracelets are way too big for me. The braclet is gorgeous and I'm so glad I could make it to fit me. Thank you!

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a fantastic idea! For a second, I wasn't sure I was actually seeing what I thought I was seeing.

Thanks for a great pattern. :)


9:34 PM  
Blogger Celeste said...

Here's a picture of the gate. Just the photo made my jaw drop open, too.


8:00 AM  
Blogger Diana Katerina said...

That is too cool. I've knitted some in the past but your design is the best I've seen so far. Thanks for the instructions. I'm going to try this one for sure.

12:33 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Romi, I am from Venice, and as a little kid I remember staring at the gate you mentioned in fascination. I love the napkin rings, I might try making them if I find some knitting wire. I have lots of beads collected through the years.


7:09 AM  

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