Tag Archive | beading

A Break for Beads

So many things to share today! Nope, I didn’t cast on for that green and purple shawl yet. The right stripe sequence hasn’t come to me so I’m pondering it. Instead, I took some time yesterday to drive out to Half Price Books. I realized I only have one Stephanie Pearl-McPhee book in my library (the rest I’ve read from the library) and I thought it might be fun to have a couple to take with me, to get signed. And what do you know? I found a lovely hardback copy of Free-Range Knitter that looks unread! (I also bought a DVD of Sweet Home Alabama and a signed copy of Room. Bookstores are dangerous.)

And then, since I was near a Joann store, I had to stop by at least, right? I mean, I don’t get over there that often, and I had two good coupons, so I had to go. Any good crafter would have done the same. But the amazing thing is: I didn’t buy any yarn!! None of it called my name. I’m afraid I’m becoming more of a yarn snob, in that I enjoy the softness of fiber and the richness of color in premium yarns. I still like acrylic for some projects, but it’s definitely a lot easier to resist. So what to use my coupons on? I looked at needles; there weren’t any I needed. Knitting books? Eh. I found myself in the beading section and remembered I’d wanted to try using split rings for stitch markers. I only found one kind that looked big enough to fit on a knitting needle so I grabbed those, a bag of headpins, and then the beads were all 50% off so I had to get a cute string of beads too. I had fun!IMG_5646I think my favorites might be the baseballs with the blue for my Kansas City Royals! But no, I love them all. I did end up with a minor injury from using a letter opener to try to open a split ring, but we must suffer for our art, right?

Last night I needed knitting for American Idol, and I’m a little bored with my Hitchhiker, so I grabbed some gray Berroco Fiora to cast on for a scarf, called the Float Flutter Fly Scarf. Go on and look, it’s fine. Pretty, right? I discovered that ridge in the middle is created by slipping 5 stitches every other row, so this is what the back looks like. IMG_5645It’s just kind of…weird. The pattern does say to pull the stitches tight after the slipped stitches, and I’m trying, but maybe not enough? I don’t like the way the bottom slipped stitch hangs down. IMG_5644I put it down and ended up working on the Hitchhiker after all. Maybe frog and start over? I’m not that far in and now that I understand what the pattern is doing, maybe I could get that part snugger. I do like the feel of the yarn, and it is a lovely pattern…ok, fine. I won’t give up just yet.

Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend, and if anyone else is at the Knitting in the Heartland keynote tonight, find me and say hello!

My New Local Yarn Store

People, yesterday was a big day for me. You remember I recently moved to a new city, and the only crafty store I could find was Michaels? And that the yarn selection at Michaels is, well, it’s kind of crap? I mean, there’s some okay stuff, but it’s just a really small selection, and…it’s not GOOD yarn. Well! I have found salvation.

I had lunch with two long-time friends yesterday. They came to see my new house and then we went to Rock & Run Brewery, a locally owned pub. Great drinks, great food, great atmosphere. I loved it. Then one of my friends asked if I’d been to Corbin Mill yet. (It’s an old mill with several crafty shops in there; I thought there was quilting and beading and antiques.) I said no, not yet, hadn’t had the time. “Did you know there’s yarn there?” she asked me casually. Nonchalantly, like it was no big deal. Are you kidding me?? Six weeks I’ve lived here and had no idea I was two minutes away from a yarn store?? It was decided: after lunch we were going to the mill.

So we did and it was marvelous! It’s called the Old Mill Stitchery (see, that doesn’t scream yarn. No wonder I was confused.) The yarn section wasn’t huge but it was fantastic. Lots of Classic Elite Yarns, Berroco, some Shibui, and more that were new to me. Even the Berroco, which you can find in most LYSs, was really well-represented, with yarns I hadn’t seen before. There were samples hanging up everywhere, gorgeous complicated knits. As I wandered through petting the yarns, I chatted with the lady working there. Apparently the store has been there for 20 years or so, though I’m not sure if it’s always had the yarn. She was the needlepoint lady; the knitting lady would be in the next day, as would a knitting group. Oh, and get this: I had JUST missed a yarn tasting by a day or so. And the next one won’t be until spring. Argh. You can bet I signed up for their mailing list immediately.

The hard part was that my friends are not knitters. One is a rug hooker, so she appreciated the large section of dyed wool. The other is not crafty. As she said, we can make it and she can buy it. So I didn’t want to torture them too long. We browsed through the yarn, the wool, the little antique store section, and saved the bead store for last. Lots and lots of pretties! I can’t wait to go back and look for materials for some new stitch markers. I didn’t wait long for the yarn. As soon as my friends dropped me off, I let the puppies outside for a few minutes, then drove right back up to the yarn store. I even had some birthday money to spend! An hour later, it was gone, but my arms were full of these luscious treasures. IMG_3371Araucania Ruca Solid. This is 100% Sugar Cane. What?? I didn’t know such a thing existed. I don’t usually buy much brown yarn, but this one reminded me of milk chocolate. It’s also extremely soft but what made me buy it was the drape. It feels very elegant, and I think this will become a gorgeous shawl. Bonus: it was 50% off!IMG_3372Classic Elite Yarns Chateau. I’ve played with this yarn before and it’s heavenly. It’s so lightweight and soft, it’s cloud-like. It’s mostly baby alpaca with a bit of bamboo, so of course I love it. Alpaca is my favorite. This is going to become some kind of striped scarf for me. IMG_3373I’m a fan of sparkle so this Ava by CEY caught my eye, and I snagged the last two skeins of silver. I haven’t decided if this will become a project by itself, or if I’ll use it as an accent on other projects.IMG_3374More sale yarn! This is Kodiak by Berroco, another new yarn for me. Another bulky, super-soft alpaca blend; this is obviously the type of yarn that speaks to me more than any others. It was all 50% off, I loved all the colors and I couldn’t decide which one to get. I also couldn’t afford to buy as much as I wanted, so I got a pink, a cream and two dark grey, and I’m pretty sure they’ll play together to become some kind of cowl/scarf thing.

It was such a fun day, and it pleased me so much to find such a wonderful creative haven so close to me. I’m not normally a very out-going, social person, but I do think I’ll go up there one day and check out the knitting group. It might be neat to have some new yarny buddies.

Here’s the downside: I came home and started putting my new yarns away, and looking at my gorgeous gorgeous stash actually made me sad! I have so much beautiful yarn, and I’m afraid now that I’ve got SABLE (stash acquisition beyond life expectancy) and that’s not okay, because I want to have time to use all these fantastic yarns I’ve collected. Does anyone else ever feel like that? I either need to knit more often and faster, or I need to stop buying yarn, and not buying yarn isn’t going to happen, so I better stop typing now and start knitting.

Except I’m tired of all my WIPs. Time to cast on for something new?

Time for Some Crochet

Crochet came first for me, but after I learned to knit, knitting because my primary passion. I love the fabric it creates, the rhythm of my hands, hearing that little click of the needles every so often. But I still enjoy crochet too, and lately I’ve been feeling the urge. Yesterday I gave in to the urge. It was time to take a break on the blanket and I don’t have any outstanding orders to finish, so I perused Ravelry until I found a pattern that spoke to me. Now, you’ll have to be patient with me. This will be a gift for someone who I think reads my blog, so I don’t want to share the full details just yet. But here’s a little peek: IMG_3278I think it looks a bit like chainmail. I’m using a DK weight (a little thinner than I usually use) yarn called Merletto from Louisa Harding. It’s called Sage but to me it’s more of a silver, and it even has a lovely shimmer. I’m quite excited about this project, and in fact I’ll be going back to it once I’m done writing to you lovely people.

The girl had her second football game yesterday (reminder: she’s marching band, not football team). I think the team lost, but the band was wonderful of course. And right after the halftime show, there was lightning and then some rain and the band was sent home and I didn’t have to sit through a whole football game! Yahoo! Anyway, we came home. To the puppies. Yes, THOSE puppies. The ones who are naughty sometimes. I’d gotten a package in the mail yesterday and included was a small gauzy pouch containing a birthday present. I had set it aside to open on the actual day. Well, you can guess what happened. Grace decided she wanted it open NOW. She’s very good at opening presents. Thankfully, the present was nothing she deemed edible, so it survived. And it’s beautiful too, see: IMG_3281This is from Kind Spirit Jewelry. She makes pretty things. I will wear it today when my mommy takes me out for a celebratory lunch. And the weather is supposed to be sunny and slightly cooler, so I think it will be a good day. Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend!

I’m a Multilingual Crafter: I Speak Bead

I can’t talk about my yarn projects right now. I have a few going but they’re secrets. And it’s killing me because the first one came out SO COOL and I’m tickled with it but…not yet. Instead, I’ll show you what I’m doing when I take a break from yarn.

Several years ago, my aunt got me started beading. I went crazy with it and spent the next few years obsessively building my bead stash and making tons of jewelry. I made so much I tried to sell some of it. (Wait, this is sounding familiar.) Unfortunately, I managed to burn myself out and eventually had to pack it all away. I kept the tools and my favorite beads, and after I’d been knitting a while, I was glad I had. My knitting SIL (she pops up a lot, doesn’t she? Handy gal to have around.) saw a sample of beaded stitch markers at Joann and decided to try them. (She was also into the beading craze with us. And the scrapbooking craze that followed. Hmm. There seems to be a pattern here.)

Well! Jewelry for my knitting? Absolutely! So now I buy beads every once in a while, when I need to scratch a different creative itch, and make some stitch markers. These are this week’s product.IMG_1169 IMG_1200 IMG_1204There’s kind of a funny story with these wire-wrapped ones. I had all my stuff out on the dining room table, and the other night after I finished eating, I idly picked up the wire and pliers and made this automatically, not thinking about it since I was talking with Alex and the kids. It wasn’t until I was done that I realized the loop was supposed to fit around a knitting needle. Oops. So that one on the left might not be used too much, but hey, it’s there if I need it.IMG_1195I really enjoy having different ways to explore my creativity. I just hope I don’t get tired of knitting like I did with beading and scrapbooking Ack, blasphemy! *runs off to wash mouth out with soap*