Monday, March 4, 2013

Put a bead on it

Yukiko Cowls & Scarf - $5.95
Ravelry | Patternfish
Miyabi Collar - $5.95Ravelry | Patternfish
So, over the winter I got temporarily obsessed with this interesting stitch pattern out of a Japanese stitch dictionary. It has graceful leaf forms divided with seed stitch. It's versatile, too - as you can see on the left, it works well in rectangular form for cowls and a scarf, and on the right I adapted it for a circular collar.

In addition to its other merits, the leaf and diamond shapes also lend themselves to embellishment,which led to another obsession - knitting with beads. Large-hole beads (size 6/0) work wonderfully well. I also have a fairly large bead stash from my jewelry-crafting days, but most of them are seed-beads (10/0). They'd probably work well if they were pre-strung, but the beads on all of my designs so far have beads added with a crochet hook during knitting. With some trial and error, I found a way to get the seed beads on the stitches without too much effort using fishing line. Here's my little graphic and explanation:

Working with small beads: Are you using seed beads with very small holes? It can be very hard to get them over a stitch, even with a crochet hook. Try this: Cut a piece of fishing line or beading wire about 8" / 20 cm long. When you reach the stitch to be beaded, thread the fishing line through the stitch and hold the ends together. String the bead onto the fishing line. Holding the fishing line tightly, take the stitch off the left needle and push the bead down onto it with space at the top. Return the stitch to the needle and remove the fishing line. Knit or purl the stitch.
Carry A Tune - $6.95
Ravelry | Patternfish |
Sylvia Woods Harp Center
Once the beading was done, it was time for another type of stitch pattern: double-knitting. It's been awhile since I gave y'all a musical pattern. I asked myself, what does every musician need? I answered myself: a music bag. So here I present to you Carry A Tune. It's knit in mega-sturdy Cascade 220 with harps on the front and musical symbols creating a brocade-like design on the back and inside. It was fun to design and is absolutely HUGE inside. There are two large interior sections and one small pocket, and the layers of fabric make a cushy and protective carry-bag for anything, not just music.

Even though the cold weather is on its way out (yay!), that's no reason to stop having fun with yarn. Small projects aren't oppressive during the hot weather, and they'll come in handy again all too soon. Best get started now. :)

Happy knitting!

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