Knit Wit Living

Reflections, Beading, Knitting, Life

Archive for the tag “colorful”

My Amish Mistake

I wrote a report on the Amish and Mennonites when I was in middle school. I was bothered by one of their practices to purposely make a mistake in their work based on the belief that only God can make something perfectly.  This really irked me because if only God could make something perfectly, then there was no need to make a mistake, because one would naturally happen.  Their “logic” annoyed me to no end.  As you can probably tell, it still bothers me.  Now, when I make a mistake I usually just refer to it as “my Amish mistake” and carry on with my project.

At what point does one really need to undo the work and redo it?

I have started knitting a 47″ wide Missoni Inspired Chevron Blanket because I am insane and didn’t learn my lesson about doing large projects with the Poncho I recently finished.

My Amish Mistake

This is the pattern picture, i.e. what it’s supposed to look like at the end.

There are 361 stitches, and I repeat the 60-stitch pattern 6 times.  It will be beautiful…when it’s finished….

My Amish Mistake

It took me some time to get the M1 stitches correct, but I figured I could carry on and when it was blocked the rows would come together.

My Amish Mistake

I dropped a stitch at one point and pulled the others up through it.  There was still a slight hole but I figured I could go back later with a needle and yarn and make it look normal.

My Amish Mistake

A lot of work!

BUT THEN….I dropped a S1 K2T PSSO stitch.  Damn! There was no way getting around this one.

My Amish Mistake

The one that could not be absolved.

RIP!  Funny how RIP-ping a piece out also stands for Rest in Peace.  Funny or sad.  Knitting humor. Or not.

Get out the Kleenex.  For the tears while ripping out rows and rows of 361 stitches.

Time to start anew.

My Amish Mistake

Another Post about Beading

No apologies. It is what it is.  Or as I like to say, que sera, sera. So yes, another post about beading.

I am a late comer to Andrew Zimmern (on whom I had a celebrity crush after watching the episode I am going to tell you about, but the crush details are for another day [and has passed]). I first started watching him on his Driven by Food series, where he has taxi drivers take him to their favorite eating (and sporting/exercise) spots. It truly is delightful and a great concept for traveling and learning more about the local fare.

Then I segued into Bizarre Foods which is not really completely about eating insects and goat’s eyes as earlier commercials had led me to believe. And here’s a disclaimer, I am not against eating insects or goat’s eyes.  I just don’t know how many episodes I would want to watch about it.  Luckily it’s not just about “bizarre” foods, it’s about the cultures and lifestyles.  Well, I DVR’ed a bunch of the shows and was terribly moved by his visit to a Hunter and Gatherer Tribe in Botswana, in the Kalahari.

The tribe easily accepted the TV show crew after ceremoniously cleansing them and were willing to share their lives and culture with these strangers.  The tribe is extremely resourceful using what nature has provided.  Their lives are incredibly full without modern “conveniences,” and are so joyful and creative. The TV crew was allowed to watch a trance ritual that was incredibly powerful, and I was terribly moved just by watching it on TV.

But I kept pausing the show to take pictures.

Another Post about Beading

Men and women alike all wore decorative beaded headbands.  I was fascinated!  Andrew briefly mentioned that the beads are made from ostrich bones, I think.  They were incredible.

Another post about beading

Another post about beading

Another post about beading

These designs look so modern, yet these artisans have not been exposed to other cultures (except for visitors).

Another post about beading

I think I have multiple images of this particular headband. I am captivated by the design!

Another post about beading

Just gorgeous!

Another post about beading

Another post about beading

I couldn’t get a full view of the necklaces everyone was wearing, but they were bright colors! So pretty against their skin too.

Another post about beading

Here is a close up.

Another post about beading

Another post about beading

And finally, here is a photo with the show host. But honestly, the attention really goes to the headband detail.  Just beautiful.

Because the tribe has had visitors, one of the members was wearing a T-shirt with English writing on it.  It made me wonder if future designs will incorporate some of the letters.  That would be pretty cool, but at the same time disappointing. It would be disappointing because it would symbolize that they are slowly becoming integrated with modern society and losing their pristine world. That will be sad…though I did appreciate being able to enjoy their culture.

Before I end this post, I wanted to relay that I recently watched some of Season 7 of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I had to pause the show many times to take a further look at the necklaces she was wearing.  It is truly becoming an obsession.

Ugly Beading Projects Abound During the Holidays

T’is the season….for ugly beading projects!  Have you noticed how many ugly crafting projects abound during the holidays?  It’s actually not just the winter holidays, but any holiday from which a retailer might make a buck or two.

Speaking of retailers, I really have to thank Fire Mountain Gems for the majority, if not all, of these creations.  I do buy supplies from them, but not for holiday designs.

Ugly Beading Projects

I was trying to decide if I’m just not in the holiday spirit or a scrooge, but the bottom line is that you don’t have to wear or make ugly jewelry to celebrate the season.

Ugly Beading Projects

There are so many suggestions for ugly beading projects out there!
Sometimes I wonder if the people who post them are really serious?
It must be reverse psychology or a challenge to make something better.
Or maybe it’s just the jewelry industry’s version of ugly holiday sweaters.

Ugly Beading Projects

The choices out there are boundless. Retailers don’t care which holiday you celebrate as long as you buy their products.

Ugly Beading Projects

I refer to these earrings as the corn on the cob holiday celebration.  I’m not certain which holiday this is supposed to represent, but it reminds of that picture where you’re supposed to see the old lady and the young woman.  I usually see the young woman first and have to remind myself where the old lady is.  I don’t see any holiday in these earrings, but happy corn on the cob day!

Maybe the retailers are going for those afraid to say NO, thank you, when presented with a gift with angels.

Ugly Beading Projects

Ugly Beading Projects

Liking angels and having good taste do not have to be mutually exclusive.

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So no matter what or how you choose to celebrate, I hope you do it wearing jewelry that pleases you, even it’s a secret smile to yourself waiting for someone to compliment you on pieces that you’re inwardly laughing about….Happy holidays!

 

Beading Novice

I guess I can no longer consider myself a beading novice as I’ve been beading for over a year.  Thanks to a class at Vogue Knitting Live, I learned the basic technique of placing a bead on a stitch.

Ho hum.

There had to be more to do with beads! I have since been teaching myself how to bead using YouTube and books and a lot of trial and error.

I’ve discovered that, really, anything goes when beading even though it has defined stitches. It’s nice to have a solid background of already recognized stitches, but there are so many variations that you can do.

For my very first project – a necklace to wear to the opera at La Scala in Milan (and I have to interrupt myself to mention – how lucky am I? –  I don’t take this for granted, nor is it said with any sort of snobbery) – I went online to see how to do what I wanted to do – have beads dangling from beaded tubes. I could not believe that I invented this! However, it’s true. I could not find any advice online, and I have not seen anything like it anywhere. (Go Me!)

Beading Report

A night at La Scala

There are many beading stitches. The “basic” ones (or at least the ones that I learned first) are peyote, spiral and herringbone.   I find it easier to learn and manipulate the stitches as tubular even though ALL the instructions direct one to learn the flat technique first.

The circular diagonal direction of the beads in the “Opera” necklace make this design recognizable to beaders as peyote.

Currently, I find myself drawn to the tubular herringbone stitch.

Here’s one of the first herringbone designs I made. The primary orange beads are vintage Venetian.  These Vintage Venetian glass Seed Beads were manufactured between the late 1800’s and 1920’s and are an exquisite example of fine Venetian craftsmanship. Vintage materials provide a link to the past and allow for further appreciation of materials that could have otherwise been lost.

No longer a novice at beading

Here’s a necklace I did using different sized beads and with a wonderful druzy pendant.

No longer a novice at beading

Here’s another herringbone piece with a handmade lampwork bead, purchased on Etsy, as the focal.

No longer a novice at beading

This one has peyote as the main part of the necklace and then little herringbone tubes closer to the stones.

No longer a novice at beading

Weaving loops of beads around a spine creates the spiral stitch.  I made this one with a holiday theme in mind.  The silver and copper bugle beads accented with red beads really sparkle and shine!

No longer a novice at beading

More to come!

This weekend…VKL NYC!

Vogue Knitting Live NYC 2016 is this weekend!

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since VKL NYC 2015! The Knitting with Beads course with Laura Nelkin has changed my life. I have been spending the year teaching myself beading, and transferring much of my spending to beading supplies.

And guess what?

I am not going to VKL NYC this year! Instead I am saving my pennies to go to a beading fair next weekend.

My goal remains the same – to combine knitting and beading in unusual ways.  I’ve been spending this year learning basic beading techniques to understand how it works…so that I can rework it.

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Did I mention that beading is fun? And more immediate gratification than knitting!  But there are so many choices, and really, a lot of thinking and processing.  And stringing is not as easy as it looks. Sure, putting beads on a string is easy, but the design, and making sure the beads fall correctly takes longer than I expected.  It’s all very enjoyable.

Beading

And pretty!

Stringing Along


I thought that stringing would be super simple and almost didn’t even want to try it, but it is very appealing so decided to give it a go.
Well!!!
It is not as easy as it looks.
I started with an Italian-themed necklace for a good friend.
I arranged the beads, strung them, held it up as if I were trying it on, and it was just not balanced.
I unstrung them, tried two other combinations before being satisfied. Then, dealing with the chain and the clasp and the jump rings was very intimidating!
I’m glad I persevered – I was very happy with the results, and my friend loved the gift!

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The beads with the Italian images are made of paper and then shellacked. I found them on Etsy.  The round greenish beads with the dots around the circles are ceramic.  The green squares, triangles and green beads are stone (jasper).  The gold and light green beads are freshwater pearls, and the small pink beads are glass seed beads.  I found all these pieces in different places and loved putting them together.

I also made a thank you gift for a friend with whom I stayed over the Fourth of July weekend.
Again, balance, color, size, etc. all come into play, as well as the technical skills to attach the clasp.

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The long oval orange striped beads are vintage paper mache that I found on Etsy.  The pink dotted bauble at the bottom is glass.  The orange and gold beads are vintage glass.  Again, the gold beads are freshwater pearls, and the small yellow and pinkish beige are glass seed beads.  What fun pulling all these together!

I decided to combine the “off loom bead weaving” with the stringing.

I started trying out a tubular peyote stitch (sounds like I know what I’m doing?!). It really started out as a practice, but I decided to continue with it. I had a sketch of what I thought I might do, but creativity took over in the process. I added two pieces of Jasper (the turquoise) and then a vintage bead cage surrounding another piece of Jasper. On to a ceramic piece before completing the circle.

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When I made it, I thought the two pieces of Jasper would be the focal point at the bottom of the necklace. However as I wore it, it seemed to prefer to have the bead cage at the bottom.  And you know what? I like it better that way too!  Luckily, my hair is short so that the peyote and little fringe is still visible in the back.  I like that twist, a little surprise for people to see.
Stringing Along

While I was at it, I made a necklace for another good friend, who enjoys stone necklaces. I also used the stone shapes that I used in the Italian necklace, as well as some sparkly glass beads in the squares, and some agate chunky beads. Instead of chain, I used some glass seed beads that glitter next to the stones. She loved it. I did too, but gave it to her anyway!

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