Knit Wit Living

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My Intro to Beading

I have been talking a lot about beading and knitting, learning beading to incorporate with knitting, but I haven’t shown you anything yet. I think my Intro to Beading stage may last a while, here is my first report!

You may recall that I took Laura Nelkin’s introduction to beading as one of my classes at the Vogue Knitting Live event in NYC in January. She taught us the basics of (1) putting the beads onto the yarn and sliding them into stitches purlwise and knitwise and in placement on which “leg” of the stitch and (2) adding a bead onto a stitch without adding them all to the yarn first.

My Intro to Beading

Laura Nelkin Butin Collar Kit

From there, I bought her Butin collar kit, but was unhappy with my results. I had trouble with the cast on and thus ran out of working yarn, and it turned out that the color combination I chose (“Montane”) tended to look dingy.

Not deterred, I decided to play off her design and use it to play around with other beads and colors. I used two strands of crochet string – yellow and white – with the same color beads and a silver rose bead at the base. I drew out the design and strung the beads onto the threads.

My Intro to Beading

Beaded Design

My Intro to Beading

Stringing the Beads

Casting on was difficult because the pattern uses the backward loop cast on, which I find makes the stitches really tight.  I got around this by using two needles together. You can see that each stitch is two strands. I use a marker every 10 stitches so that it’s easier to not lose (or add!) any stitches.

I followed my pattern and then had some more fun with the clasp.  I decided to put some beads in the stitches that attached the clasp.   The hardest part was making sure that I was attaching the two pieces in the right direction on each side! I am happy to report I (concentrated, paid attention and) didn’t make any mistakes and only had to sew on the clasp once!

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I used the blocking wires I bought at the Vogue Knitting Live Marketplace in January. These are long bendable wires that are woven in the knitted piece and then pinned down for blocking.  They worked really well and helped maintain the curve of the necklace.

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And the final product!

My Intro to Beading

My Intro to Beading

Where Have I Been?

I feel like it’s been ages since I posted, and even I’m wondering Where Have I Been?!

Where Have I Been?

Well, I’ve succumbed to the Beading Bug, and am trying the art of beading in order to create some new knitting.  I have bought / read a slew of beading materials and have been learning basic beading as a means to enhance my knitting.  I want to go beyond what’s out there and my mind is swirling with possibilities to test.

I’m only posting a few pictures today to show you my first trial of knitting with beads that I learned in my class at VKL this past January.

I had bought this sparkly yarn from Holiday Yarns at the VKL Marketplace and have knitted and ripped and tried different patterns out. I bought some beads and completed a (self-designed) pattern, deciding not to frog it as it’s a perfect weight for a spring scarf.

Where Have I Been?

Where Have I Been?

Where Have I Been?

The Princess Boa also included a beading technique of applying the bead (bell) during the knitting instead of adding them all to the yarn before knitting and then sliding them up for the necessary stitch.

Where Have I Been?

I am quite thrilled with all the new possibilities ahead and race home each day after work to try something new.

So much fun!  More reports to  come…

3 Patterns

I set a goal of “3 Patterns” for the past 6 weeks. It was a bit vague, but I think I really meant it just to spur my creativity and branch out. It could have been read 3 Patterns, write 3 Patterns, knit 3 Patterns, crochet 3 Patterns…just do something with 3 different Patterns!

I met my goal and tried 3 knitting patterns, completed 2, 1 was a success. Smile. I am more about process than results, so I am happy that I did 3 Patterns. Never mind the results!

1. Winter Hat with variegated yarn intarsia pattern.
2. Started the Summit Shawl.
3. Made a very long boa scarf for a 5-year old princesslittle girl..princess.

1. Winter Hat


This is the Neighborhood Fiber DK in Victorian Village and a variegated pink DK that I bought on Etsy from Mothy and The Squid. I also used a gold strand with the Victorian Village outside of the ribbing. What fun colors!

I really need to read other winter hat knitting patterns, because once again, the final product turned out too big…but pretty!

2.  The Summit ShawlMandie Harrington is a genius! She created this beautiful shawl, and as I knit it, I continuously marveled at how brilliant she is to have created this pattern.

summitALT2

I started mine in a fingering yarn, and it was turning out nicely.  However, I decided to use the yarn for something else, so frogged it.  I think that I will use a DK instead of a fingering yarn when I do this pattern again.

Summit Shawl

3. Boa scarf. I was asked by this little princess to make a scarf.

3 Patterns

I used a pink fur yarn, a variegated pink/purple fur yarn, a deep pink strand, and knit in bells at each end!

I think I loved it more than the recipient!  Though she had fun with it too.

 

Swiftly learning the Swift

I ended up not purchasing a swift in the VKL Marketplace because I didn’t need nor want to spend the money for a top-of-the-line handmade maple one.  A friend helped me pick one online at JoAnn’s, which also happened to be having a 40% off sale when we were looking.

Last Saturday, I focused on putting it and the ball winder together and testing it out.

This swift tightens its size by pulling in the pole rather than pushing out the stopper like an umbrella. The screw in the vise is tightened when the pole is pulled in at the right place.

Here is the yarn that I used. It may have been a mistake to use sparkly yarn in the trial run.  The sparkles made the yarn stickier and was catching on itself as it was being pulled.

Swift

2015-01-31 15.07.58

I had the ball winder to the right and the swift was moving counter-clockwise.  It wasn’t working very well.  I reversed the yarn and then also moved the ball winder to the other side of the swift.

Yes, I know. It doesn’t really make sense. I should have done one or the other, but not both.  Where are those mathematically-adept people who understand angles and geometry when I need them?

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Now the skein was moving clockwise but since I had moved the yarn, the loose end was no longer on the outside.  I had to pull lengths of the yarn out and crank the ball winder.  Then, since I was holding the yarn, it kept getting caught up either in the crank part or the yarn was coming out of the guides.

I told myself to Breathe.  And Focus.  And not think about how much time this was taking and is it really easier than just wrapping the yarn around one of the living room chairs?

Then. Finally!  We got to the part of the skein where the loose end was on top.  Let go of the lead. Crank the lever.

Voila!

Swift

 

 

 

Iodine Cowl

I recently finished the Iodine Cowl, recommended on the Neighborhood Fiber site for two of their yarns, Loft and Chromium.   Neighborhood Fiber names their yarns based on Baltimore neighborhoods. In this case, the Loft is Patterson Park and the Chromium is Victorian Village.

Iodine Cowl

Loft is a mohair silk blend and Chromium is a silk and stainless steel blend.  They’re both lace weight, and the cowl is knit on size 7 needles.

I did have a great deal of difficulty with the Chromium constantly getting knotted. I don’t know if it would have been different if I had wound it into a skein versus a ball.  The cowl took longer to complete than expected because I had to stop several times to un-knot the yarn, not an easy feat.

The cowl itself is a series of stripes alternating the yarn by first doing the two together, then one the next and so on.  I haven’t blocked it yet, but still wanted to share my results!

Here you can see the different stitch structures dependent upon the yarn material.  At top is the mix of the two, thicker and stronger than the other stripes, then the Chromium, which is much stiffer, then the softness of the Loft.  It really is a brilliant pattern to utilize these yarns.

Iodine Cowl

Here’s a full length view before I bound off. The bottom did start turning up, but I expect it to resolve itself after blocking.

Iodine Cowl

Here’s how it lies when it’s worn.

Iodine Cowl

Iodine Cowl

It’s nice because it’s a warm yarn, but using a larger needle makes the cowl a very light wrap around my neck.

 

VKL Marketplace

The VKL NYC Marketplace was filled with wonderful choices and never-ending ways to spend money!  However, having recently organized my stash, I was well aware of the multitude of projects already awaiting my attention.

Add to that two classes that left me uninspired, I wandered around on Saturday feeling that nothing was leaping out at me.

I had also very carefully planned my purchases ahead of time. I printed out 9 patterns from Ravelry and noted the yarn needs for each.  460 yards of fingering for one, 900 yards of DK for another, etc.  I was so proud of myself for creating a structure in which to shop.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Throw all that preparation and organization to the winds!

If I was tempted by something…I just had to find the right color and I was IN!

The icebreaker (my first purchase): I came upon the booth for Jill Draper Makes Stuff. I had really admired her yarns at the VKL Marketplace a couple of years ago, took her card with the intention of getting something later, and have also favorited her Etsy shop, but I have never made an actual purchase. Time to stop the procrastination!  I bought this skein of Esopus (fingering weight) in the color Caribbean with the intent to use it for one of the pieces in the Curls book I recently purchased.  But then in my Beading 101 class, this very yarn was mentioned as great for knitting with beads.  So we shall see how it ends up…

VKL Marketplace

Jill Draper Makes Stuff: Esopus – Caribbean

Then I purchased 3 skeins of Rustic Fingering from Neighborhood Fiber, one of my favorite shops.  The yarn names are after different neighborhoods in Baltimore: The purple-y one is called Lauraville,  the brown-orange is Lincoln Park, and the green-yellow is Fells Point .  I purchased these for the Color Affection shawl. I wanted colors in the same tone, but that you might not automatically think go together, which is what I think will make this shawl really pop (or go terribly wrong!).

It’s interesting to watch my own tastes in colors, fibers, and weights change over the years.  When I was growing up, my absolute favorite color was yellow.  Over the past decade or so, it has been gray (because gray goes with Everything!).  Since DDSO passed away, I gravitated back to yellow, as it was his favorite color.  Now, I find myself going more for pinks (!) (I know, what’s up with that?) and sparkly yarn.  I also bought only fingering weight yarn this year, whereas before I usually liked working with DK.  And prior to this year’s purchases, I would Never buy yarn with nylon or acrylic.  EEK! I have let down that guard too. But I had to because that seems to be a necessary component for the sparkly yarns.  It’s all about choices! (Inside joke/reference to a previous post about food.)

Next up: Sparkly fingering weight yarns. This is Holiday Yarns: Silver Sock Fingering in Muse (shades of blue) and Highlighter (great name! for this bright yellow). Each of which I thought could be used to make the Manhattan shawl.

VKL Marketplace

Holiday Yarn

VKL Marketplace

Manhattan Shawl

Okay, I was done. It was Saturday, after two classes and the gala dinner was going to start in an hour.  I decided that there was nothing really calling my name and that was it.

Well, wouldn’t you know.  My Sunday morning class was held in a room within the Marketplace!  Fate? <smile!> Sure.  So during our break, I rushed over to the Woolstock booth to buy these flexible rods for blocking.  Leslye Solomon’s company makes them and I have been tempted to buy them since the first class I took with her at the 2nd VKL.  Not a very exciting purchase, but it should make the blocking process a whole lot easier and more effective.

VKL Marketplace

When the class was over, I took a last stroll through the Marketplace. I thought about buying a swift but a handmade maple swift for $200+ was not on my list. But what was on my list was to get yarn for these socks (yes! I know! socks?! usually not my thing).  But I really like the creator and her blog, and the design, Shersocks,  is tempting (enough to do them!).

VKL Marketplace

Shersocks

Here’s the yarn I got for them.   It’s Simple Sock from Kismet Fiber Works in Michigan Cherry and Limoncello. I don’t think the photo gives the colors justice. I decided to do the heel in the design color (Michigan Cherry) and not purchase  a 3rd color. Hopefully the colors will turn out more vibrant when I take pictures of the completed project. (This year!)

VKL Marketplace

Kismet Fiber Works

And then, on my way out, I felt I just had to stop at this one booth at the “end cap” (from my merchandising days) where the guy always said hello when I passed by.  Turns out Molly Girl Yarn is from the next county over…so very happy to support them! I picked this lovely Diva Fingering yarn in the color “Alive for the First Time” to do some kind of beaded piece, having just come out of Beading 101.

VKL Marketplace

Molly Girl Yarn

Laura Nelkin, the Beading instructor, had given us coupons to buy knitting beading kits on Ravelry or her Etsy store, and I have indulged!  Those are not VKL Marketplace purchases, so I’ll save them for another post.

I have enough to keep me busy for awhile.

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