Friday, May 09, 2008

Pop Goes The Shoulder

It's a disconcerting sound and feeling, that "Oh, crap!" popping twinge of something anatomically out of place. When you're this|close to finishing another little doodad, you just suck it up and deal with the consequences later. I might have been pushing a bit too hard but I think this headband was worth it.

FO: Beaded Headband
10 grams each of light blue (2137) and navy blue (2625) Cascade Fixation
Approximately 50 clear size 3/0 seed beads
Size 5 US circular needle

Cast on an odd number of stitches, based on the size of your head and the amount of negative ease you desire. At 22 inches, my noggin's a bit bigger than average. My aim was for the headband to stay on (but not cut off my circulation), so I hit on 95 stitches as my magic number. Your mileage may vary.

I joined the stitches and knit the first row. Next came 7 rows in seed stitch, all in color A. Switch to color B, knit 3 rows, adding the beads in the second row. Yes, I used the crochet method to place the beads.

Switching back to color A, knit two rows. Reattach color B and use both colors, create a mock rib in a "knit 1, purl 1" pattern for 5 rows. Lastly, using color B, repeat 7 row seed stitch and bind off in pattern. You'll end up with a headband that's roughly 2.5 inches wide.

There are many variations possible such as number of colors, bead placement, border pattern, etc. Put your own mark on it. I'd be interested to know what you come up with if you don't mind sharing. Whether you have short hair or long, this is a perfect little accessory to keep you looking sporty chic and pulled together throughout the coming summer months.

I checked my stash of Cascade Fixation left over from a previous knit-along. This won't be the last of the instant gratification headbands. I just need to either learn how to involve my left hand more by knitting in the Continental style or hold the yarn and needles less tightly.

By the way, Happy Mother's Day to all who celebrate, be their children scaly, furry, feathered or smooth.

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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Any Random Sunday

Did you know that the last Sunday in April is World Pinhole Camera Day? Basically you eschew the glass lens in favor of a light-tight tube with a tiny hole in a piece of cardboard, a Quaker Oats box or a Pringle's potato chip can. Although this is the most primitive possible camera (at least I think it is), the pinhole camera, with its potential for infinite depth of field, produces images that are often beautiful and otherworldly.

Paris Through a Pinhole, Rob Gardiner, 2005Rob Gardiner, Paris Through A Pinhole Feb 2005
Looking for beads? I recently compiled a list in response to a question on Ravelry. Thought I'd share these seed beads or rocailles resources (Czech, Miyuki, Toho, etc.) here:

I’ve purchased beads from half of the above vendors, with the latest being beadaholique. They have some really nice mixes.

I’ve found Boye or Susan Bates steel crochet hook size 13 (US) to be the most versatile for sizes 5/0, 6/0 and 8/0 seed beads, though I do include sizes 11 and 14 in my hook arsenal. Don't want to do the hook? You can always try a big eye needle or even dental floss threaders. Believe it or not, they work too.

If you're looking for a crochet beading refresher, try Fluffy Knitter Deb’s or Sivia Harding’s tutorial at Knitty.

Right now, the sparrows, robins and fire-red and black cardinals are twittering under clouding skies, the bells clang at St. James a few blocks away, and I'm waiting for my mom to pop in at any moment for her weekly visit. Coffee on the patio? I think so.

Enjoy your Sunday!

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Something New

Yes, I am well aware that my projects-in-progress bags and basket overfloweth. After reading your advice on how to best manage that situation, in the end I decided to not view it as a problem in need of resolution. Call it the chumps way out, but I can't let the very thing that brought me joy become a burden. That would make me want to avoid it altogether which, to my mind, is most undesirable.

Instead of trying to manage it or corral it, I've hit upon setting small, achievable goals. That new car smell; the feeling of accomplishment - something that is often overlooked as a motivator. I didn't even have to search for perfect project. The answer landed in my mailbox just the other day in the form of these adorable pom-pom peds tennis socks. A love match, of that there can be no doubt!

Pom Pom Ped tennis sock
Louet Gems Opal (sportweight) in grape and willow
Something else to lift the spirits? A fresh haircut and a hot manicure. The purple-black color you see above is called Black Cherry Chutney, part of OPI's India collection. I have six more colors to try out and I can't wait. So, what's your flay-va? That link takes you to the OPI studio where you can try on all of their current colors to see what's right for you.

I must really be feeling the purples lately. When I came across beadaholique's 'Purple Passion' seed bead mix, I absolutely fell in love:

Purple beads with manicured nail
It seems whenever seasons change, we crave change right along with it. So what's new with you lately?

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What Would You Do?

If something called Dream In Color "Baby Lace" landed in your mailbox, along with silver lined beads? If you suddenly realized that, if your design IS accepted, you'll have to knit like the wind but you have no pattern? You swatch. With your vague idea and an arsenal of needle sizes as you try to find the right combination to work with your "not quite lace, not quite fingering" yarn.

Edited to add: Great news! Just found out this afternoon that the designs have been accepted for publication! Whoot! I'd happy dance if I could!

Lace and Beads
The color is called, "In Vino Veritas" or loosely translated from the Latin, "In wine, there is truth." Despite my attempts to remove stray bits of cat hair, some found its way into the photo. Ignore those. Instead, enjoy the subtle shadings of the yarn which run from plum to merlot with a bit of claret for body.

The beads are from Beadworks. In the 100 gram vial, they look sort of rainbow-flavored and, frankly, I was a bit disappointed - that is, until I started to place them in pattern using the crochet hook method. I do like this method of beading, mostly because you don't wear out the yarn by sliding beads along the length of it and you don't have to know what you need in advance. Much more advantageous for "sketching" with your knitting, which is how I spent my weekend.

What's on your needles?

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Fortune Smiles

About 3 weeks ago, Debi (of Chez FKD) penned a post called "Days of Wine and Roses." In it, she describes the eponymous mitts she made, which were loosely based on those found in the Winter '06 edition of Interweave Knits.

They were so beautiful that, on a lark, I left a comments saying essentially, "you know where I live and you can send them right along." The surprisingly pleasant joke was on me! Can you guess what showed up in my mailbox yesterday?

Louet Gems in the "Fern" colorway. So incredibly soft. And the signature FKD beading? A visual delight! All I could think as I wore them today on the way to the doctor's was, "I'm the luckiest knitter in all of bloglandia." Thanks, Debi.

I also want you guys to know that your support and encouragement mean a lot to me. Even though I've been ordered to wear a splint on my right arm for the next 6 weeks (ulnar neuritis), I'll still try to slip in a little knitting now and then. Shush. Don't tell anyone.

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