Saturday, July 31, 2010

Evenstar Shawl - Finished!

Finally!  I have finished my Evenstar Shawl.  It was quite a knitting adventure.  I will think twice about knitting lace with pure silk again.  It is lovely, but just not as easy to work with as a silk-wool blend.  We shall see how the shawl behaves once it is done blocking.  The design reminds me a bit of the rose windows in cathedrals.  A magnificent design by Susan Pandorf of Sunflower Designs.  The yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts Silk Thead II in Tanzanite.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sea Turtle Necklace - Finished

I finished up the Sea Turtle Necklace this afternoon.  I ended up using a button with a sand dollar design on it for the clasp.  It is a very simple technique.  Just attach the button with a loop of beads to hide the thread and on the other end make a loop of beads just large enough to fit over the button and embellish with a picot edge.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sea Turtle

I picked up this sweet little lamp-work sea turtle last year at the Bead & Button show and it has been sitting in my bead stash waiting to be turned into a necklace.  I wanted something simple, so I picked some pretty colors and started a spiral stitch.  I was originally going to use the spiral strand with another lamp-work bead, but it seemed better suited for the turtle.  I still need to figure out the clasp.

Materials used (Beadcats stock no,):
2-11-552-00 - size 11 seed beads, dark grass green transparent
2-11-119-91 - size 11 seed beads, amber lined w/ rose, iridescent
D-34-112-90 - 3.4mm Japanese drops, lt amber transparent, lined w/ peach
KO Beading Thread in gold

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mystery Anniversary Shawl (Mandala II) - Clue 4

Finally, Clue 4 is finished.  Only the edging left.  The end is in sight.  The last two weeks I've been focusing my efforts on finishing up the body of this shawl.  Now both of my circular shawls have only edging left to do.  I am almost half way done with the edging on the Evenstar Shawl.  It goes a little slower because of the beads.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Silver and Teal - Finished

It's been a quiet day here in King George.  We finally got rain yesterday after about a month of heat.  I spent the day finishing up this necklace.  With my two circular shawl projects dragging on I felt a need to finish something, and this one has been in my works in progress since January.  Yikes.

Materials used:
(Beadcats stock number)
2-06-927-14:  size 6 real Nickel metal beads (20 grams)
2-08-694-90:  size 8 rich teal transparent lined with teal (10 grams)
2-11-592-79:  size 11 bright light blue green opal silver lined (10 grams)
2-11-686-79:  size 11 turquoise-green silver lined matte, dyed (5 grams)
2-11-759-76:  size 11 lavender transparent silver lined matte irid
D-T1-773-01:  3mm x 5mm tear drops, light amethyst transparent irid
Soft Flex Sterling Silver Extreme 925 flex - Medium (.019 in diameter)
Silver End Caps
Crimp beads
Magnetic clasp
Gudebrod Silk, size E in silver gray for the bead crochet
Teal Nymo, size B, for the embellishment
Focal beads, one Larry Scott Byzantine Bead, 2 small lampwork beads, also by Larry Scott

I did the bead crochet around the Soft Flex, to make the final assembly easier.  Make sure you leave a long enough tail of Soft Flex at the start, and anchor it so it doesn't pull free.  I taped it to the silk thread tail.  I used two silver cones to cover the ends of the crochet rope, and strung the focal beads and more size 8 seed beads on the Soft Flex to close the gap.  The clasp is hidden in the kinky fringe.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Silver and Teal

I finally finished the spiral bead crochet on this project.  You can see the Soft Flex that I ran through the center to ease assembly.  It was pretty easy to do, you just have to make sure that you feed the Soft Flex through very early in the crochet process, and secure the end so it doesn't slip free.  As you crochet, just make sure that you always keep the strand of Soft Flex to the left of the crochet hook.  It needs to stay in the center of the rope and not get caught up in the crocheting itself.

This rope is a little less than 10.5 inches long, which leaves me a couple of inches to play with for the focal bead and the clasp.  I did have one minor technical difficulty.  The large beads are real metal beads and they have a seam.  Two of them came loose and I will have to sew them back in place.  If you look closely, you can spot the gap.  I thought about re-doing the piece with different beads, but I really like the look of the metal beads.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Evenstar Shawl - Update

This weekend I have been focusing on the edging for the Evenstar Shawl.  I really want to get this one finished, partly because it has been a work in progress for so long, but mostly because it is such a gorgeous pattern.  Susan Pandorf has really outdone herself on this one.  It is a lot of work, but well worth the effort.

The beads I am using are blue-lavender silver-lined matte iridescent (Beadcats stock no. 2-08-707-76).  Selecting a bead color to go with the yarn was quite a challenge.  In the end I went for subtle rather than flashy.  Carol (one of the Beadcats) helped me pick them out while I was at the Bead & Button show this year.  I am almost one-quarter of the way around the shawl.  The edging pattern is pretty easy.  I did make a couple of modifications.  I left off the fifth row of beads (at the very edge), I slip the first stitch of every right side row (makes the edge neater) and on the second half of the repeat (the decrease rows) I switched the knit 2 together decreases to slip-slip-knit decreases so the line of the decreases points towards the shawl while the line of the increases points away from the shawl.

Mystery Anniversary Shawl (Mandala II) - Update

I have not been neglecting my knitting.  I am halfway through clue 4 of Mandala II.  The knitting has actually been pretty easy.  Renee's patterns are very logical and the pattern repeat for each row is generally pretty easy to memorize.  I also make sure I check what I am doing with the previous knitting to make sure things are lining up correctly.  The second half of this clue should go fairly quickly as the lace patterning is getting sparser and there are actually solid knit rows (what would be considered the wrong side row were this not a circular shawl).  In the first half of the clue there was lace shaping on almost every row.

Stone Treasures

This morning, after exercising, emptying the dehumidifier that we run in the basement during the summer, and cleaning out the cat litter box, I was playing with some of the semi-precious stone beads that I picked up at Bead & Button this year when it occurred to me that one strand would go very nicely with a polished and carved stone pendant that I had picked up at the show last year.

I use Soft Flex for stringing these necklaces, both for the ease and the strength.  There is nothing worse than having your necklace come apart on you while you are wearing it.  A couple of crimp beads and a nice clasp, and voila, you have a necklace.