Saturday, April 30, 2005

Vacation all I ever wanted...

Sorry I have not posted anything since the beginning of the month. I am the campus coordinator for March of Dimes where I work and it has been a busy few weeks.

I have also been on the House the Mouse Built-Disney World.

I am now exhausted but much more relaxed than in a long time. Also a lot poorer.

More to come...once I finish unpacking.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Hanka, Hanka, burning love...

This is how they were before...

In zip locks and then thrown into a bin until they were needed.

Here they are now. Since I don't have many hanks of seed beads I just put them into one container. As I am organizing I am sure I will find more. This little bead box is full.

I did find this...truthfully I don't remember buying it. I must have had a reason because I really don't go for bugles unless it is for Christmas Ornaments.

Want to see how Japanese beads come in bulk?

Exciting I know. These are a kilo of black and another of white 11/0s. I traded them for some Charlotte's I had. I plan on using them for a class sometime.

Beading Tips for the Non-Beading Knitter #3: Dealing with them pesky hanks.

If you click on the picture, a better image will open in another window.

The hank of beads.

Most hanks are Czech beads, why...because the Japanese don't see the sense in hiring people to string them on to string. Seriously, bead hanks are done by hand still, in really big bead spinners.

The quality of beads is usually very good but you will get your odd looking bead now and then and beads with too small holes. So small you can't get a beading needle through it and that says a lot.

Most instructions will tell you to pull one of the strands of beads near the knot until the string comes free. Now some cases this is rather easy in others...well be prepared for flying beads.

When you pull the string from the knot you weaken the structure of the knot; at some point the other strands are going to come out--usually when you are lifting the strand to move them. (Getting beads out of a keyboard is not fun and the Geek Squad at Best Buys will give you strange looks, I have been informed.)

How I deal with Hanks:
Step 1: Use a beading surface like velux (what I take my photos on- from Jane's Fiber and Beads under $2), if anything to cover your keyboard. Your family will thank you so they are not munching on beads that find their way from the dining room table to the dining room plate.

Step 2: Using a needle (depending on if you are beading or knitting) run it through about a needle's length of beads.

Step 3: Carefully, with some sharp pointed scissors cut the string holding the beads. I usually cut it right where the beads start on the hank.

Step 4: Slip the beads off the hank string. Now you have an open ending to work from.

Because I don't pull the string out the knot stays together, when you finish the strand cut the loose thread.

For bead knitting, invest in a big eye needle. The ones I am currently using I got from my friend Cindy's shop. She also carries some bead knitting books and the perle cotton. Thread the perle through the eye which runs the length of the needle and away you go. If you run into beads that don't want to go on don't force them or pull and tug on the needle, skip that bead and go on. Most likely the hole is too small.

Using a needle to string the beads from the hank to the knitting yarn/thread is faster than tying a knot small enough for the beads to slid over but secure enough so they don't slide apart.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Bead Tips for the non Beading Knitter

I am a beader who knits.

Bead Knitting seems to becoming the rage for many knitters. I have found though some very bizarre instructions and strange doings. The beader in me says it is because the pattern designers are not beaders but knitters. The Knitter in me wonders if they were just trying to make due without using the many tools beaders have.

So periodically now I will put beading tips for the knitter in my blog, once a week I will gather all these little tips and putting them on their own page to be added at a future date to the right.

Beading Tip 2 for the Knitter: Get thee to a Bead Store... a good one. Check the phone book. If you live in Florida I can probably guide you to one. If you don't have any I can recommend some places that are online.

Most knitters I see on blogs order from Fire Mountain Gems. Don't get me wrong they are a great store but it is mail order. Yes, they have great prices (I order from them a lot 100 dollars plus an order every month or so). But is that $25.00 order really a savings when you add another $5 for shipping, when the local beading store has it for $30.75 cents? And you get instant satisfaction? Not to mention, you get to see what you are buying before hand.

Pictures of bead really do not do them justice. You must really hold them up and see the sunlight shining through them. You must grope them to feel how the surface feels. (Think of it as yarn made of glass...).

You are also supporting a local business...that being said. Do not go hog wild at the first store you visit. Do your homework the next store you visit might have it for less than the first. The net is a wonderful place to get an idea of the prices but go to the small stores not the big ones. They are like Wal-Mart, they get volume pricing.

At the bead store, you have found a wonderful strand or hank of thing to remember is these beads are strung on white thread in most cases or a color thread to enhance the color. They may not look the same on that dark thread you are planning on using.

Next: Dealing with them Pesky Hanks of Beads…

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


I got an RAOK from the Fiber RAOK list--several people have emailed me and said some very nice things about my blog- thank you very much for the kindness and the invite to join.

Mary Ella Paging Mary Ella
After I saw Cathi's Mary Ella (
In the Pink), I knew i had to make one.
The beads I had bought in Savannah last October. I actually was making something else with them but decided this would be better. They are Czech Beads (love hanks man) in teal lined in Silver and DMC Perle Cotton 8 in Black.

Oooh Pretty.

Bead Knitting Tip #1:
Most bead knitting instructions call for you to tie the string from the hank to the thread you are going to knit with (why I don't know). Instead invest in a big eye needle--with this time of needle the eye runs the entire length (no trouble putting the thread through that hole). Then slide them into the beads and then slide them off the hank string. The needle will abuse the thread a bit but there is less frustration and less bead spillage this way. Just make sure your beads can fit over the needle and onto the thread.

My rather deformed needle...(it's by Darice)

The Surprise:

Surprise!! Kam is a very unhappy beader. I really don't care for one part
that has been woven so I am going to do the beading version of frogging and rework it. Just need to find some graph paper first. :(

This offends me.

Monday, April 04, 2005

RAOK from a coworker

I thought I would share this with you...I went into work today and discovered something in my chair...not anything unusal---papers and mail usually gets placed there for fear of the pit of darkness. Sometimes my friend Zen leaves me some bags of Filipino food (which is a very wonderful thing). But inside was Yarn Harlot's new book and a note from a new associate. She had seen the book at the book store and got it for me for taking time to help her with an account when she first came to work for the bank.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

I went to Uncommon Threads to picked up some 00 and 000 dpn's and got these. 10 spools of DMC Cotton Perle 8. Now to figure out what I am going to make with them. Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Surprise Progress...

Not to much to report...I have been relaxing this week working
on homework and reading some books.

I did do some beading though. Here is an update on the surprise
gift for someone.

It is not as wonky as it is in the picture. When I attach the back it will straighten it out. It is warped a bit I admit but that is from doing the beading. This is a flat peyote rather than a circular.

This is not such a great pic, my digital does not do close ups of detail well. But on the left are Delicas and on the right Japanese seed beads. Seeds are more rounded than Delicas, while Delicas tend to lock into each other better than seed beads.

Japanese Seed beads differ from their Czech counterparts in that they are a bit larger and more uniform. They also have larger holes, for knitters means a thicker than Perle Cotton #8 could go through them. To beaders, it means more passes of a needle and thread.

I am thinking about writing a book about Knitting with Beads, I have looked at the ones on the market and truthfully I am not to impressed. They don't really talk about beads and how to select them. Beaders know about surface finishes, durability, etc. that I think knitters need to know.

Thus ends our beading lesson for today.