Tag Archives: Bead

Re-evaluating: Part 2

The last couple of weeks have been the sort when things ‘come together’. I have not done anything really amazing or different. It has just sort of happened.

The WI

Regular readers will be aware that I recently joined a ‘trendy’ WI (Woman’s Institute). On one of my many trips around the village I recently noticed a sign advertising the next meeting for the local WI here within the village. Normally I would have ignored it but the topic for this meeting was one that I have an interest in: Knitting with wire. How could I not go? For the first attempt I persuaded a friend to come with me. It was a cold night and when we got there found that it was a Weight Watchers meeting. Hmmm. Luckily my friend is very good natured and took no offense. The meeting was the next night.

The Local Meeting

Not wanting to hassle my friend again I went on my own the next night, reflecting that a year ago I would never have considered going to a meeting on my own. On arrival I was met by some lovely ladies and shown to a table ‘where the rowdy people sit!’ Unlike the meetings I attend in Cambridge they started the meeting singing the hymn Jerusalem (no I did not know the words). They then had an accounts summary like a more formal meeting.

The Knitting lady

She briefly introduced herself and showed us the three crafts we could do. I opted for the knitted bracelet.

This was done with very small seed beads and with needles larger than I would normally use.

This was done with very small seed beads and with needles larger than I would normally use.

It was really interesting how different each one turned out – the size of the beads make a huge difference. I had a really nice evening and may well go along to more of these local meetings in the future. Yes the age is older but they are all amazing women and being a smaller group you can develop relationships easier.

Lessons:

1 and 2: The first lesson I learnt was from the wire knitting lady. She spends her whole time going around meetings such as WI groups and leads sessions such as this. I found this really interesting and is definitely something that I could do. I also saw how she packaged the little kits that we used – again an idea that I could do very easily in order to sell them on line.

3. I liked the effect of using larger needles.

My First Commission

Following the meeting I was wearing my bracelet at the Swish party I went to and a lovely lady actually asked me to make one for her friend! I was completely taken aback and quoted a silly price for it but still. She asked for purple and pearl beads:

party + submission 002These beads are slightly larger than the ones that I used originally but she still likes it (YAY).

Here you can see the difference created by using different sized beads.

Here you can see the difference created by using different sized beads.

Final lessons for this week:

This has all given me a bit of a lift in confidence. I do not have to constantly push the boundaries and make new, intricate and difficult things – sometimes simple is better (how could I forget that?). Have you ever got carried away by challenging yourself to difficult, complicated things all the time?  With this sale I have also madly been looking at how to package it, thinking of a logo (and name)….. the list feels endless. More on all that another time… (any tips VERY welcome.)

Now I am going to treat myself by heading over to Handmade Harbour and see what all those other wonderful crafters have been up to this week.

Beaded Flower Pattern (in wire)

At the WI last week another pattern that I had available was for this little flower:

I put it onto a hair grip but could be adapted for other things.

It is crocheted and this one is in very fine wire. It would work in thicker wire or another yarn. Many people seem to be interested in trying out crocheting with wire which is why I devised this pattern. I have sent some home with some people who were unable to have a go on the night and have vaguely wondered if it might be a  good idea to put some kits together to sell. What do you think – do you think that people would be interested?

Here is one that was completed on the night by someone:

This was done with a larger hook so came out a bit bigger but is really pretty.

The wire that I took with me was very fine and not good for beginner crocheters but they did still manage to complete something that was unique to them.

For those of you with a bit of wire stashed away somewhere (and I do know that you are out there) and fancy having a go here is the pattern that I came up with:

Wire, Beaded Crochet Flower

This is a flower that starts with a magic circle so it can be pulled tight. Dc’s and Tr’s are then worked around the ring.

Key:

All the stitches are in UK terms for conversion see here.

ss: slip stitch

ch: chain

dc: double treble

tr: treble

Thread 10 beads onto the wire.

Make a Magic ring by wrapping the wire around your finger. With your hook, pull the yarn through. For an excellent tutorial on how to do a magic ring see the stitchsharers post here.

Round 1: 1 ch, 19dc into loop. Ss to 2nd ch of 2 ch. Pull loop tight.

Round 2: 3ch, 1tr into next dc placing bead in the final pull through –(yarn around hook, through dc, yarn around hook, pull through dc, yarn around hook pull through 2 loops on hook, pull bead up, yarn around hook, pull through the remaining 2 loops on hook. The bead should be in place.)  *1tr into next dc, 1 tr into next dc with bead placed at the top. Repeat from * until all beads used. Ss into 3rd chain of initial 3ch. Cast off.

There should be a bead in every other treble around the top.

Finishing off: Weave in ends. Attach a hair piece or brooch back as desired.

If you try this I would love to see what you produce. Enjoy 🙂

A Productive Week.

Firstly I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who commented on my post from last week. You were all so positive and encouraging. THANK YOU. 🙂

Permission

This week I have had a good week on the crafting front. Mostly, I think because I gave myself permission to craft in the day – even making this a priority! I have achieved an awful lot – some of which I cannot share with you but some that I can 🙂

A Bracelet to go with the Earrings

The first thing I did was to devise a bracelet to go with these earrings from last week:

I used the same gauge wire, stones and method (knitting):

Someone on Craftsy mentioned that she had made one similar – great minds and all that :).

The Love knot

One of the projects that I have been working on involves the crochet stitch Solomon’s knot.

SolomonsKnot-090410

This necklace followed on very quickly afterwards.

Although the pictures do not really show this, they are both made using the same gauge of wire and beads.

So there you have it. My makes for this week. Three items of jewellery which, on past performance is good going for me. What have you been up to this week? As always I shall be popping over to Handmade Monday to see what all the lovely people over there have been up to  this week. Pour yourself a glass of wine and do come and join me.

Have a great week everyone. 🙂

More Beaded Knitting Designs

 

I have been very sidetracked during the second half of this week. I am taking part in a blog tour as part of the launch party for a new magazine called Make and Craft. It is all very exciting and I have been busy getting bits ready for my blog post on Friday. If you are interested then either look at the above link (the website has a lot of information on, along with forums, giveaways etc) or have a look at these  posts by the lovely Wendy. Keep a look out for my blog post, there will be a giveaway included in it too.

Anyway, now on to my makes this week. I have been on a bit of a beaded knitting phase. I asked a question about what I should do next and the lovely lady from Crafts from the Cwtch suggested I should make napkin rings. I thought this was an excellent idea and so set off to make some more designs to add to this:

My star cuff.

This is my first new design:

Mini Christmas trees.

I found this one really tricky. I had to re-string it at least twice which is really frustrating. I have come to the conclusion that it is because it is not a symmetric shape. Not really sure what difference that makes but I can’t think of any other reason. At least the colours are nice and festive.

Hoping that you can see that these are snowflakes?

This one went easier although as you can see I am, having a few curling problems. Hopefully these will right themselves after blocking.

I now have three designs? Any suggestions for other festive icons that may work well with this method?

As always I shall be linking up with Handmade Monday over at Handmade Harbour. Do pop over to see what other festive things have been made this week. I am sure you will not regret it :).

Ribbon necklaces

On craftsy I found a great lady (CrocKnits )who made some great necklaces using ribbon or flag yarn. She has recently started up a blog here. Do go and check it out. She has only been up and running for a week and so am sure would love a few visits and comments.

I was really impressed and so, before our holiday went and brought some appropriate yarn. (I am very embarrassed about this next bit) Being too tight to pay for a pattern (sorry CrocKnits) I searched online and found this website (numei) with some ideas. Please don’t compare my work with hers as I did not print out the patterns and so was working blind! The ones shown on the website look very professional!

I started with a simple 3 chain necklace:

Then went onto this one with loops in:

It is so long I had to raise the stand!

Me being me I then started to experiment:

This time smaller ‘gaps’ but many more.

I think that I shall be returning to these in the non  too distant future and think about developing them further with wire and beads.

Finally I wish to thank you all for your comments last week. I took on board Natalie’s idea from freespiritdesigns and did make a heart:

I actually made 2 of these and then joined them together with stuffing in the middle. I thought it would make a great and unusual key-ring.

If you don’t know either of the two blogs I have mentioned then do please go and have a look. They are both very talented people. Again I apologise to CrocKnits for doing you out of some income. Use her patterns if you decide to have a go. 🙂 She also has many others – look her up on craftsy.

As always I am going to be popping over to Handmade Harbour to see what other talented people have been up to this week (freespiritdesigns is usually there!) It really is worth it :).

Bead knitting

Joanne Scrace leant me some books a little while ago. This was one of them:

Bead Knitted Bags: Unique Beading Projects with Step-by-step Instructions

I did have a go a little while ago, more to see if I could do the technique than anything else. I came up with this.

I used silver wire and coloured beads for this.

I have had the odd dabble since then but always with wire. Before we went on holiday I overcame the last hurdle that was really preventing me from continuing any further and learnt how to thread the beads onto a thread. (rather than the stiff wire). Look here for a technique reminder.

Project 1: A Union Flag Cuff

My first design, (completed whilst on holiday) was this:

Surprisingly it worked first time! I say this because unlike knitting there is a fair amount of preparation to do before you start knitting.

1. Firstly you have to work out your design. I downloaded some special paper that I found here, printed some out and then literally drew the pattern on:

2. The next step is to physically thread all the beads onto the yarn in the correct order. This is almost the hardest bit – make a mistake now and the whole pattern can be thrown off.

This is what the above bracelet looked like when threaded onto the yarn.

3. This final step is the easiest bit – the knitting. When knitting with beads on the knit rows you have to knit into the back of the stitch. This is so that the bead is on the correct side of the piece each time. You pearl in the normal way.

Here it is on the wrist.

Lessons

As always, when you do something new you learn something. From this I learnt that each horizontal row (vertical in the picture above) slightly alters the placing of the first bead depending whether it is a knit or a pearl row. This means that the pattern is slightly out in this project. This can most clearly be seen in the top row of the picture above where there is a bead on each alternate row. There should really be one on every row. I have learnt!

Project 2: Beaded star cuff

With Christmas rapidly approaching my thoughts turned to festive designs and stars came out top.

I wanted to make this one thinner!

This one i had to re-do once or twice due to mis-beading but I got the alignment of the knit and pearl rows right this time! YAY!

I did alternate gold and silver stars.

Project 3: A shaped star

My thoughts next went into thinking that the cuffs are quite limiting, wouldn’t it be great if I could make a shape that would then be suitable for a pendent….. In theory this would be possible because all it would need is some increasing and decreasing hmmmmm.

I drew the outline on the paper and then set off to have a go. It took me many attempts (and a long time) but I ended up with this:

I found it hard to get the tension correct and some of the beads are slightly off alignment but I am pleased with the outcome.

I am very pleased with it. I did try to replicate this with wire but found that the wire is just not flexible enough and kept breaking.

Here it is as a necklace / choker pendant.

Do you have any suggestions as to what I should try next?

As always I am now going to head over to Handmade Harbour to look at some really talented blogs to see what everyone else has been doing this week. Do come and join me.

Spot The Difference!

This week I have to credit the wonderful blog entitled planetpenny  (do go and have a look at it if you do not know it) which I found through Handmade Monday over at Handmade Harbour.

Penny recently wrote a post about using different yarns and hooks and the effects it has on the finished item:

crochet_mouse_group2With kind permission from Planet Penny

Without setting out to I have sort of done the same thing this week with a bracelet. I started off with this pattern thinking that it would make a good bracelet:

A Looped Braid

 It did but the added chain along the edge REALLY didn’t work (you are going to have to trust me on this because I ripped it back before taking any pictures!)

The braid bracelet in green wire.

I thought that adding beads would be good but unfortunately the wire that I had used was a bit too thin  (0.2mm) so the beads would over power it. So I went to my wires and choose this thick wire:

Thicker green wire with pink beads added.

I liked it and but wanted to try it in the silver wire that I use most often in my jewellery:

Silver wire and turquoise beads!

So here you have it. The same bracelet in three different widths of wire using the corresponding appropriate hook.

The three crocheted braid bracelets.

The initial green (bottom) was made with 1mm hook and 0.2 mm wire.

The silver wire (middle) was made with a 3mm hook and 0.35 mm wire.

The dark green one (top) was made with a 5mm hook and 0.5mm wire.

Proof (as if you need it) that what applies to yarn also applies to wire! Which is your favourite? As I went along each one surpassed the other as my favourite.

3 braided bracelets on an arm!

Do you think any of them would work as a necklace?

Before I head over to Handmade Harbour to see what everyone else has been up to this week I just wanted to share some earrings that I made on Thursday night during  creativesunite (you pledge to craft for an hour). I think this is a great idea as it gets me off this and busy doing what I should be doing – do come and join in if you can. Anyway here they are:

Turquoise Wreath Earrings

Red Wreath Earrings

Not bad for one hours work? What could you do in an hour? Fancy giving it a go?

Now come and join me over at Handmade Harbour and have a look at some of the wonderful blogs over there.

Have a good week.:)