Sunday, January 4, 2009

As If

I like making lists.

Shopping lists (because otherwise I'd never be on target), lists of chores (otherwise I'd procrastinate), but the lists that I like are project-oriented: Finish Plying Purple Alpaca, Start Grey Bangle and so on. 

Project lists remind me why I work (to make enough money to afford the materials for the things I want to make), and the anticipation of executing their directives is more of a thrill than not. My project lists are invariably more optimistic than realistic, but they give me a goal. I also include on them project stuff of a chore nature: Write Tiptoe Instructions, Make Brian's Cushion Covers, List A New Pattern Every Day (these are real items from my list for this weekend).

Instead I watched bad movies with my kids, made excellent progress on my sleeve

and was impelled to start working on this cabochon, the type of stone which escapes me, except it's rare (supposedly; that's how they got me to buy it for as much as I did, and I can't remember the price either, just that it was. Pricey) and Swedish (or at least Scandinavian) with a very periodic-table-type name such as Thorium.

Turns out it's a perfect match for the yarn I spun and plied at the New Year's Day spin-in (and by the way, the salad I made is awesome warmed slightly the next day, wilted spinach and all).

But hey, I do have more patterns.

1-2-3-Square is a fairly beginner-friendly pattern, especially if you choose to simply use a bought clasp or a button-and-loop closure, rather than the beaded toggle and buttonhole.

It's a gentle introduction to flat even-count one-, two- and three-drop peyote using different sizes and shapes of seed beads.

One of the things I like about it is that you can get a fabulous richness and texture by varying the shades and finishes of the beads. In my (admittedly biased) opinion you get a better finished piece than your effort would have led you to believe.

What I will say though is that the edges may not be completely absolutely smooth, as different finishes on seed beads result in slightly different sizes of beads, so the edges, depending on the finishes you choose, may wiggle more or less. For this reason, I would strongly advise against silver-lined Japanese size 11s; if you must use silver-lined beads (which are always a bit taller), use Czech seeds instead, like I did in the copper bracelet.
1-2-3-Square Pattern: $7 for PDF download

   Size 11 Japanese seed beads in 3 or more colours
   Size 8 Japanese seed beads in 3 or more colours
   4mm Japanese cube beads
   Your favourite beading thread
   Size 10 needle

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