Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Oh Look

A sample for the class I taught tonight - fun! The regular crew and a bunch of new faces

Sunday, April 28, 2013

What Was I Thinking Department

I mean, did I really believe I liked a colour-way which is just a hop, skip and a jump away from the three paint primaries?
Because I'll tell you right now I see a dyepot in the future of these socks-to-be.

Still, this yarn presented an interesting challenge with its very stark contrasts. The colouring is so bold that it completely overpowers any stitch patterns, so this short-row zig-zag takes great advantage of the length of the repeats. A very short repeat would have been far more versatile: a plain sock would have simply been dappled, and a patterned sock would have lost some of the stitch definition, but this repeat length is ideal for ugly pooling.

I'm pretty sure that by the end of the pair it'll be a while before I can stomach short-rows again.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pentawhirl 0.2

I like this a lot better than the first version, but the baby spikes aren't quite as well-behaved as I'd like. They really want to tilt and I'm just not down with that, so I may well need to reconsider.

I prefer the fringe beads in the bezel and the contrasting faceted beads too.

I desperately want to join a bunch of them together.

Real Soon Now.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


 I did what I wanted and not what I should have and I'm not entirely sorry.

This little whirling pentagon isn't quite ready for prime time, but it's a perfectly decent start. The bezel of the rivoli is almost right, but I chose my bead colours poorly, but the thingies at the end of each arm could do with a better idea.
 This thing though?
Eh. I'd cut it up if right angle weave wasn't such a bitch to take apart. Actually, I might do it anyway because this is just ugly no matter how you look at it.

I finally finished the cardigan that I might just get a chance to wear before the weather gets altogether too warm for it.
Bad picture, sorry. The time went off as I was adjusting and believe it or not this was the best of twelve pictures. Also the sleeves really are the same length: I'd just reached for the camera button and didn't have a chance to adjust it back down.

Pictures aside, I'm more or less pleased with it, but if I were the sort of person who did more in the way of swatching (and in this instance I kinda wish I were that sort of person), I'd have considered a bit more carefully how much that type of ribbing (knit 3, purl 1 both rows; offset) can or should be blocked, and I might have tried to shape the shawl collar a bit more and I might have been a bit more measured and less seat-of-the-pants about the row gauge of the cable versus the cardigan body because all these factors do conspire to make the fronts a little short, but I already completely redid the front ribbing and I just don't feel like doing that again as well as the cab;e, though really, perhaps I should.

I might not though.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


I've been staying away from Bejeweled but not from knitting. I was done with the current project midweek - and then I tried it on and realized that I was not, but I soon will be.

I didn't do much beading, but I did finish this honking great pendant.
I'm not sure if I like it or not, but it's big (about two inches top to bottom) and you know what they say: size does matter!

I think perhaps it needs to be gussied up a bit more, but hey, it's not an out-and-out "No!"

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Last Trivoli

The last of the Trivoli class samples is done - just have to pack kits now!
I tried to make four colour-ways that were very different, and yet because I've so come to value that splash of contrast, each has an element of the other and they may be too much the same. They're built around the rivoli colours. This one is a lovely pale green, there's heliotrope (blue-purple), volcano (red-pink-golden) and pale gold - you'd think they were all different, and their main beads (the large ones, green in this case) are very definitely different colours, and yet.

Perhaps it's just me. Perhaps I'm incapable of choosing really different sets of colours.

I hope no one is disappointed.

Sunday, April 14, 2013


I'm almost done with the last sample for Trivoli at Bead & Button, but not done enough to photograph it.

I started on An Idea for a pendant or link which might have been a Good Idea but I only got half done.

I started on Another Idea for a bracelet which might be usable but not terribly exciting and did not come close to getting done.
 At least I actually completed two samples for Tuesday's class.
Small miracles.

Speaking of which, I've had no elbow pain since I cut out Bejeweled. Cause and effect. It's a wonderful thing.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Rrruffles, No Ridges

Long, roughish week. No beading (until this morning, that is), not much knitting.
 Today is spinners, for which I made my own (OMG utterly delicious) ricotta in order to make a marbled cheesecake with caramel-orange sauce. New cheesecake recipe, very different from my usual New York-style, so I hope it's decent.
The ricotta though is my new bestie; it's crazy good and insanely easy to make: mix whole milk and low-fat buttermilk in a 4:1 ratio, heat until it starts to separate and then pour through four layers of cheesecloth. Let drain for twenty minutes, then add salt to taste to the cheese, mix, refrigerate and consume.

The only thing in which I've used ricotta in the last <mumble> years is gnudi which I made a month ago, so I'm thinking research is in order.

Not incredibly fabulous this past week? Tennis elbow. Perhaps from knitting, but I deeply suspect (and fervently hope) from an intense relapse of Bejeweled, which I'd give up in a heartbeat if it meant I could knit.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Things Were Made

I might be getting old. Less young.

I've made excellent progress on my cardigan (body and sleeves complete, cuffs complete) and am on the home stretch, eager to finish even though I'm not certain what I'll start on next. The thing is, all this knitting I've done? My elbow hurts and that's never happened before.
 Love the edging inside the front band (a wide ribbed band comes next) but sadly I had to undo it all as the row gauge didn't match the row gauge of the rest and that just won't do.

It annoys me to no end when I see a pattern for a garment which is a fresh look or otherwise worthy of notice, but all I can focus on is that the designer couldn't be bothered to shape the front neck, or finish the edges, or even block properly. Sloppy and arrogant in my opinion.

Beading also isn't so kind to the elbow unfortunately although truthfully nothing short of doing absolutely nothing will keep it immobile, which is probably what it needs.
I had this idea of making three-sided bicone beads but I guess I got impatient and settled on two-sided tabular beads, the first being the leftmost. It's a little flat and dull and for normal humans who don't stitch with neurotically tight tension, probably not very exciting. The second and third are structurally almost identical, but the blue and gold bead is constructed with a modicum of sense and order.

Actually the best thing about the construction is that you can make these any size you want as they're not made of two pieces zipped together as originally planned, so there's none of that pesky counting of rows and having to make two (or more) identical pieces.

Even with their central spines these are fairly flat beads and if the spines were limited to only one face, they'd like nicely around the neck or wrist.

They may need more attention, but they're not a bad start.

Monday, April 1, 2013

No and Yes

Sometimes I make a Thing, which is whole and complete and doesn't really break down.

Tuesday's class is a repeating motif whose first and simplest version was a pair of shoulder-duster earrings which eventually became Octochain (awful name, not my finest moment) which I'm teaching on Tuesday. 

The earrings arranged the motifs in a straight line, whereas the necklace modifies the motif to allow the chain to curve.

Since the instructions are done, and I had Ideas I tried one out: curve every corner and use tiny spikes instead of fire-polished beads, but all I can say is "No". It doesn't look bad in the picture, but it's a pathetic and limp mess and the spikes are just silly. The only thing this is good for is laying down flat.
 The shoulder-dusters still work though, and even better with drops to finish them off.
 I was surfing and came across a blog with gorgeous wirework which made me think I could do something which in fact I could not, so I ended up with these earrings instead.
I have more Ideas, but they'll have to wait until taxes are done (I don't know why I always procrastinate so badly but I just do. It's ridiculous, but there it is: taxes take precedence even though I have far more entertaining things to do).