Saturday, February 16, 2013

Knitting with beads...and some lace

If you're looking for a way to make your handknits blingy-er, try beads. Before these two projects I had knitted with beads to make a few pairs of pulsevante - Norwegian for pulse warmers. They're like long wrist bands that cover the pulse point in your wrist and lower part of your hand.

I learned about them while in Norway in 2007 for my friend's wedding. The night before her wedding there was a party that started with a boat cruise. The temperature dropped pretty quickly and I didn't have gloves with me. My friend's cousin plucked a pair of pulsevante out of her pocket and handed them to me. Turns out her mom had knit them for her. I was utterly amazed at how simple and chic they were. I started asking her all kinds of questions about construction and patterns. When the cruise ended and we arrived at the party I returned the pulsevante. My new friend told me to keep them because she had talked to her mom about my interest in them. Her mom had promised to make her a new pair so I could take a pair home with me.

At that time there were not many patterns in English for pulse warmers, so I took a snowflake design from a traditional Norwegian pattern and made pulse warmers. I didn't know how to knit with beads, so I guessed at how to do it by trial and error. They turned out great and I gave them to a few friends as Christmas presents.

After the Skywalker shawl turned out so well I thought I'd check out Laura Nelkin's Knitting with Beads class at Craftsy. The first project is a knitted bracelet, Pioneer. It's a great first project to get the hang of knitting with beads that are strung on beforehand and beads that are placed over stitches as you go. Can you say super simple and quick gift?

Pioneer in Claudia Hand Painted Yarns, Fingering Weight, Graphite w/ Toho size 6 and 8 seed beads

The knitted jewelry got me thinking about my nieces - 3 of whom live in Houston and have very little need for wool hats or mittens. I decided to check out the jewelry...I'm slightly obsessed with Laura Nelkin's designs right now so I purchased Adorn and Adorn Anew

Ribband in Claudia Hand Painted Yarns, Fingering Weight, Graphite w/ rectangular Toho beads

I'm thinking my nieces will each be receiving a Ribband for Christmas this year. And, since I was very silly and took on WAY TOO MUCH this past December, I'm going to work on their Christmas presents throughout the year. I'll probably have them completed before summer gets to the Mid-South!

And finally, I continued the Knit This: Mastering Lace Shawls class by casting on Clarus. Originally I was going to cast on for the larger version in a cobweb weight yarn, however, I'm still not feeling like a Lace Master. I cast on Jojoland Melody (fingering weight superwash wool). Not sure how I like the color changes with the lace pattern, but it's hard to tell until it's blocked. Even if I don't like it, it's extra practice at knitting lace. I'll post photos when it's completed.

Clarus in Jojoland Melody

Monday, February 4, 2013

When good lace goes bad

Over the weekend I finished the full version of Skywalker by Laura Nelkin. I finished on Saturday night, blocked it on Sunday, and was ready to wear it today.

Skywalker off the needles

Skywalker chillin' (aka blocking) on Sunday afternoon

I was very excited to show off my first lace project in nearly 6 years. And then...something horrible happened...As I was getting all the necessary items prepared which a Mommy and son need on a morning of errands, I snagged the lace. I mean a HUGE snag. I managed to pull about an 8 inch loop out which really is 16 inches of yarn.



The culprit of this horrible crime - my catch-all bag which carries all things toddler has a shoulder "grabber" with teeth and as I ran down the stairs it pulled the yarn right out of the Plasma Stitch section.

My son took a nap this afternoon (praise God) and I busted out my tapestry needle and began the task of slowly working yarn back into place. Think of it like loosening shoelaces, if your laces are really tight, you can't start pulling at the bottom. I gently worked the yarn in both directions of the wicked snag. It took about half an hour, but it was worth being patient.

While the yarn was redistributed, it still didn't look quite right. I laid the lace out on a blocking mat, grabbed my spray bottle, and soaked the area that needed to be re-blocked. Once it was damp it looked right again and then I let it dry.

Skywalker after Lace Surgery or chillin' part deux

All better!

***Important lessons***
1.) Don't put a grabby thing on lace.
2.) If there is not a wild animal chasing you or your child is not in mortal danger, then there is no good reason to run, especially when wearing lace. So undignified.