Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Links, blame, Sock Yarnapalooza, and occasions of sin

About Sock Yarnapalooza: Sure, we'd love to see your finished work somewhere down the line but we're not going to bar you from the contest if you can't provide one. Please join us! I don't care if it takes you five years to use the yarn and you forget to drop us an email to say, "I finished!" Have fun! Be daring! Enter here right now! (Just remember to put SOCK YARN in the subject header.)

If you asked what one knitterly challenge would I absolutely, positively never try I would have said, "Beading." I went through my hippie-chick beading phase when I was an 18 year old newlywed living outside Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska. That was when I tapped into my Chippewa blood and started doing beadwork on a tiny loom. Lots and lots of thunderbirds and moons and suns and eagles and the occasional peace sign just to remind everyone that this was, after all, 1968-1969. It was fun. It was cheap. I enjoyed it immensely. But when I quit doing it around 1970, that was it. Buh-bye, beads. It was on to the next Big Thing.

So imagine my surprise when I started poking around Dawn Brocco's website and fell madly in love with her cabled cashmere scarves. Imagine my BIG surprise when my favorite scarf of all was (gulp) beaded. I'll pause while you zip over to Dawn's site and check them out.

I was right, wasn't I? They're absolutely gorgeous. Well, this has led me on a merry search for 1) affordable cashmere and 2) beads. The former turned out to be less of a problem than the latter. Who knew there are actual towns out there with their own bead shops? I'm insanely jealous. We can't even seem to hang onto a book store in this smallish town of mine, much less a craft and/or bead shop. They seem to have the life span of fruit flies.

So I've done a bit of poking around on the web and discovered Beadwrangler Mall through Fluffy Knitter Deb's blog (I'm in love with the P-Man), Earth Faire through Google, Mill Hill through Dawn, Knitting Zone via Dallas, and who knows what else is out there.

And remember the terrible time I had searching for the leather buttons I wanted for Goldisox's sweater? Well, I found Button Heaven at As Cute As A Button and am awaiting said buttons even as I type this. You could drown in adorable buttons at that website. It makes you want to sew on buttons even where they don't belong.

I blamed Dallas for the Giant Sock Yarn Granny Square. And now I blame her for finding another great use for scrap yarn. How about a knitted quilt? Imagine lots of squares knitted on the diagonal with great blocks and stripes and blips of color. Think alive with color! Think crazy quilt! Think another wonderful project. (I'd like to start ten of these.) (I really would.)

Do you do beadwork? Do you knit with beads? Are you 5/0 or 6/0? Round? Triangular? Do you thread them onto the yarn or use the crochet hook method?

So many fabulous knitterly things to explore . . . so little time!


Blogger Debi said...

I think you know which method I would choose :)

Thanks for the shout out and the P-Man love!

4:34 AM  
Blogger georg said...

I've never put beads into my knitting, although I did try with crochet once (a not pleasant experience). But if you don't know about http://www.firemountaingems.com/ for beads, you really should. I occasionally make earings and other jewelry.

I am tempted to look for cheap cashmere- friends are thinking about asking me to knit them cashmere socks on commission.

8:32 AM  
Blogger OzKnitter said...

Hi Barbara.

Here's some inspiration... Sock Yarn Blanket

9:13 AM  
Anonymous Cathy said...

I've only knitted with beads once--the Mystery Stole 3, aka Swan Lake. It turned out beautifully. And I'll be doing it again with the Secret of the Stole. ;) I used the crochet hook method--it's kinder to the yarn, since you don't have all those beads sliding over it, etc.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

After knitting the Mystery Stole 3 with beads, I had a slight *cough* "falling down" with beads. I keep looking for lace projects that look great with beads and have found some really good ones. If I'm not careful, the bead stash could get out of hand very quickly.

For me, the easiest way to knit with beads was using the crochet hook method. I did pre-stringing once before MS3 and did not like it at all.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Wow, those cable scarves are stunning! I've always wanted to knit with beads--there's a project in Scarfstyle I love but it has beads and I plain ole chickened out when I saw that. I can't wait to hear how your experience is and what secrets will be revealed. Already I know to use the crochet hook method, thanks to everyone's comments here.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Nicole said...

I LOVE beading my knitting. The crochet hook method works the best for me, probably because I don't have the patience to string the hundreds of beads on the yarn all at once.

And I love Fire Mountain Gems.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Lovs2Knit said...

Oh I love the Double Knot Cable scarf. Well there's another thing to add to my queue. :~)
Thanks for the button website. This looks like the perfect place to pick up the different buttons needed for my kids sweaters.
Fire Mountain Gems is a great place for beads.

2:27 AM  

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