Saturday, March 6, 2010

An Excuse To Play With Beads

Like many crafters, I have a bead box.  It started accumulating back in fifth grade when I saw other girls wearing daisy chains, and I had to have one.  Seed beads are the gateway drug of beading.

I still love my seed beads, though the stuff I made then certainly looks unsophisticated now, but eventually I learned some rudimentary wirework.  I'm still a better hand at bead weaving on or off-loom, and beaded embroidery, but I managed to dust off my skills enough for this:


Hmmm, what might that piece of knitting be?  Maybe....a Citron?

I started it last week (with that laceweight I dyed and never got around to showing off before starting a project with it!) and in the early stages I had no trouble keeping count of the rows, since they were so short.  Now, at row 16 of section 4, if I get into a groove I can easily just keep knitting and forget to count.  I can read knitting pretty well, so if I lose track I can figure it out, but it's irritating, and I wanted a better way.

First I considered the ever popular row counter bracelet, but for me, these have several drawbacks.  One is that I'm simply not a bracelet person.  I have tiny hands with correspondingly tiny wrists, so when commercial bracelets rarely fit, I just got in the habit of not wearing them.  Earrings, on the other hand....

Ahem.  Moving on before I hop over to Etsy to drool over earrings.  I can do that for hours if someone doesn't stop me.

The next problem with bracelets was that I feel I'm just as likely to forget to move a bead over on the abacus as I am to lose track of a mental count.  I know me fairly well at this point, I think.

The third and final problem is that I simply didn't have the appropriate supplies to make a decent bracelet.  Beads, yes; anything appropriate to make the form of the bracelet itself, the clasps, the materials for the  That's just not the kind of stuff I was making last time the bead box came out of hiding.

In my perusals of potential bracelet purchases, I ran across the chain style of counter, which I had not really seen before, and off I went.

An hour later, I had an exceptionally crappy chain counter.  I don't know why it didn't occur to me the first time that I would need to hide the wire ends so that they didn't snag on the knitting.  But the first time, I definitely didn't do that.

An hour and a half after that, I had two much better chains with hidden wire ends.  It didn't actually take me that long to make them, some of that time was choosing the beads from my collection.  I was hampered by the fact that I only had goldtone wire of the right weight, but a lot of the beads I liked would look better with silver.  So I'm definitely getting some silver! 

A closeup for structure:

The dangly charm marks the bottom end.  I saw chains with numbered beads, but I don't really like those (and thus don't have any) so I chose eight beads of one type and two of another coordinating type to be the fifth and tenth beads.  So here, as I said, I'm on row 16 of the 20-row section; I have to remember the first ten (the only deficiency a chain counter has compared to a bracelet, which can go up to 100) and my needle is in the sixth link.  When I get to the chain on my next row, I will stick the needle in the seventh link instead and voila! it counts the rows for me.

Hmm, I wonder if I have any goldtone french wires to make matching earrings....

1 comment:

  1. This is so very pretty. I love the green tones with the gold loops, and the charm on the end is lovely.