Saturday, November 22, 2008


[For those who requested video of my hand exercises, that is in the works. I'm just trying to find a time when the husbeast is here to record it, we're both awake, and the Goober isn't yelling and hollering.]

I mentioned I was putting beads on the shawl - just two rounds of them - and there was some mild interest. So when I did the first round of beads yesterday, I took some photos.

There are several ways to put beads on your knitting. This is the easiest, but it is also the most time-consuming and I suggest only doing it if you're using a few beads. If you're using thousands (yes, some people do), the more traditional method of stringing them onto the yarn first is faster. Though stringing thousands of beads is its own pain in the ass... pick your pain.

This is what it looked like, after I got the bead placed. So you know where we're going with this.

Knit up to the stitch you want your bead on. I prefer to do this on the 'plain' round, rather than the 'action' round, in two-row lace, but that's strictly a personal preference. Doesn't really matter.

Using a piece of really stiff, heavy-duty thread about four inches long, put the thread through the knitted stitch and form a loop (sorry for the blur, you get the idea).

String your bead onto the ends of the thread.

Push the bead down the thread and onto your knitted stitch.

Put the stitch back on your left hand needle.

And knit it onto the right, just like a regular stitch.

Knit on up to the next stitch you want a bead on, and repeat. Like I said. Time-consuming, but easy enough. It took me two hours to do this bead round, but that's not really a fair assessment because I was chasing the Goob and cooking dinner at the same time. All told, it was probably closer to 45 minutes. Over 1728 stitches (48 with beads), that's not too bad.

Usually this is done with a crochet hook - you put the hook through the hole in the bead, hook the knit stitch, and pull it through - but I can never find crochet hooks small enough to fit the holes of the beads I like. (I like small beads for this kind of thing.) So, here's your alternative.

For those who asked what's up with the shawl, I pulled out the damaged hunks of the skeins, wound up the rest, and am still knitting (there were only two small but intensely chewed bits). I'm watching the yarn closely as I knit it up and am cutting out any sketchy bits but so far I've only had to patch once. Because I've gone insane on this project, it looks like I'll be starting the edging this afternoon. There's a faint chance I will have it done - the whole shawl - this weekend. But I'm not going to count on it. Ideally I'd like to have it done by Thanksgiving, but again, whatever happens, happens. Soon as I get definite the carpet beetles will get together, have a party, and burn my house down.

Oh. The carpet beetles. That's looking like a sure thing. The little bastards I thought were uninvolved appear to be some obscure species. I Googled images of carpet beetles last night (I am pleased to report I did not throw up or have nightmares), and there were several that looked similar enough to these little bastards that I think we've found the culprit. I'll be cleaning out my office this afternoon (brace for much melodrama), and ordering more lavender on payday. LOTS of lavender.

And isn't it lovely to be re-opening my shop on the heels of this. LOVELY. I've taken good care of the stock. Honest. I swear.

Maybe I'll burn the house down myself. Serve the little bastards right.


Liz said...

I prefer this way of beading. Largely because I *know* that if I thread several hundred beads onto the end of a skein of yarn, that skein of yarn will have a knot in it about 5% of the way through. Works every time...

We can get the tiny crochet hooks fairly easily over here - what size beads are you using? I can get some locally which don't have problems with a #8...

Bells said...

I've not seen this method before and as I feel myself drawing ever nearer to the day when I DON'T think a few beads is a moronic idea, I'll give this a go.

Ta muchly.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the beading info. I am working on something with beads and this looks a lot less stressful.

I'd also like some more info of what kind of lavneder you are using. I've never heard of that as bug prevention. Can you take some picuters and post those too?


My word is fatyel. As in after the holiday's I fetyel when I get on the scale.

Alwen said...

My entomology professor was a strange thin guy who reminded me of a preying mantis. He said if we didn't have dermestid beetles we'd be chin-high in dead animal hair.

Now that I'm a knitter, I have a different view of the attractiveness of being chin-deep in animal hair: we call it stash, these days.

Verification word, regese

Sings: "Please regese me, let me go ....."

Alwen said...

Okay, I just clicked "Publish Your Comment," and WHAT new verification word pops up?

"holialky" !

That must be a holiday with lots of alcohol?

Amy Lane said...

Crawly little fuckers... pour them a shot of lavender and hope they choke on it!!!

Jeanne said...

lacis has the small crochet hooks - they're on the interwebs

as does hobby lobby sometimes,

Smallest I have is a size 15 - for pulling tatting thread thru size 15 beads. 13 or 14 works for seed beads.

Using dental floss threaders works to add beads to the yarn before knitting. If you have questions, ask me. There's tatting vids available that demonstrate.