Monday, November 29, 2004

Handdyed,handspun raglan and beads

Below you see me wearing my new sweater made from yarn I bought 2+ years ago at the museum in Christchurch, NZ. The yarn was handspun and handdyed and it is just wonderful wearing it. Feels so comfy and warm. The lady who made the yarn doesn't want her name mentioned as she is not into publicity so if you want this yarn you'll either have to get to the museum or perhaps find it from them online if they exist. Not sure.

My daughter flew in for the weekend from Hongkong and we pulled out a bunch of new as yet unworn sweaters including this one. The pattern is just very simple and is one of my few raglans that I've designed. I do like doing raglans so have to do more of them. I use the J. Fee book as she has very good instructions for knitting it from the bottom up. I've also done it from the top down but I prefer it the other way.

My newest project is finally on the way. I've been buying beads for the last few months. I took a few lessons in making jewellry with them but haven't learned much. However, I really wanted to knit and crochet the beads so I have also bought a few books on the subject and the one I find most useful currently is the Lily Chin book: Knit and crochet with beads. My biggest problem was how to get the 400 or so beads onto the yarn. I pulled out a skein of light pale blue which luckily for me was also cotton sock yarn so it's very strong which is good as the beads really take it out of the yarn as I move them back and forth preparatory to knitting. So I started last night on her sock pattern which is fun and simple as you purl one stitch, move up a bead next to it, and purl the next one. The purl sts keep the bead in place an d it's really fun. DD has requested she get the socks.

In order to get the beads onto the yarn you need a needle. I have something here made in the US called Big eye which has a very big opening right in the center of the metal piece with two sharp points on both edges. (Have to be careful with those points). So the yarn is supposed to slide in and down towards one end and with the other end you start picking up beads which is great fun. However, I managed to bend the needle in half because I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with it. Then I checked my other needles looking for another way just in case. I found a Clover long beading needle which has a very tiny hole so I put a sewing cotton thread in that and knotted a square knot a few inches down with the thread doubled. That made a loop and into the loop I inserted the yarn end and pulled it around. Then voila, I put a bead on the needle and it went down too. I was so happy. At last I think I can do it. I will attempt some photos soon.

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