Saturday, December 31, 2005


Just playing with beads:simple earrings, wire strung bracelet and the red and gray on the elastic. All learning experiences. Top photo: my third peyote bracelet this time with earrings to match.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Rypan Fanned waves bracelet

This Ukrainian type bracelet designed by Maria Rypan was in Beadwork Feb 2005. It took me a little longer because I wanted to use my new Toho beads my son brought me. They are really a bit hard to work with in this design but I think they would be just great for eyeglass holders and items where it's mostly stringing. Up next is another Maria project that just arrived in a new Step by step beads.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

crocheted wizard scarf and hat

My son agreed to model this scarf and hat. He's wearing a Starmore fairisle done a few years ago. To crochet the scarf I used stash yarn that was worsted wt. I needed 160 grams of the red and just small amount of the gold. My hook was 5.00mm. Chain 30 sts and work every row 28 double crochet stitches (dc). Pattern was *rows 1-8 in red, row 9, gold, row 10, red, row 11 gold and then repeat from *. Work until you feel it's long enough. My scarf measures 8.5"x63".

Hat was the basic one. Start with 4 chain sts and close the circle. Do 6 hdc into the center of the ring for first row.
2nd row: inc in each st.
3rd row: *Inc in first st, hdc* repeat from *.
4th row: *Inc in first st, 2 hdc* repeat from *.
5th row: *Inc in first st, 3 hdc* repeat from *
Continue in this way until you have a diameter of approx 7". At that point just work hdc without increasing until it fits over your ears.
I ran out of the red so continued on with the gold color.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Cheviot gardens

I finally finished it just n ot in time to wear now. It's a Kaffe Fassett in fairisle with Rowan dk cotton. I added pockets and changed the neckline but used the same colors. The pattern is Rowan knitting magazine #19.
I'm holding the line and not adding to my yarn stash. But my children are adding to my bead collection. Danny just came home from Capetown and surprised me with a bag of Tohu beads from Japan. Remember readers: train your kids right and you can be like me!
The red car is great, isn't it? my favorite color these days and my daughter has loaned it to me as she won't let me ride the buses.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

J&S shetland chunky raglan

I love this sweater. The J.Fee book is my help when making raglans and so far they have all come out well. The yarn comes from Jamieson & Smith and is being discontinued and is a very good purchase.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

new bracelets

These were from Bead and button and I made them for bead class. The teacher approved but it was a learning experience and next time they will be better. I discovered that the red one which is peyote stitch, was a lot of fun to make. However I need to use smaller seed beads so that t he bugles stay closer to each other. For the green one, I didn't have the right beads so just used what was available locally. It was nice but quite complicated with a lot of steps and threads.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Russian netted necklace

This took 3 days as I found a knot and had to redo quite a bit. It was a homework assignment and I think it came from a Russian pattern but it could also be Ukrainian or Polish in origin. I have some books by Maria Rypan with similar work; but without the assignment I would have not been pushed to make it. It's the kind of jewelry I really like. The beads are t he small Japanese ones and the thread was Fireline 6 pound. Except for that one knot, it's very good and doesn't give me problems with knots.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Noro Iroha and beaded eyeglass holder

This Noro Iroha yarn has been sitting in my stash long enough now. It's 70% cotton, 20% cashmere and 10% nylon so would be excellent for my daughter only she is not into vests as I don't have enough of it for more.
The eyeglass holder was started last night from a kit of Toho that I bought in Tokyo last year before I had started beading and at that time the instructions made no sense. Now it's pure fun.
I was using a Clover tunisian crochet hook in metal for another project but had to go to knitting as the hook was very soft and really bent so it wasn't any fun to use it anymore. But it was a great hook otherwise. Anyone know where I can buy it again?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Caught some fish

I finally caught some fish.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

first earrings

My daughter wanted earrings so this is my first pair from the Beadwork earrings book. I also finished a pair of socks for her using some Swiss yarn that got started at least a year ago.

Friday, November 25, 2005


This is a hat using the Zilboorg vest pattern and leftovers. I hope you can see the closeup from the scan. It's a simple 6 row slipstitch pattern and could work with lots of yarns and colors. I enjoy wearing the vest and hopefully the hat but right now the weather is much too warm.

I'm busily crocheting a sweater in baby Grignasco yarn that I bought in Hongkong. I started the front in tunisian crochet and when the Clover hook bent on me, I switched to hdc for the back. I'll probably do something else on the sleeves.

My daughter arrived this week for a fast visit and was interested in my beading. I showed her a bracelet for class that I managed to do wrong twice. The joke is that she looked at the pattern and saw I had done the beginning wrong so now I have to restart from the beginning. I think she was very proud of herself for spotting my mistake and also enjoying th e whole thing too. More bead books arrived this week and I also found where my teacher took that bracelet pattern. It was a Japanese book that I happen to own. The instructions in the book are much easier than the teacher's were.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Ruffled rondelles

This was an unusual pattern in the Dec 2005 Bead and button by Maiko Kage of Japan. I made the 6 rondelles but had to remove one as it was too big for my wrist so now I have the start of either a pin an earring, or necklace, etc.

Class was not as interesting this week as we were assigned bracelets pretty much as in the first session of classes. The difference is that now we are using Beadalon nylon wire and adding embellishments plus using some crystals.

Teacher wouldn't tell me where the necklace pattern came from. Bummer. She also criticized my work which was fine with me. I certainly need help. The good part is that I'm making progress with the wirework. Beadstyle now begins to make a lot more sense to me. I still don't understand why they think it's simple. Not for me. I ran around yesterday and today buying some large crystals as I don't have any. We have two pretty good beadstores in town and both get their supplies from two different importers in Tel Aviv so there is a good selection. I try to avoid Tel Aviv, especially driving there.

Knitting: Yes I'm knitting a lot as now is the "winter" season here. I started the Zilboorg "Rosemary" sweater is the Liisu mohair/wool yarn. I really like this wool a lot as it has a very good strong feel to it. The Allspice vest was in the same yarn. For the pattern, I didn't like the way she does the Alsacian scallops as she changed Mary Phillips original pattern by knitting in the back of the stitch to twist it. But she managed to really complicate what is basically a simple pattern; so I dug out my Phillips book and am doing the scallops her way. I also had to rewrite the whole pattern due to my looser gauge so I'm now thinking about changing the sleeves to a raglan.

Monday, November 14, 2005

instructions and a whine

This a part of the instructions I got in class for the necklace below. If anyone recognizes the source please let me know as I would love to buy it. It's wirework, not netting.

Whining: Actually I'm in a great mood today. It's gorgeous outside and plenty of sunshine in my workroom. I just located a book with a pattern used by Zilboorg in her sweater I'm about to start and this pattern is much easier than hers. Yesterday I got FC easy crochet 2005. What annoys me is that every yarn in the magazine is Bernat but nowhere did it indicate that (not on the cover, not on the website, etc.) So I regard this magazine in the same way as I do the Lion brand stuff: with much loathing. Even though I do like Patons merino. I also got the fall Knitters and there is nothing I want to make, not even a hat. And they write I am entitled to one more issue still. More suffering to come. And finally yesterday I got the Sept/Oct Step by step beads in a plain white envelope. This must have been their second mail to me as the first one in a see-through never reached me; but meanwhile (hence the whine) I already ordered and received this copy from Beadbabe.

Well the mail today was considerably better; the new Bush sock opus. I want to compare it to the books I have here with similar patterns to see how they got changed and which ones I already have in my collection. I also got a book on beaded flowers French style and it calls for some kind of wire used by flower stores and I have no idea where to buy it either.

But in a few hours Israel is taking me out for Italian food at this place that really reminds me of Italy back in the late 50s. Life is good.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


This was my homework from bead class. It's the first homework I actually completed and the hardest one too. It took me almost the whole 2 weeks between classes as I had to go buy all the missing stuff. I'm still not pleased with the 4mm jumprings I bought.
If anyone recognizes this pattern, I'd like to know where it came from as I'd love to buy the book with it.
Knitwise: I'm working very nicely now on a butterfly pullover from Lori Ihnen's book of last year. I can only do about 3 circular rows a day as the fairisle design requires constant referral back and forth. I discovered in my supplies a great magnet kit from Clover that I bought in Hongkong. It sits on the pattern so I can at least find the right row. The fairisle pattern is 60 rows and I figure it will take me another 3 weeks. But after that, the rest of the sweater is just stripes and should really move quickly and then I will have a lovely sweater for me.
But I also went back into my unfinished sock collection and finished 2 of them after I gifted Israel with 3 pair of socks. He is so happy with them as they really keep his feet warm.
He kind of reminds me now of Woody Allen in the movie Annie Hall which I watched again last night. And I must be his Annie. I am as far removed from his culture and upbringing as is Annie from Woody. Instead of her singing I have my beads.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Zilboorg's Allspice finished

This was a lovely project and it went very quickly. The kit included 14-50 gram skeins of assorted colors and the pattern was a simple garter and slip stitch over 8 rows using 2 colors for 8 rows and then switching. Choice was mine. I also added pockets and buttons using different colors for each one. I bought the kit from Ellen of earthfaire.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Inviting vine

Tami: this is because of you. Thanks for telling me to keep on beading. The bracelet is from Bead and Button, Dec. 2005 by Donna Graves. It was quick and fun to make and I love it because it's not bombastic (I'm only 5'2"). I think this particular issue was very good so I will probably make a few more.

I got 4 more books this week plus the new VK. There's only one interesting sweater in it with some fairisle on the yoke section. The books are interesting. The new Sally Melville on color might just be the best knitting book of this year but still I have some questions. For example, why doesn't she ever say fairisle? Also, there seem to be some overlaps with this book and her first one using leftover yarns. However, I'm slowly reading it and find some very good information which I wasn't expecting and also a few possible items to knit.
Then: the 2 afghan books and one called New crochet by Terry Taylor. This one disappointed me but I'm not ready yet to explain why. One reason might be the special type of yarns such as hemp. I did like the bikini although I wish there had been a chart with the size. Too many items are just the regular type stuff. Anyway, maybe I'll write more on it later. If you are thinking of buying it, I'd suggest to hold off.
Join as you go afghans is all crochet and mainly granny square type things. The only difference is that the squares are joined so that at the end there's no sewing or joining which is rather nice.
Easy afghans for knitters seems to be a useful item and also has more from Barbara Venishnick and other type knitter/designers.
I was very excited to eat at the new Moses restaurant and was very disappointed with it. Everything arrived too salty so I won't be returning.

Monday, October 24, 2005

New Arrivals

Wonderful mail today:
Assemi Cheryl: Beaded elegance and beaded elegance too. These have lots of bracelets, necklaces and earrings. They look like easy to make but very attractive.
Stringing, Fall 2005. I counted the number of patterns and it is 68 and not 150+ as on the cover. Those extras are items on 4 pages and they have to be bought from various stores. I call this advertisements.

Knitting also came in:
Diagonal delight vest by Maureen Mason-Jamieson. This is quite an amazing pattern using slipstitch, garter st and mitred squares and uses dk yarns. Stash stash for this.
Then Knitscene which is a new item from Interweave press. I subscribe to Interweave knits so first of all I was annoyed that one has to buy this one separately but it seems to be the start of a new magazine or something. It also is geared for the new knitter or the one who wants instant gratification. On a quick glance there semm to be a few interesting sweaters but probably too easy to bother with. The magazine is also smaller in dimensions than IK.
Inknitters fall 2005 has a few interesting patterns as well. This magazine is not for sale outside of the U S and Canada.
However, being resourceful, I discovered that for $9 I can get them plus a few other items all sent by global priority airmail and that is a lot better than ordering just one of them. I recently ordered the crochet magazine from Interweave and I had to pay $12.50 just to get it to me by airmail. So for anyone not in the western hemisphere, contact me and I'll tell you how to get them for less.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

63 easy to crochet: heirloom afghan; Morris fairisle

About 3 years ago at least, I bought some Decor in 3 colors for this gorgeous afghan by Darla Sims (Leisure arts #555). There's a Yahoo group and also a blogging group doing this one. Anyway, I restarted it this weekend doing about 5 squares so far. The problem is getting them on gauge and for that one needs to be constantly checking and then changing the hook size. H or 5.00mm is the recommended hook but I find that 4.00mm is working for me although one square was good with the 5.00mm. The problem is getting the edge sc going around each square to work out to 25 sc. I can't do it. So I've decided to just make each edge look right and then when I finally sew them (after blocking) I will skip where I must in order to get them matched up.

I thought that maybe I would have to forget this one but I really do want to make it so that is my plan.

I also started a nice fairisle from an older Cast on (fall 2000) by Charlotte Morris using the Harrisville shetland style yarns also in my stash a few years. It looks like a very simple fairisle being only a 6 stitch repeat. So I have already changed the pattern. With 6 sts I see no reason why each size has to jump 24 sts so I want my fairisle to be around 45" on the chest and with my gauge of 7 sts=1", I know that about 320 sts around is right for me. So I rewrote that part of the pattern and also changed the # of ribbing sts.

Beading: I signed up for the second set of classes because I found that the Israeli train system is great and gets me very near to school in only 10 minutes from my town. The train is new, very clean and I would give it top rating except for a few points. There is a very long walk inside the terminals to the actual train. There are elevators but I took the elevator at the main center in Tel Aviv around 8pm when it was already dark outside. When the door closed, there was complete darkness until I reached the floor and the door opened. That was kind of scary. And also, while the announcements are great, they are only in Hebrew and there aren't many signs in English. I know that Tokyo or Hongkong have English also and I think this is a bad mistake. However, the employees that I met were very helpful. So because of this great train, I have signed up for another 6 classes and the teacher told me it is not beadweaving that I have previously learned. I think if all goes well, I will also take the next course after this one with the antique style of beading which uses wires and beads and is gorgeous.

Monday, October 10, 2005

bead crochet

Well, finally. I began to work on this last winter! failure, failure. My books were worse than useless as they gave me the wrong information. Finally, just by looking at it I figured out what to do. There are two books though that have some good points: Carol Wilcox Wells has it correct in her second book and Neiman in her book on this subject while very scanty on material does have a few decent tips. For some reason, this whole topic is top secret. If you want to learn you can pay $$ to learn and that's about it. Now that I've got it, I have to move along to smaller beads and different hooks and threads plus doing more interesting things with it.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


This is a new project with a nearly finished raglan sleeve. The yarn is
Diadomina from Diakeito of Japan. The color is 308 and it looks like autumn colors to me. I'm doing a sleeve first to get the correct gauge for circular. I got exactly 4.5 sts= 1 inch on 3.75mm needles. And it looks tight enough to me although I think on the label it says 20 sts=10cm. There are 112 meters in this 40 gram ball and it seems to be going very far. I haven't finished the first one on the sleeve yet. I actually bought 20 balls, but am hoping I can do a raglan with just 10. I want to finish it quickly and also a few more that I bought of the Japanese yarns as I'm hoping to get back there in November. So I cast on for the body once the sleeve got quite far along. I'm using the instructions in the Jacqueline Fee book as usual. I've always found it successful with any weight yarn for the raglans.
I'm also on the final finish on the log cabin vest with the Koigu yarns and I just hate the whole thing. Each 2" square has 3 yarn ends to weave in and there are so may of these things. Never again. However, I think it is going to be a real stunner.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

end of summer

I finished this nice cotton top in baby Sesia. I used a stitch pattern from the Stanfield book and then just winged it on the sleeves. I knit until I used up all the yarn or I would have made the sleeves longer. I actually didn't do the stanfield pattern correctly so I guess it's my own because the one in her book was more open and I preferred a more closed lace.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


I think this is cute. I'm using wire and beads that were my first purchase in Hongkong. They are quite heavy so the wire is better for them too. The pattern was learned in class and now I'm beginning to understand when to use the wire. I don't think wire can do as intricate stuff as t he nylon or fireline.

I also finished a pink cotton top now drying and close on two more and moving now into the wools. So I have 30 squares (2") to do still on the Koigu log cabin vest. This one goes back years but I have hopes it will be good. The colors were personally chosen for me by M. Landru at Stitches East.

Monday, September 19, 2005

lacy loops

Today I finished Lacy loops by Lois Fetters from the April 2005 Bead and button (p.126). It was a very easy pattern but with a lot of satisfaction at the finished result. I have added a whole bunch of older Bead and button magazines now and there are lots of wonderful projects to do so while I want to make this one again with different colors, I think right now I need to try something else.

I also started my third bead course and this one has a Russian teacher who speaks much better Hebrew than I do. We are working with wire only and the whole course is completely different from what I've done up til now. I probably won't enjoy this type of beading as much but I am very happy to know how to do it as there are a lot of nice projects using wire and this should make the whole thing a lot easier for me.

I did have one lesson in Russian today and I learned that the famous "white" book does use nylon threads.

I saw my family dr today and since she is a beader, we spend most of the session showing each other our latest efforts. Healthwise, I'm probably not going to be seeing her very much as I seem to have run out of any tests or things I need to do. I think hobbies, especially beading, are very good for one's health. I'm on a diet now and the beading is so exciting, that it keeps me from eating all those bad foods.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


After two summers, I finally finished this one. It's a Barbara Khouri design from Reynolds #82008 and is the second one I've done in that booklet. Because of the lace bottom, I decided to work it around in one piece which created a few problems. I had to refigure for the sleeve increase and since I also changed from a v neckline to a round one, more figuring. The buttons are really gorgeous. I found them in Bangkok. I'm hoping I'll see some wear soon. Meanwhile I've started putting back ufos for next summer while now concentrating on just finishing a few of them. This summer was spent very much learning beading which ate into my knitting projects. However, beading is perfect as a switchover from knitting. So many people injure themselves with knitting or crocheting, and beading is much easier on the hands and arms. So it makes a good change.
Tomorrow is my first day of a new bead class and Monday is my first Russian lesson. I will show my teacher all the Russian beadbooks.

Friday, September 16, 2005


This bracelet took me 2 days and I did have the triangle beads which I bought in England this summer. I didn't have the right size though and I had to use 10s and 8s so I also had to cut down from 16 across to 12 in order to get the right width for me. I think I will try the pattern in square beads next. It's from Oct 2005 Bead and button, p. 122 by Perie Brown. I also didn't have the clasp called for unfortunately.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

more bead books

Today I really did well. From Amazon I got the new Diane Fitzgerald Bead garden and the Hector Art of beadwork. From the Russian book wholesaler in town, I got the big white one I had ordered and there was a new blue one and a new magazine so I bought them too.
I also got some more Classic Elite sweater pamphlets from Elann.
Yesterday I finished my two herringbone bracelets that were learning for me and they came out well. Colors are manly so I'm hoping I can offload them on my son.
Today I started and restarted the pattern in this months Bead and button using triangle beads in a herringbone stitch. I brought the beads home from England. I also finished the body and neckline of a pink cotton pullover for me. I'm now doing the sleeves from the top down as I don't know how far the remaining 3 balls will go.
Anyway, if anyone knows Russian, please let me know more about the books I've bought.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

new books, some on knitting

Well, I got lots of new books today from Amazon that I saw in London mostly. Most are on embroidery but a few are on knitting and one on bead embroidery.
Burr, Trish, Redoute's finest flowers in embroidery. This has actual flowers with instructions on how to embroider them and they are large enough to take from the book as is. Looks very useful.
Andrews, Carol, Making needlework accessories. This one is embroidery using beads also and is for small projects holding things like scissors. Looks fun and fast.
Allen, Pam, Wrap style. This is the follow-up to last year's bestseller on scarves and it looks disappointing and I doubt if I'll make anything. However there do seem to be some nice shawls like the aran one from Zimmerman. The rest are those shortie ponchos. I suppose they could be useful in bed or at an office or something. But kind of ugly on the whole.

Roberts, Luise, 1000 great knitting motifs. I bought this for help in fairisle designs and reserve judgement hoping it will be useful.
McCallum, Graham Leslie, 4000 flower and plant motifs. For $13 this is a great buy and he has a new one coming out now with animal motifs. Again, hoping this will help with embroidery or bead projects.

Stanton, Yvette, Mountmellick embroidery. This is an Irish embroidery which is done with white threads on white cloth and also has knitting on the sides. The stitches are easy to do and I definitely want to try it. I have bought all the materials in England.

I am also ordering all the Bead and button magazines still on sale in their back issue section. But I decided to go only through 2000. Of all my bead magazines and books, these are the most interesting and each issue has a few items I want to do, considering myself at this time an intermediate beader. There are harder projects to do later on. I find the instructions in the Beadwork magazine harder to follow as they aren't clear enough. I also like Step by step beading but only have a few issues so far.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

New bead books

Today the mailman delivered two more bead books: Embeadery on embroidery with beads by Margaret Ball (c2005) and Getting started beading from Bead and button. This has 52 projects. I haven't had any time yet to look at them but they look nice anyway.
I spent the day on a new necklace with 5 stars or flowers at the bottom and it looks like this is going to take another 2 days and also I plan on making it several times with other colors and next time with delicas.
The really good news today is that my mammogram test was fine although as usual I got very worried until I got it.
But I never get through an August without something bad happening and it came yesterday when I learned I need to have a tooth crowned. Other than that, August was a good month unlike in past years.
And I am feeling very happy now and relaxed. I celebrated with a hot fudge sundae today, albeit only one scoop! Oh the days when I used to have a big one with two scoops!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

square bead bracelets

The green bracelet was done in class and the pink one later. For that one I added more pink beads on the edges in a picot stitch. Which one is nicer?
In the last 2 days I've bought two beading books in Russian and I don't know one word. But here in Israel we have loads of Russian bookstores and they all sell bead books (and knitting and crochet and tatting even). I've ordered the big "white" one and just can't wait which is why I bought two more. Life is good.
I did my annual mammogram in Ramat Gan today so I took a long hot walk down Herzl Street which is now full of little Russian stores and it was really a lot of fun. I need to remember to do it again when the weather cools down a bit. I also went into a yarn store on Bialik which doesn't seem to have changed any yarns since the last time I was there, maybe a year ago or more. so utterly boring. The only good thing is that she has a lot of DMC 25 for embroidery.
I did get a slew of books the other day when the post office wildcat strike ended. What I got was Sue Hawkins, Crewel embroidery, Jill Nordfors Clark, Needlelace, (UK, Amazon), Roy and Barbara Hirst, Raised embroidery and New designs in raised embroidery (from Lacis and ABE), and Annie Maloney, Personal knitwear design. Next I have to read them because they are really important books in their fields.
When I was in England, I had a good opportunity to find out about the newer embroidery books. Up until this summer, I was just sliding on what I had learned nearly 30 years ago in embroidery and now I am ready to move on. Needlelace and stumpwork are difficult topics in embroidery and the Hirst books were the first ones that reopened the subject. The Clark book on Needlelace is almost alone in this field and it looks very good. It's her second book. There isn't too much being published either on crewel which is a longtime love of mine. But the Hawkins book looks just wonderful. The Maloney book is privately published and is her 4th book and includes at the end some of her own designs. She writes in an informal style as if she is writing a letter to me personally full of good advice and it's a nice book to own.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

RAW lavendar and crystals

This was a 2 1/2 day job. But it is very strong as the foundation is RAW. I used rather tiny seed beads in lavendar and some lighter crystals also in a pale lavendar. The instructions are in the Yvonne Rivero first bracelet book.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Green orange necklace

This necklace started out as a simple pattern from Olive Humm, my teacher of beadweaving at Missenden Abbey. I made a mistake as I used two different sizes of seed beads and it began to spiral. So then I started adding embellishments and added 3 different rows plus a crystal bead and made another mistake. I had made the necklace 16.5" long but once I started adding the new rows, it got shorter, so then I had to open up one end where the clasp was, and remove the clasp and add more. But I think it worked and it was a very good lesson.

Anyway, it's still too hot to knit although I am working on a few cotton projects anyway.

I've decided to purchase some older bead magazines and cut down again on my knitting mags. I'm not overjoyed anyway with the new ones as they are so geared for the beginning knitter. The new Bead and button arrived yesterday and it looks excellent. From the Fall VK the only item I want to make is the shawl by Barbara Venishnick and I have a dk yarn from Hongkong that should be adequate although the color is a pale aqua. However, it's still too hot to get to it.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


I returned on Wed and am quite happy to be home so I can get back to my normal hobbies: beading, knitting, crochet, embroidery. It's so hot that beading and embroidery are the best to do now. I've decided to redo all the items I learned in class and then to keep on. Class really helped me as now it's easier for me to understand my printed books and magazine patterns. I didn't see any bead books I wanted to buy in London (I guess I have all the good ones) but I did order one of Suzanne Cooper's books.

I found the knitting books on sale to be of no interest with one exception: Louise Roberts book of 1000 motifs. I just hope it's not a repeat of materials I already have which it might be as it's Rowan inspired.

John Lewis was pretty bad in selection this time both on embroidery and on knitting. Liberty is still in the dark hallway but at least they have a good selection of Rowan yarns and I chose 8 different balls of Harris 4 ply to play with.

One of the beadstores up on the Kentish Town underground stop (Northern line) had not only beads, but lots of other crafts including some knitting and lots of embroidery materials. The most interesting threads though came from America so I didn't buy them. But the best beadstore for me was near Covent Garden and down in the lower level they sell wholesale or 100 gram bags. The prices were too good so I stocked up. They carry mainly Japanese or Czech beads in lots of colors.

I also did well in school as every day sellers came there. The best price on beads was from a seller there. I finally found triangle beads which I bought from a teacher and my own bead teacher also sold us beads.

The only other item I bought was a kitchen electronic scale so I can weigh my yarn and beads and it has the grams and measures even as small as 4 grams.

The day I was supposed to head back to London was a bit of a strange one as I discovered there was an opening for the stumpwork embroidery class and also one room left at the Abbey. I changed my travel plans and spent the next week working very hard trying to learn stumpwork. This is a little used type of embroidery which might be coming back and it is difficult. It also includes needlelace and I found it very interesting but it requires good vision or strong eyeglasses. Mine wern't that good for this.

Class atarted on Sun aft and I was intimidated by the other students who came in with lots of suitcases holding all their materials and equipment. All I had was a pair of scissors! The next morning I came very late to class and everyone was trying to find me. I had been in another class of embroidery but I left it as it didn't go in the direction I wanted which was stumpwork. My teacher Kay Dennis immediately came over to me and I got involved in making a strawberry. I also made a bee, some acorns, a squirrel, some berries and an orange, or lemon. I still have plenty of room on my sampler for more. Kay is a fabulous teacher and really loves and knows this subject. The other teacher Pat Trott also had a lot of demos on doing 3-D stitches which is the subject of her new book. Both teachers were lots of fun and I still have lots more to learn as I stopped improving my embroidery skills almost 30 years ago, so it was great to make some progress. Pat worked with me on long and short showing me her tricks for doing it right.

I also learned about a course on batik maybe for next time and I might even take a drawing course at some point. Possibly here in Israel. I attended some of the evening lectures and there was a very good one on the National Gallery so on my last day in London I went there with Rita who had come in from Indonesia. She introduced me to Gaby's, a hole in the wall place for Arabic foods on Charing Cross Rd.

The embroidery stores in London were not as good as the two near my school. Threads of Amersham and Rainbow in Great Missenden had much better selections.

Just before flying home, I met up with my bead teacher in Israel, Tami, and we had a good chat. I think she bought more beads than I did, but not by much. Until I actually got on my plane, I was worried there might be a wildcat strike as nothing had yet been settled by the strikers of the catering company for British Air. However I was given a 5 pound voucher to buy food at the airport and we also got baggies of sandwiches on the plane so I had a surfeit of food and can't complain. As far as I'm concerned they can hand out vouchers or lower their fare and the baggies inflight and for me that will be plenty.

My friend Jennifer told me I missed some really unpleasant hot weather in Israel while I was gone.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

course finished

My week went so fast and I had such a great time. Everyday devoted to hours and hours of beading. My class had 13 ladies some beginners and some with varied beading backgrounds. Our teacher Olive was very inspiring. We were told to choose a project from the collection of her own creations and then she spent the day helping everyone. I made a total of 6 projects including two gorgeous necklaces and one still just starting. I was able to buy the beads from the teacher at wholesale prices also. I had a lovely room to myself at the Abbey and meals also which were a bit too fattening.

I took several photos of a gorgeous embroidery piece at the local church which had stumpwork, metalwork, beadwork and used all kinds of threads including metals. Pictures will be posted later.

Now it's back to London for a few days of shopping and then home.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


I'm leaving for London for the beadweaving course at Missenden Abbey. Unless there's a good sale somewhere I don't plan on buying anything! However, I will be checking out the bookstores, beadstores and the few yarn sections around. Last time the yarn dept at Liberty had been placed in a hallway with minimal lighting! John Lewis usually has some good tools and I'm looking for more of the afghan hooks in plastic.

I thought until this morning that it was going to be pretty awful in London as my travel agent booked me into a hotel far away from everything and with no air conditioning. I hit the ceiling, which is very rare for me, so she found another one in an excellent location but still no air cond. So again I was upset and this time I told her I would cancel the whole deal at which point she told me I'd lose $100. Anyway, I calmed down and had a good night's sleep and this morning she called to say the hotel is now across the street and has good air cond but still t he first night is at the other hotel. However, she was hopeful that it might get changed before the flight.

Knitting: yes, I have finally finished the Topping fairisle vest and it is gorgeous. However, since there is steek sewing up and hem sewing up to do, no picture until I come back and finish that. The colors are great. Mostly pastels with a few dark ones like #82, a dark green. The pattern was an allover quite easy to do but not boring. There were a few minor errors but the designer is very fussy and I learned quite a few new tricks from doing this vest. If I ever make it again, I think I'll go for the next larger size as this one came out tighter in tension than my usual one.

So now I am working on summer stuff although I do have this fairisle scarf to finish this summer. My biggest problem about packing is what to take to knit or crochet. Since weight is a problem, I think the only thing I can take is about 4 balls of sock yarn in cotton and a crochet top to finish, also in cotton. I have vowed not to open my pocketbook, but knowing me that is a rather meaningless vow as any sale and all of that goes out the window which is why I need to have room in the suitcase for yarns. Beads can go carryon as they take no room and weigh a lot. Books not at all. I plan to look at books all over, and just write down the titles I want and order them later. with the odd exception of course. There's this Italian knitting magazine I see sometimes in London called Susanna. That one I'll buy if it's there. There's this big kiosk on the way to Covent Garden and that's where it is found.

I won't get to Harrods or the V&A on this trip. My foot seems good now, but I'm not taking public transportation and I can't walk that far either. I also won't be visiting an interesting bookseller who has some Hungarian embroidery books to sell.

So everyone be good until I return.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

RAW one more time

My instructions for the second row of single needle RAW or right angle weave bead stitch which is based on those from

Step one: Start by entering the bottom bead at the far right on the first row. Bead is labeled #1. Head in a direction from right to left ------------> or clockwise.
Pick up 3 beads (2,3, and 4) and go back into the top bead again from right to left
Then go through the 3 new beads one more time. The thread is now exiting from the top of the last bead on the left. In diagram the first time is done in red and the second in blue.

Step two: Go through the top bead (bead one) of the first row which is now to the left of the first set and going from left to right R <--------------L
Pick up two new beads and go into the left bead you made in step one, back through this set's top bead and finish with bead on left side (first one of the two new ones). Direction is counterclockwise and the thread now exits the left bead from the bottom. In diagram the thread in green begins the movement and the orange thread shows the progression.

Step three: Pick up two new beads and go through the top bead of previous row on the left of the last set. Enter it from the right and go to the left R------------->L
Go around ending again on the left bead. Thread now exits from top of this bead. The direction you went was clockwise.

Repeat steps two and three until you reach the end of the beads from the first row.

RAW struggles on

I've made two bracelets (see below) with the right angle weave stitch known by its initials as RAW. This is a really lovely stitch as it goes around to 4 points of a square connecting them up and being able to go off in all directions to make lots of items not necessarily jewelry. There are various techniques but the one I'm concentrating on is the one needle method. The best instructions online were at but I decided they were not clear although I know they have checked it again so by now it should be just fine. Anyway, above is my own set of instructions for the second row as the first row is no problem.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Corrected motif

When I looked at the photo I added here yesterday I realized there were quite a few mistakes and then I started looking through all my patterns to see if I could find the motif. I couldn't. So either it exists somewhere or Traci created it as an original. Anyway, it belongs to the category of granny squares. I have now done it the right way and it is moving along quite fast. It's very easy to make the tunic larger or smaller so I'm waiting for my daughter to tell me if she'd like it. I decided to leave the picture from yesterday to show the difference between the right way and the wrong way. Here is the corrected motif:

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Brown sheep tunic crocheted

This tunic is in the spring, summer 2005 issue of Easy knitting. # 18 by Traci Bunkers in Brown Sheep Cotton fleece which is 80% cotton and 20% wool and very pricey. I have a lot of leftovers from other projects in my stash which has been sitting around for a few years and this seems like a great project to use some of it up. I really do love the tunic in the original colors but I can't see buying more with what I've got.
Anyway, I'm using the H hook which is called for but doing the smaller size which gets me the medium size. I'm not sure about the green color though. This is a granny square variation and it's a nice project for taking along, but probably not taking along to England as I don't want a weight problem.

Friday, July 15, 2005


RAW Posted by Picasa

topping fairisle

I put Luskentyre away for now after completing the body and neck and deciding it's for me. Just too hot to do the sleeves now. So then I got to work on a fairisle from Candace Strick's first book with Harrisville yarns: her scroll one. It's gorgeous but again way too warm so that went back to the closet. So I'm working still on a vest by Marion Topping in J&S and I have gotten about 11" so far which is about halfway. I find early in the day is the best time to work on it.

For cottons I pulled out something I bought from Irene York years ago and I am happy that it is already 3/4 done. It's a modular top with a lot of ribbon yarns which are just awful to sew in. I have way too many modular stuff in my stash and while it's fun to do, it's all a real effort to sew in all the ends even when I'm able to weave them in while knitting. I still like to sew in a bit anyway especially when it's ribbon.

So beadweaving class is now 2 weeks away and I am really excited. I'm trying to make more jewelry and here are two samples using variations of the Right angle weave stitch or RAW.

Thursday, June 30, 2005


I'm working on Luskentyre again. I must have started it several years ago and last year I actually got past the armholes. At this point in time, I might finish the neck today and then do the ribbing around the neck. This turned out to be a tough fairisle because of the colors which are pastel and the pattern, which is a bit hard to see, because of the pale colors. However it is gorgeous.

I made the larger size for 45" but at the time I started I didn't understand that I get a gauge of 7 sts= 1 inch no matter what I do. Therefore it's coming out nearer to 52" in width. So it's going to my daughter and since she's tall, I had to add several more inches thus at least one more day of work. However, perhaps the sleeves will need to be shorter. She's arriving in a few days so I'll get to measure her to make it exact.

Luskentyre is one of those really special fairisles which is in the Tomato factory book, the Scottish collection, from Alice and a few others. I actually bought it at the store, I think.

My son is complaining again that he doesn't get enough fairisles. A few knitters in Singapore saw the number of sweaters that came in from storage in LA. He admits that he is suffering only in comparison to his sister who has even more fairisles.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

great yarns

Picture below shows the new yarns from J&S that arrived a few days ago. Two are chunky 3 ply and the blue heathered is dk. All of them are great and it's sad to know they are being discontinued now. But they are still available from J&S. The second picture shows me wearing a raglan that I did using a blue/green chunky which is also available. I had thought it would be a very warm heavy sweater but after washing and blocking it, it became much softer and lighter while still being a great sweater for the cold winter days when we don't have heat.

I use the Jacqueline Fee book on doing raglans from the bottom up and can't recommend it highly enough. In fact, I have it in two different eds and I use whichever one is found first.

6 skeins of the chunky made this sweater with just a little left over. It is about 45" around and about 24" long.

This morning I had to rummage through my stash looking for one skein of the Jamieson jumper wt yarn in a dark olive. I was thinking I wouldn't find it as I try not to buy Jamieson and I knew this was not a J&S color. But there it was: in a project for an AS fairisle that had been in VK years ago and which I haven't done yet. I only needed it for 5 rows near the end of the second sleeve.

Jewelry: I'm working these days on the brick stitch and really enjoying it. But I've started doing the same hearts bracelet now in the tiny Japanese delica beads and tomorrow I'm going to have the optometrist check me with the beads in hand to give me a stronger prescription as I'm having trouble seeing the beads and the thread as both are red. The hearts bracelet is by Yvonne Rivero from one of her Beaded bracelet books. I can't recommend them highly enough. They have great instructions that make it easy to figure out what to do.

J&S new arrivals Posted by Hello

J&S chunky plain raglan Posted by Hello

Friday, June 24, 2005

brick stitch bracelets Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 18, 2005

making progress

Well, I'm working on the fairisle again. I finished the first sleeve and immediately picked up sts around the armhole for t he next one. The first sleeve came out much better than I deserve and pity I don't have a picture; but I'll get one of the fo. And there is a 7 stitch steek in the center front. Usually I've done 9 or 10 sts there, but thought I'd go for less.

Next step is going to be making my own designs not just using other people's designs so I've ordered the update to the Stitch and motif maker by Carole Wulster. This is going to be a lot of fun and a new toy for me. Especially nice when it's too hot to knit. And Noah, her son, was so pleasant also. No problem mailing to Israel and the extra postage was $1.20 and this is fast airmail too. And even though my edition is the original in the floppy, he only wants to charge me $30 for the upgrade.

I think I've peyoted out for now. I've made 3 more bracelets and it's time to move on maybe to a close relative: brick stitch.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


Well, I received an answer from the editor/owner of Inknitters and Crochet fantasy. Here it is:
Dear Ms. Poller,

After several tries to get an uncorrupt foreign subscription file from
the previous subscription company, we have just gotten that worked out.
Issues 180 & 181 of CF were mailed last week. It generally takes 6-8
weeks for international magazines to arrive. As far as INKnitters, and
renewing your CF after it expires with issue 185, I just refuse to
handle international orders. They require 2-3 times more work in the
office to get to the postoffice and then we have a high theft/loss

Diane Piwko

I am extremely annoyed and have mailed this onwards to the crochetpartners list and to the big knitlist and also to the little one. I think there are enough "foreigners" on those lists to get together on this one. The only magazines I ever have trouble getting are some of the bead ones because they put their magazines in clear see-through covers so they get ripped off before they reach me. This has never happened to anything on knitting or crocheting.

WEll, the knitlist (the big one) just refused to print my letter to the members. I'm not surprised. They say there's no knitting content in my letter.

Friday, June 10, 2005

FI body finished

Well, I got a shot of me wearing the fairisle cardigan. The sleeves are still to be knit but it looks ok so far. The blocking will probably enlarge it. I'm not sure it's wide enough and long enough for a cardigan in which case the next one will be designed bigger. I also want to add pockets. The way I make these sweaters is to complete the neck ribbing before I do the sleeves so I can get an accurate measurement for the length as I am fussy on that point. I think the size would be fine for a pullover or a vest but it does seem to be pulling in right now.

Tami dropped in last night and criticized my bead bracelets in Peyote so I have to restart them. She said they have to be much tighter.

I'm trying to swim everyday now and the foot tendon is starting to behave. Last night I walked the hill up to the start of Ramat Hasharon business area and back again. I did have some pain afterwards though. I noticed yesterday at noon when I was walking to my phy therapy appt that the cars were stopping to let me cross the street. This never happens to me when I can walk my usual speed so it means I'm still in trouble. When the cars don't stop anymore then I know I'm ok.

Today I went to a demonstration of jewelry made with wires and crochet and using all kinds of interesting beads. It looks pretty simple so I bought the wire to try.Certainly looks easier than the spiral bead bracelets using crochet.

original fi (sleeves still to go) Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Peyote bracelet

I'm on a roll. I just followed the instructions by Alice Korach in the latest "step by step beading". Her instructions were just great and it was such fun. I have to make more. Also, beading is wonderful to keep from over knitting and possibly injuring something. And fairisle is pretty rough on the arms and hands so one needs to take frequent breaks. Meanwhile I've run out of one color and have ordered it today from J&S.

peyote Posted by Hello