Tag Archives: Bead

Black-on-black

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My first commission! I waited with big excitement how my friend – who became my first client – would react to what I have created from the rough idea she gave me and the specific beads she wanted used; she loved it! So now I can present it to you – Black-on-black wristers/bracelets.

What my friend wanted was the wristers that are more like bracelets (so they’re about 7 cm wide) and that they wouldn’t have a very strict order/pattern to them but instead would be kind of a bit chaotic. And the most specific request was that the square beads that you see in the photos are used. With all this in mind, I developed a pattern (I still needed one at least for the purpose of stringing the beads, if not anything else) and knit the wristers. You can see – and judge – the results by yourselves. I myself like them, though at first the idea of black beads on black yarn sounded a bit strange to me (somehow I didn’t think the beads would stand out enough to look good), but I’m so glad I went with the idea. One more new lesson and revelation! 🙂 What do you think?

Also, as I already started taking commissions, EVERYONE IS WELCOME 🙂 I’ve created a separate e-mail address specifically for the “business” purposes and added a new page to this blog with my contacts. Feel free to contact me about anything you saw in my earlier post that you’d like to have for yourself; or maybe you have a specific idea that you’d like to make into a knit-thing? Write to me and we will definitely work something out 🙂

For now I’ve set my beaded knits very-temporarily aside because there was this sweater idea that I carried in my head for more than a month that would just not leave me in peace. I have to knit that sweater! (and I need one, anyway 😀 ) So the next “dispatch” will probably be without beads but it’ll have more colour and be “bulkier” 😀

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Spirals

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Yey!!! Finally! Finally, I can show you the very first pair of wristers with my original design!

Here they are 🙂

First, a few facts:

  • the wristers are 13 cm long;
  • knitted in DROPS Baby Alpaca Silk (70% wool, 30% silk);
  • a total of 2032 seed beads 11/0 used (1016 for each wrister);
  • a total of around 20 hours of knitting (3 hours of stringing beads, the rest – pure knitting).

Now, beyond the facts: those who read my earlier entries might remember how I thanked all the higher powers after knitting the pair of wristers with simple double-colored bows for my daughter. I thanked that I chanced to start my creative experimenting from the relatively simple design involving merely a few hundred beads, because that process taught me so much. Now you maybe understand better why I was so grateful. My projects rarely lack in ambition and had I started from this project… well, I wouldn’t deny the possibility that I wouldn’t be here anymore at this particular moment 🙂 I am patient but not that patient. Even this time I re-knitted one of the wristers (there was a blog entry about that as well – when I didn’t particularly like the way the design turned out) which meant that first I strung almost 1200 beads and knitted the whole wrister and then I had to take everything out and restring all the beads anew. But it was worth redoing because now I’m much more satisfied with the result.

The yarn that I used is actually kind of an experiment because traditionally wristers are made from pure wool – they say it’s stretchier and doesn’t change form so much after taking the wristers on and off many times. But the yarn with silk seemed much smoother and had a very subtle shine to it that I particularly liked. So, as wristers will be worn by me, I’ll see for myself how all the business with stretchiness goes.

Otherwise, a lot of work requiring a really concentrated attention, but that’s what I signed up for, isn’t it? I’m just a bit sorry that I couldn’t take photos of me actually wearing the wristers. But sun – or even a bright enough day that I could take the pictures at home and not go freeze my hand off in the -20 degrees cold outside – are very hard to come by at this time of year here in Finland, so only the “still-lifes” for now.

And now – for another “first”: I have my first commission! A very good friend asked for a pair of wristers for herself indicating the colors she wants, giving me a selection of beads she’d like to be used, and a general idea of what “mood” the wristers should be in. I came up with the design and we’ll see how that will turn out. Wish me luck!

More than winning

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“There’s more to racing than just winning,” said Lightning McQueen in “Cars”. He meant to boast, of course (that was in the first part of the movie while he was still the “cool racing car” without friends; I watch this movie at least 5 times a week – I have kids, remember? – so don’t laugh, ok? 😀 ), but this week I really was struck by the realisation that there IS more to racing a.k.a knitting than just winning (read: end-result). I was so absorbed in my “business plan” of making wristers as fast as I can and setting up my shop and getting to sell them as fast as I can, but… life’s not just about speed, right?

This week I made a great progress in knitting – I finished the first wrister of my first “pair for grown-ups” and I was so happy about it. It seemed that everything was finally coming together. But then I really looked at what I did and decided that… I can do better! The knitting is good, the process seems to be working well for me, but I’m not entirely happy with the design and I’m more than a little unhappy with the beads I used – they’re of different sizes which, I thought, would give more interesting texture to the knit, but I now think I’d be more happy if they were the same. Here’s how it looks in the present state.

And why did I start with talking about the process? Because I decided to spare enough time and improve the design until I really like it (it just needs a little tweaking but those little tweaks mean that I’ll have to recount all the beads and rewrite my sequence for stringing them) and use a bit different beads for the second wrister. If it comes out just as I want it, then I’ll remake this first one as well. Because I understood that there is no such thing as hurrying this all up so I can start selling fast. If I want to offer a really really good product and get a price that my time creating it was worth, I need it to be PERFECT. So, basically, back to square one and let’s start the process from the beginning with all the lessons that it already tought me firmly in mind 🙂

And in the mean time… I’ve finally found time to look through some of this year’s designers’ Pre-Fall collections. And they are great! And I’m not talking here only about the fact that there are tons of things that are absolutely gorgeous for me personally, but there are tons of things that indicate I’m not completely off with all this wrister business! I understand that it is very very bold of me to put my humble starting creations next to such design giants as Chanel or Oscar de la Renta, but… We need to dream BIG, don’t we? Sooo… Here are some pictures I really liked (there are only a few because I haven’t had time to look though all the collections and, of course, I cannot put here everything that caught my fancy – there would be tens or even hundreds of pictures 🙂 ) It’s just a very small selection but I was thrilled to see that Chanel, for example, had beads all over their designs – not only clothes but bags and gloves as well, Oscar de la Renta, Versace and lots of other designers had lots and lots of 3/4 sleeves that are perfect for wearing wristers with, and there’s also the trend of looong gloves and even kinds of “wrist warmers” (well, they at least look like ones) though in fancy materials such as leather.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect anyone who’s wearing Chanel to buy my wristers to go with the costume 😀 But the fact is, that the fashion – and all the “more wearable” things in more affordable stores that will follow the fashion trends – is indeed advantageous to what I’m starting to do here. And I am really glad! So I wanted to share my joy, maybe give you some ideas, and again… to be continued with better designs 🙂

 

Wishing for 48/7 instead of 24/7

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Yep, I was right: my adventures are faaaar from over 😀 Although is it still an adventure if I conquer the same problem again and again, though in different ways?.. Oh well, I promised you the peaks “behind the scenes” for my creative – and business – venture, so: whatever you call it, I was again wrestling with getting my tiny little beads for another project onto the woolen yarn I’m going to be knitting in… Good thing it’s not the first time and I decided to test my earlier found “technique” with only 264 beads for starters and not all of the almost 1200 (and that is for only one wrister, I might add!). The earlier technique didn’t work. After an hour of glueing my fingers together while trying to glue the threads of different yarns (and succeeding in glueing only my fingers…) I finally got frustrated and went to bed… This morning I found another solution that finally got me through all of the tiny little beads – all 1200 of them – without much trouble (only with the reasonably expected amount of patient work) 🙂 One more skyscraper of a problem toppled… for the time being 🙂

Meanwhile, I finally got my long-awaited book from the library! Only when will I have time to read it, huh? In between all the bead-stringing and knitting, looking after my sweet kiddies and making dinners, and studying one of the more difficult languages at least in Europe?! Here’s what my evening looks like so far (not including the kids and the dinner: the kids run around too fast and scream too loud – might fracture the camera lens 😀 – to take any kind of picture of them, and the dinner is already gone)…

Add to this picture a husband and list of the most interesting things I really want to watch with him, an even longer (like more than ten times) list of blogs I haven’t gotten to read – and I want to! – because I was stringing the beads like an obsessed person, a list of friends I promised to visit or meet for coffee, lessons for 3 hours of every day… Ok, you get the picture 🙂 So it’s small wonder I can’t make those wonderful wristers more quickly, is it? But I’m working on it 😉

P.S. You can see the pattern I’m working on in the picture. Consider it a sneak-peak 🙂

Ta-daaa!

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Ahm, maybe the fanfare’s too much 😀 I must admit that I myself was really looking forward to seeing my first design “in the flesh”… and it’s not that much to see. No, it is beautiful really and my daughter (whom it was made for) adores it, but it is such a small thing and it took me so much time to make… Well, not actual time to make – maybe rather find time to make. But, without further ado, here they are – Girly Wristers With Bows.

Now for those who would be interested not only in photos but in the actual process of making these pretty things, I have promised to tell more when I mentioned problems I stumbled upon, haven’t I? Here’s the list (and it’s not the full one, either): first, I thought I had suitable beads for the wristers – that’s basically why I decided to make the little girly ones in the first place: because I had a few batches of pink beads that I didn’t think I could find any other use for and half a ball of white yarn, but when I sat down to string the beads, I found out they had too small holes in them and the yarn simply didn’t fit in. So I had to go buy new beads. Second came the problem of stringing: the seed beads are so small and there’s a LOT of them (well, in this design there were only 306 beads in one wrister, but that was a really small design) and the woolen yarn, though I use quite a thin one, is not so tiny after all, so I had to find a good method to string them all together. When I knit wristers earlier for my own pleasure, I would just cover the end of the knitting yarn with glue and use it instead of a needle, but that was a slooooow process and having in mind that I’m planning to kind of make my living off of this kind of knitting, I had to come up with some more “productive” method. It took me four kinds of glue and a gazillion times of trying to glue yarns of differing thickness together, but I made it – the “productive” method was found! Then came the knitting itself that proved to be a bit more difficult because first, I was knitting with 5 needles instead of the usual 2, and as the beads were of differing colors for the first time in my whole “knitting history”, I found out the hard way that it does make a difference which way the beads are strung – you have to think where the beginning of the knit and the beads will be, and where the end will be (sure, I would’ve figured that out without actually experimenting if I’d thought about it, but I simply didn’t think about it. In Lithuania there’s a saying for such instances which could be roughly translated as “If the head doesn’t work, the legs [in my case – the hands 😀 ] suffer”). And, of course, there were lots of other small “light bulbs” along the way that I might not even remember now but I’m sure they will come to mind the next time I knit.

So there really was a great amount of experimenting, looking for “optimizations” (with the view of all the future work that would be easier when I found them), knitting and re-knitting in this project. I only thank all the higher powers that they steered me in the way of choosing something really small for my first design. Knowing myself – if not for those pink beads that I already had and the fact that I don’t wear pink but my daughter doesn’t wear anything but – I would have chosen to make long wristers for myself (it’s still – already! – winter after all) with some intricate design that would have taken me not a week but a few months to make with all this experimenting.

So you can guess what I’m planning to make next with all of my new-found knowledge, can’t you? 😀 Although I’m sure it is still far from the end of my adventures and experiments. So… To be continued!