(I’d been wondering why nobody had read this post which I thought I had published on Sunday! Fortunately it’s in my drafts.)
Some time ago, I bought a tube of size 6/0 seed beads at Michael’s (or was it JoAnn’s?) to see how I liked knitting with them. And this weekend, I suddenly needed to find out right now. I had blue beads, so I looked for some yarn I could use them with and came up with the leftovers from my Francie socks, in Waterlily Kabam. I got Franklin to weigh this on his scale which says it’s accurate to .1 gram. And it came out to 33+ grams, so right around a third of a sock skein, or 135 yards. I went to Ravelry, searched for anything made with less than 150 yards of fingering weight yarn, then added the design element “beads/paillettes”. There were 78 patterns, and I decided to go with Aquitaine, a lovely beaded cuff pattern by Sivia Harding, who is well known for her skill with beaded knitting.
This pattern features both beads added by being strung on the yarn and those added via crochet hook. It called for both more beads and more types of beads than I had (though the tube of beads I had did contain two quite different types) so I began by figuring out which beads I would omit. Then I worked on the first one much of yesterday and today. And finished it just as a) the sun went behind a cloud, not to reappear and b) my husband went off to his first choral practice of the year. So I ended up taking pictures in quite feeble light by holding one arm out and taking pictures with the other. Just so you understand why the pictures are so terrible. Here’s one.
This shows the cuff as I would normally wear it, under a long sleeve (to the extent that it shows anything at all. In this shot, you can pretty clearly see the beads that were added at cast-on time (the pattern called for three per repeat, which I cut to one, to preserve my scarce resource.) You can also see the columns of four beads each. All of these beads are positioned vertically on the knitting, which seems to be what happens when you string beads on the yarn. The size 6 beads are pretty big, but not unbearable. For some reason, the other set of beads shows better in this photo:
There are pairs of beads near the cuff – you can see the ones towards the bottom of this photo. Though you probably can’t really tell that these beads are oriented horizontally, which is the way the crochet hook method causes them to end up.
In person, this is a very pretty little cuff, and it makes me want to do a bit of designing. So I guess I went to eBay and ordered 2 colors of size 6/0 beads, one of size 5/0 (slightly larger, for bigger yarns), two of size 7/0, slightly smaller, and three of 8/0, considerably smaller. The 8/0 colors will (I hope) go with the colors of the socks I’m currently knitting for Meg, which will again have quite a bit of leftover yarn. I would like to try adding a few beads to some socks, but I think smaller would be better. So I clearly need to experiment a bit, wouldn’t you agree?
I will get better pictures once I have the second one knit (hopefully fairly soon, but I am currently experimenting with possible stitches for the next pair of socks I will be knitting for Meg, as well as trying to finish up the second of the pair I’m already working on, so who knows.) Where I really want to put some beads is on the edge of a shawl, to give it some weight. But who knows where else they might be fun?