Friday, April 30, 2010

Oops I did it again

As I believe I have mentioned before, I usually post by e-mail. I foolishly sent my last post to instead of And I foolishly didn't save the draft, because I suffer from a chronic failure to learn.

So, here's a recap.

I bought beads. I went to Star's Beads and took the Phoenix Rising yarn with me, as well as a small sample of the Evenstar yarn. I came back with 3 possibilities for Phoenix rising, and the perfect beads for Evenstar. Except I need 3,000 beads for Evenstar, so what I really came back with was a small sample of the beads I wanted, which I then had to order.

Star's Beads is a cool place for jewelry makers. Her seed bead selection is a little smaller than Bead Obsessions and the tubes are smaller...but it's SO much easier to get to.

The problem with brick and mortar craft stores, and it is a problem I have observed universally amongst scrapbook stars, yarn stores, bead stores, whatever - is that you can only carry so much stuff. A store owner has to be selective about what he or she carries because they have only so much space and so much inventory money. So, they have to choose what to focus on - what they like and what they think will sell. And, if your main audience is jewelry makers and not knitters, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to take up a huge amount of space with no. 8 seed beads on the off chance that a snillion knitters will come through and buy you out.

I generally go shopping in one of two states. I either know exactly what I want, or I have no clue. In either case, selection is very important to me, and I often get frustrated because there is something CLOSE to what I want, but it's just not quite right.

Of course, the risk of shopping on the internet is that you won't get what you want (see previous issues with Evenstar yarn color). When I bead shop on the internet I end up ordering six or eight colors to see what they look like, and they might come and none of them be what I want and I have to start over again.

The purpose of this long-winded tangent is to say that I am really thrilled I went to the store because found the perfect beads for Evenstar, because I never would have selected them over the internet. They are Toho size 8 beads in Ceylon Smoke. They are sort of a pearlized grey with a hint of blue that really picks up and brings out the blue in the yarn. It's not quite got the glitz that I sort of wanted, but I think it's a much better fit than the sparkle I had planned. I'm excited. Artbeads was the only store online I could find that actually carried the color (usually I have success with BobbyBeads

I'm really pleased as well with the possibilities I brought back for Phoenix. I'll need to swatch to pick the one I want. One is gold with a pink tint, and two are a couple different shades of bronze.

I finished Brandywine. I haven't really been in love with this project, which was disappointing to me because I loved all the pictures I was seeing of finished Brandywines. I decided my yarn selection was off. I didn't like the color, and because Schaeffer Ann contains mohair it was pretty fuzzy. Now that I've finished it and blocked it out, though, I've changed my mind and it's beautiful. From a distance and taken as a whole, the colors mix and look much better than I expected, and it puts me in mind of a grove of trees changing at the beginning of fall.

I spent last night making card pieces. I have been distracted from my paper crafting by all the knitting, but I'm still making stuff to donate to the church for the deadline this Saturday, and since I really don't have time to finish any more knitting before then, I thought I would donate some handmade cards. I dragged all my stuff out and just experimented with different stamps and coloring techniques. I was trying to get as many items done as possible so I didn't use techniques that took a lot of time - no coloring with my copics, or anything like that. I used my color dusters a lot, and my versamark pad and chalks. I just kind of fussed around with things and I got some really neat outcomes. Tonight I plan to put the pieces together into actual cards.

One of my church friends invited me to her charity knitting group, and that was fun. They're making washcloths this summer to donate to SERVE, so I've been working on some of those. Right now I'm basically just making garter stitch squares. They are perfect hockey knitting. I can cast on before the game starts and finish right around when it ends. Sadly the Capitals are out of the playoffs now, but I've gotten at least four washcloths made in the last week or so. I will have to switch it up a bit and do something fancier than garter stitch eventually, but for now I'm just enjoying the mindless comfort. They're nice for knitting while reading, too.

Last summer the group was knitting bandages for lepers. This intrigued me so I googled it and got the guidelines. So now I have a bandage on the needles too, for another quick, mindless, and fairly comfortable project. I am well-equipped for any future trips to the movies now. I'll just grab a washcloth or the bandage. To tell the truth I find the bandage knitting surprisingly gratifying. Since it's only three or four inches wide it grows very quickly, even though the crochet cotton used to make it is pretty fine. I like knitting with fine yarns so that doesn't bother me at all.

So that's all the news that's fit to print, and hopefully I will have pictures for the next post.

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