Saturday, August 9, 2008

Beaded Lace

I love lace, and I love beads. I spent SOOOO much time trying to get beads to match three skeins of yarn I'm going to be using for MS4, SotS3, and a thank-you scarf, and I finally have them. No big box craft store around here sells a large enough selection of size 8 seed beads to match two of the yarns. The third yarn needs a size six, but I wasn't in love with any of the colors, so hadn't purchased any. Then I tried to find a local bead store. That didn't work so well. My first attempt had me searching on the wrong side of the road - it's one of those that cuts across another road, but at a very skewed diagonal and not just a single intersection, so you have to go down that other road a bit to find the next part. Also, and I was not aware of this, but the part across the road and between me and the bead shop was named South Mammoth Road. I needed Mammoth Road. I therefore didn't find it. This took me to five hours of bead shopping. Five hours of searching in two different AC Moores and a Michael's, couldn't find a Jo-Ann's, and then driving around forever to find The Bead Patch.

I re-Google-mapped it, and lo and behold, I found it. The Bead Patch. Small, cute, but exactly what I was looking for. Beads all around, hanging on the walls in sections labeled by size in nice little containers. Lovely. A HUGE section of size 8s, which made me very happy indeed. Instead of trying to decide what could possibly look good with the chosen yarn, I found myself trying to decide between many amazing colors. The pink size 6 seed beads I found straightaway; there were no other options once I saw it:

SotS3 Supplies SotS3 Supplies Close Up

The pink matches the yarn perfectly, and the irridescense of the beads will be just enough to make them noticeable. I loves it to death, and I usually don't like such pastel pinks!

The thank you scarf that will henceforth not be shown for awhile will also be beaded. I'll be using the lovely KnitPicks Shimmer in Galaxy that is a bitch to photograph. I was really hesitant to order it since I couldn't tell if it was going to be reds or blues or purples or blacks, but I am so glad that Lee talked me into it. It is a perfect lovely skein of dusky purples, even better than I thought it was going to be, but ever so hard to get a good shot of. With flash, the silk picks it up and is ever so bright and shiny and blue. Today without the flash in overcast non-direct lighting, the reds were coming out to play. For more accurate pictures color-wise, look here. I think I may need a lighter background, since it looks closest to reality when it's next to the Bare. However, I also found beads that go wonderfully:

Betty's Scarf Supplies Betty's Scarf Supplies Close-Up

The lovely coppery beads are nice and dark and perfect against the dusky purple. They blend nicely, but do not get lost at all and will be a very nice accent piece for this yarn. I am hoping fervently that this scarf takes only one skein, so that I am able to utilize the other for myself! Though I can always get more...who wants to be my Knit Picks source while I'm in Japan? They don't ship there, so I'm gonna need a supplier! Teehee, I just noticed that I put the beads price-tag side up in the close-up. Oh well! For perfect beads, I certainly don't mind paying more, though I was really hoping to get away with the $.99 ones from AC Moore. Especially because I'd only need one, whereas I'm going to need three of the $2 ones from here!

Third item: MS4. I thoroughly enjoyed the Mystery Stole 3 that I participated in last fall. I wish there was a bit more instruction as to gauge, instead of just "make it look good to you". In the end, yes, it is your call, but you really, really, really cannot say that your finished dimensions will be approximately 35"x70" if you do not also give a gauge for your swatch. I hate that. With a passion. Either give me all the information or none, not just bits and pieces. Boy was I surprised when I used needles that gave me something that looked good and I got something that barely comes around my shoulders, a mere 20"x40". I love it the way it is, as a little shawlette, and it was an amazing learning experience, but it also taught me to absolutely hate lace patterns that give approximate finished dimensions but no gauge. You can't shoot for the same finished dimensions without having the same gauge, no matter what! Yes, it is much more important to get something that you like, but for the love of Mike please don't tell me to bake for about 20 minutes if you don't let me know what temperature the oven should be at!

Okay, . I'm an engineer, I am used to specifics, I like specifics. A lot. Back to the beads. I wanted beads with a bit of contrast. The yarn I'm using is very river-like, and so I was thinking something that looks like river rocks, like the randomly shiny black ones that shine in tones of blues and reds and greens. But then I realized that the beads in this one will be an integral part of the pattern, and therefore will make a coherent design, and so I didn't want beads to be that random. There really weren't any that were just one color of shiny, and I didn't want straight black, so I veered away from those. Blues. I could go with blues or purples or greens, since my blue is a kind of a heathery blue and has all of those tones in it. They would not only match the subtle tones, but they would also be a contrast from the main blue and therefore would be nice. Then I couldn't decide on purples or greens or blues. I'd find one that was awesome, but then decide that it blended in too much, not enough, or just not look quite right. Finally, I went with a teal. I'm still not 100% on that one, and I know I'll have to go back to the bead store for another tube of them anyway, so I think I'll look at them some more, do some swatching, and then make a final ruling. What do you think

MS4 Supplies Flash MS4 Supplies No Flash MS4 Supplies Close Up

The first picture is with the flash and shows off the beads well, the second picture is no flash and shows off the yarn well (though is fuzzy) and the third is the close-up. Also, my picture taking skills are improving greatly, helped by realizing that Lee's office chair makes a pretty good black backdrop. Especially when the flash is used. Any comments on the teal beads on the blue yarn? I'll swatch, and then show again, and then I'll decide.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you about wanting precise instructions, mainly because I'm new to lace knitting and I want to know I'm getting the right effect / size without wasting my time.

    I think the teal beads look good but I too have nice beads then I think Maybe I'll find something better lol.


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