Friday, November 21, 2008

bead craziness

First I read this blog about making Medicine Bags for children at Camp Sanguinity - a camp for children being treated for Cancer and Blood Disorders. Then I saw this pattern from the Rainey Sisters for a Beaded Amulet Bag. And before I knew it, I was pondering another project.

But Mom's been begging me to slow down. Let's just finish everything in progress now and get ready for Christmas, she suggests. No more projects, please! So I was quite hesitant to even broach this new idea with her. But, within hours of showing her the pattern and the blog, Mom and I were in the car headed to Iroqrafts - for beads and craft supplies. Neither one of us has much self control. And to be honest, we'll use any excuse to go to Iroqrafts - they have so much great stuff!

The first trick is to get the beads onto the yarn that will be knitted. Sounds simple enough, right? Not quite! Let me share a few things I learned the hard way. Because after several tries I've finally figured out that judicious use of masking tape keeps the beads strung instead of rolling away in every direction.

Buy the beads in hanks already strung - threading 1900 seed beads is crazy. To separate one strand of beads, grasp it above the beads, and tug the ends gently from the top of the hank (1). Seal the first loose end using a tiny piece of masking tape (2).

Arrange the unsealed loose end of the strand with the yarn onto which you are stringing the beads for knitting(3). Tie the thinner thread of the bead hank onto the thicker yarn - tying the two together results in a knot that is too thick! (4). Then slide the beads onto the yarn (5).

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