Thursday, June 19, 2008

Beads and beads and beads and beads

I don't think I'll ever make anything that requires over a thousand beads again.

I decided to knit the shawl then crochet the edging to the point that I need to start placing beads, then totally unroll the ball of yarn that's left (and it's a big ball) and add the beads to the end. (Thank you, Raveler whose name I can't remember, and I can't access Ravelry from here to find her name.) I spent hours on Sunday stringing beads onto the end of the yarn and finally gave up after my thumb cramped and refused to cooperate any longer. Tom helped me, bless his heart, to keep the beads and yarn from tangling. I got maybe 3/4 of the beads strung and called it a day.

This project has gotten to the size and weight (with those glass beads) that it's not easily portable. Really cuts into the time I have to work on it.

So now I have a string of beads well over a yard long and a big ball of yarn. And I have to get those beads to the other end of that ball so I can finish crocheting the edging.

Here's what happened when I tried to get started yesterday: I'd wound the beaded yarn back around the big ball o' yarn, and they sparkled and looked so beautiful. And so slippery. When I picked up said big ball o' yarn 'n' beads, the beaded portion immediately slid off into a tangled mess in my lap. Cursing the beads'n'knots didn't help, but it made me feel better.

It took over an hour to sort out the mess. Then I was able to finally start moving beads to the beginning of the ball.

No photos. I was admiring the way the beads sparkled in the sunlight, but I was too pissed to haul out my camera.

For the next hour, I painstakingly moved maybe a foot's worth of beads at a time a few yards upstream, and finally I got them all away from their end of the ball a little closer to the place they need to be. I estimate that it's going to take me weeks to get them all where they have to be to use them.

Is there a better way to do this? I thought about crocheting each bead into the edging, but then it's not as free to move a little or be shoved into position. And it would be just as aggravating to have to stop, pick up the bead, place it with a tiny crochet hook, crochet it into place, rinse, repeat. I'm more and more convinced that knitting with beads is not for me.

But I want my own shawl of this pattern. I've never wanted a shawl before, but after trying on Claudia's, I have to have one. But the beads, oh, the beads. I don't know if I can ever face them again.

I think there might be a job opportunity for someone out there who likes to string beads, then sell the beaded yarn in a kit.

I don't think that person will be moi.


Antevasin said...

Is the pattern such that you can maybe either cut down on the beads or not even use them at all? I know they add a lot of bling to a project, but if one doesn't like doing the beading, then I say eliminate them or don't use them in as many rows when you make your own. I can't hardly wait to see the shawl!!!

Eclectic_VT said...

Well if it were me....I'd get out a beading needle and thread, and sew the little buggers on myself.

rita said...

The thought has occurred to me, Marie!!! For myself, that's what I'd do, for sure.

Yes, I could cut down on the beads or eliminate them totally, but that little bit (1300frickingbeads) of sparkle just makes the shawl. I love the shaping of it, too, so I could do without the beads, but just wait till you see it done. The shaping at the shoulders allows one to toss it around her shoulders with abandon. I could use some abandon.