When I decided to venture into beaded knitting, I turned to the intarwebs, as usual. I already knew how to do it but the devil’s in the details and I didn’t know what size crochet hook and what size beads would be exactly just right for my scrumptious skein of succulent Smooshy.
I quickly learned that a 1mm crochet hook was exactly the right size, and also too big and possibly too small. That I wanted to use 8/0 seed beads which were totally big enough for sock yarn except that they were definitely too small and that I should actually use 6/0 beads except that they were all wrong and also completely correct. And that it was probably a good idea to use silver-lined beads, unless it wasn’t. Okay then. What could possibly go wrong?
So I ordered one baggie each of 6/0 and 8/0 silver-lined teal beads to experiment (and props to Artbeads.com for cheerfully filling my order totalling a whopping $2.66. Okay, there was probably very little cheer, but they filled it). And I hit up the three local stores that carry a smallish selection of knitting and crochet goodies – no LYS ’round here unfortunately – and bought the smallest hooks I could find. The first hook I purchased looked very small. The second one, I could swear that it was even smaller, though of course I’d left the first one at home so I couldn’t compare. The third one was so small that clearly it had to be smaller than the first two. I lined them all up, and that was when I knew.
cake hook is a lie!
These things lie worse than gauge swatches. They claim to all be the same size and quite clearly are not. I knew the arbitrary size numbers would probably lie – and indeed, the three hooks are marked size 10, 11/12, and 12 – but you’d think that if it says 1mm, it would be 1mm. Is this an unreasonable expectation? Are millimetres different sizes in, say, different parts of the world, or on Tuesdays?
Uh huh. All the same size. Suuuure they are.
But no worries, surely one of them would work for my beadwhore needs, and in fact two of the three played nicely with both the 6/0 and 8/0 beads. I quickly figured out that the 8/0s were getting devoured by the yarn and that I liked the Red Heart (!) crochet hook the best, and abandoned my initial pattern plans and instead decided on the Lace Ribbon Scarf from Knitty, with a small modification for adding beads. I grabbed my yarn and my hook and ordered me some more 6/0s and got started with my one little baggie and all was well. Right?
Ha ha ha ha HA.
So here’s the thing.
I love the yarn.
I love the pattern.
I love the beads.
I love the yarn with the pattern.
I love the beads with the pattern.
I… um… do not love the yarn with the beads.
Okay, this is an obsessive colour nerd sort of thing. Brown and teal go together beautifully, in general. But this is shiny happy Dream in Color yarn which means that it’s not really brown, but is a SPARKLY MAGIC RAINBOW OF COLOUR pretending to be brown. There was some darker bits in the magic rainbow that I thought looked kind of tealy, but were in fact olive green. You can see what I mean in this inaccurate-but-point-illustrating pic:
(Note the crochet hook lurking there with evil in its cold metal heart.)
You can see the undertones of the brown, which are a rose pink sort of thing, purple (the hell?!), and an olivey gold with occasional darker bits. All of which clash horribly with the teal beads. Teal seems to play nicely with warm-toned reds (blue-green’s opposite on the colour wheel is red-orange), and of course, teal itself, and there was none of that in this yarn. The more I stared at the scarf, the more the colours looked wrong wrong wrong.
Which was very frustrating, because in all other aspects the scarf looked right right right. The pattern really is perfect for beads, and very easy, but not so easy that my brain was tempted to turn into a fine goo and drip out of my ears in protest of being under-used. Argh! Arrrrgh! But what to do? I had more teal beads on their way, and besides, I loved the beads and didn’t want to change them.
I experimented with my still-neglected skein of Mini Maiden, but…
It looked like a cat ate a clown made entirely of yarn, and that it didn’t go down so well and the cat then vomited up the yarn clown and the result was what you see in that pic. And clowns are scary, even if they’re made of yarn, and cat vomit is also scary, so clearly this was not the way to go.
There was only one thing left to do.
It was time to… *gulp*… break my yarn diet.
So on its way to me now is another skein of Smooshy, but in the colour Black Parade. According to an extensive (seriously!) search on Ravelry, it is a blacky browny tealy charcoaly sort of thing and should be perfect. But I won’t know until it arrives. Such are the perils of hand-dyed yarn.
THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME.
Hurry up, yarn.
I’m stalking the mailbox because this is the only thing I’m knitting right now. Well, that’s not entirely true. There is a disobedient scarf that has been sent to the yarn bin to do penance. And there is something else. It’s made of orange acrylic. And since I don’t make things in orange acrylic, ever, that means that it’s an experiment of sorts. A shameful, guilty experiment. You’ll see.
There’s a group on Ravelry called Finish Me. And in it, there’s this one thread where you state that you won’t start [insert project here] until you finish [insert project here]. I’m not sure exactly what I’ve promised in that thread, but I know that if I kept those promises, I would pretty much never knit anything ever again.
So I had this bright idea that I wouldn’t post new blog entries until I’d replied to the comments from the current blog entry – seemed an easy way to keep on top of comments. And eventually I realized that if I was to do that… wait for it… I would pretty much never blog again. Which I suppose is an option. But then where would I rant?
I’ve just decided to accept that I am a comment slacker, and I’m slinking back to the blog with my tail between my legs. (If I had a tail, which I don’t, no matter what those photos allege.) And in the meantime, I redesigned the blog’s layout, since it had been over a year with the same one. The donkey of old is gone! It has been replaced with… a donkey.
I suppose the new one is happier. Maybe it should be angry, what with all the ranting.
Speaking of ranting, I saw a lovely scarf on Ravelry. No, that’s not the ranty bit, I haven’t gone mad yet. Here’s the scarf: Noemi. And I spotted this one done in two colours which is quite simply made of awesome and I need one of my own immediately. In some teal and brick red Blue Sky Alpaca Silk. I’ve been dying to try that yarn and wouldn’t allow myself to buy any until I knew exactly what I would do with it. And this is so what I need to do with it. All I need is that scarf pattern. Okay then.
Is it a free pattern? Nope.
Can I buy it as a pdf online? Nope.
Can I buy a paper copy from a yarn shop? Nope.
No, no, the pattern is in a fucking book. Of course it is.
Does my local library have the book? Nope.
Are there other patterns in the book that I like, that could maybe justify me buying it despite being on a pretty tight budget? Nope.
I hate life, and everything, and also scarves.
This pattern taunts me. I must have that scarf. I’ve looked at pictures and I could maybe have a decent go at reverse engineering it, but I’m sure I wouldn’t get it exactly right and besides it seems somehow wrong to do that. I’ll reverse engineer a generic raglan sweater with no qualms, but not a unique scarf that the designer probably put a lot of thought into, you know?
Scarves. They’re out to get me. Witness this:
That fine specimen is getting frogged. It may not be obvious why it’s getting frogged, but you’ll hear all about it. It’s a sordid tale of deceitful crochet hooks, obsessive perfectionism, shameful cheating on one’s yarn diet, colour theory, and anal beads. No, wait. Not that last one. That was just the result of me asking somebody for knitting advice.
Me: What kind of beads should I use for my scarf?
Friend: Anal beads!
So I’ll get back to that soon. (Yeah, I’m chopping this entry in half so that I won’t go a month without blogging again. I have a plan!) There will be cursing, and frogging, and tears. It’ll be a party!