Sunday, November 25, 2012

Geometric Peyote Stitch Bracelet

I actually made this bracelet in January, but I've waited to post about it because I was planning to write a pattern and create a chart for it. Since that hasn't happened, I decided to post the pictures, and if I do write up the pattern later, I'll post it then.

This actually has an even longer history than the 11 months it's been waiting for me to post about it. Before that a friend commissioned me to make a bracelet to go with a necklace he already had. My first creation was this netted bracelet (there is more information on it in my old blog).

It broke soon after I made it, so I repaired it. It broke again. I blamed the way I'd attached the clasp and repaired it, adding a beaded clasp in the process. It broke again. I thought maybe the  hematite beads were cutting the Nymo I normally use for netting, so I remade it altogether using Fireline instead. It broke again. I howled in frustration and decided it was time to go back to the drawing board for a whole new design.

And this was the result. I used Toho Treasure Japanese cylinder beads in matte black and gun metal and used the same bicone hematite beads from the original design. I've found peyote stitch to make very sturdy bracelets in the past, and this one has held up well also. Just in case the hematite beads do have a sharp edge, I used Fireline again to make this.

I used a sterling silver slide lock clasp with bars for attaching the beading. I absolutely love these for peyote stitch bracelets, since it allows for attaching a metal clasp very securely by wrapping part of the body of the bracelet around the bar and stitching it closed.

I'm pleased to report that this design seems to be more durable and has held up to repeated wear. While I was pretty frustrated with the original bracelet, it worked out in the end, since this design suits the style of the wearer and the inspiration bracelet much better. It was also fun designing a peyote pattern, working out how to include the bicone beads, and working in odd count peyote for the first time. I've been pretty intimidated by it for a long time, but it turned out to be easier than I'd thought. So, this was a great learning project in a lot of ways.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wedding Waves Blanket

I worked on other projects throughout working on it, but even so this blanket took quite a while. I started it this summer as a gift for some friends who got married in October. It's my first blanket or afghan, so I chose a relatively simple pattern that uses only basic stitches in rows.

I used the Scrumptious Scraps Afghan pattern by Dot Matthews, which I found on Ravelry, and worked the pattern using I Love This Yarn! in Stonewash, Dark Country Blue, and Coffee. While I thought of the project as an afghan or couch blanket, I decided to make it in twin size, as my friends are both tall and I personally like a nice big blanket when I'm on the couch.

I chose the colors because this combination is a favorite of the bride's. I've also been told that the groom has napped under it, and I've been furnished with photographic evidence that the true head of the house has claimed it as her own.

With such feline approval, I consider my first afghan project a success!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fairy Treasure Necklace

Fairies are one of my things; I love fairy mythology and art. So, when I traveled to Minneapolis for business this summer and saw this pendant in a bead shop, I had to have it.

Once I had the pendant (which is also available online, for example here or here), it took a while for me to build a necklace around it because I wanted to do something special with it. Ultimately, I decided to use brass chain and metal components along with Czech glass leaves and flowers, which are some of my favorite beads to work with.

This is the result. I threw in some glass and aventurine beads to round things out, and, unusually for me, laid them out in an asymmetrical design.

I really love the final necklace; it's one of my favorite things that I've made for myself. It's also turned out to be one of the most attention grabbing, as I've gotten lots of compliments and questions about it. One of the questions I often am asked is what's inside it. The truth is, I haven't decided to put in there. I've thought about putting in a few drops of some of my favorite essential oils or thoughts and meditations on small pieces of paper, but I haven't hit on the right idea this yet. I'm open to suggestions if anyone has any thoughts.