I started a needlepoint project this month: Little Blue Book Bag from Freda’s Fancy Stitching. I’m enjoying working on this; it’s got a ton of different stitches which means that it’s never going to be boring. This is the first time I’ve used stretcher bars; it took me a few tries to get the canvas taut and I still don’t think it’s as taut as it should be.
This is the Cool Waves bracelet from Fast Peyote Stitch Jewelry by Josie Fabre. It’s inspired by The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai.
This is the first project I’ve done with Delica beads; I enjoyed working with them and the way they look. I had very few problems with this. I do have a few cases where the thread went over the beads instead of through them; mostly I didn’t notice until it was too late to do anything about it. The only real problem I had was with the chart itself. The details said the bracelet was 6 1/2 inches long; as charted, it was more like 7 1/4 (over 8 including the toggle and loop). The instructions said to remove rows at the beginning if you wanted a shorter bracelet, and the picture reflected a shorter bracelet than the chart. I don’t have a good feel for the length of rows of beads, so I didn’t want to start lower than the chart. I didn’t want to remove rows at the end because I didn’t want to have to figure out another way to do the loop. The chart for the toggle had no relation to the chart or the picture; I just copied the last row of the bracelet into the toggle, which is what the toggle in the picture had. It’s a little longer than I like my bracelets, but overall I’m happy with the way it turned out.
This is Mars from SpaceNavid on Etsy; I thought I started it last month, but it’s not in the WIP post for June. If I did start it last month, it was only a few stitches because I finished Jupiter somewhere around the 28th. I’ve made excellent progress on it; it helped that there were very large single-color areas that went very quickly. I’ve started the areas with more colors and fewer stitches per color, so the rest will not be quite so easy. I still might finish it in August, though. I’ll probably switch back to 99 after this instead of another planet.
This is the Art Deco 4 bracelet from SmartArtsSupply on Etsy; I substituted blues for the golds in the original pattern, and I used Toho seed beads from Michaels instead of the Delica beads that the chart used. I enjoyed working on this; I only had a couple of problems. One of the problems was the lack of symmetry in a few places in the chart, and the other was an occasional tendency on my part to pick up black beads instead of white (color A was black, color B was white, so sometimes I thought B should be black). There is at least one row that has a couple of black beads where there should have been white.
For my own reference, I used Darice 11/0 Toho seed beads 1951-34 (black), 1951-29 (white), 1951-10 (blue silver lined), and 1951-52 (dyed rainbow blue) for the bracelet and Color Gallery 9x12mm beads from Hobby Lobby as fasteners.
This is from Josie Fabre’s book Fast Peyote Stitch Jewelry, using sightly different colors. The original design called for Delica beads in matte transparent ocean blue, azure, and lime; I substituted Toho light blue silver-lined for the lime, teal silver-lined for the light blue, and rainbow navy for the dark blue. The matte transparent did not look very transparent in the pictures; I like the way the silver-lined beads look better. I kind of wish I’d used a silver-lined blue instead of the rainbow navy; I liked them better in the tube than in the bracelet.
I enjoyed making the bracelet itself and am happy with the way it came out. I had some issues with tension, but I always have issues with tension; this is why I don’t knit or crochet. I also had a some problems with the loop, beaded bead, and trim; The trim was easy to miscount, and I’m not 100% sure the beaded bead will stay together.
I think next I’m going to do this next, using blue silver-lined beads for the topaz beads and dyed rainbow light blue for the light yellow. I still want to do something else from the book (and this), but I’d need those exact beads and I don’t know which sites are reliable.
I decided to try something different; this is the Deco Fans bracelet from Fast Peyote Stitch Jewelry by Josie Fabre. The design called for galvanized silver and matte red, but Michael’s didn’t have either of those, so I went with white and silver-lined red. The closest they had to silver was clear silver-lined. I was very confused when I started it, but once I got the hang of it I enjoyed making this. I’m not sure I did the loop on the end right; I think it’s secure and it holds the bead properly, so I guess it’s OK. I hated to write in the book, but I had to mark rows off to keep track of where I was (and I still had a few problems with keeping track).
I was at Jo-Ann and I saw the book and liked some of the designs in it, and they now take coupons on books, so I bought it. This sort of bead weaving is something I’d been interested in for a while, so I was happy to see it. They of course did not have the recommended beads (preferably Miyuki Delica; she recommended Toho as well, but this was the only project that used them), so I went to Michael’s and got beads there (Toho, though any sort of consistently-sized bead would have been fine so I would have had to stick to one brand). I ended up getting the bead for the closure of this and some non-seed beads at Jo-Ann for the next project on my list (the green and blue one on the cover, though with different shades of blue and green). Neither of them had the recommended thread, so I went to Hobby Lobby for it (thankfully they had it; I didn’t want to mail order for something I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy doing). If Hancock’s still existed, I would have checked there too (they were more convenient than Hobby Lobby or Jo-Ann).
The project after next that I want to do is based on Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa; I will have to mail-order beads for that since I’d want those exact colors and none of the big craft stores sell a good range of Delica beads (Hobby Lobby had a handful of colors, but I’m not sure they had any of the ones needed).