Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Do you want beads with that? Part 2

The beads I used for the swatches two posts ago are just plain, little plastic tubes as in the upper diagram. When the picots they're on twist, we see the holes and need to block to see the real parts of the beads.

"But," I thought, "maybe I can use the twisting." I went online to find beads with front to back holes as in the lower diagram, the idea being that when they twist, the good side will be front and center. Most of this type of bead that I located are quite large; certainly much larger than would be comfortable to wear in profusion. Nevertheless, if you're into beads, it doesn't hurt to keep your eyes open.

But I still needed beads, so I went to a local bead store and found another type of embellishment: CHARMS!

As I had hoped, the picots twisted to show the flat sides of the charms. Inexplicably, however, the picot with the butterfly twisted in the opposite direction to the picots with the flowers, leaving the wrong side facing. I ripped my swatch out, restrung it the other way, and this is the result!

 * * *

I have some final (for now at least) thoughts on incorporating beads and/or charms. It's been a bit tricky to find beads with holes large enough to pass yarn through but small enough to fit the
gauge of the pattern without looking crowded. The swatch to the immediate right, with a bead on every picot, comes pretty close; it's very cute, but not what I would want if I were going for a spare, elegant look. The swatch to the far right has the beads spaced every other picot (it's also in a heavier yarn).  Here, I stretched out the picots holding the beads which takes up the yarn from the unadorned picots. The slack would be good for longer beads and would still keep them from banging into each other. In the "charmed" swatch, I placed them every third picot and kept the shape of the remaining picots when I blocked. That one is my favorite of the three swatches but, of course, the final look of any technique depends on the context: the yarn, the embellishments, and the type of project being made. That's why we swatch.

That's it for now! Until next time . . .

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