Thursday, April 12, 2012

These Beads Have Formed Their Own Mafia

I've more or less finished a shawl I started a couple of weeks ago. Up until my grand idea to make this project something more than average, the shawl was a breeze.

I crocheted this with a size K hook and two yarns: Universal Yarn's Uptown DK and Patons Lace acrylic/mohair/wool blend. I ran out of the greenish blue Uptown DK (which they call "sea") before finishing, and as it was yarn I'd bought while friend-visiting on the other side of the state, I didn't have easy access to more - none of the local yarn shops have any Universal Yarn products. But luckily, I found an almost exact match in my stash - the only difference is in shine, which is almost impossible to see if you don't know it's there.

I used this pattern for another shawl when I was first learning to crochet, and I wanted to add something to make this a more complex project. I wanted a little bit of sparkle, and a reason to use these beads I rediscovered in my craft cabinet. So, I threaded lots and lots of them onto the lace yarn with the tiniest needle I had, and then started threading back through them to create a triage of dangling beads for each corner of the shawl.

Unfortunately, beads are stupid. They might allow a needle and yarn through them once, but they get stingy about any subsequent passes. Sometimes, they get stuck. Sometimes, they decide to impede your Brilliant Ideas by forcing the needle into your fingers over and over again.

I have, therefore, given up on beading for the moment.

Yes, I can go back and try again with black or white thread instead of the fine yarn. But what I really want is one of those wire needles that jewelry crafters sometimes use to thread beads. (I tried fashioning one out of a twist tie; the wire was too thick.) I've had trouble finding one of those needles, mostly because I don't know what to call it. It's like all the beads in my collection are conspiring to leave me with stabbed, sore fingertips.

In the meantime, my new shawl will still be awesome, with its single tiny bead-tassel. It's just waiting for some friends to keep it company. Now if you'll excuse me, my stabbed fingers and I are going to practice mandolin.

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