July 27, 2012

African Stripes - Mud Cloth Variations

 We're almost finished with the first necklace.  You can see how the light half is going to look against the dark half.  I've found that it's a bit more difficult to design with only two colors as I've had to take negative space into consideration.  However, this one is exceeding my expectations.  I really like how it is pulling together.

This is my necklace, designed and crocheted with 8/0 beads.  However, look at what some of the participants are doing......
Can you believe this?  Cathey is doing the necklace in 15/0 beads with dark thread.  The smaller size coupled with more design repeats gives it a whole new look.
 Terri has opted to do hers in 11/0 beads.  Enlarge the photo to see that she's added extra drops to some of the patterns - extra texture.

 Peggy and at least one other participant is crocheting with 10/0 Delicas.  Her rope still looks African, but even more reminds me of Delft Tiles.  Look at how crisp the patterns come out.

Here is another royal blue beauty done with 8's.  Karen decided she liked the blue background so much that she wasn't swapping to a light background for the second half.  This cobalt and silver combination is just regal.

Victoria is the speedy beader and has three ropes going at the same time. She's trying out a couple of different color combinations.  Look at how beautifully subtle the right hand rope is.

So, what do you do when you need a necklace in a hurry to go with a particular outfit?   Amy grabbed the color swatch pattern and did up a necklace in black and yellow.  Bumblebees?  Honeycomb?  Whatever you call it, it's a great adaptation of one small pattern piece.

Once again.... one pattern and so many interpretations.... I love it when people don't hesitate to try different things and make  it their own.

Stringing Error or Crocheting Error?

See the pattern on the left?  It doesn't look like what I designed.  It should look like the rope on the right. So, I take it out.  Crochet again and get the same problem in another part of the pattern.  It's the twist factor that seems to crop up when crocheting with beads larger than 11/0. How do you fix it?  Try the following before you rip any work out.  It might just need a push/pull/squish to put it all right.

click to enlarge and save the photo if you want a copy

July 20, 2012

Quick Trip - Maine

 Every once in a while one needs to go some place away from home and the many projects that keep saying, "me, work on me next.".  So we threw a change of clothing in the car and took off for the coast of Maine for a couple of days.  It was also cooler over there and I was tired of sitting in an air conditioned house in the summertime.

You can see my orange Element just behind this great delivery van restoration.  I love the colors and think my Element would look beautiful painted like this.... Chicken stuff and all.

Chainsaw roadside art -- funky and fun.  But this flamingo was totally lost alongside of all the chainsawed bears. It belongs in Florida, not here.

I have a beading friend who is known for her beaded moose.  I was thinking that a 3-D piece like this might look awesome in colored beads.

 It's hard to see, but there is an eagle up there on that nest.  Wonder how often it lost sleep when the lights went on for an event?  We sat and watched the birds for a while and then turned around and watched the big cranes (mechanical, not birds) at Bath Iron Works.  Big, big cranes and big pieces of ships being moved around.

 It was so restful sitting in the empty park, looking out  to the  Kennebec Estuary.  The shipyard was upstream and the maritime museum was downstream. Nice soft seacoast breezes were blowing.
We drove home along Rte 202 and looked at several inland towns while I finished up some crocheting for my on-line String-Along.

A change of scenery is always good.

July 17, 2012

Musical Interlude in Yellow & Black

Piano Roll Rope
 There are times when an idea, like a song, becomes embedded in your mind and you can't get rid of it. This was one of those moments.  I'm deep in the midst of doing  the African Stripes String-Along and then Rachel Nelson-Smith posts another Bead Project Challenge on FaceBook.....

Two things converged here. I'd wanted to revisit a favorite color combination of the 60's; yellow & black. Then Rachel proposed a second project to bead a song, music, or sound. Given the limited design canvas on a bead-crochet rope, I had to think about it.  Yellow/Black and bumblebees came to mind and just didn't go away.

While refreshing my ears with the sounds of Flight of the Bumblebee, I noticed the dits & dots rolling off  the top of the YouTube piano video. Thus was born my Piano Roll bead-crochet rope. The rightmost column of dits and dots became black Miyuki drops on a bumblebee yellow background.

I'm sort of smugly pleased with my concept. It satisfied my creative itch, got it out of my system and made a unique rope design.

This was my other foray into the yellow & black color combination.  I used the colors to swatch test a couple of design elements for the string-along.

Now I think I can go back to regularly scheduled bead-crochet string-along designs in black and white.

July 6, 2012

Like Popcorn ~ African String-Along

Some days you can't stop at just one . . .  bracelet, that is.  African Stripes seems to be spawning bracelet ideas right and left.  It's fun to work in bright primary colors with first a black background and then a white background. As soon as I get one strung, before I even put crochet hook to thread, another possibility pops up to try out. This String-Along is going to be a prolific one for me. 

 Meanwhile, here is how the String-Along, Mud Cloth Necklace is progressing.  My piece, above, has two sections completed and the following photos are some member's work at section #1.

Terri is using a brown and cream mud palette

Debbie is also using browns, but more of a redish brown and cream

Karen has chosen such a regal cobalt and silver combination

 As opaque drops are non-existent, Marlene chose to put in a third color with the black drops

Toni has a goal of using beads she already has on hand. This could get interesting when we get to the second necklace and add in 4 more colors.

July 2, 2012

How many beads do I need? - Bead Crochet

Click here for Beads Needed Chart (PDF) - right link 7/3/2012 - sorry

I've had a few questions on "how many beads do I need to crochet that pattern in 8's, 11's, 15's, etc."  If you have an Android phone or tablet, you can download an app that will figure all of this for you. Here's some information on it... Bead Crochet Designer's Bead Needs.  I helped develop it, so I know it works quite well.

If you prefer to use pencil & paper to figure the beads needed, click on the link under the photo.  The chart is limited to only 6-around ropes, but covers 5 different bead sizes.  If you're out 'n about, buy beads, want to start stringing and crocheting right away, this is a quick and dirty calculation; length of desired rope (inches) X number-around.  OK, you want a 9" bracelet, in 8-around... simply multiply 9 x 8 for 72" of strung beads (estimated).

The Bead Crochet Ropes book does have a whole page of this kind of information and covers other number-arounds.  You can find the eBook edition over at www.bead-patterns.com .