Wednesday, March 19, 2008

You Can Count on Me

When Mom and I went to Stitches West we didn't just buy yarn, we also found this great vendor who sold these gorgeous glass beads. Now I know this is a knitting blog and not a beading blog but don't click away just yet. We got the beads with a definite knitting related purpose in mind. You see several months ago my friend Judy who was my downstream pal in the first Tote Exchange sent me a kit filled with a jump ring, two long pieces of ribbon and 19 beads. I read the directions but couldn't figure out what to do with them so I gave the kit to Mom to see if she could figure it out. Of course my super Mom was quite capable of figuring it out. What Judy had sent me was a kit to make a row counter. It's really a very clever way to do things. Not only did Mom figure it out but she took it to a whole new level. She figure out that it would be even better to use a stitch marker rather than a jump ring so that you can slip it right on the needles and keep it hanging off your knitting while you work. She then went crazy and made a bunch of these little diddies to go with all her projects. You can make one with 4 beads for a 4 row repeat, 6, 8, 10 etc. and you can even make them with two sets of beads so that you can count in double digits.
Here is a photo of one that counts in to double digits. You use the colored beads to signify 1-9 and then the clear beads are for the tens. In this photo the counter is reflecting 26. So here's my tutorial on how to make these. First get a stitch marker and a long piece of thin ribbon. You fold the ribbon in half and loop the two ends through it and pull it tight. Next you take a bead and you thread the ribbon on the right through the bead from right to left and the ribbon on the left through from left to right. Then you add the next bead and repeat. So the ribbons thread back and forth from side to side through the beads. Both ribbons pass through each bead. You add as many beads as you want to make a counter that counts as high as you want. When you're done you leave a bit of space on the bottom and tie the two ribbons together. To count you just slide down the beads one at a time. I even made one on a very tiny stitch marker with very tiny beads to use as a row counter for my Monkey Socks. I used embroidery thread and had to use needles to get it through the bead holes. I love how light it is - it doesn't get in the way at all but I must admit the beads don't slide as well as they do on ribbon.
As you can see I got a bit carried away. Once you start you cant' stop. I kept thinking of projects I could use these for! Another suggestion is to make these as gifts even for non-knitters. In that case I would use the jump ring and instead of counting rows they can be used to count your blessings when you get up in the morning or before bed. It's a really fun way to get to use some beautiful beads as well.






8 comments:

Grace Yaskovic said...

beautiful!!!!

km said...

Those are so pretty. I had to click on each photo to look at the beads bigger. Thanks for sharing the how-to.

Lisa W. said...

how clever and practical and so very very pretty!

Jknits said...

Very Cool and what lovely pictures!

hakucho said...

Very nice...I'll have try it out sometime :) Thanks for the instructions!

Judy said...

How nice to see you're making more and enjoying the bead stich counter. Thanks for mentioning me !!

smariek said...

That's very clever! The beads are gorgeous (especially after viewing the big photos). Thanks for sharing how to make these bead stitch counters.

Ms. Diva said...

OMG!!! The possibilities!! Today was gonna be plant my behind on the couch and watch the olympics - but now...I have something to do!!! =) Thank you!!!