Friday, May 25, 2012

Starting over....

I am working on my own graph for a large loomed tiger piece. The working title is: My Tiger 1. I am not very good at those clever, ethereal names for my designs. Anyway..... I got about 30 rows (1/3 of the way up starting at the bottom) and discovered there were 4 colors just not working at all. Wrong color, too dark, in the wrong places. Here it is a few rows short of where I stopped.
 There wasn't enough definition to the right and left of the chin and muzzle. I ripped it out to the border rows. I reworked the graph and started from square one with the bead selection process. I am hoping I have a better grip on it this time. I am glad I started from the bottom otherwise I might have been nearly done before seeing the color problem.
So here I go again! This fine tuning a pattern is why I chose to use someone else's pattern for the first big project. I have been using a bead loom since 1969. I had never tried something so wide before. I have done complicated but, not this wide. I used to make what is called a "split loom" necklace. Like this butterfly:
They are interesting to setup on the loom and it takes patience to get it all working together. But, They are wonderful when finished.
Onward with the new My Tiger 1 adventure.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A good use for....

In a box or standing in a vase, paired and wrapped with tape so they stay together, are countless aluminum knitting needles, in countless second hand stores and yard sales all over the world. You pass them by because you don't knit, don't plan on learning to knit and don't know anyone who does.
I have never bought any, but I have been given many of these bundles of knitting needles. I take them knowing I will find a use for them. I have off snipped the ends to the length I need to use as "boning" in the bodice of my renaissance faire costume when the cheap plastic boning failed.
I use them to make the size holes I need in polymer clay beads before I bake them. I have used them as support in cross-stitch wall hangings and in doll legs for strength. There are endless ways to use knitting needles besides to start a sweater you will never finish because the instructions are boring and confusing and dont' tell me enough so I know what in the world I am supposed to be doing or whether or not I am doing it right, only to find out after weeks of struggling that I misunderstood and worked the first 5 rows all wrong so now I have to rip the whole thing out!!!!
Oh. Sorry. I got a bit of a rant there. Guess you know how I feel about traditional knitting instructions!

To be fair I do knit. I Bead Knit to be clear. I don't knit with beads. I Bead Knit. The beads are slid between stitches and are the beauty of the piece, usually a small amulet bag or large purse.
So, my point of this silliness is to show you another way I use abandoned knitting needles so that they spend the rest of their days being useful instead of just sitting in a jar or a box with nothing to do.
I use them as stakes for my little sprinklers in my flower beds.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Getting there...

Here's the idea to finish the edges of the loomed Tiger. I wet felted some wool in greens and browns. As I cut into it I found I hadn't felted it as tightly as I would have liked. But, it is going to be fine. I cut out grassy lengths and cut the uneven edges to use at the top and bottom. These are just laid out, nothing is stitched down yet. I am going to a little embellishment before I start stitching them down. I don't want this to get too heavy, we'll see if I can keep it under control!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tiger Loom Project progress

The Tiger Loom piece is now basted to the bag flap. It took 3 tries but, I finally got it the right color of brown. This evening I will wet felt some wool that will become the leaf border.

And here's the first of the Pat Austin Roses. I have only the  one David Austin rose and I just love it! This is the best it has looked and bloomed in the 3 seasons I have had it.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Tiger progress

The Tiger Loom 1 piece progress. Now for my least favorite part: the strings. I have learned a few things doing a project this big.
1. My homemade loom needs some improvements.
2. For this type of project add about 5 bead rows at each end and on each side as the project is worked.
The only way to organize 31 colors of beads. And this becomes .......

And Here He/She is! Now for the hard part: the strings!! Then deciding what this tiger will be mounted on.
There will be more Tigers. The next one is one of my own graphed patterns with the BeadTool program.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Tiger Loom project

Here is the most current photo of the Tiger Loom project. It is 120 beads wide and 99 rows long. The pattern is a Maddie the Kat pattern. The pattern calls for Delica beads. I am using regular rocaille seed beads, a mix of Czech and Japanese size 11's. It is approx. 8" wide x ??
Hopefully I have the loom strung long enough! This photo is at about Row 67.
The next Tiger will be my own graphed project. I need to make some modifications to the loom before doing another one. I have to beef it up to correct the "toe in" effect. I have always made my own looms with help from my hubby. Since this project was so wide I had to use it in a different way and it is causing some leaning in of the end pieces. There will be more Tigers!! I am not sure why I have waited so long to do a Tiger project but.....everything in it's time.