Monthly Archives: June 2010


nora, originally uploaded by shesho designs.

Moonfleet Clue 2


Knitting with Beads – Problem and Possible Solution

I’m working on a knitted shawl that incorporates beads, and have a bead-related question.
I most often knit at night, curled in a big easy chair under a bright light, with semi-mindless TV in the background. Now that I’ve gotten one clue finished, I can follow the lace pattern well enough to not make too many mistakes with the TV on, but I’m still having a pesky bead-related problem.

Where to put the beads while I’m knitting?

Things I’ve already tried and what’s unsatisfactory about them:

1. Keeping the beads in the tube they came in with the lid on.
Problem: Every single time I need a bead I have to open the tube.

2. Keeping the beads in the tube they came in with the lid off.
Problem: Surely you can imagine.

3. Putting the beads into a glass, or a pottery mug or bowl.
Problems: The beads roll around the bottom of the glass. It’s hard to spear them.
I have to lick a finger every time, and dab at the beads till one sticks.
Plus, sooner or later (read: sooner) the bowl tips over and spills.
Proposed Solution:
Here’s my top secret plan: promise not to tell anyone.
I’m going to make my fortune with a cleverly designed
Bead Basket to Hold Beads While Knitting.
I’ve had a LOT of time to think about it and I have a plan:

Get some wool yarn and biggish needles.
Knit a circle.
Pick up stitches along the edge of the circle and start knitting upwards.
(so far, it’s kind of like knitting a glass.)
Increase so that the “sides” fan out and are bigger than the base.
(now it’s like knitting an upside-down lampshade.)
Bind off the upside down lampshade.
Felt it.
Now you have a dense upside down lampshade.
Make a loose drawstring with an I-cord woven through the top of the upside-down lampshade.
Wait, we’re not done!
I believe that, if the proportions are right, the beads will stay on the bottom (the felted circle), and that the drawstring can easily be loosened and, because the sides fan out, it should be easy to reach in.
But, there’s still one more problem!
Picking Up the Beads.
I can just picture the itty-bitty hook snagging on the felted knitting.
I have (mentally) considered every possible fabric, and most of them, if presented with a hook trying to snare a bead, would tend to make the beads bounce, roll, or generally be evasive.
I think the best/only fabric is …
Flannel will be soft enough not to bounce, and not slippery, shiny, fragile, or otherwise a problem.
So: Make another circle from a couple of layers of flannel.
Attach it to the bottom of the Bead Basket, being very careful not to leave some kind of teeny-tiny gutter along the circumference where sneaky beads can hide. I think I’ll hand-embroider the flannel circle to the Bead Basket in a way that leaves no loose ends.
And, Ta Da!

Whatcha Think?