My Beading Mojo is a NOGO…

I’ve been struggling to get out of a design slump for almost 2 years now. COVID lockdowns have had an effect on me, which I wrote about in another post. Most of my designs are items that I wear regularly, and having others tell me they’d like to make one of them is what encouraged me to create classes and patterns. Being around other beaders is a priceless commodity that I have truly missed!

In the past year, I’ve focused on moving some of my more popular classes to my Teachable platform, and the response from students has been great! But I’ve not really created any NEW beadwork since the Circle for a Landing pendant in 2020.

Enough background… I have a story to share that helped me to want to do beading design again…

I have a friend who wanted to learn to crochet, and since I’ve crocheted for years, I was helping her get started. It spurred me to finish a few crochet projects and make a baby blanket for another friend’s granddaughter. Here’s a picture of a crocheted market bag that I’d started a while ago. I used my stash of cotton yarn, and then also added some buttons to keep it closed on the sides if needed. Fun… Playful…

Working with yarn again, I decided that I wanted to knit a beret for myself, which took some time to get back into the swing of knitting. I learned to knit many years ago, but always had trouble with my tension (that was the main reason I found that crocheting was better for me). While knitting my beret, I saw that my tension was a bit off, but blocking the hat helped to disguise that. So, I decided that maybe I should learn to knit in the Continental style, where you hold your yarn in your left hand, similar to how I crochet. I watched a lot of YouTube videos but couldn’t master that way to hold the needles… a bit frustrating! Then, I found Arne & Carlos, and realized that Norwegian knitting was for me! It’s a little tricky to learn to purl this way, but I love it!

As I practiced my stitches, I thought that the yarn I was using would make a nice pair of fingerless mitts. It was so soft, and I liked the idea of it against my skin. So, I found a video from Roxanne Richardson about knitting fingerless mitts without a pattern. She showed all the steps needed to measure my hand and get the gauge information so I could make them specifically for me. I was very happy with the results and here are some pictures of the finished mitts…

At this point I was feeling pretty satisfied with my knitting skills. When I showed the mitts to my sisters on our weekly Zoom call, my sister in Chicago asked if I could make them with a convertible top. She is an avid birder and is often outside in very cold conditions. It’s awkward to use a camera with mittens or gloves, so mittens with convertible tops would be ideal for her.

Of course, I accepted this challenge! There were lots of patterns on how to make the mitten top and attach it. So, we measured her hand and worked on getting a color of yarn that she liked, etc. Lots of texts and emails back and forth…

The first mitten took some time, and I was moderately happy with the result.

However, as I knitted it, I realized that I should have used a wool yarn. This yarn really didn’t hold the shape and I thought it looked kind of sloppy. Still, I pushed on with the second mitten, telling myself that this could be a prototype to make sure our sizing was correct.

I finished the fingerless mitt portion on the second mitten and proceeded to pick up the stitches to knit the convertible top. For some reason, I had a really hard time picking up the stitches this time. Who knows why? After the third try, I was ready to knit away, and I happily finished the mitten top.

Now, comes the moment of truth…

As I put it on my hand, I REALIZED THAT I HAD ATTACHED THE TOP TO THE WRONG SIDE!!!! I HAD TWO RIGHT HAND MITTENS!!! Absolute rookie mistake… I couldn’t believe it! Luckily, I had not firmly attached the beginning thread so I could remove the entire top and attach it to the correct side, which still took a lot of time. Talk about frustration…

At this point, I picked up my beadwork, and finished designing a pendant for my niece’s wedding!

2 thoughts on “My Beading Mojo is a NOGO…

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