Thursday, March 23, 2006

Bead on Sockapaloooza

After a few false starts, I'm finally making progress on socks for my Sockapaloooza pal. It's about time, too – we're past the halfway point. Aiee.

Beaded rib with beads Sockapaloooza sock

The stitch pattern is improvised, beaded rib with beads. I'm making up the sock pattern as I go along, with inspiration from multiple sources. The beaded cast on technique is given in Mrs. Beeton by Brenda Dayne. The combination of beaded rib and beads was inspired by the beaded rib sock in Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch and by the Rowan 39 cover sweater, Jinny by Amanda Crawford. I'll probably use a modified version of Charlene's distinctive garter clocks, too. This Valentino bag and Alice Korach's old bead knitting workshop are kicking around somewhere in the mix, too.

The yarn is a favorite, Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Solids in colorway Loden, with some Bead It 10/0 Rnbw Grn beads for a bit of bling. Rnbw Grn beads look somewhat flashy by themselves, but add a delightful bit of brightness once knit in. They sit up nicely on the purl fabric and shouldn't cause any leg irritation. My sock pal doesn't seem to have super sensitive skin, so I'll carry the beaded rib down the instep, leaving the sole plain stockinette – all without beads, of course.

Placing beads on yarn is tedious

Stringing the beads is slow work and I'm not looking forward to doing it for the second sock. Maybe I have the wrong kind of bead needle? After breaking a couple, I gave up and started using a needle threader to get the beads onto the yarn. It's an awfully tedious process to place a few beads on the threader, place the yarn in the threader eye, slip the beads, remove the yarn, repeat. Not to mention I've broken two threaders. If you know a better way, please do tell.

The false starts involved Sockotta, which I thought perhaps may be more suitable to my sock pal's climate fiber-wise. But I didn't like the way the swatches pooled, in precise checkerboards of turquoise/yellow and red/blue [yawn]. And after a few weeks of blogstalking I see that my pal indeed has/makes/wears wool socks. So that's settled: wool it is.

Every sock oughta see a bit of the world. So far this one has only gone to SnB, but some adventures are ahead!



dragon knitter said...

glad to hear i'm not the only one with technical difficulites with my sock pal socks. i'm on my way, i've got the ribbing done, and i'm into chart A. i'll post a pic tomorrow or saturday.

Julie said...

What a lucky sock pal, those are going to be gorgeous! :)

Sweet Camden Lass said...


For beading

1. Thread a beading needle with some thin thread.

2. Tie an overhand or thumb knot so that the thin thread is a big loop.

3. Stick the yarn through the loop of thin thread.

4. Scoop up beads with the beading needle, run them down the thread, and onto the yarn.

If that doesn't make sense, I'll try and do some pictures and stick them on my blog (with the Sockapalooza socks).

Judy said...

Hi Ina! *waving* just saying hello and that I found your blog! :)

RunsWithTrowels said...

use a dental floss threader. they are blue, with a huge loop at one end, and come in packs of, um, like, a million or so. i have used them for all of my maryellas. they made the threading of 1400 beads much easier than either the beading needles or just trying to hand thread those suckers onto the floss.

Brianne said...

I love the color of that sock. The beads will make it all the more wonderful!

Lou said...

Wow! Those socks are beautiful. I love the stitch design, the beads and the color. What a lucky sock pal. Perhaps you'll consider making your design available when you're all done with the exchange?

That dental floss threader (in Ianie's comment) sounds like a great idea. I'll have to try that for my next beaded project!

erin said...

These socks are going to be gorgeous, green and beaded! Siow Chin had a method for stringing beads using fishing thread -

writinglady said...

Wow! What amazing socks...what a luck sockpal! Can't wait to see the finished product.


alison said...

Oh, I love the little beads on the edges. It's so delicate and lovely. What beautiful and special socks they'll be.

Morgan said...

Oooo I love that idea of beads on socks! Your sock pal will really appreciate them!