When I saw Rosemary Hill's Bauble (ooh, shiny!), I couldn't resist. Her Designs by Romi shawl pins (featured in VK Spring/Summer 2007) are so much fun that it was a no-brainer to join the Baubles and Beads group she started. I strung
It took about 4 hours spread over a few sessions to string the approximately 1,800 beads required. Have I mentioned how much I loathe stringing beads? In between sessions, I kept the beaded strand wrapped around the usual storage system to prevent tangling. The jelly coil needle keepers that I didn't like as needle keepers worked well as bead stops.
It took about half an hour to knit, graft, and finish Bauble. The beaded strand (ditto the finished cuff) was surprisingly heavy – it was helpful to keep both yarn and fabric supported on a table. Knitting was similar to working with a novelty yarn, except heavier. It's important to leave the shortest tail possible when casting on because the beaded strand is grafted to itself at the end. I used the knotted finish rather than a crimp bead because crimp beads contain lead, which is not healthy for children and other living things.
I'm pleased with the results and now am thinking happy beady thoughts. This Bauble is an SP gift; a pearly version or a tortie and ivory (faux, of course) version would be nice. While I love its vintage style, for me the best thing about Bauble is its sheer newness. I've knit with beads before, but never quite like this. In traditional knit beadwork, the yarn and the beads are separate design elements; here, the beads are the yarn, the yarn is the beads. "Beauty is truth, truth beauty," form and function. Wow. Thanks, Rosemary, for a fun, innovative design!
Incidentally, to get the infinity background in the first photo, I just draped a piece of tracing paper over a bare lightbulb to diffuse the light. The method needs a little tweaking, but seems to be a reasonable and inexpensive alternative to a lightbox. Teehee.