It’s always the way. You start a beaded project and partway through you panic that you are not going to have enough beads.
Now normally I have this panic (at 2am, startling myself awake), and then discover that I actually have a billion-gajillion beads and end up wondering what I am going to use the remaining 200-500 beads on. But this time my luck has run out.
My Garland sweater is coming along nicely thank you very much. I’m most of the way up sleeve one, and when I looked in the pot of beads I thought to myself “there doesn’t seem to be that many beads left”. Mmm.
A count of the chart told me I needed 89 beads to finish the first sleeve (and a similar number for sleeve 2). A count of the beads in the pot told me I have 67 beads. Ah. I need to venture into the wilderness and buy beads. Whats the bets I’m incapable of only buying the ones I need? Oh the pretties….
In other news, yesterday I spent some of my Christmas money (yes, in some respects I am still 11) and bought myself a “Zoom Loom“. Oh, gosh. Does that ever sound exciting. Well to me it does, yes. Although the video just has me in fits of giggles – for no good reason, it’s a perfectly clear, comprehensive video. It’s the bit about ‘graceful extended sides’ that does it for me for some reason.
Now while the Loom comes with an instruction book, but there’s a whole website dedicated to these little portable pin looms – eloomanation (I know, it’s great isn’t it?!) which has an entire section dedicated to the provision (free) of original 1930-1960s pattern books as PDFs. These of course have triggered all my ‘must-learn-new-craft” buttons. In the style of all vintage patterns out there, these little pamphlets assume that you are a previously unknown shape to mankind (a fitted tunic out of squares anyone?) and that you are a complete genius who’s taking time off from solving the dark matter problem by whipping up a few placemats.
I say genius because often vintage patterns assume that you have secret, insider knowledge. Secret, insider knowledge that we couldn’t possibly share with anyone just browsing this piece of literature for clues as to how one might start learning this magic craft.
Unlike today when even complex knitting books for fair-isle, cables or fine lacework have a chapter in the back on how to cast on, there was a more challenging time in the crafter’s past where certain assumptions were made to your level of knowledge. I think my favouritiest pattern ever was for a Victorian Opera cape which says in it’s entirety “Cast on the number of stitches required. Knit until you have a cape. Cast off” Needle size? Yarn weight? Yardage? Tension? Decreases?! (and at this point I must take a brief moment to thank Franklin Habit who bravely goes where i can not be bothered and makes those wonderful patterns shiny and wonderful. Gloves are next on the list, and I might even get around to a pineapple before I die)
So, there is a part of me that really hopes I’m required to take a staggering leap of faith, or need some form of higher degree to get my first little 4″ square. I love things like this…
If not I can always go back to that second sleeve!