Tag Archives: beads


Yesterday I took my car in for some minor* engine work. And I got That Call from the mechanic. The call every old-car-owner dreads. The one that starts with “We looked at your car and found a few other things that need fixing…” and ends with, “Do you think your car is really worth this much in repairs?”**

So. I was having a rough day, and decided I needed something to distract myself. What’s more distracting than shiny objects?

ribband 2

I really can’t think of an answer to that. I might be able to think better if I weren’t distracted by the shiny though.

I purchased Adorn by Laura Nelkin because I wanted to knit Ribband, and I’ve been eying her knitted jewelry patterns for awhile!

shinybeads shinyyarn

As soon as I got home I picked some shiny yarn (Jewel from Mocha’s Fiber Connection, leftovers from my Eleanora shrug – it’s a bamboo/merino blend) my shiniest needles, and some sparkly beads. I got beads from Earthfaire recently. I needed gold for a design of my own, and a few other colors fell into my shopping cart because it turns out I’m bad at resisting the shiny.

I have a few construction notes. Are you the kind of person who snugs up the first stitch of each row? (I know I am) Well don’t do it here, and don’t even think about slipping the first stitch (each row is only 4 stitches wide, so I don’t know why you’d do that, but still) Snug stitches will make for rows shorter than the height of the beads and they won’t all lie flat next to each other. Also the pattern says to block if desired. At first I laughed at the idea of needing to block a band of mostly-beads with a little knitting. But seriously, the rows all relaxed so nicely (probably because my yarn is part bamboo, and we all know how it grows/drapes/droops) and the piece looks much nicer after blocking!

ribband bracelt 2

I struggle with beads, I want to use them all, I have a tendency to use too many colors, and my previous attempts at making beaded jewelry would make a kindergartner with some macaroni look like a professional. But none of this makes me love them less. I’m hoping with the guidance in Adorn I can overcome some of my issues.

ribband anklet

You can see in my Ribband that I’m still working on it though. I love this one, but it’s possible the coral beads were one color too many… I’m already thinking about what I could do for my next one to improve the color transitions!

And I’m pretty sure I will make another. The whole thing took about 6 hours, including choosing colors, counting beads, doing math for how many of each I need and what order to string them in, and actually stringing the beads. The knitting itself probably only took 2 or 3 hours… And the stringing would have gone faster if I hadn’t gotten halfway through and realized I needed to be using even numbers of coral beads because they’re knit into the ribband in pairs. A helpful tip from Laura: if you realize half way through you have an extra bead somewhere – just crush it with a pair of pliers! Brilliant since if you’ve knit halfway through you’re not going to want to rip everything out and unstring all those beads…

ribband headband

I can think of so many fun ways to wear this!

ribband necklace

But if I’m honest with myself it’ll mostly be as a necklace. Bracelets and anklets are pretty but I get annoyed by things flopping around at the ends of my appendages… And do I really strike you as a fashion belt kind of person?

ribband belt

But it works, if you’re the sort to pull it off!

*Please note, engine work is never minor.
**answer: Yes, because
A) the repairs are less than what I owe
B) all (except the minor engine work) are standard maintenance repairs, it just sucks to have to do three at once.