As you know from previous posts, I like to create knitted jewelry. I find it challenging to use knitting fiber to make a necklace or bracelet. Last year I started making bead knitted bracelets and necklaces. My friend Leslie from Twisted Sistah had knitted a reversible bracelet using #8 Hex beads and micro C-lon thread. She gave me the pattern and I was soon hooked on making these bracelets. I'll post some pictures of some of the ones I made in another post. I had also been making some of the bracelets Ellen from Earthfaire creates. She uses a mix of beads and Kreinik metallic braid to knit bracelets and necklaces.
A few months ago I started doing bead knitting with wire instead of thread. I made a few necklaces and bracelets using sterling silver clasps. After the holidays I was going through my stash of Artistic Wire and came across a matte plum wire in 30 gauge that my daughter, Carrie, had given me. I really liked the fact that it was matte. I pulled together a bead stew to use for a necklace. One of my favorite parts of making these necklaces is putting together the bead stew. I've learned that any bead smaller than a 6 doesn't have the presence I like. They tend to get lost among the larger beads. I've used stick pearls with success, but anything too large distorts the knitting. So, putting the beads together is really fun for me. I get to go through all my beads and find what I think will work in color and size. It's great fun, and I discover things I forgot I had.
Beverly Ash Gilbert. In her new book, Beaded Colorways, she shows how she bezels a cabochon and makes a clasp out of it. I had wanted to use fabric as to create a cabochon for a long while. So, I decided to put that idea, and Beverly's clasp idea together. My stash of cotton batiks is quite large because I've never seen a batik I didn't fall in love with! And, surprise! I found one that was a perfect match for this necklace. I cut a 2" circle of Lacy's Stiff Stuff and a 1 3/4" circle of fabric, which I placed over a layer of thin quilt batting. I sewed the batik to the Lacy's around the outer edge and began beading a bezel around the fabric circle.
Christen Brown. She teaches a great freeform peyote bracelet class for Joggles. Check it out if your interested in freeform! Anyway, I decided to use some freeform across the fabric, and I used Beverly's idea (her book is a study of freeform beadwork and color) to use a variety of beads in the embroidery around the cab.
I was very pleased with the finished necklace. It can be worn with the clasp in the back, front, or to the side. I like to wear it to the side. The knitted wire necklaces and bracelets are very light in weight even though they have a lot of beads in them. So, they're fun to wear.