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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Chocolate Rainbow

Those who check my blog will probably have noticed that I haven't blogged for quite a while. Well, things have been pretty hectic here not to mention emotionally traumatic. Sadly, MIL passed away on August Bank Holiday Monday and since then there has been such a lot to sort out. She wasn't really prepared for death as she would never accept how ill she was which made her passing very difficult. We knew thst she didn't have long but she went very quickly after entering the first stages of dying and we found that we hadn't really been prepared for it either.

The funeral was just as she would have wanted. A simple humanist ceremony with music including Joni Mitchell's Circle Game on entering the chapel, a very moving eulogy by Chris, a meditation with Vivaldi in the background, music from her favourite artiste, Ella Fitzgerald, and poems. She was then buried in the natural burial ground in a willow wicker biodegradable coffin and we adjourned to a room that we'd hired in a local inn for the funeral reception. She is in a beautiful peaceful spot surrounded by indiginous plants and trees which will eventually become woodland.

Knitting, as ever, I've found very soothing. Whenever I'm upset or emotional about anything I find the mantra of just knitting very comforting so knitting has been done! I've also recently taken up a hobby in beading. I'm not talking about the jewellery making I've done in the past but proper beading, i.e. sewing together tiny little seed beads and crystals and such like until you have something like what you can see below which is a photo of my first project, a spiral necklace adorned with Victorian pendant.

I have to admit that I'm really chuffed with this. The necklace is a spiral of size 11 chocolate rainbow seed beads (I bet you were wondering what inspired the title of this post!), size 8 gold seed beads and amethyst Czech fire polished crystals. The pendant is composed of four units individually sewn and then stitched together by using brick stitch and the loop that holds it on the necklace was done in peyote stitch. Forgive me if it seems like I'm blowing my own trumpet but I can't help feeling really proud of this pendant. Here's a close up.

It's done to match the necklace in the same chocolate rainbow seed beads and fire polished crystals. 'Chocolate rainbow'! Love that name! You know how they say that there's a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow? Well, for me, the name of those seed beads keeps conjuring up an image of a pot aux chocolat rather than a pot of gold. Yum!

I've also made an art deco bracelet on which I used one of my smaller sized Czech glass buttons as a fastening rather than using a clasp.

This is a very simple design using 12mm bugle beads for the base which are ladder stitched together and then the base is embellished with a picot edging of seed beads and megatamas and a criss cross of seed beads and crystals.

This next project of necklace, bracelet and earrings is more jewellery making than beading but I did learn new techniques in stringing which will be very useful.

As I said, knitting has also been done some of which is shown below.

The Spring Things Shawl and the Fiddlesticks Arabesque Stole are both finished but awaiting blocking. The beaded thing is the start of a scarf from Jane Davis' book, Knitting with Beads. In actuality, it's green but, as usual, my monitor makes it look grey which is a bit annoying as it's a very nice shade of green Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. In the pattern, the whole thing is done in reverse stocking stitch but, as I didn't want the edges curling up on the whole length of the scarf, I've modified it to moss stitch. Here's a close up of the beaded section.

I'm not sure how practical this scarf is going to be as the beads make it very heavy and I'm half tempted to frog it. However, I did think it might come in quite useful to use as a cosh if I ever found myself being mugged. LOL So, if I do finish it, it will thenceforth be referred to as the cosh scarf!

Some close ups of the Spring Things Shawl and the Arabesque Stole. (Better photos to come when blocked).

I inherited the KSH that the Spring Things Shawl is knitted in from a knitting friend who couldn't get on with the yarn and I made sure that she relieved me of some of my stash in return! Rather than the nupps, I decided to add beads as I had some lovely size 6 raspberry lined crystal ABs from Earth Faire.

As far as future projects are concerned, one of them is the circular cardi from Feminin Strik that I mentioned in this post. Fleegle and I are ready to go with our translations and are probably going to start knitting around December. If you feel like joining our little KAL, please feel free to do so. There are loads more things I wanted to mention but this post is already long so they can wait until next time. That's the trouble with not blogging for so long!


  • At 4:10 pm, Blogger Tina - omme i London said…

    WOW - what beautiful scarves and jewellery you produce. I absolutely love the cosh - particularly the name! LOL

  • At 4:26 pm, Blogger Claire said…

    Glad you're back, but very sorry for your loss. The beading is fantastic, and I'm loving your knitting as well.

  • At 5:05 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 5:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So sorry to hear that you have been through such a demanding time. I loved the words to the Joni Mitchell song - it sounds like it was a wonderful send-off. I hope you do not find this winter too heavy with grief. Your beadwork is certainly bright and beautiful and I hope you take an absolutely ton of pride in it. I want to hear those trumpets blowing from Kent to Wales! My only disappointment is that you are not also a chocolatier so I could actually eat that rainbow!

  • At 6:34 pm, Blogger kathryn said…

    Sorry to hear of your loss of your MIL. Whether it's expected or not there's always such sadness at this time.

    Nice to hear you found comfort in your knitting and what an amazing necklace!! And the pendant!!

    I've done a little of that type of beading but never anything that stunning. Is it your own pattern or from a book?

  • At 9:04 pm, Blogger Kath said…

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Your bead work and your knitting look stunning and worthy of blowing your trumpet over.

  • At 12:52 am, Blogger Piglottie said…

    I'm so sorry to hear of your loss and am thinking of you. Your jewellery is beautiful, and your knitting is stunning! Your Spring Things shawl is absolutely gorgeous and I love the idea of the beads - perfect!

  • At 6:05 am, Blogger KnitNana said…

    So sorry for the loss of your MIL. Are we ever really prepared? I wonder.

    But you've been doing amazing work - just lovely stuff!

  • At 10:30 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am very sorry to hear about your loss, it's never easy and I don't think you can ever be prepared.

    I love the scarves and the jewellery. Take care of yourself and if you are coming to Alexandra Palace come and say hello.

  • At 7:24 am, Blogger Jenn said…

    sorry to hear about your MIL I hope you guys are doing well..

    The beading looks BEAUTIFUL!! What a FAB job you have done on it! :) And the knitting is wonderful as well cant wait to see the two shawls blocked.

  • At 10:19 am, Blogger Saira said…

    Sorry to hear about your MIL, hope things are slowly returning to some normality. We have missed you at the knitting group. I am really impressed with you beadwork! Well done, that pendant is stunning! You'll have to come back to the beading group with me now. :-)

  • At 4:50 am, Blogger Turtle said…

    Glad to see you back. the knitting looks beautiful, both yarn and beeded.

    The circle game has always been one of my favorites. Draws a tear every time!

  • At 2:16 pm, Blogger Arianwen said…

    Beautiful cosh scarf!! and the pendent is amazing. Have you enough scarves and stoles now or did you join secret of the stole? Very sorry to hear about your mother in law. but, incredibly interested in her choice of funeral. Where did you find out about it?

  • At 4:54 pm, Blogger wickerwoman said…

    It's all beautiful Hazel and I especially love the jewellery and the beads on the Jane Davis' scarf.

  • At 8:58 pm, Anonymous teeweewonders said…

    OMG - I sound completely heartless! I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I am glad you found some comfort in the knitting, and hope it will continue to ease your grieving.

  • At 10:16 pm, Blogger dreamcatcher said…

    Lovely knits, I am in awe of the beaded scarf, and Spring Things has turned out beautifully. Can't wait to see the blocked version :-)

    Your beaded necklace is a real work of art, superb work.

  • At 8:09 am, Blogger Queen of the froggers said…

    I am sorry about the loss in your family. Your knitting is beautiful.Thank you for commenting x

  • At 11:35 am, Blogger Seahorse said…

    What lovely work! I'm gald it's provding you with some comfort at such a difficult time.

  • At 10:18 pm, Blogger Lizzy said…

    So sorry for your loss.
    Your latest jewellery is absolutely stunning and the shawls are wonderful - so intricate.

  • At 2:57 am, Blogger ikkinlala said…

    I'm sorry for your loss.

    Your beading (and knitting) is gorgeous!

  • At 5:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sorry to read about the passing of your MIL. I know from experience it is never easy. The beadwork looks lovely, well done you. The knitting as ever is gorgeous. Stay well. Beverley xx

  • At 8:46 pm, Blogger Christina said…

    So sorry to hear about your MIL. The spring shawl looks very lovely, what a great colour. And I love your beading too, it's gorgeous.

  • At 10:39 pm, Blogger fleegle said…

    I am very sorry to hear about your MIL. It's never the right time and I know just how stressful those times can be.

    You did get my translation, right? Do they really really mean #9needles? (5.5 mm) I swatched the other day and thought I was knitting a chain link fence, it looked to holey. And Still the gauge was 5 spi. Hm. You try and let me know.


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