Stuff I did with my thumb…

…hopefully it’s green:

That’s my backyard. Yesterday it was all mud. Today it’s mud studded with lime and grass seeds. Yesterday we owned a leaf rake and a little spade and some trimmers. Today we own a seed/lime spreader, a mud rake, a hose, a sprayer, gardening gloves, and a motorcycle.

You might notice some areas of green. Toward the back it’s just evergreen branches. On the right, it’s the little bit of lawn that still survives on our neighbor’s side of the yard (we have a duplex condo). With any luck, we’ll have some grass soon.

Oh, and what does a motorcycle have to do with lawns? Nothing really, it’s just that my husband bought a used one and it was delivered today. What’s that noise I hear? I think it’s my yarn budget growing.

But I know you come for the pretty. So this is a little something I did last weekend:

That’s a Swallow Hill beaded necklace. I bought the kit at Stitches West. It was probably going to languish for a while, but a friend of mine asked if I wanted to take a beaded knitted jewelry class with her, and it turns out they were making this kit! So some of those nights when I was playing with dye and waiting for it to get hot or cool or whatever, I also strung 900+ beads onto nylon cord.

And then last Sunday I grabbed some size 000 Addis and went to the class. We started by casting on with beads. Most people did a long-tail cast-on. I decided to do a knitted cast-on. Worked pretty well for me. Made a nice loose cast-on that matched the gauge of the rows that followed. And what followed were a bunch of rows of knitting with beads.

I ended up finishing up while watching West Wing that night. I cast off more tightly than I cast-on or knit, it was a little lopsided instead of curling nicely in a tube. I had to twist it to hide the wrong side, but it’s a nice design feature. I think if I were to do it again, I’d do a crochet cast-off with extra stitches added between each knit-off. Or I might cast-off joining to the cast-on row to finish it as a tube.

Here’s a close-up:

I proudly wore it to work on Monday and got lots of compliments. Unfortunately, the nifty magnetic clasp bit into the cord I’d sewn it on with and it broke by 10am. I rigged up a little solution that let me keep wearing it for the rest of the day:

So, I have to fix it. I need to come up with another clasp solution. So it might languish for a while longer. I could do a beaded clasp, but I really dig the strong magnets.

I got another kit to make one for my friend, K. With extra beads to make something rope-length. I might crochet it though, instead of knit, to solve the cast on/off tension issues.

Some other updates:
Mermaid: I’m back working on her. I’m getting close to the first armhole again. I also noticed an issue with the spreadsheet, so I updated it yet again. If you’re working from the spreadsheet, the most current version is v1.80.

Ebay postscript: I left negative feedback only about my experience with the sale, leaving the copyright issue out of it. The seller protested with lies but hasn’t left me any feedback at all. Best possible outcome I guess. And I’ve bought all originals now. 3 are here already, 3 should be shipping soon. Thank you for all your advice and support. As it turns out, I found 2 others who also bought from this seller and were upset!