Knitting on the Sly

A couple of days ago I showed you the beginning of a beaded necklace. I was making it for my best friend, Kathleen’s 33 1/3rd birthday party. I only had 2 weeks notice, so I had to work fast. And, the party was in San Francisco, and I live in Boston. And she visited me for 5 of those days, so I couldn’t do it in front of her. So I worked on it where I could, even in a meeting or two at work! And on Friday, I boarded a plane to visit her.

In theory, it was rather simple: knit in the round, 10 beaded rows, 9 unbeaded rows, and a grafting bind-off. In practice, this is challenging. 400 beads on the thin cord, knitting with 000 needles, a very long grafting tail prone to tangling, trying to manage all of this in confined spaces. On the plane, I managed to finish the principal knitting. And because I had a window seat, I don’t think I bothered the woman next to me too much while grafting.

But the grafting wasn’t a dream. It might have taken longer than the actual knitting. Here’s what I was dealing with (the purple was my provisional cast on), each stitch I was grafting together had a bead on it:

I didn’t manage to dig out my camera on the plane, but I did work on the grafting while perched on a chair and a stool in her office in the library while she was leading an orientation. Note the tools of the trade: knees, small needle, scissors, phone, (iPod was out of the shot):

And as it turned out, I wasn’t able to finish it before the party. So I wrapped it anyway and gave it to her and finished it the next day. Her young cats were interested, but easily pushed away. Here’s the finished item:

And a couple of close-ups:

And finally, Kathleen wearing it:

Now, her party had a record theme. And I have always been the biggest record collector I know. My friends all had tapes. I needed the random access that a record gave me. When I wanted to listen to a song, I wanted it NOW!!! And in high school, I used to have hair down to my butt and sometimes, for kicks, I used to wear a 45rpm around my pony tail. As it so happens, my hair is currently long enough to put into a pony tail, and I still have that 45 I used to wear. But I needed a scrunchie to hold the record in place. An hour with a crochet hook and a ball of novelty yarn gave me this:

Which meant I looked like this for the party:

And in the ultimate in random access, Kathleen’s iPod played her 80s music collection on shuffle all night.

On the flight home, I got buried in Memoirs of a Geisha (the book), so I didn’t knit a stitch. So my Rock and Weave socks are calling to me. And another Rockin’ Sock Club package should be on it’s way shortly.

But something else was waiting for me when I got home today….

I immediately screwed together a needle and closed my eyes. This Addi Addict could actually be fooled. Maybe I’ll try them out on the other thing that was in the box….


  1. mari:

    My KP needles arrived yesterday..posted initial thoughts on the blog. Using them now, have to say I’m really quite pleased…good luck with your set!

  2. Charity:

    Beautiful necklace!

  3. Chris:

    The necklace is stunning! And I LOVE the picture of you with your 45 and scrunchie - so cute!

    Now, if they had that set with smaller needles… I might be tempted…

  4. Lotta:

    Holy mackerel, that is one gorgeous necklace! I love it! Is there actually a bead in every stich? I would imagine that’s kind of a pain to knit… but the result sure is worth it. Did you order a kit or buy the stuff separate? What was the yarn you used?

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