Last summer, I explored surface design with polymer clay by experimenting with metallic dye and paint. This summer, I cracked the cover of Betsy Hershberg’s book, Betsy Beads published by XRX Books in 2012. Sometimes, when I get so excited about a new project, I jump in feet first. Even though I know how to knit I-cord, I convinced myself to start from the beginning of the book with the first I-cord tutorial.
Beginning at the top slipping beads according to the directions: A) Knit five rounds, purl 1 round. B) Knit one round, purl one round. C) Same as B.
Betsy’s first and straightforward project, KISS: Keep It Simple Spiral happened by happenstance. “A Zen moment – recognizing that what you are looking for can often be found only when you stop looking.”
The shorter green necklace highlights KISS: Keep It Simple Spiral. The blue lariat necklace knit with sock-weight merino and 700 glass seed beads follows the all-over bead-knit tube technique, finished using the Zipper Technique for joining the cast-on to the bind-off edge.
Here are two more examples of the KISS: Keep It Simple Spiral knit with bamboo and Japanese seed beads.
The above Dorset button beaded bracelet is knit with tulle and glass seed beads using 5 rounds, purl 1 round I-cord. Also, the button was embellished with beads.
I also experienced my “Zen moment,” Approaching a known technique, which I’ve worked with, as if I were doing it from scratch gave me the opportunity to look at it from a different perspective.
“Save time by carefully checking your gauge.” Famous last words for anyone that knits or crochets. Knitting a gauge swatch indicates the tightness or looseness of the knitter’s tension by measuring the stitches and rows per inch over atleast a 4″ swatch. Getting correct gauge determines the finished size of the stitched item and insures time wisely spent. How is gauge checked for items knit in the round?
I’ve posed this question to many in my knitting circle and received a variety of responses. “It doesn’t matter, just knit a swatch.” “If you’re knitting in the round, swatch in the round.” Why not knit a swatch using two double-point needles creating an I-cord? (Check-out www.knitty.com Winter 04 Issue Knit by Numbers).
I decided to knit three swatches to find out what the difference in gauge would be with each method. The I-cord method, knitting back and forth on straight needles, and inthe round using circular needles. Each swatch was knit atleast 5″ wide with a worsted weight yarn in stockinette stitch on Size 7 bamboo needles.
The stitches were cut up the back on the I-cord swatch to lay flat. Compared to the other two swatches, the tension on the knit back and forth swatch was looser. Before measuring, each swatch was washed.
In The Round Swatch: 18 sts = 4″ = 4.5 sts = 1″ 6.85 rows = 1
So, I have the answer…each method produces a different gauge. I believe the I-cord method and knitting in the round are more reliable because both methods mimic knitting in the round. Of course, each knitter knits differently and your results will be unique to you.