Monday, January 29, 2007

36 Hours to a New Design

I'm very excited about my new designs in beaded crochet. These are my first original designs with this technique. All of my micro macrame designs are originals by me. And I have crocheted many items. This is my first time to combine beads, crochet, and jewelry. As I previously mentioned, I have crocheted for years. Lately I have been idly thinking of trying this. Finally, I got some inspiration and went into a Bead Fever. (I'll cover Bead Fever in a future post.)

About the process:

First, I got out my handy dandy Harmony Guide to Crochet stitches. Using crochet cotton, and size 11 (tiny) seed beads in my first effort, I made one of the motifs. It was too big, but now I had something to hold in my hands, and look at. (It was too ugly to photograph, so you won't see it here. I need these failures to learn from, but they are my little secrets.)

So I adapted the stitches to a smaller one (see photo, far left).

Then, as I held the piece and examined it, I wondered how I could use a (larger) size 8 seed bead. An idea occurred to me and I came up with the one in the middle of photo. I also reduced the usage of the tiny seed beads.

On the third one (far right in photo), I kept the minimal usage of tiny beads, the larger (size 8) seed beads, but tried a different motif.


Next, I wondered what they would look like using Omega Brand No. 2 Nylon Crochet thread. (I use it in most of my micro macrame designs, so I have plenty on hand.) So, I made the next one in gold nylon crochet thread, with green seed beads, (both size 11 and 8). It measures 1 3/4 inches across.





I liked it so much, I made a pair in cobalt blue nylon crochet thread with light blue beads. Also measures 1 3/4 inches across.












And then a pair in red nylon crochet thread, and transparent red beads. Giving it a subtle shine and sparkle in the light. (one and 3/4 inches across)









I handled and played with these earrings for awhile. I am very visual and tactile. One of the reasons I like micro macrame and now this beaded crochet, is that not only do they appeal to me visually, but also on a tactile level. They feel friendly. I cannot otherwise describe. Most of my friends and local customers agree once they hold a piece. They feel good to wear, too.

So as I fondled my new creations, I wondered,...

What if I take off some of the points (around the edges)? And put in a centerpoint focal bead?

Well, guess what?

I used bright green nylon crochet thread, green iridescent size 11 seed beads, gold size 8 seed beads, and amber czechoslovakian fire-polished crystal 6mm faceted round beads.


And then the earrings asked for dangles.

So, let there be dangles!

They now hang 2 1/2 inches (not including ear wire).









I was feeling inspired.

Now, I wondered how can I alter the overall shape?



This one took 4 failures before I arrived at this one. In pink nylon crochet thread, pale cream iridescent size 11 seed beads and 10mm glass oval focal bead, I could be happy with this one.

They hang 2 inches from ear wire.














Or, does it need a dangle? Tell me what you think.


They hang 2 3/4 inches with dangle.











I'm not much for manufacturing, making the same thing over and over. I need to at least be able to play with color. But I love designing. This is why I never make the exact same piece twice. Something has to be different. Or I get bored. When I get bored, I lose motivation. Then I would not be Living the Dream. For me Living the Dream is to follow my muse.

I have plans for the future. I want to draw/write my designs into patterns to sell alone or in kits. Perhaps, one day a book...

Now, I need to list all but the first ones in cotton (they are just prototypes), and the pink (this pair of earrings is awaiting a necklace I have in my mind) on Etsy. See link list to go to my Etsy Shop (knotgypsy.etsy.com).

Let me know what you think and leave a comment if you wish. I look forward to hearing what you think of my blog, my jewelry, or whatever else you want to say.
Copyright 2007 Donna Littlewood