Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I have a show at Tempe Yarn and Fiber this weekend and I'll be debuting my chatelaines.  Terry (one of the shop owners) suggested that I might look into making these lovely things.  I had never heard of them before!

I attended one of her free-form knitting and crocheting classes, which was amazing.  It was SO fun.  I haven't played with what I learned outside of the class yet, but I apparently haven't been able to get it out of my mind, if the way these pieces have turned out is any indication.  They're strung in a rather beautifully haphazard way, and it was only when I was in the middle of the third piece that it hit me--I was doing free-form, only with stringing beads.  It was scratching a creative itch, let me tell you.

The designs for each of these is essentially the same.  There's a necklace portion with an extra bracelet portion that can be removed in case you don't want to carry the entire thing with you, but you want to take along some stitch markers.  (I'm forever finding myself without a reliable place to put my stitch markers if I finish needing them, for instance, when I'm knitting on the go.)  The pendant piece of each chatelaine has three little clasps with a piece of chain attached that you can use for looping tools or notions onto the necklace.  I'm also including four little stitch markers with each chatelaine.  They're just metal plated plastic rings, but they are SO cute and so light and don't catch on anything and I love them, so I thought I'd throw some in with each piece.

The stringing design for each of these was inspired by the focal piece.  This one, which I'll use to show the chatelaine in use, was inspired by that leaf.  I was aiming for a pretty colors-of-nature look.  There's amazonite, faceted freshwater pearls, Chinese crystal, gold and silver plated beads, seed beads, and one little bird wing charm (so far...  ALL of these are due for more decoration once I've gotten at least 10 of them made).

Here, you can see the chatelaine all empty, with the bracelet bit still attached (it's the chain bit to the left with the stitch markers strung onto it).

Here is the chatelaine filled up with some of the stuff I would probably want to have with me.  I've detached the bracelet bit and added extra stitch markers.  The chain loop has gone through my little row counter (all of these chain loops will fit the row counter pictured--I checked!).  I've used the little clasps to hook my darning needle vial, which is really just an old bead tube, and my fold up scissors.  I hooked my pencil over part of the joining piece, slipped extra stitch markers up one end of the necklace before clasping it, and used a tiny clothespin to clip my ever-necessary heel turning instructions.  This is just a sample of some things I pulled out of my accessories pouch.  I don't have everything I need on here, but it is the stuff I'm reaching for most often, and it's handy to have it all ready to go.

The focal pieces in the chatelaine below were reminiscent of 1920's art deco type styling, so I tried to capture some glamorous flapper flair in the bead stringing.

 Obviously, the octopus below inspired ocean-like stringing.  I used some freshwater pearls, iolite, and labradorite.  I love the opalescence of the labradorite.  The mixed metals in this piece also remind me of pirate treasure.

The focal glass below is full of so many different bright and dramatic colors!  I let the shifting colors inspire my palette for the stringing.  It reminds me of a peacock, perhaps with a bit of disco flair.  ^_~

Also, I wanted to share that I donated the following shawl pin for a fundraiser at something local called Camelot.  Apparently it's a therapeutic horsemanship program for children and adults who have disabilities.  One of my awesome genius fiber friends, Heather, has handspun, hand dyed, and hand knit a GLORIOUS purple shawl from angora fiber (did I mention that she raises the bunnies that the fiber came from, too!?) that is almost too breathtakingly beautiful for words.  Anyway, she asked me to donate a shawl pin to be put together with the shawl for a fundraising auction, I believe.

I'm kind of speechless with horror at the idea of one of my silly pins going on something SO glorious, and I'm honestly just completely honored that she even found my work worth putting on her shawl.  The shawl is purple, so I made this pin in shades of purple to go with it.  It has two of my most treasured little charms (the purple jewel ones) that I've held on to for SO long.  I finally found something worth putting them in.  And I put some of my own etched copper... Also, I put wings to symbolize hope (from that quote "my hope has wings", which is so popular, but I don't know what it's from) and a key because I believe that hope is key to any difficult situation, whether disabilities or every day schmutz.  We have to keep hoping and keep believing if we want to keep moving forward.

I hope to see everyone on Saturday!!!!  ^_^

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