Beautiful designs for adventurous knitters

Fountain of Diamonds August 9, 2012

Filed under: Knitting,new pattern — mlemmonsdesigns @ 11:04 am
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When I was at DFW Fiber Fest at the end of March, I was commissioned to turn this beautiful skein of bamboo lace from Michelle aka The Fiber Lady into a shawl.

The are a lot of colors in this skein. You can’t see much of it, but there is also some blue and green in addition to the yellow, cream, and pink. That’s a lot of different colors all in one skein. If you’ve ever tried to knit a lace shawl with a variegated yarn, you know that it needs a special pattern.

My first item of business was to find a strongly defined lace pattern. I found the waterlilies stitch pattern in my Haapsalu Shawl book and decided that the simple bold shape would work well when paired with large amounts of stockinette. I like working with diamond shaped stitch motifs because they fit together flat and along the increase lines.

Remember my previous post about shawl shapes? Like I said then, I like shawl shapes other than the traditional triangle. I made this shawl with three triangular wedges so it wraps around further to the front and stays on the shoulders easily. This also gives a flat edge to the back edge. No pointing at your rear end in this shawl. This shape has two increase line that I wanted to disguise in the stockinette, so I added in the nupp edged diamonds along the increase lines. This was my first time working with nupps. I had fun working on them and I love the way they create little colored beads in the variegated yarn.

The shawl finishes off with a more diamonds and a lacy edging.

And oh yeah, there are beads too. Is anyone surprised?

We tried to get some pictures with the fountain in the middle of the lake in the background, but it was way too bright outside. If you look really hard, you can kind of see it in the background of this picture.

We did get other good pictures though.

Fountain of Diamonds uses

• 900 yds/825m Laceweight. Sample shown in Fiber Lady Chiku, 100% bamboo; 4 oz, 1000 yds, in After Dinner Mints
• US sz 3/3.25mm, or size needed to obtain gauge, circular needle
• 754 sz 8/0 beads
• US sz 14/.75mm crochet hook for adding beads
• 12 stitch markers
• yarn needle for weaving in ends

You can purchase Fountain of Diamonds on Ravelry or directly from The Fiber Lady if you see her at a show.


One year of designing! July 31, 2012

Filed under: Knitting,new pattern,Uncategorized — mlemmonsdesigns @ 11:00 am
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July 15th, 2011 I uploaded my first pattern to Ravelry, Nouveau Beaded Capelet. While that was my first published design, it was not my first completed design. I had already finished knitting and writing Ramona Cowl for Knitscene and Flight of the Bugga socks for Sanguine Gryphon, but they wouldn’t be published until later in the year.

Thus, I have now been designing for over a year. This calls for celebration.

Of course, I didn’t realize that the one year anniversary was coming up until the very end of June. Then I asked on Twitter and in my Ravelry group how we should celebrate. Karen suggested that I design a special pattern. At first I scoffed at the idea of designing, knitting, and releasing a shawl pattern in two weeks. But then the crazy side of my brain took over and started making suggestions.

Crazy Brain (CB): You know, it would be pretty cool to have a special anniversary pattern.

Logical Brain (LB): Yes, but two weeks isn’t much time and I need to still take care of the house and kids. How do I make something that fits with my design aesthetic that I can finish in two weeks? Remember, I’m a slow knitter.

CB: Aww, who needs sleep? Do you remember those purple and green beads that you’ve had for a year now that you’ve been wanting to use? Oh, and that gorgeous dark brown Baruffa Cashwool? They would all look so pretty together.

LB: But I don’t have time. I have other patterns that I’m working on.

CB: You can do it! Beads. Lace. You know you want to…

LB: Well, maybe if I make it a stole… Shaping is the trickiest part.

CB: Now you’re talking! It should have a party theme! Streamers!

LB: Fine, you win. Where’s my graph paper and needles?

And that folks is how I ended up not sleeping for two weeks while I cranked out Merrymaking.


Merrymaking is a stole with pointed ends. Each half is worked from the point to the center, then they are grafted together.


The beaded streamers allow for a lot of customization based on your bead color choices. You can do all the streamers in the same color, use two colors like I did, or even go all out and use four different colors.


I don’t know if you can tell, but we had a lot of fun setting up this photoshoot. Do you know what the best part of having a party themed photoshoot that has a cake as a prop? You get to eat cake afterwards. And if you’ve set up a tea party with crystal and china you should eat the cake on the crystal and china. Yes, these things do come to mind when planning photoshoots. I have to make it worthwhile to my lovely family members who model for me and take the pictures.

I hope you choose Merrymaking to help you celebrate your life soon. Merrymaking is 25% off until August 18th when purchased from Ravelry or my website, no coupon code needed. It is also available on Craftsy.


Frogging with beads June 3, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — mlemmonsdesigns @ 11:03 am
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Frogging is never fun. 

Worse is when it’s lace.

Even worse is lace with beads because as you pull out the yarn, the beads pop off and fly all over the room. Some will never be seen again and others will show up for the next five years in the cracks of the floor, edges of the sofa, your drink, etc. 

I am currently frogging about 20 rows of beaded lace with nupps. In order to control the spray of beads, I have put the lace into a large Ziploc bag and have mostly sealed the top. 


Now, I can frog with impunity and all the beads will be nicely contained to be retrieved later and used again.

Speaking of beaded knitting, Fleegle just wrote a blog post about 4 different methods of attaching beads to knitting, including one that was new to me; guitar wire. Check it out!

If you are looking to make a beaded shawl, please consider Nouveau Beaded Capelet or Silver Bells and Cockle Shells. They are both beautiful shawls and fun knits. 


Silver Bells and Cockle Shells Contest May 19, 2012

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?

With Silver Bells and Cockle Shells and merry maids in a row!

Silver Bells and Cockle Shells is my latest shawl pattern. The deep border on this crescent shaped shawl is adapted from an antique edging pattern. I love the complex flowers and fans which remind me of the nursery rhyme. An additional row of flowers are added for each size.


It comes with written and charted instructions for three sizes. This pattern is perfect for using with long striping yarns or Gradiance sets from The Unique Sheep. Instructions are provided for using a Gradiance set as well as for beading the fans of the border.


I am going to give away one copy of the pattern to a lucky winner. In order to enter, comment below with the yarn and beads you would use if you knit this pattern. You can get an additional entry by tweeting about the contest with a link to this page and then commenting to tell me that you tweeted it. Deadline is Wednesday May 23 at 7pm CST. At that time I will use a random number generator and pick the winner. The winner will receive the pattern either via Ravelry or e-mail as they prefer.


I look forward to seeing everyone’s finished shawls.


Beading Trick March 1, 2012

Filed under: tutorial — mlemmonsdesigns @ 1:31 pm
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I love knitting beaded lace. Obviously, since Nouveau Beaded Capelet has 5082 beads. But knitting with beads can be tedious because it requires constantly stopping and starting to deal with the beads. If the beads are pre-strung, then you have to keep pushing them down the yarn. If you are placing them individually  with a crochet hook or Super Floss, you have to stop to but each bead on. This usually means putting at least one needle down. For a pattern where the beads are more spread out, this is not too bad. But if the beads are placed closely and frequently, it is really hard to get into a rhythm while knitting.

While working on my latest pattern, I decided that I needed a better method that disrupted my knitting less. It took me awhile to come up with this method. First, I was using a sz 14 crochet hook. I would put 5 beads on it at a time and then was holding it in my mouth so that I didn’t have to pick it up every time. But it was hard to hold it at the right angle so that the beads didn’t fall off, and it tasted weird. So then I tried just keeping it in my right hand while knitting. That didn’t work at all. I ended up putting it in my left hand behind the knitting when it wasn’t in use. This worked ok. But then the next time I came to do some knitting, I couldn’t find the hook anywhere. I suspect collusion between the toddler and the couch. So I decided to switch to Super Floss, but my big pack is missing. Then I remembered that I had beaded with beading wire before. And I was able to find the beading wire!!! We had a winner!

I got to work, but it was still tedious. It was great that I could thread 50+ beads on at a time, but I still had to pick up the wire every time. Then I had a eureka moment.

Beading wire is really thin. Thin enough that I could pin it through my shirt. That made it so that it stayed attached to me, but I still had to pick up the other end. I tried holding it in my mouth again, but that was awkward. Then I determined that I could leave the wire hooked through the last stitch until I needed it again. Now my shirt and the knitting were keeping the beading wire in place. I wasn’t having to drop the yarn while placing the bead, so I was able to get into a better rhythm or flow.

Here are some pictures describing my new beading trick.

First, cut a piece of beading wire about 12″/30cm long. I used .015″/ .38mm Tiger Tail wire which is nylon coated braided stainless steel. Fold back a section about 1″/2.5cm at each end and crease.

Then, use a floss threader to thread the beads onto wire. Leave some space at the end of the wire so that there is room for the beads to slide over the folded over piece.

Next, thread the wire through the fabric of your shirt along the neckline. You can also use this method using Super Floss and a safety pin to attach the wire to your shirt.

Thread the hook at the free end of the wire through the next stitch that needs to be beaded.

Pull the stitch off the needle and onto the wire. Then slide a bead down over the bent back piece of wire.

Slide the bead off the wire and onto the stitch.

Place the stitch back onto the left needle. Leave the wire in the stitch.

Work that stitch, still leaving the wire hooked in the stitch. This leaves the wire in a place that is easy to get to while still holding onto your knitting later.

Here is a picture of the wire loaded with beads hanging between my shirt and my knitting. Leave the wire threaded through that last beaded stitch until you get to the next stitch that needs to be beaded.

Another advantage to this trick is that if you get interrupted and have to get up for awhile, but will be coming back to  knitting later, you can thread the other end of the wire through your shirt as well. The beads can’t go anywhere, ie. safe from cats and toddlers. And it actually looks kind of like a beaded brooch.(I apologize for the poor quality on this picture. The front camera on my phone is not very good.)

I hope this helps you feel more comfortable with knitting with beads!


Bead Choices February 21, 2012

Filed under: Knitting,sneak peek — mlemmonsdesigns @ 12:58 pm
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My current design project has optional beading along the edging. I have lots of choices for bead and yarn combos. I would like some input on which of the choices is best. Click on the pictures to view larger.

First is Dark Peach Lined Crystal AB with Xie bamboo yarn from SWTC.

Next is Silver Lined Crystal AB with Xie.

These are a Silver Lined Matte Purple with the Xie.

Green with Iris (or AB) Finish  with Xie.

The next yarn is Silver Lined Light Blush AB beads with Marici in Impressionist Sunrise by The Unique Sheep.

Then Dark Peach Lined Crystal AB with the Impressionist Sunrise.

Silver Lined Light Sapphire with Impressionist Sunrise.

And last but not least, Shell Pink Luster with Impressionist Sunrise.

I need one bead choice for each of the two yarns. I would like to have one combo with more contrast and one subtle combo. Please comment and let me know which choices you prefer. Thanks for your help.

All of the beads except for the purple and green came from The green and purple beads are from


Tassel Tutorial February 16, 2012

Filed under: Nouveau Beaded Capelet,tutorial — mlemmonsdesigns @ 3:41 pm
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This tutorial is for how to make the tassels on the Nouveau Beaded Capelet nice and neat while anchoring your tail at the same time.

First start by threading the beads onto your yarn using a beading needle or a floss threader. Then cast on 3 stitches using the long tail cast on with the beads on the working end of the yarn. Leave a long tail, at least 12 inches long, you will use it later.

Knit 1 row.

Step 1: Move 50 beads towards needle. Knit into next stitch, forming a loop of beads, do not pull worked stitch off of left needle. Pull yarn snugly against beads.

Step 2: Transfer stitch back to left hand needle

Step 3: Knit 2 together.

Repeat steps 1-3 two more times so that you have a total of 3 beaded loops.

With the working yarn held above the work, wrap the tail tightly around the top of the beaded loops clockwise 3-4 times.

Then, holding the tail with the working yarn, knit 3. This finishes the tassel instructions. Work the Setup Rows holding the tail and working yarn together as well.