Hooked on Needles

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Felt Book Received -- Goodies in the Mailbox!

Oh Boy Oh Boy! I got a package in the mail today from my favorite Embroidery website owner, Mary Corbet of Needle 'N Thread. I had won her recent giveaway for a book about wool felting so she sent that, along with another book on knitting for kids and the cutest little baby beret pattern which she claims is not written in English ;)

Here they are:

Books and Pattern from Mary CorbetToday I'll share the felting book with you, and the others I'll talk about another time, but don't they look like fun too?

Wool Felting Workshop by Vivian Peritts is not what I expected from what little I saw of it when I entered the giveaway. I was pleasantly surprised to find all sorts of interesting ideas and patterns and instructions on using old wool sweaters in new ways. Here are some of the projects that really caught my eye:

Felt Book PagesThis is a hot water bottle cover cut from pieces of a felted wool sweater with ribbing. You can see the top of the cover still shows the ribbing that was knitted into the sweater. There are full size templates for all the patterns in the book as well.

Felt Book PagesThis baby blanket is so cute and colorful made from squares of felted wool sweaters. There are patterns for appliqués and instructions on how to stitch them onto some of the squares. The ruffle around the blanket is made from felted ribbing.

Felt Book PagesThe stripes on this loopy striped pillow are made by cutting across the stripes of a felted wool sweater and then stitching some of the stripes into loops before stitching them onto the pillow background.

There are so many other clever ideas and patterns in this book and full size templates for all of them. Also included are lots of tips for handling wool and recycling old wool clothing into new and useful items. There are quite a few projects in this book that I will put on my List of Things To Do and I'll be sure to share them with you when I get to them. Check the book out for yourself if you are interested.

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Skein Half Full or Half Empty?

When I started the little project for my recent Yarn Over Increase knitting tutorial, I began with a new ball of Sugar 'n Cream worsted cotton which consists of 2 ounces of yarn. I wanted to knit as shown in the Increase tutorial until I had used up half of the yarn, and then start decreasing so I could make the next tutorial showing one method of decreasing in knitting. I did not want to have an odd length of yarn leftover which I would end up throwing away, nor did I want to come up short and have to start in on a new ball of yarn for the sake of just a few stitches at the end. So what was I to do?

Usually I just eyeball something like this and hope for the best, but I also wanted my project to be of such a size as to be useful, so I really needed to knit as far as possible before starting to decrease.

While I was knitting, I had a revelation. These don't happen often to me, so when they do, I pay attention! Here's what I thought was a brilliant idea...

I pulled out my trusty postage scale...

Half Full? -- Yarn on Scaleand put what was left of my yarn on top of it. As you can see, I had 1 1/2 ounces left! That could only mean that I had used up just 1/2 ounce so far and could continue knitting towards the middle. Genius! Pure Genius!

Well now, wait a minute...I should really hold off on patting myself on the back just yet since I have not finished the project so I can't say that the idea paid off, but in theory it should be pretty accurate, don't you think? I'll let you know how it comes out.

Another way to work up to the half-way point of your available yarn which I came across recently is to find the middle of your yarn and tie a loose knot at that point. When you've knitted or crocheted up to the knot, you know you have used up half. The only problem with this is that you have to unwind all your yarn to find the middle. This could be quite a mess for some of us!

This method is good however for when you are doing something with short rows like a scarf and you want to use up all your yarn but you are not sure you have enough to do two more rows. You find the middle of your remaining yarn and tie a loose knot, then knit or crochet one more row. If you get to the knot before you finish the row, you know you do not have enough to do one more row. If you do not make it to the knot, then you do have enough for one more row. Keep in mind though with knitting that you always have to leave some allowance for binding off.

Do you have any other clever ways to make sure you don't come up short at the end of a project? I'd love to hear about them.

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Learn to Knit -- Easy Yarn Over Increase

When learning to knit, besides learning the basics for even stitching which would be how to cast on, how to knit and how to purl, it is also important to learn one or two simple ways to shape your knitted piece. In the video below, you will learn how to do a very simple increase, called a Yarn Over Increase. This increase, besides adding a stitch, will also create a bit of a lace effect on your piece since it leaves a hole in your work. There are other methods of increasing in knitting which I will show you soon, but this is a good one to start out with.

Coming up soon, I will show you the second half of the piece featured in this video while teaching you how to decrease, along with pictures of another project I made using this same method. I'll share with you a few ideas for using this very simple increase/decrease pattern to make quick gifts for the holidays. Stay tuned!

Happy Stitching!

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Crocheted Scarves for Special Olympics

I have finished my second crocheted scarf for the Special Olympics and I love the Red Heart Delft Blue and White combination. The scarves are quick to work up too so I got some pretty instant gratification. I'm not usually a fringe kind of person, especially on something like an afghan which will be up around my face, but I thought these scarves would look nice with fringe, so I put some on and discovered something in the process.

Here's how I did it:

Special Olympics Crocheted ScarfAfter finishing this scarf, crocheted entirely in the half double crochet stitch, I worked a single crochet stitch border around the whole thing, working one stitch into the end of each row along the sides. Across the two short ends, I worked one single crochet then a chain stitch, then worked another single crochet into the second stitch from the hook and then another chain all the way across. This left nice little holes into which I knotted my fringe.

I got my supplies together which included a very large (size N I think) plastic crochet hook, my latch hook which I had never used for fringe before, my scissors, my white yarn and something to wind it around to make the fringe. That happened to be the plastic packaging in which some linen fabric came. It was sturdy and just the right size for the fringe I wanted on this scarf.

Special Olympics Crocheted ScarfI wanted white fringe on this scarf so I wrapped my white yarn around the plastic 4 times, with the beginning and end of the yarn at the bottom. I held all strands together at the bottom then snipped right through all the loops, at the bottom only.

Special Olympics Crocheted ScarfThen I took the 4 lengths of yarn off the plastic from the top which was the middle of the lengths. I folded the yarn at the middle and hooked all 4 pieces with my big crochet hook that I had put from back to front through one of the holes on the end of the scarf.

Special Olympics Crocheted ScarfI pulled the loop through the hole just enough to open it up and draw the ends of the yarn through the loop.

Special Olympics Crocheted ScarfThen I tightened up the loop against the edge of the scarf and one fringe bundle was complete. Pretty easy. And pretty looking too!

Special Olympics Crocheted ScarfI decided to try my latch hook instead of the big crochet hook to see how that would work and I was quite surprised. I grabbed the middle of the yarn with the hook and pulled it through the hole.

Special Olympics Crocheted ScarfThen grabbed the tails of the yarn and pulled them through the loop with no problem at all. In fact it was much easier using the latch hook than the crochet hook mainly because the latch hook has that little latch that closes over the yarn so it doesn't slip out of the hook and goes through the loop very easily. I had heard of others using a latch hook for fringe, but I always thought the many lengths of yarn would be too thick for a latch hook. I was glad I tried it!

Special Olympics Crocheted ScarfSo this is a close-up of the scarf I put the long white fringe on. It is worked widthwise in half double crochet stitch throughout and has three 2-row stripes of white towards each end of the scarf. The white and blue yarns were carried up the side of the piece between stripes as shown in this tutorial, so I only had a few ends to work in after I was finished. I also worked a single crochet border around the scarf using the blue yarn. This was mainly to crochet over the yarn ends and the yarn that was carried up the side for the color changes. It just makes the finished product look neater.

Special Olympics Crocheted ScarfThis scarf was crocheted lengthwise using the woven stitch, one of my all-time favorites! The colors were carried up the side in this scarf as well so there were only two ends of each color to weave in afterwards. The fringe covered up where the yarn was carried up the side since it was on the short end. The short fringe on this one was worked in blue and white to match the stripes.

Special Olympics Crocheted ScarfThese scarves were fun and quick projects to make and I hope the special athletes who receive them will wear them with pride throughout the games and beyond.

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Yo Yo! Another Handy Helper

The other day when I went shopping at Michael's with a great coupon which was good on my entire purchase, I splurged a little a bought something that has had me curious for a long time. You've probably seen them in stores and catalogs too, and maybe even used them yourself. Can you guess what it is?

Ta Dah!
Yo Yo Maker from CloverClover makes some clever things, and this is certainly one of them. It's their Yo-Yo Maker and it comes in several different sizes and even in some other shapes besides round. I exercised restraint yet again and only purchased one, the large round one. I chose this particular one because I have made yo-yos myself the old fashioned way in this same size and shape and I wanted to be able to make a fair comparison.

Check out what I did...

Yo Yo Maker from CloverI gathered up some leftover fabrics and ironed them, then after reading the directions to see just how this little gadget worked, I began. It didn't take long before I got the hang of it and was whipping out yo-yos like crazy. What fun!

Yo Yo Maker from CloverHere's a close-up of my favorite. I just love that fabric and the little pleats came out so even and neat. I'm really liking my new toy!

Yo Yo Maker from CloverI especially love how they all come out so uniform. Isn't this a pretty flower?

What I really love about this gadget is that there is no need to trace a shape and cut it out precisely and worry about folding the circular edge and using the same seam allowance on each one to get consistent results. You just sandwich the fabric between the two pieces of plastic, trim off the excess fabric, stitch through the holes, pop it open and draw up the thread. That's it! How much easier could it get? And fun too!

Now I just have to figure out what to do with them! I'd love to know what you do with yours.

Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Got Mail! -- Connecting Threads Package Received

Don't you simply L-O-V-E getting Stuff in the mail? I surely do. I recently discovered a website called Connecting Threads about which I wrote not too long ago. I placed a small order and it came in the mail pretty quickly. I was quite impressed.

Would you like to see what I got?

Connecting Threads Pincushion Bag KitIt's a kit to make 2 of Emilie's Pincushion Bags and matching needle books, one in greens and one in sort of rusty/tan colors. It came with 8 fat quarters of very nice fabric and a full color sheet of comprehensive instructions along with templates for cutting each piece and illustrations to explain most of the assembly steps. It was all packaged very nicely inside a sturdy plastic bag and arrived by regular US mail in less than a week.

Connecting Threads FabricHere's a close-up of the fabrics. Aren't they pretty?

Upon reading the instructions for this kit, I realized that I would need to purchase 5 1/4 yards of rat tail for the cords, some sturdy plastic for templates and for the bottom of the pincushions, and I would also need some buttons and batting to complete the project. The buttons and batting are no problem since most crafty people would probably have at least a small supply leftover from previous projects. But 5 1/4 yards of rat tail is not something I usually have just lying around, nor is template plastic, so it would be helpful if those items had been included in the kit.

All in all I would have to say I am pleased with my first purchase from Connecting Threads and I have enjoyed poking around their website to see what other fun things I could find. I really love the feature they have where you can see the actual fabrics included in a kit and how much of each will be included.

The way they have their fabric organized is very helpful too. I like being able to click on a particular collection and see all the fabrics that go together right on the screen. There are also links to kits, threads and patterns that use the particular fabric collection too, so finding things that coordinate with each other just couldn't be easier.

I'm in the process of finishing up a few other projects right now, namely the Basketweave afghan that was too heavy to work on in the hot weather, my second Special Olympics scarf, and my last Angel Swap gift. Once these are completed and I have a chance to pick up some rat tail and template plastic, I am very much looking forward to sewing up these pretty little accessories. Perhaps one will soon be featured in a Fall themed give-away. You just never know!

Happy Stitching!

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Angel Swap Gifts Coming Along -- Scissor Holder

I've been diligently working on my Angel Swap gifts and enjoying every minute of it, even those minutes when things were not working out quite as expected. But that's when I had to get creative and improvise, you know, go off pattern and just get it done. I think we've all had projects like that.

I fell in love with Lynette's Here Kitty Scissor Holder when she introduced it recently for the Angel Swap. That would have to be one of my gifts, it just HAD to be! I couldn't pass up that kitty's face! Entirely irresistible! So I gathered my Stuff and got to work. Take a look and see how it turned out...

Here Kitty Scissor HolderIn the end, I was quite pleased with the result, even though it ended up smaller than designed. I had trouble with the part where the fabric is supposed to be folded over the cardboard and glued, probably because the iron-on interfacing I used was a little heavier than it should have been. So I cleaned up the gluey parts and just sewed the pieces right sides together, then turned them and stitched up the opening.

In my distress over having to improvise, I completely forgot to sew in the ribbon, so I ended up hand stitching that to the inside of the pouch. With the thicker batting I used on the front and back pieces, the whole thing ended up being pretty sturdy, so I think not using the cardboard worked out fine. I supposed it could even be washed too.

I purposely made the stripes on the front piece go diagonally because I knew I would never be able to line up the stripes to match with the back. I also added a clear glass bead to the middle of the flower on the back piece.

Here Kitty Scissor HolderI love herringbone stitch and thought Lynette was clever to use it in joining the two pieces together. It adds such a pretty decorative edge too.

All in all, I enjoyed working on this piece and was surprised how quickly it worked up, even with my glue issues! Now I just have to find a pretty little pair of scissors to accompany this kitty to Australia.

Here's a little peek at what else I'm working on for the Angel Swap...

Blue Bird EmbroideryNatalie at Cinderberry Stitches introduced the cutest little Blue Wren's Nest pattern for the Angel Swap and I couldn't pass that one up either. Natalie makes a tote bag with hers, but that's not what I'm doing with it. I'll be making it into something else, but still stitching related. I'll show it to you when it's finished.

This swap is quickly coming to the end, so I best get on my horse and get my things complete and ready to mail, but there is still one more design to come next week. I wonder what it will be. Surely one more thing I won't be able to pass up!

Happy Stitching!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Stitch Chart for Crochet -- Another Handy Helper

Continuing the Crochet theme, below you will see a handy reference chart which should help you in working the different crochet stitches properly. When I haven't crocheted in a while, sometimes I forget how many stitches to add to the beginning chain for the stitch I want to use, or how many chains to work before turning, or if I am supposed to start the next row in the first or second stitch. If you are making up a design as you go along instead of working from a pattern which would give you this information, sometimes it's hard to remember the details of each stitch. So here is all that information and more in a handy reference chart.

times to wrap yarn
pull thru # loops, # of times

Chain plus #

Insert hook in # chain from hook

Chain # to turn

Insert hook in this stitch to start new row

Use turning chain as stitch?

Single02, 1x12nd11stno
Half Double13, 1x23rd21stno
Double12, 2x34th32ndyes
Triple22, 3x45th42ndyes
DoubleTriple32, 4x56th52ndyes
Triple Triple42, 5x67th62ndyes

The first column -- # times to wrap yarn -- tells the number of times to wrap the yarn around the hook when beginning the stitch and before putting the hook into the stitch or chain below.

The second column -- YO, pull thru # loops # times -- refers to the number of times you need to Yarn Over and pull the yarn through the number of loops to form the stitch. This is after you initially Yarn Over and pull the yarn through the stitch or chain below.

The third column -- chain plus # -- gives you the number of chain stitches you have to add to the beginning chain in order to work that particular stitch. For example, if you want to work a piece in double crochet that will be 30 stitches wide, you would chain 30 then add 3 more chains before turning and working the first row of double crochet stitches.

The fourth column -- insert hook in # chain from hook -- refers to which chain stitch you insert your hook into after working the beginning chain and turning to begin the first row of stitches. In the example above, you would insert your hook in the 4th chain from your hook.

The fifth column -- chain # to turn -- gives you the number of chain stitches to work at the end of a row before you turn to begin the next row of the particular stitch. For example, if you are going to work triple crochet for your next row, you would chain 4 before turning.

The sixth column -- insert hook in this stitch to start new row -- tells you which stitch to put your hook into when you start a new row of the particular stitch. For example, if you are working a row of half double crochet stitches, you would first chain 2 to turn then insert your hook in the 1st stitch to begin the next row.

The last column -- use turning chain as stitch? -- tells you whether or not the turning chain will be considered a stitch. If you notice that for both single crochet and half double crochet stitches, the first stitch in a row is worked into the first stitch of the row below and the turning chain is not counted as a stitch, but in all others the first stitch is worked in the second stitch of the row below and the turning chain is counted as a stitch. This keeps the stitch count consistent throughout your work. This is the rule, but some patterns will indicate not to use the turning chain as a stitch in which case you simply follow the directions as given for the pattern.

I hope you will find this chart helpful when working your crochet projects. You might want to bookmark this page so you can find it quickly.

Happy Stitching!

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Crochet Stitch Height Comparison

I seem to be on a Crochet Kick lately, so I think I'll just continue a little longer and share this sample piece with you. It shows how the different crochet stitches compare to each other in height so you can have an easy reference when deciding what stitch you might want to use in a project.

Take a look...

Stitch Height Comparison Sample
Starting at the bottom, I crocheted 2 rows of single crochet, then 2 rows of half double, 2 rows of double, and ended at the top with 2 rows of triple crochet. You can click on the picture to see it bigger.

As the piece progresses upwards, the stitches get taller and looser. Single crochet is very compact and firm whereas triple crochet is very hole-y and loose. Depending on what you are making and what effect you want to achieve, one stitch might be a better choice than another.

For items like baby blankets or afghans, I much prefer a tighter, firmer stitch like single or half double, or a stitch pattern such as the Ripple Stitch or the Basketweave Stitch. I like afghans and blankets to be solid and not have holes in them where fingers and toes can get stuck.

For something like a scarf where you might want it loose and drape-y, triple crochet would work great.

Coming up this week, I will bring you a chart for working all the different basic crochet stitches that will also be an easy reference when working a project. In addition to that on my List of Things To Do are some new knit videos, an update on my Angel Swap projects, what I received from Connecting Threads, and a review of a neat new tool I recently acquired.

Happy Stitching!

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Beaded Banner -- Finished and Given Away

The Varsity Letter Music Beaded Banner I showed you the other day was finished well ahead of time and given to the band director for his birthday. As it happened, my daughter got the date wrong, so it was an early birthday celebration -- or an UNbirthday celebration! Anyway, he appreciated the thought!

Take a look and see how it turned out...

Varsity Letter Music Beaded Banner Finished
These beaded banners are so fun to make, and you can get the kits for banners of all sizes. I have done little tiny Christmas ornament banners to hang on the tree or in the little sidelight windows next to my front door. They also come in long skinny rectangles and other odd shapes too.

If you like them but don't want to take the time to make them yourself, Bonnie has lots available ready-made. She designs many herself and has loads to choose from.

If you want to get really creative, purchase a make-your-own kit and map out what you want your banner to look like. Then start beading! I'd love to see what you come up with.

Happy Beading!

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

100th Post Give-Away -- Round 2

Time's up. I had to do another drawing for the second beaded scissor fob since I did not hear back from the other winner. My other favorite little helper mixed up the pile of papers and picked one with her sticky breakfast fingers. And the winner of the Red Beaded Scissor Fob is...

Name Drawing
...Mary Corbet from our favorite embroidery website Needle 'n Thread! Congratulations Mary! I know how much you like accessories!

I'll get Jane's purple and Mary's red scissor fobs packaged up this weekend and mailed out to them.

Thank you again to all who participated in this give-away. It was fun to hear comments from all of you and I hope you'll come back often.

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Learn to Crochet -- Triple Crochet Stitch Video Tutorial

Here's is the next stitch in the Learn to Crochet series of Video Tutorials I've been sharing with you...Triple Crochet. If you're looking for a very tall and loose crochet stitch to work with, this is the one for you!

Take a look and then give it a try!

If you want to practice Triple Crochet while making something useful, I would recommend making a scarf. Because Triple Crochet is so tall, it works up very quickly. And since it is such a loose stitch, it makes a very loose fabric that drapes nicely. Pick out your yarn and the appropriately sized hook, chain 25 or 30 or however many stitches to make the width you want, then add 4 chains. Work your first triple crochet into the 5th chain from the hook and in each chain across. Chain 4 and turn. Work a triple crochet into the 2nd stitch from the hook and in each stitch across, remembering to work a triple crochet into the top of the turning chain from the previous row. If you forget that, you will decrease the number of stitches on each row by 1 and end up with a very short pointed piece!

This would be a good thing to make if you want to do some charity crocheting for a local shelter or church fair or for the Special Olympics.

Happy Stitching!

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Charity Knitting and Crocheting

Lately I have been cruising around the web just trying to see what kind of great stuff is out there for someone who likes doing all kinds of needlework. There is only so much one can do to keep for oneself, but people like us must continue to create! I've come upon a few sites where people are doing great things for others so I thought I would share those with you in this ongoing list of links. I will update it when I find new sites and there will be a link to it on my sidebar. If you know of any others that would fit into these categories, please leave a comment and let everyone know.

Organizations requesting handmade articles

Organizations that make items to donate

Patterns you can use to make items to donate

Happy Stitching!

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Varsity Letter Music Beaded Banner -- Picture Tutorial

Just the other day, I wrote a little bit about how easy and fun making a Beaded Banner is...for me anyway! Well, I have started making another one and I thought I would show you step-by-step how these banners are made.

First of all, you need a Beaded Banner pattern sheet. This would come with your kit if you purchased a kit, or you would have to design your own using the blank that comes with the Make-Your-Own kit. The one in the pictures below is a pattern that I designed myself as a gift to my daughter's high school band director. Don't tell anyone, but his birthday is coming up next week and this will be a surprise for him!

You also need something to anchor your pattern onto, such as a clip board or other type of board. I use a plastic typing stand, with the 'stand' part removed.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerHere are all my supplies: The pattern sheet, typing stand board, scissors, tape, pony beads in appropriate quantity and colors, box to contain beads, and then the pieces that came with the Make-Your-Own kit which are the spool of thread, large plastic needle, metal rod, hanging cord, and little plastic end caps for the rod.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerSo the first thing you do is tape your pattern sheet to your board and cut a 2 yard length of thread. Tape one end of the thread to the left side of the pattern sheet between rows 1 and 2. Thread the other end onto the needle and then, following the chart, thread all the beads for the first two rows onto the thread as shown in the picture above. In this case the beads are all blue, but your pattern may call for different colors, so you need to follow the pattern.

Each row is off set from the next row so that each row only contains half the number of beads for the width of the banner.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerThen you take the metal rod and put it through the beads from right to left, only picking up the beads for Row 1 and leaving the beads for Row 2 beneath the rod, as shown in the picture above. When you are finished, line up Rows 1 and 2 with the corresponding rows on the chart to make sure that you have the right color beads in the right places.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerAt this point, you need to put the little plastic end caps onto each end of the metal rod to protect yourself from the sharp cut ends of the metal.
Tape the ends of the rod to the pattern sheet with the beads lined up properly.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerFollowing the chart from right to left, string the first bead of Row 3 onto the needle then put the needle through the last bead of Row 2. String the next bead of Row 3 on, then put the needle through the next bead of Row 2. Continue in this manner, as shown in the picture above, all the way across the row, adding the new bead and picking up the bead of the previous row.

I find it easiest to put the needle through 2 or 3 new beads and the corresponding beads from the previous row before pulling the thread all the way through. This saves time and also helps to keep the beads tight on the thread.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerWhen you get to the end and have made sure that you have all the right color beads in the right places, untape the end of the thread and tie a knot as shown in the picture above.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerThen put your needle through the last bead of Row 3 from left to right, as shown above, so you will be ready to start stringing the beads for Row 4.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerString all the beads for Row 4 in the same manner, making sure you pick up the beads from the previous row each time you string a bead from the current row. This is how the banner looks after the first 4 rows have been strung.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerAfter stringing the 5th row, you need to anchor the last bead by tying a knot with the thread from the previous row. Put your needle between the two previous end beads picking up the thread joining them, then put your needle over your working thread and pull it through, making a loop.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerThen put your needle into the loop from back to front and over your working thread as shown above. Pull it nice and snug and you will have anchored the last bead of the row. This is how you end every left side row.

Varsity Letter Music Beaded BannerThen put your needle through the last bead so that you will be ready to start stringing the beads of the next row. Continue working each row, making sure your beads are the right color and in the right place before knotting the end.

Keep in mind that the thread only gets knotted on the left side, not on the right side. You just need to make sure it is pulled up tightly on the right side after beginning the next row.

I am about a quarter of the way finished with this banner as I type, but by the time this gets published, I am hoping to be much further along. Once it is finished, I will show you how it turned out and you can see what the whole design looks like. I bet you could guess just by looking at the first picture though.

So you can see that making beaded banners is not all that hard, and it is not too tedious if this is the kind of thing you enjoy doing. It does take A Lot of beads though! Almost 1700 in fact for one banner! I priced them at Michael's and Walmart and different places on line and found that just buying them at Walmart in bags of 500 was the least expensive way to go for a Make-your-own design. The kits that you can buy from Mary Maxim or Herrschner's are less expensive than designing your own and buying your own beads because you only get the number of beads in each color that the pattern calls for, with just a few extras.

Anyway, if you have been curious about how these beaded banners get put together, now you know! Give one a try if it interests you. If you order a Christmas-y one from Mary Maxim, you may just end up with the one I designed!

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