For the Fourth of July weekend, apart from having fun at our mother’s 75th birthday, my sister and I wanted to have a Saturday excursion. While making plans I mentioned that I wanted to make some nifty stitch markers like the ones she made for me a million birthdays ago. The stitch markers in question are made with beads. Of course, my sister suggested: “We can go for a walk in the White Mountains in New Hampshire and FINALLY STOP AT ANITA’S BEADS!”
I have no idea how many years she and I have driven together to the White Mountains to climb a mountain, seen the sign for the Anita’s Beads shop, and commented “we must go there some time!” Now we had a perfect excuse because I wanted to make some rad stitch markers.
Before heading up the Kancamagus Highway my sister had to teach me how to make these wonderful stitch markers. I was surprised at how easy they are to create. Years ago she found a blog with instructions for them. The link still works: http://www.wormspit.com/stitchmarkers.htm
The link above is quite old. I’ve found other links with instructions on how to make these beautiful stitch markers but I honestly believe they are copycats of the directions my sister originally used.
I managed to make quite a few lovely “practice” stitch markers using my sister’s huge bead stash. I, the beading ignoramus, can make them quite successfully, so I do not doubt that anyone can, especially with the thorough directions I’ve linked to.
Here is the result of my practice session:
This wonderful bead shop looks beautiful on the exterior, like so many New England shops I came to love when I was growing up in this region. The selection of beads available in this store is quite impressive. Anita herself greets her customers warmly, gives them little trays to gather their loose beads, and a clipboard with a slip and pen to make note of the beads they’ve selected with the quantities and price in preparation for payment. Apart from loose beads, the shop also sells them on hanks and in tubes. There are so many types to choose from: porcelain, fimo, Czech glass, Japanese glass, etc. My sister and I spent over an hour trying to decide what we wanted.
While shopping and chatting with Anita, I explained to her my enthusiasm for knitting and my mission to make some elegant stitch markers with her lovely beads. She did not hesitate to tell me all about Kumihimo, a technique for making braided cord, with or or without beads. I wanted the tools to make Kumihimo braids very much when I saw one of her “Bracelet of the Day” beading kits that uses the Kumihimo method. My sister treated me to large and small Kumihimo disks, bobbins, and the bracelet kit.
I spent the weekend with the kit, learning how to use the Kumihimo disk by following an instructional video by Beadaholique:
As explained in the tutorial, one can choose whether or not to use a weight. I soon discovered that I needed a weight to get my tension right. I used what I had at hand: a travel-sized bottle of shampoo dangling from some dental floss: