(My first) Stitch markers

Hopping through my favorite knitting blogs — and even on new ones that I’d discover — I’d come across occasional mentions of bead-based stitch markers, with pictures of the cute ornaments. Seeing that I love both yarn and beads, I don’t know why it took me so long to make some of my own. Maybe it’s the fact that they’re not removable? But I’ve even used rings made of scrap yarn for marking, so that’s not it. Well, whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter now because I made a few stitch markers!

Stitch markers

These are real simple ones that just involve stringing combinations of glass beads and seed beads through head pins, making an eye loop and adding a jump ring. That’s all a stitch marker needs, right? Here‘s one of them doing its thing with a shawl that I knit for my mom. I don’t know if I’ll make more anytime soon, but I saw quite a collection of markers in a blog post by Bethany (Orange Swan), and most of these markers don’t have a jump ring in them, so I’m gonna try my hand at least a few.

When I showed these to my sis, she was mildly disappointed that they weren’t earrings like she’d first thought, so I went ahead and made some earrings to match. Happy, Sis? πŸ˜€

Stitch marker earrings

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Torus necklace

Remember the Torus pendant that I’d made a while ago? There are more of those metallic-silver tori in my stash — three, to be precise — and I’d really wanted to use them for something. Earrings were my persistent initial thought, but these tori are too big for earrings. I know my wrists are small for a bracelet with a torus focal piece, and I didn’t want to make another pendant. So I decided they would all go together in one necklace. Of course, they needed something else to add to the look, and what better company than some jumbo pearl beads from my stash! πŸ™‚

Torus necklace

Torus necklace

I’d also recently bought some bead caps online, and they turned out larger than I expected. (This is a problem with Indian online retail — there aren’t enough details provided to trust that a purchase would work out well, and sometimes, the return processes turn out to be painful.) I decided to keep them just in case I bought large beads that would fit. For my jumbo pearl beads, these were the only bead caps suitable, albeit slightly oversized. So, well, I used them.

I cut wire lengths for the pearl beads, threaded each wire through a pearl between two bead caps, and made eye loops on both ends. I didn’t fully close the eye loops yet.

I then cut longish lengths of the wire (around 15cm). I wrapped two wires per torus, each one around roughly-opposite points on the torus. The wrapping itself is a simple one, with one end of the wire turned into an outward-facing eye loop, and the other end turned into a spiral that lies on the torus itself. I connected the pearl bead eye loops to the eye loops on the tori, and shut all eye loops.

To finish the necklace, I attached the ends of a silver-colored chain to the end pearl beads. This just might be a statement piece for me. πŸ˜›

Scrappy earrings

Scrappy because they are made of fabric scraps and look disorganized as well.

Scrappy earringsI tore out strips from unused brown/black fabric, and cut some pieces of leftover brown yarn from my old knitting projects. I made two hoops from silver-colored wire. I created each hoop this way — first, I made a loop about 1cm in diameter; then an eye loop from one end such that it circles around the other end; finally an eye loop from the other end just below the first eye loop. The second eye loop will turn out perpendicular to the first. (Wish I’d clicked photos of the steps, but it was a random experiment.) I made sure the second eye loop was large enough to fit in it a bunch of the fabric strips and yarn.

So you now know what the next step is. πŸ™‚ I took a bunch of the strips and yarn and ran them through the second eye loop. I checked that both ‘arms’ of the bunch hanging from the eye loop were similar in length. I gathered both arms together, smoothed them out and made a knot (not too tight right now, though!) right where the second loop is. There, that hid both eye loops because of the thickness of the fabric bunch.

Before tightening the knot, I moved around the strips and yarn slightly so they look haphazard but not too much.

To finish the earrings, I added a finding to each hoop.

Stone pendant

I have this collection of medium-sized irregularly shaped stones that come with holes pre-drilled into them. They’re of varying shapes and sizes, and they’re a bit heavier than traditional jewelry ingredients (they’re stones, after all!) So earrings, necklaces or bracelets were out. Making pendants of them seemed like the thing to do.

But then, there are only so many ways in which irregular shapes can be turned into pendants. I’m not a fan of encasing them in nets, so that’s out. I decided to start out simple for now, and think more later. This is my attempt on one of the stones — this one’s shaped more regularly than the rest:

Stone pendant

The overall process is simple enough. I cut two lengths of wires. In each of them, I made a loop at around the center, and twisted the arms into spirals. (That’s four spirals overall.) I then inserted a headpin through a seed bead, a bead cap and the stone. The two spiral wires came next, followed by the topmost bead cap and a final seed bead. I then made an eye loop with the remaining length of the headpin. Tada!

Not bad, though the upper bead cap doesn’t sit very cozily due to the irregularity of the stone. It’s still good enough for casualwear.

Wire-wrapped chunky beads chain

I’d always wanted to make a chunky beads chain, and now that I own some thicker gauge wires, what better than wire-wrapped chunky beads? πŸ™‚

Wire-wrapped chunky beads chain

I got the chunky turquoise beads to remain in place with the wire open inside. That is, there’s nothing attached to something else to keep the placement tight. It works fine because the wire is pretty thick and strong. I then made the eye-loop-like loops with the same wire strand — these loops would be used to connect to the other beads in the chain. I continued to wind the wire around the beads, turning it around the eye-loops. I’d intended the wraps to come out neater, but when the first one began to get untidy, I thought “Why not?” and made them kinda messy. I actually like how it looks, though I need to get better at making tidy wraps. πŸ˜‰

For the rest of the chain, I used glass beads — flat, translucent white ones and round ruby-red ones. I used smaller gauge wire for these, stringing them on the wire and forming regular eye loops at both ends for the chain connections.

I absolutely adore this chain!

Paper bead bunch keychain

Yay, paper beads are back in my jewelry-making!

Paper bead bunch keychainI spent some time recently making paper beads. I used some junk-mail paper for these. I didn’t really have any sizes in mind, I just wanted to make two sets of beads — one set smaller than the other.

I cut rectangles from the paper, 4 of the same dimensions, and 2 of smaller dimensions. I folded each rectangle diagonally and cut it along the diagonal, giving me 8 large and 4 small right-angled triangles. I rolled them up into simple tapered beads, applying glue at regular intervals to keep the rolls snug.

When the bead bases were made, I painted gradients of acrylic colors onto them. Mod podge followed when the paint dried. The beads were now ready!

I then strung these paper beads and various seed beads through head pins, making eye loops at the top of the headpins. These formed individual units of the bead-bunch.

Finally, for the trunk of the bunch that extends into a chain, I joined small jump rings. While I was adding each link, I also added the bead-bunch units, larger ones at the beginning / bottom. That went — open jump ring, insert it into the topmost jump ring of the chain-in-progress, insert bead-bunch unit #1 from one end of the open jump ring, insert bead-bunch unit #2 from the other end of the open jump ring, close jump ring, repeat.

I just love this keychain! It’s so fun-looking and so light! Needless to say, I’ve already swapped out the earlier chain in my car keys for this one. πŸ™‚

Tiny bead earrings and not-so-tiny charm

Tiny earrings and charmTiny earrings — they have their own kind of charm, don’t they? πŸ™‚ I made these earrings using small head pins, and each of them has one seed bead, one brown-and-crimson glass bead and one faceted bead. Nothing special here, I just strung the beads onto the head pin, made an eye loop and snipped off the extra wire. For the findings, I used a limited set that I own; these findings are shorter than the ones I usually use.

Of course, I feel earrings without other matching adornments get kinda lonely, so I made a bracelet / pendant charm. I didn’t really like how it turned out when I used the same kind of beads I used for the earrings, so I changed things a little and used a large(r) faceted bead instead of the smaller ones — I added it as the center of the charm. Since the small faceted beads were not in the picture anymore, I added a couple more seed beads for length. I strung them all onto a wire, made eye loops at both ends, and bent the wire into a curve.

They look so happy together they’ve formed a smiley face. ;P