Silver Threads

a knitting blog with occasional side trips


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2015 Knitting & Crochet Blog Week—Day 2: It’s All About You

Cast your hooks and needles aside!

This year you are challenged with one of those tasks that some bloggers can find quite daunting: but there’s never a better time then when we’re all in it together, so let’s shift the focus and turn the attention from the things we make to the things that make us.

The important thing here is to remember that you don’t have to go into great personal detail and certainly do not have to reveal anything too personal. You can be as candid or as private as you like, but you can also give your readers a feel for those things that you like to do outside of your crafting.

Knitting-And-crochet-Blog-Week-6-Eskimimi-Makes

The short version: glance down the side of this blog (or wherever the widgets appear on your device) and find the other two blogs I have. It seems that if I have a strong enough interest in something, eventually a blog comes out of it. From which you may conclude that I enjoy blogging, but you suspected that already, right?

Blog #1, Fine Print, represents my love of books and reading. For fiction, I mainly read fantasy novels. I used to say my favorite genres were science fiction and fantasy, but it’s finally sunk in that I don’t actually read  a lot of SF. Watch it, yes: there are great SF TV shows and movies out there, but for whatever reason, I don’t read it often. Possibly because when I’m reading fiction, I’m likely to be reading fantasy.

I’ve managed to pull my love of books over into my professional life: I work at a library. Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t give me a lot of opportunities to read, but it does let me organize things a lot, which is a mini-passion of mine. (That Ravelry lets me sort and categorize my projects, future projects, and stash is only one of the reasons I love it, but it’s a major one.)

My nonfiction reads are less restricted. I most often read books on philosophy/spirituality/religion, astrology, and divination, but every now and then, something completely not like any of those grabs my attention. These topics, though, are the focus of Blog #2, The Cottage Upstairs. Astrology and divination (a catch-all term for things like reading tarot cards, consulting the I Ching, throwing the runes, etc.) have interested me since childhood. They’ll never pay the bills any more than knitting will, but I enjoy doing them. And let me assure you, books on these topics can fill up a home just as fast as a stash can!

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But wait, there’s more!

Not only did I pick up the instructions to the Beadstrology necklace, I got the instructions for the bookmark as well. Now I’m not sure how practical this bookmark will be, since its “tassel” is longer and heavier than the bookmark itself, but it was fun to make. Maybe I can use it as decoration if nothing else. I am resisting making the Goddesses bracelet. (For the curious, that’s a bracelet featuring beads for the prominent asteroids in your chart—named for Roman goddesses—rather than the planets which are mostly named after gods.)

Unlike the necklace, the bookmark runs straight from the first house through the twelfth. With the bookmark part basically taking the place of the Ascendant, there’s no bead for it. The bookmark starts with Venus, the only planet in my first house, and runs from there.

Beadstrology bookmark

The stones are almost the same as for the necklace. The difference is that Pluto is made out of hyperstein, since I had no other zebra jade beads that dark. It’s a little difficult to see the charm at the end of the bookmark because of the way it’s angled, but it’s the glyph for Capricorn.


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Starry night

I don’t do a lot of beading. It takes long enough to make a sweater that I can knit steadily, project after project, without swamping my wardrobe. Beading is more of an instant-gratification craft: once you have the materials in hand, you can put a bit of jewelry together quickly. (More quickly, if you don’t obsess over using the perfect bead, as I tend to do.) But occasionally a project calls, and the latest to do so was the Beadstrology necklace by Corrine Kenner. As the name suggests, you take your astrological chart and reproduce it in beads. Ms. Kenner offers workshops, but the most recent didn’t fit into my schedule, nor did I need the astrological tutoring that was included. Luckily, instructions for assembling the necklace were sold separately.

Beading seems to be like weaving: tons of prep work, followed by relatively quick execution of the project itself. Prep work, in this case, involved trekking through three stores trying to find 8mm beads that at least vaguely resembled the planets. It hadn’t occurred to me that finding smooth round beads—not faceted, not oval, not flattened, not 6mm—would be such a challenge. (Experienced beaders probably knew this already.) Also, we have a lot of yellowish-brown planets in our solar system. I was sorely tempted to use rose quartz or amethyst for Venus, just for a change of color.

I confess to tweaking the design a bit. Ms. Kenner centers the necklace on the Sun bead, orienting the rest of the chart/necklace from there. This will work nicely for many people, but in my case, I have planets opposite my Sun. To put a necklace together centered on my Sun, two planet beads end up by the clasp, hidden behind my neck, while a string of empty houses trails prominently down one side. Eek! I did not hunt through an entire bead store for an 8mm white Swarovski pearl for my Moon just to have it be visible only to someone standing behind me in line. So I rotated the necklace to center the clasp in the empty houses, which puts the front center of the necklace at my eleventh house cusp…which isn’t all that significant in my chart. In beading, aesthetics trumps astrology.

Beadstrology necklace

Oh, and the stones, in case anyone is curious (counter-clockwise from upper left):
Moon: Swarovski pearl
Jupiter: zebra jade (this particular bead even has a Great Red Brown Spot)
Pluto: zebra jade
Uranus: amazonite
Mars: fire agate
Neptune: howlite
Mercury: goldstone
Sun: fire agate
Ascendant/Earth: unnamed green stone (jade?)
Venus: honey jade
Saturn: tiger’s eye (it has a bright ring around the center!)