Sunday, May 17, 2009

Not the same old katcha-counter...

I actually love katcha-counters. Something about the satisfying sound - katcha - as you press the counter at the end of every row. A few days ago my friend Andrea mentioned that she wanted to try making a beaded counter, but didn't have the supplies or the know-how. I told her I had a box of beading supplies that weren't getting much use, and I had made a few beaded bracelets so I could offer a little bit of know-how!

Understanding exactly what my friend wanted to try and make took a bit of exploring on the web. Once I realized what she wanted to make I was excited to make one for myself too. It seemed that making a chain of jump rings large enough to slip onto your needle was the basic premise, and then you could embellish to your heart's content!

I took a trip into the city to get supplies. I was headed to Beads World on Broadway, but wandered into another great store, Bead Empire at 39th and Avenue of the Americas. Both stores have great inventory and customer service. I didn't realize there was this whole "beading district" within the Fashion District - there were several other beading stores within this 2 block radius! At Bead Empire I purchased the jump rings, crimp beads, and drop bead posts I thought we would need. Just as I was getting ready to leave I happened to glance at a wall that had spools of already-made chain on it and saw this:

Tah-dah! Suddenly this seemed like a MUCH better idea. I bought all the other bits and pieces anyways - you can never have too many crafting supplies :).

Here are a couple of pictures of the embellishment I made to attach to the end of the chain - it looks like it might be heavy, but all of these beads were actually quite light-weight. These are just stacked onto a drop bead post (I think that is what you call it!) with a couple of small spacer beads here and there.

The mathematical mechanics of the counter are simple - the chain is 20 rings long - 10 small and 10 large. Depending on the size needle that you are using, you simply slip a ring between two stitches, and as you are knitting you simply move to the next ring down on the chain each time you pass over it as you knit. So that will get you through 10 rows. And what if you need to count more than 10 rows? That's where this bit comes in:

For the first 10 rows you would leave this off of the chain. When you get to the 11th row, you attach this counter using the lobster clasp onto the 1st large or small ring - whichever size you AREN'T using to fit your needles. Then you start counting your next set of 10 rows. Here's a picture of the counter showing knitting at row 11.

And here is a picture of the counter showing knitting at row 14.

You would leave the lobster clasp embellishment in place attached to the 1st ring for 10 rows, and then bump it down to the next large or small ring (depending on which size DOESN'T fit your needles). With this method you should be able to count to 100 rows. Actually, I guess 110...

This part still needs a little bit of work. I wanted the lobster clasp to be easy to open and close so I used a large size, but the clasp is a bit too heavy. I think a medium clasp will be fine, I just didn't have one in my beading supplies. When I get down to the Bead District again I will pick one up. One parting artistic shot - all taken with my cell phone cam, btw!

I always seem to need a food reward for my projects - hmmm. That explains a lot. Anywho, today I made Almond Poppyseed Bread. Delish!