This past week I relearned that I get what I pay for, and sometimes paying for convenience back fires, and I end up taking the long road to do something properly. This seems to be a lesson that I have to relearn every so often, in a wide range of situations. This post is mostly about me relearning that not all beads are nice to use, that even when I say I will set a project aside and deal with those with more urgent deadlines sometimes I don't, and that cats still want to sit just on paper - especially if you are reading something from it.
This time I relearned about bead quality. Next weekend I am teaching at Handmade, two classes, a beginners learn to knit class, and a more advanced class for those who can already knit introducing the use of beads in knitting. I've worked my samples, showing three ways to add beads, and had a project all planned - with hand outs and instructions - but I didn't have a lovely new unused project to show and tell how great beads can look. So I dug out my bead collection and set about knitting a beaded wrister, but none of the beads I had at hand were the right size. I wanted to use fingering alpaca, in soft black and grey but all the beads I had at home were too small - no problem I thought, there is a bead shop in town, I'll just head there and buy some that are the right size. So I did, the choice wasn't great, and the beads were not strung. That alone should have alerted me that the beads were not the best. This was what I found, size 6, orange glass and pink lined glass. In the shop they looked fine, back at home they looked awful, each was a different size and shape, and many were misshapen. That was last weekend,
This weekend I headed up to Oamaru, Enterprise Beads and bought some lovely even and perfectly matched beads, in size 8. Size 8 is a better size for sock yarn and wristers to my eyes. Compared to the first purchase these were not only nicer, there was much more choice - they were strung. Beads being strung on a thread is a simple thing but one that proves that each has a working hole, something not all beads can boast. And even better the beads were cheaper ... much much cheaper. I bought white because for teaching I wanted drama, clear definition and a nice strong effect against the black alpaca yarn.
As a smaller child little cub was terrified of animals, dogs that bounce still make her stiffen and clutch the hand of a nearby adult. We can't explain why she reacts like this, and nor can she, as far as we know no animal has ever even hinted it might like to have a taste. And she has been around a lot of cats and dogs and other animals in safe ways - her fear seems to be deep and primal rather than learned - and we are working with it. That being said over the past four years she has become more and more accepting of our cat, and the cats of others. To the point she will now let a cat sit on her, or beside her, and she will pick up a kitten if it is small. This is great, because she used to edge out of the room nervously complaining the cat, any cat, was trying to 'get-her'. Yesterday was another first in her accepting animals, Yo-yo sat on her music as little cub practiced ukelele. I loved explaining that sitting on paper, especially paper that you were reading or using was an age old cat trick. Little cub accepted that and went on to improvising a tune of her own rather than reading the music.
This week is a tad frantic, Bear is away Monday and I'm away Friday to Sunday, but now I have beads and hooks - well I'm all set.