Monday, October 26, 2009

Christmas 2010 Update: More Yarn/Bead Pairings

When I first introduced the "Christmas 2010 Project" (roughly three weeks ago), I had beads picked out for most of the yarns, but not all. At least not yet. Since then I have been busy shopping about, and now, after two more Earthfaire orders, I can claim to have at least one bead option available for every yarn on the list, plus two more irresistible bead types that are ready & waiting for the right yarn to appear in turn.

Go ahead & laugh at my susceptibility to temptation, if you must, but these pairings are like food & wine, or cereal & milk: whether you start with an abundance of one or the other, the trick is playing Yenta & making just the right match...

The gallery format worked well last time, so I will do the same thing again. As always, click on any image to get a closer look.

This is Knit Picks Shimmer (70% baby alpaca, 30% silk) hand-dyed lace yarn in the "Bayou" colorway, now paired with 8/0 silver-lined root beer beads from Earthfaire. The KnitPicks website describes the yarn thus: "a rich combination of mallard green, brown, teal blue and a medium yellow green that makes us feel like we are standing on the dock of a marshy landing." I think the cocoa brown beads will really bring out that particular shade from the complex background.

The same beads are also available in the 6/0 size, and although I have used 8/0 with Shimmer in the past (e.g. for my Magic Carpet Ride scarf/stole), I am prepared to leave my options open here, depending on the pattern design(s) that I eventually choose. Since I have four hanks of this yarn on hand (= 1760 yards), there will be ample opportunity to explore and create. I feel comfortable leaving my options open for the time being, because based on their reassurances to me when they temporarily ran out of the 8/0 size, the people at Earthfaire seem to want to keep the bead colorway in stock if they can.

Wow. I could look at these breathtaking jewel tones all day long. Seriously...

This is Unique Sheep Eos lace-weight (50% merino, 50% tussah silk) in the "Aurora Borealis" colorway, now delightfully paired with 4 mm silver-lined capri blue magatama beads. Shazzaaaam!! I got two containers of the beads (i.e. approximately 770 shiny things) because they might sell out. That should be enough for at least one moderately bead-intensive project, although with four skeins of the yarn on hand (= 2460 yards), we may very well be looking at more than one project before the end. It all depends on which of the many available lace patterns ultimately catches my eye.

Photos really don't do this third lovely pairing justice. It took several tries just to get a picture that I liked... This is also Unique Sheep Eos lace-weight, in the warm & sunny, back-to-nature colorway called "Deep Forest".

The dominant note in the yarn is obviously grass green, but there is a golden brown in the mix as well (perhaps shown to better advantage here, on the hank before winding), which the 6/0 sparkling metallic gold-lined crystal beads really bring to the fore. Yummy — so much potential to create a special look.

And now here are two versions of topaz beads which have really captured my imagination lately.

On the left are 6/0 silver-lined dark topaz. The same beads are also available in the 8/0 size, but I wanted to start with the larger ones, for sheer saturation of color. Cranberry & rose-tones dominate amid all the colors of the rainbow, surrounded by a deep, rich golden glow. I can't quite decide what color of yarn I will want to pair with these stunning specimens, but dreaming up possibilities is at least half the fun.

The beads on the right are cinnamon-lined topaz luster 8/0 triangles. WOW. The sparkle is absolutely scintillating!! (Scintilla is the Latin word for "spark," by the way). Delicious little shiny nuggets of rich color, so cozy & comforting to look at. Ellen at Earthfaire writes: "Think of the warm glow of firelit evenings in autumn, with cinnamon pumpkin muffins in the oven.... Ahhhh...." Love love L-O-V-E!! I am coming to the conclusion that they will look best with an ivory or off-white (e.g. natural wool) yarn, so don't be surprised if my next consignment of lace yarn contains something of that description.

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