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Hi there, nice to have you visiting! I'm Heidi and this is the blog for Heidi Bears. Here is where I post all the happenings in my work and daily life. Here and there you'll find info on things that have caught my attention as well as the odd tutorial. I hope you enjoy your visits. I love to have feedback, so leave me a comment!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Row Counter for Circular Needles Tutorial

Happy Monday everyone :)

Today is a public holiday here in South Africa, and we are all taking it easy and relaxing on a beautifully sunny day. There is a lovely calm in our garden, the little finches in our porch light are calling, the bees are buzzing around the lavender, and a drowsy sunny warmth fills the air... like the feeling of having a snooze in a patch of sunlight...

My dear friend Linda called me this morning to tell me that she had recieved some enquiries about the row counter seen in her Easter Bunny post... she wondered if I would do a tutorial. It is really such an incredibly easy thing to make, it's almost shameful to call this a tutorial...
In any event, here it is...


Circular Needle Hanging Row Counter Tutorial



Requirements:

Beads (I like to use natural " beads" as well, including pearls, semi-precious stones, glass, quartz etc), but you can use whatever takes your fancy
Bead Caps (these are the small rounded fancy caps that I use top and bottom of most beads)
Bead pins (brass, steel, copper etc)
Sharp-nosed pliers
Wire cutters
Row counters
Clasps, including lobster clasps
Charms
Bezels
Any other embellishments you might like...


I am going to be making an example of how to create this particular green row counter, but again, you can play around and try different things...

Step 1. Gather all your tools...


Step 2. Using your sharp-nosed pliers, open the loop on a bead pin slightly. These bead pins come in a huge variety of lengths, finishes and can have plain loops, plain flat ends, fancy decorative ends etc


Step 3. Slip the bezel, charm (or other looped item), over the open bead pin.
Close the loop with the pliers, ensuring that the bezel swings freely.

Step 4. Slip a bead cap over the bead pin, being careful to insert the pin through the tiny central hole as seen above.

Step 5. Slip a bead over, and then again a bead cap. The bead caps now cover the bead top and bottom.


Step 6. Slip the row counter over the bead pin, again ensuring that the pin passes centrally through the row counter. Some row counters have a central set of flanges that are meant to " hug" the straight needles that they were designed for... you want your bead pin to sit exactly in the middle of the flanges.

Step 7. Slip another bead cap over...the bead caps needn't be the same, I use smaller caps on smaller beads and vice versa.

Step 8. Slip a second bead over, and again a bead cap to make it top and bottom...

Step 9. This is the slightly tricky bit. You need to hold the entire assembly quite tightly between your fingers, so that you have a good deal of tension when you bend the top piece of bead pin. This keeps all the elements nicely together, and stops your row counter from rattling around loose and irritating...

Step 10. Bend the pin to the side first using the pliers. Still applying pressure to the row counter's top and bottom, use the pliers to " loop" the end of the pin over into a circle. Don't close the loop completely.

Step 11. Loop half closed...

Step 12. Slip the clasp onto the bead pin loop, and close snugly with your pliers.


Step 13. Make sure you don't have any snaggy bits of metal (you don't want to snag that gorgeous cashmere you got on sale... ;) )
And there you have it!!

The possibilities are endless. You can customize the row counter as you like, add theme charms, add family photo charms, use bezels that are initialed with the recipients' name, change the size of you clasps if you prefer a smaller clasp hole size, make them fancy and over the top, make them plain and functional....
The nice thing with this particular style of row counter, is that they double up as stitch markers. Just hook them over your cableneedle where you need to mark a place in your pattern. Even if you don't add a row counter, you can use the same basic techniques for making stitch markers as well. A nice gift would be to make a matching set of stitch markers, together with a matching row counter. Relatively inexpensive depending on the beads and accessories you use, quick to make and useful!
This was bit of an unplanned tutorial, so I will post party pics and maybe a little extra tomorrow, my friends...
Off to have an afternoon nap in a sun patch somewhere...
Lots of Love,
Heidi :)

16 comments:

Linda said...

Hello my friend,
I love this tutorial! Thank you so much for putting it together, it is beautiful:)
Love
Linda

S said...

Yay! for you. Yay for Linda! double Yay for me! thank you (i'll just whip a few up as a gift or three! you are very clever and so generous with your sharing (especially as i know how long it takes to post the pictures for a tutorial! :)Shannon

Heidi said...

Hi my friends, it's a pleasure! Always! Thank you for the kind comments :)
Love, Heidi :)

K said...

I don't think it gets better than a charming toy on the needles - plus BEADS!! I think I really am, at heart, a barbarian. I'd have sold Manhattan Island for a mess of beads any day - I STILL would. Thank you for the idea and the very clear tutorial. I love your tutorials for that very reason. And I think you have wonderful hands.

Heidi said...

K, you are so funny...I love your imagery! Like I said before, you have to write a book! You are a natural at making me smile :) Thank you for the kind comments, you make my day my friend!
Love,
Heidi :)

Beth said...

This is so pretty! What a special idea! love, Beth

Heather said...

Wow, this is wonderful, thank you so much for sharing

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderul tutorial. Lucky for me I already have a beautiful row counter made by you. Yes our package arrived yesterday! Thank you is not enough. I posted about it and liked to your blog. You can read about it here. http://heartfelthomemaking.blogspot.com/2010/04/mail-delivery.html

Vilt à la Kim said...

nice tutorial very clear!
thanks for sharing!

fivecatsfromcrazy.com said...

very clever idea...I see them in my future for quick Christmas presents for my Stitch and Bitch group.

Yoko said...

great idea Heidi!!! my group is going to get these for valentines!!
thanks! Pam

hopefullytrying said...

OK, this is FABULOUS!! Thanks for sharing!!! LOVE IT!!

Michele said...

I love these!
I just made 2, 1 for my knitting teacher and 1 for me.
Thank you so much for sharing.
Michele

Sue said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to make the tutorial. It is very clear. I'm off to get the supplies I need this morning.

made said...

Lovely tutorial, thank you very much for it

Suzanne said...

Thank you so much! I started on Ravelry looking at your adorable Hippo, ended up looking at all of your other patterns, found myself visiting your blog for the bobble edge tutorial and wound up solving the mystery of how to make a much prettier row counter than what I have been using. You made me smile so much which is no small feat since I had dental surgery this morning and I can't feel my cheeks. :)