I was inspired by the idea, because I’ve been wanting to have a bit of Dr. Who jewelry for a while. I liked the idea of a TARDIS charm, but wasn’t sure how to execute it myself. I don’t have *that* much faith in my sculpey skills. This, however, this was made of seed beads. I’m all over seed beads.
So I did one of my own.
Took me a week, but that’s because I had my wisdom teeth out and all the recovery time in the world to sit working on it. I’ll compare mine to hers, and explain my choices as I go along, as well as the (several) downsides to the choices I made. I love mine anyway, but it’s not a project I’ll be taking on again anytime soon.
If you want to skip all the technical beadwork talk, go ahead and skip to the pictures farther down. There are plenty. For those brave souls who want to stick around while I talk about the specifics of the project, I’ll try to explain as simply as I can, but there will be jargon. Sorry.
Her versions specs are as follows; Loomwork, Toho 15/0 rounds, 40″, with thread fringe, and varying finishes.
I chose to follow almost none of these specs, except the last one. I too, used varying finishes, because I have so. many. seed beads of varying origin, and didn’t want to spend the money on more beads just to make it even. Not when I could just change the stitch.
This is a progress shot, in which you can see several of the different kinds of beads. The beads in the pile there are the awesome raspberry-lined olivine’s (Toho #2204).
I ended up using a mix of size 11/0 seed beads. I think they were all intended to be 11/0 anyway, although some of them were closer to a size 12/0 than anything. Some of my beads came from Toho, and I used almost exclusively 11/0 rounds from them (my green, a raspberry lined olivine which I loved so much I bought two tubes, and used one on this project #2204, my white was #121, the red I used was #25DF, and one of the purples was #52F for those who care) I used a few- like 3 each of #2204, #121, #25D 8/0 rounds to begin my fringe clusters, so that it seems like it’s tied in a knot. ANYWAY. I had a dark brown which was almost certainly a Miyuki product, an 11/0 from way back when, but there’s not a whole lot of it in the piece (I finally had a reason to use it up) and my light tan was also a Miyuki, a Delica. I chose not to use Aikos (from Toho) because I would have had to buy them. I already had the Delicas (precision cylinder beads) so yay for that. It was definitely a different texture in the piece, but I liked that effect. The original scarf was made of yarn scraps, after all. Why shouldn’t my necklace be made of odds and ends of beads?
So the other colors, one of my purples, both of my other browns, and my blue, were Czech seed beads, which unlike the Japanese make seed beads (the Miyukis and the Tohos) are known more for the fabulous and imaginative range of colors they come in than their uniformity. Other than the blue, the Czech beads were the ones that were closer to a size 12/0 than an 11/0. Because of this variation in size, working on a loom would cause my work to buckle and bend. For the true 11/0′s, each row was 15 across. For the 11/0 wanna-be’s each row ended up being 17 beads across. Doesn’t seem like a big difference, until you look at how often I switched colors and beads, and how much one wrong move matters.
She was able to do hers on a loom because she was using straight 15/0 beads. All of her beads were very uniform (I know this because the Toho brand is known for being uniform, and also I have used 15/0′s from them many times) I do own some 15/0′s. I used them on my dragon earrings, so you can see how bitty they actually are. People exclaim at my work in 11/0′s, but really, if you want a challenge with tiny beads, use 15/0′s. Anyway, I don’t own nearly enough 15/0′s to work a project this big in them, and trying to do an individually based stitch (anything not 10-drop or on a loom) with 15/0′s is really difficult, and doesn’t leave room for back-tracking and problem-fixing because the hole is too small. So 11/0′s it was for me!
I feel like it’s only fair to note that her scarf was probably much closer to the actual 4th Doctor scarf, if only because her color choices were clearly more deliberate. I was using what I had, and aimed to reflect the colors in the scarf, not match them exactly. Kudos, crafty_tardis, for your detailed work. Color me impressed.
The beads I had available to me were a big part of the thought process behind picking the slow way and doing a square stitch. Yes, I stitched each of those beads onto the piece individually. I tried to save time and thread by doing a 2-drop version of the stitch, but yes, it took me a lot of time. Her version, on the loom, at 40″ took her 15-20 hours. I estimate my time (I was on pain meds for part of it ok) at somewhere between 30-40 hours for a 60″ necklace. The time was a definite downside, but it was more than made up for in monetary savings (I didn’t have to buy like 10 tubes of new beads) and because it was a personal project I didn’t mind so much. There are ways to control for bead size changing in loom-work, but you have to know width numbers ahead of time, and it took me a while to get into stride.
The other half of my thought process goes something along the lines of “I hate loom-work” It’s too flimsy, too many things can go wrong, and it’s too much to deal with. If you want details, you can check out my other rant on loom-work v. stitch-work in the middle of my To-Do List from last month. Specific to this project, was the fact that I would need to know exactly how long I wanted the work to be. And had I estimated that at the beginning, I would have been wrong, because I changed my mind halfway through and decided to make it longer. Also, I didn’t have that much thread available at the time, but that’s beside the point. I would have needed to choose my width, and stick to it, as well as knowing exactly how long I wanted it to be right away. I was not up to doing all that math. Having done this project once already in square stitch, I would definitely do it on the loom if I were to repeat it. It would take me significantly less time the second time around, because I learned the math through doing, instead of sitting down and working it all out ahead of time.
The other downside to not using a loom was that my work was significantly less flexible. Flexible, it is, as you can see in the pictures, but it doesn’t quite drape the way fabric does, which is the way it would behave if I’d done it on the loom. Because of thread tension in stitch-work, it can be difficult to get loose enough work to make it drape. Loom-work doesn’t have that problem.
I am happy that I didn’t use a loom though. I can be secure in my knowledge that the piece is safe and really secure, because I stitched every inch of it. There’s no threat of losing the whole piece to one broken strand.
Also, her fringe was just the threads, which, I’m sorry, doesn’t seem that secure (or finished) to me. I added a beaded fringe on the end with the fringe in clumps (like tied fringe on a scarf) anchored by a size 8/0. I quite like the effect.
In her post, crafty_tardis mentions that when she re-made her scarf necklace she made it longer so that it would drape right. Good move, crafty_tardis! Her second one ended up being about 65″ long. I capped mine at 60″, because it fit the specifics of the way I wanted to wear it for me. I tend to change jewelry so that it’s individualized for me when I make my own jewelry. It happens.
Sorry about those gigantic blocks of text, but I’ll try to keep it broken up from now on, and also provide more pictures! Because I can’t get enough pictures of this project. Sorry for the less-than-stellar quality. I was using a mirror as my picture buddy.
Progress shot! Back when it was just over 3/4 of the way done. Just long enough to wrap around twice.
Or wrap once and tie.
And now, for the many ways to wear my Dr. Who scarf/necklace!
Two wraps and loose tie…
And my personal favorite, the two wrap with the half-windsor. That’s right. I tie my scarf like I’d tie my tie.
If you have any questions, or want a tutorial on the 2-drop square stitch I used, comment! I’d be happy to answer any questions you can throw at me.