I've been working on what I've come to think of as the "Wretched Choker" project all day long, along with a couple loads of laundry, cooking meals, and waiting on the boys hand and foot. I will probably be seeing black iris twisted bugle beads in my sleep. Here's a scan of the photo from the Firemountain Gems catalogue of what I'm trying to reproduce, more or less.
I got the hardest part done, all that basket weave checkerboard pattern with the bugles.
I have learned that I detest using Fireline. It's very hard to work with, compared to Nymo thread. I'm using it, though, because it's stronger and less likely to be cut by the bugle bead edges-of which there are hundreds in this thing.
I have just a little bit left to do. I will be SO glad to get this thing finished. I've loathed it from the start. Aside from using it as the example for the class I'm teaching, I have no idea what I'm going to do with it after the class is over with. I'd love to sell it, but I didn't use anything gold plated in the findings. It's all cheap metal-what little metal there is. Maybe I'll take a pair of scissors to it and use the beads for something else down the road.
The thing that's really bothering me is that I know not enough people will be taking the class to have made all this hassle worth it. Oh well, it's the bummer days that make me appreciate the really good ones I suppose. In the meantime, I will persevere and promise myself some really fun knitting after this is done.
Which reminds me--I still need to finish Gramma's slippers.