"Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either." ~ Elizabeth Zimmerman


The Bugs are Out to Get Me

Over the weekend I got my first commissioned beading job. Several years ago a doctor was given a stethoscope decorated with a steer head carved from bone and beaded. Over time, and use, the beadwork had finally given way to decay. He wanted it re-beaded, in new colors. That's what I've been working on the last few days.

This is before, front view.

Before, back view

I've never done this kind of beading before, where you bead on the actual object, adjusting as you go. I was up to the challenge.

The first thing I did was examine it with a magnifying glass to figure out how it was constructed. It was fairly straight forward. A skeleton frame was tied on the carving using what looks very much like gut or leather thread. It was in really good shape, so I left it on. The beading itself, which was simple peyote stitch, had been done with cotton thread. Not a good choice as you can see. Cotton, being a veggie fiber, degrades quickly when you've got the oils and acids that come from human hands in the mix.

He wanted the head to be white with red patches and black eyes and nose. I chose crystal Fireline for the thread because it is super strong and lasts a long long time. I've discovered I love it for doing peyote. The rest was easy.

After, front view

After, back view

The finished project.

The weather has been beautiful, so I was able to sit out on the deck while working on it. Which brings me to the title of todays entry.

While working on the steer, out on the deck, minding my own business, something stung me on the top of my foot. I thought it was a yellow jacket, though I didn't actually see the assaulter. However, Sweet Hubby thinks it was a wasp (we have some really ugly looking big black ones around here that scare the you know what out of me whenever I see one) because of how the sting looks, and how my body reacted. Half my foot turned an angry red, the joints in my toes stiffened up, and I have never had a sting cause me so much pain. No amount of Benedryl or any other treatment took it away. It hurt for 2 solid days. Now, my toes are working again and it itches like crazy. That's a good sign.

Yesterday I was driving to the Rathdrum library for the Knotty Knitters meeting and something crawled up my pant leg and started stinging me. You have no idea how hard it is to drive while being stung. As soon as I could I stopped the car and hopped out. I stomped my foot and danced around to get the bug out (I'm sure passing motorists thought I was a nut job) and it fell on the pavement. It was a nasty black ant. I killed it, but I've got 3 lovely welts where it bit me.

Hasn't even been a week and I've been assaulted twice. That is why I believe the bugs are out to get me. That'll teach me for letting the spiders live that I found in the house this last winter. The ingrates!

Have a bug sting free day.



  1. I like your work on the stethoscope! Sorry to hear about the wasp bite, they're coming out all of sudden in Spokane too with the burst of warm weather. Hope your recovery goes, um, swell :)

    (@Rings_Things on Twitter)

  2. Ouch, maybe they didn't like you replacing the yellow and black beads, lol! I wonder if maybe you didn't get paid a visit by a hornet, whose stings are notoriously more agressive: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hornet

    I spent 10 years as an editor on what's now known as Pest Management Professional magazine — a trade journal for exterminators. We wrote quite a bit on paper wasps, too, and how their sting often beat the heck out of a typical yellowjacket. Not sure what you had, but let's hope it's the last one for a while!

    As for the ant, check out this informative page: http://unexco.com/carpants.html

    Last but not least, I love this project! It's so unusual. It would be so cool to see this turn into a niche business for you, to decorate even more stethoscopes (next up, a pattern book published!)

  3. Nice job on the stethoscope beading. The doctor must have been so pleased to find someone who could do a quality job on it.

    Sympathy on the bites. Wish I could have seen you dancing around on the side of the road. We're warming up to black fly season around here. Nasty bites