Saturday, February 27, 2010

How to make juzu for Preeti

  • Feb. 27th, 2010 at 5:08 PM
Hi, Preeti,

It's a cold, dark, rainy afternoon , what we call winter in San Diego.

I'm so glad to hear from you that  you liked my juzu.  Are you an SGI member?  There are many active SGI groups in India, I have a friend in Mumbai who is a member. 
Here are some recently finished items.  2 more sets of juzu, a necklace with a diachrotic glass disc, 3 beaded Turkish crochet bracelets with button closure.  All resting on a grape Alpaca Kiri shawl with burnished gold beads placed in the knitting by the crochet hook method.  Size 9 needles.

I made my juzu by making a bead by bead copy of one I have.  If you do not have an old one to copy, I will try and explain.  There are great pictures at   I hope I can explain clearly enough.  I am not an expert at bead stringing, not an expert of Buddhist juzu bead stringing.  I am just a crafty chanter who wanted "self-made" beads and I hope I am getting this right.  No one taught me, aI just experimented until I liked the results.

I used the plastic coated metal strand cord so that they will last a long time with vigorous use.  I needed 6 crimp beads. Pliers to crimp.   I used a tray with channels in it to lay these all out before starting.  I recommend that.

The two largest beads at the ends of the loop are the mother and father bead.  Pick those out first. It is easiest to make when these are drilled with an extra hole so that there are 3 holes, but it is not essential.   You can do it with a bead that is drilled for 2 holes. Pick pretty ones as these show the most. You will also need one medium bead that fits right under the father bead, the wisdom bead.

Tassels: Then you will need 5 large beads to represent the tassels and 4 about the same size to become your benefit jugs.  5 small beads to allow the crimp bead at the end to seat correctly. 10 medium beads to form the counting abacus on the 5th tassel.    ( 4 of your tassels have jugs and the fifth one has the counting strand.)
10 medium beads and 1 larger to form the harness for the 2 strand end. The one larger can be replaced by a knot if preferred. 20 very small beads for the string harness at the other end (optional, sometimes omitted).
5 medium beads above each jug (20 total)
32 very small beads to from the strings between the tassels and the jugs ( 4 at 8 each)

Loop: You will need 108 medium beads for the earthly desires and 4 slightly smaller, different ones for the 4 Bodhisattvas.  If your beads are too small and your loop is uncomfortably short to hold when chanting you can either switch to a larger bead for the 108 or put 10 very small beads at each end as spacers. (40 total)  The ones I showed you on my blog have spacers.  You will string 7 desires, 1 smaller Bodhisattva bead, 14 desires, 1 smaller Bodhisattva bead, 33 desires (54 on each side of the loop between the mother and father beads).  108 total classifications of human desire pus the 4 Bodhisattvas form the main loop.

The order of stringing the first side is as follows: start at the end of the tassel, string crimp bead (but do not crimp it now), small bead, through the first tassel bead, 8 very small beads, jug bead, 5 medium beads, 1 larger harness bead (or optionally a knot), 5 medium beads, wisdom bead, father bead,  (into the loop now), 10 very small spacers (if you are using spacers) 7 desires, 1 smaller Bodhisattva bead, 14 desires, 1 smaller Bodhisattva bead, 33 desires, 10 very small spacers, mother bead, 10 very small beads (optionally may be done as a space of free string and 2 crimps to hold the place, crimp them later), 5 medium beads, jug bead, 8 very small beads, second tassel bead, small bead, crimp bead.  Slip the last crimp bead to the very end of the string and crimp it.  Adjust tension along all segments (it needs to be a little loose or you can't hold them comfortably when chanting) and crimp the first crimp bead.  Cut the string.
For the other side: start at the end of the tassel, string crimp bead (but do not crimp it now), small bead, through the third tassel bead, 8 very small beads, jug bead, 5 medium beads, through the same larger harness bead on the first side (or optionally a knot), 5 medium beads, the same wisdom bead as on the first side, same father bead,  (into the loop now) 10 very small spacers,  7 desires, 1 smaller Bodhisattva bead, 14 desires, 1 smaller Bodhisattva bead, 33 desires,  10 very small spacers, same mother bead, 10 very small beads (optionally may be done as a space of free string and 2 crimps to hold the place, crimp them later), 5 medium beads, 4th jug bead, 8 very small beads, 4th tassel bead, small bead crimp bead.  Slip the last crimp bead to the very end of the string and crimp it.  Adjust tension along all segments (it needs to be a little loose or you can't hold them comfortably when chanting) and crimp the first crimp bead.  Cut the string.
Counting strand: start at the end of the tassel, string crimp bead (but do not crimp it now), small bead, through the fifth tassel bead, 10 medium beads, through a crimp bead, thread around the top of the 4th tassel, under the mother bead. Back through the crimp bead, back through the ten medium counting beads, back through the fifth tassel bead, the small bead and the crimp bead.  Adjust tension so that the crimp bead at the base of the mother bead is tight against the main string to hold all in place and the 10 counting beads have enough slack to slide back and forth to count. Crimp both beads when it is right. Cut string.
Make sure all crimps are solid, re-crimping if needed.

Good luck, Preeti.  I hope yours some out great.
Julie and Lilo, who is complaining loudly that she hates rain, and will I please make it go away, right now

Friday, February 26, 2010

gold medal socks


It's a cool February evening, with a rainstorm expected later tonight.  I threw my back out, so I'm barely moving.  It hurts some.  It made me sleepy earlier, so I slept then, and now I'm awake at 3 am.  Oh, well.

I've been watching the Olympics and I have been knitting my way through.  I finished another pair of socks for my father-in-law, size 11 shoe, so normal size.  (The "big foots" are on the other side of the family.)

He is celebrating finally coming home from the rehab place today, all better, thank you very much.  To celebrate I knit him a pair of nice, soft socks on size 2 needles, Berroco Comfort DK.  I love using that stuff for socks, so soft.  Balbriggan heel, my new fav heel.  I just cast on for a new pair of toe ups and I'm trying to make a matching Balbriggan toe by using the same concept for the toe.  I'll let you know how they turn out.  Cast on 5, pick up the underside of the cast on, increase 4 EOR (one each side and 2 in the middle).  It should make a short, blunt toe.

Last weekend I attended some Buddhist meetings, commemorating Women's Month.   At one the the meetings the women featured an article by Kaneko Ijkeda that was in the World Tribune a few weeks ago, Jan 15.  It is really great.  I keep reading it again and finding more "meat" in it.  I tried to post it here, but experienced technical difficulties.  Oh, well.

Lilo sez good night. me too.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


It's a clear and cool Monday night after a rain storm this morning.  Another rain storm on the way.  A little wet for San Diego!

Been doing a bit of beading.  My sister, Heather, took me to take a class with a friend of hers in Oceanside a couple of days ago,  The shop folks were soooo nice, lovely selection of beads and we had a great class from Dee Layden.  The class was on finishing, so I took 4 unfinished projects and she showed me how to finish them.  Here's one:

The Carnelian disc is from a necklace that broke in the early '90's.  I had been saving it to use in something new and it finally found a home almost  2 decades later. The root beer colored beads with the gold swirls were purchased in a tourist shop in Old Town San Diego, which inexplicably had a basket of beautiful beads by the cash register for 15 cents each.  What a deal!

Here are a couple of others.  The Juzu beads are going to a friend tomorrow.  (Buddhist prayer beads, we hold them when we chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo as an aid to concentration.  Also, I think they're fun to make.)  Here's some info:

The blue and silver necklace is a Turkish crochet rope technique I learned from Utube.  Never know what you'll find on Utube.

I also took along to the class a pretty green peyote stitch bracelet I had received from a friend and then caught on a doorknob and broke.  Rod Layden repaired it for me.  His artistic work is amazingly beautiful, and the repair is undetectable.  Great afternoon, all in all.

Nate has been with me this weekend.  Pizza as usual.  Fun as usual.  Love bug as usual.   We stopped by Geppetto's, a really awesome toy store.  They had this thing like a sidewalk sled that transfers the kids wiggles into forward motion.  It was really cool, but I did not have an extra $70.  So I told Nate that we would not buy it today because I did not have enough money right now.  Tonight I was changing purses and found a dime in the bottom of one.  He saw that and said,  "Gramma, that's good, you found some money.  Now we can buy the toy."  If you go to their web site check out the ugly dolls.  When my knitting turns out looking out like that, I rip it and start over!   LOL  They not only do not rip it, they charge crazy prices for it!  I must be getting old.

Apparently a local feral tom cat came in the cat door into the living room while we were all, even Lilo, in the bedroom watching the Olympics tonight .  She loves the Olympics, thank you very much, and my lap stays still a nice long time for her to snuggle. She roots for Canada, so she was happy with the ice dancing result tonight.  The tom sprayed the living room to annoy Lilo.  Lilo is not the only one annoyed.  Anyone know of a deterrent?  Anyone know of a clean up method?  I'm not even sure exactly where it is.  The whole room smells, but it is the worst near the kitty door.  Yuck!  Let's see if it is still so bad in the morning.  Let's hope it airs out.

Lilo is helping me post and she sez goodnight!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

No cancer! Hat was right on

No cancer! Hat was right on

  • Feb. 17th, 2010 at 1:02 AM
I went to see the Derm and have the stitches removed.  The labs are clean.  Cancer all gone!  Happy dance! He said it is not the kind to come back.  I knit a blue watch cap for my doctor.  A little something for his convertible.  Must have been the right thing to do, as he loved it.  I do not have health insurance and he gave me the  "student rate",  telling me I surely must be a student of something.  Good Doc!

I finished my German socks.  Notice the toe.  Lately when I do toe up, which is most of my socks, I increase one stitch each "corner" too much, go an inch even, then decrease to the desired size and carry on down the foot.  This makes a little extra wiggle room in the toe.  I like them that way, but they look a bit funny off the foot.  You can't tell by looking on the foot.

The tops are shorter than usual as these are for me and that's how I like 'em.  Upside down Balbriggan heel.  First tiem for me and I'd do it again.  No turning, justa bunch of decreases.  Directions in Nancy Bush's Folk Socks.  There's a funny story there.  Some years ago, when I got that book I was avidly reading it as soon as I got it out of the Amazon box.  My Daughter came in a said,  "Well, Mother,  it's about time you are reading something again.  Since you got all sock crazy, all you want to do anymore is knit socks."  I held the book up so that she could read the title.  "Oh, no, not a book about knitting socks.  You're too much."  I laughed. 

Nathan was here for the weekend.  We had a great time.  We went with Dare to Pat and Oscar's.  All Nate's favorite stuff, bread sticks, pizza, pasta, salad, BBQ chicken and lots of  extra parm on top.  Very Nathan.

Six year old heaven.  The adults had a good time too.  Different kind of Valentine's Day.

I'm listening to Jazz 88.3, Herbie's latest release, way cool.  Current tune is originally from Nirvana, I kid you not.  I'll have to put the CD on my wish list.

So it's off to bed with me, Lilo sez Goodnight!,

Saturday, February 13, 2010

knitting olympics

I joined the Knitting Olympics over at the Yarn Harlot's blog.  I'm knitting a Victorian collar.  Also a cap for my doctor.

I'm in great shape emotionally, very fired up to be supporting the women's meetings this month and the youth division for Rock the Era.  I've been having a lot of fun doing vigorous activities. 

I went to the doc this morning to find out why I have been having something dragging down my health after I got over the bronchitis.  I thought I had a lingering infection in my lungs, but no, they are clear.  Then she found a a urinary tract infection.  Either bladder or kidneys.  Further labs will tell which. I just started an antibiotic today, so I am sleeping a lot. I fell asleep this afternoon, went to visit a friend, then slept again right after dinner and just woke up after midnight. The antibiotic really knocks me out.  But I expect in a day or two this effect will be eased and I'll be running around again. Good she found the "silent infection" before it could cause lots of  kidney damage. Good Dr, huh, must be, her name is Julie, too!

I'm getting ready to go to San Francisco next month with my sisters. I'm getting so excited.  It was so much fun last year: 1 week. 3 sisters, no husbands, lots of crafting.  Last year we laughed so much our cheek muscles hurt.

Nathan is coming soon, happy dance!!!!  Silly besotted Gramma.

See you all soon,

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Another S'mores hat

Today was cool and sunny and breezy.  I finally feel well.  Dan was in LA so I had a quiet girl's day out, chatting with my friend Flore.  Now it is evening and Dan is napping, so I still have the house to myself.  Nice. 

I also am finishing up a second hat from the last of the S'mores yarn.  I am experimenting with a stretchy bind off from   It's called Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off,  Ha-ha, funny how that copied from Knitty.  Anyway, the bound off edge is teal blue to bring out the light blue in the colorway.  And it is indeed very stretchy.  I might use it in the future for toe-up sock tops.

My daughter told me she is going on a cruise.  I'm so happy for her!  Sounds like so much fun.  Cruises are so cheap right now, it almost saves money to go.  Best of all, I'll watch Nate for her.  I'm just a besotted Gramma.

From Daisaku Ikeda: "
Remember that "The voice does the Buddha's work."   Let's chant resounding daimoku, give a courageous and impassioned "lion's roar" and engage in dialogue that strikes a chord in the hearts of others.   Let's win with voices that resonate with such warmth and confidence."

Daily Encouragement by Daisaku Ikeda for Sunday, February 7, 2010.  "Your environment does not matter.  Everything starts with you. You must forge yourself through your own efforts.  I urge each of you to create something, start something and make a success of something.  That is the essence of human existence, the challenge of youth. Herein lies a wonderful way of life always aiming for the future."

Lilo is sleepy and she sez: G'night, All.  G'night, Lilo.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Nate's Birthday sweater

It's a cold breezy overcast day in San Diego.  The weatherman is predicting rain.  So I'm staying in and drinking lots of tea.  Also a slice of the yummy turtle pie I made (chocolate turtle jello pudding, oreo pie shell and a big heap of whipped cream on top).  Did I tell you what my daughter Amber said about whipped cream?  Since it is mostly air, it's fewer calories to put a blob of whipped cream on top of your coffee than it is to add milk to it.  She wants to write a diet book about food label reading called "Eat more whipped cream".   Since I have always been a fan of whipped cream (Schlag, Bitte! ) this is right up my alley.  I fear she is basing her calculations on a small blob of whipped cream, which is not how I squirt it on!  Oh, well... I don't use small amounts of milk either, so maybe it still applies. 

Here is the sweater I was working on in the Guild meeting, finished at last!

Size 7 circular needles, the black is Lion Brand Baby soft and the blue is Mexican wave  (long discontinued). About 4 st/in.   I had made myself a wimple from the Mexican Wave, but I was no longer wearing it. So ripped it and balled up the Mexican Wave to use for something else.  When I needed a second color for this stripey design, I pulled it out and tried it.  I love the effect of the gradually changing colors.  I so wish they had not discontinued Mexican Wave.  Nathan's birthday party is Saturday, so none too soon!

Does anyone know of another kid-friendly (i.e. washable) soft sport weight yarn with a long color change?

I stuffed Dan's newest warm and tweedy watch cap into the neck so you can see the line of the neck.  It's so hard to photograph black knitting.  So you get a 2-fer photo.  I make him lots of warm hats.  What can I say, bald men are sexy!

Today I received a recent encouragement from Daisaku Ikeda in an e-mail from my friend Julia.

February 5, 2010 
The busier we are, the
 more we should begin with prayer.
Let's stop spinning our wheels
 and getting nowhere.
It's also crucial to get sleep.
Every day, let's take wise leadership!

I like this, less wheel spinning and more sleep!  I'm still fighting off the tail of the recent bronchitis relapse, so I really get the sleep part right now. 

I had wanted to attend the festive opening of the "Ghandi, King, Ikeda" exhibit at SDSU in the Library Addition, 1st floor, and Donor Hall, 1st floor, Love Library, but given my health constraints, I will see it sometime later this weekend. Check it out at  Someone said this is Aztec Center, but I am not so familiar with SDSU, so I will have to check it out when I get there.  State has surely grown over the years.

Lilo is outside chasing the cold wind gusts and being a cat of great winter mystery.  So, without any Lilo, bye for now.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hat to match the Smores scarf and bright slippers


It's a cool clear Wed. evening in San Diego, about 54F.  The bronchitis is back, so I have no energy and have been sleeping a lot.  Loooong nap today.

I just got home from the knitting guild meeting at the La Jolla JCC.  It was a lot of fun.  Amy Singer was there.  She has a new book out and we were part of her book tour. 

I took a few items that I have finished for show and share.  Some of the girls wanted patterns for the stuff where I was just doodling with yarn and needles.  So as I finish writing them up I'll put the patterns here on the blog.  One of the requested ones is this hat below. 

Here's the hat to match the Smores scarf I blogged recently. Feather and fan.

Soft Little Feather and Fan hat pattern.

100% wool sock yarn from Knitpicks, color shown is discontinued, Smores.
Size 8 needles.
Gauge: 4 st/in
Knit flat and seamed.  Could be done in the round if you prefer... I happened to have straight needles handy.
I did the M1 as a backwards-e.
Cast on 7.
Row 1:*K1, M1 across, end K1. = 13 sts
Row 2 and all even rows in this section: K all.
Row 3: K1,* M1, K2. Repeat from * to end. =19 sts
Row 5:K1, *M1, K3. Repeat from * to end. = 25 sts
Row 7:K1, *M1, K4. Repeat from * to end. = 31 sts
Row 9:K1, *M1, K5. Repeat from * to end. = 37 sts
Row 11:K1, *M1, K6. Repeat from * to end. = 43 sts
Row 13:K1, *M1, K7. Repeat from * to end. = 49 sts
Row 15:K1, *M1, K8. Repeat from * to end. = 55 sts
Row 17:K1, *M1, K9. Repeat from * to end. = 61 sts
Row 19:K1, *M1, K10. Repeat from * to end. = 67 sts
Row 21:K1, *M1, K11. Repeat from * to end. = 73 sts
Row 23:K1, *M1, K12. Repeat from * to end. = 79 sts
Row 24: K all
Row  25: K2, *YO, K1, YO, K4, (K2tog X4), K4, YO, k1, YO, K1. Repeat from * , end K1.
Row 26: Purl all.
Row 27: Knit all
Row 28 : Knit all.  (Raises garter ridge.)
Repeat rows 25-28 8 more times.
Knit 4 rows.
Suspended bind off. leaving long tail.  Sew or crochet  side seam. ( I crocheted mine.)  Using soft sock yarn makes a wonderfully soft hat. 

I made some more bright slippers from the 1960's yarn. My camera does not want to give them to livejournal.  Maybe next time.

Lilo stopped by to say good night.  Good night, Lilo.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Yet Another UFO bites the dust


Happy Campers, I hope?  I'm one.

Its a cool winter evening in San Diego, 53F.  I'm still getting well from the major bout of bronchitis I had just after Christmas.  The tail end cough just will not end.  I had to stay home tonight to try and clear up my aching chest.

But, nonetheless, I am working along on my UFO project.  Here's the latest FO.  Yarn is from Maria's in Chula Vista, something Mexican.  I am crazy about the colors. 

Cute collar for the presents drawer.  My own design.

Tomorrow night I am going with my sister to see Amy Singer at the local guild.  Should be fun.  I'll let you know how it went. 

Lilo came by to say "good night" to everyone.  She loves to blog.

Good night,

Monday, February 1, 2010

I'm in love with purple

Hello, Happy February!

It's a lovely, cool (60F) clear sunny winter afternoon in San Diego.  The birds are singing and there is a gentle breeze from the ocean.  Lovely and peaceful.

Here is the latest in the series of UFO's I am finishing.  The yarn is the bright stuff from the '60's my friend glommed onto for me at a yard sale.  I love the bright purple color.  I think this one might be mine.  All ir needed was the gray edgeing.

The stitch is Lotus Blossom Stitch, but the blossoms are upside down since I worked it neck down, so they look more like fuchsia blossoms.  I can write up the pattern if anyone wants it.

The UFO campaign I'm on right now is so exciting.  It appears that I have many projects with just a little bit of work left to do.  So, a small effort on my part is yielding a beautiful finished object.  I'm loving it.  The drawer where I stash presents has several items already and it's just February.  My eventual goal is to finish enough projects that I can actually keep the rest in the designated bins, instead of all over the house!  The Yarn Harlot was talking about watching Hoarders and jumping up to get her house cleaned up.  Well, I'm a long way from cleaned up, but the impulse is the same.  Next up is another  pretty little shawlette/collar made from colorful Mexican yarn that only needs a button to be done. 

Enjoy your day!