Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

restringing the pearls

DH and I, on our various perambulations around, like to stop at those places that will sell you an oyster guaranteed to have a pearl in it, and buy an oyster or two (Or more if the pearls are running especially nice) Then, once a year, I get out the Dremal Tool and the press, drill my new pearls, and re-string my eccentric necklace.

I always feel so proud of myself when I use these power tools. DH uses drill presses that can hollow out a hot tub, but I am quite content with this tiny level of power.

Having set up the press, I take my pearl vise and the new pearl that I love the least. I love all my pearls, and it takes me quite a while to overcome my trepidation and start the drilling. You can't unsay a hard word, and you can't undrill a pearl that rolled in the vise. I think my hand was a tad bit unsteady when I took the picture here.

Pearl clamped snugly in vise and set into drill platform. Gulp. Here goes! (I have two pearls that have moved during the drilling process. They live on the back of the necklace. There is one pearl that fractured when I screwed the vise too tight. It takes a sensitive touch.)

Here are my newest pearls being strung on silk thread with a knot between each to keep them safe. And the eccentric necklace continues to grow.

The needle nose tweezers help me set the knots right down tight next to the pearl.

Professional jewelers charge $10 a pearl for drilling.

Mandatory kitting pics. Everything is better with a kitty in it, but re-stringing pearls - with kitten assist - leaves Roxie very cross and leaves the kittens bruised and bemused. So they spent the afternoon in the spare bedroom. When I put the pearls away, DH brought them out, all sleepy, soft and warm. By the time I grabbed the camera, they were waking up. You should have seen those drowsy baby faces drooped over his shoulders.

The deadline for the knitter's hands photos is midnight tonight. Again, these must be pictures you have taken and they need to be e-mailed to The prize is 11 ounces of black fingering weight cashmere. Debbie sent fifty nine photos (!) (She has been taking pictures of knitter's hands for a few years now.) She is such a good sport that she said I didn't need to give her a chance for every pair of hands, but could enter her name as often as I wanted. Now I am wishing I could send the cashmere to everyone!!

These pictures are so wonderful! Hands have such a LOT of character. Old, young, dark, light, square, long, plump and gaunt. Ladies, we are ALL beautiful!!


  • At 11:11 AM , Anonymous Dave Daniels said...

    Oh, so THAT is how the clamp fits in! Sheesh, it's takes a brain, and I didn't have mine. At one time, I had a nice dremel set up that even had a nice router attachment for making edges of wooden signs and things. They are such fun tools. As for stringing pearls, I've done my share. It always makes you wonder when someone's pearls snap, and they fall all over the place. Pearls (and all nice stones) should have a knot between them. it saves on the abrasion between them as well as keeps them secure in an accident. (My mom taught me that long ago when she had pearls strung taht her dad had gotten for her.)

  • At 11:25 AM , Blogger Margene said...

    I did a post last year on hands.
    They are so interesting when busy with knitting.

  • At 12:16 PM , Blogger Willow said...

    I remember when MamaMia and you bought pearls from the same tank at the Oregon State Fair. Is that when you started collecting the pearls?

  • At 1:51 PM , Blogger Lucia said...

    What an amazing process! I don't know that I would ever work up the nerve.

    Fifty-nine??? Yikes. I have quite a few, but I fear the odds are against me.

  • At 3:01 PM , Blogger AllyB said...

    My pictures are winging their way to you. Thanks for a fun contest!

  • At 4:10 PM , Blogger Amy Lane said...

    I'm with Lucia--I'd never work up the nerve...but I'm so proud that I know someone who does! That's wonderful!
    (Hmmm...and you've hit your two power words today, dearest...eccentric AND beautiful...good day to be Roxie!!!!)

  • At 7:26 PM , Anonymous MonicaPDX said...

    Very cool necklace - and no wonder you had advice to give Bobbie about her pearls! [g] I have got to practice my knotting...

    Awwwwww on da sleepy kittings! (LOL; Dave is proving entirely too much of an influence. That "aw" originally came out with s's instead of w's! ::snerk::)

  • At 6:22 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    How cool are those beads?!

    I can see the sleepy look in the little black kitties eyes. They're just like babies; they look all sweet and innocent when sleeping or waking up :-)

  • At 7:42 AM , Anonymous Miss T said...

    I absolutely adore pearls, but I've never seen how they're drilled before. Interesting. Mine need restringing...

  • At 10:47 AM , Blogger Donna Lee said...

    What a beautiful eccentric pearl necklace. Uniformity is overrated and dull. The ones you are drilling (!) and stringing are more interesting to look at. BTW, the scarf with the starry night is coming out really nice. I want to try your pattern out but I want a longer scarf so I'll need more than one skein.

  • At 5:00 PM , Blogger Warrior Knitter said...

    What a lovely idea for a necklace. I like the different color pearls.


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