Knitting friends, I think I’m in love.
But not with some mysterious stranger who has swept me off my feet (he would have to work EXTREMELY HARD to match the awesomeness that is Greg.) No, I’ve fallen in love with beaded knits.
Now I’ve seen them before, and always thought that they looked super snazzy. Adding a little bling to shawls seemed totally awesome. Especially dark colors with that hint of silver glitter like a night sky. Yum! But it seemed super difficult and time-consuming and I was just too intimidated. BUT THEN! My friend Rachel aka allnightknitter, a fellow knitting insomniac, sent me a voucher for Sundara Yarns that she had won in a contest. (aren’t you jealous??) I was THRILLED. I had long coveted the beautiful bright and saturated tonal colorways, but there was no way I could afford yarn that nice. However, with a pretty steep discount, I was able to snag two beautiful skeins of their sport weight merino yarn.
That green!! It has little glorious hints of turquoise too. Just divine. Once I opened the package with the yarn in it, I knew that it needed to be an enormous shawl. And it was so stunningly beautiful that I decided it needed beads. So I went hunting, and I found some that were a perfect match! They’d give a touch of glamorous glitter, but not so much that I would look like I had a bad run-in with the 80’s.
Some of them are even matte rather than sparkly!! They’re very exciting.
I searched endlessly for the perfect shawl pattern, but in the end I decided to do the Holden pattern again, but GIANT this time. I like shawls with a stockinette body and a reasonably easy lace border. I think they look a bit more modern than shawls with lace all over. Also, it was very easy to add beads to the lace, so it was good for a first project. Only mildly intimidating instead of insanely so 😛
I knit this shawl while I was working on applications, because I wanted something that was REALLY nice to take the edge off the stress. Then I ran out of beads and couldn’t go get more for a while, so I started my Light and Up shawl, which also gets a lot of action around here. But eventually more beads were obtained, the shawl was finished, and then I had to figure out how to block this monstrosity. (The end result involved two towels on the ground and positioning it diagonally. It’s big.)
But now that I’ve blathered on about it for a significant amount of time, you want to see it, right? I figure I really owe you all pictures, because I wear it all the time. It’s beautiful, and the color fits perfectly into my wardrobe.
And now a closeup so you can actually see the beads I worked so hard on!
They’re really lovely and subtle, but they give it a fantastic weight and drape. I will definitely be using beads again. I already have yarn and beads for the next shawl, but that’s a story for another day. I used the crochet hook method for placing the beads, and I loved it. I most certainly do not have the patience to thread hundreds of beads onto the yarn before casting on the project. That sounds to me like a swift road to crazy town.
I only made a few small mods to the shawl. It’s not totally triangular. For the plain portion in the center, I increased four stitches on every right side row, and two on every wrong side row until I got to the correct stitch count to begin the lace. I find that doing that makes the ends you wrap around your neck longer, and I was worried that since this shawl was going to be a behemoth, the point would drape unattractively down to my crotch when worn in the front (which is really the only way I wear my shawls, so that was a non-starter.) I switched to the regular rate of increase when I got to the lace portion. It makes a subtle but positive difference to the shape of the shawl, and I think it helps it stay on my neck better. I also left off the picot bind off. I started doing it, but it looked strange and chunky in the sport weight yarn. I did a stretchy sewn bindoff in the style of Elizabeth Zimmerman instead. I love the edge this bindoff produces, so I almost always do it if the edge is going to be visible. It’s lovely and I like the scalloped edge just as much without the picots.
One last pic of me wearing it-I promise that I adore this shawl, I just look unhappy because it was far too cold outside when I took this pic. Spring has clearly not sprung in my neck of the woods.
This is how I always wear it, bunched up around my neck, and I love it. It’s huge and cozy! It keeps the chill out when I wear it under a coat, which has happened more often than I’d like lately. I love this project so much!! I didn’t want it to end, and usually I’m a total product knitter. The yarn was just so lovely to work with, and the beads were so much fun, and now I have something that I adore that I get to wear all the time!
I think that’s pretty much it! Until next time knitting friends ❤
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