Hubby was out of town again this weekend, so I had plenty of time to play with yarn and stitch dictionaries, and no reason to feel guilty when my fiber “nest” spread out to take over both couches, the coffee table, and most of the floor space around my feet. Ahem.
I started out with stitch I thought I loved and cast on for two sections of it – one with clear beads and one with purple. After one repeat I could already tell which one I liked better.
The clear beads just don’t show up enough to be worth it to me. The beads themselves are shiny, but not flat-out sparkly, so I decided to go with color. That solved the bead question. To my surprise though, I didn’t like the lace pattern as much once I was knitting it. I still like it, but not for the beginning of this particular shawl. I may work it in later, or may just put it away for a different project. We’ll see.
I swatched again with a different stitch pattern, and liked this one better:
Like most stitch dictionaries, this one doesn’t have any suggestions for what to do with beads, so I picked spots arbitrarily. I liked the way this one looked with the beads this way, but it felt heavy and sounded clacky and I was worried about the yarn holding up if I beaded like this. So, time to swatch again.
This is the same lace pattern with fewer beads. Ding ding ding, I think we have a winner! It doesn’t look like much here, but it larger amounts (and blocked) it looks pretty awesome.
I measured my swatch to see what my gauge was, then did some quick calculations to see how many stitches I’d need to get the width I wanted. I nudged that number around a little until I got to the closest multiple of 16 (the size of the repeat for this particular stitch) and cast on! Now comes a nice stretch of nothing but knitting. 🙂