Posts Tagged ‘beads’

Whatcom Falls

Fall is here and with it a bit of a chill to the air! Keep that chill off your shoulders with my new shawlette, Whatcom Falls.

cover

This little scrap of lacy goodness is inspired by the colors and land features of the Pacific Northwest, as well as one really fun care package. Whatcom Falls is ideal for this time of year. It makes a great transition piece to carry your summer clothes for just a few more weeks.

bead-detail

The beads also add a bit of glitter and sophistication to those increasingly long, cool evenings. Not to mention, they’re just fun to knit with!

Some Pretty for You

Last weekend we had a brief break in the cold before the endless snowing returned. I took advantage of the temporary warmth to air out my shawl collection and also take a few photos for an upcoming ad campaign. I thought a lot of it wound up pretty, and very refreshing after months of endless grey and white. Because I love you all, I am sharing. All photos can be enlarged by clicking.

folded shawls

A close-up of my shawls, all folded and ready for spreading

beads

Beads!

gate

Almost overwhelming for the senses this time of year!

swept away

More beads and a bit of pretty light play.

leonardtown

Fish? Vines? Don’t care. It’s green, and I need green right now.

Hope these brightened your day a bit, as they did mine. For the interested, the shawls (in the order they appear in the fence picture) are: Clapotis, Swallowtail, Leonardtown, Sea Spray, and Swept Away.

 

Swept Away

Wow, I kind of disappeared there this week, didn’t I? Well, to make it up to you I’ve come back with a new pattern! This one will be familiar to those of you who read regularly, as I’ve posted about it all through its creation process. I am so thrilled to finally present to you: Swept Away.

Swept Away

Regular readers will know this shawl was inspired by a wedding I was recently in. In part it came about because my friend was getting married in late September on the waterfront (brr!), but in part also because I wanted something truly special and well-loved to remind me of her big day. This shawl is absolutely both of those things.

Swept Away Full

It is absolutely large enough to have kept me warm throughout the wedding day, but so delicate and translucent that it is clearly a fashion statement and a formal piece, not just a means of keeping warm. The beads don’t dominate the piece; they just add a bit of sparkle that combines with the shine of the yarn’s silk content for quite a sophisticated look.

Swept Away beads

Combined with the shawl’s drape and (lack of) weight, it is just everything I envisioned. It suited the dress, it suited the venue, it suits me enough that I will continue to wear it in the future – and I will never be able to wear this shawl without thinking of my friend’s wedding day and smiling. Swept Away  is everything I wanted, and I hope it will be the same for you.

P.S. Check out a couple more awesome pictures of the wedding and shawl on my project page.

Messy Bead Problems

In this post I mentioned ordering new beads because I didn’t have enough to complete the shawl the way I wanted. As it turns out, while the beads were sold under the same name they are not the same. The beads I’ve been using are discontinued. Crud.

I went out and bought a massive load of new purple beads, but because they don’t match the originals either, I had to rip out all my progress (*sob*) and start again. Then, because this is a self-published pattern and I’m not contracted to any other company, I went ahead and changed the initial lace pattern too. This is one of several reasons I love to self-publish – if I decide on a whim a change will improve my pattern, there’s absolutely no reason I can’t change it. No company will feel cheated or surprised or like they didn’t get what they’ve paid for, and I don’t ever feel obligated to publish what I feel is less than my best. It’s a total win.

new lace

Here’s the new lace, unblocked.

Swatching

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.

purple beads

Here are the purple beads.

clear beads

Here are the clear beads.

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:

2nd lace

Lace Take 2

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.

3rd lace

Swatch #3

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. 🙂

It Came!

The yarn for my new shawl design arrived! Since I’ve talked so much about it already, I’m going to experiment with sharing the whole design process with you guys. It’ll be self-published if it turns out well, so there’s nothing forcing me to secrecy. Might as well try something different!

sterling

 

The Gloss is not noticeably shiny in the skein; definitely more grey than silver. It does have a nice…I dunno, liveliness… to it that is clearly the result of the silk though. It also feels every bit as squishy and delicious as the heavier weight version. I can’t wait to start swatching with it. The next big decision is beads.

beads

 

Purple to match the main wedding color? Yellow to make the other yellow accents (like our flowers) pop? Clear to really bling out the silver and make it just plain sparkle? I’m going to swatch with each color to see what I like best, but I’d love to hear your thoughts too!

A Mission

I have a mission for my readers (and myself). My best friend is getting married in September, and since we will likely be outside for at least part of her evening reception, I’d like to make myself a nice, lacy shawl. The catch is it needs to go with my bridesmaid dress. I already have the perfect beads to use as an accent, but I think I want the actual yarn to be as close to the color of the dress as possible. We’re wearing David’s Bridal’s Regency color, and satin, if anyone’s ever seen it in person before. For anyone who hasn’t, it’s roughly royal purple. There are lots of royal purple yarns out there, but I don’t even begin to know what yarn is closest in color, except that it’s none of the ones at my LYS. I’m not sure I’m quite confident enough in my dyeing abilities to make that shade of purple myself. Anyone have any experience here?

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