Have you ever worked beads into your knitting? I never have. I have often said I wasn’t interested enough to try such a fiddly thing but as with many techniques, I nearly always end up trying something just to see what it’s like.
I’ve viewed shawls with beads knitted into them with a mixture of admiration and uncertainty. I’ve seen the point – they look so delightfully pretty nestled in the middle of a motif, but I was just never sure I could be bothered.
Recently I met up with long time blog friend, Diane (who, by the way, furnished my growing fabric stash with an astounding array of fabric from her own collection! Oh my!) and she showed me many breathtaking examples of her lace work, including some with beads. Something in me stirred.
And now, here I am, knitting with beads. Let me introduce you to my new shawl – the Maia Shoulderette. It’s a relatively new pattern by Romi Hill.
Isn’t she pretty? Just a newborn, and yet this is at the fifth chart already! I am working on this with long distance friend Jodi in Alabama. The pattern comes from a collection, an e-book, called 7 Small Shawls, which Jodi gave me for my birthday. It’s an intriguing little pattern. I’ve never knit a shawl like it, quite apart from the beads – you change direction after the first, horizontal leaves and continue knitting, so far as I can tell, like a normal triangular shawl. Fascinating!
And yes, the astute among you may have noticed in the above photo that there are two beads on one side, and three on the other. I thought that was wrong too but I couldn’t see that the pattern asked for three on both sides. I really couldn’t. If I had my time over, I’d add another one for balance.
As for the beading itself, I’ve taken to it quite quickly. I chose clear beads partly because I couldn’t find the right kind of red in any of the shops and I thought these clear ones, with the silver inside them, would stand out quite prettily. Do you agree? Do they work? I do like them – I do think it works but they strike me occasionally they stand out quite starkly.
I didn’t thread them all on to the yarn. I was going to. I even got a special Big Eye needle for doing the job but in the end, I’ve gone with hooking them on one by one with my tatting shuttle. It’s the smallest hook I own – the only one I’ve got that fits into the middle of the beads.
I keep them beside me in this pretty little ceramic box.
Who knew such a thing could be so lovely to do? Sure you have to pause to put a bead on, but there’s a good run of knitting between each bead so it’s not been cumbersome at all. I like it!