Getting started: Chart A

In two days time, the second clue for the mystery stole will be released.  And I’m only on row 36 of clue 1.  Row 36.  Out of 100.  And this portion is increasing 2 stitches every right side row, so I’m not even a third of the way through this first section yet!  In fact, my rough and ready maths suggests I’m about 15% done – less than a sixth!!  I dread to think what the ‘workload’ will be like in subsequent weeks.

Still, I have only been working on it for the last two evenings, and managed a grand total of four rows last night – two of which I had to re-do this morning as I’d ended up with an extra stitch from somewhere.  It is looking gorgeous, though:

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I didn’t increase the needle size in the end, so this is being knit on 3.75mm circulars, and I think the contrast between stockinette and YOs is about perfect.  I did indeed choose to go with the gold beads, and the effect is really very subtle: these are only size 8/0 seed beads and they nestle right into the fabric.

Melanie, the stole designer, has designed this to use a different beading method to what I’ve used before.  The beads are not pre-strung on the yarn, but when a stitch is marked ‘beaded’, you actually place the bead on the stitch you are about to knit, by taking the stitch off the left hand needle, pulling it through the bead (a very tiny crochet hook is the tool of choice here) and replacing it on the left needle before working it.  I don’t have a crochet hook that tiny, so I’m making do with a bit of wire out of a twist-tie thing – and it still isn’t fine enough!  So I’m using that to pull a piece of thread through the stitch, then using the thread to pull the stitch through the bead.

The advantages of this method are that:

  1. …you don’t have to spend ages pre-stringing beads before knitting
  2. …the beads don’t fray the yarn as you push them along all the time
  3. …the beads sit on both legs of the stitch and can’t shift around; they are visible on the front and back of the fabric and have no tendency to ‘hide’ on the purl side.

On the other hand, it means you need your beads and beading ‘tools’ with you at all times.  This is not a very portable project, and it does require quite a bit of concentration.

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Taking a break…

2 comments


  • It’s lovely. Interesting about the beads. I have yet to try any method of knitting with beads, but it’s on my list of things to learn.

    5th July 2007
  • It’s looking lovely. I’m using a 0.75mm crochet hook and size 8 beads – can’t remember where I bought it though, in the dim and distant past I may have considered some crocheted lace!

    5th July 2007

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