Bead Story

I have been knitting the Edith’s Secret shawl (without any side trips into other projects!!!) all week. I am through the stripes and the totally new to me Diamond Tweed stitch, and finally the time has come for lace. Lace means beads. Yeah, beads!!! I have been looking forward to this since I got the shawl started. I went to the bead store Tuesday to pick up a nice selection of beads to play with as I wasn’t sure what I would want when I got down that far on the shawl.

Cat
As usual my cat MacKenzie has moved in to supervise my knitting (and to deposit some more cat hair just in case there wasn’t enough in the knitting…) Doesn’t he look irritated with me? I had just admonished him to leave that ball of yarn alone!

After asking around I narrowed the bead contenders down to a purple matte finish bead and a shiny light amethyst bead. Gee, everyone at my knitting group felt that the darker purple bead would be best, but I wasn’t sure if I would like that much contrast. Also, I kind of like the pink in the yarn and would like to highlight it if I can. To further complicate things the shawl pattern directions include a chart of the lace with the sweet note that “beads are appropriate in this section” with no notation of where to put them. Yep, a little knitted sampler was in order.

That’s how I ended up knitting at the table with MacKenzie. This lace is English Mesh, and the pattern is pretty simple. It is little tear-drops surrounded by yarn-overs and it seemed to me that it would be good to put the bead at the top of the double decrease in the pattern, or perhaps in the middle of two yarn-overs.

Lace with beads.
Here’s the sampler with the purple beads placed in a couple of different places: at the bottom of the swatch the beads are right above the double decrease, and in the middle they are between the yarn-overs. The amethyst beads (the lighter ones at the top of the swatch) are placed just above the double decrease.

This is what the beads look like next to the shawl.

Purple beads and lace.
Purple beads with lace next to the shawl. They don’t stand out as much as I thought they would. The strip of knitting right above the needle is the infamous Diamond Tweed stitch which I had to frog twice while knitting. It is pretty, isn’t it. Worth every “ribbit”.
Beads and Lace.
Amethyst beads with the lace against the shawl. See how the pink in the yarn is more noticeable?

Well, after all of that it was easy for me to make my decision. If I am going to do all of the work to put these beads into the lace I will be using the beads that have a little flash to them: the amethyst beads win! I have also decided to place the beads right above the double decrease (sl 1, k2tog, psso) in the lace pattern. That means that the bead is placed onto the stitch in question on the following purl row using a little crochet hook right before I purl that stitch. Here’s a video tutorial showing how to do that if you’ve never tried it before.

Yeah! Time to start knitting this on the actual shawl. Edith, here I come!!

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Author: Midnight Knitter

I weave, knit and read in Aurora, Colorado where my garden lives. I have 2 sons, a knitting daughter-in-law, a grandson and two exceptionally spoiled cats.

5 thoughts on “Bead Story”

  1. Its progressing and looks lovely! I can see why you haven’t cheated on it with any other projects this week.

    So now that you have settled on the amethyst beads, whatcha gonna do with the darker ones? You may need another cast-on…

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