The knitting has been a bit distracted, making cutesy decorations for the cafe who graciously hosts the knit group every week. We all forgot our cameras last week, but photos are coming soon! The only thing on the needles is Aphrodite, a lace shawl/capelet from the "cover" of the summer issue of Twist.
Boy oh boy, the going is slow. It's a 30-row pattern and there are two different lace patterns for the main panels and the columns that divide the panels, so all rows must be knitted with eyes firmly fixed on the chart. Still, there are frequent mistakes, and fixing them takes longer than the actual knitting. It's still at a fairly unrecognizeable blobby stage, and only the optimistic knitter can pick out any sort of lace pattern.
This shawl integrates beading, using the crochet hook method. The beading method of stringing all the beads on the yarn first, then incorporating them, just seems too tedious and risky (what if there is a break in the yarn? what if you miscount and string too few beads?). I'd been rather fearful of beading, but it is so easy peasy following the directions in the pattern! The second hardest part was choosing beads. It took months. Eventually I settled on a slightly yellowish silver bead, to contrast slightly with the silver yarn. Isn't it pretty, like sunbeams breaking through rainclouds?
The truly hardest part was finding the crochet hook, which has to be small enough for the head to fit through the little bead. I tried a few shops, real and online, over a few months, but couldn't find one quite small enough, or I was nervous with the online ones that they wouldn't fit through the beads. Then I went to Knitorious, which still didn't have a hook small enough. But the person who was helping me look through all the crochet hooks went to the back, brought back her own needle case, and gave me the right size hook!! Yay for local shops with real, kind people! She said she has more than one of these, because she does a lot of beading. Nonetheless it was such a lovely gift, and this interaction has quelled my misanthropic urge to buy everything online.
Look at how tiny the hook is! There is a bead on it, which is the lump in the middle. For comparison, they are next to the relatively ginorm size 3 needle.
This is one of those projects that needs an easy, stockinette other project for relief. Which reminds me, perhaps I'd better start on the holiday knitting...