Howdy, friends! Last time, I mentioned that I was working on a project that involved beads. As it turns out, I’m completely finished with that project and have moved on to the next one. But let’s pause a moment and reflect on how awesome beads are in a knitted project.
The Beaded Mystery Shawl
OK. That was great reflection. Here’s my completed project.
This shawl was a delight to knit. It’s the Romi’s Mystery Shawl 2020 pattern by Rosemary (Romi) Hill. I used Meadowcroft Dyeworks Cross Creek Sock yarn in the Pisgah National Forrest and Harold’s Crayon colorways. I really stumbled across this pattern thanks to my friend Susan from the Criminally Creative podcast. I was watching one of her recent episodes and she was showing the shawl she knitted. I was struck by its beauty and knew right away that I wanted to knit one for myself. I ended up going to to the LYS, and this is the text message I sent Susan when I got back.
Over the course of the next 6 weeks or so, I worked on that shawl constantly. I loved working on it. The lace was interesting and fun. I started looking at other projects on Ravelry and hanging out in Romi’s Ravelry group (where everyone was so welcoming). I found several examples of the shawl that incorporated beads and I knew right away that I would be doing the same. I borrowed bead placement ideas from several different shawls and came up with my own scheme that I’m quite happy about. I waiting until I was almost done with Color One before incorporating beads, and then I incorporated them liberally throughout Color Two.
The pattern is designed over a series of “clues,” with each clue equating to a different section of the shawl. Typically with a mystery design, each clue is released independently over time and many knitters work on the shawl together. Everyone anxiously awaits the release of a new clue and frantically knits to see what it will look like. This mystery shawl progressed over the spring, so I had the benefit of having all clues available at once and knowing what the final shawl looked like. Knowing what the final shawl looked like helped me make decisions about where my beads would go.
As I completed each clue, I updated my Instagram feed and shared progress in Romi’s group. I really appreciated the support from the group as I progressed. When it was all done, I had a scrunched-up shawl, ready for blocking.
Even unblocked, it was beautiful! Of course, once I blocked it, the lace opened up and it looked amazing.
Using blocking wires really helped me to be able to create the points along the border. Let’s take a closer look at some of the beautiful beads and lace.
Note the close-up of the single row of purple with an extra blip of color and bead hanging down on it. This was one of the most interesting parts of the shawl. Romi describes it as an ornament and it was created by manipulating some stitches from he purple row over the next several rows. It looks great both with and without a bead and add an extra touch of complexity to the shawl that really sets it apart.
I absolutely love this shawl and everything about it. The pattern was wonderfully written and fun to knit. The beads placement was not indicated in the pattern, but adding beads was an exciting adventure. I highly recommend that anyone doing any lace knitting look at the pattern and see if they can find ways to incorporate the beads into what they are doing. It so often raises things up a level when you do.
The shawl is currently part of my background when I’m on video calls now.
Pam and I continue to put out episodes of the Unraveling Podcast approximately twice a month. If you’re not listening to us, what are you waiting for‽ We are currently working our way through Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s book Knitting Rules! It’s a lot of fun, and we’re learning a great deal.
It’s not strictly knitting related, but I was recently featured as the co-host for Episode 283 of the Fish Nerds podcast. I had a lot of fun hanging out with Clay, and I told the stories about how I knitted a dishcloth on a fishing trip when we forgot to bring one and how I caught a catfish with a piece of yarn once. If you want to hear more from me, you should check it out.
What’s next? Socks. A cowl. Decisions. I’ll tell you all about it in my next blog entry. You can follow my Instagram feed if you want a sneak peak.
Until next time, keep on knitting for the ones you love!