Friday, August 24, 2012

Beaded Feather & Fan

The Glistening Multnomah shawl delights me so much, that I should share with you exactly how/where I placed the beads within the Feather & Fan knit work.

Multiple of 18 - with edge stitches per your pattern.

Use crochet method to Place Bead (PB)

Row one: Knit.
Row two: Purl.
*Row three: K2tog 3 times, (YO, k1) 2 times, YO, PB & knit beaded stitch, (YO, k1) 3 times, K2tog 3 times. Repeat across the row.
Row four: Knit.

* The bead is always placed on the 3rd knit stitch of the YO section.   It is not placed on the yarn over.  A typical F&F is (YO, k1) 6 times.  There is still a total of 6 YO repeats in this beaded version.  Just place the bead on the 3rd repeat.

Beads can also be placed on every right side row:
*Row one: k8, PB & knit beaded stitch, k9.  Repeat across the row.
Row two: Purl.
Row three: K2tog 3 times, (YO, k1) 2 times, YO, PB & knit beaded stitch, (YO, k1) 3 times, K2tog 3 times. Repeat across the row.
Row four: Knit.

*  Notice that there are still 18 stitches for the pattern repeat.  Place a bead on stitch 9 and it lines up with the beads from Row 3.  Once established, counting is not really necessary because you can see where the bead goes.

Have fun!  Try it out.  

PS - Notice that these directions are very specific to place the bead (PB) and then to actually knit the stitch you just beaded.  I explained this method to a friend and she placed the bead and then slipped that beaded stitch without knitting it.  The result is different - not wrong, just different. 


The new Multnomah is finished - gloriously so, if I do say so myself.  Here is daughter #1 once again serving as model and proving that a shawl fits all sizes from cute young thing to old mama. 

The specifics:
Multnomah (link at bottom of post) which is a pattern from way back in 2009 .
Needle size 4 US
Tiny crochet hook for beads.
Beads left over from two other shawls.  Please don't ask me to count the beads.  Math is not really my thing, so even counting one row, multiplying and then increasing for the increases causes me to say Yuckie Poo!
Malabrigo Sock.  One skein will make a generous size if you just add additional repeats.  I stopped when the beads ran out.

 Here is the typical back view that shows the center spine and the feather and fan (or mountain and valley?) lace work.  But what you really want to see is how the beads worked out.

Voila!  Straight lines of beads that end in a glistening drip of a beaded picot bind off.  Everything between the drips is just a normal K2Tog bind off.  I use the K2Tog BO for shawls because it provides a bit more stretch.  And I am a yanker.  I pull and fiddle and play with my neck wear all day. 

Check out Yarn Fairy's lesson on this wonderful beaded picot.  It might take a few tries to get the hang of the yarn over method, but it works great.  NOTE:  Lenora only did two YOs (with bead placed) prior to picking up a stitch to anchor the whole thing.  Just watch the video and all will be clear.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Straight Lines

Those who know me best will tell you that perfect symmetry is not my thing.   It has been a battle for decades during any home decorating activity.  It is possible, just barely so, that I have come to accept the beauty that others see in absolute straight symmetry.

Witness the bead work on this Multnomah version.  Straight lines of beads imbedded in the feather and fan stitchery.  Go ahead.  Click the photo and check out my progress.

If you know the F&F patterning you know about the (dreaded) Row 3 that calls for YOs and K2Togs.  The result of that shaping makes the lace work undulate.  That effect is evident in the photo even though the stitches are still on the needle. 

Here I've added  a bead (crochet method) around each center stitch of the open work on Row 3.  Did that for five repeats and then for repeats six through the end  that stitch will be beaded on every right side row.  The result is that the beads will be closer together toward the bottom of the shawl.

The plan after that is to add a beaded picot bind off only at that same stitch line.  The big picture (at least in my mind's eye) is undulating feather and fan rows with straight lines of beads that "pull" the points downward and end in a bead drop that hangs off of the bottom.  

I'm liking these straight lines of symmetry.  The beads are subtle, but echo little streams of water running down mountain valleys to end  in tiny falls of glistening moisture. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Selfish Me

Having lost my first Multnomah to a certain LYS sample rack, I've been determined to knit up one just for me.  The top to the closet contained a skein of Malabrigo sock that had languished far too long.  It is a perfect "me" blend of shades called Persia aka #852.

The new shawlette will have beads incorporated into the lace portion.  Ive wandered around Ravelry to see what others have done to add beads to Multnomah.  So now there is an actual plan.  The beads are left over and will snuggle gently into the lace and bind off without screaming for attention.   To be sure, there are times that beads are the star.  But this time, I am looking for oneness of knit where  neither pattern nor yarn nor bead stands out.  One integrated whole made up of team players.

Wish me luck.  The way life is going this week, I should be on the bead part, crochet hook in hand, about the time I get on the next airplane.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back On The List; But Off Again

Remember this too small for adult television watching blanket?  Well, it turns out that it was not finished.  I was looking for more space (stop laughing) in the new stash studio and discovered two full balls of the yarn!  Somewhere along the mass confusion that is moving, these got separated from the project pile of yarn.  The only sane and responsible thing to do was to rip the edging off the blanket and add more length.

Those two balls equaled eight more inches.   That is almost enough length to call this a television watching blankie for a not-tall adult.  

It was a little difficult to work on this, again.  Not that the pattern is difficult or the yarn is less than yummy.  The difficulty was the lap full of wool in the summer. 

This blanket is definitely finished this time.

That bit of yarn is all that remains.  The pattern is a ten row repeat and there is no way even the knitting gods & goddesses can make these few yards of wool stretch that far.

Finally, I've ticked this one off the list - for good.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Never Too Early

That's right.  It is never too early to dream of cooler temps and the need for a wool vest.  Enter the purveyors of drool and a new shipment of Madelinetosh.  Regular readers will know that I've just finished a linen and Tencel scarf and now I've moved right to merino wool.  It's OK.  I'm a knitter.  I am the master of my yarn.  I am the captain of my sticks.

Check out this fabulous free vest pattern.  Moss Stitch, chunky cables, drape. . . love it.  Well, I love most of it.  The back of the vest has a stockinette triangle.  The concept of breaking up the moss with a shape of a different stitch is easy to knit and lovely to look at.  So what is the problem?  What bothers me is the way that the stockinette stands out and curls up.  I don't need that on my back area.  Sorry Berroco team. 

It turns out that moss stitch is totally reversible.  And it also turns out that stockinette reverses to be Reverse Stockinette.  Amazing.  Absolutely amazing.

So, by declaring the wrong side to be the right side, suddenly the center triangle recedes and curls under.  The "pleat" effect is inverted and no longer looks like a bump on my bump.

Some days, this whole knit thing is just too easy.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Experience Replaces Fear

Once upon a time, a fellow yarn lover described working with linen yarn as "making me look like a horrible knitter."   This sentiment is true during the exact moment when one glances down at the fabric as it comes fresh off of the needles.  To anyone under-experienced with the stuff, there is that feeling of failure.  A fear that nothing wearable or useful will ever result. 

It only takes once, that one quick wash and dry of the linen, to teach that there is great success in what at first appears to be failure.   The striped shawl is at that place in time.  The linen looks wretched.  But I know what the final result will be.

The stripe of the Tencel® looks perfect as it is knit.  So far I am extremely pleased with the progress, the mixology of the two different fibers and joy of working lace weight on a size 6 needle.

Life is good - have no fear.