Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Beads, Beads, And More Beads

I think that I now know why I have studiously avoided knitting a lace shawl that had beads as an additional form of decoration. It is bad enough trying to get the beads in the right place on the shawl without having to worry about how to get them off again when you discover an error several rows back that requires careful unpicking stitch by stitch to get to the spot where the mistake occurred.

The beads are applied using a very fine crochet hook; a hook so fine that it is almost impossible to see the actual hook. My beads, although small, have a hole large enough to allow me to use a crochet hook 0.75mm in size. The problem with this is the fact that the yarn, which itself is very fine, is still more than twice the diameter of the hook. Splitting of the plies of the yarn are a frequent hazard but so far I have managed reasonably well and as I am approaching the end of the second section of the pattern I have not incurred any major damage to the yarn which would require repair of the yarn with splices.

The shawl is being knitted in a very pale blue, something akin to the colour of a cloudless winter sky, while the pattern which forms the background to the shawl reminds me of the patterns of frozen water that would be seen on bedroom windows in the days before central heating. The clear beads with their iridescent centre are reminiscent of the appearance of snow which appear to be like diamonds in the winter sun. It is, therefore, probably no surprise to know that I have named the shawl 'Ice and Snow'.

I haven't progressed quite as quickly as I had hoped, partly because I am coming out of a period of depression and have not been able to concentrate in quite the way that I need to so that significant progress could be made each day. However, I am starting to feel much better and it is hoped that progress will now speed up so that I can move onto another project. I have a scarf that needs a little work on part of its pattern charts so as to enable me to finish knitting it and it is fortunate that when the pattern has been corrected, completing the scarf will possibly be as little as eight hours. Then there is the writing up of the pattern for a hat that has already been knitted and the drafting of the pattern and knitting of a pair of mittens to go with the hat. After that there will still be four more projects to be knitted; two with patterns already created and two which require an awful lot of work before knitting can even begin.

The hope is still that the book will be published before Christmas, but as September seems to be vanishing with alarming speed I know that this could still mean a lot of long nights with the needles and in front of the computer screen in order to meet the deadline. If you had told me a year ago that I would be working towards the publication of a book that contained things that I had designed I would probably have laughed at you. It's amazing what can happen in the space of a year.


Wendy Love said...

I haven't visited for ages but I always enjoyed your creative projects. So, when I popped in today I was delighted to see that you were working on a publication of your designs. Way to go! I hope the therapeutic benefits outweigh the sress. Can't wait to see the book.

The Angry Medic said...

...I honestly don't think I've ever read such an in-depth post about knitting. Well, except for that one play I did about knitting. (I played the KnitSoc president. Don't ask.)

You may remember me (or my excruciatingly bad jokes) from some years ago - I thought I'd pop by to see how you were doing. Glad you're getting a book out - like Wendy Love said, I hope it's worth it!