Go Put Beads on Everything!


Last week I talked about how I set a goal for myself and then promptly started to throw a temper tantrum about it. This week is different. This week I am so grown up and mature. This week I made time to sit down and knit and then I actually did it. 

Maybe you have heard me talk about my love for Celestarium, a mammoth circular shawl that uses beads to portray an accurate view of the constellations in the northern hemisphere. I have loved the idea of that shawl for a very long time but the idea of me knitting it seems like a Mt. Everest. Not the right project for this crazy time in my life. It would be destined for the pile of long lost WIPs. 

I started the Equatorial Nights cowl by Audry Nicklin. The pattern is a sister pattern to Celestarium, using beads to depictthe constellations around the equator. It is everything I love about Celestarium in a pattern that is more within my knitting attention span at the moment. As I was searching through my stash I picked up a blue and grey variegated yarn from Fiberstory in the Tardis colorway that I picked up from Stitches Midwest in 2014. And then I remembered that someone very smart and well dressed (mkavars) bought some yarn from me at the market I was vending at and mentioned this pattern. The blue and grey color and the sky themed pattern worked perfectly for the Harry Potter KAL  challenge for October (hosted by the lovely ladies at Oh Loops!). 

I cast on the night of October 1 with great anticipation. Would I really be able to knit this in one month? Better to try and have a half finished cowl than never to have tried at all.  I thought the beads might slow me down, as well as garter stitch in the round, but so far it has flown. To keep me on track, I calculated that if I do a little more than 2 rounds a day I can finish this project by the end of October. The pattern is so addicting though that I am averaging more than 2 rounds a day so far, but there is a long way to go. 

I've always thought of beads as one of the magic knitting techniques. Much like cables, they look really cool knit up and make the knitter seem like a master of all things fibery, but once that veil is lifted you realize that there really isn't much to it. I made a quick video to show you just how easy it is. I use a beading tool (if you order yarn from me and tell me you would like one, I will put a free one in with your package) I made with beading wire I have laying around the house ( in one of my many boxes of forgotten craft supplies), but the technique is pretty much the same whether you use a very tiny crochet hook or another beading device:

1. Thread bead onto device
2. Slip device through stitch and pull stitch off of needle
3. Slip bead onto the stitch
4. Put stitch back on the needle to knit as instructed

Now that you know how ridiculously easy it is, go put beads on everything! If you are one who likes to follow the rules and needs a pattern to get you started, might I suggest the Midge Shawl by Odessa Reichel for a simple and quick start or Romance by Susanna IC for something with a little more lacey detail. Then once you have it down, you can add beads where ever you like. 

Do you have patterns that you have wanted to knit but beading stood in your way? Do you you have patterns that you would love to add beads to willy nilly? I want to know. The "bead" category of my favorites tags on Ravelry needs updating.