Parallel insanity

At the moment I have about ten zillion papers and exams still to grade (down from previous total of fifteen zillion), I have design ideas I’ve been wanting to dive into for weeks and months, my Christmas knitting is so far beyond being done that there is no point in even being stressed out about it, and have somehow chosen the month of December to undertake a complete sorting of my closet and non-yarn-related possessions.

So, naturally, I have cast on for a beaded lace shawl.


This is the Tibetan Clouds stole, by Sivia Harding in the Knitter’s Book of Wool. (The yarn is Tanis Fiber Arts fingering weight, in her new colour ‘Deep Sea’.) It’s fantastic. I’m having far too much fun with it. It’s the knitting I can’t wait to get back to in the evening. The lace is moderately challenging so far but not dauntingly so, and the addition of beads every few rows makes it pretty exciting.This pattern does not pre-string the beads, but has you slip the beads onto specific stitches with the use of a 0.60mm crochet hook. (Which, as it turns out, is far easier to execute than it sounds.) I took Sivia’s class at Sock Summit this summer and learned all about the beaded knitting, but I’d been putting off getting more practice with it.

Well, sign me up for more beaded lace, man, because this is the fun kind of crazy. It’s similar to colour-work in that ‘just one more repeat/row’ effect – the beaded rows are like little goal posts, more so than intimidations. I chose silver-lined blue beads in a fairly similar colour to the yarn, for a more subtle ever-so-slightly-sparkly effect. Here’s hoping it all works out by the time I’m ready to block this sucker.


The way the pattern is constructed is to work the central square panel first, and then pick up stitches for each side to work those one at a time. This is the point I have reached now. Come on 2009, you and me, we’re going to crank out one more lace shawl. Because, you know, knitting socks and hats and mitts in December, that’s just so…practical. Psh.

Screw practical, I want more beads.

Knit on, my friends. Knit on.


  1. Hey! I’ve just started my first-ever beaded lace project, too! I’m making the Ice Queen cowl from Knitty; I’m also adding the beads as I go along, but I don’t have a small enough crochet hook (the smallest I could fine is 0.75mm) so I’m using fishing line and it’s a bit fiddly. But I love it, and totally want to make more beaded things now!

    I like your blue on blue. Very pretty. 🙂

  2. Sounds like you have the same “coping with stress/big looming deadline thingies” strategy that I do. 😀

    That shawl is going to be *gorgeous*! I’m already stunned by the color, and can’t wait to see the pix of the FO. And as for the coping strategy …. whatever works, eh?

    P.S. I am in no way ready for lace yet, let alone beaded lace. I’ll just lurk over here and drool, OK? But I *am* poking at casting on a sweater with just the tiniest bit color work, so the challenges are there. My knitting skillz — they progress.

    P.P.S. On the other hand, the striped tube scarf you just posted looks so warm and yummy that I may just have to follow suit. At some point when I can squeeze more yarn out of/into my current budget. The Ultra Alpaca sounds to die for, and winter in MN can support an alpaca habit. 😉

  3. Holy Moly, Stunning! I need to check into that beading technique, maybe it’ll look simple enough to entice me… :^)

  4. That will be gorgeous!

  5. soooo pretty!! the beads match perfectly.

  6. Looks amazing! I totally love it! Can’t wait to see the finished result. I’ve never knit with beads before. Clearly, I need to learn how in 2010.

  7. Love that color. I’d be sucked in too, and my gift-knit list is a loooong one.

  8. barefootrooster · ·

    whoa. gorgeous. something that pretty should also be able to magically drop that grading number down to five zillion, i should think.

  9. tinebeest · ·

    Ooh look at the shiny! Look at the pretty! What’s that beauty made with?

    Good luck with the marking. Oh btw- for those keen on quoting wikipedia et al: just tell them what my colleague says: We’re training you to be experts. You wouldn’t trust your physician if he checked your symptoms on wikipedia, right? 😉

  10. That’s crazy beautiful!

  11. Gorgeous! And thank you for the reminder. I took the one hour wonder class with Sivia, and I have beads! They may be just the right thing on the current project…

  12. Beautiful! I haven’t worked with beads yet. It looks fun!

  13. It is stunning! (Now I want the book just for this pattern…)

  14. sooooo lovely!

  15. So pretty.

    This is the colour of the sea in Greece.

  16. It’s gorgeous!! I love that blue. Where do you get your beads?

  17. I don’t blame you for not being able to resist…I wouldn’t be able to keep my hands off that yarn either! I can’t wait to see your FO. 🙂

  18. B.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l shawl…I just love it! For those of us who were not able to attend the Sock Summit, do you have any sources (books, tutorials, etc.) that we could read to learn how to knit (or slip) the beads into the stitch?

    Good luck with the mountain of work that the end of a semester brings…I remember those days well! Hang in there…just a few more days and you can enjoy a well deserved Christmas break! Happy knitting!

  19. Wow, I love that colour. I’m really looking forward to seeing it blocked and finished.

  20. I absolutely love the lace so far. Great color, and the beads add just the right amount of sparkle.

  21. That is absolutely gorgeous! I’m so glad you have Sivia to keep you grounded right now. That rich flickering blue, with those beads, well… it gives me butterflies to imagine just how splendid you’re going to feel when you’ve darned that last thread, blocked it, and put it over your shoulders for the first time. Quite a fitting gift to yourself!

  22. The shawl looks great & I love the color. Knitting lace with beads is fun as I also just started doing it. Happy beading.

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