I have finally, finally finished my Vanessa Ives Shawl. It took me almost a whole year… eh, not really 😀 But I did take that long from the time I cast on until I finally blocked and took pictures. I cast on last March (2016), and finished it in December, but did not soak and block until the end of January.
The pattern was pretty easy to follow. I think I only really had trouble on one or two rows, and I am still not sure exactly what happened there so could have just been overly tired while working on it. This was my first time working with beads on my knitting. While I love the way it looks like water droplets on the shawl I am still not completely sold on adding beads to my knitting. It is pretty, but also time consuming. Not difficult at all once you understand how to do it, but it does mean that you have to stop knitting to put the bead on. I prefer to be able to keep knitting.
I do love the yarn I used: Jilly by Dream in Color, colorway is Rosy. Jilly is a fingering weight 100% merino superwash wool, single ply, very smooth yarn with approximately 440 yards per hank. The colors are rich and semi-solid to variegated. This yarn is so very soft! Even after soaking and pinning it out, the kids would walk by it petting it. This is definitely one I would recommend and look forward to working with on a future project.
The method I used was the denture floss method; where you get a special type of floss and string your beads onto it, and then place the bead onto the stitch just before knitting it. The floss I used is Oral-B SuperFloss Strands, this floss has a stiff section at one end that works really well for stringing beads. I would tie a bead at the flexible end of the strand and then string a lot of beads at one time so that I could keep working without having to string more beads. Then I would slip the stiffer end into the next stitch to be worked, slip the stitch off of the needle and slide a bead down over the stitch, then put the stitch back on the needle and knit it.
My daughter Rowan agreed to model for me and suggested we go to Red Clay National Park for the pictures. Honestly I don’t think we could have found a more perfect setting for her to model this shawl. Lovely setting, as well as a really nice day to be out. Was a bit chilly, but also nice and sunny.