I have been remiss. I finished my Kunye shawl exactly 2months ago and it has been dry on the blocking mats for a good long… oh, I don’t know… 3weeks probably. I have taken my sweet time to get photographs, that is for sure. In any case, after my very inspiring and fun interview with Jo of The Golden Skein on the Shinybees podcast I was totally inspired to participate in the TGS is One KAL and hellbent on finishing on-time. As soon as we wrapped up, I had my yarn wound and I even tentatively got some beads ready.
I chose one of my first Golden Skeins, Sylvan Tiger Yan Sock in the Autumn Leaves colorway and some beads I had lying about from an aborted mystery knitalong four years ago.
Let me be completely honest. I am pretty much completely useless when it comes to matching beads with yarn. I know a lot of people are awesome at this skill, but in my head trying to select beads to match yarn seems to fall under some crafter’version of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. In physics, this principle says you can’t know the exact position and exact velocity of an object at the same time. Simply put, there is a limit to what we can know about the behavior of particles in the smallest scales of nature — there is a grand ‘fuzziness’ in nature. Well, when matching beads & knitting what I see is pretty much just that ‘fuzziness.’ I just cannot look at beads & yarn and know where they are going when you stick them together. I feel like there is always this unknown quantity that may leap out at the last minute and make the pairing look awful.
So, true to form I spent pretty much this entire project second guessing whether or not I should use the beads, try to find a better match, or not use beads at all. First I set the tube of beads next to the ball of yarn. Then I started knitting and I dumped the beads into the container above and set the yarn and beads next to each. Then I’d walk away and knit. And then I’d pick both up and try a different spot with different light. You get the picture here. I was haunted by the ‘fuzziness’. It wasn’t a pretty process. In any case, I knitted away toward that March 1 deadline…(still worried about the beads)
And found Kunye to be a really, truly enjoyable knit. It’s a pretty basic crescent shaped shawl with a lace edge detail, to which you can add beads (if you are feeling daring). The designer, Clare Devine of the Yarn and Pointy Sticks blog, is prolific with 40designs available in her Ravelry shop and from my experience her pattern writing is always excellent. For Kunye, she even added in a complimentary guide for adjusting the size of your shawl to make the most of the skein you’re using. That means the pattern can easily be modified to work with any skein(s) from 325 to 650yards. Pretty ingenious, if you ask me!
The main body was simple enough. I flew through it and then I got to the beads…
At this point, I was pretty sure the beads would be ok, but that didn’t stop me — of course — from almost ripping back and pulling them all out every 15minutes. Aside from the bead drama, I found the little bit of lace to be a fun end to this knit and by the end of January I was done.
And happy with the beads.
For real. I’m not even kidding.
Let’s see if you agree, shall we?
I really blocked this shawl out. I know these kinds of shawls often have a tendency to spring back to a smaller size, so I stretched it on the mats as much as I could and pinned the heck out of the lace. I simply love this shawl.
And since time was of the essence to finally get this FO shared, I recruited my favorite model to show it off — it cost me a cup of hot cocoa and some extra free reading time (because this model drives a hard bargain)…
Of course, I have to include an outtake because for every nice picture I get with my daughter, there are 10 like this…
Thank goodness for the function on my camera that lets me take photos in rapid succession. Also, thank goodness that the dates for the TGS One KAL were extended to April 1st — I found this out yesterday when I popped over to check out how it had gone. As it turns out, even with my super slow blocking I’m apparently right on time — what a nice surprise!
I won’t say that I have necessarily gained any skills in matching yarn & beads here. I wish that were the case. No, I’m pretty sure the ‘fuzziness’ is here to stay, that in my world there is no defeating the Uncertainty Principle of Beads. Instead, I’ll view this successful bead-yarn pairing as more of a lucky win in a fantastic cosmic gamble. Seeing my finished shawl, that’s a win I’m happy to take.