Over the Finish Line!

Me and my cardi, on the night of the 12th.

I still can’t believe I made the deadline, but I did! And the feeling of triumph amazed me. After all, I’ve been knitting for ages, and have turned out a fair few challenging projects, but somehow this was different. I’ve never been into team sports (let me draw a veil over those sad stories), so team spirit is a new experience for me (field geologists tend to be pretty independent…). But knitting as part of a team, with a deadline, was unexpectedly exciting. I’ll definitely do it again, when I’ve caught my breath!

Yes, the sewing was a rush job, but it seems to work: photo below shows a shoulder detail, with grafted shoulder sts at right angles to the mattress-stitched set-in sleeve (now that was a divil to do, the silk-alpaca being so slippery..). The sleeve seam is whip-stitched.

And once more with feeling, my favourite part of the pattern: the beaded motif.

Actually, not so long ago, no beads were let anywhere near my knitting. I thought the process looked incredibly tedious- not only the threading on of hundreds of beads, but even worse, the pushing of the surplus hundreds ever onwards, over and over again, row upon row until they were needed or the frayed strand broke! I have my fair share of stamina, but I’m no masochist, I said to myself. My prejudice was absolute…

Then I came across Elizabeth Freeman’s fabulous Aeolian shawl (in Knitty.com) and learned how to place beads individually with the skinny kind of hook I’d usually only use for Irish crochet. This was my Road to Damascus! It’s so liberating to be able to add highlights on the spur of the moment, as spot designs (like my signature on the Queen Susan shawl that I showed recently).

So I was softened up when the Ravellenics  arrived- I had to feel my fear and do it anyway, hence the threading and knitting of 1143 size 8 beads as my ultimate challenge. A murky cloud of curses and one admittedly lovely beaded cardi later, has my attitude changed? Well, having conducted the experiment as a good little scientist should, I have reached the conclusion that my original blind prejudice and unfounded bias against the technique is now supported by strong empirical evidence, and I will avoid threaded beads in knitting from now on with my head held high!


Despite the huge pile of admin., housework and other time-wasting stuff that had piled up during the O-word, I’ve been catching up with some WIPs. This is my 100% cotton version of Hitomi Shida’s Tranquil Garden (The Knitter, issue 46). The weather’s finally warm enough for it, too (see the sun peeking in on the right-hand side? A rare sight, this so-called summer…).

I just love her attention to detail, and the intricacy of the pattern!

As the painters who started work here almost 3 weeks ago have still not finished (and my bedroom and balcony are a holy show as a result), I needed something soothing for anger management, so I’ve been motoring through Sophie, by Kristeen Griffen-Grimes (French Girl Knits). I’ve learned a lot from that book, and I’ve managed to refrain from murdering those cowboys!.

The stitch patt. isn’t crochet, though it looks like it, doesn’t it?

The 3D edging was great fun to do, and I like the chunky contrast with the lacy stitch.

I feel a yen for lots of colours coming on, so I’m off to rummage in my stash…. Ciao!

3 thoughts on “Over the Finish Line!

  1. Oh wow, that Monet cardi really is pretty. I sometimes like the look of beaded knitting, and I do like to work with beads in other ways, but I must say threading all those beads first and then moving them forward into knitting has seemed daunting to me as well. The beads add a really nice effect in this sweater. I’ll have to investigate the individual bead placement you referenced, that sounds promising.

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