Just finished up with my summer shawl project. This one was the lovely Evenstar circular shawl from the Fellowship of the Ring Series by Susan Pandorf. I will admit that my inner geek was going “Eeee!” the entire time I was knitting.
The shawl was made using a combination of two skeins of handspun laceweight yarn. Both were 50/50 BFL and silk fiber dyed in gradients and purchased from Corgi Hill Farm. The first skein, Burnt Sunset, starts as a tan, then goes through a blend of maroon and violet to end in orange. The second skein, Winter’s Horizon, started with a deep purple, then went through maroon to end in pink. I removed the tan, so the gradient went from purple to maroon to violet, and then ended with the orange border. For the beads, I used several mixes of large seed beads in generally gold colors.
The knitting was pretty straightforward, if a little finicky, until the border. The border also provides the cast-off for the shawl, and involves about 3000 beads. The pattern calls for attaching them with a crochet hook. Instead, I used a handy trick I like to call fishing line beading.
Fishing Line Beading
For this technique, you need a length of heavy duty fishing line, about 7 inches long, scissors, and an extra bead. Knot the bead at the end of your fishing line to create a stopper. At the other end of the line, fold a kink about an inch down. (You can make this shorter, but I find it’s easier to have a little more and occasionally trim it down than to have too little and have to refold it.)
Next, string as many beads as you like onto the fishing line. You want about an inch free after the kink (so you can fold the line in half and have room to manipulate the beads easily.)
From here on, this works pretty much the same way as beading with a crochet hook.
Slide the fishing line through the knit stitch and remove the stitch from the needle.
Fold the fishing line at the kink. Slide a single bead down the line and onto the knit stitch.
Place the now-beaded knit stitch back on the needle. Knit (or purl) as usual.
If you don’t have easy access to fishing line, I’ve used the plastic string that beads sometimes come on when you buy them. The plastic used to attach price tags to clothing also works, though it can be a bit thick for more delicate beads.
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