Seduced by Lace and Sparklies

On Monday the new beads arrived. Bigger, brighter beads. They are triangle shaped (catching the light from all angles), transparent with a silver lined hole. Here are the same sort beads but in a gold version:

kralen

I got my beads and this photo them from Kralenwerk.nl, an online shop run by a very friendly and professional couple. And they love cats, especially Birmans.

Post arrived at 12.15 hours.
First bead was placed on the knitting at 12.34

Now we are 4 days further. I’ve been ill, laying on the couch, twiddling my thumbs. And here’s where that gets me:

At the final chart on the final page. Just creating those last few rows of lace… I just can’t stop!

The beads are a pleasure. They are beautiful, sparkly, very smooth (also on the inside so they don’t snag or damage the yarn), and it’s a pleasure to put them on. I use a very small crochet hook for that and I get them on a stitch before I work the stitch. The bigger size beads are such an improvement! They really bring the shawl alive. No glancing over them this time!

I’m using a Chiagoo Red Lace needle in the size 3,75mm that the pattern specifies (usually I go down a size but BooKnits is a loose knitter too) and towards the end -where I am now- it is suggested to use a 4 mm needle. This will open up the lace magnificently.

The yarn is divine too, it’s Tulp in the colour Stud by DutchKnittingDesign.com. A mix of silk and casmere, so soft, SO SOFT. And they have gorgeous colours. Silk will do that to you. This skein was a present I gave myself about 16 months ago. Been afraid to touch it ever since, except for petting it and admiring the colour. But now it just zooms away, so eager to become this beautiful shawl.

 pic by DutchKnittingDesign.com

Mind you, I never cared much for lace knitting.
It’s a whole lot of work for a flimsy piece of knitting that won’t keep you warm. But this Summer my friend and knitwear designer Meilindis wore a beautiful lace shawl on her wedding day and it was soft, gorgeous and exquisite and I couldn’t stop petting it and her. That’s how I got to appreciate lace: a lovely design in a high end lace yarn, using high end beads in a design that matches the mood of the wearer.

Didn’t plan on knitting a lace design in laceweight yarn any time soon though. It’s still a lot of work. But then BooKnits had a Knitting Along (KAL) on Ravelry. And I’ve loved her designs for very long, with the half crescent shapes and the dramatic feeling to it.
I hadn’t planned on it but somehow I found myself casting on for the one design I’ve wanting to do for a long time: Temptress by BooKnits:

This is a picture from her pattern page.
I love the shapes! The holes! The points! The dramatics! The ration between yarnweight and needle size!

The magic with lace knitting is it looks all crumpled up until you block it. Then it opens up beautifully. I love her style, with the big open holes. Since starting one of her designs and reading through the many informative posts in her group, I’ve learned she gets these holes by blocking “thuggishly” as she herself puts it.
Also, this is called “true lace” when on both the right side and the wrong side you have to pay attention and use different stitches. You can see how many times there’s just a single strand visible near the holes. That’s when on both sides the knitter does a trick. When all the returning rows are just trickless knitting, the holes are defined with twisted strands, like the little X-shaped threads you see at the top of the picture, just below and to the side of the top beads.
Easier to knit, less dramatic.

I’m having much fun with my Tulip Temptress. As this design has been a favourite of mine for a long time, I’m sure I will knit it again some day. Playing with the design elements.
Next time I’ll use a yarn without memory, such as silk or bamboo (don’t like bamboo), and perhaps even bigger needles so it really opens up and resembles BooKnits shawl. I might have to spin that silk lace yarn… I’m too cheap to buy it at the moment…
But perhaps I’ll use a fuzzy lace yarn from the stash? that would be interesting too.

Yes, there’s enough flimsy holey knitting in my future to dream about. With sparklies!
Because I also bought a whole bunch of these at Kralenwerk.nl : garnet lined chartreuse triangle Miyuki size 5 beads

All the wrong colours for me, since they are warm. But who cares? These are beautiful and will make a beautiful dramatic shawl and I will wear it and it will match my mood and I will look beautiful!

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