Sunday, March 1, 2009

Iris

I have to admit that I started Susan Pandorf's Iris stole with more than a little trepidation. The skeins of Handmaiden Seasilk (Mermaid colorway) looked unpleasantly brown to me and I wondered if the final result would be at all similar to her sample. The answer is yes--and it's quite stunning in person. Alas, the photos can't convey the beauteous shimmering of the silk or the glitter of the lovely beads.


This is not a project for the impatient. There are LOTS of beads in this stole. Worse, the Seasilk is quite heavy and the #8 beads quite tiny. Most of the crochet hooks I tried could not pull the entire yarn through the bead hole.

The first few hooks I tried grabbed only a few plies of the yarn, producing a sort of shredded furry carpet of Seasilk (not quite the effect I was looking for). I finally dug out my mother's Really Old Boye #12, and that hook worked perfectly, although considerable force is required to yank the yarn through the little bead holes).

I compared my set of hooks to my mother's and discovered that hers have a much deeper hook than my newer Boyes. I immediately took myself off to eBay and found an identical backup hook in case the first one broke.


I have several other projects of Susan Pandorf's in the queue, most of which use the same yarn/bead combination. For the next one though, I ordered Delica beads, which have larger holes than the seed beads I used for Iris. The Delicas slide easily onto the Seasilk without a pitched battle.

I am about 3/4's finished with the first half, so this stole won't be completed for a while. Once you get past the intriguing triangular area shown below, the pattern becomes repetitive (and not terribly interesting to knit).


I figure it will be finished around the time it becomes too hot to wear it.



28 comments:

Laritza said...

The colors are stunning! I have to admit that if I had seen the yarn in skeins I would not have gone forward with the knitting. The beads are lovely and stand out quite well. As always your work impeccable. Standby for Princess woes. As I finished the center I found a major flaw in the design. I have no idea how I am going to "fix" it. The designer said: "fugde and block" After 15 months of knitting this does not feel like the right alternative but it will have to do.

Carol said...

The colours are lovely. The beads play up well. I can just imagine the sheen the silk has in person. Silk has a shine that is magnetic for me. This stole will be stunning!

Jenn said...

Lovely as always!

yarnlot said...

Sumptuous is the right word for this...
My own tiniest crochet hook is 0.4mm. In Belgium these small sizes are used in bobbin lace to attach a new thread.
It would be lovely to see your work in reality...

EGunn said...

Beautiful! It will be worth the bead work when it's done. And, if it's too warm by the time you finish, it will be nice to tuck it away for next fall!

passingdowncrazy said...

I was the test knitter for Hydrangea. I started using size 6 beads. I decided that since I was going through all the work of beading, they better show up! The shawl is rather heavy, but it feels elegant and luxurious to me.

LittleBerry said...

Looks lovely.... sound slike you're feeling better?

Soo said...

I see what you mean about the appeal of Susan's designs and the beads! It is looking beautiful already - very rich.

Anneli said...

The stole is gorgeous (and irises are my favourite flowers). And I missed reading you :)

Smitten Knitten said...

Lovely work as always. You must have amazing patience to do all that beading.

Kitty Kitty said...

That looks absolutely amazing. Though I know after seeing your there is no way I have the patience for that shawl.

Hope you are feeling better.

BadCatDesigns said...

Loads of beads! It will have gorgeous drape when you finish. I can't wait to see it blocked.

Kay said...

I have been waiting to see what you hinted at in your last post and I can say that it has been worth the wait. I love the colors. Iridescent beads are some of my favorites. It sounds like you have lots of bead knitting lined up for this year, just like me.

Sue Fulay said...

Pretty! Alas, I feel Fleegle has forgotten me. :)

CrazyFiberLady said...

Oh my that is absolutely gorgeous.. and a whole lot of beads!

Jane said...

I love how that is knitting up!The silk is lovely. Beautiful bold colors that actually look fantastic though you might not think so just looking at that skein. I applaud your fortitude in putting in all those beads and I went over and took a look at my crochet hooks to find that most of my old ones from my mother have a deeper hook than my new ones. I will switch to the older hooks for my project with beads.

z's momma said...

Fabulous! Stunning!

Please show the new vs. old needles when you get a chance.

missalicefaye said...

oooh--love those colors and beads! And I echo lacefreak's comment on your fortitude given the sheer number of said beads.... :)

OceanKnitter said...

Oh, it's a beauty! Wonderful colors and a gorgeous design. Now, I'll have to add another one to the queue. Beautiful work, as always.

Monika said...

It looks beautiful already.

Opal said...

gorgeous stuff! i'm glad you were able to figure out how to add the beads.

colorandtexture said...

Wow, this is really quite lovely! Nice Work!

Denise~ said...

It's lovely!!!

deniasha said...

Photos never do Sea Silk justice from my experience. How can you capture the depth of color, the sheen or the detail that is the glory that is Sea Silk? You honestly can't. Trust me, I've tried. But you did an amazing job of doing it!

KathyR said...

Beautiful shawl! I'm amazed how the colouring of the yarn does not detract from the pattern at all. Have you thought of trying Oral B super floss instead of a crochet hook for beads with tiny holes? Apparently it can work quite well. Two links showing this method are http://lostcityknits.blogspot.com/2008/04/close-up-on-beading-technique.html and http://www.jung-at-heart.com/knitting/beads_on_floss.html

Carissa said...

Beautiful!!! I have the yarn for this one in my stash .. and the number 8 beads ... thanks for the info on the other beads! I'll have to order some ... the battle with the number 8s on that yarn just kills me and has made me give up on another one of her designs already :(

June said...

You always make my jaw drop! It's beautiful as is the Triad below it!! :)

kris said...

Beautiful yarn and knitting! Last summer I came up against some little beads in a shawl I was knitting with sockweight yarn. I bought a ChiaoGoo crochet hook with a wooden handle size 16/0.6mm. Worked wonderfully. Got it online at Earthfaire....

So, was the Costa Rica medical mission successful? Have been thinking about going that route myself....