Sunday, May 22, 2011

Crocus Shawl and a Bunch of Excuses

Hello? Hello? Anyone out there? Ahem, tap, tap tap....



Fleegle surveys her faithful readership and lobs a handful of flash-bangs at the audience to get everyone's attention....



So, now that we're all awake and alert, I can list all my excuses for not having posted in, um, a while.

1. I was in-country on a secret mission.
2. I was out of the galaxy on a secret mission.
3. I was out of my mind on a secret mission.
4. I was out of order on a secret mission.
5. I was out to lunch on a secret mission.

Having supplied a surfeit of incontrovertibly believable excuses, I will now wrench your attention towards my latest knitting effort--the Crocus Shawl.



This piece was knitted with Malabrigo lace yarn (Amoroso colorway), to ensure that it will be especially warm and cuddly for my friend Kyoko-san. If I were to knit it again, though, I would use a finer yarn and larger needles to better emphasize the complicated patterns. And, as you can see, even slight variegation caused the pattern to buzz a bit--a plain color would be a better choice.




I have decided that large, glittery crystal beads are fun and blingy, I used a profusion of them in this shawl--4mm roundelles on the nupps themselves (yes, the pattern features beaded nupps) and 6mm roundelles on the border. They make the shawl a bit heavy, but also cause it to drape nicely.


The reason that this shawl took months to finish is because I am clearly unable to correctly place a bead order. I first ordered 6mm beads for the nupp section, but those were too large, so I revisited the Fire Mountain Gems website and ordered what I thought were the correct number of 4mm beads, but naturally, my calculations were, erm, imperfect, and I then had to order two more packets to finish that section.

When I got to the border rows, I started using the 6mm beads I ordered by mistake (waste not, want not), but, not surprisingly was exactly three beads short of a finished shawl. Back to Fire Mountain...

Placing a bead order before finishing my morning coffee turned out to be a bad idea, because when the new shipment arrived, they were 8mm...and well, it took a week for each bead order to arrive so this shawl just went on and on...you get the idea. The people at Fire Mountain are likely convinced that a certifiable nutball lives at my address, but they keep sending me catalogs and free stuff like pens and magnifying glasses anyway.


All's well that end's well, and I am now planning to knit Tiziana's lovely Meridiana shawl. Ooo, it has nupps, so I'm working on the bead order, which will, of course, be the wrong color, wrong size, or wrong quantity. As I have often said, consistency is important.

37 comments:

Knit Purl Gurl said...

Your shawl is absolutely gorgeous!

Winterhart said...

Beautiful shawl, and beautiful Blocking Guardian too!

I think if I visited Fire Mountain before coffee, I would be in danger of making off with their entire seed bead section by *cough* accident.

Leslie said...

#1 - it's absolutely gorgeous....
#2 - you don't need any excuse for not blogging -- we should just be grateful that you graced us again with a post
#3 -- whew! I thought Harry had discovered his hormones and had made you into his sex slave....

Jane said...

So beautiful and well worth the wait! The color of the shawl and the beads is spectacular. At least you have been knitting. I've been off on a tangent so very little knitting from me. I will have to admire your work for now.

Laurie said...

That is a gorgeous shawl. And I love your bead-ordering story. Sadly, I can relate.

momsue84 said...

It may have taken awhile, but seeing this beautiful shawl was well worth the wait! Wow! You are such an inspiration, and I love all the beads.

sabelt said...

WOW - that's really absolutely gorgeous!
I would need about 3 or 4 years to complete such a design...without beads.
Just wonderful work again!
(yes, I'm one of your fans ;-) )

sabelt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caryn said...

Can I be you when I grow up? Seriously, your lace skills are amazing!

Laritza said...

I have yet to knit a beaded shawl...my excuse: beads and crochet hooks and the like are not compatible with commuter knitting.....On the bead order, maybe Harry will be nice enough to place the order for you?

Delusional Knitter said...

What a beautiful shawl. Love the model cat, perfectly centered too! I love the color, but agree a solid would suit it. I'm glad I'm not the only certifiable nutball!

Dorothy said...

Wow - lace, beads, kitties, bunnies and a cute guy. You really hit all the hot buttons, didn't you. Of course, Now I've got to go dig through my stash and start something with nupps.

yarnlot said...

Quite an eye-catcher and thoroughly enjoyable reading too!How nice that you got Laptop interested in blocking...

Manise said...

Stunningly beautiful! The color is gorgeous. Cracking up at your bead and ordering adventure. I can so relate.

Cheryl S. said...

Oh wow - it's stunning! I absolutely love the border, and the color is delicious. I agree, a solid would be better with the pattern, but it's still spectacular.

Marissa said...

SPECTACULAR!!! I love the color, and don't think the slight variations in tone distracts at all- at least not in the photos. Truly beautiful. Well done!!

fluffbuff said...

You're back!
And your Crocus Shawl is beyond gorgeous. All those secret missions you were on did not sap your lace force.

konayukiyuuna said...

Love Crocus. I don't find that the variegation obscured the pattern at all; if anything, I think it made it more pleasing to look at!

Steve said...

Yummy shawl (but not quite as yummy as your Percy imho)

For anyone in the UK, Preciosa beads are available from Viking Loom in York (retail store and website) They don't have the full range and they are (surprise surprise) a LOT more expensive - around £3.00 for a pack of 20

LittleBerry said...

yes am still here ;O) the shawl is worth waiting for and although as you know I'm not a red lover I do rather like this colour...

KPiep said...

The Green Woman and I have been putting beads on everything lately, so we highly approve.

It's lovely!

Kitty Kitty said...

Glad to hear all is well... Love the new shawl.

Marushka C. said...

I just queued both shawls! Your red shawl is just fabulous.

bobbins said...

Beautiful shawls! Thanks for sharing with us.

stakland said...

I read your blog but do not comment. So, just for you, I have joined Google (I am so not a joiner). My big thing with you is your spinning -- thanks so much for the comments and for the videos. You are encouraging me to break away from my wheel, pull out a spindle, and have something to occupy my free time when I go to India in July. And your knitting and beading (as well as your photography) are, as always, wonderful. Thanks so much. Emily

gayle said...

Beautiful! And I can totally identify with the bead-ordering confusion. (That Fire Mountain catalog makes me dizzy with covetousness, just for a start...)

Nik said...

The garter stitch shawl I'm currently knitting pales in comparison to this. *sigh* how beautiful.

woolwinding said...

OH wow, that shawl is fantastic (and the cat's pretty good too - I'd never let anyone that close to my Malabrigo; very impressive)!

Magnificent...

Johanna said...

Your blogs are always the best and they make me smile ear to ear! Whatever you do keep writing and I will keep bribing you with batts! Do we have a deal? *grin*

Johanna said...

Your blogs are always the best and they make me smile ear to ear! Whatever you do keep writing and I will keep bribing you with batts! Do we have a deal? *grin*

knittingdragonflies said...

Oh my!! Super beautiful!!
Vicki

PenCraft said...

Your knitting always inspires me to do my darndest to become a better knitter! This shawl is simply gorgeous.

Carol said...

Such a lovely shawl. I take it the knitting inspector also approved?

Ann said...

So pretty! I have some lovely teal laceweight, I wonder if it's enough? Will have to check out the yardage on the pattern..*Sigh* When I can get to the libray, which will likely be two weeks from now.

Annie said...

Oh wow ! That is just gorgeous, and very, um, red :)

I was wondering where you'd got to ... welcome back :D

Experimental Knitter said...

OMG is that ever gorgeous!

craftycrafter said...

Beautiful, I think I may be adding this to my rav queue now.

At least Fire Mountain has their wonderful return policy. It's saved my tush many a time before.