So as I was knitting away on the Blue Blob, I had a sudden thought. “Beads. Perhaps some beads would look good on this.” I’d had a good experience with the beads on the Perdita cuff, and the idea didn’t seem impossible. I bought a small packet of variegated irredescent blue beads at the knitting store to see how the color looked, and knitted a bit of a sample to figure out where to place them. I decided that knitting them at the tops of the YO holes in the Old Shale edging would make a nice effect, and found a bunch more similar beads for a whole lot less at Alexander’s Bead Bazaar, so mixed them all up in a flat lidded container.

Rather than string them all onto the yarn and slide them into place, I decided to use the wire technique, a variation on the crochet hook technique. I don’t happen to have a crochet hook that small. It may be a faster method, and I’ll give it a try sometime. I did have some Tigertail bead stringing wire, so I cut about a 6 inch length and crimped it hard near the center, making a V shape.

After knitting the pattern row, I came back, knitting into every stitch. After knitting into a YO, I slipped the new stitch off the right needle with the wire

Beading 1

then put a bead onto the wire and slid it down into the stitch.

Beading 2

I put the stitch back onto the right needle, snugged down the excess yarn,

Beading 3

and knitted the next stitch.  Only 479 more beads to go! Not that I’m counting, or anything.

The advantage to the crochet/wire technique is that the bead is nicely centered on a stitch, and equally visible from both sides of the finished piece, a good quality in a shawl. (Sorry about the picture quality — the camera  just really wanted to focus on the table, not the fuzzy stuff.)

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