The dates on this shawl are not a true representation of the time I spent agonizing over it. Inspired by zibor’s lovely wedding shawl I set about collecting supplies. I went to my local bead shop to check out the beads and the Swarovski crystals and after hearing the price of the crystals decided to go with the less expensive beads. Can you guess what happened? I just couldn’t continue knitting that shawl. The beads were not reflective of the light in the way I knew the crystals could be, so I shopped for more beads. I found another bead, but didn’t even try knitting it in, I just knew I wouldn’t be happy. A bride should SHINE! When will I know myself? By this time I should know what I will end up doing in the end and just do it from the beginning. I spent a good ten days not knitting and only debating. What a waste of time. I ended up getting the crystals on ebay for a significant savings, thank goodness because I made up the difference in bead purchases. Honestly! (Anybody need any beads? :) )
So, when the crystals arrived I cast on asap. Thanks to zibor’s tips and some help from zepherine I managed to improvise a tool to add the crystals to shawl in the same manner as using a crochet hook. The holes in the crystals are teeny tiny and even the smallest crochet hook was too large. I used one of those beading needles with the large eye for threading beads, I pulled it apart into two sections and bent down one end to make a hook. I put some tape at the other end to cover sharp edges which made it possible to load up a bunch of crystals at one time. It was fiddly but the effect was so sparkly and worth every bit of money and effort.
I added eight repeats of the budding lace chart to the shawl. This requires a bit of cheating on the first row of the Lilly of the Valley border and again on the lace border as the stitch count doesn’t work out exactly. I think if you add repeats in multiples of five you will be fine on the budding lace into the Lilly of the Valley chart, but am not sure if that will work into the lace border. Luckily the first row is a straight knit row where it is easy to do a few increases or decreases to make it work.
Crystals used: approx. 1000.
So, the dates above: actual knitting of this shawl, not including the other false starts and obsessing. I blocked it on August 12. The wedding was on the 21st, so it was completed in plenty of time.
Because of travel and the crazy last minute finishing of a shawl that I wore to the wedding, I forgot my camera, so I will swipe a photo from facebook of the bride at the end of the day wearing the shawl.