Thursday, October 18, 2012

down to the wire

Remember the project that was severely misplaced at the Fibre Fallout a few weekends ago? (I can't bring myself to say lost; even with the passage of time, it is too traumatic a thought.)

I started the project, somewhat at the last minute, when it came to light that Coopworth is the featured breed at the Skein and Handmade Item Competition at Rhinebeck this weekend. Coopworth is the breed that we raise on the farm but unfortunately we Coopworth breeders didn't find out this critical fact until almost too late! We did our best to marshall our forces and present a strong showing. A few of the hand-spun skeins will feature wool from our farm (but not spun by me). Other breeders, including Robin, are entering their own hand-spun wool.

I went a different route and decided to knit something instead. I loved the first batch of yarn that I dyed in the mason jars, and the yarn would suit a little shawl quite well. I had the perfect pattern in my Ravelry queue: the Holden Shawlette.

I couldn't just rest with a simple shawlette though. Oh no. I decided that the yarn needed a little more pop, so I determined that I would bead it as well. Four little tubes of size 6/0 beads, to be exact. The shawl was misplaced with only one more row to bead (out of seven rows total). You can better understand my panic now.

The bind-off is a series of tiny little picot points. It took me over four hours to bind off, and another hour to block and pin it with every straight pin in the house.

There is a bead placed between each yarn over (i.e., hole) in the pattern. I used a small crochet hook to pull the stitch through the bead before knitting it.

The result was well worth it, though I can still see the imperfections in my knitting—but no mistakes! at least, that I am aware of. Please don't enlighten me if you spot one.

It's my own sheep to shawl event. From a fleece sheared this spring on our farm, to a hand-dyed and knitted object ready for competition just six short months later? That's nothing short of a personal best, beating my previous record by, well, years.

My parents and I leave for Rhinebeck bright and early tomorrow morning, to take it to be judged. I have a wedding on Saturday afternoon (after we spend a few hours at Rhinebeck, because can't miss Rhinebeck) and I am sorely tempted to forget the competition and just wear the shawl... but I'll have plenty of time for that yet.


  1. Stunning Have a great time!!!

  2. I love your Holden Shawlette. I was looking for ideas on how to block mine and stumbled on your blog. I love your colors and your use of beads. Congratulations on winning with it.