So…. I decided to go with the beads.
I started off with the silver-lined 9/0 seed beads, and struggled massively with them – only one in around every six that I tried would even fit on my hook. I pondered buying new ones, and eventually decided to do so – and also to start beading a couple of rows earlier. There was a little (ie six rows of) tinking back.
But, well, my bead hunt in Glasgow wasn’t so fruitful. I only really got as far as John Lewis, and they only had 8/0s in the same gunmetal blue colour I’ve already got, so I came back with another tube of 9/0s, this time in a pearly colour.
I like them – I think they’re a better match than the silver lined ones.
There were a couple of reasons for my inital struggling with the 9/0s. Mostly, the hook I was using wasn’t my smallest – it was the .75mm, and I do have a 0.6mm. Once I’d discovered this and tracked down the 0.6mm the beading went a little easier, but not by much. The 9/0s wouldn’t fit over more than one stitch at a time, either, so I had to bead after I’d knit stitches, rather than before (if that makes sense) so that I could bead on the k2togs.
With my search for some 8/0s proving unsuccessful, I bought myself a 20m coil of copper beading wire from the art store to help with the 9/0s. And that worked – my homemade wire bead threader fit the beads much better than the crochet hooks, though it did snap under the pressure during the crucial final stages (and honestly, I was on the verge of doing the same) – the good thing about that 20m roll is that I’ll likely get at least a hundred DIY bead threaders out of it, so that was £1.50 well spent.
(Though I could always try knitting with it, I suppose.)
In all honesty, I think the tiny beads suit the yarn, too, they’re there in a barely there kind of way, if that makes sense. I’m not sure if 8/0s would’ve been too obvious.
As I approached the end of the shawl things got a little crazy. I was looking at my tiny skein, counting the strands as I knit, and for a while it looked like I was going to make it.
And then, it looked like I really wasn’t, but only by about a yard.
And then…. I finished. And there is no yarn left. There are no cut pieces of yarn lying anywhere. There is a three to four inch tail of yarn where I cast on, and the same where I cast off.
This is some kind of madness. I’ve decided not to think about how mad that actually is, as there’s already quite enough brainbending going on here at the moment trying to get us all kitted out and packed up ready for the wedding weekend.
(That cast off was the craziest I ever did. Every now and then, as it looked like I wouldn’t get there, I’d cast off a couple of stitches in the ‘regular’ way, just to save, what, a quarter of an inch of yarn. I’m still amazed that worked.)
Here’s a picture of it blocking from this afternoon –
It’s now unpinned and packed – carefully – ready for tomorrow.