Monday, April 24, 2017

Beading the Viajante

When I went to Stitches West this year, I saw the Viajante by Martina Behm, and I absolutely knew that I had to knit this shawl, because it's more than just a shawl --- it's a cowl, a shawl, a poncho, or a head covering/hood.  

(Pronounced vi-a-janche in Portuguese)

Other pluses about this project? It's knit in the round; there's a lot of customization you can do by simply increasing or decreasing the stitch count or length; and it's a good "vanilla" knitting whereby I could go to meetings or go to knit group and not worry too much about a mishap.

Like every good knitter, I went through the Ravelry project page for this pattern to read what modifications other knitters made, and came across a few beaded versions. Normally, I'm extremely averse to adding beads, but I love how they look. And since I REALLY WANT THIS SHAWL, I decided that beads were worth it.

I am knitting this out of Miss Babs Katahdin, in the colorway, Morticia.

Consequently, the beads I chose were a "frosty" Swarovski beads that seems to play well with the variegation.

I started using the simple crochet hood per bead, but found this really slowed my progress down immensely and I was concerned about spilling the bead container. I knew that some people used threaded floss (normally used for teeth straightening braces), so I decided to give it a go. 

I took one of the threaders and simply added a string of beads to it, and after watching a YouTube video, gave it a go. Wow, what a difference in using it!

I ended up using a generic brand from CVS which worked just fine and only cost a few dollars.

The knitting-to-beading ratio increased dramatically, and I wasn't afraid of losing beads to a mishap.

Originally, I thought this would be a good travel project to work on as I am planning a trip very soon. However, I decided that I really wanted to wear this ON said trip, so I've been knitting furiously to finish.

I'm not sure if I'll make it, but I'm going to damn well try.