I have just finished my most ambitious project so far. No, not that damn Noni Medallion Travel Bag, though if I had been thinking, I might have tried finishing it before Hawaii, although I am JUST RIGHT THIS SECOND inspired to perhaps work on it some. We’ll see. I finished Shipwreck.

Spread out

This pattern is AMAZING. It’s so fucking gorgeous, I can’t stand it. The center went quick and easy and then you get to the netting. Dear God, the netting. I might have nightmares about that shit. Because not only are you doing 56 rows of yarn over, knit-two-together for 580 stitches on 6 different sized needles, you get the added pleasure of prestringing and carrying along beads. SO MANY BEADS. The pattern calls for five thousand. FIVE THOUSAND BEADS. I, thankfully, had the foresight to only buy approximately half that amount, or possibly the good fortune that the bead store only had about 2500 beads in stock in the size and color I wanted. I could EASILY have done with project with even a quarter of what the pattern calls for; just a nice bit of flair every once in awhile.

Do you know how long it takes to prestring 2500 VERY TINY beads? A long damn time. Do you know how difficult it is to knit with 2500 beads prestrung on your yarn? VERY. You gotta pull pull pull some yarn and push push push all the beads down so you’ve got some room to work with and you KEEP DOING THAT for 56 rows. And then your yarn breaks because there are 2500 beads on it and pushing all those beads along the yarn wears it down and you’re on an airplane with none of your usual and necessary knitting accoutrement and you have to spit splice your yarn and pray that it holds long enough for you to knit past it and then your cats get into your project bag and there are beads and yarn and knitting EVERYWHERE and everything is tangled ALL THE TIME and sweet Jesus, who write a pattern that calls for FIVE THOUSAND BEADS?!

And look, the beads look AMAZING with the pattern, and if I were to knit it again, I would probably prestring the damn beads again. They give it a little bit of extra OOMPH, and I’m grateful for that, because if I had done ALL THAT WORK for them to look weird or to be unnoticeable, I’d be PISSED. And so, I’m glad I decided when buying all the materials for this project (Oh, how innocent I was back then. I had NO IDEA the nightmare all those beads would be) that if I was going to the effort having a shitton of beads on my shawl, I wanted to be able to SEE the damn things, so I certainly wasn’t going to buy beads in the same color family as the dye I used. Good decision, me! Not that the green/blue beads used in the pattern are in the same color family as the gray shawl, but they certainly don’t pop in the pictures. And for that effort, I wanted some POP, DAMMIT.

The dye didn’t come out with as many color variations or as weathered or as gray as I’d hoped it would, but that could be because I cooked the dye for like an hour and a half instead of the half hour the pattern tells you to. What? They say OR until the water is clear! The water never cleared! But I love the way it turned out. I think it’s utterly gorgeous, and I’ll be able to wear it with a lot of things. So, yay.

And now that I have this totally awesome shawl, I need a totally awesome shawl pin. I LOVE the top left one here. OO, or this one! I also REALLY like this one. I think I like the second one the best, but I wish it was copper. Decisions, decisions. This one is also really cool, but PERSONALLY, I like my accessories bigger and more…expressive than this is.

(Here are my pictures from this project, mostly taken after completion.)