Yeah... about that... Once I purchased the pattern and read the material list I discovered that the shawl involves a lot of cabling left and right, and uses 5000 size 8 seed beads, each bead individually incorporated with a size 12 (0.6mm) crochet hook.
- Where can I find that hook?
- How time-consuming is the beading?
- How irksome will it be to hook splitty silk yarn through a tiny bead hole?
- Can I use the size 6 seed beads I already have or must I buy the size 8 beads?
- How much weight will that many beads add to the shawl?
- Is it worth the extra money for sparkling metallic gold-lined crystal beads?
- Can I simultaneously juggle a cable needle, knitting needles, a crochet hook and some impossibly tiny beads while working with slippery, splitty silk yarn?
- What's the likelihood of me abandoning this project in frustration?
Time to swatch with some leftover yarn from the last Clapotis that I knit. Swatching isn't something I do often, but in this case it was a very good idea ...
- I tried four shops - 2 yarn stores, 1 big-box craft store and a dollar store - but struck out on the hook. Jane lent me a size 11 in case that would be small enough for my swatch. (It was.)
- Incorporating beads was easy using the method described here as "Hooking Beads as You Go", but still time-consuming ... particularly as I seem prone to dropping beads.
- The yarn is splitty but the holes in the beads are pretty big. This wasn't a problem.
- You can see from my swatch that size 8 beads (on the left) are much smaller than size 6 beads (on the right). Substituting is really NOT feasible. The 8s are subtle; the 6s are like boulders.
- Using the gram weight charts found here, 5000 size 8 seed beads would add about 5 oz to the shawl; 5000 size 6 seed beads would add about 15 oz!
- Sparkling metallic beads are definitely worth the extra dough based on my swatch. My size 8 beads vanish into the knitting; if they were metallic they'd catch the light.
- Can I juggle cabling, knitting and beading with this pattern and this yarn? Not very well.
- Am I likely to give up in frustration? Yes. In fact I was too frustrated to even finish a single pattern repeat in the swatch so there's my answer.
Maybe one day in my retirement I'll give this pattern a go, but for now, I think I'll just pick another (simpler) pattern. Gail (aka Nightsongs) looks pretty!