Saturday, August 22, 2015


Before we took our big trip earlier this summer, I considered taking a simple shawl along. Something very simple and repetitive, completed with a single skein of fingering weight yarn. As I was gathering ideas, this Loop pattern really caught my attention. I figured I could use leftovers for the contrasty bits, and a new skein for the background. I had a good leftover in mind: the Fleece Artist yarn that I deemed un-sockworthy and used some of on S1’s scarf. Remember this yarn?IMG_5571 I chose a grey skein from stash to go with it. But as I started working the pattern, I just wasn’t happy. The grey seems too cool, the variegated colors too warm. Neither was looking their best next to each other. See?


I kept working on it, but very slowly, because I was considering ripping it out and using a different yarn for the loopy bits.

In the meantime, Laura Nelkin announced a new Mystery KAL: Circo. Mostly it’s a mystery, but she did reveal that we’ll be knitting a cowl. I’ve been following Laura since taking a class with her at Knitters’ Day Out in 2012. Her projects are clever and fun. This one caught my eye because she recommends a long-change gradient yarn, and I have one in stash: my Freia yarn that I bought a few years ago and ended up not using for the intended project. I also have a decent bead stash and I had coordinating beads. I figured I’d jump in. But then, an obstacle! It turns out that her pattern calls for 400 yards of yarn (that’s with a little buffer, as her test knits took 360 yards). The Freia yarn comes in a 322 yard put up. So she took it off the recommended yarn list.

By this time, I was kind of invested in doing this KAL, but I really didn’t want to buy new yarn. I looked at the beautiful grey yarn that wasn’t looking its best in Loop, and checked the yardage. We’re good! It has 424 yards. So I ripped Loop out. (Laura says that the project will look really well with long gradients, but also well in subtle hand dyes or solids. Mine is a subtle hand dye.)

Then I went back to beads. The pattern calls for 27 grams. The size 8/0 beads generally come in 40 gram boxes (at least, that’s how I buy them). So I could use a partial box, but I would need to be careful.

I test drove 9 bead colors by wearing this scrap around my wrist for a couple of days:IMG_8387The winner is this blue-ish lavender bead, which is a Matsuno Dyna-mite 8/0 round hole, silver-lined bead called “blue.”IMG_8384

It looks darker when the beads are all together; on the yarn it lightens up quite a bit. Hard to tell here, I know: IMG_8385

So now I have to work my gauge swatch to determine the right needle size, and then just sit tight and wait for the first clue to be released on September 15. This will be a fun way to use some stash yarn (and beads) in an unexpected way.


  1. I loved hearing the backstory, thinking, and rethinking that went into what I'm sure will be a beautiful project. I especially love your clever, simple way of test-driving beads! Looking forward to seeing your Circo on the needles.

  2. I, too, have been curious about these'll have to tell us how it works out!