BitterBlue – the reveal

It started innocently enough. One of my fabulous testers for In Uffish Thought sent me a note with her progress. She mentioned, off-hand, that she had to resist the urge to put a bead at the tip of each point.

I could have named this shawl Cascade Effect, I might keep that name for the future. But its name is BitterBlue.

Lace shawl worked in gradient yarn with gradient beads by Barbara Benson.

One last tease

The process of knitting my sample for Uffish was quite enjoyable, I really like the shape and the knit was pretty simple. In the past I have explored different designs with the same shaping – why not with this shape? Of course, Uffish features the teeniest of cables, so the logical next step was lace (for me at least).

Beads and lace play so nicely together.

BitterBlue - a lace shawl knit in gradient yarn with gradient beads, by Barbara Benson.

An alternate color scheme “Magic Carpet”

And if a few beads are good then more are better, right? Then the gradient yarn idea hit me and I thought to myself “Would it be possible to do a gradient in beads? What if the gradient in the beads went in opposition to the gradient in the yarn?” Yes, this is how my brain works.

BitterBlue - a lace shawl in gradient yarn with gradient beads, by Barbara Benson.

This is in the namesake color BitterBlue

There had to be enough beads to make the gradient visible as a “thing” but I didn’t want to overkill. The final product is the result of a delicate balance of my personal desire for the sparkle and my desire to not be beading anymore. Because beading is time consuming – but oh so worth it.
BitterBlue, a lace shawl worked in gradient yarn with gradient beads, by Barbara Benson.

This is the full size and shape

As I mentioned in my teaser post, this project represents the creative efforts of not just myself, but a couple of other very talented ladies. Kelly from The Unique Sheep and Ellen from Earthfaire contributed their amazing abilities in their respective fields to create this end result – which I think is the perfect meeting of yarn, beads & knitting. They have put together kits of these two color schemes and there are a few that will be available here if you missed out on the pre-order.
The pattern itself is fairly straightforward knitting. Knits, purls, yarn overs and basic decreases with some slipped stitches thrown in for good measure. I am not gonna lie, the beading slows you down – but it isn’t difficult. Just bust out your wee crochet hook and you are on your way. As with In Uffish Thought, the pattern is worked from one pointy end towards a long bind off (which naturally I beaded) and is therefore fairly flexible in sizing & yardage.
BitterBlue- a textured lace shawl knit in gradient yarn with gradient beads, by Barbara Benson.

So many ways to wear this shawl!

Earthfaire is hosting a KAL for the shawl in September in their Ravelry group and I will definitely be there to answer questions and provide cheer-leading. But mostly to ooh & ahhh at the pretties.๐Ÿ˜‰ I could post about a dozen more pictures, but I think it better to go ahead and release the post into the wild. Hope you love it!
To wrap things up I wanted to send out an enormous Thank You to Lois. Lois is the reason why there is a sample in both of the colors, while I knit the original in the BitterBlue, I did not have the time to do the Magic Carpet version. Lois applied her experience with both beading and The Unique Sheep gradiances and produced the beauty that you see up there!


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