Bead or Bead-not ~~ There is no middle ground

by Lee Louise

Serendipity. It has to be serendipity. There is no other explanation. All the pieces fell into place, and against all odds, here I am, about to start another project!

In compliance with the no-knitting-related-expenditures mandate detailed in the preceding post, I have not been buying patterns without prior approval. And so, when I saw that Elizabeth Ravenwood Designs was starting another MKAL in A Big Comfy Doghouse Group on September 22, and that the pattern would cost $4, I was resigned to my fate. I would not participate, because there was no $4 to spend. I was sad, because the ladies in this group are great fun, and I enjoy the give-and-take banter among the participants in the 2016 Year of Lace MKAL. Alas, I thought, the Name the Mystery MKAL was not to be, for me.

Imagine my surprise on the morning of September 22, when I was earburned with a message containing a coupon code for a free pattern from Elizabeth Ravenwood Designs! Sarah is a regular participant in the group’s Caption Contest! thread, and a very funny person. She has won several times, and I have watched her pattern library grow each time, but she was struggling with this picture:


We kibitzed. We talked music theory and song lyrics, and she entered the contest with an entry reminiscent of the Lawrence Welk show:

And a K1!
And a P2!
And a P, S, K, PSSO!

I thought it was very funny. But then I had an idea, and I submitted an entry too:

Let’s start at the very beginning — la, la — Doe! A meer! A female meer!

And that, my friends, is how I won a coupon code for a free pattern. I chose the Name the Mystery MKAL pattern, thus circumventing the mandate, so I could participate in the MKAL. I started studying the thread carefully, determined to enter every contest that I might possibly qualify for. I set up my project page that very day, as a contest entry, squeaking in under the deadline. I submitted a name proposal for this nameless mystery, in order to enter a contest. I will cast my vote for my favorite FO, for the last contest. And why do I do this: Because it’s FUN!!!!

I have named my scarf Lace Cappriccio (also my entry for the name-the-nameless-scarf contest). I had to choose yarn as part of the project page set-up contest, so I went stash diving. I quickly found the perfect yarn, 434 yards of Apple Tree Knits Silk Fingering in the Under Irish Skies Gradient colorway:

And then I printed out the materials list for the pattern, read it, and stopped to consider. Beads. Yes, it really said Beads. Optional beads, true. But Beads. I paused for reflection. I reconsidered. Beads? To bead or not to bead, that became the burning question.

Faced with a major issue like this, I immediately did what everyone does — I posted in the group thread, and asked whether I should include beads or not. I was overwhelmed by the generous responses! I tallied the count, and found 8 in favor of beads,  while 2 were strongly opposed. Oddly, no one was lukewarm. There were no neutral votes. Since, in fact, I actually have been wanting to try beaded knitting, this afternoon I talked it over with my husband, and beads it is!


I went to Bead Couture in Memphis this afternoon and bought some yellow beads. Yellow? you may well ask. I don’t blame you for asking. You can be sure that I asked. But please-please-please, don’t ask me — I took along my daughter, Hillary, who studied art in college, and is considered, among her peers and teachers, as a gifted color expert — blame her, or praise her, the choice was hers. And the amazing thing is, I think it will work!!




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