Every year when the sun starts shining and the flowers are all in bloom, I get an itch to knit up something light and lacy. It’s a particularly odd compulsion, since, as a rule, I am neither light nor lacy. I’m usually dead practical and more a fan of cables and garter stitch than openwork. But, there it is. Who am I to judge the whims of the knitting gods?
Let’s feed the lace-knitting monster, and take a look around Ravelry for some pretty lacy shawls.
Indian Feathers by Alina Appasov features beads along the edge for extra drapiness and sparkle.
Annis by Susanna IC is an interestingly shaped shawl, that’s actually closer to a scarf. It’s a good mix between pretty lace-weight elegance, and the practicality of a scarf.
Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark is one of my favorite shawls. I’ve actually knit it up a couple times. The all-over pattern in the body of the shawl is to die for, and the lily-of-the-valley motif on the edge is just gorgeous (and it includes nupps, which are my absolute favorite specialty stitch).
I have been known to use the poor man’s stitch markers (loops of scrap yarn, twist-ties, I even used my wedding ring once when I was stuck without stitch markers. That was dumb, but it worked in a pinch.). But I love my pretty stitch markers, and I like making stitch markers, too. It’s like making jewelry for your knitting needles, which is pretty swell. This is just one way to make stitch markers, feel free to play around with it and make it your own.
Headpins- 1 per stitch marker, plus a couple for when you mess up. I’m using 2 inch long ones, but my beads are tiny. If you plan on using really big beads or using lots of beads, be sure to get longer head pins.
A few pretty beads-as many or as few as you like for each marker. Having some markers with different colors/shapes can be helpful with your knitting. Make sure the holes in the beads are small enough that they won’t fall off the headpin.
Needle nose pliers
1 metal knitting needle a size or two larger than the needles you want to use the markers on (for example, if I want to use these stitch markers on size 8 needles, I will use a size 10 needle for this project)
Wire cutters (or crappy scissors that you don’t mind messing up when you trim the pins)
Take a headpin and thread on a couple beads in a pleasing pattern. Make sure that you have at least 1.5 inches of non-beaded pin, or the rest of this won’t work.
Using the pliers, bend the pin into a 90 degree angle just above the beads.
Wrap the wire around the knitting needle, making a circle.
Wrap the end of the wire a couple times around the pin, just above the beads. You will probably want to use the pliers for this, unless you have crazy monkey hands.
Slip the stitch marker off the needle, and trim any extra wire from the marker. Using the pliers, make sure that the end of the wire is tucked neatly away (poky bits of wire can cause snags in your knitting).