Last April I was planning what bigger projects to tackle over the spring term for the HPKCHC on Ravelry and ran across a free pattern that intrigued me. It's a shawl written for fingering weight yarn with a truly unique construction called In The Pink.
In order to fit a prompt category for my group, I decided to add beads and make it my Astronomy OWL. The description indicates that beads or metallic yarn should be used in a project to represent a star chart (just the overall aesthetic, not necessarily an actual star chart). For the yarn I chose a cone of grey laceweight wool and silk blend that I bought on ebay years ago without any clue what I was doing. I don't think the estimated 800 yards put a dent in this thing.
It starts with a circular cast-on in the center spiral.
Once the spiral is done, each side wing is cast on and worked until the spiral parts are the same width as the center spiral. Next, the part that goes along the back of the neck/top of the spiral is knitted on from the second wing across the spiral top. The first wing is then grafted to the back of the neck section and through part of the spiral. Then the rest of the second wing is grafted to the spiral.
Finally, all those live stitches are worked together (adding the short row triangles along the way, one of which is in this picture).
There are a few rows all the way across to set up for the knitted-on border. The border was tedious, and several seasons of Doctor Who have helped me make it through. But I made it, and I got it done in time.
This was a real challenge for me. The pattern is written out line by line, and some of my stitch counts didn't come out quite right on the setup and border (but were easy to correct as I went). I don't know if the errors were mine or in the pattern but they weren't much trouble. Doing anything with beads is a little more difficult with children around, and each bead was placed individually using a size 13 steel crochet hook. My yarn snapped a few times when it caught the interest of one of the kids, but it spliced very easily. I tested the limits of my interchangeable needles, my stitch marker collection, my grafting skills, and my patience with a fiddly bit of knitting. I can honestly say it was worth it.
My Ravelry project page (public link)
15 hours ago