Sunday, October 18, 2009

Queen of the Night: A Second Look

Here are some up-to-date photos of my Königin der Nacht cowl, to show the dazzling *sparkle* created by all those extra beads that I have been adding (see previous post).

In the image on the left, the tube of knitted fabric is folded flat, so that you are looking at a double layer throughout and can really see the gently undulating rows of beads. As your eye moves across from left to right, notice that columns of single beads alternate with groups of three in a chevron pattern. In the image on the right, the front lower edge of the cowl has been pulled down a bit to reveal more of the lace (now in a single layer) silhouetted against the pale background. The 3-bead chevrons are in the lacier sections, with the columns of single beads running up the center of the denser patches. So there is a very pleasing "Chiaroscuro" contrast (i.e. light vs. dark).

The designer writes that the best part about this pattern is this: "Wearing it makes you feel like a movie star!" So if mine ends up being more Cher than Audrey Hepburn, with all that extra *bling*, I think I can live with that. :-)

If you didn't happen to click on one of my previous links to the 1815 set design for The Magic Flute by Karl Friedrich Schinkel, you should really compare his starry sky backdrop for the Queen of the Night's entrance to the pattern of beads on my cowl. There is really a remarkable similarity: he used groups of three as well!

As it happens, I followed the Ice Queen pattern correctly for the first 20 rows near the bottom edge, where every row is supposed to be knitted precisely according to the chart, without the dreaded footnote coming into play at all. So the beads there are spaced vertically farther apart than in the body of the cowl, where I started placing them every 4 rows instead of every 8. That little discrepancy, and the resulting area of the cowl where beads are relatively scarce, might be seen as a problem, and I suppose I could even go back later and add more beads to the rows in question. But I think it may instead end up looking like a deliberate design decision, taken to balance the dense row of beads running all along the bottom edge, especially if I mimic the wider spacing of bead rows near the top edge as well. The movement from more beads to fewer to more to fewer again should be a pleasant thing. At least I hope so. We'll see.

Fortunately, since the bottom row of beads will be added only at the very end by means of a beaded picot cast-off (once the provisional cast-on has been removed and the stitches are placed back onto a circular needle), I can still decide to go back and add more beads to the lower part of the scallops if they don't look right, when all is said & done.

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