I swatched four yarns for this project (click to see larger):
1 – A Colourmart 100% silk in 3/50NM weight ( over 1,800 yards per 100g), colour “Tinfoil”
A very fine yarn and, although agreeable to blocking, it is not surprising that it came up short: 5Â½” wide by about 3Â½” high. I love the look and the feel but think that a smaller needle is required in order to provide a fabric that would support beading. I would be happy to make a really light and non-beaded shawl of Evenstar from this lovely soft grey yarn. Probably best saved for another project – on 2.5mm needles, though.
2 – Another Colourmart yarn – this time a 2/28NM (just over 1,500 yards per 100g) blend 20% Cashmere/20% Silk/60% Merino in a dark blue-ish green, like old ivy leaves, which doesn’t show up well in this photograph.
As you would expect, with a high wool content, this was the best blocker of the set. It’s a neat piece that shows the design off well in a light and airy fabric. I think 11/0 beads would suit it better than 8/0 but I’m not at all sure that I want to handle 11/0 beads! Again, I think I’d be tempted to save this yarn for another shawl, knit on smaller needles – maybe 2.75mm – as I’d like the stocking stitch part to be a denser fabric. Blocked to 5Â½” wide by about 3Â½” high
3 – A heavier silk laceweight in variegated blues and greens. I bought this yarn from an eBay seller, who said it originated from Hipknits. It’s a very different beast to the Colourmart silk – very glossy and slippery and with a rough-ish, almost corded texture. A heavier weight. To the best of my knowledge, when Hipknits were selling a silk laceweight it was 1,090 yards/100g. I have 150gms but the length is unmeasured. It would be an act of faith to knit the shawl in this yarn, if I chose to use it.
This yarn was surprisingly resistant to blocking. It came out the same size as Swatches 1 and 2, despite starting off larger. It’s a good fabric on this size needle and the complex stitches block out well, although the colour variation mitigates against displaying the lace well. It would support the beads very well.
I remain at a loss for what to do with this yarn. I love the colours and really want to use it but have no idea of the best project for it.
4 – Glisten silk laceweight by Artist’s Palette Yarns. 800m/100g. This third silk sample was far more amenable to blocking than the other two and actually made the specified 6″ wide by 4″ high. It drapes well, shows off the stitches adequately as the variegation is subtle, and the fabric will support the beads. I think it would do better on a smaller needle if I used it for another project – but it will pass muster on 3.25mm for Evenstar.
It’s by no means the neatest swatch but I think I’d take more care with the finished shawl 🙂 The strangenes sof the top edge is due to my casting off with a lace cast off, very loosely – too much so, I think. (The other swatches used an ordinary cast off, done very loosely.)
This is the one – and now that I have seen it knitted up and blocked, I think silver beads are the way to go – crystal beads with silver lining, perhaps?