Friday, July 03, 2015

Bigger Begonia Swirl

Some knitters have been asking how I made the Begonia Swirl bigger, so my project tips are below.

I decided to enlarge the shawl, and added one begonia per each section (went from 22 to 33 begonias). I used 1,980 glass Miyuki seed beads, rose bronze color, size 8/0.

The delightful yarn from Violet Lynx was hand-dyed in Russia and shipped to the US quickly (about two weeks).  She has some great colors and lots of yardage for bigger shawls. The gradient is all from one skein.

I would recommend about 1,200 yards of laceweight, if you decide to increase the size like I did.  I ran out of yarn on the last four rows, so I used a similar yarn to finish. I think it outlines the flowers.   I’m happy with the result.

Overall, it's lovely work for when you are relaxing, until the flowers! Then much concentration is required -- especially if you are adding beads. It’s not difficult for a lace project, and the gradient yarn produces spectacular results.


The construction is a little different than you might expect. You start out with 11 repeats. Then, when you get to the edging, each repeat splits into two begonias - so you have 22 edging repeats (begonias). This is the way it’s written, but I wanted it larger.

To get the larger size, three begonias per repeat, I had to have more stitches at the start of the edging chart. This took some calculating, but it’s not so bad. What you need is 20 sts per begonia at the start of the edging chart. Don’t count the selvage stitches.

To add that extra 20 sts per repeat, you need to keep increasing at the same rate (yo, k1, yo, k2, yo, kxx, k2tog). It gets a little tedious with all that stockinette, but it’s worth it.

When the stockinette (the kxx) is equal to 60 sts, you have enough for three begonias per repeat (33 begonias total). Then start the edging chart.

I would not recommend increasing faster, as this would make the spiral twist too much. I don’t think it would hang right.

I highlighted the stitches on the chart to make adding the beads easier.  These I added with a  size 10 steel crochet hook.