Believe it or not, I first began knitting this snood four years ago. In August 2011 I cast on a larger version of Kleine Bachforelle by Ute Sturm, a narrow lacy stole pattern originally written in German. There is an English version available which I used. Bachforelle is German for river trout. These little fish float about along the entire length of the scarf with beads as bubbles in the water.
The pattern is very daunting and was very confusing for me. I could not make any sense of it until my friend Wendy made me a full chart that combined all the little charts the original pattern contains on several pages. Having it all in one piece made it so much easier and without Wendy's help I wouldn't even have been able to start.
There are a few modifications, too: my version is twice as wide as the original and I have changed the sequence in which the fish appear. At first I started knitting with a skein of Noro Kureyon Sock, but it quickly became obvious that you couldn't actually see the fish due to the variegation. Instead, I cast on again using the lovely Fyberspates Scrumptious lace in teal. (The photos don't all show the colour well, but they're close.)
I did not get very far and so this WIP languished for three years before I picked it up again. I lost my place in the pattern and somehow things just didn't work, so I had to ask Wendy for help again. Once I got going, it was easy! Sadly, I stopped again because I got bored. The beading can take quite long and I had to pay close attention to what I was doing the rest of the time as well. A fourth year passed before I picked it up again this March.
After just two rows I knew I couldn't face knitting any more of it, so I cast off at the end of a chart repeat and turned the stole into a snood instead. Ta da! Problem solved without unravelling.
I blocked everything before sewing the ends together to form a loop. The snood now consists of two different patterns: the swimming fish pattern of the main body and a length of beaded lace, almost like ribbing, that was the edging of the original stole at both ends. I like that these two are combined in one snood because it makes the pattern more interesting.
I used denim-coloured beads from Debbie Abrahams in size 8, which is perfect for lace and 4-ply. (On the site you will also find beads for DK in size 6.) I love beaded knits and am very happy with this project despite it taking so long and little knitting time going into it, all in all. I can't wait to wear it this spring and will probably take it with me to Cornwall on holiday later this month.
What is your longest WIP? What would you have done if you came across this project after four years - continue, rip or something else?