While searching for hats to show off a skein of our Borzoi yarn, I came across Laura Nelkin's Mica Tam, a beautiful lace hat that incorporates seed beads into the lace motif. I've been a fan of Laura's designs for years, and I met her (for about two minutes) at TNNA last year. She designs knitted jewelry patterns and sells beautiful kits, and the yarn store I worked at sold some of them. She's been published in many different places, including Knitty, Interweave, Creative Knitting, and various books.
The hat starts off with a nice twisted ribbing around the edge, and transitions into the lace section, which was delightfully easy to memorize. She offers the lace section of the pattern both written out and in chart form, with pretty standard symbols, and clearly notes where the bead placement is. The decrease section also has its own chart/written section and carries no surprises. This pattern was very quick to make, and it was very enjoyable.
One of the things that can scare people away from patterns with beading is that beads look very complicated to add to knitting; delightfully, they're not! Beads are usually added beforehand and incorporated into the knitting, or added during with a crochet hook or floss. This pattern was very mindful of the possibility that readers might not know how to deal with beads, and included a link to an instructional video in Laura’s pattern. And, if you don't enjoy beading, they are entirely optional!
The addition of the seed beads to the Borzoi (colorway: Rolling in the Grass) made the hat sparkle and shine, showing off the luxurious nature of the BFL and bamboo. While the style of the hat doesn't work for my head (I think I have too much hair...), it's adorable and great for spring or fall weather. Click here to purchase the pattern!