First up - the beading. This uses the crochet hook method which places the bead on the stitch vertically so that it is visible on both sides of the fabric.
If you prefer a video this is the youtube clip I referenced in the pattern http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t77pmmqCmr4 this is an excellent clear video and also shows how to use a piece of wire if you dont have a hook. I am sure you will be able to find other clips that will be helpful and other beading tutorials online too.
Ok. Here we go. Apologies for the quality of the pics, my camera is not great and its quite hard to knit and take photos at the same time!
First. Knit to the stitch where you want to place the bead.
Thread your bead onto your crochet hook. For this pattern you are using fingering weight yarn and a size 4mm 6/0 bead and a 1mm crochet hook. For one of my samples I used 3.75mm beads and 0.75mm hook and they worked Ok too.
Now slide the stitch off the needle and insert your hook into the loop.
Now the bit that is tricky to photograph! You need to pull the hook and loop through the bead so that the bead slides down over the stitch. This might take you a couple of goes at the beginning but you will soon work out if you need to angle the hook and how hard to pull so that the stitch comes through the bead.
You can now see that the bead is sitting down at the base of the stitch.
Then use your hook to replace the stitch back on the right hand needle and then knit it as normal.
Voila! The stitch is now worked and the bead is placed vertically on the stitch, visible on both sides of the fabric.
It is quite an easy technique and is particularly useful if you decide AFTER you have already cast on that you want to use beads. Its also a great technique for reversible patterns where you want to bead to show on both sides.
For those new to shawls the idea of having to block the shawl is probably quite daunting. It is not really difficult but does take a bit of time to rearrange the fabric and pins. Don't rush it :) The acolyte shawl with the lace body needs to be stretched quite a lot to open up the stitch. The looser you knit this the more you will be able to block it and the airier your shawl will be.
Here is a picture of the edging being blocked which I thought might be useful for people unsure how much to stretch the points.
The lace stitch in the acolyte version of the pattern requires a slipped stitch passed over a k1 and a yo. You need to make sure the yo is actually OVER the needle when you do the pass over. If it is just forward then the lace wont work. The instructions are asking you to pass the stitch over TWO stitches so make sure this is what is happening when you do the pass over.
And remember that the instructions inside of the ( ) is the pattern repeat. On row 5 of the increase section you will begin to add in more repeats - this continues throughout the increase section.
If you have any issues please contact me via the blog or on Ravelry (sweetp).