I'm glad that folks are getting excited to start this KAL. I'm a cheater 'cuz I cast on my Hanmai months ago, long before MS3, but I'm using this KAL as motivation to help me finish this stole. Like many of you, I don't need any more UFOs/WIPs in my knitting baskets. I'm on row 173 of Chart F right now and zipping right along through the "cherry blossoms". At this point only the knitter can tell if you made a "mistake" adn the end is finally in sight :-)
Welcome SapphyreKnitter! I'm sorry I can't comply with your request to be flogged with ratty acrylic. I don't have much of the stuff myself, I'm certainly not going to dig it out and besides, we do not flog in this group :-) BUT, we will cheer you on in what sounds like trying times for you. You aren't planning on using that ratty acrylic for your Hanami Stole are you???? (wink, grin)
Catknip...love your screen name! I just have one question.... What is a swatch???? Ah, live dangerously and don't bother. After all, this is a lace stole. If after 10 or 20 rows you decide things are too loose or too tight, just frog and start over--the 1st round will have been the swatch. Seriously, I don't really think gauge is important to this project as the design is very forgiving of a wide range of fibers and gauges. Knit on!
Heather, I hope your cold is better now. Cold medicine doesn't make for clear thinking, for sure. Based on my experience knitting the Hanami thus far, I think knitting the stole with a small section of basketweave in the center and Cherry blossoms out to both ends would look fabulous. The difficult part is what to do at the transition point. You can sketch out a 2nd transition chart that will match up with the stitches on Row 1 and end in nice points. The easy way is to skip the transition chart on side 1 and just go on to the cherry blossoms. Use a provisional cast-on and knit 1 or 2 repeats of the basketweave chart, skip the transition chart and knit the 1st end as written. Then go back and pick up the stitches from your provisional cast-on (will replace the purl row) and work the cherry blossoms to match what you did one side 1.
And one final comment about using beads. I used silver-lined clear beads for my cast-on border thinking they would be the best choice against the celery green silk. The beaded cast-on was a huge PITA to execute IMHO, so I was quite unhappy to find that the beads were not visible unless you went looking for them. The pattern only calls for a few beads at the cast-on, and I didn't find it worth the grief to add them. If you do want beads, choose some that have high-contrast against your yarn. Silver-lining alone isn't adequate, esp. given the fact that the shiny silver softens over time (basically it tarnishes). A frosted or AB finish may be helpful. My other suggestion would be to add more beads as you knit. This could be done in the little squares on the basketweave or more randomly across the cherry blossom section. Adding more beads is the best hope for folks to see there are beads in your pretty stole.
These are just my ideas and others may have different suggestions. Good luck to everyone casting-on on Friday. I can't wait to see each one!