So far, I am really enjoying the whole experience of the MKAL. I have complete trust in Stephen West as a designer so I know the finished result is going to be awesome. I did have a few wobbles this week -mainly around my colour choices but they have soon been eased by the next sections which I will detail more below.
My week in stitches.
I finished the first clue fairly quickly so for the rest of the week I worked on the following WIPs:
A pair of 3×1 ribbed socks for my sister using some West Yorkshire Spinners yarn in the colour way Wallflower. I was planning on doing a heel flap and gusset for these as my sister has a higher instep than me but I forgot that this would distort the stripe pattern so I had to 🐸 the first sock and start again. I’m going to do toe up with a fish lips kiss heel (my favourite heel pattern – here) and I think the rib pattern will give a bit of extra stretch for a good fit anyway.
This WIP is living in my favourite sock project bag from Handmade by Jayney, which has a matching dpn holder and also holds my circular sock needles for magic loop.
I also tried to get a few rows in on my Volcano Trail Cowl by Maxim Cyr but I didnt get much progress done.
I cast on and knit up a swatch for cardigan I am making for my husband-hopefully in time for Christmas. The swatch is currently in the wash before I can block it to check my gauge.
Onto the main event: Shawlography Clue 2- 15.10.2021
⚠️!!! WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!! ⚠️
As I said before, I am thoroughly enjoying this whole process. But thank heavens for the YouTube video instructions.
I really didn’t want to peep at the finished clue 2 but I did end up sneaking a peek after I had finished Section 5.
Section 5 – Slip Stitch Columns
I got started on this straight away when I got back from work on Friday evening. I was excited to use the pink in my colour palette in this section. I did make one mistake in this section where I somehow missed the increase stitches between 2 of the icord loops from the last section. So I had to fudge it on the next row and squeeze in 5 stitches to create the column above. It worked out fine and you can’t see it now it’s been knit up but that section is a little tighter at the base of that one column.
As I was knitting this section I started to panic a little as the pink looked SO bright compared to the majority of the grey that was in the first Clue. So I watched through the full tutorial video just to see how the colours were going to spread out in this section and that helped me to decide not to 🐸 it back and change to a different colour and I kept my palette as I detailed in the last post here.
Section 6 – Welts
OMG. I think this is my favourite section so far. The blue colour is just so stunning and with a very slight variegation in the tones that is lovely in the stockinette stitch here. I had looked through some of the Ravelry forums for this clue and a few people had decided against doing the welts and really disliked the technique so I was a bit worried about this section. So when it came to the actual forming of the welts I got my big girl pants on, switched on my overhead lamp and get knitting.
I can honestly say that I loved this technique. And when the shawl is blocked, that line of texture is going to be so fun. I had seen the technique in Stephens other pattern- Batad. (Pattern on ravelry here).
This has been in my queue to make for a while and now that I’ve had a go at the welts technique, it is definitely going to be moving on up the queue. I have some gorgeous red yarn in my stash from Verity at Truly Hooked and I think I’m going to use this for a single colour version of the Batad.
Section 7- Triangles.
OK, so from my favourite section to my least favourite. I’m not the biggest fan of floats in my knitting, but this was only for 5 stitches at a time so it should be fine. But I do get paranoid that I’m going to make my work too tight and it’s all going to bunch up and look awful. So, to combat this, I made sure that on the longer floats I spread the stitches out on my right needle before knitting the next anchoring stitch. Then on the next purl row after the floats I secured them with the middle of the 5 stitches (shown below)
I also struggled a little with this section again, due to the brightness of the yellow neon yarn. It just seemed to be a big chunk of highlighter yellow in such contrast to the darker blue before it. But I embraced the neon , knowing that the last section would anchor down the brightness once it was added.
Section 8 – Bobbles
Here was another section that I’d seen not much love for. I have only ever attempted knitting bobbles once before for a poncho for my daughter, and the back and forth palaver of it made me resort to crocheting them. However, after watching the YouTube tutorial I found it much easier this time and although it was a little time consuming, the little pink bubbles are very pleasing, to my eye anyway. So all in all, quite a bit of love for the bobbles here!
Section 9 – Short Row wedges.
Boy was I excited when I read this in the pattern- so not a standard crescent shape shawl after all, or maybe it will be a double bluff! One of the things I love most about Stephen West’s patterns is the imaginative way that they are constructed. It’s never just the same way other designers work and I love that it keeps you on your toes and encourages you to learn new techniques.
This section, as I hoped it would, also anchors those bright neons and riches up the colours nicely. The combination of the blue and purple almost gives a demon kind of effect which I am really enjoying.
This was the most time consuming of the sections after the triangles, and I did go wrong a few times and have to frog back but still managed to complete the section before the next clue, if only with a few hours to go. It did help with my progress that the rows gradually get shorter instead of longer, as those last few rows really zipped along nicely.
Well there it is, my clue 2 finished. I hope you are having as much fun as me with this project (if you’re taking part, of course). Thats it for now for me.
Take care, stay safe and happy crafting ..