July 27th was the day our last clue arrived for the mystery shawl knit along, provided by designer Kirsten Kapur / Through the Loops. We knitters had until August 27th to enter our finished shawl photos to the Finished Shawls, TTL Mystery Shawl 18 thread at Ravelry for a chance to win prizes. That means all done knitting, washed, blocked and photos taken.
On August 3rd I added my finished shawl photo to the thread. Finally the colors looked right as I took the shawl outdoors to get some photos. Taking selfies of this long shawl on my own body was not easy, but finally I got it right!
Never before have I worn or knit a shawl like this one. It took nearly 2 skeins of yarn. As you can see, the lace pattern ended up gorgeous. I am very happy with the end result, and truthfully quite amazed that I could knit this!
Clue #1 was given out June 22nd, so in little over a month I had knit myself this beautiful accessory. Too bad I live in Florida where I will seldom get a chance to wear it. I will take it with me on every trip back to New Hampshire.
The MKAL Story in a Nutshell, or Longer
As I finish up with this fun event, looking back I first thought that I may have chosen my yarn differently. I love the Woodbury from Miss Babs, which is soft and wonderful, but I wasn’t too sure about the yellow “cumin” color. The light blue “Coventry” is so pretty, I would probably use it again in another project.
Some knitters began running out of Color A yarn (my color A is yellow “cumin”) during Clue 3. The designer, Kirsten Kapur, suggested that I might want to use a third, contrast color, at this point. My yarn stash is pretty small, so all I could come up with was anther Miss Babs yarn called “Canyon Wren”. This became my Color C, which was added in Clues 3, 4 and 6.
(This shawl pattern is available for anyone to purchase although the MKAL is just about over.)
Now that the project is finished, I do like my color choices. I think adding the color C (rust red) was a good choice as well. Not many knitters did that, so mine is a unique in that way.
My stitch markers were a life saver, but during Clue 5 the markers moved! This really threw me off. When I counted my stitches they didn’t stay the same between the markers and I didn’t know if it was my mistake or the pattern. Someone in the forum said to look at the chart pattern, which would show this happening. That did help me even though I can’t read a chart well. (Something else to learn.)
I ended up okay, but made a bunch of mistakes during this clue. I did a lot of counting too, and the fact that Kirsten gave us counts for all the rows in her pattern was super helpful. Somehow the lace ended up looking fine – that was pure luck! It is so pretty.
I was very worried about the bind off, which was like picot flowers. It looked very involved, and I could easily see myself messing it up. Since it is an edging, it would stand out, and I didn’t want that mistake to be obvious. Clue 6 was one of the easiest to knit, except for the bind-off. Kirsten kindly created a video to show the bind off, but I still didn’t feel confident about it.
When I visited the “Clue 6” forum at Ravelry, I saw that some other knitters had also decided not to do the fancy bind-off. Their shawls looked great. I did a regular bind-off and it looks fine.
Lots of Firsts For Me
I’ve never knit lace.
I’ve never followed such an intricate pattern.
I’ve never knit an asymmetrical shawl.
I’ve never before done a knit along, mystery or otherwise.
I had never done a cdd or sk2p stitch.
This was the first knitting pattern I have ever purchased online.
Because I have conquered all these firsts, and ended up with a decent, wearable shawl, I have the confidence to continue trying difficult, more advanced patterns. Kirsten has so many beautiful items, with patterns for sale. Since I live in a hot climate, most of what I knit is for my daughter who lives up north, or for me to take when I travel.
I love to knit, and to learn new things. The only way to expand our knowledge is to step out of our comfort zone and dive into something new.
I’m wondering what will be next. A summer shawl knit along is now offered, so maybe that……….