The Knit Picks Tonal collection caught my eye in a few of the Ravelry project pages. I liked how they added even more color variation to this stripey shawl. I purchased the colors I liked and waited for them to arrive. The colors were not exactly as depicted on the Knit Picks site, but I came to love them anyways.
I took time to read through the notes on Ravelry from others who had knit this shawl. There was talk about making sure the edges weren't too tight (which I knew would be an issue for me since I'm a tight knitter), different ways to do the increases, and talk of it being boring because it is straight knitting (all you do is knit back and forth, back and forth, repeat, and repeat). Straight stockinette stitch does not bother me, nor does short rows (which there are a lot of in this pattern). I love mindless knitting while I watch TV at night.
It took me quite a few false starts to get going on this pattern. I tried the increases noted in the pattern, which didn't look right when I did them. Switched to doing KFB (knit front and back) and that looked better. I also slipped the first stitch purlwise, which made it really difficult for me to add the new colors in. What worked for me, after starting and restarting probably 6 times, was knit one, yarn over, knit front and back (K1, YO, KFB) for the edges and increases. When it came time to add in the colors, I didn't do any twists like I read some people had done, but instead, would just grab the color I needed, pulled it behind the others, and began knitting with it, making sure to keep my edges loose as I did that.
The short rows are not as hard as some might imagine. Especially since you don't have to pick up the wrapped stitches. The color changes were also easier than expected, especially once I got the hang of it (which took numerous attempts!). The pattern, while easy to read, does not tell you how to do the color changes in great detail. It assumes you know how to do color work. That was disappointing to me, as I would have liked the pattern to be a bit more detailed on that topic.
I learned a new bind off for this. A friend taught me to knit 2 together, then pass that stitch back onto the left needle and continue on. Made for a nice, stretching bind off.
When I first finished, I was very disappointed in my shawl. It was squattier than I had imagined it would be. Here's a pic to show you what I mean. It's a little over a foot vertical, and far more than that horizontally.
Looks rather wonky doesn't it? And it was more of a long scarf than shawl. I went back on Ravelry, and asked around about how to fix it. The answer? BLOCKING. Luckily, I have a friend down the road with blocking mats and wires that I can borrow. Also good that I did laundry, and I didn't put the sheets back on the spare bed yet. I didn't have enough floor room for this shawl, and needed a room to block it in that could be closed off away from Oreo.
|Looking much better already!|
I think I'm going to be much happier with it after it dries. It did stretch quite a bit, and the wires helped me to get it into the right shape. I didn't have great lighting for these pics, unfortunately, but you get the idea.
This project has taught me that blocking really does do wonders! I'm so happy with the results of this after I blocked it. It's soft, squishy, and has become my go-to carry along shawl in my purse. Perfect for keeping me warm in cold restaurants and stores, and on chilly Spring days like today (it's May 12th and only 53 degrees here in Ohio!). I've already had some friends and family members drooling over it, so I foresee making more in the future. :)
Pattern: Color Affection Shawl by Veera Välimäki