Friday, 4 November 2016

The Mystery Knit-A-Longs (KALS) of Autumn. . .

I am a sucker for a good knit-a-long and if it's a designer I trust, I'll happily sign up for a mystery KAL too.  These last few weeks I've been taking a break from The Book of Haps, and have been working on two mystery KALs.

The first was by Gudrun Johnson and while it was fairly simple in structure and shape, (yes, another hap), the use of colours, and the injection of the eyelets within the garter stitch triangle really made this a fun project to work on. I used some Tvinni Isager fingering yarn in my stash for this - it's rustic but not itchy, and it knits up very nicely.

By the way, thanks to a tip from another knitter on ravelry, I've started blocking all my shawls on the clothes line. They just dry faster this way and the weight of the moisture working its way down also helps with the blocking.  The pattern has now been released as Deepdale and there are some lovely colour combinations in ravelry.

These are totally my mum's colours and so I gave her the shawl when I went to Canada.  She loved it and has been wearing it constantly.

The second MKAL was the annual one by Stephen West. This is the fifth year I've participated and while the clues didn't vary as much with Building Blocks, it was still an unusual and original shape and kept me occupied for the better part of October.  This was the main project I took with me to Canada and I was quite pleased that I managed to keep up with the clues given my limited wifi and knitting time.  I knit the large version, but because it was so scrunched up on my circular needles, I had no idea how large it actually was until I did the bind-off and blocked it.

It is BIG.

Here is a close-up of the some of the yarns I used, just as I was working on the third clue.  The dark grey-black is some alpaca blend from John Arbon that I've had forever in my stash. The cool variegated is a colourway called Warrior, by a hand-dyer from Edinburgh, KnitCosmicStrings.  I absolutely love how it knitted up and worked with all the other colours. The golden-brown is from Ripples Crafts and there is also a lovely hand-dyed silvery grey (the background on the brioche section in the second big stripe from the top) from Eden Cottage Yarns.

It's a very wearable, squishy shawl/scarf.  I loved doing the brioche section and am now contemplating knitting a complete brioche dress out of stash.  I have purchased Stephen West's Askews Me Dress; his colour choice is bit too bold for me, but there have been some lovely projects on ravelry and it looks like a very forgiving garment. Brioche is really quite stretchy and squishy. It might be quite a warm dress but should be very comfy wear.   I'm thinking of using a gradient of neutrals for the background colours and then something a bit brighter for the contrast.  It will depend on what I can dig up in my stash.  This could be my big challenge for 2017.


Rie said...

I love the colours of both of your shawls -- you are such a quick knitter! This year was my second doing the WestKnits KAL but I have to admit, I found it boring! There was no mystery in it, as after the first 2 weeks, nothing really changed so I put it aside to complete some Christmas gifts and well, to get over the disappointment really. I'm not going to frog it though, I plan on heading back to it after Christmas to finish it off.

Blithe Spirit said...

Keep at it, it really is a lovely. cozy shawl to wear. I've gotten so many compliments on its interesting shape and construction. It IS a lot of knitting though.