Looking back on the fact that I knit 11 shawls in little under 9 months I wanted to look back on the things I accomplished/learned with each shawl. And what better time to do that then in the start of a new year. As I sometimes finished more than one shawl in one month, or would cast on a shawl then finish three others before going back to it, I’ll just list shawls by number. Shawls will link to their information on Ravelry.
Shawl 1: Batik
This was the first shawl I started once i had learned about the challenge and I started with a bang. My first bottom up shawl, lace, and cables.
– Lifelines mean Never having to frog (seriously the second I put in some life lines, I did not need to frog ever again) – I see Murphy laughing at me – Though I will still believe in life lines in chart switches.
– That little hole in knit picks needles is perfect for stringing your life line through and forgetting about it on a purl row (that said you should not actually forget about it, and find out it fell out 60 stitches ago).
– Discovering Kitman Figueora – who will make many more appearances on this list.
– Just put in markers if you are casting on, there is no reason to count 200+ stitches 15 times. I will use the excuse that before this I hadn’t cast on more than 120 stitches or something….
Shawl 2: Deirdre
– This is how to use a shawl in winter.
– When colors are more important that pattern (K.I.S.S.)
– This may become a regular scarf alternative
– Oh worsted how I missed you already
Shawl 3: Damson
Two shawls in the same colorway? This is why Target (I had to hunt this down, I suppose that what happens when you live in a healthy neighborhood bubble) stocks Kool Aid. And even after soaking it in wash a few times the shawl will still have a lovely sweet smell that you don’t associate with Kool Aid.
– Dying is a fun way to get new yarn.
– You didn’t really think you would have enough yarn to do the edging when you used part of the skein to finish Batik did you? Really? Thought so.
– You will make other people sniff your shawl The knitters will understand, the boyfriend’s of knitters will understand, the rest of the world, not so much.
Shawl 4: Peacock
– Molly will always help with blocking. Accept it and move on. The fur adds a little special touch.
– Yes you will notice that mistake that has the right side off by one stitch. No you can’t frog, Molly is already helping you block. Accept it.
– You can accept that mistake only you will ever notice.
– Kitman Figueora is just a designer you will keep coming back to huh?
Shawl 5: Mystery Medallion Shawl
– Leaving yarn wound extremely tightly for 4 years is not a good idea. No Seriously, why did you do that.
– A mystery can be a lot of fun
– You won’t need that second skein of yarn, but doing the Mystery shawl in a yarn you have a excess of takes out one stressor
Shawl 6: Summer Shawlette
– When you have followed the pattern perfectly then all of a sudden nothing works? Check the KAL before frogging 3 weeks of Clues
– No Seriously – someone else is likely having the same problem right now – don’t blame the bus
– Also you can read charts – do it!
Shawl 7: Rosa
– Remember that thing you just said about reading charts? Um…
– You need more than a chart and two lines of text to get a shawl (To the Internet! It’s Ravelry my dear knitter.)
– You’ll make it work but it would have been a lot easier with more instructions
– Perhaps the next time you are knitting 2 shawls for a wedding in a few weeks, one shouldn’t be in lace so fine, it might as well be cobweb.
– You will not have anywhere large enough to block all this lace. Accept it.
– You will still have a nice shawl that is appreciated
– You just don’t like working in anything much lighter than fingering. Accept it and stop buying lace.
Shawl 8: Gothic Moss Shawl
– Hello Again Kitman it’s been a few shawls, I see you have come out with a couple new patterns
– Really you don’t think 10 days to knit a shawl for a wedding while working full time is maybe pushing it? You like a challenge? Remember that when the men with white coats come.
– Oh and you have to learn how to graft? There’s no way that will go wrong. (it didn’t, this time)
– Okay perhaps that part of you mind that’s all “Psh 10 Whole days? easy” is not as deranged as the other part that kept whispering ‘that mystery medallion shawl, matches the grey on your shoes.; you don’t have to do this’ would like you to believe.
Shawl 9: Damask
– After that wedding deadline you are invincible (you totally didn’t have to get up early to block the shawl before work to finish. You had plenty of time)
– Seriously just buy all of Kitman’s Patterns. There are no doubts at this point.
– Trust the pattern, sometimes you just can’t tell what is going on, at first
– So nupps are a thing
Shawl 10: Trousseau
– Buy more blocking mats. Some people like having a couch they can sit on
– Pies make for an interesting knit
– I don’t see you buying more mats.
Shawl 11: Blue Mystery
– So nice you knit it twice
– See how much easier and faster that was when you don’t frog an entire shawl at the 80% mark?
So that was 11 Shawls in 2011. What did I learn from this overall?
– Sometimes I will run out of yarn
– Sometimes I will have an excess of yarn
– Some designers are my gold
– Bottom up shawls work better for me
– Life lines
– Cast on Stitch markers
– Not every mistake is your own
– I prefer written instructions to charts
– Sometimes insane determination pays off
– Accept it (whatever “it” is this time)
– Molly is quite lucky she is cute and doesn’t actually kneed blocking shawls