Thursday, September 13, 2012

Color Affection

I selected the
Color Affection shawl as my next knitting project (because Keith pointed out that of the patterns in my queue it is the least like anything I have already knit.)

I used size 6 needles for the fingering version of the pattern. I wanted to use Palette in Bluebell, Blue and Navy, all colors that I had in my stash from some kits I purchased on clearance for the yarn. I have 1.5 balls of Navy (83 g) 2 balls of bluebell (101 g) and 1 ball of blue (51 g) to start. Based on yardage requirements mentioned in other projects (see the bookmarks on my ravelry project page), I should have enough yarn. I will use Bluebell for color 1, Blue for color 2 and Navy for color 3. (Other reports show that colors 1 and 3 use the most yardage.) Keep your fingers crossed for me! The project consumed: 48g blue, 67 g Bluebell, and 63g Navy.

Notes on the Pattern
  • I did a lot of research before starting this pattern. Normally I just jump straight in, but I wanted to make sure that I had appropriate yardage for the project (see above.)
  • To keep things loose on the top edge, I plan to follow the most popular modification: One each row, add a YO after the first knit stitch. When you get back to it on return rounds, drop the YO.
  • Instead of M1R and M1L, I decided to use KfB (as suggested by others) for the increases. It is garter stitch, so it won't be super noticeable and as others have pointed out, KFB is much faster.
  • In the short row section, I have noticed that many finished projects have them ending a little too soon, this is because they knit 3 sts past the last color, not 3 sts past the last WRAP. (So you are going 4 sts past the previous color before making your new W&T).
  • In order to block properly, I used Jenny's Surprisingly stretchy bindoff to finish the shawl.

Notes while Construction the Shawl
  • After second repeat of rows 1-4 -> I have 27 sts. Since there are 7 sts after set up rows, and 10 sts increased from each set of 4, this looks about right. I am thrilled that there are stitch counts for between each section, I just like being able to check where I am as I go.
  • I kept track of what row I was on (1-4) using a pen and tick marks. This was only necessary in the first section because after the stripes start it became much easier to know when to do the double decreases in row 1 again.
  • I didn't check my gauge when I started, but it is somewhere between the lace and fingering gauges. I can alwasy make it a bit bigger by blocking, so I'm glad that I'm currently on the small side.
  • When part 1 is complete, it can be blocked to be 24" long with no issues and 7" wide (much larger with more extreme blocking.) I should be able to get the desired size without too much trouble.
  • I checked the stitch count after the 5th completion of 2 stripe section (rows 5-8) - 197 sts. I could have been off one when I was counting, but I am on target and am going fine.
  • I checked my sttiches again after 8th repeat of 2 stripes, and I'm still on target. Woot! 227
  • Right before the last 2 rows of MC in the 2 color section, I have 263 sts. I didn't miss any of the increases! Two more rows and then I get to finally start the 3 color section. I have not yet used up any balls of yarn, but the MC ball is looking a little low.
  • Once I finished the 8 repeats of the 3 color section, I was left with a decision to make. Should I add a half or a whole other repeat to sue up more yarn and make the shawl deeper? I'm not sure what this would do to the overall symmetry of the scarf... There are many minor factors to remember, such as the fact that doing a half repeat will make the end increases out of sync... but I think this would be really hard to notice. The only trouble is that I'm trying to finish up the multicolored portion before a road trip so I only need one color in the car. I think I will do an extra 6 rows (half repeat) and see where things stand.
  • On the last row with MC, I didn't do the double increase at the beginning. This way I would start with the double decrease in the first row of the border.
  • Looking at the schematic of the shawl, I realized that it isn't supposed to be symmetrical, so I am no longer worried!
    Align Center
  • I knit 20 rows of navy (just under 2 inches) for the border stripe before doing the surprisingly stretchy bindoff.
The shawl blocked beautifully. The only issue I had was that I didn't have enough blocking mats! I wish the shawl was a bit deeper, but it is super cozy for me to snuggle in at home. I will definitely make this again.