Friday, June 6, 2014

Autumn 2013 Mystery KAL

It seems like for the last three years my favorite shawl designer, SusannaIC, has offered mystery knit-a-longs (KAL) to people who are part of her Ravelry group.  If you pay attention, you can get the entire pattern for free.  Otherwise, you can join in by purchasing a discounted pattern while the clues are still being released.  The Autumn 2013 Mystery KAL was announced in Mid September and began on 9/27/2013.  (Now, with my baby due any day in October, I knew that I would not necessarily be able to finish this project on schedule, but it was something AWESOME to help pass the time while I was waiting for my baby boy to arrive.)  

In these mystery projects, I always worry about running out of beads or yarn.  Since you don't know how much of the project is left, it is hard to estimate what you will need going forward.   In the last mystery KAL I was so concerned about yardage that I removed two pattern repeats, and then ended up with plenty of yarn in the end.  

This time I'm not super worried about yardage, but I'm more worried about the number of beads.  In my paranoia,  I counted the one Toho Round Seed Beads 6/0 #505 'Higher Metallic Dragonfly' from Beadaholique last winter and found 129 in one tube. 3 tubes should give me the 300 I need for the less beads option. This means I just need to order 2 more tubes.

I am making the size small, fingering weight shawl with bead option 2 (less beads). I'm adding the beads to the shawl is a 0.9 mm crochet hook.  I am using Stroll Glimmer in the color Potion and size 6 & size 8 knitting needles as directed by the pattern.  (It appears that we use size 6 needles until the last clue.)  

Clue 1
I used a chain edge cast on as was suggested in the pattern notes.  This is a top down crescent shawl so we want the cast on edge to be nice and tight.  It looks like it will be SUPER tight when it is on the needle, but the stitches will stretch out a bit after they've been knit.  That being said, on the needles it stretches out to be 13".  I know that part of the wingspan will come from the lacy pattern, but I don't want it to be too small.  Therefore I eliminated the twisted loop knit round and just did a normal knit round after the cast on.   But now the cast on edge measures 30", bigger than some of the other Ravelry knitters.  I considered going back to redo it, but decided that I would rather have the shawl be a bit longer than too short, as it would drape around shoulders a bit better.  

The short rows went really quickly, although it helped that I was starting with a number of 111 stitches!  I think I prefer bottom up shawls to the top down variety, but I did love the outcome of the last mystery KAL which was also a top down crescent.  

The first ball of yarn started at 50 g.  At the end of Clue 1, 38 g remain of ball 1.  Finished 10/2/2013. 

Clue 2
Ugh.  I didn't realize that there were both "m" and "M" stitches.  "m" is Kfb, and "M" is K, yo, K... so by doing the wrong stitch I messed up the stitch count on the first round of lace.  Rather than frogging I let some stitches drop 4 rows to fix this issue.  Thank goodness it was just stockinette above this at this point and there are only 6 repeats!  I'm glad the fix was so easy.  

At the end of Clue 2, 29 g remain of Ball 1.  Finished 10/5/2013

Clue 3
Before Clue 3 was released on Oct 12, my baby boy was born!  When Lucky was 11 days old I felt good enough to start knitting again, and decided to try to download the pattern one clue at a time to avoid spoilers as much as possible.  Today Clue 4 is also available, but we'll see how much I'm able to accomplish with a newborn.  

Since I am doing the version with fewer beads, I do not have any beads to add in this section.  

I worked on part of this clue snuggled up to my 11 day old son.  How luck am I to have Lucky around?! 

At the end of clue 3, 19 g remain of ball 1.  Finished 10/21/2013.

Clue 4
Interesting, this seems to be a shift of the previous few rows.  I wonder how long this will continue and how the lace will evolve beyond.  

After this clue I am all caught up!  Now we just have to hope that Lucky will continue to allow me to knit.  I was able to finish clue 4 before clue 5 came out.  I'm back on target!

At the end of clue 4, 6 g remain of ball 1.  Finished 10/25/2013

Clue 5 - "Please note that if you are working on the small shawl, you will need to skip this clue."  I guess I'm off the hook this week!  

Clue 6 - 
Wahoo, I'm working on this project again!  I'm excited that the lace is starting to vary from where it was in clues 3-5.  Still no beads for me yet, but they're coming.  We started ball 2 (49 g) on row #7 of this clue.  

At the end of clue 6, 41 g remain of ball 2.   (Ball 2 weighed 49 g to start.) Finished 11/6/2013. 

Clue 7 
Ugh, I got behind. Sometimes caring for a Newborn just gets in the way of my crafting!  (It didn't help that we had some wonderful family visitors and I was working on some Christmas photo gifts.)  When I started Clue 7, Clue 8 was already available.   I peaked and clue 8 is the last one with knitting, and the blocking institution have not yet been released (although they will likely be out by the time I finish Clue 7.) 

Now it is time for me to add some more beads.  Wahoo! 

Awe man, I'm over 50% done with this clue and there has been a pattern update.  So much for getting back on track... I'm still having a BLAST and will be thankful if I am able to complete this shawl in 2013. 

Clue 8... In Progress

I'm embarrassed to admit that as of the publication of this post, I have yet to finish this shawl.  Where did the last almost 8 months go?  I am a very lucky Mama and I know that I'll finish this up soon.  (Maybe the publishing of this post will get me to take this project out of hibernation!)