Hey everyone! I’m here to recap the MKALs that I’m working on so SPOILER ALERT. It shouldn’t be too much of a spoiler warning because I am behind, but I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone. This is supposed to be fun after all.
I recently finished clue 2 for both the Stephen West MKAL and the Tamy Gore MKAL and it seemed like a great time to recap you on where I’m up to. I also filmed a vlog that will air on Thursday on my YouTube channel. Go ahead and subscribe now and you won’t miss it! This is a BONUS vlog and so it’s a bit off cycle, but again, this is supposed to be fun after all.
I’ll start with the Slipstravaganza shawl, which is the Stephen West MKAL. I’m actually impressed with myself that I’m only a week behind on this. Clue 4 dropped last Friday and I’m ready to start clue 3. Considering the rows in clue 2 went from 400 stitches to 450+, I’m happy with my progress.
In clue 2, you use all 4 colors, which is awesome. I love the colors I chose and I’m happy to see them all work out well together. The pattern itself was easy to follow along and once you got the set up row ready, the next few were very straightforward. For a busy life, this is an exciting shawl but not a stressful one by any means. LIke the name suggests, there are all different kinds of slipped stitches, which makes such beautiful colorwork without all of the stress. I always love mosaic knititng and I’m always reminded to keep looking out for patterns just like that.
I did use stitch markers at all of the repeats. That’s not like me, but I didn’t want to keep counting stitches. It’s amazing how using little tools really help. I was off sometimes on the other edges (didn’t always increase I guess) and so I just added a few extra and no one will know. Like he reminded us, I did not stress out about it.
I also want to talk about stepping out of your comfort zone. It is well known that Stephen West has remarkable patterns that are like no other. I’m in shock at how his brain comes up with a lot that he does, but because of that, I’ve often shied away from knitting his patterns. I’m a very practical person and definitely a project knitter. By this, I mean that I can’t make a pattern if it won’t have a purpose at the end. I’ve always wanted to knit crazy lace shawls, but I’ll never use them, so I never have.
I’m also someone to use subtle, muted colors. If you follow my shop, that’s pretty apparent. However, having a yarn shop means needing samples and a Stephen West shawl is a perfect pattern to show off yarn. The color play, stand out designs and overall popularity makes these patterns good sample subjects. Check out my YouTube channel “Planning Projects” video to hear more about how I picked colors for this shawl. It’s different than I would normally do, but in the end I created new colorways that I have in my shop. Overall, I think that all of the colors in this shawl work well together and I don’t know if I would have done it if I wasn’t pushed into it by my shop.
The pattern itself is probably something I wouldn’t be drawn to either. A 5 skein shawl?? I’m 5’2″ and fairly petite (excluding the Pandemic gains of course). Those two facts just don’t go well together. That being said, the pattern itself has been so different from the shawls I normally knit and it’s really helped me come out of my knitting rut. I really do believe that we tend to knit a lot of the same things over and over again (even when we use new patterns and new yarn) simply because we have a style and are drawn to the same things. I’m so excited to keep knitting this pattern and see where it goes. The mystery is really addicting.
If you are curious, I’m knitting it with the following colors on my sock base. Kits are available in the shop and will be on multiple bases tomorrow, Nov 3rd.
Main Color: Speckled Orchid
Contrast Color 1: Hibiscus Tea
Contrast Color 2: Dragonfly
Contrast Color 3: London Fog
That’s it for that shawl, let’s move onto the Golden Dusk shawl.
For this shawl, I went into this knowing that I would love the finished result and I have not been let down. Again, I picked more subtle colors and the design is less “look at me!” which fits my style well. To my earlier point, the mystery definitely is keeping me going, but to contrast it with the other shawl, I’m not addicted to seeing where it’s going. I’m 100% enjoying knitting it, but I’m not dying to know where it’s going to go. Kind of 2 very different shawls.
The pattern called for a Merino/Silk base and so I’m using my somewhat new Silk DK base. It’s a soft and squishy base that has been very fun to work with.
I’m viewing this shawl as a stitch sampler. There’s a lot of fun garter, lace, brioche, slipped stitches, textured stitches, you name it, clues 1 and 2 had it. I’m excited to see what clue 3 brings as I have not yet used the 4th color, which might be my favorite.
Overall, this has been easier for me as I’m comfortable with the stitches being used and since the rows are short and the yarn is a heavier weight (relative to sock weight yarn), it feels like it’s going quick. There’s really nothing better.
I know I will live in this, as it’s warm, pretty, cozy and all things like that. If you haven’t knit a Tamy Gore pattern, you definitely should and if you like DK weight shawls, give this one a go.
Again, I do have kits in the shop “4 Spices kits” and these colorways are currently available on the silk DK base. The colors are coming to other bases in the next week or so. Stay tuned!
Color 1: Cayenne Pepper
Color 2: Sea Salt
Color 3: Purple Basil
Color 4: Smoked Paprika
Check back to my YouTube channel to see me talk about these projects “in person!”