Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Rockefeller saga

Casting On
Did you knit along with the Summer Mystery Shawl by Stephen West this year?
I missed last year's Earth & Sky craze (and conveniently ignored the mixed response), and this year, I was in.
It was fun to play along. A lot of us posted potential yarns and colour combos, and many of us got a response from the designer himself, giving us hints on what might or might not work in his design.

I got a response, too. I'd been looking for an excuse to use up my parrot-bright Zauberball Crazy, and I paired it up with one of my all-time favourite yarn/colour combos, Wollmeise 100% in Maus Jung, a gorgeous light grey.

Clue 1
I adored clue 1 when it came out. It's very Spectra-esque, which of course meant Spectra jumped into my queue, too.
Then things got a bit meh. Clue 2 really didn't work for me in the yarn I chose. The change of colour flow direction bothered me. it looked a bit clown ruffle.
Clue 2
But part of the mystery is the joy of knitting, so I kept going on while being slightly envious of the gorgeously elegant solid-coloured options that kept popping up in the spoiler thread.

Clue 3
I loved knitting clue 3, and it brought my colours in again. It didn't balance clue 2 (I don't think a whole circus tent could have balanced that!), but it was pretty. You know. Once you got past picking up a million, jillion stitches.
This shawl was sure shaping up to be a great exercise in basic knitting-related skills I always needed.

Then came clue 4. Stripes. I love stripes! Never mind that my yarn balls were getting teeny-weeny (that's technical for less than 10g remaining). I was adding wings to the design, just as I'd hoped.
Excdept, tehse wings were loooooooooooooong. really long. And my yarn was getting short.
No problem. I've got some Araucania Solid floating around, ina  red and a green that kind of match the ends of the Zauberball spectrum. I'll just use those for the tips and I'll be fine.
Clue 4
Yeah. Fine.
Except, once I started the second wing (you think second SOCK syndrome is bad? Try second ginormous wing.), it was clear I was going to run out of the Wollmeise, too. How do you run out of a Wollmeise skein?? These things are huge!

Fun fact about my shawl knitting, I roll them up and tie them down as I knit them so the turning each row isn't sucha  tangled mess. I knew the blob was heavy, but running out of two skeins of yarn made me realise how huge this shawl was going to be.

Fortunately, I had some more Maus Jung in Twin, and while it pained me to break into a skein I had (vague, very vague) plans for, it couldn't be helped. All for a good cause, right?

It's a bike cosy!
And then I finished the shawl. And unwrapped it. And held it up.
I had knit a circus entrance way! This thing measures almost 3 metres tip to tip. And that's before blocking!
Holy mother of shawls, Batman.

I gave the thing a light soak and patted it down. no way was I going to block it. For starters, I don't own enough floor to lay this thing out. Also, it's already rather large.
In fact, it may not be a shawl at all!

I wasn't sure I love it. I mean sure, it's big and it's colourful and it's certainly unique.
But I'm just not sure how much wear I'll get out of it.
I might be looking at it the wrong way though. It's getting to spring here, and it's certainly rarely shawl weather in balmy Melbourne.
But maybe this is the perfect shawl for travelling to Northern winter. It'd probably be an awesome shawl-slash-blanket on a plane.
What do you think?

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