Thursday, July 28, 2011

Free mystery KAL: imminent, details below

Yarn pic digression of the day:

I am so happy to have this green wool all spun! It's probably too scratchy for anything next-to-skin, but I'm thinking of the brown fiber that gave me so much trouble when I first started to spin and imagining how awesome they would look knit up together.

Not obsessing too much about that though because I have other things going on.  Like, I've finished the last test of the Escapist shawl for the mystery KAL, and will be posting the first clue on Monday.

That's Monday, August 1st, get yer needles ready!

Escapist Shawl
A triangular shawl in lace inspired by the rustic yet lovely versions featured in practically every BBC period production I've watched for escapism purposes over the last two years, released in four parts this August much like said BBC period productions.  Unlike said productions, you will get a choice of two alternate endings (both happy.)

Fingering: Twisted Fiber Art ‘Tasty’ self-striping or semisolid, (80% superwash Merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon, 380 yds/100g), 165g or about 630 yards
Sport Weight: St-Denis ‘Nordique’, (100% wool, 150 yds/50g), 210g  or about 620 yards
4 stitch markers 
3.5mm, 100cm circular needle or size to obtain gauge

Stocking Stitch: 28 (21) sts/30 (26) rows = 4”, before blocking in fingering (sport)

- Use 1-4 solid, self-striping, or variegated yarns.  A single solid shows the texture beautifully, while a hand-dyed semisolid paired with a matching self-striping yarn treats the stitches more subtly. 
- For ease of running in ends, recommendations are given in each part for the location of colour changes; in the two-colour version, Parts 2 and 3 could be done in the second colour, in the three-colour, Parts 3 and 4.
- In Nordique, the gauge given produces a thick, warm shawl that stops an inch or so above the elbows (the fingering-weight shawl, if knit in a superwash yarn, will block out longer.)  If you have spare yardage to accommodate the change, you will get a larger shawl with a larger needle.
- I will be improvising my KAL shawl in a fairly bulky handspun on, I think, 6mm needles; if you want to do the same, I will share my adaptations as we go along!

Yardage Guide for Tasty or other fingering
Part 1 – 165 yards
Part 2 – 165 yards
Part 3 – 135 yards
Part 4 – 145 yards

Finished Size
This will vary based on yarn base and tension while knitting, but my shawls blocked out to approximately 56" for the wingspan, 26-28" down the middle, and  perhaps 80" along the bottom.

Not difficult, but not absolute beginner.  You will have to know how to K2tog, ssk, and yo.  Counting is minimal as the lace patterns do not form a motif and the lace repeats extend no farther than four rows, but you will want to count fairly frequently so you don't miss a yarn over.  If you do though, and you catch it before the next row, it's super easy to pick up a running thread as you carry on such that nobody will ever know you aren't perfect.  I knit my last test over 6 days (between 20-24 hours I think), aided by the luscious Tasty and a set of lace-tipped needles.

Not comfortable committing to a mystery knit?  Too busy for a shawl in August?  Not to worry.  The whole pattern will be available in one unit, still free, in September.

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