Monday, June 29, 2015

Melodia Shawl KAL

At the end of May, my local yarn shop, Loop hosted a knit along (KAL) for the Melodia shawl. I had never participated in a KAL before, but I've been wanting to for a while. I didn't think I was good enough to knit amongst more experienced knitters. This time though, Lauren also wanted to join the KAL and encouraged me to do so as well. Wanting to make a tiny dent in my yarn stash, I decided to take the big leap and knit in front of other people. Walking to Loop that first Sunday I was so nervous that I was going to embarrass myself, needing help with every single step.

To ease my doubts, Lauren walked me through the pattern the night before the first meet up. We wound our yarn and made gauge swatches together. She helped me figure out which size needle I should use, and made sure I knew how to do all of the required stitches. Lauren taught me how to do 'kfb' and now I'm a pro at it ;) Most importantly though, she made sure I would be able to do the garter tab cast on all by myself at the meet up. I've always had a tough time determining where to insert my needle to pick up a stitch. It took a few tries and a lot of questions from me, but after studying this tutorial, I got the hang of it and felt confident that I'd be able to replicate this technique the following afternoon.
Lauren and I showed up at Loop with our Melodia supplies in tow the next day. I was a little shy at first, but quickly felt welcomed and comfortable. Although many of the people there already knew each other, they were very friendly and made us feel included.

Spending time learning the garter tab cast on really paid off. I cast on my shawl on my first attempt! This was a huge confidence booster, allowing me to relax and let go of my anxiety of being the "worst knitter" at the meet up. My actual experience was the complete opposite of what I was afraid might happen. Instead, a few ladies actually asked for my advice regarding color choices! People asked me questions about the pattern and I was able to give them full answers. Obviously, we had to come back the following Sunday.

There were a total of four Sunday meet ups for the Melodia KAL (they were closed Memorial Day weekend), and Lauren and I attended all of them. Even though there were about a dozen knitters at the initial meet up, only a few continued to keep coming back. I love knitting within a large group of people, but knitting in a smaller group definitely has its perks as well. By the end of the KAL I felt I had gotten to know three new people well enough that we would call each other by our first names. I have a good sense about their knitting preferences and feel comfortable carrying on conversations with them.

I made my first shawl, but even more important, I realized that I love this hobby. I look forward to bringing my supplies to my local yarn store every Sunday and interacting with others who also feel the same way about this craft. You can bet I want to participate in all of Loop's knit alongs now!
Start Date: May 17, 2015
Finish Date: June 14, 2015 

Yarn: Rain City Fiber Arts Olympic Sock (465 yard); acquired in a swap
Colorway: The label wasn't marked with a colorway, but it's a purple and blue variegated skein
Needles: Size 8 Kollage Square Circulars (firm cable)