Thursday, August 27, 2015

Laylow Shawl KAL

I say this all the time and here I go announcing it yet again: I love meeting up with my knitting circle every Sunday afternoon. I look forward to it all week! This knitting group started out as simply a knit along for a shawl. The KAL was open to everyone, but for those that are local to Loop, they were welcome to meet at the yarn shop every Sunday afternoon to knit with other yarn enthusiasts. For our first KAL I made the Melodia shawl. Most people wanted to stick with the flat shawl/scarf patterns, so the Laylow pattern was selected for the second round of the KAL.
The shawl is designed to use two different colors of yarn: a large main color, and a small border of another color. Because the border section is narrow, it doesn't require much yardage. I wanted to use leftover yarn from a previous project in attempt to clear out my tub of yarn. Because I had plenty to work with, I selected the remainder of the green yarn from the Three Color Cowl I knit earlier in the year. I went through my stashed yarn to find a complementary color for the main body portion of the shawl. Unfortunately, most of my stashed skeins are sport weight, and since this patterns calls for fingering, I didn't have what I needed on hand. I wanted to pair this dull green with a light brown neutral, and Loop had exactly what I was looking for. I went with Tosh Merino Light in Antique Lace- Lauren thinks that it is more gray, I think it's brown. Whatever the color though, both of us chose this colorway for the body of ours shawls, and it works well with my dull green and her rich purple.
This was my first time knitting dropped stitches, and I was really hesitant to do so at first. I wasn't sure I liked the look of them, thinking the loose stitches just weren't my style. I went ahead and included them like the pattern requested, and I'm happy I did. The dropped stitches add depth and texture to the otherwise simple garter shawl. It's still not my most favorite look ever, but I definitely don't hate it either.

I tend to like larger scarves/cowls/shawls, and I didn't want small yet significant amounts of yarn leftover. So, I decided to extend the pattern and added three extra 6-row repeats to the body. Since I knit the body larger, I also increased the border section by 7 rows. Doing this, I was able to use up the majority of both colors instead of wasting significant yardage. I also love how much larger and fuller my finished shawl is. I can easily wear my shawl wrapped around my neck like a scarf- my favorite look! Wearing my shawl this way, it's a lot fuller in the front which I think I'll really appreciate in the winter.

The pattern suggested and gave instructions for the lace bind off. I didn't question the pattern and went ahead using this method, although I wish I hadn't. At least for me, this bind off isn't stretchy at all so I had a difficult time blocking my shawl. The bind off has no give whereas the rest of the garter shawl does.

Loop has taken a break from hosting KALs, but Lauren and I keep coming back every Sunday to knit and enjoy company with our established knitting circle. They've recently received shipments of Knitterly Things Vesper Sock yarn, and many people in the group have taken a huge interest in the self-striping colorways. I'll be working on my socks (knit two-at-a-time, magic looped) in the Crossroads colorway for awhile!
Yarn used: Tosh Merino Light in Antique Lace, and Dream in Color Jilly in Bitter
Needles: Size 3 Knitter's Pride Cubics circular needles with a 40 inch cable