It’s that very exciting time – the first clue for the mystery shawl KAL has landed. If you’ve already joined the KAL then you will have received the download email and you’ll be all ready to get started. If you haven’t yet joined in there’s still lots of time!
- Purchase the pattern. This can either be on my website here or through Ravelry here.
- Get your yarn. This can either be a yarn kit from my website here or if you’ve got a good yarn stash (or a LYS to drop into) you’ll need a fingering weight/4ply yarn (MC) and a second lace weight yarn in a fluffy texture (CC). Approx Yardage: 466 yds /426 m for MC and 426 yds / 410 m for CC. If you are trying to pick yarn colours you want a good contrast in tone between the two so that your stitch pattern will really stand out on your shawl.
- When you have your pattern and yarn the next thing you’ll want to do is get access to the KAL videos. These are all found on Teachable here. In the pattern you’ve downloaded you’ll find a discount code that you can use to get the videos for free. This offer is only for the KAL, when it’s over it will be a separate project workshop. So it makes good sense to get them while it’s part of the KAL! When you click ‘enroll’ on a class you are brought to the purchase page. At the top of the page under the image of the course you will see a small blue button that says ‘Add Coupon’. When you click on this it will give you the option to add a discount coupon.
- Come join us on the KAL space in KnitHub, don’t forget to introduce yourself! (It’s the same Login as the Teachable video site).
- So now you’ve got the pattern, videos, Knithub and the yarn so it’s time to get stitches on needles!
The first step is always to swatch. I’d suggest swatching the main colour in stockinette to get close to the gauge. Remember as well that this is the blocked gauge. With shawls we always block aggressively so this will change the gauge quite a bit from what it looks like as you’re knitting. Don’t be too concerned if your knitting looks a little loose. This is normal when knitting a shawl, unblocked it looks a little loose and uneven. Once blocked aggressively the stitches all even out and you’ll get a wonderfully draping fabric!
The shawl begins very small and you will be starting the Quilted Stitch pattern very shortly after the start. For this reason I don’t think it’s necessary to swatch the Quilted Stitch pattern (just the St St in MC). Just be careful to keep the slip stitch strands nice and loose so that when you pull up the loops it won’t pull in.
As you work your way through the shawl there are a few things that can make a big difference and also a few different ways you can work different details. In terms of options the first decision is the garter tab.
I’ve done a video on creating a Garter Tab for a shawl here. This can either be done using a provisional cast-on that is undone at the end of the tab or alternatively picking up stitches across the cast-on. As it is such a small number of stitches both methods work just fine.
The next decisions you need to make is how you work the first stitch of every row. I’ve got two shawl samples and for one I just knit the edge and the other one has a slip one stitch knitwise with the yarn at the back (wyib). I like both options but I think the slipped stitch creates a slightly tidier edge and makes it easier to hide yarn colour changed behind it.
The final decision now is how you work the row after the increase row. This is the marker Set-Up row. In both of my shawl samples I’ve worked it two different ways. On one the row is knit creating a garter ‘ridge’ just after the increase row on the other it is purl so it remains as st st. Again, there is no right or wrong they’re just variations.
Now there are a few tips that I found helpful and one from my testers!
- For me, don’t skimp on the markers! The stitch pattern repeat can get confusing over so many stitches and it makes a really big difference having markers between each repeat!
- From my testers, when working the ‘Pull Up Loops’ use an extra needle to lift up the loops and put them on the working needle. The mohair/alpaca is fine and it can sometimes be difficult to know if you’ve got both strands.
So that should be most of what you need to get started on the Quilted Feather Mystery Shawl KAL. Please jump in and join us, work along at your own pace. Remember that the videos are there for as long as you need them and I’m always available for help! (Plus lots of other amazing knitters!!)