Monday, January 9, 2017

Makariri Shawl KAL Recap

I am so glad that I decided to follow the rabbit hole off of the Ravelry patterns page all the way to the Fiber Muse Sanctuary group on Facebook run by Francoise Danoy of Aroha Knit.  I figured I would do the Makariri Shawl KAL and probably be done, but it is such a wonderful group of supportive, helpful knitters. I can't imagine not being part of that now.

The Makariri Shawl is such a beautiful pattern. I love the progression of solids, stripe, lace throughout it. It took a little while for me to get the hang of the lace section, but overall it was a fairly easy pattern.

I worried a lot about picking colors for this. I had just recently finished the Stephen West Building Blocks MKAL and I was not happy with the colors I had picked for that. I warmed up to those a bit, but it's not my favorite thing.  So for this I spent way too much time playing with skeins of yarn trying to pick colors. I finally landed on these three and I could not be happier with it. I absolutely adore how they work together.

stucco walls make a great background

This shawl starts from the small point and increases on both sides of the spine for a few sections before one side stays the same and the other continues increasing. It makes for a dramatic shape to the shawl. I'm still figuring out the best way to wear this one, but it's quite cold here right now so I'm pretty sure anyway I wrap it around my neck will be fine.

when your garage siding is already a little bit janky you don't feel bad about pinning right into it

The majority of the shawl is knit in garter stitch which makes for easy TV knitting. Even the stripes were easy to do while watching things. I did most of the second solid and stripe sections on Christmas day while we marathoned Mythbusters. A fine way to spend that day in my opinion.  There are definitely a couple of rows where I had the yarn on the wrong side when I slipped the first stitch, but I'm sure I'll be the only one to ever notice them.

spot the mistakes!

The lace section was by far the most challenging for me. Despite the many many lace patterns that I have in my favorites on Ravelry I have done very little lace knitting so there was quite a learning curve for me. It took me a while, but I got the hang of it. The Makariri Shawl uses the snowfall stitch lace pattern. It's a six stitch, eight row pattern and it turns out very pretty. It really opened up when I blocked it. I can't wait to do more lace.

I had a miscalculation on the yardage needed for the pink in the last section so I ended up being one lace pattern repeat short on it, but I really like the proportions of how it turned out. I considered doing some extra rows of the green to make up for it, but I think ending in the pink looks right. I used an icord bind off which is time consuming, but looks really nice.  It helped to keep the last lace section from curling up too much.

Blocking is another thing that is fairly new to me. Before this year I had only ever blocked a handful of socks I had made. Once upon a time I had a whole set of blocking mats, but after a few moves those are hiding in a box of craft stuff I obviously haven't discovered yet (there are many and they keep turning up randomly...). I had used the rug in The Bug's room for the Building Blocks shawl and it had worked wonderfully. It's a cheap 5x7 Ikea rug that has a very low pile that just lightly catches the fabric of the shawls so they stay where you put them. A quick soak and a little bit of pinning makes for easy blocking with the rug.

After blocking, this shawl was so light and airy. I'm always amazed how much of a difference it can make. I used a little sample I had of the Soak wash. I think I'll have to get a bottle of it for future projects. 

Makariri means 'winter' in Maori and The Bug thinks my shawl looks like a flower, so I'm calling this my Makariri Flower Shawl. A winter flower is just what I need with how cold and snowy it is here right now. It's a bright spring colored pop in a land of grey and white. I have so many pictures of this, but I'll leave it off with these two. 

You can see my Ravelry project page for this here for additional pictures and material info.

Things I learned from this project:
  • I like the look the edge gets from slipping the first stitch of a row. However, I really need to work on being looser with that slip stitch. Especially at the beginning of my shawl it was quite tight and it made blocking it a little bit hard.
  • When doing a lace pattern USE STITCH MARKERS. That is part of why I had such a hard time with the first lace section. In the second and third lace section I used a ton of stitch markers and it went much more smoothly.
  • Also, when doing lace a swatch of the pattern to get the hang of it would not go amiss.. I think I would have understood what mistakes I was making in the first section if I had had a better handle on the lace pattern before starting. 
  • Charts aren't as hard as I thought they were!  This is the first time I've used a chart for knitting ever. Once I familiarized myself with the symbols it wasn't hard at all.  Since the pattern had been designed as a chart there were no errors to worry about like there was in the written instructions. 
  • I thrive on projects where there is a community I can share it with. KALs have been super good for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment