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Monday, February 20, 2012

diantha - mystery KAL revealed!

i joined a mystery shawl KAL on ravelry and have been enjoying it.  susanna ic offered a KAL beginning in january, with 6 clues.  the pattern included beads and nupps, neither of which i have any experience in, so i decided to go for it.  she offered both chart and written directions, but i chose to follow the chart as my experience there is also lacking.

i dug through my stash looking for the perfect fingering weight yarn.  i chose the wollmeise that my knit buddy kristen gave me for christmas - a lovely deep purple.  i thought multicolored beads would look cute with it.  i wished i could have used all shiny beads but didn't have enough (the pattern called for 100 and i had no access to joann's where i bought them).

this is clue #1, with beads and nupps.  i actually used a smaller bead for the first bead row but switched up to a larger gauge bead.  even using my smallest crochet hook, it was difficult threading the bead onto the yarn (which, stitch wise, is basically doubled).  mixing up shiny and matte isn't so bad.  it gives me another excuse to make another shawl!

clue #2, more nupps.  i used a small crochet hook for the nupps and it was much easier!  (thank you ladies on the ravelry thread for that tip!)

clue #3.  no nupps or beads, just lace.

clue #4.  the pattern is emerging.  flowers?  butterflies?

clue #5 - the short rows of the body, plus nupps:

close up of nupps

crap photo, but the lifeline shows how much the short rows added to the body

for clue #6, we had to add beads to the edging before casting off.  anxious to finish my shawl, i took it and my beads on the road and worked on it while we drove to penn state.  bad move.  i dropped a couple of beads and goofed up the count and had to tink back.  i finished it sunday night.

i forgot to take pictures of my shawl after i cast off.  it was a crumpled mass of noodle yarn to begin with so i decided to let the blocking do the talking.

as soon as my shawl hit the water to soak for blocking, the yarn began to bloom.  holy hanna, i don't remember ever seeing wool bloom that quickly.

my blocked shawl:

the beaded cast off edge:

i see tulips...the eiffel tower...and owls?!

beaded and bobbled lace edge:

action shots!  my beautiful shawl in front of my ugly garage:

tying one on...


yesterday susanna revealed the name of her shawl - diantha.  diantha is greek for "heavenly flowers."  and heavenly this shawl is!

i learned so much with this mystery KAL.  i learned more skills in the past 6 weeks than i have in my six years of knitting.  a review:

i learned to knit lace from a chart

i learned how to add beads to my work

i learned how to make nupps and skills for making them easier (the crochet hook is your friend!)

i learned that there's no shame in using a life line

i learned that if i want my work to be most perfect, planning ahead is key (this is in regard to the bead selection)

i learned that i liked knitting with wollmeise and am anxious to find another skein to knit with!

i learned about patience - awaiting a new clue each week, knitting through slow rows, working a nupp

i learned that i shouldn't be afraid to stretch and challenge myself!

i highly recommend participating in a KAL/CAL.  it's a great opportunity to learn a new skill, create something beautiful, and share the camaraderie with other knitters

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