Mystery Shawl 2012

2011 Westknits KAL

Last year I knit along with other Stephen West fans as we discovered the weekly clues of his first-ever mystery shawl knit-along.  I loved my colors, and was happy with the bold, graphic design.  Something about the pattern and moving at a deliberate pace turned me off after a few weeks, and I was anxious to bind off as soon as the last clue was released.  It’s a lovely little shawl, just a bit too little for my taste.  Not being the sort of knitter to undo and reknit to make it larger, I simply don’t wear it, opting instead to let it hang on a hook with the rest of my hand-knit shawls.  Funny thing, though: as I was looking through the photos, it seems perfectly wearable as a small scarf.  Maybe I’ll dust it off after all!

This year I’m hoping for a different outcome.  Judging from the yardage requirements, this is going to be a generous shawl.  I’ve been daydreaming about this color combination since the Hazel Knits arrived at the shop, and I think it will be a good choice for the knit along.

Swans Island Organic in Seasmoke + Hazel Knits in Electrolyte.

There’s still time to purchase the pattern before the knit along begins on July 13th.  After that, the pattern will not be available for download until after the KAL is finished up.

Will you be playing along?

Sock Club Update

Recently I received the third installment of the Cookie A. sock club and it dawned on me: I haven’t talked about any of them yet!  This is the first year Cookie has done a sock club, and I have to say she is doing a phenomenal job.  It’s set up a little differently than I’ve experienced before.  Each installment has three components: yarn, patterns, and a cookie recipe.  The yarn comes to your mailbox, while the patterns and recipes are sent as a pdf file to both your email and Ravelry accounts.  Cookie herself has a strong presence in the club’s Ravelry group, and she has been quick to answer questions and correct errors.

At first, I longed for a hard copy of the patterns.  I spend enough of my free time staring at the computer screen that I enjoy the tactile experience of reading off of paper.  Publishing in this manner allows the designer to include more detail, more photos, and TWO patterns and recipes each time.  This month that equaled over 30 pages of info, which would be a fortune to print!  Everything is saved on my computer and in my Ravelry library, so they are safe and I can print patterns off as needed.

The yarn has been exquisite and just up my alley as far as companies and colors.  Warning: I’m showing the June shipment in the 3rd photo, so go no further if you don’t want to spoil the surprise. The first arrived right before I left for Stitches West back in February, so I barely had a chance to get to know it before a huge influx of new yarn joined the stash. But I liked it instantly!

It is String Theory Caper Sock in the colorway Solas. This is a superwash merino, cashmere and nylon blend that takes you on a journey through deep teal, greys and browns.  I like to think of this color as dirty teal.  Cookie’s accompanying patterns are divine.  One is a more complex, the other a simple all-over pattern, which seems to be the theme of each installment’s patterns.  They suit the yarn impeccably, which I really appreciate.

April’s shipment brought me one of my favorite colors, purple!

This skein is a truly special treat as it is a brand new line of yarn from Lorna’s Laces called Solemate in Boysenberry Jam, a colorway especially for the sock club.  It’s superwash merino, nylon, and their new climate-control material Outlast, perfect for summer socks.  Again, love the patterns and there’s a recipe for a peanut butter and jelly cookie that I’m anxious to try.

And last but not least is June’s shipment (final spoiler warning!):

At first I was a tad disappointed to see this shade of orange, as it is so close to the colorway I used for my last pair of finished socks.  I’ve been dying to try Hazel Knits yarn, however, so all is not lost.  I think this shade of orange will make a zesty lace shawl, don’t you? ; )

So that’s the sock club update at the halfway point.  As you may have guessed, I have yet to knit any of this gorgeous yarn into the amazing patterns, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been enjoying the club.  It will happen with the time is right.  I wholly endorse this club and encourage you to sign up for next year’s club if you have the opportunity.