Friday, September 14, 2012

Mystery revealed

OK, so I'm certainly not the first person to reveal this particular mystery, but I managed to finish up my Stephen West Mystery Knit-a-long from this year: Rockefeller.


For those of you not familiar with mystery knit-a-longs, the concept is that you sign up not knowing what the pattern is, then over several weeks, the designer releases "clues" until you finally have the whole pattern. Yes, you could wait for all the clues to come out and see if you like the full pattern, but that's not really in the spirit of the mystery. 

I jumped right in with yarn and needles the day clue 1 was released. Clue 1 was the band of collar meant to sit at the back of the neck. Clue 2 was the more solid light green section that was picked up and worked down from the collar. Clue 3 was the slipped stitch edging around the circumference of the semicircle. Clue 4 were the garter stitch wings that grow out of the ends of the semicircle. I loved watching the clues come together.


This is my preferred way to wear this shawl: collar sitting at the back of the neck, wings crossed over the chest and tied in the back. Because this shawl is so large I think that this way shows of the design the best while still letting me move around without getting in the way.


It also really shows off the pattern on the back which I think of as the highlight of the piece. Generally I prefer to wear shawls more in the kerchief style with the bulk in the front and the wings wrapped behind me. As you can see, this shaw is just way to big to do that with.


My one serious complaint with this shawl is that the yards requirements specified on the pattern are WAY low. I found that the estimate for color A was about 40 yards too low and the estimate for color B was a whopping 90 yards too low. 

This led to me running out of both yarns. For my color A I used Tosh Merino Light in the colorway Brother's Grimm. It was easy to pop by the yarn shop and pick up a second skein. For my color B however, I used Wollmeise 80/20 Tiwn in the colorway Grunfink. I knew it would be impossible to get another skein so I had to make due. I managed to find a close color match in a skein of Abstract Fibers O'Keefe yarn in the colorway chartreuse. I knew if I just changed colors after running out of the grunfink the change would be obvious, so I ripped my first wing back to the beginning and began striping every other "B" colored stipe between the lighter O'Keefe and the darker 80/20 Twin. This is really obvious in the first photo. 


Now that I'm done with it, I'm in love but there was some serious cursing each time I ran out of yarn. I would also like to point out just for the record that this is the first of Stephen's patterns that I've come across with this problem. Usually I have no trouble completing his patterns with the yardage he recommends. Just be warned if you decide to start this one. Buy extra yarn!


  1. Great shawl. It's surprising how it looks when you wear it. :-) Thank you for the tip.

  2. I never did a kinit along like that but it sounds fun, the result is gorgeous.

  3. I've never done a knit-a-long! It sounds like a lot of fun. And, with Stephen West,how could a girl go wrong? This looks fantastic!

  4. I never would have noticed the color change if you hadn't pointed that out. But I really am seeing how yardage is really important when designing a pattern. I am paranoid and I buy too many skeins and I end up with stash at the end (which isn't good, lol) It looks really great though and I love the colors you choose.

  5. what a mammoth job! well done and you should be pleased!!

  6. It looks awesome on you! The idea of a mystery knit along is really cool. Also, I don't know that I would have noticed the color difference...

    If you (or anyone else) is interested, I have a giveaway for a custom dyed skein of yarn happening on my blog right now.