Finishing your Firefly Binge MKAL

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the Firefly Binge MKAL! All 3 clues have been released now, and I wanted to give a little extra help on the finishing. So, for those of you who don't want the surprise spoiled just yet, don't read any further!

For those of you who purchased extra yarn, you can easily make the cowl longer by adding extra repeats in the Main Body, before completing the decrease section. Keep in mind, each repeat uses about 16 grams of yarn.

At the end of clue 3, you have a long skinny strip of fabric. After blocking and weaving in the ends, you will seam the 2 ends together, making a cowl. There are two options for doing this, and since it was really hard to explain in words how to position the ends for seaming, I thought some photos might be helpful. 

Option 1 creates a long loop cowl that can be worn just like that, or doubled up around the neck. The following pictures show how to position the ends of the strip, as well as what it looks like after seaming!

Lay the two ends of the strip next to each other.  The points of each end should be pointing in opposite directions and you will see that the two ends naturally interlock because of the bias shape.

Lay the two ends of the strip next to each other.  The points of each end should be pointing in opposite directions and you will see that the two ends naturally interlock because of the bias shape.

Use mattress stitch to seam along this edge, making sure to line up the drop stitch sections. This creates one long loop cowl!

Use mattress stitch to seam along this edge, making sure to line up the drop stitch sections. This creates one long loop cowl!

Option 2 also creates a long loop cowl, however, by sewing the ends together in a different position, you will create a point on one end, making a bandana style cowl. This shape looks best wrapped double around the neck!

Lay the two ends of the strip next to each other with both points facing toward you, and the right sides facing up. Make sure and line up the dropped stitch sections.

Lay the two ends of the strip next to each other with both points facing toward you, and the right sides facing up. Make sure and line up the dropped stitch sections.

Seam together the right side of one edge and the left side of the other, creating a large triangular point. This creates a bandana style cowl with a point on one end!

Seam together the right side of one edge and the left side of the other, creating a large triangular point. This creates a bandana style cowl with a point on one end!

When I was designing this cowl, I seamed mine, and pulled it out on at least 3 different occasions while deciding how I liked it best, so I can definitely say that this yarn will stand up to experimentation just fine! Try it out both ways if you want, and see what suits you best! Also, if you are not a fan of cowls, feel free to skip the seaming completely, and wear it as a scarf!

Orange is the New Black Binge MKAL!

Finally, the latest season of Orange is the New Black is ready to watch, and I am so excited that many of you have decided to join in on the Binge MKAL fun!

I know many of us will be binge watching the show, and the idea is that you can knit (and potentially complete!) this project while  watching! The first clue is up, and I wanted to share some extra guidance, and photos here so you guys can see what is going on with the drop stitch sections.

Close-up image of my Orange is the New black Shawl. 

Close-up image of my Orange is the New black Shawl. 

Basically, every time you encounter an orange/dominant color section of your working yarn, you will work the dropped stitch as written at the beginning of section 2 of the pattern. This can happen anywhere in the body of the shawl (between the stitch markers), and on any of the rows. The piece is reversible, so it doesn't matter if it is a right or wrong side. To the left is a close up photo of my shawl. This was taken after blocking, so you can see how nicely the dropped stitches accentuate the orange!

In this picture you can see the crazy pooling, as well as the dropped stitches sections that stack on top of one another. 

In this picture you can see the crazy pooling, as well as the dropped stitches sections that stack on top of one another. 

Sometimes you will encounter orange in or near the edge stitches. In that case, if you can't fit the whole dropped stitch sequence in before getting to the stitch marker, then just skip it. You don't want any dropped stitches in the edge, so that's the reason for not doing it.  In the picture to the right, you can see an example of what this looks like in the bottom right corner.

And finally, sometimes your orange sections will pool on top of each other. It looks a little weird when knitting, but just go with it! It won't cause any problems, and since the idea behind the shawl is to let it pool naturally, it looks random and kind of funky! Here's a section of my shawl with crazy pooling on the edge...I love it!

I hope these photos help, and please let me know if anyone has any questions! Happy binge watching and knitting!

Outlander MKAL 2015 - Clue 4

It's finally time to move to a new section of the Outlander MKAL! Even though we bound off last week, we had a not quite so finished object :) The next 2 clues will add a border to finish off the shawl.

I know many of you have been wondering about those yarn overs on the edge of the shawl. They do look a little messy right now, however in this clue, you will pick up stitches into the yarn overs, which makes a nice row of eyelets where the border joins the body of the shawl. This combined with blocking, will even up any inconsistencies in the yarn overs!

The border begins with a few rows of garter stitch, followed by a simple lace section, and then a few more rows of garter. You will also continue increasing on the edges to maintain the elongated crescent shape. For those of you who made a smaller or larger body, go ahead and pick up as many stitches as there are yarn overs. You need to have an even number of stitches, so you can easily decrease away a stitch with a k2tog after the yarn over on row 2. Also, in the final row of the clue, be sure that the stitch marker added in the middle of the row is centered based on your number of stitches at that point.

For those of you who are interested in beading, I do have some recommendations. Since the lace in this section is completely composed of yarn overs paired with a decrease, it is a little too much to put a bead on every decrease (trust me a tried it!). Instead, I recommend putting a bead on every other decrease on rows 9 and 11. Since this lace pattern is pretty much reversible, you can put the bead on the first stitch in the K2tog. This will require approximately 270 beads

Swirl Dk, available in my store!

Swirl Dk, available in my store!

Don't forget, just one more week to get 20% off the yarn in my shop as well as in my Etsy store! Use coupon code: APRILSHOWERS2015

Outlander MKAL 2015 - Clue 3

This week the Outlander MKAL is just past the halfway mark! At the end of this clue you will have what looks like a small shawlette. We still have 2 more clues to go, so it definitely won't be staying that small...hint hint! 

In this clue, we will finish the body of the shawl by decreasing in the same manner that we increased in clue 1. It's more of the same, but don't worry, we will be changing things up a bit in the next clue! In order to maintain the yarn overs on the edge, you will do a double decrease on the decrease rows, and at the same time, you will be continuing with the cabling. 

As you work the next sections, you will want to remove the stitch markers as you go, so they are not caught in the decreases. Sometimes this will require slipping the first couple stitches off the needle in order to remove the marker, however, if you remember, you can always remove it on the wrong side row before the decrease!

Do any of you guys follow the MillaMia blog? They included last year's Outlander Shawl in their most recent post, so cool!

Don't forget, there's just a couple more weeks to take advantage of the 20% off sale in my shop on my website and in my Etsy store!

 

 

Outlander MKAL 2015 - Clue 2

Welcome to clue 2 of the Outlander MKAL 2015 everyone! I hope you are enjoying it so far, I know I LOVED episode 9, and can't wait for the season to continue!

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As I am sure you can tell by now, we are working the body of the shawl from side to side. Clue 2 is broken up into two sections, one of which will continue increasing, and the second begins decreasing. The location of the increases and decreases in sections 4 and 5 move to the garter panels in between the cables so that they have the appearance of growing apart, and then coming back together! It's a bit like how Craigh na Dun might bring people together or, just as easily, separate them.

I know there are a number of folks who have decided to use 2 colors for the shawl, one for the body, and another for the border. I think this will look amazing, however, if you have less than the 435 yards/skein then you may run a little short in the body since I designed it to use 1 full skein of Shepherd Sock. To help you guys figure out if you can complete the entire body in one skein, you will want to weigh what is left after section 4. This is the halfway point, so if you still have half your skein left, then you should have enough to complete the body. If not, then you will want to rip out one of the repeats of section 4, and also skip one of the repeats in section 5. This will cut a few inches out of the body, but don't worry, it will still be quite long, and you will be able to add a little more length to it in the border if you would like!

On the flip side, if you have extra yardage, and would like to make an extra long shawl, then you can repeat section 4 a few extra times (I wouldn't do too many because it will get too wide). Just make sure and add the same number of extra repeats to section 5 as well!

Other than that, the body of the shawl is continuing with the established cables and garter stitch so I am sure you will all have no troubles! In case anyone missed it, I put up a couple videos here so you can see how I do the reversible cables and yarn over at the beginning of a row! Aalways, feel free to stop into the JBW group on Ravelry for help and/or spoiler pictures! 

Swirl DK, available in my shop now!

Swirl DK, available in my shop now!

Remember, the 20% sale in my shop here as well as on Etsy runs through the end of April. Use coupon code APRILSHOWERS2015 during checkout! I have a fantastically squishy new yarn, Swirl DK, that takes color beautifully and knits up into gorgeous garments and accessories alike!