FO: Askews me shawl

I have finally done it and finished the Askews me shawl by Stephen West. This DK squishy brioche wonder of asymmetricalness alluded me for a while. Once I knew a bit more about brioche, I had the confidence to start the project but then didn’t know what colours to make it in.

I am trying to be better with my stash and not just buy things for new projects all the time but see what I have and what I can make from it. I realised I had a fade from madelintosh in white and speckles that I wanted to make a cardigan from but never did and I had some more DK colours in tonal variations in Brooklyn tweed arbor. I felt like both yarns were special and needed a special dedicated project and I nearly did not use them but in the end it is better for something to be used and hopefully then be loved than sit in a box forever. At least that was my thinking and I cast on.

Then I cast on several more times because I did not understand the brioche garter tab. If you can call it that but eventually it made sense and then this project is a breeze. I do suggest using markers to mark the sections where you increase and later decrease to make sure this is a mindless knit.

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I took this everywhere even though it grew so big and heavy. I must have looked crazy with my massive back pack and then getting this project out of my fringe field bag. The bag wouldn’t even close. Overall this was a simple and fun knit and I love the result. The wrap is squishy and warm and lovely to use.

The edge is finished with an icord which is a new to me technique and I loved it. It made for a great finish and I have seen some versions of people using bits of random bright colours in the icord. This is really effective.

Do you ever block brioche? I did not block this wrap,… well yet anyways. I am worried about the colourful underside leaking and staining the other bits of the wrap. I would not pin this but wondered if it could use a little relaxing bath.

I will ponder and then decide. I’ll be sure to take before and after pics.

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Those are before pictures. What happened when blocking? The wrap grew massive. It hardly fits on my double bed now. It’s also less squishy and the brioche has sort of expanded.

You can see in these pictures that there are now gaps between the ridges. For me that works quite well as now the shawl drapes more for wrapping myself in and I like the colours showing through.

For the actual blocking process I only soaked the shawl in luke warm water for about 20 mins with a bit of Soak in it. I like using this because it smells amazing and you don’t need to rinse it out but you can use whatever you prefer. I used to use softener and rinse it out.

I then rolled the wet shawl between two towels and jumped on it to get some moisture out and then laid it gently on a towel on my spare sofa bed. The shawl was gently placed and not pinned or stretched in any way. I just laid it flat. Two days later it was dry and wearable. 🙂

How do you wear your askews me?

Jumper-along – Ondawa

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My lovely little local yarn shop YAK held a jumper-along for the last 10 weeks or so. The idea is that you are in a small group with a teacher and each pick out a jumper pattern. The fact you have a teacher guiding you, means you can choose a challenging pattern and then get advice on yarn choices and swatching.

When I thought of what I wanted to learn it was all about seaming. I have never knitted anything flat before. Well actually I had knitted a sleeve flat before and tried to seam it with mixed results.

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Another thing I was fascinated with was a cropped jumper and all over cable patterns. So I decided on Ondawa. This pattern is basically 4 rectangles that get seamed up into a boxy sweater.

The way the jumper along worked was great. It is over 10 weeks and you meet 5 times in this period for 2 hours on a Sunday. I will really miss the get together with the group, although most of us will still see each other at the local knit night I am sure.

I learned so much during this knit along because we each had different patterns. Things I got to experience and learn were:

  1. Seaming
  2. Modding
  3. Three needle bind off
  4. Reading charts and knitting from them
  5. Importance of swatching
  6. Steeking techniques
  7. Cables and colour work!
  8. General inspiration for other patterns in the future

I actually finished my jumper and we have another get together Sunday in a week, so I will continue with another one.

The mods I did were:

Arms:

  • Knit third size in sleeves
  • Knit 2 inches more of pattern repeat of sleeves

Body:

  • Knitted smallest size
  • Knit the front piece about an inch longer than pattern
  • Kept front and back stitches live piece for three needle bind off. ( I did wrong sides together creating a ridge which I kinda like)
  • Back piece will be mostly twisted rib but keeping the cable from the triangle in the bottom ribbing as I’ve seen in another post.
  • Back piece 2 inches longer for hi-low hem

Some pics of my finished jumper below and more on my Ravelry.

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Guernsey Wrap

I’ve had my eye on this pattern for a little while, but I did not try it because it looked so complicated. It is of course the Guernsey Wrap by Jared Flood. There are literally over 1000 versions of this on ravelry and I was so jealous of everyone being good enough to knit it.

Until I finally bit the bullet and bought the pattern and realised the most difficult thing is reading the charted pattern, but I loved charted patterns so win for me!

The main thing I found super confusing was that the wrong side of the chart was not charted so you would knit the opposite. So if it stated to knit a purl you had to knit a knit stitch so it is a purl on the right side. I am not sure if I am making much sense.

What I did to help this was simply colour in all knit stitches and this helped until I memorised the sections.

Now here is my version of the wrap.

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What I did not realise is that the wrap is simply a combination of left and right stitches, or knits and purls. I tend to say left and right as that is what I grew up with in Germany.

And as the sections repeat it was actually great commute knitting, until it got so big I kept accidentally draping my knitting over other people. Oops.

I did mess this up a little bit by missing a complete section out but because I improvised the middle section I am only missing 50 odd rows.

So things I did differently to the pattern were:

  1. Yarn – I held Brooklyntweed shelter yarn double. I wanted something thick and squishy. In hindsight it may be too thick as it doesn’t drape as much as I’d like but I loved this experiment.
  2. I repeated the pattern A section twice, Then omitted the next 50 rows (by accident, but I actually would not have had enough yarn, so it was kinda a good thing).
  3. The middle section I added a section from the pattern A and then reversed pattern B. I also knitted this in a different colour yarn and love the effect.

So the wrap is missing a few rows but after blocking it did turn into a super long wrap. I am slightly sad it took me this long to knit this but it really is so simple, but looks so impressive!

Question: Have you ever been put off by a complicated looking project only to start it and realise it was simple?