There are spoiler photos below, so scroll with caution!!
Ysolda's Mystery KAL is in full swing and today marks the release of Clue #3. Follow Your Arrow is the first Mystery KAL that I am taking part in. I sat with all of our Thursday night Commuknitty members knitting away at their Color Cravings back in September and knew that I was going to take part in the next one. Starting off the shawl has been such a treat and there are a lot of aspects of choosing yarn as well as knitting with others that have made the process that much more fun!
The obvious starting point when considering knitting a pattern is the yarn. It's a bit harder when the end result is a mystery, but here was what Ysolda was recommending: A. fairly solid colorways, B. fiber content that blocks well, and C. either one or two colors. I knew that I was going to use Verb yarn, I knew that I wanted it to be luxurious, and that I was going to use one color. That in itself narrowed down my options! Ever since beginning to work at Verb I've been thinking a lot about color. While Kristine leans towards neutrals and blues and Vivian is always wearing bright, popping colors, I remain staunchly in what my roommate calls swamp colors: every shade of green you could imagine as well as a slew of neutrals. And I'm sure that it will be thoroughly unsurprising when I tell you that one of my favorite Verb colorways is Jade, an amazing green color dyed with fustic and logwood.
A recently dyed batch of Floating in Jade kept catching my eye on our wall display and I knew that it was going to be the one. There was regrettably no romantic music or slow motion that accompanied my decision to go with Floating, but it did seem like the perfect match. Floating's fiber content is 70% Alpaca, 20% Cashmere, and 10% Silk which I knew would be a beautifully drape-y shawl that would block beautifully and be glorious to wear. Jade, the colorway, has slight variegation that wouldn't obstruct the stitch pattern, there was enough of it dyed up to fill the 680 yard requirement, and it's totally my color. The decision was made!
Getting Started and Why Community is Important
Not only is picking yarn a different experience when the end result is a mystery, but so is getting started. With no pictures to base my progress off of, I was going to have no idea if I did something wrong and if I got stuck on the directions there were no pictures to help me figure out what to do next. And both of those things did, in fact, happen. Follow Your Arrow is unique in that there are two options for each clue. My method of choosing was not as creative as others (one of our customers threw two toys for her cats, one representing Clue 1A, the other 1B, and whichever one they went for was the clue she chose!) as I just looked at Clue 1A and 1B and went for the one with the chart! As I knit the first section and got to the lace chart, I went to peek at everyone else's progress on the Spoiler's Board of the Mystery KAL and realized I had done the first garter section in stockinette! I debated with myself whether or not to rip back, because it wasn't that big of a deal, right!? (I ripped it back...) But what I learned, and what my grade school teachers used to tell me over and over again, was to READ THE DIRECTIONS before plowing ahead to avoid having to do the whole thing over. Whoops.
But without the Ravelry group I probably would have not noticed until the end. Additionally, all of the Thursday night commuknitty knitters have been a huge help and inspiration. Aside from teaching me that I shouldn't try to knit lace in the company of a bunch of people who consistently engage me in interesting conversation, it's been so fun to see how their shawls are coming along and to see how much color choice and fiber content have an effect on the product.
I hope that if you're also knitting the Follow Your Arrow Mystery KAL that you're enjoying the challenge! You can follow my progress on AVFKW's Ravelry here!
- Mckenzie M. Mullen
Emtothethird :: Ravelry