Yay! It's fall! :d time for #AllTheKNitting posts!
I've been knitting up a storm recently, both towards the end of the summer and after KnitCity this year, so expect a few knitting posts in a row :) First up: I'm finally posting about my Starting Point Wrap
I'm so excited to share this project with you guys! This was my mystery first knit along and I was super pumped to take part! For those not in the know a mystery knit a long (MKAL) is when a pattern is released with only a minimal description (like what the item will ultimately be, ie. a scarf or socks, in this case a huge wrap) and the final dimensions, without an image or picture of the final project. This can be a pretty intimidating type of project to take on since you really have to trust the designer...you're literally investing hours of knitting without knowing if you will like the final result. Having knitted a fair bit in the last few years I've discovered a few designers that I would absolutely trust with my knitting hours. So when Jojli (one of my favorite knitting designers) announced this MKAL right before my birthday I was suuupppeeerrrr temped to knit along.
Now, I'm not usually a huge scarf knitter, some of my very first projects were scarves and the process can be kind of scaring especially when you are first starting off knitting. Don't get me wrong, you will for sure get knitting and purling down pat if the first thing you knit is a scarf, but its a really lllooonnnnggg project to start with and it's really easy to give up and either a) end up with a super short scarf, or b) give up on knitting all together.....so when I was first looking into the final dimensions of this wrap I was kind of daunted by the final size, 26.5" by 72". All knit in fingering weight yarn with size US6 needles (aka really skinny yarn on fairly thin needles = LOTS of knitting). But! since I've knit my fair share of fingering weight cardigans/sweaters I thought that I could probably handle this guy.....I also got really swept up in all the pre-pattern release hype (I love the knitting online community!) AND the first knitting clue was to release on my birthday....we all knew I was going to end up casting on in the end....it was fate.... Plus, I was going to ask for yarn for the project as my birthday gift and would have the whole summer to work on it until the fall came if the project proved too much.....little did I know......
Now that I had committed to casting on I then needed to find some yarn for my birthday wish list! There were so many amazing dyers around the world who came up with MKAL kits specifically for this pattern, it was so inspiring! I still consider myself a relative newbie when it comes to selecting colours for a multi coloured project so it was really great to see some colour combos by 'professionals'. Since I didn't know what the final wrap would look like (and therefore couldn't choose colours based upon what would look best next to each other in the pattern) I decided to focus on what kit colour combos I liked the best as a whole, as well as if the colours in the kit would work with some of the pieces I have in my wardrobe. I ended up falling in love with the colourway that Jojli used for the knit along instructions, C1 off white, C2 pink, C3 white with speckles, C4 purple-black, and C5 brown, so I decided to find a kit that closely resembled this pallet. In particular I wanted something with a pink, a speckled or variegated pale option, and a navy or black for the dark option. I ended up settling with a Sweet Georgia Yarns kit dubbed Grandville Island which consisted of C1 Birch, C2 grapefruit, C3 Fauna (a variegated pink, yellow and purple), C4 Charcoal, and C5 Ginger.
Lucky girl that I am, the #fluffyblondemonster took my hint (I mean he couldn't really miss it, I may have spammed him via text and email and in person about how much I loved this kit....) and even took me to check out the Sweet Georgia head quarters (they are based in Vancouver) to go pet all the yarn (it's a knitting thing guys, you have to go pet the yarn) and pick up my kit. I so pumped to cast on, I think I may have scared the #fluffyblondmosnter with the speed with which I wound 5 skeins of yarn, I was a girl on a mission!
It was pretty clear from the first clue that this large rectangular wrap would not come together in a 'traditional' way, meaning that we wouldn't be casting on the width of the wrap and simply knitting rows back an forth. The pattern begins with a garter tab cast on that slowly builds to an arrow shaped piece, one side has a rectangle and the other has a pointed end (hence the name starting point). You also knit the wrap in two identical parts, so two 'starting points', that are then joined by knitting an additional two triangles to fill the portions between the points. All in all a really cool way to make up a large rectangular wrap. This also made the knitting way more fun and portable, you didn't have to worry about the wrap becoming too large to carry around until the last clue! I actually knit a good portion of this wrap on a beach in Tofino with out having to worry about lugging it about or getting sand all over it. There were also eyelet, lace, and stripped sections of the pattern to break up the monotony of garter stitch (although tons of garter stitch are perfect for tv knitting!)
Since the project was divided up into two haves, in addition to the pattern itself being broken up into a series of 5 clues, I knit this waayyy faster than anticipated. I couldn't wait each week to get the next set of pattern clues and then to knit them which really drove me to knit as fast as I could to be ready for the next clue! In the end I knit this in about 6 weeks! crazy fast for the sheer size and yarn weight/needle size for me, making this a PB (personal best!) in terms of knitting time :) A PB that held for about 4 months until I beat it this week (more on that in my next post ;)
Since the amazingly warm summer we've been enjoying has finally come to an end I've now gotten a chance to wear this beauty and I honestly love it. The Sweet Georgia tough love sock is light weight but durable so I know I'll get many fall walks and winter rambles with this oversized wrap. I've been wearing it around the office constantly wrapped around my shoulders (the heating hasn't kicked in yet), even going so far as to don it during a presentation, having it dramatically sweep about as I pointed out features of my slides. It also wears well as a large scarf which I also have been loving :)
I'm really glad that I took the plunge and had faith in Joji to design an amazing wrap! and now that I've caught the MKAL bug I'm sure there will be more mystery knits in my future :D