Recently Off The Needles: Shawlography by Stephen West

This time last year, we were heading towards Clue 4 of Shawlography which was the MKAL from West Knits for 2021. I’d been discussing it with my knitting friends prior to moving to Copenhagen and when I got here, the knitting group I joined then were also discussing it.

Shawlography MKAL 2021

In my first week here, I went to Nicoline Garn to start looking at yarn choices. I knew I was after 4Ply weight yarn but I wasn’t aware that here in Denmark it’s measured/called something different. However, the lady who helped me in Nicoline Garn had been helping someone else the weekend before (on the same project) and was able to direct me to the Drops Baby Merino and I set about trying to decide which colour lineup I wanted to use.

After a few messages back and forth with my friend back in the UK, I had an idea and put the grey and cream back (having finished I’m now wondering if I might have been a good idea to have one of those in there to break up the colours). These are 50g balls and the pattern called for 100g but I decided I’d take these away and get started then I could come back for what I needed after that.

Clue 1 Progress
Clue 1 Progress
Clue 2

This time last year I’d been working on Clue 1 and maybe Clue 2 as well. Even by the time I’d finished Clue 1 I was already learning so much more than I don’t think I knew before – like i-cord and short rows. With each section I’d learn something new, when I got to the Brioche section, I gave it a go but really struggled.

My Shawlography went into the naughty corner and stayed there. I told my friend back in the UK (The same one that I talked colours with) that I was going to either leave it there or I was going to frog it all. I know drastic but I wasn’t really loving that I couldn’t get through the brioche. She told me I was not to do that, next time I went back to the UK, I was to take it with me, she’d figure out what was going wrong and knit that section for me. Great! Thank you. But…

So I took it back with me, handed it over and came back to DK, on the my next visit home, my friend presented me with my shawl and that brioche section was completed. YAY! I then brought it back with me, and after attempting to get on with the next section, I got to the border and was getting stuck again.

I think in my head, I’d decided that it was too hard but actually it just took a couple of repeats in and then I got the hang of what I needed to do rather than relying on the instructions.

So between me bringing the shawl back and actually finishing the border was almost 5 months. Between one projects and another, the Shawlography shawl just kept getting put away and ignored while I worked on other things.

I was asked by one of my knitting group friends whether I’d be doing the Twists and Turns MKAL this year. Well I wanted to but I decided that I couldn’t start this years without finishing last years one. So, I got it out, I sat down one afternoon and figured out exactly what was left – what did I need to get done?

Well after a few bumps and getting in a little bit of a knot at one point I got it finished. While we were away this weekend just gone, I sat in the hall way outside our room while Chris tried to get Rex to sleep (Jaxon was playing on his iPad or my Phone next to me) and I got it sorted. (We had no internet and with all four of us in one room it make bedtimes a bit of a challenge). When I was down to the last 6 stitches (that needed to be kitchener-ed together) I had to temporarily surrender. Without internet access, I was unable to look up how to kitchener stitch these last stitches and needed to put that on hold at least until we were back. That bit will only take me maybe 15 minutes so for now I’m classing it as finished! YEAH!

Almost Finished

Did you take part in the Shawlography MKAL? Are you taking part in the Twists and Turns? Maybe you’ve completed a previous one (or another one of Stephen’s patterns)