Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I'm mystery-crafting-along. And along, and along and along...

Welcome everyone to a crafty day here at Life of a Catholic Librarian! I've been a very busy bee this winter with both knitting and crocheting, and every January for the past few years I've participated in a Downton Abbey-themed mystery knit-along sponsored by Jimmy Beans Wool. This year, there is both a knit-along *and* a crochet-along (hereinafter referred to as MKAL and MCAL, respectively). Guess which Fear of Missing Out Eager Beaver decided to do both?

*raises hand*

The way that these work is that the design of the item (we only know that both are shawls) is revealed week by week. Every Sunday the designer releases a new "clue" that is an additional segment of the pattern. We're now into week 4 of the process, and I posted back after week 1 as to how things were starting out, if you want to go take a peek at the beginning of each shawl. I know that a few of you are also participating.

OK, so week 4. *sigh* Accountability time. To the surprise of absolutely no one except me, I am behind. I did really well for the first two weeks.


**And if you don't want to see spoiler pictures of the mystery as it progresses, cease reading the post now!

So, the first two clues for both the knit and crochet versions involved what I'm thinking is a center motif. Here is the MCAL after two clues:

Autumn-hued loveliness
I really love it. It's slightly asymmetrical by design, and I like how the colors are pooling. Makes me think of the fall. *heart*

The knit version, meanwhile, was having a bit of a tighter squeeze of things. It's scrunched onto a 24 inch cable as we worked in the round, but it also is a center motif. It was harder to photograph as a result, but here is the MKAL after two clues:

"Somebody help me, please, this cable is strangling me!!"
I took that picture on our anniversary weekend, and by the end of the day Sunday, I had both clues finished and was ready for clue 3. Then came the troubles.

Well, maybe "troubles" is too strong of a word, but let's just say that I'm STILL not finished with clue 3, and the rest of the crafters are well into clue 4. Both shawls moved out of the round motif and onto a flat side in clue 3, into a bit of a...wing situation. I did manage to finish the MCAL clue, and here is what it looks like:

Sort of like the logo for the Detroit Red Wings
I still love the colors, and I have faith that as the design progresses, it will look less and less like something about to take flight, but right now it looks a bit odd. I have not been able to start clue 4 yet.

As for the knit version:


It's fine, it's just that it feels like the rounds of knitting in clue 3 may never end, and I will knit, and knit, and knit this lace pattern well into the next decade of my life. I was a bit intimidated by the start of clue 3 because the design calls for you to put a bunch of stitches onto waste yarn, and I was all scared to do that for fear that several stitches would take advantage of the situation to jump ship and nefariously drop their way down, ruining my lace work. I managed it all fine though, and began to knit, but there are something like 96 rows of knitting in this clue alone. I mean, I know that we're now knitting significantly less stitches than we were before, but I still feel like crying every time I pick this thing back up, look at the pattern, and find that I'm STILL on row 15. Wasn't I on row *19* the last time I worked on this? Am I actually moving *backwards*?! It's just seeming absolutely endless to me, and clue 4 is not even in sight:

"Ahoy out there, Clue 4! We're coming to get you! It'll just be another...week or two!"

In a development that seemed to be originating from the very pits of Satan's Knitting Realm, I found a mistake in my lace last night, and had to unknit stitches to fix it and align my stitch count again. Why yes, I am IN FACT GOING BACKWARDS, just as I suspected.


I was able to fix it with just a bit of improvisation ("What the *&$! How is there *still* one extra stitch?! Forget it, I'm knitting 2 together and moving on with my life"), the lace looks fine, and my stitch count is now correct. So I'm on row 19 again.

Why God, Why?!

I'm getting a bit sick of this winged shawl at this point, but I'm slogging on. I've just come to the conclusion that I will be behind in the MKAL and I'm going to have to live with it. I don't have to like it, but I do have to live with it. Ugh.

How are your shawls going, dear knitters? I need a knitting pick-me-up, so please write in and regale me with your amusing tales. ;-)


  1. I too am behind and will have to live with it. I was hoping that I would be able to keep up but part of me knew I'd fall behind. Should we start a I'm behind on the MKAL but that's life club?

    I was hoping to start clue 3 this weekend but that didn't happen. However clue 2 is finished. I find myself counting and recounting the number of stitches in each section. If I had the right number of stitches in a pattern row, how do I end up with less stitches on a knit row? And it doesn't always seem to be a dropped yarn over. I've gone back a few times but more often I've been figuring out where I could best pick up a stitch. One of my diamonds isn't quite as diamond shaped as the others but I don't think most people will be able to tell when all is said and done. Non-knitters just seem amazed at knitted garments and knitters understand all to well "design features". So that's what I counting on as I keep plugging along.

    Here's hoping that this week's knitting goes smoothly.

  2. Hi Melanie! Yes please, I am running for President of the I'm Behind on the MKAL But That's Life Club. ;-) I'm still on clue 3. I took a break to work on a few gifts, because frankly, I needed a respite. I was feeling all stressy about it, and it wasn't fun anymore, which is defeating the purpose. I picked it back up last night and got about 10 rows knit, which felt good. I'm still VERY much mired in clue 3, no end in sight, but I feel better knowing that I don't have a self imposed "deadline" anymore.

    I agree about the mistake. No one will ever know! I had a nasty one in the lace of last year's DA shawl, and now even I can't find it anymore! It'll be totally fine.


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