Come Knit With Me

Stony Stream Knit-A-Long - Kimber's Notes

January 19, 2024   If you have been following us on either instagram or facebook these past couple of months, then you know that yesterday, January 18th we cast-on the Stony Stream shawl (designed by Stephen West) - the beginning of  a community knit-a-long!! If you would like to join us, please do!  We will be spending the next six weeks knitting together, sometimes physically in the same room but mostly in spirit and online.  The most recent blog post provides some guidelines and you can follow along here for how my shawl happens to be progressing.  Oh, and we will be having a drawing at the end of the knit-a-long for $100 Fiber Optic Yarns gift certificate!! Check out the blog to see how to enter.

I'm knitting my Stony Stream shawl using 'Misty Mountains' for the main color and the 'Rhinebeck six pack, beginning with the pale olive-y color 'Eye of Newt'. 

Last night at knit-night, many of our knitting group (me included) cast on this shawl.  A couple of knitters had already made this shawl, which was super-helpful because the set-up section, while well-written, was not intuitive for me to see what was happening with the design.  In fact, during the two hours I worked on it, I only made it through the set-up section and the first repeat.  I think  the advice that David and Debbie told everyone is very useful:

Trust in the process and follow Stephen West's directions blindly for the first couple repeats and then it becomes much easier to 'read your knitting'.  If you had a bit of difficulty getting comfortable with the setup section, know that you aren't alone!  If you have yet to cast on for this shawl, you may wish to plan a little quiet time to do so to help prevent any frustration - I found it required more concentration than I would have expected. 

So, here is my little progress photo:


I'm quite chuffed about it, to be honest!!  I'm planning on working on it quite a bit this weekend so, hopefully, I will be more comfortable next week with 'reading'' the stitch design.  Happy knitting everyone!

January 25, 2024 So, this past week of knitting has found me settling into recognizing the design elements and being able to comfortably 'read' the stitches to know how to knit the next row without having to look at the knitting pattern!  I will tell you though, that David and Debbie were a little over-confident when they told me I would be able to do this after working a 'few' repeats.  Guys, it took EIGHT repeats and it didn't become obvious all at once.  First I realized that you worked 4 rows with the main color and then 2 rows with the contrast color.  Then, another repeat would go by and I would figure out that you only cable on the first of the two contrast rows.  This went on until, after nearly 8 repeats, I can read my work and know what the next row will entail.

I am usually a single project knitter.  I know that seems like knitting blasphemy to many of my friends!  While I love the excitement  of a brand new cast on, I find that it takes me a week or two to settle into the project.  After a week of knitting, I'm finally relaxing enough to be completely charmed by the interplay of the texture and all the colors!  So, if you are finding this shawl straightforward and easy (like Debbie and David), that's great!!!  However, if it isn't immediately intuitive, take heart, and knit bravely on..., it just may be taking it's sweet time revealing itself to you.  

Two (of the six) contrast colors are nearly complete - one more repeat with the second color and I will be switching to the third color.  The rows are getting longer, though, and the time required to work the 24 rows of a repeat is increasing greatly!  I'm hoping to make it through the third color in the next week...we'll see.  Happy knitting everyone!!

January 30, 2024  It's amazing what a couple more colors into the six pack make!  When I was selecting colors, I absolutely adored how all the colors in the Rhinebeck played together with the main color, 'Misty Mountains', so I was a little taken aback when I wasn't over-the-moon about how the first olive-y color (and possibly the second sage green color as well) looked with 'Misty Mountains'.  I  wondered if I made a mistake in pairing this six pack and main color together. 

When I laid out the 'Rhinebeck' six pack next to the skeins of Misty Mountains', it looked like the colors you would expect in a babbling mountain brook; deep vibrant indigo of the deep holes and clear watery blues transitioning into those sage-y greens of treeline reflections and finally, that beautiful pop of olive-y sunlit sparkle.  Oh yeah, I had the entire vision vividly engraved on my imagination!  So, what was going on with the let-down in the project after working the first two colors?

The answer is, actually, pretty simple.  What I loved about the way the six pack interacted with Misty Mountains was how the ENTIRE six pack worked together with Misty Mountains.  After only the first 2 colors, only the greens from the six pack were present and this gave the entire shawl the wrong 'feel'.  The solution is to do nothing!  Be patient and persevere, knitting on in the faith that once all the colors are present, the shawl will reflect a babbling mountain brook.  This takes quite a bit of trust and bravery, right?  I mean, you may not really find out if you were right in the color selection or not until after you have put in dozens and dozens of hours on it!

I am currently finishing up the 4th color, so 2 more colors are finished over where I was 5 days ago:

The addition of the teal and blue have brought the shawl so much closer to what I had initially envisioned and I expect that the final two colors will pretty much bring it all into focus.  So if you find, like me, that you were a bit gobsmacked at how different your shawl looks after knitting the first couple colors, take heart; until you have all the colors worked up, it is nearly impossible to see what the final shawl will look like.  Keep calm and knit on!
February 6, 2024
Well, I've made it to the last (of 22) repeats!!!  I have officially entered, and am lost in, the abyss known as the 'black hole' of knitting.  Each row is taking approximately 57.3 lifetimes to complete and since this is the final color, there are not many more surprises in store with this project - at least I hope there aren't!!  There are so many stitches on the circular needle that it's bit like wrestling with a leviathan but it's also quite wonderful because I can begin a row and pretty much zone out for 20-30 minutes at a crack.  The project  is now mostly all about the calming meditative qualities and being able to lose myself in the simple act of pulling a loop through a loop to make the knit stitches.
I love the smoky purple of the last color and how it plays with the main color of Misty Mountains and is such a beautiful contrast to the pale olive tones of the first color from the 'Rhinebeck' six pack set.  I can't wait to see this blocked (once I emerge from the endless time warp of this knitting black hole!).