Hi friends, and happy Sunday!
I’m excited to finally show you a finished object — meet my ginormous Starting Point shawl:
Clocking in at well over six feet (not because I measured — but because I know it’s a good bit taller than Mr. N, who is six feet tall) this definitely takes the prize for the largest thing I’ve ever knit, I think.
And while I felt like the knitting of it took forever, when I put it in those terms — the largest thing I’ve ever made — it actually looks like a pretty speedy FO, especially given that many of my projects stretch over months, if not years!
As a quick summary: I cast on for Starting Point, Joji Locatelli’s mystery shawl, in a completely different color scheme on May 16, several days after the official release of Clue One. A few days later, I decided the color combo wasn’t doing it for me, and, in the midst of the madness of moving out of my Philadelphia apartment, went stash diving and put together a whole new palette. I finished the knitting of the thing about five and a half week’s later (so not so far off the pace of the MKAL, I suppose). It took me another week to weave in the ends (that was a task that needed to be done incrementally) and another week to get around to giving it a soak!
Overall, I’d say that this was a really fun knit. I love that it used up five skeins of sock yarn from stash, a few of which were nearing ten years old (eek!) … true, I originally bought two skeins for my first iteration of the shawl, but one of those was a skein of white Malabrigo sock yarn–always useful to have on hand–and the second skein of Machete Shoppe speckled yarn I might use for a Confetti sweater. So, all’s well that ends well on that front.
And the mystery knitalong format kept me committed to the project, meaning I finished something relatively big in a fairly short amount of time. Typically, I’m a rotation knitter, and it’s rare for me to knit monogamously on a project for so long. So finishing it gave me a major sense of accomplishment. But as I talked about here a few times, I also found the size of the shawl/the pace of the clues a bit wearing toward the end. The little knitting manager in my head kept pushing me to catch up to the MKAL pace, and I made a lot of silly mistakes, followed by frogging, in my desperation to get it off the needles. So while I’m super happy I did it, and I’m very proud of the finished piece, I think it’ll be awhile before I commit to such a big mystery knit again!
One of the really clever things about the pattern was that it was knit in two pieces that were joined in the final clue. As the clues came out, not knowing exactly what the finished piece would look like, I didn’t fully appreciate the genius of this construction decision. But once the two pieces were joined and the project became basically immobile, I realized how nice it had been to have two reasonably sized pieces to work on for the bulk of the project. And joining it all up felt a little like magic!
I didn’t actually block this to measurements (partially because my blocking stuff is all in storage, but who am I kidding, I’m not sure I would have even if I’d had all my mats, etc. given this thing’s size) so I’ve ended up with a shawl that is a bit longer than the already generous dimensions of the pattern. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but given that I’m only 5’3″, it’s a tad on the large size — I think I’ll reblock it at a point and try to stretch it a bit more width-wise and contain the length a bit.
But in the meantime, I still love it. It’s great for slinging over my shoulders (in fact, I tend to snuggle up in it at night when I’m knitting and get the AC chills).
It can also be a very generously proportioned stole/wrap:
And while the current temperatures in SoCal make all of this pretty unnecessary, I imagine I’ll wear it as a plain old scarf a lot come fall in the UK, perhaps with my new denim jacket:
So, in the final analysis: a very fun project, in a color palette that was a bit of a change of pace for me. When I posted a pic of my leftover yarn balls on Instagram, one person mentioned they looks like macarons — and she was absolutely right! The delicate yet bright colors do remind me of treats from a French bake shop … strawberry, pistachio, vanilla … they’re all there!
And now, I just need to think of something to do with the leftovers … I’m wondering if I have enough of the cream to use it with the pink, green, and leftovers from my Talmadge cloche for a Papil Beret :
More details of the yarn and a few more pictures, should you need them, over on my Ravelry project page. That’ll about do it for me today — my giant shawl and I wish you a very happy rest of the weekend!