Saturday, July 1, 2017

Starting Point

When I noted this knit along (KAL) last month, I was highly motivated which is strange. See, I don't like surprises, which is why I rarely even consider KALs - until they're over, that is, and I can see what the finished object looks like. It's not that I don't like adventure - but I'd hate to spend my time making something I may not like the look of in the end.

Having said this, Sonja's instagram on the Starting Point was so compelling, that I had to buy the pattern at the very least. Look at the gorgeous colours she chose:

And when I saw how things were coming together, I started to salivate. Honestly, it's rare that I am so compelled by someone else's palette - especially as I don't love red. But look at how it turned out:

Insanely fantastic, right? (Sonja - in case you're reading this, I want your shawl!!)

But as the likelihood is that I'm not going to get that shawl in the mail, I may as well make up one of my own!  And given that it's Canada Day (Happy 150 peeps!), Ewe Knit is having 20 per cent off everything. What better time to replenish the stash??

FYI, Starting Point is a shawl that calls for @400 yards of 5 colourways - and what's suggested is 1 light, 1 dark, 2 moderate / accents and 1 variegated.

I went searching for the yarns that Sonja used to make her version but they were not universally available - and I was on a sale-finding mission. I also realized that I have a stash yarn that I may be able use in lieu of the orange/red (accent colour?) or the dark blue (dark colour?) - admittedly two of the shades that make S's shawl so fantastic and unique. To use one of my stash colours would a) eat up stash yarn b) save me a bit of money and c) work better for me, potentially, as I really don't ever knit with red (or wear it, for that matter). Note: Until I engage with the pattern in detail, I won't be able to confirm which yarns S used as her dark vs her accent. I assume the blue was dark and the red and grey were accents, but I can't confirm right now.

My proposed stash choice:

This Quince and Co Finch in Peacock is too green for my liking but I've got to use it up and it is nicely saturated. If I'm going to give this FO away, might as well use it now (as it's not a colour that I'm particularly into).
Have I mentioned that every shawl I've made lately has thrilled me and I can't bear to give any one of them away but I don't have a lot of space to keep adding to the shawl collection? I realize that these are the problems to have...

In the end, I did copy one of S's yarn choices (the Madeline Tosh Light in Modern Fair Isle):

This is the 2-ply version of the yarn, fyi. I chose it cuz the photo was pretty. I wish I could have found this in the 2-ply format...

It's a long-shot colourway for me, and a testimony to my love of it in the context of S's version, because I don't like knitting with single-ply yarns - even Madeline Tosh. I hope the grey flecks will complement my other choices...

Having figured out the variegated colour and, theoretically, one accent or dark colour (from the stash), I needed to find 3 others - a light colour, a dark colour and another accent colour. I straight up copied 2 of these from S, if using different brands and shades - a grey (accent) and a cream (light):

Koigu KPM in 2405 - I have a bit remaining in my stash to bolster the 2 skeins I bought today. This yarn is no good for socks but it's squishy fantastic for shawls. It's not this dark in real life - at least it hasn't been when I've used it in the past.
Shibui Staccato in Ivory. This is silk and wool with fantastic drape. I made this cardi from it previously in another colourway
Where I went off road once again is with my final colour, a light, but bold, choice, to act as either my second accent colour or, in an irony, the "dark" colour*:

Shibui Staccato in Brass
*Note: I'm still not sure if I will choose to use the yellow in lieu of the red in S's shawl or in lieu of the dark blue. So it may end up being the dark or the accent colour (and the jewel green option from my stash will form the other, presuming they play nicely together).

Now, here's the thing. When one is crazy enough to spend hundreds of dollars on yarn, online, one doesn't know, until one puts the actual colours next to each other, whether they will work. So, when I go to pick up these yarns in store tomorrow - if I feel that I've got a terrible mish-mash going on, I may have to branch out. I should be able to return / exchange the options I bought online today for others that may be more suitable. I only hope there's still some choice available.

My grey may not work with the variegated, for example - and the jewel green/teal option from the stash is either going to work with the yellow and grey or look horrid. I may end up buying a red/orange and a navy in the end...

But these aren't the only yarns I bought today, oh no! Having eaten through much of my stash, except in remnant amounts with which I'm making smaller projects like colour-blocked socks, hats and scarves, I have allowed myself to purchase an additional yardage for a new sweater (again wild card yarn I've never even touched before - so here's hoping I like the way it looks and feels!) and some crazy sock yarn which is impulsive and will leave a remnant amount that's hard to repurpose (TurtlePurl in The Artist). My friend Jeanette is also making socks in this colourway, which is how I learned of my love for bright purple and yellow (on occasion!) so I may gift her the remainder of my yarn so she can make a second pair.

More on these yarns and new projects coming up!

Today's questions: Have you ever seen someone else's work and been compelled to recreate it? Do you love the Starting Point shawl and have you bought the pattern - or did you actually participate in the KAL? Do you think my colours are crazy or do you think they'll work? Let's talk!


  1. OMG, Yes to those colours! Classics mixed in a bold modern way. i'm so into it!

    1. I know - it's a perfect colour match in a totally unanticipated way. So beautifully creative.

    2. And just to clarify - I'm talking about Sonja's palette! Not bragging, says this Canadian.

  2. Haha! I have a longarm quilting business and a binder full of patterns for quilts that we have done for others and I wanted to recreate! Very few get made, but one can hope.

    1. I know! One can hope :-) Occasionally, it can happen (but less with quilts than shawls cuz those things are serious projects).

  3. Ahhh! I'm so flattered that you liked my shawl! It's one of the most enjoyable projects I've ever worked on... the way it comes together is really cool! I love your color choices, too. My original plan was to use a gold from my stash instead of the orange-red, but it just didn't look right with the other stuff. The Modern Fair Isle and the taupe and navy yarns were in my stash already so I tried to build around them. The navy was my dark color and the pure cream was the light. Are you going to do the original version with the lace? I did the "boy" version and skipped the eyelets on the dark cross, so it's almost entirely garter stitch, but I really like how garter looks so it's not too boring for my taste. I'm so excited to see how this comes together!

    1. I'm so glad you did most of the colour leg work! I'm really looking forward to it and I recommend another KAL (which I also did after the fact), the Welcome Back Garter. I too love garter for it's simplicity so I intend to do the "boy" version also - like I've ever seen a guy wear a shawl!. Don't love lacework at the best of times and I think simplicity is what makes this project so elegant. It occurs to me I could have used a legit taupe from my stash (Quince Finch in Twig) but I think it would not have worked with the yellow.