Follow Your Arrow KAL

Endeavoring sucks sometimes.

It’s hard to try your hardest.

And, KnittyD found it oh so aggravating.

Ok, let me take a step back. Sometime in December, Ysolda Teague announced she was creating a knit-along, the Follow Your Arrow KAL.

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It sounded like fun – remember those Encyclopedia Brown books – at least I think it was Encyclopedia Brown – you could choose how the story would progress. and how it would end. If you wanted the dooer to be Colonel Mustard in the library with the poker stick, go to page 5. If you’d like the murderer to be revealed as Mrs. Peacock in the kitchen with the wrench, skip to page 7. In this case, there are five clues, released every Monday. In each clue, there are two options, leading to 32 possible shawls. Fun, right? I have a stalled out sweater on needles, and I thought an Ysolda shawl would be just the thing to get my knitting mojo moving.

There is one catch. I still have post traumatic knit disorder from the Stephen West knit-along. KnittyD, Robin and I all signed up for the thing. No multiple options, but the finished shawl wouldn’t be revealed until the end. Much time was spent picking yarn, discussing yarn, etc., and then after all of the anticipation, the clue was released . . . and . . . we all hated it. All three of us. Not one of us knit it. And, Robin spent a tidy sum on her yarn. So, with that experience in mind, I decided I would knit from stash – stash which no longer included the Stephen West intended yarn because I believe I knit an Ysolda shawl with it.

Anyway, I thought I was going to use my hoarded Madelinetosh Lace, even though the pattern called for fingering because I just figured, eh, it’ll be a little lacier. But then, the night before the clue came out, I went to wind it — and there were breaks in the yarn. Gasp! Professor Plum took a hatchet to my beautiful yarn! I really don’t know what happened – it is somewhat old – probably three years. There was no moth dander anywhere. It’s a mystery.

But now the mystery was, what yarn was I going to use for the mystery shawl?

And, here were my stash choices –

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Handmaiden Sea Silk, Koigu, Blue Moon Geisha, and Zauerball.

I waited until Monday when the clue came out, and decided on the Sea Silk.  In fact, I was kind of excited about the Sea Silk – once, it was my favorite yarn to knit with.  And now, it’s not.  The old, nonendeavoring me would have continued on – I was on gauge, it looked ok.  But, it wasn’t the fabric or the drape I wanted.  So, I ripped out much of the first clue, option b, and cast on again the Blue Moon Geisha.

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Again, on gauge, and it looks ok – but, not what I wanted. I didn’t want the mohair halo, and I wanted something springy, squishy, like merino. So, I ripped out almost the whole clue again. Onward.

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This time, I decided I was going to buy – buy!  I haven’t bought yarn (well, except for the yarn I got for my mother-in-law for Xmas) since Sheep and Wool.  I should have been excited, but instead, I was filled with trepidation.  I remembered Robin, and her unknit Stephen West yarn.  So, for moral support, I had KnittyD meet me at Loop, and I spent a good half hour looking at two bins of yarn – Brooklyn Tweeds Loft, and Madelinetosh’s Pashmina.  I knew I wanted the Pashmina – but it was investment.  An investment that would pay off?  Well, what evidence did we have?  History – love Ysolda’s shawls and I never did really like Stephen West, and the first clue had already been released, and looked promising.

But, I went with the cheaper option – the Loft.

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When I snapped this photo and sent it to KnittyD it was probably seconds before the aggravation set in. I knew the yarn was delicate – the guy at the store who wound it broke it while winding, and KnittyD had a difficult time with her Loft Shawl, but I had no idea it was going to break every time I touched it. It broke when I pulled it out of the center pull. It broke when I took out my swatch (yes, I’m endeavoring, so I’m swatching), and then it broke three more times while I was knitting – at the fourth spit splice, I decided enough, and the next day, I took it back.

And, in record time, well in standard Wendy time, because I generally know exactly what I want when I go to buy yarn – which was what was so shocking to KnittyD during our trip to the yarn store, I returned the Loft, and bought the Pashmina.

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And, I have exactly what I want!

And, I finished so far in advance of Monday’s second clue, that I cast on the second option as well – in the  Zauerball –

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This shawl, to me anyway, is definitely going to be the ugly stepsister of the Pashmina.  But, I thought it would be fun to do both options each time.

Hey, Clue was fun every time I played it, right?

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