Mystery KAL? I’m not counting on it

The last Clue for the Mystery Kal Birds of a Feather was released.
And I’m bailing.

I was hoping for a Grand Finale, a clue that would be unexpected and genius. In the first three clues we had knitted some sort of pinnacle with one long leg we didn’t touch. I was so intrigued with it!

Would the point become a beak for a bird hugging your shoulders?

Would the cabled striped section become the star of some sort of feathery feature?

I love that point… Would it point down? Will it point sideways? Will it do something playful?

We were promised an asymmetrical shape and looking at the two previous Mystery shawls in this series I wasn’t expecting the perfect symmetry clue 4 gave. Even though the first two shawls have symmetry in their shape.
The first shawl has true symmetry in its shape but also lots of raised lines cutting through it and going to and forth, contrasting the very shape (both highlighting and negating it).

Here are the two first shawls in the series You and I:

“Better Together” and “Me And You… and you and me” by Erica Jackofsky (Fiddle Knits)

Both two shawls have stripey “drawings” talking to and talking about the “boring triangular shape”. The second shawl isn’t even a true triangle. It’s wonderful! With that added border and all those lines and diamonds dancing about, creating other directions for the eye to follow.
This is the shawl I love most and a friend is knitting it for me right now 🙂

So, since the third shawl did not have those raised, slipped stitch drawn lines in the first 3 clues but (boring) coloured rows instead I was certain we would get something innovating in the shape of the shawl in clue 4.

This designer series is like mounting a stairs:

  • first shawl you learn about stripes and slipped stitches and overall design taste of the designer.
  • Second shawl you dabble some in alternative overall shape and non-symmetrical raised lines and added sections to the shape and the focus points of the shawl that are not in the middle or symmetrical.
  • Third shawl I expect to explore these things even further, pushing the envelope. Either placing focus points in even weirder places or making even weirder overall shapes.
  • Fourth shawl I expect to be appealing (only) to people who really love this style of designing (which I do!).

I what I thought.

But Clue four for the third shawl is just a civil, predictable colour-by-numbers filler for the remaining void between what we had knitted thus far and that loose leg. “Just repeat the section of clue 2, the one with the raised cables, only mirror their slaint.”
There’s some focus is on how to technically “zip up” that part with the purple leg. “Will you have a ridge on the top side of the bottom side?”
That’s just a detail in the shawl. Nothing to get too excited about.

Clue 4 makes the whole shawl into a long, loooooong triangle shape and you’re supposed to wrap it around you. Like an oversized scarf (if you knit the large size. If you knit the small size you …. just get a scarf with a pointy end)

I put my shawl-in-progress on pieces of waste yarn and laid it out to check what dimensions it would get. It would reach a length of about 1,30 m and a width of 40 cm at the widest base.That’s 51 inches long and just 15 inches wide, at the wides part. The other side tapers to a long point.
The designer offers slits in clue 4 which will allow the wearer to put the long thin part through the wider part.

Yes. Like a keyhole scarf.
but I don’t wear scarves I find. Not regular, symmetrical, understated scarves anyway.

But I was invested in this shawl. I’ve knitted for three weeks on this. It’s my first project since my shoulder healed sufficiently. I’ve been knitting it together with a friend. With multiple friends. I’ve participated in the MKAL-group, making comments, having fun.

And I cut the yarn. Multiple times. Because the pattern asked me to. Cutting yarn is a big thing in the life of a knitter. Once you cut the yarn you cannot frog it and get back your yarn unscathed.

So I played with the shawl-in-progress. Looking if I could make it into that stunning weird thing I was hoping for.
Perhaps I could change the pattern to something I would wear gladly?

I looked at shapes that would drape around the shoulders, warming every part of it. A thing scarves rarely do.
And at shapes that would remain on the shoulders (traditional triangle shapes shawls drop so easily). Bird… of a feather?

This shape I’ll be able to make. With short rows. Textured short rows. With cables and stripes and holes, just like the first clues instigated.

Then I looked at a shape I would most definitely wear: a hood.
Here’s a hood with two long ends to wrap around the neck:

But I’d prefer to have the darker colour surround my face, not the lilac purple. Colour analysis showed it makes my face look healthier (because my hair is darker than my skin).
I tried to invert the shawl, wore it every which way on my head, with the grey as a border. It would be difficult.

Here’s another shape that would wrap around the head, especially with some added 3D shaping in the middle part (that’s yet invisible). 3D shaping as in sock heels and bonnet hats.
I tried to imagine it with the purple framing my face and later on with the grey (that would demand some inventive 3D shaping, to get that purple leg participating without framing the face)

Whatever I’d do, I would feature the designed textures already given: the stripes and the cables and the holes.
I could get rid of the holes, if I’m redesigning I might as well frog the bit I don’t like. Holes in shawls that are meant to keep me warm make no sense to me. And these holes were a drag to knit, which is something I hold against them.

I really like the point! So I explored just zipping it shut and making it without a mirror of the cabled portion. I like it! The non-centered purple thin lines emphasize the shape. I like it!

I spend an evening puzzling and then a night sleeping on it and then more time in front of the mirror the next day, wearing knitwear and lots of clothing pins.
Then I decided to not make the effort. Incorporating the designed textures would be a bit of a drag, since I do not love them particular. Well, not the holey bit anyway. The cables I like, even if I made the coloured stripes wrong (but I like them this way).
Had the cables slanted the other way I could have mirrored them and the whole would become more of a feather, just like the name of the design suggests.
I contemplated adding grey slip stitch (surface crochet) lines to them, countering their direction. (seeking a connection with the first two shawls in the series)

But it would take a lot of designer effort and I would have to do that all this week because next Saturday I’m getting my PimpelPurple to start Rockefeller.

Even if I took this design and made it into something I like it would probably not end up a solid design. It would be a fixer upper, a patch, a lucky find. And it would not please the designer of Birds of a Feather, I think. Even be an insult perhaps.

So I decided to frog. (I have not done so yet. I’m still too sore about the time I spend. And in the yarn I cut. I cannot bear to do it yet. It’s like a bandaid that needs to be ripped off. It will be for the better but I’m not ready yet)

Also…. when spreading out my WIP on the table I found I made a terrible counting mistake when casting on. Really? *sigh!*

(at least we like the colour combination right?)


2 thoughts on “Mystery KAL? I’m not counting on it

  1. I’m bailing on this one too, for all the reasons you listed, so you are not alone. Mine is awaiting the frog pond, once I get up the energy to unravel the entire thing and splice the cut pieces back together (because I do so love the wool I used). 😦

    • I’m so glad to hear from you! just to know we are not alone helps, thank you for commenting.

      Soon we’ll start frogging and then we’ll have back your lovely yarn.

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