Monday, December 2, 2013

Gateway to Fall MKAL

Every once in awhile I get the urge to do a mystery knit along (MKAL). The last one I participated in was during May 2011! Well, the urge struck again right around the beginning of October.  The search for a MKAL was on!  You see, I'm sort of picky in what I'm going to knit, especially when it's a mystery.  Before I commit, I spend a little bit of time checking out the designers available designs.  I just want to make sure that I'm going to be happy with what I end up knitting!  

I then stumbled about a MKAL that Cindy Garland of Wild Prairie Knits was running.  After checking out some of her designs, I decided that her style really was up my alley.  The bonus? One of the clue was released on my birthday! Oh and there just happened to be an indie yarn dyer who had kits made up for the MKAL!?!! I was hooked!! I even loved the name of the shawl: Gateway to Fall.

The Charcoal looks very blue in this photo; other photos are truer to color
The indie yarn dyer is Stunning String Studios and from what I can tell, she collaborates with Cindy Garland quite a bit.  The hardest part was then deciding on what color to order for my kit.  After consulting with friends and family (they might use the phrase "annoying them"), I ended up going with the Harvest Orange as my main color with Charcoal as my contrasting color.  The kit also came with beads in the same color as the contrasting color, two stitch markers, super floss, and a button.  I wish I had taken a photo of the kit when it arrived because it was packaged beautifully.  The yarn even came already wound! Not that I don't mind winding yarn, but it was a nice touch to have it ready to go.  

My other weird quirk about MKAL is that I don't really care for the mystery part.  I. LOVE. SPOILERS.  You see, I'm not someone who worries about spoilers for TV shows, movies, books, etc.  Spoilers don't really spoil anything for me.  In fact, I often have to seek out spoilers for TV shows and books, otherwise I can't stop watching or reading!  Now, don't take this to mean that I don't like surprises.  I am very good with birthday & Christmas presents.  The difference for me is that those gifts/surprises were meant for a specific day and mean something to the person who got them for me.  I know, I'm weird.  Okay, I'm getting off track here.  Back to the knitting. 

The clues for this MKAL were released over 7 weeks.  The first clue was released on October 1st and then every Friday there after.  I started out doing a good job of keeping up with the clues.  And then I decided to restart my shawl because my gauge was too tight.  So, I got behind.  I worked hard to catch up and sorta did, but eventually got off track with some life interruptions.  I knit the bulk of this shawl on Thursdays throughout the 7 weeks, as that is one of my completly free days of the week.  In fact, I tend to do most of my knitting on Thursdays.  I ended up finishing mine up just before Thanksgiving; I think it was on Tuesday or Wednesday.  My absolute favorite part of this shawl was the lace border (clue #8) at the end. Love it more than words and even express.  I am head over heels for lace patterns that have flow like this one does.  I had a couple of firsts in this pattern: first time doing beads (very easy with the super floss method!) & first time with a built in i-cord edge.