I have mixed feelings about knitalongs. It is fun to see other people knitting either the same item as yourself or one based on a common theme but it’s easy to get carried away and assume you’ll finish within the deadlines. (Not that it matters if you don’t, of course, but somehow that feels like failing). Last year I signed up for two shawls as part of Joji Locatelli’s great autumn knitalong, known as the Jojifallkal2015. I completed one-and-a-half. There were so many enthusiastic knitters taking part that the KAL ended up being split up into categories with several threads in the Ravelry group for both ongoing progress and finished objects. It all got a bit overwhelming.
This year things were scaled back a bit on Ravelry. You could cast on, chat or show your finished object. Nice and easy. I was also far more sensible and decided to just knit one item within the ten-week period: a Three Colour Cashmere Shawl. There were quite a few others either knitting this or the cowl from which the pattern originated and it was lovely to see posts filled with yarn selections. I actually knitted all the way down to the third colour because I just wasn’t sure what it should be. Everyone I asked gave me a different answer. Many suggested a bright pink to pick up some of the flecks in the variegated and give the bright contrast stripe the original has. I knew I might not wear it that much if I chose anything too bright so I went for a quieter contrast.
The Three Colour Cashmere Shawl doesn’t use three complete skeins of yarn but I just had to use all the variegated so I made the third and fourth stripes larger and worked the rest as in the pattern. Of course, knitting additional rows on a crescent-shaped shawl (six increases every two rows) expands the shawl immensely width-wise too. So my shawl is well over two-and-a-half metres wide. In fact I had to block it laid out double and then steam press the fold away afterwards.
I’m not sure such a large shawl is always so practical – I can’t just hang it round my neck as it touches the ground. I need to wrap it at least once right around my neck. Wrapped twice and pulled down over my shoulders, it replaces a cardigan. I think it will look lovely over a dark coat in winter, too. (Ravelry project here)