A month or so ago I said I was just dying to cast on Martina Behm's Braidsmaid pattern. And for weeks I was a knitter possessed with thoughts of finding the perfect yarn from within my stash (can you believe that I haven't bought a single skein of yarn since February?? I know!! I haven't bought yarn in over THREE months!!). A few possibilities came to light, but nothing that screamed that it just had to be a Braidsmaid. While my search for the right yarn continues I decided to cast on other projects instead. Like the Catkin shawl. Sadly Catkin wasn't a good social or mindless knit for me and at the time I still wasn't able to knit on needles smaller than 3.25mm (US 3), so I had nothing to knit on while out and about. It only made sense to cast on something that was mindless and used a bigger needle for the very purpose of being a portable purse knit.
Just as I had made this decision Martina Behm released another shawl pattern, Match & Move. In true Martina Behm style, Match & Move is all about the garter, requires minimal stitch counting, and uses up practically all of the yarn. Totally mindless. Totally awesome. Totally kismet.
Aside from the design itself, I really like the size of the shawl and absolutely love the story and idea behind how the colours of the sample shawl were picked out. Instead of picking out her own colour combination, Martina left the colour fate and pairing selection in the hands of the Wollmeise dyemaster, Claudia, and used a Wollmeise "We're Different" grab bag. For those of you unfamiliar with Wollmeise and/or the WD grab bags, they're bags (obviously) containing two skeins (or one lace hank) in which the colours either don't match the online product photos exactly or were guinea pig test dyes. Unless specified as to what colour family the bag contains, you really have no idea what you're getting. Most of the time I think the WD skeins are way prettier than what they're suppose to be.
I liked the idea of Martina using the contents of a grab bag so much that I decided to do the same. Luckily for me, when I first started
The purple (Fliederbusch, in case you're wondering) is a colour that I would totally wear and knit with. But the Im Jahr der Ratte? While I think it's lovely, the touches of brown within the blueish grey would keep me second guessing as to whether or not I would actually wear it. I barely pick it up and have passed it over several times while combing through my stash and even as I was knitting with it on the first stripe I was wondering if I should have gone with something else. I decided to not frog the shawl and had reasoned with myself that I had already knit a few stripes, which meant that I had already made several cuts into the skein. There was no way I was going to put a caked yarn with a few tiny balls attached to it back into my stash. Uh uh. Not going to happen.
Thankfully, a few stripes in, the colour combo grew on me and I realized that I actually quite like the colours together. The IJDR is truly a delight to knit with (but so hard to fully capture on camera...is it brown or is it blue? The camera gets overly confused and can't tell) and the Fliederbusch is absolutely stunning and so vibrant. I keep stopping to admire it and marvel at all the different shades of purple within.
I've got a good portion of this shawl knitted up and am already really tempted to cast on for another! I'll confess that I'm a little nervous that my shawl won't be as big as the sample shown in the pattern, and yes, I did not do a gauge swatch. I'm generally a tight knitter and I've noticed that I usually have to go up two or three needle sizes from what Martina Behm uses. But garter stitch has always baffled me. I think I knit even tighter in garter and find that I can never predict exactly how it will measure out. My swatches and gauges are all over the place. Sometimes I can be fully aware of this fact when knitting a small portion of garter within a pattern and it'll come out ok, especially after a good blocking. But if it's all garter...I know I need to be careful.
In the case of this shawl, while it's still cushy, I can tell that it's a bit stiffer than the garter shown in the pattern photos. I have a feeling my shawl will definitely be a little smaller than the given finished measurements; I just hope that it will at least be big enough for me to wrap around my neck at least once. If I do knit another I think I'll go up another two needle sizes! Yikes! I really need to loosen up!
If I do knit another, I think I will go with my own colour combo. For over a year now I've been wanting to knit a very neutral coloured shawl or cowl. And by neutral I mean black or grey, or black and grey striped. Not grey with hot pink, or something along those lines. Although, in my world, hot pink is a neutral...
But there have been so many days in which I'm wearing something - usually leggings - that's too bold and/or colourful and I feel like my accessories shouldn't compete with it. This is when I curse my love of bright colours and patterns and wish I would just knit something neutral for once. You know how it is.
Anyhoo, my plan for this shawl is to keep knitting until I either run out of yarn or stitches. I'm using the Wollmeise base that's about 60 metres (65 yards) less than the amount called for (so the Twin instead of Pure). Hopefully I won't be caught in a game of yarn chicken at the end! And if I do, I think there are a few ways to bind off without using much yarn. I know of a few ladies at one of my knit nights that have had to utilize such methods when it came to preserving the last few metres of yarn and still bind off. Ah, the games we knitters play with ourselves and our craft!
Tell me, have you ever played yarn chicken on a shawl? And have you ever had to change your bind off to make sure you had enough yarn? Let me know what you've done, just in case I need to do the same thing!