KAL- Or why "Knit-A-Long"s can be good for you.....

Wholehearted Shawl, just one of the recent KALs I have been participating in.

I have been very busy of late, thanks to the inspiration from my friend Evelyn of ProjectStash. My first project was this shawlette. Evelyn was wearing it when we first met in Boston over the Easter weekend. She had it draped over a lightweight sweater and it just looked so cozy. Understated. Classic. Elegant. These are all style elements I aspire to.

Evelyn's Sakina Shawlette
My Sakina in Montera
Sakina in Classic Elite Yarns Montera

So, the pile of Classic Elite Yarn Montera that I got on sale at Stitch House during the Yarn Crawl in March had a destination. It was to become a Sakina Shawlette. I love this squooshy yarn, though I  wonder if it may be the source of lint problem due to the shedding factor. It is 50% llama and 50% wool. The color is a golden honey shade and it is so cozy. Evelyn's pattern was easy, and a bit hypnotizing. Basically, it is garter stitch with increases on each side, and down the middle. I used a super stretchy bind off to give ease to the border edges. The end result of blocking, is a shawl with a nice stitch definition and a bloom of llama. Love this shawl!

My next bit of enabling in the shawl department was the Wholehearted Shawl KAL that Evelyn sponsored. She tempted a few of us with this pattern. At first I thought, hmmm, this is nice but I need to get some other WIPS finished before I can begin. I was glad to participate in such a worthy cause as the pattern sales will go into a fund to help the designer's daughter. (Their family had a devastating house fire). My resolve was not too strong though, once I saw the  blog photos of the other KAL knitter's I had to find yarn and join in. 

Wholehearted Shawlette, Cascade Heritage Sock Yarns

I used Cascade Heritage Paints and sock yarn. The multi-colored yarn had been in stash for a bit, the solid grape color I picked up at Windsor Button to complete the two tone motif of the pattern. I used size 7 needles, so it was a bit slow going for me. (I am in the zone using worsted or bulky yarns and I love knitting with size 8-10 needles). But I did get used to holding tension on the sockweight yarn before too long, and I enjoyed the variation of the pattern from garter to the stitch combinations of the textured sections. As a bind off, I did the picot edge bind off, and I love how it adds stretch and a beautiful edge to the shawl. It was a new technique for me, and it was not too painful to cast off 400 plus stitches because of the novelty of applying a new skill.

Finally, the KAL I am now a part of is this one, the Amari Shawl. Again, I have to credit  Evelyn's inspiration to getting me into this one. She blogged about it and as I read the comments on the KAL forum page, I decided to join in.  I found some great stash yarn that I bought for $10.00 on ebay last year. It is 500 yards of a hand dyed worsted weight. I love how the color flows from dark burgundy to a lighter plum tone. By looking at Evelyn's photos, I think we are in the same color family, but her fibers are much more sensuous to the fingertips as the knitting rolls out.

Evelyn's Amari Shawl in Manos de Uruguay Silk Blend

My Amari in worsted weight hand dye from an ebay purchase.
So, as I wrap up the description of my shawls of late, I want to entice you to consider joining us. The pattern is simply stockinette with some increases. If you can count rows, you can do this! And because we are all using worsted weight yarn and size 7 or 8 needles, it is easy and productive knitting.

This particular KAL is so much fun because the participants comment on their progress and encourage others. If you are on Ravelry much, as I am, (eye roll, shoulder shrug) you might love getting comments back on the forums board. Navigate yourself to the forums page and see what fun we are having. To join, you just select the join button on the main page for Juniper Moon Farm. Think of what you can unload from your stash, or better yet think about using the yarn intended by the designer. Sabine is the yarn that some of the KAL participants keep mentioning. It can be purchased from WEBS or Juniper Moon Farm.

Juniper Moon Farm is an interesting endeavor. I haven't looked at all of the site because, well, because of the puppies. Um, yeah. There are puppies. And an amazing blog. And, there is a lambcam. You know, a live camera so you can check in on the pen and watch the antics of the new additions to the farm.

The other thing that is sooo very interesting about this farm, and the reason for me sharing this detail with you, is that they sell shares of CSA style stock. A CSA is a community supported agriculture. Perhaps you have one for vegetables and fruit in your community (In Boston we have Boston Organics, they supply you with fruit and vegetables from local farms, and you can select how much and to a certain extent, what types of products you want). If you support the farm by purchasing a share, you can live the farm life vicariously through your investment. You can choose which type of wool you want. You can increase the likelihood that these types of endeavors will grow and thrive.

Being a member of a CSA is a new means for those of us who want to support local farmers and wool production. It is a method of showing we value the tradition of living on the land, existing and thriving in time with the season and the rhythm of nature. It is a means for those of us who knit, or crochet, or weave, or spin to buy from the source rather than the middleman.  And it is for those of us who listen to Clara Parkes' call to arms  (Go out there and support the small independent yarn suppliers! Go to Wool Festivals and vote with your dollar to sustain local production of yarn and the cultivation of sheep and llama and alpaca herders! Go! Vote with your dollar!)

So, I hope the powers of persuasion have been with me as I write this post. I hope I will see you join us at one of the KALs, or maybe you will start one yourself? Let me know if you do..... I warn you, I am an easy mark; when it comes to knitting, I am easily led down the path to new projects!


Judy, a JMF "auntie" said…
Great blog post! Thanks for spreading the wonderfulness of Juniper Moon Farm. I've been a shareholder for 3 years and the yarn I receive is the BEST in the world and comes from the most loved and cared for sheep by the most passionate and totally engaging people you would ever hope to meet.
Inky077 said…
Love Juniper Moon. Started here on Martha's Vineyard and moved forward to great success - love enterprising young businesses! Even more, love those shawl patterns. Am heading to my stash to see what I can make Evelyn's KAL shawl in.
Katie said…
Your shawl is gorgeous, I love the combination of yarns you chose!

KAL's are so much fun, we've been doing seasonal ones at my LYS for a few years now :) We just finished doing a lace top, and I think we're doing shawls next.
Evelyn said…
I don't know how I'll ever be able to knit a lone project again! I am totally in love with your Wholehearted Shawl, Erin. It came out beautifully! I hope you plan to keep all these shawls for yourself -- each is a great addition to your wardrobe.
elliecat said…
I love the Wholehearted Shawl - great colours!
Kate said…
Beautiful shawls. Now I think I need to knit more of them for myself.

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