Although I haven't had a whole lot of success with the 'Mystery' knit alongs I've signed up for in the past -- the yarn I ordered for 'Mystery Stole 2' didn't even arrive until 3 months
after the knit along ended -- when I received an e-mail letting me know that Mystery Stole 3
would be starting soon, I just had to sign up. This year's Mystery Stole has proved extremely popular. I signed up within two and a half hours of the notification going out, and even then I was the 180th person to join the Yahoo group. And by the time the group was closed to new members, there were over 6,700 people!
One really good thing about 'Mystery Stole 3' was that for once I already had at least three potentially suitable yarns in one of the colours Melanie
(the designer of the Mystery Stoles) had recommended as matching the mystery theme just sitting there waiting in my yarn stash...
From left to right... two cones of ColourMart 2/36nm 55% cashmere/45% silk yarn
in 'Black', an 8 oz hank of JaggerSpun 'Zephyr 2/18' in 'Ebony', and two cones of ColourMart 2/28nm 100% silk yarn
And I found some Gutermann 9/0 beads at Rubi + Lana
, which looked like they might work well on the black yarn...
From left to right... col. 9625 (a silvery coloured bead), col. 6785 (a darker coloured bead with an oil slick like appearance), and col. 9365 (a hematite-like bead).
As the silk yarn is the same one I've been using to knit my Candle Flame Shawl
, I decided it might be nice to use one of the other two for this project.
My first test swatch was knit with two strands of the ColourMart cashmere and silk yarn held together...
I wasn't sure what size needle to use, so I tested out three different ones on this swatch, knitting one repeat of the test swatch lace pattern followed by some extra rows of stocking stitch, which I separated from each with some garter stitch rows -- from bottom to top... KnitPicks Classic 3.25mm circular needles, KnitPicks Interchangeable 3.5mm needles, and KnitPicks Interchangeable 3.75mm circular needles.
To help me make a final selection, I also trialled the beads. The beads on the left of the swatch are the silvery looking ones, which, while they looked quite solid on their own in the tube, surprised me by resembling teardrops against the strands of yarn. The beads in the centre are the 'oil slick' beads, and the ones on the right of the swatch are the hematite-like beads. The holes in the Gutermann 9/0 beads are quite small, so the only crochet hook I could find which would go through the centre of (most of) the beads was a Pony 0.60mm steel crochet hook
After I had washed and blocked the swatch, I decided that the finished fabric was going to be a bit too light weight and open for this project. While an option might have been to try knitting another swatch with three or even four strands of this yarn held together, I decided against doing this as I actually like the airy look of the fabric and would like to keep the yarn in reserve for a project where I can use it exactly like this.
So I knit a second test swatch with the JaggerSpun 'Zephyr 2/18' yarn...
As this is the exact same yarn that Melanie used for her sample stole, I just knit this swatch using KnitPicks Interchangeable 3.5mm circular needles, which was the size Melanie used for her sample. After washing and blocking, I decided I was happy with the knitted fabric of this swatch, and that I would go ahead and use this yarn and needle combination for my stole.
Which just left the decision as to what beads to use. I trialled the beads on the second swatch too. The silvery looking beads (the ones that actually look more like teardrops against the yarn) were worked at the side edges, the hematite-like beads are left of centre, and the 'oil slick' beads are right of centre. I definitely preferred the look of the hematite-like beads, which gave a sparkle to the fabric without a too blatantly beaded look, so col. 9365 it was.
And here is my progress on 'Mystery Stole 3' to date.
After finishing Clue 1...
After finishing Clue 2...
After finishing Clue 3...
And after finishing Clue 4...
(As the stole is quite long now, I've only photographed the Clue 4 section here.)
The beads I'm using are smaller than the ones originally specified in the pattern and therefore less likely to cause discomfort when the stole is worn, so, as I really like the subtle sparkle they've been adding to my stole, I decided to include beads in the centres of all of the cat's paw motifs...
(For anyone who is knitting 'Mystery Stole 3'... To centre the beads, I knit them in during the wrong side (purl) row following the middle pattern row of the motifs.)
I'm now starting Clue 5, which I will be modifying so that the 'wing' of the finished stole will go over my left shoulder -- as I'm a left-handed knitter, if I knit Clues 5 to 7 exactly as written the 'wing' of my stole will go over my right shoulder. Wish me luck! :)
Labels: Mystery Stole 3