Last week I participated in the 5shawls 5 Days Challenge by Aroha Knits. It is a challenge where you knit 5 basic shawl shapes, 1 shape each day. When you join the challenge you get access to a private Facebook group. The group is very supportive and active. I have learned a lot and am inspired to work on more shawls and maybe try my hand at designing a shawl.
The shape for day 1 was a Triangle and the second Day was the 3/4 shawl. The third day was a crescent shawl, the fourth day was the swirl shawl and day 5 was the asymmetrical shawl. Three of those shapes used a garter tab cast on. It can be fiddly but I am really starting to like it. A lot of shawl patterns use this cast on. Here is a tutorial in case you are curious. With the crescent shawl, I had to do a yarn over on the purl side and I struggled with that but once I found a tutorial I enjoyed seeing the shape come together. Day 4 was a swirl shawl. I really struggled with that shape. It called for using double pointed needles and I am not very comfortable with the technique at all. I tried to do it several times but could never get past the first row so I ended up skipping that day. That is why the photos only show 4 shapes. I think I need more practice on double pointed needles before I try to make that shape again.
The challenge also had the hashtag #5shawls5days on Instagram. When I looked at the hashtag, many people got creative with stitch patterns and used different cast offs. I now want to learn the picot cast off. The host, did a bonus lesson where she shows how to incorporate stitch patterns into the shapes. I haven’t watched it yet but I plan to this week. I may try experimenting with incorporating a stitch pattern into the triangle shawl shape.
One of my current projects is this scarf I am making using the mitered square technique. Mitered squares get their shape from decreases in the middle of the row you are currently knitting. A lot of knitters will make blankets out of sock yarn using this technique. The book, Knits from a Painter’s Palette made me want to learn how to make mitered squares. This book is well worth checking out. The patterns are lovely and I love how creative the designer was in using mitered squares and modular knitting. I decided to make a patchwork scarf. instead of a blanket.
I didn’t make the squares the way the book recommends. I used the instructions from this pattern. I also found this tutorial helpful. Before I started, I did a web search on mitered squares and found out there are several ways to make them. At first, I was concerned that I wasn’t doing it correctly. I asked for advice on Ravelry and was told to make them the way I feel comfortable. I decided I was most comfortable with the technique listed in the above pattern and tutorial. I originally was going to make the scarf using scrap yarn. I started the project and ran out of the purple yarn I was using and had to buy more. Then I bought some dark grey to add a neutral color.
With mitered squares, you can either make the squares and sew them together later or you can join them as you go. At first I made a bunch and sewed them together. Then I figured out how to join them as I go and I prefer that technique. The video above has instructions on how to join as you go starting at 8:40. The earlier half of the video shows a couple of other ways to decrease in the middle. I enjoy making mitered squares. Once I got the hang of it, they are not difficult to make and I can be creative with how I put the colors together.