Morticia Lace Knitted Shawl – Mystery Knit Along Experience

If you’ve been following my crochet/knit blog, you might of noticed I went MIA for awhile. That was a cross between working on my other blog, The Oolong Owl and getting caught up with various crafting projects. I also have been meaning to move the Awkward Soul Designs blog to my own host from a free blog hosting – and less content to move, the easier (gosh, it was a nightmare moving Oolong Owl, I lost pictures!). Anyways, here is one of the projects I worked on during my knitting blog MIA time.

Morticia Lace Knitted Shawl

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Pattern: Boo Knits’ MORTICIA

Awkward Soul’s Morticia Ravelry Project Page

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This shawl was a Mystery Knit Along (MKAL). How a MKAL works, at least how Boo Knits did it, was first there was lots of well deserved hype that there was a mystery lace knitting pattern coming out. The pattern was released in small parts each week, with no pictures of the finished product to be found (unless you looked at the spoilers). Fellow knitters on the Boo Knits group on Ravelry would knit the shawl together, talk about it and post progress pics of each “clue”. It was quite fun in that aspect of you don’t know what you are making and there are others making the same thing to help you out if needed. Before the pattern was posted, the material list was available – so everyone knew how much yarn they needed and number of beads. Lots of beads!

This was my first MKAL – to me the concept is cool, but I am also a bit of a control perfectionist freak when it comes to my crochet/knitting/drawings so making something I had no idea what it would look like in the end was pretty scary to me.

BUT, I trusted Boo Knits, as I’ve made 4 of her patterns, for the finished lace shawl to be gorgeous no matter what.

For yarn, I had a couple balls of elann Peruvian Baby Lace Merino in my stash, and I purchased some smokey black seed beads. Since I’ve worked with Boo Knits patterns before using the same yarn, I knew what needle size to use.

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The first clue was released early October 2013. I managed to start the same time when the first “clue” was release and finished it just before the second clue arrived.

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It took me almost 2 weeks to finish clue 2, so I was behind a week – the shawl was turning up quite large and longer to make with the lace being throughout the entire shawl and the beading time consuming. If you make a mistake on bead placement or an error in the lace knitting near a bead, it looks quite weird but also was a pain in the butt to go back and fix. Sometimes when I make small mistakes in lace knitting I just fake it, but when there’s beads in the mix that can’t be done unless you can live with the beading being out of place.

Unfortunately, Pokemon XY came out and I got caught up playing that and put down the shawl. To keep the shawl a mystery I downloaded each clue and AVOIDED Ravelry’s pattern page and Boo Knits related things until I was done.

I picked up the shawl again when I went on a 15 day cruise to Hawaii (so lovely!) in January and hammered out a few rows, getting clue 3 done.

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As the shawl progressed, there was even more beading involved, sometimes every other stitch! It looks fantastic though!

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After another short break, I was determined to get my morticia shawl done!  After a month of working on my shawl, I finished in May 2014. Thankfully, the blocking wasn’t too difficult.

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In the end, I love how this shawl turned out! It is very large – 7 FEET WIDE, 22″ tall.

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It has amazing drape due to the weight of the beads. The lace pattern is gorgeous and the beads add sparkle throughout the piece.

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As a knitter, the subtle transition of the lace pattern was a fun knit – difficultly wise (not counting beads) it wasn’t bad as every wrong side row was purled.

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I love the dramatic picot bind off. This bind off also had beads on the tips, making an already time consuming bind off even more intense to make.

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For the Mystery Knit Along aspect, I don’t think I’d do one again. Though, I always wanted to make a purple shawl, even having the yarn in my stash before making this lace shawl, if I were to make this shawl again I would do it in a cool light colour. I think the detail, drape and the dramatically spiky border would of made a gorgeous light grey ghostly shawl. I would of also not of used beads – they look great, but ramped up the difficulty and time to knit the shawl. Hmmm, maybe I’ll make another one…

Lichen Knitted Shawl – Finished!

I found a lovely shawl on Ravelry last month that was ruffley with interesting shaping that I had to make.

Lichen by Larissa Brown turned out an easy, magical knit. Perfect if you are new to knitting lace! It uses a thicker yarn than usual, an Aran weight (though DK version is available). The pattern is written out, and is simply knit, purls and yarnovers – nothing crazy.

I wanted to start this shawl so bad, but I had no blockable yarn in that amount. I decided to give Elann a try and ordered a couple balls of their Peruvian Highland Wool. This yarn is a heathered gray (colorway 1068) – I love the flickers of blue and purple off the gray base!

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Starting the shawl I had mixed up the slip edging directions, so I had to frog and start over – but once I got the hang of the pattern, it was very easy of a knit to require not too much attention, but enough things going on to keep it interesting.

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2 weeks of knitting while watching movies or listening to podcasts, I had a finished shawl! This puppy finishes very quickly – I’m sure if I worked on it more, it could of been done in a week or less.

I had also added 3 extra repeats as it turned out I had extra yarn, despite the yardage that was suggested in the pattern. Before blocking I got the length to 51″.

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Despite the pattern being pretty easy, block WAS NOT EASY.

All the other shawls I’ve done were a “U”, rectangle or triangle shape, so pinning wasn’t too bad for those – this Lichen shawl was on a different level of crazyness! You have to pin open the ruffles, so the shawl bends into a spiral, requiring you to pin ontop of your existing work.

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What helped me with blocking this shawl: (taken from my Lichen Ravelry project page)

  1. Have lots of pins – I used 211 and probably could of used more so I didn’t have pointy ruffle bits.
  2. Start pinning the tip of the shawl in the middle of your blocking mat.
  3. Pin the first ruffle to a basic shape, but don’t go overboard on pins
  4. Roughly pin the next ruffle
  5. Redo the first initial ruffle, with max pins. I found once you got to the second ruffle, it created slack, thus having to repin the first one no matter what.
  6. When the shawl starts to spiral in itself, thus you have to pin ontop – it is really easy to mix up what pins go where. Either change pin colours – or when in doubt, just add another pin without removing any old pins.

After all that – over 45 minutes of pinning and sore, soggy pruney fingers from the wet yarn. This shawl also took awhile to dry too since it was layered on its self.

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Kind of looks like a ninja star, doesn’t it?

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Unpinning was easier, but again, over 200 pins hurts the thumbs after awhile plus accidental pin stabs!

The result? WOW! The shawl stretched out to over 60″ (and hard to measure because of the ruffles).

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Love the colour of the yarn!

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I had some spikey ends on the ruffles, but some smoothing helped a little. Next time, MORE pins!

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I love how the shawl turned out! This one is supposed to be for me, though if I were to make it again for myself, I would add maybe 2 rows to the ruffles to make it wider.

Bonus: Benson thinks 100% wool is tasty to lick. I had to pry him off the shawl, so no bunny knitware modelling for him!

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Cloudy Tea Shawl

I’ve been MIA because of this project – All other crochet and knitting projects have been put aside in order to finish this shawl in time for my family gathering / wedding. I was trying to get this done for my civil ceremony, but completely failed, so I really pushed to get this done.. with 13 days to spare! YAY!

The pattern I used: Cloud Illusions by Boo Knits

Link to the Ravelry Project Details

I started this beast in February and finally finished in October of the same year! ARGG! I followed most of the pattern, using the large sized base, and lace pattern to row 55 (which I slightly modified to fit the lace border). I wanted a larger shawl, but I knew I didn’t have enough time to do the entire lace pattern. I used KnitPicks Shadow Lace Yarn in “Midnight Heather” with my amazing Harmony interchangeable circular needles.

I nicked named this shawl, “Shawl of Doom” because of the amount of time it took to finish. The longest parts were the base, adding beading and the picot edging. I don’t know why, but making the stockinette stitch body just took forever! It was also very very dull, I guess that is why I was very slow on it.

The picot bind off took around 8 hours to complete. It was very tiresome. However, the results are fantastic and I’d do a picot border again!

Beading wasn’t too bad, if I had more time I would of added more. I love the extra sparkle the beads added!

Beautiful lace pattern! The final measurements: 82” long, stretched out. 20” at the widest point.

The lace pattern was a good moderate difficulty – not boring but easy enough for me to pick up and remember. The lace border required some attention but was not difficult.

I’ve been really wanting to make my own lace pattern – I have a couple ideas but I still need to get some shaping theory down first. PHEW! Now this is done (and once the wedding is past) I can work on other things!

Now that christmas is over…

Now that Christmas is over I can actually post and show off something I made without spoiling gifts! <3 Hurray!

First huge christmas gift I worked on was a Meandering Vines pattern I found on Ravelry. This one I harrassed my fiance on what colour his mother would wear and likes and after hours staring at swatches I finally got something I think would be look great.

Here is the shawl blocked:

This was my first time blocking something that large, so it went kind of weird. Also, I wasn’t home so I didn’t have my mats that I can use for blocking (that I also use to workout on too). I found blocking on towels to be painful, especially when I’m trying to widen the thing as the towels just smoosh back. My fiance was smart and piled some geeky books on the towels to help, but it still was a struggle to block it perfectly.

Pretty detail shot of the lace pattern:

I love knitting lace – I love using my Knitpicks Harmony needles and thin yarn (palette yarn) – which I also got off Knitpicks. Lace works up fast and when it’s blocked it looks very different! <3 love it!

LOL @ getting my man to pose with the project… it might be the last time I ask him the model as he gets too silly <3

With that said, this being my first huge lace project, I was geared and experienced to do another lace project right after, and this time a christmas present for me!! ME ME ME!

This was the project I mentioned in a previous post about my nails matching my yarn (lol). This Dragonfly Wing shawl came out beautifully <3


For this project the blocking went over better – I had those mat things and also control and accuracy. I don’t ever want to block with towels again (unless its a tiny project).

There’s one more item I should post.. but the recipient hasn’t gotten it yet! >__< GAH! Either way, more to come later <3