When you can knit but can’ t count

Carefully considering the appropriate cast on for the 7 Crescent Shawl by Lisa Barnes, I quickly put 232 stitches on a 24″ size 7 needle the night before our Montreal road trip. By the end of the weekend, the lace portion was complete.

“What long rows,” I thought.

Alanna Nelson knits shawl in New England

Never mind, the rest of the Crescent Shawl was stockinette st short rows… perfect for our sailing vacation which began two days later. I plugged away, enjoying the mindless knitting while watching waves, wind and lightning. Eventually it occurred to me that this shawl was asymmetrical.

Crescent Shawl knit while sailing

The #7 Crescent Shawl with a long tail


I’d cast on 332 stitches, not 232! All scrunched up on the short needle, I couldn’t really tell.

Do I finish, I wondered? What if I worked 12 st past the join on the long side, so I would finish up at the same time on both ends? What the heck, it may be just fine. It’s still mindless knitting.

Well, it’s really not. Once finished, no way did I want it to do on my present shelf. Really, the lace pattern is a bit disjointed. Actually, there’s so much going on in the yarn that I really couldn’t see the pattern anyway. But the Noro Mirai yarn is quite soft. I like the yarn, I like the idea of a crescent shawl, but something with lacey, easy to knit holes, something soft and buttery, with light layers would be a better mix for this cotton/silk/viscose yarn.

Rather than rip out and knit again, I think I’m going to write my own crescent shawl pattern. Stay tuned!

Mirai Crescent Shawl: through the lace

A long car trip offered ample time to work through the lace chart on the #7 Crescent Shawl. It wasn’t a great project for chitter chattering with family, but I managed survive without needles in my hands.

This scarf lets you practice a Central Double Decrease (they call it S2KP, which still means: slip two stitches together knit wise, k1, pass the 2 st over).

Alanna Nelson knits Mirai Crescent Shawl

Wish I’d cast on with a longer needle….

The lace pattern is not difficult to follow, but frankly the yarn takes center stage.  I think I’ll need only one skein of yarn so…

What about working a feather and fan pattern instead of the lace? You get holes, you get to focus on yarn and the scalloped edge reflects the crescent shape?

I just may try that!

Stay tuned

Mirai Crescent Shawl KAL: Cast on!

Over at In Stitches, Jean showed me a Noro blend of cotton, silk and viscose called Mirai. Hmm, a non scratchy Noro yarn? I must try it.

Turns out, there’s a Knit a Long (KAL) on the horizon. #7 Crescent Shawl from the latest Noro Magazine is a free pattern if you purchase Mirai yarn. Heck, I’m on a road trip this weekend. Why not cast on another project?

Alanna Nelson knits Noro Mirai Crescent Shawl

Noro Magazine #8

I bought two skeins of Mirai, even though many Ravelry projects managed to finish with just one. What the heck, I may make it twice.

Taking time to acquaint myself with the pattern before I jump in the car (what an idea, right?), the instructions state cast on 232 st and immediately dive into the 10 st repeat 18 row lace pattern. Well, here are a couple of questions:

  • Which cast on should I use? Normally, a long tail cast on but with so many stitches, would a knit on cast on work?
  • No set up row? Really? Normally, I like a row of plain knitting before jumping into the pattern, especially for a scarf made of stretchy cotton and silk.

Here are a few unblocked swatches I made in worsted weight wool.

Alanna Nelson knits swatches for Mirai Crescent Shawl

The results are clear: A long tail cast on and purl one row before beginning the lace pattern.

The bag is by the door and ready to go. I didn’t forget stitch markers…. I figure I’ll need 23 of them until I get a hang of the pattern.

Anyone else doing the Crescent Shawl KAL? If you buy the Mirai yarn, you can get the pattern for free, without having to purchase the magazine. However, there are other interesting mosaic stitch and lace patterns that catch my eye… this magazine’s pages will show some wear and tear!

I’m off!