WIP: The Millcroft Shawl

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the Millcroft Shawl from knitscene Winter 2018, which is my favorite project from the issue. I also talked about how I had the kit and had already cast on for this fantastic project—I even took a photo of the little nubbin of a shawl that I had started! I was so excited about this project that I was sure I’d make quick progress on it and have it done by Thanksgiving. Well.

Millcroft Shawl, Photo by Harper Point Photography

Photo by Harper Point Photography

About 4 rows after taking that photo, I made a mistake. I skipped an increase (the result of chatting while knitting), and instead of having 15 stitches at the end of the row, I only had 14. So, out came the 13 lovely rows I’d created. I cast on again and got to Row 11, which calls for a change from color B to color A. I got a few stitches into that change before I realized I was knitting with the yarn tail instead of the end attached to the ball (insert hand-slapping-forehead emoji here). Out came all my stitches. Again.

By this time, I was starting to think maybe this shawl and I weren’t meant to be after all. I was feeling so frustrated, both with the project and with myself. But I took another look at the photos, imagined myself wearing the shawl all winter, took some cleansing breaths, and cast on again.

When I came to the first color change, I watched some videos on YouTube about how to change colors and managed to do it correctly this time, although I still don’t necessarily feel like I have the hang of it. How do you position the yarn so that you can be sure you’re not knitting with the tail, and how do you tension the yarn? I feel like my initial color-change stitches are really loose, as you can see in the photo, so I’d love to hear any tips you have for dealing with that!

Most of my shawl looks okay, but my yarnovers at the color changes are a little loose and gappy (and there are some lumpy bits along the “straight” edge, but that’s nothing a good blocking can’t fix).

Most of my shawl looks okay, but my yarnovers at the color changes are a little loose and gappy (and there are some lumpy bits along the “straight” edge, but that’s nothing a good blocking can’t fix).

I was merrily knitting along on my third attempt when I realized I’d missed yet another yarnover, so I was short a stitch on Row 17. But this time I had another, more positive realization: I could just not do the k2tog at the end of the row and end up with the correct number of stitches. Now, that might not be the best way to deal with this kind of mistake—I probably should have gone back and fixed it properly—but I didn’t know how to do that, and I couldn’t face the idea of ripping out my knitting again. That might be what’s causing the big lump along the left edge in the photo, but I can fix that with some aggressive blocking, so I’m okay with my “fix”!

Thirty-five rows down, 279 to go!

Thirty-five rows down, 279 to go!

Once I figured out how to fudge my mistake (and knitted a few rows without making any), I gained confidence and finally made some real progress. I’m only on row 35 of 312, though, so there’s a long road ahead. But now that I have this pattern kinda figured out, I’m really enjoying the knitting. The yarn is pleasantly squishy and soft and a delight to knit with, and I love seeing all the colors play off one another.

I can’t wait to wear this shawl, so I’m hoping I can finish it relatively quickly! Thanksgiving is not going to happen, but maybe by New Year’s . . . Wish me luck!

Rachel


Make your own Millcroft Shawl!