Like all avid knitters, it is almost impossible for me to walk into a yarn shop and not buy a knitting project. This time I was walking in with my daughter for a 4H project and I swore I was not going to look at any samples as I was not buying a project. Of course, there was a beautiful shawl on a mannequin that was in my sight line to the yarn. I said to myself, “I am not looking. I am not looking. Oh my gosh, how beautiful is that! No. I am not buying… walk away, walk away.”
I helped my daughter select her project and pay. As I am walking out, I glanced out of the corner of my eye at the shawl and realized, I must make this shawl. I selected my yarn: 2 skeins of Berroco Millefiori and 1 skein of Berroco Vintage. I took pictures of this fringed shawl with variegated (Millefiori) yarn striped on half of the shawl with the solid (Vintage) yarn. I also take a close-up picture of the name of the pattern on Ravelry.com. From experience, I made sure I had the name of the pattern as it is next to impossible to search for the pattern without the exact name on Ravelry.com.
I drove home feeling excited and guilty. Excited wins so, I immediately looked for my pattern, Kveta, and to my surprise it is not a striped shawl and the pattern looked more like a cowl than a shawl. Do I have the wrong pattern? The pattern was designed for Berroco Millefiori yarn, so it could be the right pattern. I searched Ravelry for other Berroco yarn patterns. No luck. The pattern was not expensive, only $6, maybe the striped shawl was another version and is not pictured on the front of the pattern. No luck.
I started to feel more guilty about my purchase. My inner voice starts talking again. “Calm yourself. You can do this. You can figure this out. Just read the pattern. All will become clear.” There is only 7 lines to the pattern. How is this possible? The last lines were terrifying. “Drop the remaining 4 stitches from the needle and allow to unravel all the way back to the beginning. Cut the loops to make the fringe.”
I thought this cannot be right, “let my stitches unravel all the way back to the beginning.” I immediately found my knitting guru friend. She read the pattern and says, “huh”. We talk back and forth. Guru like all gurus said something profound and simple. “Make a swatch”. I did not want to make a swatch. I did NOT want to make a swatch. It wastes yarn and time. Maybe I won’t make the shawl this way, I’ll just add fringe at the end. Guru, “just make the swatch with waste yarn.” I whinge more and she finally whips up a small swatch and tests the unravel of the last 4 stitches. It works! Wow!
I vowed to start tomorrow. A few months go by before I start, because the logical side of my brains says, “you cannot unravel four stitches on the edge and maintain the rest of the stiches. No way. You are going to put all those hours into knitting that shawl and it will disintegrate when you unravel the 4 stitches on the edge.”
Stuck at home because of COVID-19, what do I have to lose. I have time on my hands.
I will admit while I was knitting the shawl, I worried as well. Will the K2tg on the decrease side work the same as the M1 on the increase side? We only made the swatch for the increase not the decrease. Half way through the shawl, I did talk to the shop owner where I bought the yarn. Your shawl is bigger than mine and how did the unravel the last four stiches work for you. Shop owner, “Oh, I did not do that. I was talking to a friend and we decided, the pattern could not be right. The disintegration of stiches would not stop at 4 stitches on each row. Not possible. I just cut yarn and added fringe at the end. And I did not check gauge, I probably used larger needles and I am a loose knitter.” She looked at my knitting, “So that is how it is supposed to look. Huh. You are so brave. Good Luck!” I was totally deflated, and half way through knitting my project.
I am now out the other side of this project. Looking back, I cannot believe I wasted soooo much time worrying about those 4 stitches. Of course, I can believe I worried so much about those 4 stitches. I have a VERY active internal voice. With knitting, this voice is active, because I am a self-taught knitter and there have been quite a few projects thrown against the wall in frustration or abandoned because I did not understand the pattern.
The KEY to the story. There is nothing wrong with the Kveta pattern designed by Amy Christoffers for Berroco Millefiori yarns (on Ravelry.com individually and booklet 377). When you unravel the last four stitches of the edge, you are unraveling a loop for a garter stich pair of rows.
The M1 and K2tg stitches act as a bumper to prevent more unraveling. The pattern has you knot the loop before cutting the loop to make the fringe.
The only complication was the STRIPED side of the shawl. I carried the yarn along the side of the shawl as I was knitting. The loops become tangled and I had to unravel one more loop and cut yarn before knotting off the fringe for that row. I had very little confidence at first and the striped side was unraveled first as I ended with the stripe side. I will have to even my fringe because the striped side loops are longer.
I must say, I was tentative and hesitant in my unraveling. I still did not believe it was working.
I am here to say:
“BE BRAVE. MAKE THE SWATCH.
HAVE CONFIDENCE – UNRAVEL YOUR KNITTING!”