01 January 2014

SPIRE 2014 KAL - Day 1 ~ guest blogger Andrea

Jan. 1, 2014 - Last night I colored my charts with colored pencils, assigning a color to each stitch maneuver. It really calls attention to the different decreases, etc.

The cast-on took me about 4 attempts. I finally used a different color marker for each of the 4 DPN’s so I could identify them easily. That really helped. I’m not a fan of the cast-on.

Each of my paired markers are the same color. I’m doing everything I can to take the potential problems out of this project. The beginning of round markers are green (for go). I used that technique always to help me identify beginning of round or RS.

I am counting every section between the double markers before I proceed. This is something I learned in a Sivia Harding class. This eliminates forgetting a YO, etc. and not catching it until the next row.
I made my change to circular needles at the beginning of chart B. I’ve made it to around halfway through chart B, but I devoted the entire day to knitting (I never do that). Rose Parade, Coal Miner’s Daughter, and some afternoon fluff. It feels very decadent.

The pattern is pretty straightforward for me. I won’t be able to memorize it but it’s easy to read your work and get into a groove of what to do. I did go online to solidify how to do the sspTBL. Don’t let it throw you. So far, I’m loving this project. Cheers, all


  1. Looks like a great start! I went to cast on today, and realized that I don't have DPN's in the size I need. (Rookie error!) Hopefully, I will have something to post about tomorrow ;)

    1. Btw, how did you like your Sivia Harding class? I just heard a podcast interview with her, and she seemed so charming and grounded. I was intrigued by the way she approached her knitting.

    2. I can only speak for me but I'm chiming in here :)

      I took one of Sivia's classes with Andrea and it was one of the best classes I've ever taken. Also took one of her design classes ~ she is a gentle guide and soft spoken and encouraging and a wealth of useful helpful information. Absolutely as the top of my list so far for favorite knitting classes!

    3. Melissa is correct in every way. Sivia is a gentle soul who has an easy teaching style, but she always has complete control of the class. She is encouraging and has a solid grasp of all the facets of her bead, lace, moebius, etc. concepts. I have taken a few classes from her and I learn something new and ever-useful each time. If you get a chance take one of her classes.

  2. I cast on today also and am mid-way through the second repeat of chart B. I used the Emily Ocker circular cast-on and then used magic loop instead of fighting with dpn needles which I find unmanageable with so few stitches.

    (I've also taken a Sivia Harding class and really liked it. I learned several great tips on shawl design and error correction which have been very useful.)

    I must be nuts, though, because I just ordered yarn for both Girasole and Leaves of Grass. Maybe 2014 is destined to be a Big Shawl year.