Dotted Rays

Pattern: Dotted Rays, from Stephen West
Yarn: Tosh Merino Light, from Madeline Tosh ( yards)
Knitting Time: May 6 2015 - June 20 2015 (six weeks)

I began knitting this shawl in early May, as part of my OWL for the HPKCHC group on Ravelry. I'm not really a shawl knitter, but I knew I wanted to stretch myself this spring/summer to make just a few knitted things that are outside of my normal knit-sphere. That said, I also knew a traditional triangle shawl is something I'll never wear, so I wanted something that I could see myself wrapping around my neck like a scarf this winter.

Something for football games and snow days and going to middle school practicums. Something that would take me from fall to winter to spring. Something I'd actually wear.

Dotted Rays is definitely that shawl! I love looping it loosely around my neck (as seen in the first picture above), but found that when I draped it over my shoulders for pictures, I immediately knew this would be the perfect way to wear this shawl when I need one extra cozy layer. And it also wraps more tightly around my neck like a traditional scarf, for those super cold football games this fall!

Dotted Rays comes with two sizes you can knit, and I chose the smaller size - both because I'm not a natural shawl knitter, and also because I'm super short, so a huge shawl would be a bit unusable. I'm so glad I made the small version, because it's just the right amount of "huge, blanket-like" for me, while still being 100% useable!

I made exactly zero modifications to the pattern as I knit it. And while I could say it's because I didn't feel adept enough to make any changes, in truth I adore this shawl made exactly the way it's designed.

I will say this, however. I worked the first four or five sections just trying to "pay attention" to where the short row turns were, and it was driving me insane! I complained a bit in a private online knitting group I'm a member of, and one lovely friend pointed out that DUH ROBYN, STITCH MARKERS AT THE SHORT ROW TURNS. Because seriously, then you don't have to do anything but pay attention to how many stitches you need to be away from the last marker, and not constantly count the entire section, like I was doing. Game. Changer.

This little tip is actually getting its own post at some point, once I feel like casting on another shawl so I can take pictures of this in-process. Because did I think to take pictures in the moment? NOPE! Oh well. I'm sort of out of practice at this whole blogging thing this spring/summer, so whatever. Next time!!

If you're a seasoned shawl knitter, you could whip this off your needles far faster than I did, I would imagine. But still ... six weeks of intermittent knitting time (when the kids were sleeping, basically) doesn't feel like a very long time to me, so beginner shawl makers shouldn't be scared away by this! The techniques are super fun and easy to master, and it's a piece I'll wear for years to come!!