mystery knit along

I am so excited!  

Yesterday I was reading one of my favorite knitting blogs, Wendy Knits, {of knit designer/author Wendy Johnson} and found out she's hosting a mystery knit-along!  Woohoo!  Count me in! 

(Image from Summer Mystery Shawlette's pattern page on Ravelry.)
For those of you non-knitters who are wondering what on earth that is, a knit-along is when a bunch of knitters decide to knit the same project at the same time.  A mystery knit-along is when the designer only gives a little bit of the pattern at a time and doesn't post any photos of the finished project so you don't know what you're knitting (except a very basic knowledge that it's socks or a blanket or a sweater--you get the idea) and don't get to see what it's going to look like until you've knit it yourself!  I've never actually done a knit-along before, because I haven't found the right knit-along project until now.  Did I mention I'm excited?!?

Anyways, I've been following Wendy's blog for some time now and have been in love with the lace shawls she's been knitting up lately like no one's business. So knowing I love her other lace shawls, I'm confident that this summer mystery shawlette is going to be just what I need for a personal {read non-business} summer knitting project. 

[Just don't tell the 2 pairs of socks I've already got on the needles that they'll be in hibernation for the summer.  They might get jealous that I'm knitting my first lace shawl with...yup, that's right...sock yarn.] 

<<< giggles >>>

So right away I dug out some Dream in Color Smooshy that's been ever-so-patiently waiting in my stash for the past couple of years. 


I also grabbed some circular needles size US 6 and began by making a gauge swatch. 

Um.  Houston, we have a problem...

According to the pattern, we're supposed to get somewhere around 5 stitches to the inch.  Wendy admits that she tend to knit with a looser tension, so I decide I'd best go up a needle.  But my gauge on 6s was 7 stitches to the inch!!!! 

If you knit, you know that's a far cry from 5 st/in. 

How on earth does she get 5 stitches to the inch on US 5s with sock yarn????   Sorry, Wendy, but I just can't figure that one out.

Since my gauge was so far off, I went online to check out the Ravelry discussion about the project and saw that, indeed, I am not alone.  A few others out there were dealing with the same issue.  Some said they'd be okay with their shawlette being smaller, some said they changed the cast on number, and some were undecided whether or not they'd use the needle they got gauge with (size US8) or a smaller one.

So now with my US 8s in hand, I knitted another swatch and found my gauge ended up about 5.5 stitches to the inch.  It's definitely not perfect, but I'm petite and I don't mind if my shawl is a tad smaller than the pattern's.  I'm really not sure whether the 8s are going to work, but my only other choice is to cast on extra stitches with smaller needles which ultimately means the project would require more yarn too.  And I just don't know how to figure out much extra yarn it would take, so I've decided to go ahead with my 8s and see what happens. 

My version of winging it, I guess!

I cast on my stitches and and finished knitting the 2 set-up rows last night. 
I'm ready for more of the pattern now.  It's supposed to be up on Wendy Knits sometime today.  

It'll be fun to see how it turns out, won't it?!

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