the 2000 mile shawl

sometimes I’m very cocky about my knitting speed. I’ll think a car ride is enough time to finish half a sweater, a pair of socks, or, in this case, a whole shawl. nevermind how long the car ride actually is, I’ll always pack multiple projects for fear of running out of knitting.

two weeks ago we did a little road trip I dubbed #bourbontostitches. we drove to kentucky, stayed there a few days to hit up some distilleries, and ended the week in nashville to hit up stitches south, meet up with amanda, and get some good food. so of course I packed a brand new shawl project, a sweater in the works, and some socks with extra yarn in case I needed to start a new pair. do I need to say where this is going? 

once we were out of the philly area, I worked on nothing but my masgot shawl. I knit the first day until I ran out of sunlight, same thing on the way back. I would wake up and knit on it and work some more after dinner each night. I even took it with me while driving to distilleries. we could be an hour in the car and I could only get a few rows in. I swore I saw no progress for days. once we got to nashville, I ignored the poor thing for fried pickles and pretty new yarn. can you blame me?

I only needed a couple of days after getting back for finishing up. I love the end result, soft cushy garter stitch goodness. I ran out of the lighter color so my last two stripe sets only have four stripes of each color instead of five. I did have some issues with the bt loft breaking on me a few times. thankfully it split splices easily, but there was a lot of spit holding this shawl together before washing. my shawl didn’t come out nearly as deep as the pattern states, even though I used larger needles and I’m usually a loose knitter. maybe it was all the car knitting and bourbon 🙂 I was so wrong, mine is actually a little bigger than the pattern states. that bourbon did affect me!

this is when I wish I could use slick metal needles. I’ve tried different aluminum and nickle plated needles, but they all cause my tendinitis to flare up. I’m relegated to using wood or carbon fiber needles, which isn’t so bad but makes big projects like this a bit of a drag. for this shawl I used some new carbon fiber circs by newhouse  I ordered a set of their dpn’s before and liked them so much I wanted to try some more and I’ll admit the odd size drew me in (my needles are 4.75 mm, 5″ tips and 32″ length).

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I love the lightness of the needles and their sharp points. I did notice that as I knit the points were reshaped, almost like a pencil tip. this didn’t affect my knitting, but the points didn’t have the same deadly sharpness as out of the envelope. in the middle of my shawl I did begin to miss the metal tips found on my karbonz. I didn’t realize how much that little change would change my speed. my biggest issue was with the cord though. I want to love it just for being red, it’s so nice to have something that doesn’t look like anything else out in the market, but they are too soft/wimpy for me. this made pushing stitches along difficult, with the cord sometimes pulling through between stitches (think magic loop when you don’t want it) when I would push stitches closer to the left needle. I love supporting a small family business and I really love my dpn’s (though now I need to check how those points fared), but I would need the cord to be changed for me to get another circular needle for shawls or sweaters. for now I’ll stick with my karbonz for those projects.

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pattern: masgot by lete’s knits

needles: 4.75mm circs

yarns: the plucky knitter oxford, oatmeal, 1 skein

elsa wool company woolen-spun fingering weight cormo, 70%  dark grey. .77 skein

brooklyn tweed loft, sap, 1 skein

date started: 4.20.2015

date finished: 4.27.2015

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  • Duni May 6, 2015 at 9:18 am

    7 days is pretty damn good time for a shawl! I love your color combo.

    • bitterpurl May 12, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      hahaha I guess that’s true! that was A LOT of knitting time.
      for some reason I thought that ten hours would be enough for a shawl (I am delusional).

  • grumperina May 6, 2015 at 10:59 am

    It came out lovely! Interesting about the needles… you’re making me want to try out Karbonz, though!

    • bitterpurl May 12, 2015 at 6:55 pm

      I love the Karbonz! I’m just happy they allow me to knit again. For you I would pick the Nova Platinas (if I had randomly created some sort of needle choosing app), since they are even slicker and pointier than the Karbonz.

  • Jane May 6, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    This shawl is so gorgeous! I’ve definitely had that feeling, though, especially near the end of a large project when every row seems like millions of stitches. I’m glad you managed to get through to the finish, though, it’s absolutely lovely! I bet it’s extra-squishy and warm in the Loft.

    • bitterpurl May 12, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      aww thank you! I had to keep reminding myself that ten rows later I had 40 extra stitches on the needles. all that garter was so worth it though, it is pretty squishy and soft.

  • Jodi May 6, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    So pretty! I’m absolutely intrigued by these needles. I’ve never used anything like them.

    • bitterpurl May 12, 2015 at 6:51 pm


      let me tell you, nothing feels as luxurious as having custom needles made for yourself. when you open the envelope, they almost look like ebony wood (at least the dpn’s did).

  • Cara May 9, 2015 at 11:28 am

    You are a maniac!! In the best way, of course. And I love the shawl – it seems more like a blanket. So cushy and cozy. Sorry about the needles. I have sort of the opposite problem. I am married to my blunt Addi turbos – anything pointier is deadly to me. Even with the Addis I can put a hole in my finger.

    • bitterpurl May 12, 2015 at 6:46 pm

      hah! I can be a little crazy 🙂 I’ll admit I have no clue how to wear this shawl, it is so long.

      my lord woman! bluntos?! I had to sell off all my addis because the metal would flare up my arm pain 🙁