The Yarnologue

Finished: Metalouse Shawl

I finished knitting my Metalouse Shawl on Sunday! I cast off late into the night. I took me a few days to weave in all the ends, because I was being lazy. LOL

Metalouse fenceI had to stand far away to get the entire shawl in the picture, so they are kind of small.

I used Noro Kirara in color #22 (blues, greens, and purple) for my main yarn and Ella Rae Lace Merino in a vibrant orange for my contrasting yarn.

I held the Lace Merino doubled to bring it in line with the gauge of the Kirara. It worked out rather well. I had two skeins of Lace Merino (200 grams) and had 88 grams left over. So plan on using a skein and a half if you do the same.

This was a nice project, although I started to get bored toward the end. The rows just kept getting longer and longer, which is pretty standard for a shawl.

Happily, West specifies the type of bind off you should use (k2tog-tbl, pass back to left needle, repeat). It went quickly and seems stretchy, so I didn’t have to worry about a tight bind off.

Stitch markers to the rescue!

My main problem, which was user error and not an issue with the pattern, was that I kept forgetting to work the increases in the center of the shawl. I kept just knitting straight past them.

A few times I didn’t realize until two rows later when the slip-stitch columns didn’t work out properly, which was really annoying because of how far I had to rip back. Mostly I would realize at the end of the row and just have to tink back to the middle.

(Tink is knit spelled backwards. It’s a term used when you rip back by picking out one stitch at a time.)

Eventually I got smart and clipped an additional stitch marker to the center of the shawl on increase rows to remind myself. It was smooth knitting after that.

Metalouse fence closeCaution Zone

The two areas where I would tell you to pay attention are your floats in Section 2.

First, you’ll have floats up the side of the shawl where you change colors. There is no need to cut your yarn since it’s a two row stripe repeat.

When you change colors you’ll want to twist the yarns as you do in intarsia. Then I like to give the fabric a little tug to ensure I’m leaving enough slack for the edge to lay flat.

Second, you’ll have floats behind the slip-stitch columns. If you pull the yarn too tightly you’ll make the columns pucker and might reduce the width of your shawl.

In this case, it’s a matter of keeping your stitches spread out along the needle to approximate the finished gauge.

Metalouse close upSwatch!

When I posted pictures of my progress on Facebook a few people asked whether this was a good project for a beginner.

I think an advanced beginner should be able to tackle it, especially if you are comfortable reading a pattern.

This shawl uses a four row repeat as it’s base, which is easy to get the hang of. The intimidating part is Section 2 with the columns of contrasting color, but once you try it you’ll see it’s simple.

When ever you are unsure of a project try swatching the tricky bits to test it out. If you can become familiar with the technique in advance it won’t be so bad when you’re working on the project!


  1. Very striking piece, particularly with the contrasting orange. Congratulations on another beautiful piece well done!

  2. Thanks!
    I wasn’t sure about using the orange for the edge (as the pattern directed), but it really ties it all together.

  3. Ann, The scarf really is a striking a piece. Your colorway is just beautiful.

  4. Diane Sonnenberg

    July 19, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    thanks, that really helped

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