Project of the Month: Two Slipstravaganza Shawls

For our December Project of the Month we are featuring the Slipstravaganza shawl! We’re closing out the year featuring two of these giant cozy shawls that were knit by Sarah and Gabby, two of our Baaad Anna’s staff members. Slipstravaganza is a shawl pattern by Stephen West (Westknits) that was released this fall as a mystery knit-a-long. For four weeks Sarah and Gabby followed weekly clues and saw their shawls grow without knowing what the final shawl would look like. Read on to find out how it went, what their favourite section was and how they feel about their completed Slipstravaganza shawls.

The Slipstravaganza shawl is a five-section fingering weight shawl that uses two skeins of main colour yarn and three contrast colours. The shawl starts with the triangle honeycomb section and works its way outwards from there. You can choose from a longer border section (Sarah’s is the full shawl size) or you can opt for a smaller border section (like Gabby did) and the shawl will use at least three quarters of each contrast colour skein. Slip stitches are featured throughout (we know, the shawl name gives it away) and help tie each individual section together with the next.


How did you find the KAL experience?

Sarah: I really enjoyed it! The knit-a-long was broken into segments that were possible to complete in between releases and they were all different enough to be interesting. I also enjoyed watching Ravelry to see how other people’s projects were coming along. I was less of a fan of 960 stitches per row for the last section but it was definitely worth the final product.

Gabby: It was so much fun! I loved seeing the shawl unfold each week without really knowing where it was heading. The weekly videos (all available on YouTube) that Stephen did showing techniques for the upcoming section were really helpful too.

Side-by-side early in the knit-a-long process. You can really see the difference between choosing a dark or light main colour.

What was your favourite section to complete?

Sarah: I liked the diamond section, it really started to bring the shawl together and I think it looks like stained glass.

Gabby: I think the chevron border was my favourite. Each of those 900 stitch rows were worth it to see the last piece of the puzzle fall into place. Long, and so worth it!

Did you run into any snags along the way?

Sarah: Yes! I completed section 1 (the triangle honeycomb) and decided to wash and block it before section 2 started. One of my colours bled A LOT completely changing the colour of the other yarns. I washed it but the colour kept bleeding so I found another yarn in my stash and restarted. I actually like my new combination more but at the time I was pretty salty about it! I did learn a very important lesson about colourwork – use all your colours in your swatch and block it! It will save a lot of time and swear words.

Gabby: I learned from Sarah and immediately blocked a swatch to make sure I wasn’t going to experience the same issue and luckily I didn’t experience any colour issues. The process was pretty smooth but it took me a while to warm up to how my colours were looking.

Did you swatch using the lazy swatch* method? 

*A lazy swatch is a quick way of visualizing colour choices before you start knitting. Take a piece of cardboard and wrap your yarn around it in the order you want to use your colours.

Sarah: Yes, I was trying out a few colour combinations and wanted to get an idea of how they might look together. I also did stripes in my knit swatch to try to get an idea of how it would look because I was using some variegated yarns. Figuring out the best way to use the colours for a project like this can be hard when you have no idea what it is going to look like as a final product. I would probably use this method again if I knew that the project had either stripes or colour blocks.

Gabby: I did too but I didn’t knit mine up a swatch before I started and I think it would have been a good idea to. Now that the full pattern is released I think knitters will have an easier time visualizing what to expect with their swatches. I’m also going to use this technique for future projects. It’s so fast.

How do you feel about your final shawl?

Sarah: I love it! I love the way it looks like stained glass and how the colours work together. It’s huge so I’m going to have to learn how to wear it. I love how his patterns allow you to use some really wild colour combinations and still get an incredible shawl. I think this is a project that I really needed this year. It gave me something to look forward to and work towards each week.

Gabby: I love mine too! One regret I have is not being bolder with my colour choices. Stephen West put out a dare to knitters to add an extra pop of colour or add mohair in for a section (‘the mohair dare’ as he called it) and if I do another knit-a-long of his I’ll definitely be more adventurous in my colour choices. I’m excited to wear this shawl all winter long.

Here are the details on what yarns Sarah and Gabby used for their shawls. Note that not all yarns they used are available in the store but we’ve linked the ones that are.

Sarah used:

To see more photos of Sarah’s shawl visit her Ravelry page.

Gabby used:

The store is stocked with so many wonderful fingering weight yarns to choose from for your Slipstravaganza shawl. You can browse them all in the online store or come see them in person. Don’t forget to tag us on Instagram @baaadannas when you’re done!

If you’re intrigued by Stephen West’s patterns look no further than December 26th, when he will be launching his Hiberknitalong 2020 shawl pattern, we know we will be casting on!

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