Follow Your Arrow

I’m a day late and a dollar short coming to the knit-along game. Or, in the case of Follow Your Arrow, by Ysolda Teague, a few months late. I’m trying to knit through my stash and this looked like a fun experiment to use up the gray Louisa Harding Willow Tweed (40% Alpaca, 40% Merino Wool, 20% Silk: 128 yds/50 g) I had picked up at a clearance sale a while back.

A note on the yarn: the drape and sheen of the Willow Tweed are lovely. If you like tweeds that are highly variable in some places, I’d recommend it. In retrospect, I’m not sure I would use even a shiny, lightweight tweed for what is, essentially, a sock yarn shawl, but I think it ultimately ended up being a decent match for the very geometric lace of the pattern.

Follow Your Arrow Shawl
My blocking might be making the asymmetry worse…

Spoiler: The shawl picture here is what you get from following clues 1A, 2A, 3B, 4A, 5A.

My approach to this pattern was more or less  to take the path of least resistance. Sometimes the resistance I faced was boredom, so I took the chart that looked more interesting for the middle three clues, but for the first clue, I picked based on number of stitches I had to cast on and for the last, I chickened out and went for the option that required 24 rows instead of 663.

Those 663 rows were short rows, and in retrospect were probably designed to minimize long stretches of time spent binding off (a task I loathe), but still. 663 rows feels much more time consuming than 24 when you’re making choices after a long day of work. 🙂

I don’t know if I’d recommend clue 1A. It creates an asymmetric shawl, and when I finished it, I definitely had a panicked moment of “What the heck did I screw up?” The asymmetry is growing on me, a little, but it took a lot of browsing through other people’s project photos to decide if I could live with my decision. In the end, I really only kept it because I couldn’t bear to frog work that was done correctly.

Follow Your Arrow Shawl with Pin
Isn’t the turquoise lovely with this gray tweed?

Overall, I have mixed feelings on this project. I may be too much of a control freak to be comfortable trusting to another designer’s whims, even as talented as designer as Ms. Teague. I would absolutely not waste time and yarn on a mystery project from anyone I had less faith in. But if you’re a free spirit who doesn’t have trust issues, mystery knitalongs are probably fun, not stressful. It did knit up quickly and the instructions were (mostly) easy to follow…and I think the end result is attractive enough to make a nice gift for someone, especially paired with a vintage faux turquoise brooch, wouldn’t you say?