True Colors Wrap: Tips and Notes

By Ann Shayne
May 1, 2018
The yarns in the MDK Shop are all rare, special, beautiful, magnifique!

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  • I recently knit a bubble baby blanket with a different color on each row, LOTS of ends. When I was done I flipped it over, wrong side up and steamed the edge with the woven in ends. I did not touch the yarn with the iron but hovered over and blasted the steam. My theory, right or wrong, is that the heat would slightly melt the acrylic in place.

  • Wait, if you are only adding a YO at the end of the right side rows, you are only adding stretchiness on one side. If you are knitting a rectangular shawl, would you add a YO at the beginning as well?

    • It’s really an assymetrical triangle, not a true rectangle.

      • Asymmetrical, yikes.

        • Oh thanks for this early AM treat. Nearly laughed by Assymetic tush off!!!

  • I wondered the same thing about the YO on just one side? And yes, I have resorted to Fray Check in desperation at times although it’s not entirely satisfactory.

  • Melanie would never use fray check … just saying lol. I took a class from her once and she showed us how she weaves in ends. Use a pointy needle, and tunnel your end in for about an inch. Do one back stitch, repeat. Done. I always turn a corner to have the yarn go in another direction and do another back stitch, but that’s because I’m paranoid lol.
    Your shawl looks fantastic.

    • I tried pointy needling it, but it ended up distorting the pattern of the stitches. Obviously doing it wrong! Is there a video for this?

      • Maybe we need some tutorials on properly putting away ends in all sorts of knitting … what do you think?! What BLUEWOOLKARIN pointed out is very true … works. Let’s not get all picky about what can or cannot be seen … a good over the thumb guesstimate … can it be seen when on a galloping horse?! Happy endings are good endings!

        • Oh, yes, tutorials!

        • I want a video.

  • YMMV, but no, no to the Fray Check! I used it once in desperation on a shawl when the knots from a Magic Ball started to let go after blocking It left behind heartbreaking, hard little blobs, giving the impression my shawl was held together with Super Glue. I’m sure that user error was involved [too much Fray Check] but I would much rather have a few woolly ends popping out and waving hello than glue nuggets in my knitting.

    • Oh man, “glue nuggets” just says it all!

  • NO Fray Check… unless you want little hard nubbins in your finished garment. Ask me how I know.

    • “Little hard nubbins”: !!!!

  • Absolutely GORGEOUS! I love your True Colors so much – wow! I’ve never used mini skeins before but I think this pattern might convert me. WOW!

  • I think your colors are beautiful. I’m making one with lots of colors from my stash. As I was choosing colors and deciding how to arrange them I realized I love the designers plan which has the eyelet stripe color and the gradient colors reversed towards the end. So that’s what made me cast on even though many other projects are already in progress.

    Also, you didn’t mention those pesky p2tog-tbl maneuvers! I had to research how to do them and my favorite one is from a reference to the amazing Barbara Walker: Truly much easier than any other method I found.

    • Wow, that’s so elegant! Such an upgrade! I did mine slip knitwise, slip knitwise, stick the right needle tip into your right ear, keep going til it comes out your left ear, pick up some stitches or whatever off the left needle, purl through back of your head.

      • Thanks, Ann, for my first laugh of the day.

      • Too funny! I almost abandoned this project at the beginning when I saw this, but finding this was a game changer.

      • Bahaha!!!!

  • The shawl turned out to be very pretty. Wishing you much enjoyment from wearing it!

  • I am only starting Season 3 of The Americans, but yes, it can mess up one’s counting! This shawl is gorgeous with all the colours. Thank you in particular for the tip on the stretchy edge. I have almost finished a shawl, and the one edge is far too tight. But it was rather a test of the wool and the pattern, and when I start another, which I will, I now know how to fix it.

  • Kate Davies showes on one of her tutorials how to deal with the loose ends on one of her shawls. She just weaves them (somehow) in on the backside while knitting. I‘ve done it a few times and hope they will not slip out. It‘s a great way of getting rid of them right away.

    • My thoughts exactly … why not put it away while working the next row?!!!

    • Thanks for this reference! I am definitely going to try this technique on my True Colors.

  • With slippery superwash I try to take the ends in the opposite direction to hide and then back again for a shorter distance. If that’s not successful I split the plys doing the above in two different directions (yes, that doubles the ends you have to deal with!). I also use a needle with a sharp point, rather than a blunt end tapestry needle. I usually soak and block before trimming the hidden ends as their position can change. (Think I read this in Evelyn Clark’s book on shawl knitting).

  • Another trick for loosening the edge of a shawl is short rows! I made a mizutama, and had SUCH tight edges that I wound up ripping it out and reknitting, using the yarn over trick you describe. That loosened up the edge a fair bit (it’s now a wearable shawl), but it’s still on the tight side.

    The next one I knit was in a mohair yarn with zero stretch, so I knew I had to do something to maximize edge stretchiness. I wound up doing a short row at the beginning of every right side row: k2, wrap & turn, k2. Then proceed with the right side row as written. Mizutama has a garter border, and these short rows (which are within the border) are completely invisible.

    • Wow! I’m going to keep this in mind for the right situation. Great idea.

  • Please show us a pic of the finished, blocked shawl. It looks beautiful!

  • Oh boy, this is sooo beautiful! I love it so much! It reminds me of my Toshtrology throw that I made with 12 full size skeins of Madeline Tosh…so gorgeous!

  • I use Fray Check on linen and cotton. I bury the ends as appropriate for the knitted section and “dab” the end before trimming. I do not have nuggets. In fact I have on my Studio Linen top on and it drapes beautifully. I use the assistance of Fray Check on some open work as burying enough length can be a challenge. Use a light hand when dabbing.

    • Yes! Love Fray Check on linen and cotton. Would not bother with it on Superwash wool although I understand the rationale. With fibers like Euroflax linen, that extra tiny dab is great insurance.

  • This is a stunny wrap/shawl and I think it looks perfect for a Spring project. I am just hoping someone might have suggestion for yarn substitute as I don’t use nylon but love hand-dyed yarns. So I’ll look for a yarn and begin, thank you for this beautiful post and inspiration!

  • Just gorgeous!

  • I use Fray Block for my frayed/torn/whatever sewing needs. It leaves fabric pliable, as opposed to Fray Check, which leaves a hard, solid edge. I never thought to use either for yarn. Hmm.

  • The shawl is lovely! However, the most impressive part might be that somewhere in your home, you have space to block a triangle that is more than 4′ wide and 8′ long, a place where it can be pinned (or wired) out and where no human or animal will walk on it or otherwise disturb it for a few hours while it dries. That’s my definition of gracious living!

    • LOL! I misspoke–“fresh off the blocking board” was actually “fresh off the blocking floor”! If you looked behind the sofa in the den, you’d have found me on the floor, wrestling with Kermit who—literally seconds after I spread the thing out—beelined it to the middle of the shawl, flipped onto his back, and wallowed on my damp shawl for about ten minutes. HE WAS IN HEAVEN. I didn’t have the heart to deny him his sheepy fellowship. Gracious living for Kermit!

  • As is often the case, blocking is everything! Wow!

  • Gorgeous!! Better than the prototype!

  • Absolutely beautiful – great idea on your choice of colors.

  • I’d be interested in this pattern as a rectangle for a baby blanket…. Dora that exist???
    Thank you
    Cathy B

    • I don’t know if there’s a specific pattern using this stitch pattern, but it would be very simple to adapt Melanie Berg’s triangle into a rectangle if you basically used her stitch chart and ignored the increases along the left edge.

      I do love this easy lace–the weird lozenge-shaped parts are actually nothing but purl stitches that fall in between the two columns of decreases. The natural pull of the decreases makes the purl stitch in between bow out on either side, such an elegant effect with so little fancy knitting required.

  • Ann,
    This shawl, wrap, tarp – whatever – looks absolutely GREAT on you!! Beautiful knitting job, too!
    Just want to add, I love receiving the Snippets and blog almost every day. I think you two are extremely clever, crafty ladies. You are always an inspiration to me.

  • I love your color confidence – it really works! And that after-blocking picture…sigh. I feel like knitting something flat and lacy just for the pleasure of taking the pins out after blocking and wafting the finished item around for photographs.

  • I never voted for this shawl during March Madness. I now regret I did not have your vision. Simply gorgeous.

  • First, the shawl is bea-u-ti-mous!! I can never get enough color – love, love, love color:) I am also particular to large projects, this would make a lovely baby blankie or throw. I would also love to see videos on weaving in ends. It is the thing I fear the most. I know I go overboard on how much I weave in but me thinks after all of the time, effort and money put into a project I certainly don’t wan’t it to come apart:)

  • I weave my ends in on the wrong side as I’m knitting as you would with fair isle when you carry a colour across but I do it every stitch. Works for me iris that wrong? Clare

  • a vision of loveliness. both the stitch and the colours. Will try to remember the helpful hint about the yarn over for a stretchy side.

  • I am weaving in my ends as I knit so we don’t have the daunting task f weaving them all in at the end! I, however, had not read the tip about the yarn over at the end of the row and hope I don’t have an issue when it’s done! Is it too late, in the middle of my shawl, to start doing it now?

  • Beautiful shawl, Ann. You amaze with your prolific output, each item more beautiful than the last. Two questions: did you use blocking wires after Kermit had his bliss? And could one do the increases and decreases both on the right side? That worked for me when knitting the Volt Shawl, advised by many on Revelry. I could never make the count work when decreasing on the wrong side, and by doing both on one side, I had the wrong side to just breeze along–could follow The Americans better that way!

    • Whoa, that just blows my mind, the thought of doing increases and decreases on the right side. Very clever! The problem in this case is that all the decreases have to happen on seven consecutive rows, on top of each other, paired with a purl stitch in between. You have to do decreases on the WS in order to get the fabric to pull properly. The increases already happen on the RS, in another area of the lace pattern, so there’s no way to get around the WS decreases.

      As for blocking, I had thought I was going to get out the blocking wires. But when I laid it out on the floor, damp and stretchy, it was gigantic, and I just didn’t have the steam to fool with threading the blocking wires through 20 feet of edge. The superwash yarn just relaxed as it does, like a limp noodle, and Kermit’s 18 pounds of luv ironed it out. It opened up in a satisfying way, but I still wish I’d used blocking wires!

      The Americans is heading toward such an apocalyptic ending. Can’t wait–any of the possible conclusions will be stunning.

  • This project as shown above is a thing of beauty! The stitch is great and so are the colour choices. ( I am Canadian so yes it is colour with a U.)

  • I love this shawl. I do not see either the pattern or kit in the MDK store. How can I acquire this pattern? Many thanks.

  • Skip that painful weaviing in if your yarn is sticky. By overlapping the newly joined color for 5 or 6 stitches, there is a tiny variation in thickness but it becomes wedded to itself. About a hand width of the new color works nicely. I had only to weave in my starting and bind off colors.

    The technique of wrapping your new color in a u turn around your carried main color works. I hold the main color in my right hand with the needle to keep nice tension. The u turned end and working yarn of the new color just do their work as a team until the beginning bit runs out.

    After a wet block using wool yarn, the ends disappeared into the work but for some judicious snipping. I would do some serious swatching with a color change if using 100% linen or mulberry silk though. Slippery yarns or very thick yarns are not well served with the just overlap and knit start.