theraineysisters knitting and so much more

June 10, 2009

From Susan — Is It Anal Retentive or Anal-Retentive?

Filed under: Updates — lv2knit @ 8:25 pm

Answer: It depends!  I am anal retentive and you are an anal-retentive person, but I digress!  More later…

I do, if nothing else, enjoy multi-tasking and that is certainly true with my knitting.  I started a project recently after being inspired at every turn by the Swirl Shawl.  Sally and I saw this often at Maryland Sheep and Wool, and it is in any shop that carries JoJoland Melody Yarn.  

It is gorgeous in the aforementioned yarn.  BUT, Sally and I stumbled onto this beautiful yarn at MSWF: Brooks Farm Acero — 420 yds/4 oz., 60% superwash wool, 20% silk, 20% viscose, in colors that are absolutely stunning!!  I was planning on making the Triple S Shawl that they had on display, but decided to switch gears and make the Swirl Scarf instead for two reasons: with the Triple S, you start with an Emily Ocker cast on and then work out, joining all the completed squares with a 3-needle bind off (annoying!!).  With the Swirl Shawl or Scarf, you cast on/pick up all the sts and work to the middle and attach the swirls as you go.  I am also weaving in my ends as I go, so when it’s done, it’s done!  I am very happy with my choice.

I am using three colors: brown (with a hint of purple), greenish brown, and bluish brown.  I do not have the labels so I cannot be more specific and none of the colors on their website look like mine — sorry!

Swirl 013 by you.
The Finished scarf will be approx 9″ by 72″

I wish you could actually see how beautiful this yarn is and touch it — the viscose gives it a lineny feel, the silk gives it sheen, the wool gives it depth, and it is very soft against the skin.  Pictures absolutely do not do it justice.  

So, why the question about being anal retentive?  I think I must be!!!  At least about my knitting!

When I swatched my first swirl to see if the yarn would work, the swirl formed a lovely, natural hexagon.  BUT, when I started the second swirl — which is picked up between the green dots on the picture below — the points did not align.   As written, each pattern repeat starts with a YO at each of the 6 points of the hex, but the points actually form 3 sts back (see picture below).  In other words, the points of the hexes do not align in the pattern as written. 

So, I moved the start of the round 3 sts so the points line up — point to point — on all of my hexes.  Does it make a difference?  I’m not sure, except I know I could not continue with it without “fixing” it.   Thus, I am an anal-retentive knitter.  See details below

Picture3 by you.

I love this project, highly recommend the pattern (with my “correction”), and highly recommend either the Melody or Acero.  Fun, fun, fun!!!

My notes:
If you own the pattern, this will make sense!!

Follow pattern as written until you get to Round 3.

Round 3: k3 additional sts past end of round on last needle (23 sts now on this dpn). Transfer 3 sts from needle 2 to needle 1, and 3 sts from needle 3 to needle 2. All dpns now have 20 sts again and beg of round has shifted 3 sts to the left.  Starting from the new beg of round, work remaining pattern rows as written.


  1. The yarn has such a beautiful sheen, and I love the shades you selected. It’s beautiful.

    Comment by rudeek — June 10, 2009 @ 9:13 pm

  2. I have three skeins of that yarn, two of a reddish brown and the third slightly different, with some navy blue in it. Still waiting for inspiration, but I love the yarn.

    Comment by kmkat — June 11, 2009 @ 1:09 am

  3. How funny, I just stumbled across this pattern yesterday and went for the impulse buy (along with some Noro Silk Garden Sock weight), and the satellite picture of the day from NASA shows us this form in nature (

    Comment by Andrea Grant — June 11, 2009 @ 7:46 am

  4. Great timing! I have the swirl pattern, along with 2 choices of Jojoland yarn, on my short list of things to cast on.

    Comment by Toby — June 11, 2009 @ 9:41 am

  5. I am definitely anal retentive! I am making the Swirl Shawl with Jojoland Melody yarn in the pink hues. I have 15 swirls knitted, however, they have been staring up at me from the knitting bag for about a month now because they just weren’t “right” to my eye, but I believe you have have solved this problem. I am writing to thank you for posting your “correction” and I can’t wait to try it out. I think you’ve solved my problem. I’ve also woven in the ends as I’ve gone along. Anal retentive? Oh, yeah!

    Comment by Linda — June 11, 2009 @ 10:15 am

  6. At Stitches West I bought the pattern and yarn for the Triple S and the Swirl! Thanks for sharing your suggestion!

    Comment by Julie — June 11, 2009 @ 11:38 am

  7. THANK YOU! I have started this pattern a few times with the leftovers from my Kauni sweater, and ripped out each time, because something just wasn’t right. Now I’m going to try again, using your modification.

    Comment by Sandra — June 11, 2009 @ 12:00 pm

  8. Just a couple thoughts here, I think the pattern was written that way so the arms of the swirl would meet and the swirl pattern becomes an integrated whole, rather than individual motifs. I’m pretty sure it would take a fair amount of blocking to “overcome” the mismatched corners but what the heck, to each his/her own, your scarf looks lovely.

    Comment by Tracy — June 11, 2009 @ 12:34 pm

  9. I love the hexagon pattern in the shawl. The swirls are mesmerizing. I must be a real copycat, because I want to do everything that you do.

    Comment by Sigrun — June 12, 2009 @ 12:44 am

  10. Thank you so much for the pattern change suggestions… I spun yarn, specifically for this pattern, started over and over several times because it never looked right and got so frustrated that I set it aside and it’s just been on a shelf for the last 6 months or so waiting for me to decide to figure out how to fix the problem, or to just give up. Now I’m inspired to try again!

    Comment by Lawanna — June 13, 2009 @ 2:52 am

  11. I, too am working on the swirl scarf. I’m using a ball of Kauni EQ. Fun pattern. I really like how everyone I’ve seen have been in different yarns and so beautiful.

    Comment by Betsy — June 13, 2009 @ 3:11 pm

  12. Do you remember how many skeins you bought? I’m waiting for Rhinebeck to get some more! Long wait.

    Comment by ruth — June 16, 2009 @ 10:51 am

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