Rowan Mystery Afghan KAL – Over The Hump

Well, hello again! Unfortunately my weekly KAL updates were thrown out of kilter by being away on holiday for week, then my team leader at work being on holiday for 2 weeks, then various other commitments and minor health issues since have left me without a lot of energy or time for knitting and blogging, which has caused exponential slide in my KAL timetable. To try to keep up with the latest clue, I decided to just make 2 squares per week so that I could at least see what the finished squares looked like and talk about the patterns, but even that turned out to be too much to cope with.

After my trip to the Rowan Mill for the Ambassadors conference (more on that when I have time to write up another blog post!) I realised that I’d lost count of how many squares I’d finished for each week and in which colour, so I was at risk of duplicating squares if I wasn’t careful. To get everything back on track, I got all my squares together in piles for each week and made a spreadsheet (of course!) of how many I’d done in each colour for each week. I was very sad to find that I was only half way, when I’d felt that I must have been further along than that!

I’ve managed a few more squares since then, I now have a total of 28 completed and 20 still to finish so I’m definitely over the hump. I’m way behind Rowan’s schedule, but then I’m not sure how anyone with a life to lead has managed to keep up. Very well done if you have!

Lets have a quick round-up of the patterns that I’ve got to since my last post…

Week 4 – Lace Kisses

Pattern Download

Week 4 - Lace Kisses

I had heard from some other knitters that this square could come out a little short, so on the first one I added 2 extra rows of Stocking stitch both above and below the lace panel, but the square was still a bit short. On the second one I added 4 rows at the top and bottom (instead of only 2) and was much happier with the result – definitely closer to square. You’ll notice that the green one below is the one with only 2 rows added at each end, the purple has 4 at each end.

So far I’ve only managed 2 squares of this pattern – I found the repeat a little tricky to master from memory so they require a bit more time and attention than some of the other squares. I’ll have to get back to them soon, though!

Week 4 Lace Kisses

Week 5 – Dots & Dashes

Pattern Download

Week 5 - Dots & Dashes

This was another square that I’d heard could come up short, so I added 2 rows of Stocking stitch between the garter stitch rows and the first row of dashes at the bottom, then again at the top between the last row of dashes and the garter stitch edging. This gave me nice equal squares.

I initially came unstuck because I’d somehow missed the “Row 2 and every following alternate row” so my repeats were only half height and the bobbles were on the wrong side! It didn’t help that I was knitting when very tired… I asked around because I couldn’t see why the pattern didn’t work, and was put right by some other KAL knitters. This is definitely why I prefer working from charts, that sort of mistake is far less likely to happen! After that, week 5 became a favourite in the easy-to-remember stakes. It’s a nice, short repeat that meant I could complete a whole square without any reference to the pattern after just one or two repeats.

The only thing I’m not sure about is my bobbles, they don’t seem to protrude as much as the ones in Rowan’s photo. I haven’t blocked any squares from this pattern yet, so hopefully that will help. Two of these are done, four still to go.

Week 5 Dots & Dashes

Week 6 – Little Doughnuts

Pattern Download

Week 6 - Little Doughnuts

Week 6 is one of my favourite squares for appearance. I love the contrast of the slightly shorter garter stitch squares with the taller stocking stitch squares containing the doughnuts. For once I got pretty much a perfect square with no adjustments needed to the height, so that made things easier. This is another very easy repeat to remember and I managed to burn through all six of these squares pretty quickly, including knitting two almost entirely whilst at the Rowan Ambassador conference!

Week 6 Little Doughnuts

Week 7 French Plait

Pattern Download

Week 7 - French Plait

I’ve only just started a square from week 7, but so far I’m enjoying it very much. Another short, symmetrical repeat that is easy to memorise from the excellent chart provided. I love a good cable, although I don’t knit them often, so I’ve really enjoyed the result of this pattern. The garter stitch panel looks really lovely behind the cable plaits as well.

Personally I’m not a fan of messing about with cable needles if I don’t have to, so to knit these squares and the doughnuts from week 6 I’ve been using this method of cabling without a cable needle. The first part of the video shows how to do cables with a cable needle, so if you don’t need that information then use this link which skips you ahead to 3:41 in the video where she shows the needle-less method I’ve been using. It seems a little scary and fiddly initially, but once you’ve mastered it you’ll be wondering why you ever needed a cable needle at all!

Week 7 French Plait


This is what my collection of squares looked like at the half-way point (some blocked, some not). How are you getting on with yours?

Half The Blanket Squares


  • Kristen

    14 July 2014 at 06:27 Reply

    I like your methodical and practical approach to finishing your blanket. It will eventually get done with your own timetable, right? I like to knit cables w/o a cable needle too, but doesn’t work well with every yarn. It was easy with the PWW, so that was nice. xo

    • Sarah

      14 July 2014 at 09:31 Reply

      Oh yes, it will definitely get finished eventually! I think I’ll manage 3 squares per week at the most, so I should have the remaining 19 squares done in the next two months (I finished another one last night!), then obviously I need to sew them all together, make the trim and sew that on.

      The PWW is definitely good for cabling without the needle, as it’s chunky and well spun. I can definitely see how something thinner or fuzzier would be problematic.

  • Judy

    13 October 2014 at 08:21 Reply

    Hi Nottingham knitter!! I have just found your blog & it’s fantastic! I have been knitting with Rowan since they began in 1985 & apart from a few years lapse having a family, am recently revisiting my onetime passion.I have only recently discovered the KAL from Martin Storey & have just decided on my colourway! Yours is gorgeous & having joined ravelry, seen all the posts from otger knitters around the globe & their fabulous afghans.

    • Sarah

      13 October 2014 at 09:53 Reply

      Hi Judy, thank you for your lovely comment! I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog 🙂 I’m still behind on the Martin Storey Afghan KAL, but I have managed to make some good progress in recent weeks and I’ve only got a couple of squares to go now.

      What colourway have you chosen for yours?

      • Judy

        13 October 2014 at 10:23 Reply

        Hi Sarah!& thanks for replying me so quickly. On this cloudy Monday morning in Cheshire it’s lovely to chat with a fellow knitter!
        For my KAL I have chosen colours which blend in with my upstairs study/knitting room, which is linen coloured paintwork & sofa with browns & creams& splashes of rust & almond! I am using 9 colours as given as an option…soft cream..almond…toffee..cocoabean…rust…clove…moonshine. .damson…hazel for the trim. I love the Autumn so was inspired also by the time of year.
        Which 2 colours are you using?

        • Sarah

          13 October 2014 at 10:31 Reply

          Ooo that sounds wonderful! Being a redhead, natural colours are my usual favourite. The shades for my squares are Apple and Plum with Crimson for the trim. I have to admit that the shades for the squares weren’t my first choices, but they were the shades that Rowan were able to send in time for the KAL promotion. The colourway is definitely growing on me, but I had originally hoped to have Damson and Mallard for my squares, with Crimson as the trim.

          I’d love to see some photos as your Afghan comes together, I think I will be very jealous of your final colourway 😉

          • Judy

            13 October 2014 at 10:57

            Oooh yes of course! I’d love to post some of my pics as I progress. I’ve just ordered my yarns from Blacksheep wools this morning, soooo hopefully they will arrive by the end of the week.
            I only found out about Rowan’s ambassadors by chance a few weeks ago. I was in my local town, Altrincham in ‘Monsoon’ thumbing through the jumpers & thinking how expensive & boring they are compared to knitting your own. I got chatting to a lovely lady who agreed & said that she was an ambassador for Rowan! & her name was Linda of knittedpink. How amazing was that!? We have met up for coffee & a knitter knatter & are on Thursday.
            It’s great to be able to chat & post on your blog as I lack knitting friends!
            Keep knitting your afghan I’m looking forward to seeing it as the colours are lovely too.

          • Sarah

            13 October 2014 at 16:39

            How nice that you bumped into each other like that! Linda is lovely, in fact all the Ambassadors are 🙂

            If you use Facebook or Twitter, you can follow me there too as I post other updates in addition to what goes on the blog.

  • Judy

    14 October 2014 at 16:25 Reply

    Hi Sarah! I do have a Facebook account, but deactivated it 3 yrs.ago..maybe I should open a new one as I have another email address as it would be great to chat & post to you all.

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