Pop Spots Shawl Preparation and Help

The Pop Spots shawl in Twirl yarn

I had a very difficult time getting started with the Pop Spots shawl. I really would not be able to knit it if not for the information included in this post, all of which came from Deb. Thank you, Deb!

The Pop Spots shawl is fun and a little bit addictive once you get the hang of the special techniques the pattern requires. Behold, photographic evidence of this small miracle:

The Pop Spots shawl in Twirl yarn

The Pop Spots shawl in Twirl yarn

Cast On
The cast on instructions confused me because, as written, the “k” and “knit in to” mean the same thing. Apparently, this series of steps is fairly common instructions if you knit a lot of lace, which I don’t.

Watch this video, which shows the exact maneuver you need to correctly cast on for Pop Spots.

I would rewrite the cast on instructions as:

  • Cast on a single stitch with a slip knot. Make sure this stitch is on your left needle.
  • Knit into the first (also your only) stitch, but do not remove it from the needle.
  • Yarn over (bring the working yarn to the front, as if to purl).
  • Knit into the first stitch again and slip it from the left to the right needle.

There is no way I’d be able to do the Pop Spots Special Techniques of DLK (drop, ladder, knit) or DLKYOK (drop, ladder, knit, yarn over, knit) without these videos. They are in Swedish but it doesn’t matter: just watch and learn.

DLK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBgAochYdTQ

DLKYOK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43l54MJ4nvI

The written instructions, as interpreted by my pea brain, did not resemble what is shown in the video at all. I never would have achieved the outcomes shown in the video from the written instructions. Thank you, sweet woman in Sweden, for showing us the way!

Yarn Over Before a Purl Stitch
The Abbreviations section of the pattern does not distinguish between a yarn over (yo) before a knit stitch and a yo before a purl stitch. Watch this video to see the difference.

What’s the difference? When you bring your yarn to the front, as if to purl, and you knit a stitch, you create an extra stitch. That’s the purpose of a yo before a knit stitch: to increase by one stitch. The same move won’t work before a purl stitch, though, because bringing the yarn to the front just puts it in the correct position for a purl stitch: there is no increase. When doing a yo before a purl stitch, you need to wrap the yarn all the way around the needle and bring it to the front again in order to increase by one stitch.

Bonus: Weave in ends as you go!
After I got the hang of the pattern, I was ready to attempt another technique: weaving in ends as you knit. Seaming is the only thing I dislike more than weaving in ends, so it’s a whole new knitting day over here.

6 Responses to “Pop Spots Shawl Preparation and Help”

  1. Deb Bykowski

    Yay, me!!!! 😉 Love the colors you chose… And that yarn! Wow, baby… May need to get me some. I finished my Pop Spots in time for Stitches and I feel it is too hot to wear. Ugh.

    • anysteph

      Thank you, Deb! I’m happy to add your last name to the post if it’s OK with you, for more accurate credit. I’ll be honest: I wasn’t sure how the Twirl yarn would look knit up. Wound up in the skein, they’re spun singles (I think…I’m not a spinner, yet, so pardon my novice vocabulary here, but it doesn’t look plied) that did not look like much. But looks are deceiving: Twirl knits up just beautifully and the yarn has a lot of color dimension.

    • anysteph

      Thanks, Robin! I’m considering making this my CA State Fair entry. It’s made with Mary Pettis-Sarley’s Twirl yarn and thus very California, indeed. 🙂

  2. Mariann Juul

    Thank you sow much for your help to understand the Pop Spots shawl.
    I’m Danish, sow I understand Swedish. Therefore the videos help me a lot ???
    Best wishes

    • anysteph

      I’m so glad you found it helpful! I’d love to see how your shawl turns out.


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