Winter Is Here – My First Game of Thrones KAL (Week Five)

Winter Is Here - My First Game of Thrones KAL

Disclaimer: If you haven’t watched Game of Thrones through the current episode, Season 8 Episode 5, then you may not want to continue reading this article. There may be spoilers contained within. Also, this is not a sponsored post. I am participating in a Marinade Designs GoT KAL at my own expense and just want to share my progress with our readers. No compensation is being received from the KAL designer.

Previous GoT Show Thoughts/KAL Progress Posts:

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Week Four

This week has been a pretty hectic one. School is coming close to the end for the year, so there are after-school band practices for my daughter’s upcoming concert, there have been doctor appointments, and my mom’s 70th birthday, and a wedding for the daughter of one of my husband’s friends going on — all right on top of Mother’s Day last weekend.

So, I’ve not had a lot of time to just sit and knit. Still I am just about done with Section 2 of the Marinade Designs Ice & Embers Shawlette (Game of Thrones Final Season KAL). So, I’ll take it.

I’m pretty sure (pretty absolutely sure) that I made a mistake in the first blue stripe of Section 2 and made the peekaboo holes too far apart. But, I was loathe to backtrack to do it the right way. I liked the way it looked and the stitch counts come out just right. So, onward.

Here’s how the asymmetrical shawlette is shaping up as I come to the end of Section 2. Section three is completely knit in the dark blue yarn and will feature a dragon scale lace pattern. Looking forward to it!

Marinade Designs Game of Thrones Season 8 Ice and Embers Shawl KAL-week five
Week Five Progress
Marinade Designs Game of Thrones Season 8 Ice and Embers Shawl KAL-week five
Week Five Progress
Week Five Progress

Man, I’ve been procrastinating about writing this week’s article, because episode 5 of GoT really has had my head spinning. I wasn’t really expecting Dany to lose it on King’s Landing like that. I did pick up on all the little hints of potential madness going all the way back to the first season of the show. Like when she watched (insisted on watching!) her brother die by golden crowning. And when she roasted the Harpys. There were other moments.

But, I really thought she’d been keeping her head together pretty well until after the battle at Winterfell. She didn’t get to be the one to save everyone from the threat of annihilation (thanks, Arya! LOL), everyone heaped praise on Jon while she was largely alone during the feast, she had just discovered Jon is really a Targaryen and thus a threat to her claim to the Iron Throne, and homeboy is not exactly on the romance train with her anymore now that he’s weirded out by their family relationship. AND she is still suffering acutely from the loss of most of her beloved Dothraki and the cruel dispatching of Missandei by Queen Cersei. Plus, now she’s lost the second of her three dragons, her babies.

All the foreshadowing I needed of her potential mind snap was when she told Jon she has no love here in Westeros. We all need that. It’s what makes life worth anything, right?

So, I was surprised but not really surprised to see her use Drogon to honor Missandei’s last word (and avenge the death of Rhaegal) perhaps a little too literally. Plus, it’s not like it really hurt Cersei to see King’s Landing and all its residents roasted and/or crushed to death. She doesn’t care about them, she only gets emotional when it becomes clear that she will lose this battle and not only die herself, but her unborn child will also die. Outside of her personal sphere of existence, she couldn’t give a crap how anyone else fares in this war. I kinda felt like Dany shoulda known that and thus limited her total destruction bid to Cersei’s armed forces, the scorpions, the Red Keep and Cersei, Qyburn, and the Mountain.

Ahh, the Mountain. And the Hound. Cleganebowl! It was pretty flippin’ epic. Start to finish, the fiery, fiery finish.

I still don’t know how I feel about Arya’s sudden turnabout upon the Hound’s advice that she should give up killing Cersei and go home or else surely perish. I kinda feel like Arya woulda been just fine with her life coming to an end if it meant also taking out the last name on her list. But, if anyone could’ve had that side convo with her, I guess the Hound was the right choice for it. We’ll see where she goes from here. Many people think Dany is now on Arya’s kill list for what she did to King’s Landing, and I have to say I cannot disagree with fans on that point. It’s gonna be fascinating to see where that story arc goes!

As I belatedly send this article to publish on the blog, there is only a few minutes to go until the series finale of GoT airs on HBO and my husband and I have just finished re-watching episode 5 in preparation for this event. How do you think the series will wind up? Who do you believe (or hope? or fear?) will ultimately sit the Iron Throne when it’s all said and done?

Winter Is Here – My First Game of Thrones KAL (Week Four)

Winter Is Here - My First Game of Thrones KAL

Disclaimer: If you haven’t watched Game of Thrones through the current episode, Season 8 Episode 4, then you may not want to continue reading this article. There may be spoilers contained within. Also, this is not a sponsored post. I am participating in a Marinade Designs GoT KAL at my own expense and just want to share my progress with our readers. No compensation is being received from the KAL designer.

Previous GoT Show Thoughts/KAL Progress Posts:

Week One

Week Two

Week Three

Welcome to the Winter Is Here – My First Game of Thrones KAL article series! First, we will check in on the progress I made this week on the Game of Thrones shawl knit along I’m participating in and then discuss thoughts on episode 4 of this final season of GoT.

If you’ve read any of the three previous posts in this Game of Thrones KAL series that I’ve published, then you will recall that my family has been dealing with some illness — stomach virus and severe sinus infections — over the last several weeks.

I think we’re all finally over the hurdle on the illness front. The stomach virus is long over and my son and I finished up our round of strong antibiotics for the sinus infections this week. Mostly, I feel pretty good. The antibiotics put a huge damper on my appetite, but I had to eat when taking them or risk them upsetting my stomach. So — mostly I lived on toast and oatmeal, with the occasional fried egg. And water. Lots and lots of ice water — because I like to chew ice (and that melting ice sliding down my throat soothed the soreness from all the coughing, too).

I’m moving right along on the Marinade Designs Game of Thrones Ice and Embers Shawlette KAL themed for the final season of the show. It’s an asymmetrical design, so as I work through the knitting pattern the rows progressively get longer and longer since an additional stitch is added about every other row.

I was pretty impressed with myself this week in terms of the amount of work I was able to complete on the project. I have felt better, so have spent more time working on it than previous weeks when I felt worse.

Here’s a quick recap of what my progress on the Ice & Embers Shawlette looked like after each of the previous three weeks of work:

Game of Thrones - Marinade Designs Ice & Embers Shawl KAL
Week One

Game of Thrones - Marinade Designs Ice & Embers Shawl KAL
Week Two
Game of Thrones - Marinade Designs Ice & Embers Shawl KAL
Week Three

But, check this out. Week Four progress really kicked it up a notch!

As usual, I started by weaving in all the blue yarn tails from last week’s work. Then I moved on to adding new rows to the length of the shawlette.

It may be a bit hard to see the new blue yarn tails against the dark countertop, but I hope you can see where they start and appreciate how many more rows I was able to complete this week than in any week before.

Game of Thrones - Marinade Designs Ice & Embers Shawl KAL
Week Four

Also, the pattern for the shawl is broken up into three sections. Section One starts at the small tip of the shawl (on the left here, where you see the purple stitch marker) and progresses upward, widening as new stitches are added periodically.

I was able to complete all of Section One of the pattern. Yay! I’ve just started into Section Two, which has wider sections of the dark blue yarn. Can you see that last blue stripe on the right hand side, at the widest end of the shawl? That’s the beginning of Section Two of the pattern.

It’s fantastic! Here’s a closeup of those wider blue stripes. It utilizes 4 rows of the dark blue (versus just two rows in each stripe in Section One) and creates a gorgeous design element with what I’m calling Little Peekaboo Holes. They have no name [“a girl has no name”, ha ha] by the designer, that I’m aware of.

I’ve begun Section 2 of the shawlette. Check out these fantastic openings created in the pattern!!

A closer look at the openings in the striping of Section 2 of the shawl.

I’ll admit. I was worried that my skills as a knitter had not progressed far enough to get this part of the pattern. I’ve only been knitting for a few years and not done many intermediate or advanced skills patterns. I figured that if I just couldn’t get it, I would do the simpler striping as it’s done in Section 1 and call it good.

But, I got it on the first try! I just went with the pattern and trusted that it would all go fine. And it did. So relieved — and proud of myself. New skills, accomplished! I am delirious with anticipation for Section 3 of the shawlette pattern which features a Dragon Scale Lace design. That’s gonna be so fun!

You’ll notice some of the photos were taken outdoors. We’ve had a couple of days of simply beautiful weather here in Kentucky. Sun shining, warm temps with a mild breeze. So, I took advantage and spent a little time outside sitting with one of my chickens, Khaleesi, to do a little knitting.

backyard chicken

Yes. Khaleesi. Clucker of the Backyard Grass Sea. Grazer of Chicken Grains and Grass Blades. Snacker of Diced Tomatoes and Apple Slices. Layer of Tiny Eggs. White Haired Queen of the Lands of Kentucky.

Of course we named the Queen of our flock after GoT! 🙂

After the epic battle with the Night King in last week’s episode, I was glad to scale it back a bit this week and join the North in bidding a final farewell to those lost in The Long Night battle.

Notable tidbits from the show for me this week were Dany’s teary goodbye to Ser Jorah Mormont, the tragedy of the decimation of House Mormont with little Lady Mormont among the dead (may the gods rest her pint-sized hero’s soul), Dany’s uncharacteristic begging plea to Jon to keep his lineage to himself (followed, of course, by his immediately telling all the sibs all about it), the tension-filled war council where Sansa and Dany squared off on whether to rest the remaining troops or get right back up on that horse and attack Cersei, and Jon’s lackluster goodbye to Ghost (that pup deserved a hug at least!). But, at least Jon did right by Ghost in sending him off to the far North with Tormund Giantsbane who will take good care of him. Ghost can lick Tormund’s face and snuggle with him on the long cold nights as Tormund heals from the heartbreak of Jaime stealing his longtime crush, Brienne.

And now we have Ser Jaime Lannister ditching his new girl, Ser Brienne of Tarth, to head to King’s Landing where his former sister-love is. Shame on Jaime for one-and-doning it to that sweet Brienne! But, the bigger question is, which side will he fight for now that the threat to all humanity has been vanquished? He may have semi-redeemed himself in recent seasons by making better life choices. But let’s not forget the bun in first love, Cersei’s, oven that Jaime put there (Euron is an epic fool to believe for even one second that it might be his, given her history when it comes to child paternity!)

And what the heck is Brienne gonna do in Winterfell?! Twiddle her thumbs? I think not. I think she’ll not be far behind Jaime on the King’s Road to the final battle for the kingdom.

Seems like a lot of regular variety drama, right? And then GoT does what it does so well. After kind of injecting some breathing room into the lungs of GoT viewers, they GUT-PUNCHED us with the horrific death of Dany’s second dragon, Rhaegal, at the hands of that disgusting pirate, king wannabe, Euron Greyjoy! Ahh!!! No!!!

I’m beginning to question if more than Jon knows nothing if you didn’t learn anything from the Night King tossing a spear into the air and taking down Viserion, Dany, Mother of Dragons. I mean, Westerosi forces did already try this tactic before, they just way underestimated their weapon, The Scorpion’s, capability. But, like all good villians, Qyburn returned to the drawing board and went all out in anticipation of Round Two with the dragon threat.

It is war, after all. Shew, okay, regroup. Nope, nope, another gut punch! Missandei has been captured. Poor Grey Worm. And now a parlay with the Westerosi, some back and forth about who deserves to rule, and then there it is — last words, “Dracarys”, and Missandei is no more. Brutal, GoT!!! But, I still love you.

Dany, girl, you better get your A-game on and don’t screw this up. Cuz, Missandei just flat out told you not to let her death be for nothing. And — psst, Dragon Queen, listen up — Arya of House Stark. A Girl With ‘The’ Name. Hero of The Long Night. Feller of All White Walkers. Maker of Kill Lists. Master Assassin. is on her way to help you out. You so lucky!

If you want to get in on the fun of the Marinade Designs Game of Thrones Ice and Embers Shawlette KAL, it’s not too late! Cast on and get knitting!

What hopes (or fears) do you all have about the remaining episodes? I hope Drogon makes it through the upcoming fray and roasts Qyburn alive for designing the weapon that killed Rhaegal. I hope The Hound puts The Mountain out of his misery. I hope Arya ticks a few names off her Kill List. I hope Jon and Dany come to some kind of peaceful resolution about their potential ruler statuses. I fear Cersei will prevail and some of our more notable heroes will end up in her and Qyburn’s creepy weird human experiment dungeon. In any event, I can’t wait to find out!

Winter Is Here – My First Game of Thrones KAL (Week One)

Winter Is Here - My First Game of Thrones KAL (Week One)

Disclaimer: If you haven’t watched Game of Thrones through the current episode, Season 8 Episode 1, then you may not want to continue reading this article. There may be spoilers contained within. Also, this is not a sponsored post. I am participating in a Marinade Designs GoT KAL at my own expense and just want to share my progress with our readers. No compensation is being received from the KAL designer.

Game of Thrones is back! Finally! I know I’m not alone in my excitement. And I’m not alone in my complicated feelings about this being the final season, either. I don’t want it to end. But, at least this is a world I can revisit any time I wish to rewatch the series or read the books. So, there is that.

I am a crafter. During previous seasons of this show I’ve come across crochet or knit alongs themed after the show. I’ve been wanting to participate in one forever. But, timing … sometimes I kinda suck at it. I always come across these things after the season is already started or too close beforehand to prepare the materials to do so.

This year, however, I stumbled across some information about an upcoming knit along (KAL) from Marinade Designs themed for the final season. I was really excited because I had several weeks to get prepared for it. And I figured, it’s now or never, ya know?

Winter Is Here - My First Game of Thrones KAL (Week One)

So, this is it. The Ice & Embers Shawlette Game of Thrones 2019 KAL. I’m anticipating a fun time for several reasons:

  1. It’s a fun activity to stretch out the GoT fun during the final season of the show. I don’t work on it during the show, since I want to focus all of my attention on the action, obviously! But, as the husband and I are anxiously waiting for the show to begin on Sunday evenings, this will be a great way to get a little head start on the action. Then, I can also work on it during the week between shows when I have time.
  2. I’ve never participated in a KAL before. Not really. I started one once but didn’t get far at all before life got in the way and I also got a little bored, I guess. I’m looking forward to getting online with the group of other crafters also participating in this fun activity.
  3. I’ve been crocheting for 25+ years, but have only been knitting for the last few years. I’ve knitted a few scarves and a couple of afghans, but have never made a shawl. Ever. Not in crochet or knit. So, new type of project, new skills, and a fun and memorable finished item to wear.
Winter Is Here - My First Game of Thrones KAL (Week One)

Of course, I’m not very far along since the season just started. But, still, what you see here is several hours worth of work.

The yarn came in hanks, so I had to untwist and wind it into balls. It can be a fussy process and needs to be done carefully. I found myself pondering previous seasons of GoT as I worked on it: wondering how the truth of Jon’s parentage would affect his budding relationship with Daenerys; with Sansa, Bran, and Arya; as well as with himself, ultimately. I mean, talk about a change of perspective on your place in the world! I wondered how all of the characters from the different houses would be able to work together to defeat The Night King and his undead army. I wondered how Daenerys’ heart will break to see her precious dragon that the Night King killed and then resurrected for his army. I wondered when everyone would realize that Arya had become such an accomplished little assassin.

Too many story arcs to touch on, but I’m really looking forward to seeing how this final season will tie up all the loose ends and if viewers will be satisfied with how it all comes to a close.

Winter Is Here - My First Game of Thrones KAL (Week One)

So here’s how I spent the last couple of hours before the premiere episode this week. I gathered the pattern I’d printed, the yarn, my adjustable knitting needles set, some scissors and a pencil. And of course, a snack and a glass of Diet Coke, I mean what’s crafting without that?!

I don’t think I’ve ever done a gauge swatch for any other project before. But, it states in the instructions that it’s important for this shawl. So, I knitted up the recommended amount of stitches and rows for the gauge swatch first. It turned out perfect. So, all good.

Winter Is Here - My First Game of Thrones KAL (Week One)

After unraveling the yarn from the gauge swatch I began to actually work the pattern. The Ice & Embers Shawl is of an asymmetrical design. It looks really pretty.

I watched a couple of YouTube tutorials on how to Make 1 Left and slipping a stitch purlwise with the yarn in front because I’d never done that in any pattern before.

I was movin’ along pretty well until I finished that first dark section and went back to the lighter color. I think I did something wrong. There was something off about the side. It wasn’t straight, it sort of dipped inward a bit. So, I tried to figure out where I went wrong, but wasn’t confident that I could back up and fix it. So, I ended up unraveling the whole thing and starting from scratch.

By the end of the evening, this picture shows how far I got. This is 35 rows of work. I wondered if I should have gotten further, but once I thought about it all told including this bit of finished work, the original attempt that I undid to start over, and the gauge swatch I completed before starting the project totalled 93 rows of work. The rows are short, but still… that’s a lot! And aside from a few minor mistakes, it went pretty well. So, I’m satisfied with myself so far.

Winter Is Here - My First Game of Thrones KAL (Week One)

I’m particularly excited for the last part of the shawlette because it features a stitch pattern the designer calls “Dragon Scale Lace,” that’s the larger end of the shawlette that is all the darker color. It looks so pretty and I can’t wait to try it!

If you are a knitter and would like to get in on this KAL, you can head over to the Ravelry page of the designer, Kristen Ashbaugh-Helmreich, and get started on one for yourself! It’s not too late to get involved.

There is a yarn kit that is recommended in the pattern that was dyed especially for this KAL. I didn’t end up going that route. I really thought about purchasing the recommended yarn, but I already had two hanks of really gorgeous blue yarn in Faded Ink from Miss Babs Inspired by Nature that I got from my Yarnbox subscription. I’d been hanging onto it until I found the perfect project.

I didn’t have a yarn that was similar to the lighter color recommended for the shawl, so I googled “Game of Thrones yarn” and found a company named Destination Yarn that had a selection of hand-dyed yarns themed after the show. I chose to purchase a colorway called “The Wall.” It has more turquoise in it, which is a favorite color of mine. I hope it works. So far it definitely has more bright color than the pattern-recommended yarn.

But, I’m committed now. So, onward!

I’m looking forward to coming back here every week and talking about what’s going on in GoT world and sharing the progress on my shawlette with all of you lovely readers.

What are you looking forward to most from this season of Game of Thrones? Have any show theories you’d like to share with us? Let’s gab in the comments!!!