Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Westknits Mystery KAL!

Are you a Stephen West fan? He's the genius behind Westknits and the incredibly popular Daybreak and Boneyard shawls. His trademark design elements include garter stitch and color. And he's sponsoring a Mystery Shawl KAL on Ravelry beginning August 1.

If you haven't participated in a Mystery KAL, here's the gist: the designer releases the pattern in "chunks" (called "clues"), usually one each week. So you don't know what the finished object is going to look like until that last clue is published...and knitted! The participants in the KAL have a friendly competition to see who can complete the clues first. (Don't forget that Ravelry is world-wide and those knitters in England and Norway have a six hour headstart on our day in Atlanta!)

Back to the Westknits Mystery Shawl KAL. It starts August 1 (that's Monday) and Stephen promises new clues in an updated pdf file each Monday.

The pattern is sized S/M/L and recommends three colors of fingering or sport weight yarn. The Small size requires 150 (A)/65 (B)/180 (C) yards; Medium 150 (A)/175 (B)/225 (C); Large 260 (A)/175 (B)/318 (C). The gauge is 22 st/4 inches on a size 4 needle.

Stephen suggests Fibre Company Road to China Light, Fibre Company Canopy Fingering, Madelinetosh Pashmina and Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light. All yarns we just happen to have!

I purchased the pattern this morning to see more about how the colors work. Stephen suggests thinking about Color C as the anchor color, with colors A and B supporting. He loves browns as anchor colors, but really, it's up to you! (I love dark gray as an anchor). He also says that A and B could be solid, semi-solid, variegated or self-striping. And if you're struggling with three colors, you could combine A and B and have a two-color shawl. Lots of options!

Jessica and I played around with the Canopy Fingering yesterday and put together seven color combinations we think would knit up beautifully. Note that you could knit the Small shawl with one skein of each (there are 200 yds on each skein).

orchid, coqui, guava
river dolphin, plumeria, obsidian

acai, laguna, fern


quetzal, tanager, paw paw

obsidian, jacaronda, laguna

macaw, jacaranda, blue corn

guava, river dolphin, obsidian
For option 1, I like coqui or guava as the C color.

For option 2, obsidian seems like the best C.

For option 3, acai or laguna would make good C colors.

For option 4, use quetzal for C.

For option 5, obsidian (this is Jessica's favorite).

For option 6, macaw or jacaronda.

and last but not least, option 7. This is my favorite and I'm going to use obsidian for C.

Of course you could also use stash yarn, or "sock" yarn, like madelinetosh (395 yards per skein) or lorna's laces (215 yards per skein) or the new claudia handpaints (175 yards per skein)

One of the best parts of a KAL is seeing others' project choices. Please post your project on Ravelry and share it with our group!

If you have any questions, please comment here or join in the discussion on Ravelry.

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