What is an MKAL?
An MKAL is a really fun way to knit a project without having any idea what it's going to look like before you start. The designer (sometimes!) tells you what the project will be and some other details--like yarn requirements, needle size, gauge--and then releases the pattern instructions a little at a time. That way, you can't read ahead, and you have no idea what's coming next! It's very fun! Is it sometimes very disappointing? Yes! Honestly, I've participated in many MKALs and only once was I disappointed with the results. But the nice thing about yarn is that you can rip it out and use it again for something else, which is exactly what I did. Typically, though, you can look at the designer's other work and have a pretty good idea if their designs are a good fit for your taste or not.
What type of MKAL will this be?If you know me at all, you know I love shawls. I kind of have a shawl obsession. So, this will be a shawl. I will tell you these things:
- It is a triangle that is mostly symmetrical in shape.
- It is not symmetrically knit.
- It features three stitch patterns:
- Modified Garter Stitch
- Mosaic Color Work
- Short Rows
- It is written for fingering or worsted weight yarn. Both weights will result in similarly sized shawls. You may use a different weight if you like, but it will affect both yarn requirements and finished size.
What else can you tell me?Well, I'm calling this "A Few of My Favorite Things" shawl because the stitch patterns are a few of my favorites. I love the way modified garter stitch stripes look. I enjoy knitting mosaic color work. And, this short row method is so fun!
The shawl is designed for three colors that contrast well. In my samples (which you cannot see because it would give away the mystery!), I used a variegated or speckled yarn for Color A and solids or semi-solids for Colors B and C. If you opt for this, I recommend that B and C coordinate with but do not exactly match any of the colors in A. That said, all three colors can be semi-solids or solids. You can use as few as two colors, or you can use more.
For the fingering weight sample, I used about 400 yards each of Color A (center): Black Trillium Fibre Studio Lilt Sock in Super Happy Fun; Color B (right): Sweet Tea Yarns Sweet Sock in Dad’s Worn Denim; Color C (left): Sweet Tea Yarns Sweet Sock in Dreamsicle.
For the worsted weight sample, I used about 315 yards each of Malabrigo Rios in Color A(center): Arco Iris; Color B (right): English Rose; and Color C (left): Apple Green.
OK, I'm intrigued. How do I sign up?
Easy! You can purchase the pattern on Ravelry! When you purchase the pattern, an information document will be added to your Ravelry Library (just like any purchased pattern). That information sheet includes materials requirements and the first bit of the instructions--the first small section of the shawl that also makes an excellent gauge swatch. Then, additional instructions will be added to that document on January 7, 14, 21, and 28.
If you'd like a bit more social interaction and instruction with your MKAL, I'm also teaching it as a class! You still need to purchase the pattern on Ravelry, but I'll walk you through the entire process of knitting the shawl in person. Class will meet at Northend Community Center on Tuesdays, January 7, 14, 21, and 28, 7-9pm. Cost for the class is $80. To sign up, just shoot me an email at gaeacreations1 AT gmail DOT com.