The Westknits Mystery Knit A Long (or MKAL) is an annual mystery shawl where knitters all over the world knit a new shawl together as each section is revealed as a surprise over the course of four weeks in October.
The 2020 Shawl is called Slipstravaganza and will involve lots of lovely slip-stitch (mosaic). Don't worry if you're a relative newbie, the shawl is good for "adventurous beginners" - Stephen's videos are always brilliant, and there's so much help available on the Slipstravaganza Ravelry Group.
What is an MKAL?
MKAL stands for Mystery Knit A Long! Knit Alongs (KALs) are fun, social activity in which a group of knitters all make the same project in a specified timeframe. A Mystery Knit Along adds an extra level of spice, because you won’t know what the thing you’re knitting is when you start. A section of the pattern (clue) is released each week, and at the end of the Knit Along, the final design is revealed.
The Westknits MKAL is always a shawl design, and always incorporates interesting techniques (shaping, stitch patterns, and other design features), but beyond that, it’s a mystery!
When does the MKAL start?
Clue one is released on 9 October 2020.
How do I sign up?
Purchase the MKAL pattern with your kit below (it will be sent digitally to your email address, and give us your Ravelry name too if you want us to add it to your library);
OR buy it yourself on Ravelry
There will be lots of fun chat in the Ravelry group, on Instagram, and Stephen will be hosting Zoom and Instagram Live events throughout the MKAL.
How do I get the clues?
The clues are released every Friday. If you purchase the pattern through us or on Ravelry, you will receive an email and be able to update your pattern in your Library. If you purchase the pattern through Gumroad you will receive an email when the update is available for download.
How many clues are there?
There are four clues, released on these dates:
Clue 1 - October 9
Clue 2 - October 16
Clue 3 - October 23
Clue 4 - October 30
You can use lots of different fingering weight yarn types for Slipstravaganza. It’s not required to purchase a kit to participate. We encourage you to use your stash and collect yarn from your LYS or other yarn makers/dyers as well.
You will receive an introductory PDF when you purchase Slipstravaganza. The first week of instructions comes out as an update in your Ravelry inbox on Friday, October 9!
The PDF contains introductory information for the MKAL. You will receive the first instructions for the pattern Friday, October 9. Then, you will receive a section of the mystery shawl pattern each week until the final design is revealed on October 30.
The overall shape and dimensions are part of the mystery! Slipstravaganza will be a large shawl, similar in size to Starflake and Speckle & Pop.
There will be an option in the pattern to stop early for a smaller size if you don’t want the largest recommended version.
What's included in my "Kit"?
All kits include 500g of fingering weight yarn:
200g x Main Colour (the colour on the left, in the pics)
100g x Contrast Colour 1
100g x Contrast Colour 2
100g x Contrast Colour 3
We have created combos based on everything we know about the mystery pattern. Some are superwash yarns, some are non-superwash and a few are a mixture of the two.
What else will I need?
- 3.5mm (US 4) 100cm (40") circular needles, or size needed to obtain gauge, or desired fabric. We recommend one size smaller than you'd normally use for the yarn.
- 54 stitch markers
- tapestry needle
24 sts & 36 rows = 4” / 10cm in stockinette stitch (un-blocked).
Try to get close to the recommended stitch gauge to ensure you don’t run out of yarn. A similar stitch gauge is more important than getting a similar row gauge. Try to get close to 24 sts = 4” / 10cm, but between 22 – 24 sts per 4” / 10cm is also fine. Try not to be close to 20 sts per 4” / 10cm because that will be a looser fabric and you may use more than the recommended yardage.
Achieving the recommended gauge means that you may need to go down a needle size depending on your individual tension. Don’t worry too much about gauge because there will be an option at the end of the pattern to stop early or keep going if you have more yarn.
The fabric should feel relaxed and flowy, but not too loose and lacy.