Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Year Long Mystery Shawl KAL


Acronyms are fascinating aren't they? Up until now I've gone my entire life without knowing what a CAL or KAL was. I wonder now how I ever managed without either of them. They are so addictive.

A CAL is a crochet-a-long and a KAL is, you guessed it, a knit-a-long. There are many KALs and CALs. Many of these available by subscription from local and online yarn stores, designers and of course Ravelry. There are mystery KALs too and these are so addictive.

You see I get bored knitting. Eager to start a project, I am even more eager to finish it. It has to go fast or I put it aside. This is one of the reasons I have mostly crocheted instead of knitted. Finishing things is never a problem when I crochet. Knitting for me is another story.

I do have to stop adding new projects to my Rav notebook, really. Un-hunh, yes I mean it!

But I was scrolling around the forums on Rav yesterday and found another mystery shawl kal. This is a free kal, nothing to buy. The first clue came out in January but sign-ups are still allowed until February 13th.

Ya know I had to right? I just couldn't help myself. I joined the group and downloaded the first clue. I'm not that far behind actually. The first clue is only 52 rows and there is still time in February to catch up with February's clue.

I chose Gems Merino in fingering weight in a lovely medium olive green. I have some other shades so if I need to do a graded colourway I can. Stitches have been cast on and I'm 13 rows into the clue. Because of my hands I have to stop and rest every couple of rows but I can see the pattern developing. It is so exciting!

What I think I like about kals especially mystery kals is that you get the pattern in small chunks. I can do small chunks and I love the anticipation about what comes next. I think I might actually finish this one.

If you are interested in doing this kal you had better hurry. Sign-ups close on Feb. 13th. Head on over to Ravelry and look for the group 2010 Lace Sampler Mystery KAL.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

10 Shawls in 2010


When Ravelry started up I joined thousands of other knitters and crocheters and signed up for a free account. I learned about Ravelry from the discussion group for the Etsy Hookers Team. There were so many new users wanting to join that there was a queue with only a relatively small number being accepted each day. It was kind of fun checking to see where you were in the queue.

Eventually, my application for an account was accepted and I was in. It offers a great place to network with others pursuing like interests. Each account comes with a database for storing information about your stash of yarn and fiber; your projects that are works in progress and also to queue up projects you want to work on.

However, to be honest I did not do much with the account once I got in. I checked back every now and again but really did not get 'into it'. Until this year that is.

I wanted to challenge myself in 2010; to find something that would be fun and different yet still within my range of ability to accomplish. I popped into Rav. to search their pattern database. While I was there I took a look at the groups section.

I found a group called 10 Shawls in 2010. The premise is that members will challenge themselves to knit or crochet 10 shawls in 2010. I had just subscribed to my first mystery kal as well as my first lace shawl so this group really appealed to me.

My first shawl was completed in January. It was crocheted from a free pattern called Sezession I and was designed by Rodger Murry. I used two balls of Patons Decor in a variegated colour called Country Roses.

This was a very simple shawl and worked up quickly. It made a great start to my challenge giving me a wonderful sense of accomplishment.

I've queued up other projects which will be more technically challenging like the Evanstar mystery kal. Never having done any lace knitting before this project should satisfy my urge to learn some new stitches and try new techniques.