Category Archives: sweater

The Mystery about Mystery KAL’s or CAL’s

I love mysteries….mystery books, mystery movies, even mystery food! I just enjoy watching or reading (or tasting) to see how it ends.

That’s why I love Mystery KAL’s. A Mystery KAL (or knit-a-long) is one in which a part of a pattern (clue) is released on a regular basis. It could be released weekly, every-other-day, or even monthly, depending upon the designer’s whim. You really do not know how the final product looks until you finish the last stitch.

There are all kinds of Mystery KALs as well as Mystery Crochet-alongs. You can usually find them in the afghans, bags, shawls, socks, and dishcloth threads on Ravelry. You can even join Mystery swaps.

If you would like to join a Mystery KAL or CAL, there are a few tips that I have learned:

  1. Plan to use more yarn than the design calls for. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
  2. Some Mystery KAL or CAL patterns are free; others are for a small fee. Most designers, if they charge, often charge a bit less if you purchase the pattern before the KAL or CAL ends.
  3. Find a local buddy to follow the KAL with you. You and she/he can serve as inspiration and nearby help.
  4. Always knit/crochet a swatch before beginning the first clue to make sure that you have gauge.
  5. As each clue is revealed, wait a day or so until you begin knitting that part. While designers work very hard to to have error-free patterns, it does sometimes happen. You’ll save yourself a lot of frog-pond time if you wait.
  6. Check your KAL’s Ravelry thread often for pattern errors.
  7. If you get in trouble, go to the Ravelry thread and ask. You can email the designer, but most often someone else has had the same  problem and can help. Likewise, be willing to answer if someone else asks and you can help.
  8. Keep in mind there is a chance that you will not fit/like/need/want the final product once you have knitted it. It IS a MYSTERY knit-along after all. If that’s the case, either give it away or frog it and use the yarn for something else.
  9. Most Mystery KAL’s have two threads in their Ravelry group. One is for pictures to be posted by those who have completed the clues (a spoiler thread) and one is for no pictures (no spoilers) but just questions, comments, etc. You can choose to either peek or not to see how the product is coming along.

Have I helped you clarify the mystery in Mystery KALs?

TTFN!

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Cindy Does Not Medal in the Sweater Triathlon………Film at 11

Yes, dear friends, I am going to stop knitting my sweater for the Ravellenic Games Sweater Triathlon. My wrists are aching and I have a headache that will not quit. I will have to quit knitting on this project before I develop carpal tunnel syndrome.

It’s okay, though. I learned a long time ago that I am a PROCESS knitter not necessarily a PRODUCT knitter. It does not bother me to tear out two weeks worth of knitting. I think that I have learned quite a bit during those two weeks.

What have I learned? Well, that both patterns that I chose to help me overcome my lack-of-sweater-knitting skills were very good. Each of them gave me new skills that I will be able to use in my knitting.

I also tried two different types of yarn. Unfortunately, I did not swatch yarn #2 very much to realize how tightly it would knit on size 6 needles (which was gauge for that sweater). And yarn #1 just did not feel right for the pattern I originally chose. Maybe I will make a sweater with yarn #1 and pattern #2; but just not this week.

And that’s okay with me. I am going to finish watching those marvelous Olympians reaching their personal goals while finishing up a shawl and winding yarn for an upcoming Mystery Shawl knit-a-long. If you want to join me, check it out on Ravelry: Fantasia Mystery Shawl Group and find your yarn at Fiddle Knits Design.

TTFN!

Knitting For The Gold

Now that the Summer Games have started many knitters, crocheters, and spinners are watching while they work on their own competitive projects. We call it the Ravellenic Games. The purpose is to challenge yourself in your craft.

Thus far, I am working on a small baby cardigan.

image

I do love those bright colors!

What I am hoping to achieve is to learn more on sweater construction so I can knit sweaters that I can wear with pride. So wish me luck!!!

TTFN!

Mom’s Sweater or Where Are They Now?

I pretty much learned the knitting basics at Jimtown Junior High School in Elkhart, IN. But I had to learn all the finer techniques on my own. This was more than 40 years ago (Wow! I am old!) That was long before the Internet (i.e. Ravelry , Yahoogroups, YouTube, etc.); long before my town had a decent yarn shop; long before I knew there were others like me who loved to knit.

But there was Mary Maxim. I could purchase yarn and a pattern in a kit. So I knitted kit sweaters for my family.

I did not know about Intarsia or Fair Isle knitting so I learned through trial and error. I did not know anything about garment finishing, like blocking and seaming.

But no matter how my sweaters turned out, my parents loved them and wore them often. When Mom passed away, my Dad gave me back her sweater, as well as all the other things I had knitted for her.

So even though I am slightly ashamed of the imperfect sweaters, I am very proud that I could make something warm that my Mother loved.

Without much further ado, here is a photo of me wearing my Mom’s sweater.

Me in Mom

Mom

TTFN