November 11, 2010

leethal Mystery Knit-a-Long!

It’s here!  My first mystery knit-a-long!  It’s an any-gauge pattern, and it’s designed by me, so of course you know it’s an accessory, but that’s all you get to know!  Well, ok, I’ll give you more info that you need to knit it, and I’ll tell you now that it’s one size fits all (which will make it a great gift knit!)…

leethal mystery knit-a-long!

So, the way it’ll work is…

You sign up now either on ravelry, or by clicking here to buy now – it’s $6, and includes the final pattern when it’s released after the knit-a-long (which will be available to everyone for the same price).

You automatically receive the first pdf, which includes all the info you need about what yarn and needles to get, and what to do to prepare for starting the pattern (knit a gauge swatch).

The pattern is divided into 4 sections – you will receive a new pdf each Thursday (November 18th – December 9th) with that week’s pattern section.  (Or Friday if I’m running late, but I’ll try to get them out on Thursday afternoons.)

The first 2 sections are the quickest ones, and the 3rd section is the biggest… so if you happen to not find out about this knit-a-long until after the first and/or second installments have already gone out, you can still join in and catch up!

This is an accessory divided into 4 parts, so clearly you won’t have to be knitting nonstop for 4 weeks.  You should be left with plenty of time in your knitting schedule to work on gift projects while you’re participating in the knit-a-long (if that’s a concern).

Ok, now I’ll paste in a bunch of info from the first pdf that you may want to know before signing up…

leethal mystery knit-a-long! leethal mystery knit-a-long!

This mystery pattern is for any gauge, which means you can use any yarn you want.  I’d recommend something soft against skin.

The final version of this pattern will have some interesting variations involving cables and/or lace, but this mystery pattern is the basic version – to add interest, it will work well with a self-striping yarn (with long color sections, like Noro), or you can choose to work stripes.  The pattern will include notes about striping throughout.  If you prefer solids, then that’ll work too, for a more classic kind of finished piece.

As for yardage, because any yarn will work, the yardage estimates are very approximate.  With its 4 parts, this pattern will look nice if the colors are changed anywhere within the 3rd part, or if a new color is started at the beginning of the 4th part.  I say this so that if you have a yarn that may or may not have enough yardage, and you have another similar, matching yarn to act as your backup, you can switch to the backup yarn during the 3rd or 4th sections if you run out of your main yarn.

My yardage estimates are:

  • 400-500 yards worsted
  • 350-400 yards bulky
  • 600-700 yards fingering
  • for other weights, use these estimates as a reference

And about yarn weights… This will be a much quicker project with heavier weights (obviously), and even if you like working in finer weights, you may want to work up this mystery version in a worsted, and then once you know what it is and how the variations work, etc, you can knit up future versions in finer weights.  I’m saying that as a knitter who rarely uses finer than worsted, so if you love working with sock yarn, go for it!

Whatever your yarn weight, you should work it up in a somewhat drapey gauge, meaning not too tight.  This project looks nice when worked with needles one or two sizes bigger than you might normally use.

This project is knit entirely flat, on long circular needles.  I’d recommend a 60” long circular, but anything 32” or longer will work.

The rest of the materials you’ll need for the project:

  • some scrap yarn for a crochet provisional cast-on (cotton works well)
  • a crochet hook for provisional cast-on
  • measuring tape
  • 12 stitch markers total

The pattern uses basic short-rows to work a sideways edge cast-on (no wrapping, just turning) – you don’t need to be familiar with this technique or understand what I’m talking about in that blog post (linked), just work the pattern as it’s written and it’ll magically cast on the sideways stitches.

You’ll need to work from a very simple knit/purl pattern chart.

You’ll need to do some very basic math – such as divide a number by 3.

leethal mystery knit-a-long!

And now I’m going to ask your advice… I’ve never organized or participated in a mystery knit-a-long, so I’m just kind of guessing at the best ways to do everything.  My plan is to release a pattern pdf each week, with no photos at all, and minimal diagrams, to really keep it a mystery.  But then, to help out anyone who’s having trouble or wanting to make sure it’s looking how it’s supposed to, I’ll put up a second pdf that you can download if you want, with photos of how that section should look when it’s done, and possible extra diagrams.  The future sections will remain a mystery, of course.

How does that sound?

And then, the other thing I’m trying to decide on… do you think I should do a blog post each week to show how the mystery object is looking – like, when I release section #2, I’ll post about section #1…?  Or, should I keep the mystery going throughout the whole knit-a-long, so if some knitters are behind, there aren’t spoilers?  I want to do whatever knit-a-longers want me to do, so let me know!

Lastly, I am writing this post, and I wrote the whole intro pdf, with a pretty annoying cold, so the sickness may have caused awkward phrasings, typos, etc… please comment with questions if anything is unclear or confusing!  I’m really excited about this endeavor, so I hope plenty of you have a wee bit of free knitting time this holiday season to enjoy some mystery knitting!!

Update 11/18:  I forgot to say before, the “a-long” part of the knit-a-long will mostly be ravelry-based – the leethal knitters! group discussion boards is the place to talk about how it’s going and ask questions, etc.  I prefer that questions go there throughout the KAL so that everyone can benefit from the public q+a (instead of emailing me privately).  And please post WIPs in your ravelry projects as you knit-a-long!

Filed under: knit-a-longs,knitting — leethal @ 6:09 pm
  • Machete

    VERY cool it! Gosh I Love the internet…tanks for inspiring, now I need to go find that credit card…

  • This looks really interesting but for me I have to say that it’s bad timing to start a mystery KAL at this time of year – I’m really trying to bang out the holiday knitting and would be more likely to want to participate in something like this starting say… December 26th !!

  • I’m well into gift knitting but this is too intriguing to resist. Now to pick out yarn

  • Lamberae

    Totally signed up just now! I still have a lot of holiday knitting to do, but I’m doing simple, smaller projects so I still have time to fit in “me” knits. Really excited about this!!

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  • Lee

    Yeah I’m totally aware of that, but I really wanted the final pattern to be released before xmas, and with the trip I just took and the time it took to test the pattern and everything, this was the soonest I could start the KAL. My only other options were to hold off on everything till after the holidays or not do the KAL at all, but I was really excited to do it, so, alas, I’m surely loosing many would-be participants due to the season. Hopefully this one will go well and I’ll do more mystery KALs in the future! :)

  • Jeannie ML

    Even though this is cramping my holiday knitting and crochet work, I couldn’t resist signing up. Just made my purchase and am thinking I’ll use some gorgeous deep pine green Kathmandu Aran yarn.

  • Susan Italo aka Wild Onion

    It sounds awesome, and you can always repeat the mystery-a-long at another date as well!

  • Redqueen715

    Could you tell me what yarn is that in the photos?

  • Lee

    sure! It’s Imperial Stock Ranch Columbia (LOVE), striped with Noro Kureyon. (see the ravely project page for some more details: )

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  • ptel

    Me, I’m signing up to help the holiday knitting along. With a one-size fits all pattern, I’m sure it will end up being a good gift for someone.

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