Looking for something new and exciting to knit? Or maybe you’ve already heard about my upcoming mystery pattern knit-along? Whichever, I hope to be able to answer some of your questions with this blog post.

The Kinfolk Shawl Mystery Knit-Along (MKAL) launches on 1st September, with the first clue (of five) being issued on Thursday, 22nd September. It’s available to buy in my Ravelry or Payhip stores, where you’ll be able to download an information sheet before the first clue lands later in the month, and this will help you to get ready.

How does a mystery knit-along work?

A mystery knitting pattern is one where you don’t what you’re knitting – in this case it’s a shawl, but you don’t know what it’s going to look like when it’s finished. There might be a few clues but it’s mostly a surprise. The pattern doesn’t have any photographs (although for the Kinfolk MKAL the pattern has links to exclusive video tutorials) and will be emailed to you in five parts, each a week apart. The knit-a-long aspect is where everyone is knitting the same thing together at the same time, so there is a kind of community built up around the pattern – this will be over social media and in my knit-along Facebook group.

I don’t use Ravelry, can I still join in?

Yes absolutely! The pattern will be available to buy on Payhip (as well as Ravelry) and as long as you tick the box to receive email updates, you’ll be issued with emails every Thursday to send you the next clue, (just as you would on Ravelry). The knit-a-long aspect will be hosted in my Facebook group, as well as on other social media by using the hashtags #KinfolkShawl or #KinfolkMKAL that way you’ll be able to see other MKALer’s projects.

Is it a lot of knitting each week?

If you don’t have a lot of time to knit, or you’re worried that you’re a “slow knitter” and won’t be able to keep apace with the clues, don’t worry!

The vast majority of this particular MKAL will be worked in two halves and we’ll be knitting on each half each week. So if you’re worried about not keeping up, you could choose to knit on one half of the shawl during the KAL and knit the other half afterwards. That way the mystery aspect won’t be spoilt by everyone progressing to the next clue whilst you’re still on clue 1. Worked this way each clue will knit-up slightly less than 25g of 4ply/fingering-weight yarn each week (if you work both sides simultaneously then you’ll be knitting-up slightly <50g each week).

The pattern also includes an exclusive “Knit Motivate!” grab sheet, designed with lots of tick boxes and colouring-in sections to help keep you motivated through the MKAL.

I’m concerned about picking the right yarns.

You can find out more about the yarn needed by visiting the pattern pages on either Ravelry or Payhip. Plus, there’s lots of information about choosing yarns in the pattern’s info sheet which you’ll receive when you buy the pattern. You can also get advice from me on social media and in the Facebook group – choosing yarn is one of my favourite things!

I used yarn from Whistlebare for my original sample, and we’ve put together four gorgeous yarn sets especially for the MKAL! Find them on the Whistlebare website here

How do I know if I’ll like the finished shawl? And what happens if I don’t like the finished shawl?

Part of the surprise of knitting a mystery shawl, is not knowing what it’s going to look like when it’s finished. A good way to work out whether you’re likely to like it is to have a look at some of my previous/recent shawl designs (Ravelry or Payhip) … the mystery shawl doesn’t stray too far from these. You also might get some clues from the pattern pages on Payhip or Raverly. If at the end of the KAL you decide the shawl isn’t for you, it will make a lovely gift for someone!

What kind of techniques are involved in the shawl? Will they be hard?

As a part-time primary teacher, I’ve designed the shawl to be have a progression of skill within it, so it starts very gently and becomes more elaborate (or another word) as the clues progress. There will be lots of help on hand in the Facebook group and on social media, plus you’ll have access to weekly virtual knit nights on zoom and exclusive video tutorials to help you.

What shape will the shawl be?

For the yarn amounts required (260g of 4ply fingering) you can probably work out that the Kinfolk Shawl is fairly sizable. It’s worked in two halves, which as the name Kinfolk suggests (akin to), the two halves are similar but not identical. It’s also a different shape from last year’s MKAL shawl, Trigpoint (Ravelry link / Payhip Link), but that’s all I’m saying!

Fancy an earlybird discount on Kinfolk? You can get £1 off the MKAL pattern when you sign up to my mailing list HERE. Valid until midnight gmt+1 on Thursday 22nd September.