Knit-Along FAQs

Top view of small pothos plant and philodendron rootings. Below the plants there is a green half done stockinette gauge swatch on circular needles. The swatch's yarn is still connected to a yarn cake.
Gauge swatch knit in Skyland Comet

We’re officially into the second month of the Calgary Capelet knit along (KAL)! I’ll admit to being someone who didn’t cast on April 19 due to the suggested needle size being used in pursuit of a Retreat Cowl that I thought I’d finish in two days (not sure why on Earth I thought that was a reasonable timeline). After knitting and wet blocking a rather large swatch, I cast on with a size 6 and am enthusiastically knitting along. There is still time to join us, we’re having a lot of fun chatting on Ravelry and knitting together.

Some of the participants in the KAL have never participated in one before, and I’ve done a few posts now on the KAL I usually participate in over the summer, so I thought it might be worth taking the time to discuss why you might consider participating (besides the potential to win prizes).

First things’s first: What exactly is a KAL?

A knit-along (KAL) is a group of crafters working on a project together over a set amount of time. I saw crafters here because you can also participate in crochet-alongs, sew-alongs, spin-alongs, and I’m sure there are also embroidery alongs if you know where to look. The ultimate goal of the -along is to build community around a common project and find inspiration in your fellow crafters. Sometimes this inspiration takes the form of observing modifications or color choices that you didn’t think of and other times the conversation leads you to projects that you hadn’t even considered starting!

Freshly joined ribbing on circular knitting needles. The green project has a black and white photo of a woman wearing a capelet with a cable down the front center.

Where are KALs typically organized?

All over the place! You can participate in KALs at your local yarn store, your favorite designer may be hosting a KAL, yarn companies sometimes offer them, podcasts or blogs may opt to host one – sometimes it’s even just a matter of searching “knit along” or “KAL” in the ravelry forms to see if there’s one being hosted!

What’s the difference between a KAL and a MKAL?

The M in MKAL stands for “mystery”. This means that a group of people are working on a project together and no one has an idea of what the finished knit is going to be. Clues, or portions of the pattern, are released over a specific amount of time (usually weekly) and you have between clues to knit that section. Some designers give really good information before the MKAL starts to help you pick yarn and to give you an idea of what the final garment/accessory is going to be, others provide more limited information. When it comes to MKALs, I have a few pieces of advice:

  1. Take a look at the other designs by the designer who is hosting the MKAL. If you like their work, the odds are you’ll also like the mystery item that you’re working on.
  2. See what other participants are thinking about in terms of yarn type or color combinations. You may find yourself inspired!
  3. Ask the designer if you aren’t sure about a color combination or fiber content. A lot of times they’re hosting a MKAL because they want to engage in the community as well.
  4. It’s ok if you don’t like the final piece. I’ve done a couple of MKAL where this has turned out to be the case, but the fun I had waiting for clues to be released and guessing what the final knit would look like. Spoilers are a lot of fun if you’re willing to peek ahead to speed knitters and you can always bail out at any point.

Do I need to complete KALs or MKALs within the specified time period?

No! Take a long as you want knitting your projects and feel free to continue to post in the forms. As the KAL or MKAL comes to a close, the only thing that you really need to be aware of is the folks monitoring the forms may not continue to participate as often. Also, it means that you may need to avoid looking at the project pages or Instagram to avoid MAL spoilers.

Remind me again about Blue Sky Fibers (BSF) current KAL?

Check out my previous blog post, or keep reading for BSF’s Ravelry post. BSF’s post has a pattern discount code and information about a prize for participating:

Spring is here, and so is our new yarn Skyland! Join along as we knit this luxurious accessory piece perfect for wearing all year round.

Join us April 19 through June 30 as we host our first KAL in our brand new yarn, the Calgary Capelet in Skyland. Made from a blend of 40% Fine Highland Wool, 30% Baby Alpaca and 30% Silk, Skyland is the perfect yarn for this soft and cabled capelet. In this KAL, which is great for intermediate knitters, participants will learn to follow a 12-row cable pattern that repeats on both the front and back.

The Calgary Capelet is available in four sizing options to fit bust size 30-58”. This beautiful capelet has excellent stitch definition and stunning cables. Skyland is available in eleven classic and sophisticated colors.

Download the pattern for 50% off with code “SKYCAPELETKAL” through Ravelry or the Blue Sky Fibers website.

Interested in joining the KAL? Find your local yarn store that carries Blue Sky on our stockist page and ask if they’re participating. Gather your knitting friends and make it a virtual group project!

This page will be our home base. Please post comments, questions, and progress pictures here. Post an image of your final piece to any of our social channels to be entered into our grand prize drawing – just make sure to tag us so we see it. Once the KAL is over, we will randomly select one lucky winner to win our grand prize – a year (1 per month) supply of patterns, that’s 12 digital patterns of their choice!

Happy knitting!

BSF Skyland and KAL Preview

For those of you who haven’t had the chance to pick up a skein of Blue Sky Fibers’ (BSF) newest line addition Skyland, it’s a squishy 4-ply DK with a beautiful sheen. The highland wool/baby alpaca/silk blend promises a drapey garment that will keep you warm on cool nights and I cannot wait to start knitting with it. Enter the Calgary Capelet with it’s gorgeous cabled front and combine that with the fact that I’ve been reading Outlander, it’s safe to say that I’ve spend the last couple of weeks eagerly counting down to helping host this knit-along (KAL).

Step one: Does your local yarn store (LYS) carry Skyland?

Mind does! I have a serious knit crush on the Women of Scratch Supply Co from their project choices to the yarn they carry in the store. In fact it’s been made worse by the fact that their podcast makes it feel like they’re hanging out in my family room.

Use BSF’s stock list finder to locate a LYS that carries Skyland near you.

Step two: Pick a color and buy enough yarn for your size.

My friends would be quick to tell you, I have a hard time committing to a color pallet for most of my projects. For starters, I try to push myself to use colors that are outside of my go-to section (blue, green, pink — think watermelon at the beach and you’ve got my color preferences nailed). Add that with I love most colors and hopefully my problem is seen as a desire to be inclusive and not a problem with committing.

As I mentioned above, a friend and I have been reading Outlander together and I’ve been daydreaming about someday traveling the Highlands. With this in mind, I’ve opted to use Comet, a dark green that is within my typical color pallet. Skyland is a yarn I want to wear all the time, so I refuse to feel bad about choosing a color I know matches everything I own as opposed to one I will occasionally wear as a fun pop of color.

Step three: Swatch swatch swatch.

I’ve been burned by swatching before and can probably guess what needle size I need in order to hit gauge (22 stitches and 27 rows = 4 inches in Stockinette), but at the end of the day swatching is informative. For starters, it will ensure that the garment will look the way that Mary Pranica (the designer) intended. More importantly, a swatch will give you a preview of how the yarn is going to knit up (think fabric drape). Personally, I want to make sure that I’m taking advantage of the way Alpaca drapes and that’s enough for me to knit a square before getting started.

Step four: Cast on and show off your progress!

The KAL starts April 19th 2021, aka this coming Monday! That gives you just enough time to grab your yarn (and swatch!) before we cast on together. Not ready to cast on day one? That’s ok, the KAL will run until June 2021. Grab some yarn and join us when you can.

There is going to be more information posted about this KAl on Monday, so join BSF on Ravelry and hangout with us: https://www.ravelry.com/groups/friends-of-blue-sky-fibers

Use #bsfskyland #CalgaryCapelet #CalgaryCapeletKAL on social media so that we can see your work!

I’m off to start swatching so I’m ready for Monday.

Stay tuned for weekly progress updates and possible grumblings that I can’t wear the caplet yet. It’s been so long since I’ve been a part of a KAL outside of Camp Loopy (it’s also been a long time since August 2020 when camp ended!), I’m looking forward to watching everyone’s Capelets work up and seeing how we add our own twist to the same pattern.

Winter Moss Hat Pattern (free)

Winter Moss Hat without pompom and brim folded over twice.

Jump to pattern.

Last October, I applied to be a Blue Sky Maker for Blue Sky Fibers and was invited to join the team. If you’ve been following me on Instagram for a while or have read any of my previous posts before reading this one (see Camp Loopy 2019 and Camp Loopy 2020) you’ll know that I have a special place in my heart for Blue Sky Fibers, especially their Woolstok line. Woolstok has a way of screaming out to me whenever I’m wondering a yarn shop or perusing an online store, and when I come across it I find myself distracted by all things colorwork. How could I not be excited when they sent me one of their cool bundles in the mail?

Winter Moss Hat with Pom-pom

Seven colors, that’s how many colors come in a woolstok bundle. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent pouring over Pinterest looking at blue and green images or Ravelry looking for inspiration. One of the Strange Brew knits came to mind, but I wanted to make something that wouldn’t need much more than the one bundle and didn’t find inspiration in the charts found in Anthology. The colors on my table looked so beautiful together, the more I stared at them the more I thought about my fiancé’s homeland, New Zealand.

It’s worth noting at this point, that I have never been to New Zealand unless you count viewing the Lord of the Rings trilogy that was filmed there (I don’t). Despite looking at many pictures of gorgeous scenery, it’s safe to say that there is a little bit of the Shire in my eventual design. It probably took me four or five hours to develop this chart, all the while I was wondering if I would come to hate myself for having more than two colors within the same line.

Winter Moss Hat without Pompom

Chart done, I started swatching to develop the fabric that I wanted and then started playing around with numbers in order to get fit vs fabric that I was hoping for. The final result is this hat! I love how the colors come together to show a sunny mountain day from the side and a snow flake or flower when looked at the hat from top down.

For those of you who are not feeling up to holding more than two colors at a time, I recommend using a duplicate stitch. Honestly, I found holding multiple colors at a time a fun challenge – it helped that you don’t have to hold them together very long!

Now my fiancé and I have different head sizes, but we are both able to wear and enjoy the hat. Since I knit the brim long, when he wears it he folds it over twice and enjoys extra warm ears. When I wear the hat I tuck the brim in, so that about two inches are showing, which makes the hat feel smaller while also keeping my head nice and toasty. Can you tell that our winters are cold?

Please use the hashtag: #wintermosshat so I can see your project!

Hat Pattern

Winter Moss hat with out Pompom and the long brim unrolled.

Sizing: One size fits most adults, decrease or increase stiches by multiple of 20 for a different size.

Recommended yarn: Woolstok Bundle (cool, neutral, or warm), 1 skein of 150g solid color Woolstok

Recommended Gauge: 22 sts x 28 rows per 4 inches

Suggested needle size: US 5 and US 6

Note on sizing: Decreasing your stitches per inch will result in a larger hat, increasing your stitches per inch will result in a smaller hat. My fiancé and I can both wear this hat (I usually wear an adult S/M and he usually wears an adult M/L) due to the brim construction. I push the extra brim inside the hat and he doesn’t need to.

With smaller needles and the Italian Tubular Cast on, CO 120 sts

Join in the round, being careful not to twist

Work 1×1 rib for:

  • 6-8 inches (double fold brim, I did 6)
  • 4 inches (regular fold brimg)
  • 2 inches (no folding)

Switch to larger needle, Knit 1 round

Work 48 row chart (below), changing to double pointed needles or magic loop when needed.

Cut yarn leaving about a six inch tail. Thread the tail through the remaining 12 stitches.

Optional make a pom pom with your leftover yarn.

Chart Key:

  • / k2tog
  • \ ssk
  • ^\ s1k2psso
Pattern chart, see written version below.

Chart Written Instructions Key:

K: Knit

MC: Main color

CC 1-7: Contrast Color (7 total)

SSK: Slip Slip Knit

K2TOG: Knit Two Together

S1K2PSSO: Slip One, Knit Two, Pass Slip Stitch Over

Chart Written Instructions:

To be repeated a total of 6x around

Row 1: [K1 CC1, K9 MC, K1 CC1, K3 MC, K1 CC1, K1 MC, K1 CC1, K3 MC]

Row 2: [K2 CC1, K7 MC, K2 CC1, K2 MC, K2 CC1, K1 MC, K2 CC1, K2 MC]

Row 3: [K3 CC1, K2 MC, K1 CC1, K2 MC, K3 CC1, K1 MC, K3 CC1, K1 MC, K3 CC1, K1 MC]

Row 4: [K1 MC, K3 CC1, K3 MC, K3 CC1, K1 MC, K3 CC1, K3 MC, K3 CC1]

Row 5: [K1 CC1, K1 MC, K3 CC1, K1 MC, K3 CC1, K1 MC, K3 CC1, K2 MC, K1 CC1, K2 MC, K2 CC1]

Row 6: [K1 CC1, K2 MC, K2 CC1, K1 MC, K2 CC1, K2 MC, K2 CC1, K7 MC, K1 CC1]

Row 7: [K1 CC1, K3 MC, K1 CC1, K1 MC, K1 CC1, K3 MC, K1 CC1, K9 MC]

Row 8: [K20 MC]

Row 9: [K5 MC, K1 CC2, K7 MC, K1 CC2, K1 MC, K1 CC2, K1 MC, K1 CC2, K2 MC]

Row 10: [K20 MC]

Row 11: [K5 MC, K1 CC2, K7 MC, K1 CC2, K1 MC, K1 CC2, K1 MC, K1 CC2, K2 MC]

Row 12: [K4 MC, K1 CC2, K1 MC, K1 CC2, K6 MC, K1 CC2, K1 MC, K1 CC2, K1 MC, K1 CC2, K2 MC]

Row 13: [K3 MC, K1 CC2, K1 MC, K1 CC3, K1 MC, K1 CC2, K5 MC, K1 CC2, K1 MC, K1 CC2, K1 MC, K1 CC2, K2 MC]

Row 14: [K2 MC, K1 CC2, K1 MC, K1 CC3, K1 MC, K1 CC3, K1 MC, K1 CC2, K11 MC]

Row 15: [K1 MC, K1 CC2, K1 MC, K1 CC3, K1 MC, K1 CC4, K1 MC, K1 CC3, K1 MC, K1 CC2, K10 MC]

Row 16: [K1 CC2, K1 MC, K1 CC3, K1 MC, K1 CC4, K1 MC, K1 CC4, K1 MC, K1 CC3, K1 MC, K1 CC2, K2 MC, K1 CC4, K1 MC, K1 CC3, K1 MC, K1 CC4, K2 MC]

Row 17: [K1 MC, K1 CC3, K1 MC, K1 CC4, K3 MC, K1 CC4, K1 MC, K1 CC3, K4 MC, K1 CC4, K1 CC3, K1 CC4, K3 MC]

Row 18: [K1 CC3, K1 MC, K1 CC4, K5 MC, K1 CC4, K1 MC, K1 CC3, K2 MC, K2 CC3, K1 CC4, K2 CC3, K2 MC]

Row 19: [K1 MC, K1 CC4, K3 MC, K1 CC3, K3 MC, K1 CC4, K4 MC, K1 CC4, K1 CC3, K1 CC4, K3 MC]

Row 20: [K1 CC4, K9 MC, K1 CC4, K2 MC, K1 CC4, K1 MC, K1 CC3, K1 MC, K1 CC4, K2 MC]

Row 21: [K20 MC]

Row 22: [K2 CC5, K1 MC, K4 CC5, K1 MC, K4 CC5, K1 MC, K4 CC5, K1 MC, K2 CC5

Row 23: [K20 CC6]

Row 24: [K2 CC5, K1 MC, K4 CC5, K1 MC, K4 CC5, K1 MC, K4 CC5, K1 MC, K2 CC5

Row 25: [K20 MC]

Row 26: [K6 MC, K1 CC7, K1 MC, K1 CC7, K1 MC, K1 CC7, K1 MC, K1 CC7, K7 MC

Row 27: [K2 MC, K1 CC7, K2 MC, K1 CC7, K2 MC, K3 CC7, K2 MC, K1 CC7, K2 MC, K1 CC7, K2 MC, K1 CC7]

Row 28: [K1 CC7, K3 MC, K1 CC7, K2 MC, K1 CC7, K3 MC, K1 CC7, K2 MC, K1 CC7, K3 MC, K1 CC7, K1 MC]

Row 29: [K1 MC, K1 CC7, K1 MC, K1 CC1, K2 MC, K1 CC7, K1 CC3, K1 MC, K1 CC3, K1 MC, K1 CC3, K1 CC7, K2 MC, K1 CC7, K1 MC, K1 CC7, K2 MC]

Row 30: [K2 MC, K1 CC7, K2 MC, K1 CC7, K2 MC, K1 CC3, K1 MC, K1 CC3, K2 MC, K1 CC7, K2 MC, K1 CC7, K3 MC]

Row 31: [K4 MC, K1 CC7, K2 MC, K1 CC3, K1 MC, K1 CC3, K1 MC, K1 CC3, K2 MC, K1 CC7, K5 MC]

Row 32: [K1 MC, SSK MC, K1 CC7, K4 MC, K1 CC3, K1 MC, K1 CC3, K4 MC, K1 CC7, K2TOG MC, K2 MC]

Row 33: [K1 MC, K1 CC7, K4 MC, K1 CC3, K1 MC, K1 CC3, K1MC, K1 CC3, K4 MC, K1 CC7, K2 MC]

Row 34: [K1 CC7, SSK MC, K1 CC3, K1 MC, K1 CC3, K5 MC, K1 CC3, K2TOG MC, K1 CC7, K1 MC]

Row 35: [K3 MC, K1 CC3, K7 MC, K1 CC3, K3 MC, K1 CC7]

Row 36: [K1 MC, SSK CC3, K1 MC, K1 CC3, K5 MC, K1 CC3, K1 MC, K2TOG CC3, K2 MC]

Row 37: [K6 MC, K1 CC6, K7 MC]

Row 38: [K1 MC, SSK MC, K2 MC, K3 CC6, K2 MC, K2TOG MC, K2 MC]

Row 39: [K3 MC, K5 CC6, K4 MC]

Row 40: [K1 MC, SSK CC6, K5 CC6, K2TOG CC6, K2 MC]

Row 41: [K2 MC, K5 CC6, K3 MC]

Row 42: [K1 MC, SSK MC, K3 CC6, K2TOG MC, K2 MC]

Row 43: [K3 MC, K1 CC6, K4 MC]

Row 44: [K1 MC, SSK MC, K1 MC, K2TOG MC, K2 MC]

Row 45: [K1 CC2, K4 MC, K1 CC2]

Row 46: [K1 CC2, S1K2PSSO CC2]

Row 47: [K2 CC2]

Row 48: [SSK CC2]

Top down view of hat pattern.

Camp Loopy 2020: June Challenge

img_20200609_084552As June comes to a close, I can honestly say that I didn’t feel rushed when working on this month’s knitting challenge. Though I chose to work a pair of color work double lined mittens, which essentially means that I knit two pairs of mittens, I don’t think a 400 yard project in a month is very challenging. Last year I had a lofter goal of knitting one adult sweater per month and found myself unmotivated to follow through with it in the end (In June I was successful, July I knit a scarf and August ran into September because I knit other things). This summer feels different because I feel like my creativity has been struggling to keep up with the amount of knitting that I’ve been doing.

Here is the prompt I had to work with this month:

Camp Loop 2020 June Challenge

The June challenge includes combining elements to make something new. What does that look like?

You can combine two (or more) different colors together. Here are some ideas –
From The Loopy Ewe website: Edith CowlVictoria HatHouse of Faberge CowlMerida MittensOranssi CowlAlbuquerque SunsetMagical Thinking, and Quindici.
From Ravelry: Jupiter CropRock It TeeThe ShiftOdyssey Shawl, and Breathe and Hope.

Or you can combine two different yarn materials together. (Combine different weights, or combine different bases. Or add a different material like beads to your yarn project, etc.). Here are some ideas –
From Ravelry: Ashbury Park ShawlImagine When (beads on points), Lily of the Valley ShawlMorningstarCalan Mai (combining two weights plus beads!), Charmayne, and Musicality (with beads).

Or you can combine two different patterns together to make something unique. Like taking the neckline from one sweater and adding it to another. Or the stitch pattern from one thing, and combining it with another pattern. Or the edging from one shawl to add to another. There are so many options with this one!

Since I’ve already mentioned that I worked a pair of lined color work mittens, it may seem obvious that I went with the first challenge: mixing two or more colors. This is true, I mixed red, charcoal and yellow together and am very happy with the results. I also happily took it a step further and knit the lining in a different yarn base to mix materials as well. Not to be an over achiever, my goal was to provide my partner with a pair of mittens to keep his hands warm (also to stop him from stealing my mittens).

img_20200609_164006
Pattern: Fiddlehead Mittens
Yarn used: Woolstok in Red Rock and Cast Iron, Road to China Light in Topaz