Welcome to our little bit of knitterly Heaven- I'm so glad you found your way here!
Our goal is to teach beginning knitters some tricks of the trade as well as to work enough swatches to have a finished afghan by the end of the year! Join along with us as we learn about patterns, cables, lace, and some other handy techniques! A new pattern will become available each month ranging from newbie to adventurous. So stop on by, pick your pattern and knit along with us!

All patterns can be found here as well as on Ravelry.com!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Hi Friends and welcome to the first post of our winter Mystery KAL!  I am so excited to start this journey with all of you.  This post is designed to give you a bit of an intro to what we'll be spending the next couple of weeks working on.  I've come up with a bunch of possible questions and their answers that will hopefully give you a good idea of what'll be going on.  In this post we'll talk about yarn and needles, the KAL duration, and where to find help if you need it.  I hope you'll join me in this fun knitting project!  Without further ado, I introduce:

What is a Mystery KAL anyway?
A KAL stands for Knit A-Long.  This means that we'll all be knitting this pattern in bits and pieces at the same time.  The mystery of it is that no one quite knows what it'll end up being!  Each section, or Clue, will be released containing a couple of rows of pattern and any info you may need to knit that section.  That's all!  When the KAL is finished, I'll have pictures up as well as the total pattern.  We have a group on Ravelry.com named "Year of Swatches".  In our forum there will be a thread (conversation) titled: "Spoiler Alert: Pictures!" for those of you who would like to see the pics of the project as we go. 

Who can knit this? 
This project is fairly basic, but the end result is beautiful!
If you've tried any of the patterns on this blog, you can knit this project. 
If you are fairly new to knitting but know the basics like knit and purl, you can knit this project. 
If you're an advanced knitter who loves a Mystery, you can knit this project.
In the end, I believe that any knitter can tackle this project.  I've broken it down enough that it won't be too overwhelming for beginners or too boring for more advanced knitters. 
If you aren't already on Ravelry, I strongly encourage you to join.  It's free and is an awesome resource to knitters.  If you are on Ravelry, there is a project page titled: Fragments Mystery KAL.  Please start a project page and join our Year of Swatches group for fun conversations as well as pattern help.

Ok, this sounds like fun!  How do I sign up and where can I go for help?
If you are on Ravelry, start a project page! Otherwise simply check in on this blog on all weekdays (Monday thru Friday) for the duration of the KAL for your Clues. 
For knitting help, join our group on Ravelry titled Year of Swatches.  There will be a forum thread devoted to this project.  You can ask your questions there or write your question in the comments section on this blog.  Before you ask though, read through the forum (someone may have already asked and answered your question).  

So, what do I need?
For my project, I used Fishermen's Wool by Lion Brand.  It is a worsted weight 100% wool yarn that has 465 yards per skein.  I used most of the skein for this project, so plan on purchasing at least 465 yards of your preferred worsted weight yarn.  You can use acrylic if you want, but I really like the wool for this project since there will be some blocking, and wool tends to hold its shape best.
You will be knitting this project flat, so you'll need straight needles or a circular needle worked back and forth.  I used a pair of US 7/ 4.5 mm needles.  My gauge was 4.5 sts per inch.
You will also need a cable needle and a darning needle for sewing in ends.  

Is gauge really important?
It's not terribly important, since this pattern won't be a garment (Ooh- first Clue!).  If you'd like to knit using a lighter weight yarn, feel free!  My test knitter used sock yarn and US 3 needles for her project!  Play around with yarn and needle size to see what you like.  Just remember that yardage may change using different yarns and needles.  

When do we start and how long will this take?
The first Clue will be posted on January 16th (my birthday!).  Every weekday (Monday thru Friday) a new Clue will be posted by 8 am Pacific Time.  You'll be able to have a finished project, blocked and wrapped in time for Valentine's Day (or if you're a wee bit slower, a great Easter or Mother's Day Gift)!

Are there any special skills I'll need for this KAL?
Aside from knitting and purling, we'll use increases (knit-in-front-and-back), decreases (ssk and k2tog), yo, and a tinsy bit of cabling.  Don't know how to do that?  No worries!  I will work through each special skill as it's addressed so you'll be able to knit along even if you don't know that skill. 

Any hints on what we're making?
The only thing I'll give ya is that it is an accessory appropriate for any age or gender, so pick your yarn based on what the recipient (yes, that includes you!) would like!

Well Friends, that's all for now.  If you have any questions, comment on this post and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.  In the mean time, get your friends, your needles, and your yarn at the ready- because we're about to take off on a fantastic knitting adventure!

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