What's on deck for the summer

Here's a look at some materials I've been gathering in preparation for some upcoming KALs (Knit-alongs). In fact, they're all MKALs (Mystery Knit-alongs), where the pattern is released one piece at a time over the course of several weeks. I am a big sucker for an MKAL. I think they help me pace my knitting better - each week I have a manageable chunk to tackle. But I'm also notorious for starting KALs and finishing them months and years later, so we'll see how these go.

The first one starts June 1. It's the Shetland Trader Mystery KAL. I'm planning to make the largest size for this shawl that is "less on the lacey side and more texture driven with clean lines." I figure if I make it really large it will be more suitable to a number of different uses, since I have no idea what I'm going to do with it yet - I might keep it, give it away as a Christmas present, donate it somewhere, or repurpose it as some sort of home decor. I'm aiming for a gradient sort of look - the red on the right hand side is actually a bit darker, with streaks of black in it, than the photo shows. And although I usually see gradients go from light to dark, as I've arranged them here, I'll likely start knitting from the right side and go from dark to light. The yarns, from left to right, are Mint Rain Hand Dyed Soft Sock in the Thank You Red colorway, HaldeCraft Moon (a BFL/nylon blend) in the Cranberries colorway, and Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in the Tart colorway.

The next is the Kelbourne Woolens Hydrangea MKAL 2015. I'll be using The Fibre Company Meadow in the Pokeweed colorway, which is just a shade more purple than my picture shows. (I am not the best photographer by any means, and I use my tablet because it's convenient instead of my actual digital camera.) This will be another shawl, and I'm hoping I'll like the design enough to keep this one, because the yarn and the color are gorgeous.

There are two more MKALs I am preparing for that both start July 1. The first is the Knit Purl Hunter July MKAL, for which I'll be using these lovelies:

that I bought at this year's Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. It's a wool/alpaca blend from Aker LLC and I'm a sucker for this sort of barber-pole style. I have done quite a few of Michelle's KALs, and I love that there are prizes. Her patterns are so well-written and advanced techniques are always explained clearly and usually have accompanying video. These are a great place for an adventurous beginner to dive right in. The July KAL will be a pair of convertible mittens, which is something I've never made before. Color me intrigued. Again, I'm hoping I can keep these, but since I'm not using the recommended yarn, and I'm too lazy to do a gauge swatch for such a small project, we'll see what size they end up being.

The final one I'm going to write about today is the Yarn Fairy's in My Garden Mystery KAL by designer Donna Druchunas. I first heard about Donna Druchunas when someone on Twitter linked me to her PubSlush campaign - I immediately backed her PubSlush campaign and then went out and also bought her entire Stories in Stitches collection. I love her aesthetic. This will be an enormous shawl (it calls for 2205 yards of fingering weight yarn!) but luckily I have an enormous stash in my house to pull from. These yarns in order from left to right are: Araucania Huasco in a pale, pale green/grey colorway; a Black Trillium merino blend in the Cedar Forest colorway; Dyeabolical Alter Ego; HaldeCraft Marion (it has cashmere in it!) in the Yggdrasil colorway; and a Cloudlover merino/nylon sock blend in the Faunalia colorway. Nice pale greens into deeper greens/browns - very nature-y, I think. I've never been turned off by variegated yarns and I think they work in everything (including lace, which most people will tell you is a no-no... but they're wrong), so I have high hopes for this color combo.

As always, you can keep up-to-date on my progress on Ravelry and I hope to do some more updates here as well. Happy knitting!