Twelve Days of Knitmas Mystery Knitalong 2020
Knitmas began as a way to fill that strange time of year between Christmas and New Year’s and morphed into twelve days, which brings us firmly into 2021. This year, more than ever, it seems we could all use something to look forward to and a beautiful way to usher in the New Year. Please join us!
Who: Knitters! This pattern is appropriate for advanced beginners and up.
What: A mystery knitalong with twelve daily clues.
Where: In our Facebook group, Knit the World, and on Instagram using #twelvedaysofknitmasmkal (make sure to use the hashtag in at least one post in our FB group, or at least one public post on IG to enter to win prizes).
When: Starting on December 26th, clues will be delivered daily for twelve days, and the knitalong will run through the end of January.
Why: To be part of something fun with a wonderful group of fellow knitters. And prizes. And daily freebies and coupons from Nomadic Knits and a ton of our friends.
- Sign up for the daily Knitmas newsletter.
- Choose your yarn (while you do a little happy dance):
- Main Color (MC): 1 “typical” skein of fingering weight (100g/ 400ish yards);
- Contrast Colors (CCs): 12 colors of fingering weight, each 20g/ 80ish yards.
- Gather your needles and notions:
- US 5/ 3.75mm or size to obtain gauge, in 24”/ 60cm or longer circular, to work back and forth.
- tapestry needle, cable needle, 8 stitch markers.
- Check your gauge
- 22 sts and 31 rows = 4”/ 10cm over Stockinette stitch, very lightly blocked.
- gauge isn’t “necessary” when knitting a shawl because it doesn’t need to be a specific size, but changes in gauge will drastically affect the drape as well as the yardage used. For me, the most important thing is the drape of the fabric; if you’re still new to gauge, I recommend playing with a few needles sizes to see if you like how the knitted piece feels in your hands, and stay within one stitch of the recommended gauge (have your blocked gauge be between 21 and 23 stitches over four inches).
- Wait anxiously for cast-on day.
- (optional) Download the Twelve Days of Knitmas MKAL 2020 pattern on Ravelry
- daily clues will be delivered as pattern updates to your Ravelry library around 8 a.m. EST.
- there won’t be any freebies in these clues, so we recommend subscribing to our Knitmas newsletter, too.
- if you’d like, you can create a project page and see the project pages from other knitters.
- The mystery project is a triangular shawl, knit top-down.
- The shawl is filled with textures, with each stitch pattern reflecting a 2020 Nomadic Knits design.
- Don’t worry if you “fall behind.” This is a fun knitalong, not a race. Some ambitious knitters will whip through each day, but not all of us can knit a 1500-yard shawl in twelve days (I certainly didn’t when I designed it).
How to choose colors
A lot of this depends on your knitting personality, and there is no right or wrong way to choose. Here are a few suggestions on selecting your minis:
- Look through your leftovers and minis and pick out the ones that mean the most to you: a mini you picked up on your last vacation before covid hit, a quarter-skein from your first sweater, a gift from your knitting bestie… make it a reflection of yourself – a memory shawl, a scrapbook of your knitting history. This sounds so romantic in my head, but I have a controlling personality, so I need more structure than that. If this sounds familiar, read on!
- Snag or mimic a pre-made kit from us or your favorite indie dyer. A lot of us second guess our choices constantly, so seeing a combination someone else has put together can ease those insecurities and give a map of sorts to follow.
- Google search “color palettes” and browse through the images until one speaks to you or reflects your stash, then you’ll be able to see what colors naturally complement and contrast with each other. Overwhelmed by all the Google results? Try this one for a variety of artist-created palettes.
- Not really into minis? Use 3 full skeins instead of the 12 minis – use all of each one consecutively, or alternate one, two, three, or use the same color for all three.
- Still not sure? Make a color stick – I don’t know if that’s the real name for it, I just didn’t know what else to call it. Take a ruler, or something similar, and wrap your yarn around it as follows: wrap MC 10 times, then CC1 10 times, MC 10 times, CC2 10 times, etc. You can use this technique to decide not only which colors to use, but in what order to place them. It does take a lot of time and fiddling, but it’s much faster than frogging a disappointing choice later on.
Choosing your main color
- You’ll need a full typical skein, which is about 100 grams and about 400 – 450 yards. I used a 400 yard skein for the sample and had about 5 grams leftover, so don’t use a smaller skein unless you have the stomach for a serious game of yarn chicken.
- Your main color will most likely be a neutral color, in order to complement your mini collection, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be speckled or an atypical neutral. One of our kits used a soft, speckled, pale pink, while the other used a pale silver grey. One pattern tester used black paired with bold, brilliant colors, while another used white for the MC and a blue fade for the CCs.
How to pick the order of the contrast colors
- Courageous knitters can close their eyes and randomly choose which color to use next, but this uptight knitter needs a little more direction.
- Color one will be the one closest to your face when you wear the shawl, so it should be a color that you like. It also uses the second-to-least yardage (about 10 grams; day twelve uses just 5 grams).
- Days three and twelve work best with a solid or semi-solid; a multi or speckled may look too busy.
- Colors four and six are perfect for showing off wild colorways – stripey, speckly, as variegated and sparkly as unicorn farts or fairy dust.
- Colors eight and nine will be used together, so they should have an eye-pleasing contrast or complement each other well. Wrap them together on your color stick if you’re not sure. The last color on my stick is two held together
- When in doubt, wrap everything around the color stick (this blog is not sponsored by any sort of color stick company).
Have fun, pour a drink (water, tea, coffee, alcohol – all and more are welcome) and relax. At the end of the day, it’s just sticks and string, and it’s just one project. Our group is not at all spammy, and our only hardfast and true rule is to be kind. Any unkind members will be booted immediately, without a second chance. General snark is accepted and even encouraged, but personal or political snark or racism of any kind will not be tolerated for a second.
If you’re stuck on a direction, post your question in the Facebook group. We may not be able to answer immediately, but someone else may be able to jump in and help out before we get there. Please be kind in your questions and in your answers.
All of the above are just guidelines – follow them to the letter or throw them out completely and use eight skeins of DK in one color. If you’ve read this far, but are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of doing one more thing, or mystery knitalongs just aren’t your thing, join me as a cheerleader! Throw out a like or a love or even a comment here and there as encouragement. Want to commemorate your Knitmas experience? We have cute little mini-kits filled with Knitmas love.
Happy Knitmas to one and all!