Mystery KAL – FAQ and Poor Wool-Allergic Jackie!

First things first – we’ve had a couple of very good questions!

Q: What’s the difficulty level of this sweater?
A: Amy tells us that it’ll be customizable from “easy to intermediate.” It’s written in such a way that you can be flexible and choose to include or not include some of the details to fit it to your personal comfort level.

Q: How much knitting should I expect to do per night?
A: Some of that will depend on you, of course. We’ve got both hares and tortoises here in the office, but we’re feeling pretty confident that the pace will be reasonable. The designer, Amy Gunderson, is estimating about 45 minutes per day of knitting.

My personal plan is to crank up the first season of Downton Abbey and watch an episode a night to get caught up (again) while knocking out a few rows in the evening. Perhaps while sipping some tea. It’s a sacrifice, but I’ll soldier on.

Now on to Jackie! Jackie is tackling the Mystery KAL as her very first sweater project. Unfortunately, Jackie is allergic to wool. To me, that seems like being allergic to air, but Jackie isn’t letting that stop her.
Good Earth Swatch
Jackie’s chosen to do her sweater in Good Earth cotton/linen blend (204yds/100g). Good Earth Multi is in the swatch pictured above, although Jackie settled on a solid color for her sweater. The drape on Good Earth is naturally different than a wool blend, but it’s got a great hand and knits up beautifully.  Jackie’s going to make the simpler version of the sweater.

We’re all very proud of her for stretching her wings by trying something new. We should all try to learn something new every day – knitting-related or not!

Mystery KAL – Swatching Deluxe Worsted for Gauge

Deluxe Worsted
Soaked in cool water and lightly wet-blocked, this swatch is 18 sts = 4″ on US size 7 needles.

And we’re off! Folks in the office have made their yarn selections. Bags of yarn have arrived at our desks and we’ve ripped into them and started swatching.

Deluxe Worsted and Deluxe Worsted Superwash seemed like the classic choices for a sweater. Both are 220yds/100g 100% wool. Based on the dead-on gauge swatch in Deluxe Worsted pictured at right, it’s going to be a good fit.

Deluxe Worsted SuperwashWe’ve had some people ask how well Deluxe Worsted Superwash actually stands up to washing, so we put a couple of gauge swatches to the test before starting an entire sweater. Machine washed and tumbled dry, the swatches looked just fine. We feel comfortable casting on with confidence.

We can’t wait for the clues to start rolling in. There’s a Ravelry group going where you can share your progress.

Happy knitting!

Mystery Sweater KAL – Tips

The “mystery” in this KAL should be what the finished product will look like – it shouldn’t be confusion about gauge and fit. So the folks at 30 Day Sweater have provided a video to go along with the Universal knitalong with helpful hints on making your finished sweater the perfect fit for you.

Thanks, guys! We hope this inspires people to try new things with their knitting!

Mystery KAL – 30 Day Sweater Challenge

Have you heard about the 30 Day Sweater Challenge? During the month of October, the folks at – wait for it – 30 Day Sweater Challenge are hosting a massive knitalong. You pick your pattern and yarn, and join others who are also making top-down seamless sweaters at the same time, trading tips and tricks.
Curiosity killed the cat, but an awesome sweater brought it back.We couldn’t resist joining in the fun, so we’re hosting a Mystery Knit-Along for those in search of a project! Designer Amy Gunderson has created a top-down pattern sized for men and women that fits the bill. Amy says, “The knitting itself should be ideal: enough going on for it not to be boring, but not so much going on that you can’t watch your favorite tv show while working on it.”

To help keep you motivated, we’re also offering a contest! If you complete your sweater in a Universal yarn by November 14th and send us a photo, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a set of Deborah Norville interchangeable needles. These are very pleasant needles to work with – smooth and quick to use, and perfect for your *next* top-down sweater!
Amy has given us the info we need to get started selecting yarn and swatching for gauge.
To fit bust/chest 32 (36, 40, 44, 48, 52)” you will need approximately 1000 (1175, 1330, 1525, 1700, 1875) yards.
Gauge: 18 sts/24 rows in St st

We’ll be knitting along in the office, too. We’ve picked these yarns for ourselves:
• Classic Shades
• Classic Shades Solids
• Classic Worsted
• Deluxe Worsted
• Deluxe Worsted Concord Tweed
• Deluxe Worsted Superwash
• Nettle Lana
• Uptown Worsted
• Llamalini
• Poems
• Poems Silk
• Poems Silk Solids

We’ll post 2 clues per week, given on Monday/Tuesday and also on Thursday/Friday, for a total of 10 clues. The first clue will be on Tuesday Oct 1st, and the last clue will be on Thursday Oct 31st.

We’re swatching for gauge (you do swatch for gauge, don’t you?), but we can’t start our top-down sweaters until Amy gives us the go-ahead on October 1st.

Join the Ravelry Mystery KAL group to share your progress. We can’t wait to cast on!

Happy knitting!

Free Pattern Friday – Infusion Shawlette and Llamalini Scarf

It’s a Free Pattern Friday two-fer!
Painted Wings Shawlette
First, there’s the Painted Wings Shawlette. It takes less than one skein of Infusion Handpaints (291yds/100g), our sport weight variegated yarn that’s proving popular for socks and accessories. The dropped stitches really let you make the most of your yarn. At the end, work the edging at the same time you cast off!

Flowering Herb ShawletteNext, the Flowering Herb Scarf in Fibra Natura Llamalini (109yds/50g). Llamalini is a yarn that has made its way into the stashes of quite a few Universal Yarn employees! The heathering gives a great deal of depth to a wide variety of designs. This lacy crochet scarf is just the thing to show it off.

Happy crafting!

Free Pattern Friday – Brambleberry Hat and Mitts

It’s Free Pattern Friday!
Brambleberry Hat and Mitts
Today, we have a charming set in Saki Bamboo (462yds/100g), a newer member of the Wisdom Yarns family. Saki Bamboo is a blend of superwash merino, nylon, and bamboo. We predicted it would be popular for socks, but it’s become a yarn of choice for shawls and accessories, too. And no wonder, with colors this pleasing!

The Brambleberry Hat and Mitts each can be completed with one ball, two for the set. Both are worked in the round with a honeycomb pattern for an added dimension of texture.

Wouldn’t these be perfect to wear on a drab day to add a pop of color? What a rewarding project.

Free Pattern Friday – Comfort Bargello Shawl

It’s Free Pattern Friday!
Bargello Shawl in Classic Shades
Today, we want to give you a knitted hug. The Comfort Bargello Shawl wraps you up warm and cozy in soft Classic Shades (100g/197yds).

The design is from Patty Nance, the author of Bargello Knits, a book of designs incorporating self-striping and solid yarn to beautiful effect. This design is no exception. It’s knit from one side of the triangle to the opposite point, with the added fringe as a crowning touch.

Classic Shades is a great choice for this design. The coordinating Classic Shades Solids make this an easy pattern to customize in terms of color, so you can design your own knitted hug.

Many thanks to Patty Nance for such a gorgeous design!

Inspiration By Design