I’ve never before truly participated in a KAL (Knit-A-Long). I’ve only ever knit something after the fact, then gone back to the KAL thread to find helpful information in regards to the pattern or questions I may have. And although there have been several KALs on the Itty Bitty forums, I don’t think I’ve ever done them at the same time.
But this time was different. Elena Nodel has some awesome children’s patterns out there. A friend of mine has done test knitting for her in the past, and her patterns are just so pretty. So when I heard that Elena was hosting a Mystery KAL, I couldn’t pass it up.
A mystery KAL is when a designer has a pattern and welcomes others to join her in a knit-a-long, but the mystery part is that only part of the pattern is released at a time. So this means you’re knitting from a new pattern and will have to trust completely that you’ll like the end result. Usually, every week or two a new “clue” is released. As the knitter, you’re supposed to knit to the end of the clue and stop, waiting anxiously for the next clue to be released. It’s actually a great way to get a lot of projects for a new design. Sometimes the pattern is tested ahead of time, and other times, not.
This pattern is called My Honey and it’s from Elena’s Spice Girls II Collection. It’s a little sweater with just a little bit of lace on the yoke. Simple and sweet.
I can’t say I was particularly fond of the lace portion. The stitches seems clumsy and it took me several tries to get the first clue right. But that may have just been me. I think the design is really pretty – but I wouldn’t want to knit a ton of it!
I chose to knit the 6 month size using NaturallyCaron.com Spa in Stormy Blue. This is an acrylic/bamboo blend, which I thought would be nice for Spring. As it turns out, my gauge was a bit on the small side and as it turns out, the sweater a bit small for Lovebug. I kept comparing it to her while knitting, hoping I was just not looking at it right, but there you have it. “Make time to save time: check your gauge!” Whoops!
But never fear! I have a friend who had her first baby in February. And although a bit big now, will fit her nicely very soon. I added the little elephant buttons because I thought they were fun and whimsical. And perhaps a little bit girly. J
I chose short sleeves instead of the long ones. Elena’s long sleeve design is very “fairy tale” to me, and I think it is really sweet for little girls…but considering I wanted this for the warmer weather accompanied by a cool breeze, the long sleeves seemed too much. There is also a bow embellishment and I toyed with the idea of adding this…but honestly, once I bound off the second sleeve, I was ready for something new.
I’m terribly pleased with the response I got from my friend when she unwrapped the sweater. I hope she gets a lot of use out of it. And the yarn is machine wash/dry, perfect for a new mum. No blocking required! I’d really like to make another for Lovebug – perhaps the 1 year size, with the long sleeves since it will be Fall.
As far as my first Mystery KAL, I would say it was successful. I got a cute sweater/baby gift, the newly released pattern for free, and a chance to knit something from a new-to-me designer. That’s win-win-win in my book! I’d consider trying another mystery knit in the future.