Friday, October 05, 2018


It is finally here:     TextureTime

Mystery Shawl Knit Along (MKAL) by Stephen West.
Stephen West does not need an introduction; most knitters know and love him, follow his brave, refreshing ideas and magical stitch and color choices. I am not sure how many years he has done this fall MKAL (this is 9th?), but this is the first year I am taking part (I am  so s l o w ).

He is a dancer and the way he photographs his knits is as if he is on stage. I always think of his pictures being a grand finale of a performance. I only wish, I could see the dance before the last bow.

The knits are imaginative, innovative and the way he combines colors is wild, but when I look behind the colors (as I am not that brave, maybe I should try for once… might give me a new, fresh perspective!), there is always an interesting construction and with little bit of toning down the vibrant hues, his knits are worth of hours of needle clicking and precious time.

No, no, no, don’t get me wrong, his choice of colors is wonderful, it is just me, who is not quite there! For many knitters, I think it is just the colors that talk, but I try to calm down his knits and tell them to hush up a little bit, stay still for a second, pause for deep breathe, and a gentle plie before the grand pirouette, for me to see myself in them - myself being faded and aged.

I have been impatiently waiting for the first clue of the mystery as well as questioning my choice of colors.

I have these beautiful, soft, luscious Plains:

(Dyed by Hand in Texas from wool ethically sourced in South Africa – I wonder where it was spun, but bought from Stockholm Sweden from Litet Nystan, lovely yarn shop,
knitted up in Finnish Lapland – this wool is quite a traveler!)

in colors: Fog - 278,
Celadon-150, (the link shows this color in dk – could not find this color in Merino Light)
Nocturne (no number there),
Moonglow - 311 and
Snake - 391-S’17
(love them all!) 

and these Fuzzies:
Kidsilk Haze by Rowan 70%kid mohair 30%silk

(I am not sure of the color number, as this (white) yarn is repurposed from a very old shawl, pre blog era 
(today is my blogiversary, 13 years – Thank you so much for reading ) but it might be 00590 Pearl

Lana Grossa SilkHair (color no 098) 70%mohair, 30% silk - ball band tells Made in Italy (birthplace of many great yarns)
I only need four colors of plain yarn and one fuzzy. I am leaving the last decision until the last minute. I will pick the one that feels right on that given day it is due, if one is not supposed to knit with all of them today. We shall see.

I did watch Stephen’s YouTube info of the MKAL, enjoyed it (there are two, the introduction
and one on choosing colors) and I am taking his advice, not to worry and just indulge in knitting and the color play.

I am not posting too much of this MKAL over the month as I don’t want to spoil this mystery for anyone. I will only take one small shot of one corner every now and then, without giving too much away.
These are my yarns but what would be a perfect needle to knit with. The recommended size is 3,75mm and I only have Chiaogoo Red Lace and Addi Lace (the old ones) in that size. 

Both are quite slippery, and I think I would enjoy bamboo needle, something with more grip. I don’t have bamboos in the given size, as it is not widely available in many old knit shops, usually their size jumps from 3,5mm to 4mm. I do have 4mm in bamboo, but that just might give too loose gauge. I love Chiaogoos, so I will try them first.
I am quite thrilled to take part in this, but this being the first one, I am not sure what it will hold. For what I am sure though is, that there is clever construction and deep understanding of color play and stitch combinations, and lots of joy, happiness and positivity. Designs reflect their makers and every time I see something Stephen has made, or listen to an interview or watch his Youtube Channel, I catch little bit of the light he spreads.

Are you joining in?

Wool with you,

PS. Just uploaded the first clue... it is very interesting - I am about to learn new things... loving it!!


  1. MadTosh is my most favorite yarn, so my eyes lit up with the first yarn photos! Love your colors, too. Can't wait to see what you create! (No, I don't do KALs; my life is too crazy.)

  2. Anonymous21:17

    Happy Blogiversary and thank you so much for the most enjoyable and inspiring thirteen years! Well done Lene.

    Love the yarns you have chosen and can't wait to see your MKAL shawl.

    annie in California

  3. Your yarn choices are elegant and beautiful. I too prefer understated soft colors. I am looking forward to seeing how this shawl knits up. That Madtosh yarn is lovely as are the mohairs.

  4. Many congratulations on your anniversary. I keenly look forward to your posts and enjoy following along on your journey. I'll be interested to hear about the MKAL as it goes along, as well as the new sweater you're working on.

  5. Your chosen colors are so beautiful Lene. Soft, comforting. Stephen West is another one whose designs I admire, but I have never knit one.