We get lots of questions for the YAL each year, so we’ve made this little Frequently Asked Questions list to help you out and streamline the answering process. If you have a question that isn’t addressed here, or if you have read this and still have a question, we can be contacted at [email protected]
The Westknits Yarn A Long (or YAL) is a yearly knit-along and yarn club hosted by Stephen & Penelope. When you purchase the Yarn A Long, you will receive three individual shipments, one per month for three months. Each shipment includes exclusive hand-dyed yarn , an exclusive Westknits pattern, and a knitting-related gift. The first shipment includes a Westknits notions pouch and the last shipment also includes an embroidered achievement badge.
This year, for the first time ever, we will be offering you the choice of a warm colour palette or a cool colour palette. We don’t reveal the colours of the yarn before shipments are sent out, but we will post colour inspiration images on social media so you can get a sense of which option might suit you better.
Sign ups start Sunday March 1 at 18:00 Amsterdam time / 12pm EDT. The 2020 YAL is now sold out. Thanks for your support!
It is highly recommended that you register an account with us before or while placing your YAL order. This will give you the option to come look at your profile, your tracking numbers, and status of your order even if you’ve missed an email from us. If you don't register an account with us prior to placing your order, we can't connect it to an account afterwards so this could be a very useful step for keeping track of your order throughout the YAL.
We use DHL and DPD for virtually all of our shipping. DPD delivers packages within 2 days to Europe and DHL delivers within 4 days to the rest of the world. We will do our best to make sure packages arrive at their destinations at the same time, but things like customs clearance and local weather are beyond our control. Regrettably, we don't offer free shipping on YAL orders, as the shipping costs cover all three shipments.
Our shippers are still working through the COVID-19 crisis, though some areas are experiencing delays. For this reason, we're posting out your parcels a little earlier than planned.
REMOTE AREA CHARGES
DHL sometimes adds a €22 remote area charge per shipment when your address is a significant distance from their sorting centre. Sometimes we don’t know this until we try to send your order. If this is the case, we will discuss with you options for changing your shipping method to another carrier. In these circumstances, packages can take significantly longer to arrive at their destinations than packages delivered with DHL.
Many countries charge customs when your items arrive. This amount usually equals the sales tax that would be due in your country plus a fee for assessing the amount due. Many countries don't bother taxing orders around the value of the YAL (USA), and others always do (Switzerland, Iceland). On all orders where customs might be due, we do not charge European tax, so your price for the YAL will be 21% less than full price.
I WANT TO ORDER OTHER THINGS WITH MY YAL
Ordering extras can be a great way to take advantage of the shipping you're already paying for in the YAL! You can order other things with your initial YAL order, and these items will be shipped when the first YAL is shipped. You can also order items to add to the second or third delivery. We've brought the shipping dates forward, so the deadline for extras to go with your first order is now 9 April. When you're checking out, choose “pick up in store” for your shipping method and leave us a note at check-out stating your YAL order number.
CAN I CHANGE MY ADDRESS PART WAY THROUGH THE YAL?
Unfortunately, changing addresses part way through the YAL is quite disruptive to the process. As a rule we don’t allow more than one address for shipments, but if you have circumstances that are out of your control (not holidays), please get in touch and we will see what we can do. You can always choose to have a work address or a friend’s address for all three shipments if you are unsure of where you will be during the shipments.
We understand that shelter in place advice may have changed your circumstances unexpectedly. If you need to change your address because of COVID-19 restrictions, please send us an email to [email protected] with your YAL order number and new postal address.
CAN I HAVE MY YARN WOUND?
Winding yarn for the YAL can be really time consuming with so many orders going out, so we don’t offer this service.
CAN I GET A COMBINATION OF WARM AND COOL PALETTE YARNS?
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to switch between the colour palettes once you’ve ordered, or to specify different palettes for different shipments. The YAL community on Ravelry is very active, and it is often possible to find another YAL member who would be happy to swap or sell their yarn. Similarly, some people sign up to the YAL with a friend and share the packages that way.
WHERE’S MY YARN?
We try our best to ship out the YAL so that it arrives for everyone at around the same time. Packages outside of Europe are shipped first, then packages within Europe are shipped. Most orders will be shipped using DHL and should arrive within 6 days of leaving our shop in Amsterdam. To account for delays caused by COVID-19, we have moved up our timelines.
Please note that we ship the orders out by May 8, June 8, and July 8 this year. If your order was placed after the shipping date, we will still ship it as soon as possible, but there will be a delay between others in your region getting theirs and you getting yours due to the later order date. All orders placed before the shipping dates will have been shipped on time.
WHERE’S MY PATTERN?
The orders have all been shipped out with a card that includes your code and instructions for downloading the pattern on Ravelry. You can redeem the pattern using that code here. Make sure you are logged into your Ravelry account before you redeem your code! The first pattern is released on the 8th of May. After you have received and downloaded your first pattern, you will have the pattern in your library for the second and third shipments and those patterns will be available in your library on the 8th of June and 8th of July.
If you’ve done all these things and you still can’t get your pattern, send Ravelry a message here.
WHERE’S MY SECOND/THIRD PATTERN?
The second and third patterns will be released on the June 8 and July 8. You will receive an email telling you there is an update to the YAL 2020 pattern page. From the email, you can simply follow the link to the pattern. If you miss the email somehow, here’s how you can manually update your pattern:
Click on My Notebook in the upper right hand corner of Ravelry and drop down to Library. On the left hand side you will see a button that says “updates available”. Click on that and you should see all patterns that need updating. Find “Westknits Yarn A Long 2020” and click on “Update Now” below that pattern. Then look for “view in library” to go directly to the pattern.
If you have already updated but are just looking for the pattern, go to your library. Underneath the button “add items to my library” click on “search patterns”. Then search for “Westknits Yarn A Long 2020” and the YAL patterns will be the first to appear. Click on the little brown library icon beside the pattern name to download the pattern.
Find out more information on getting updates from Ravelry themselves: https://www.ravelry.com/blog/159
MY CODE ISN’T WORKING
First make sure you’re entering your code into the following link: http://www.ravelry.com/redeem/westknits. The code is case-sensitive, so pay attention to upper and lower case letters when you enter it. If you’re still having problems, then email us at [email protected]
WHERE’S MY TRACKING NUMBER?
If you haven’t received an email with a tracking number, that might be because it has ended up in your SPAM folder or in a different email account. You can avoid your email from us going into SPAM by adding our email address ([email protected]) to your contacts list. You can also login to your account on our website (https://www.stephenandpenelope.com/account/login/) and find your tracking number there.
WHY DOESN’T MY TRACKING NUMBER WORK?
We begin to send the tracking numbers straight after we have logged the shipment in our postal system. Some of you will have received tracking numbers before the shipment was picked up at our shop. Just give it an extra day or two and try again later.
If the problem persists, we will look into it with our postal carrier.
I LOVE MY YARN! CAN I POST IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
Because of a small difference in the timing of when people will receive their yarn, we don’t have any restrictions on posting on social media. If you want to be surprised by your yarn and really don’t want to see it before it arrives, take care not to be on social media in the days before your package is set to arrive. When posting, please use the hashtags #yal2020 #westknitsyal2020 #yarnalong, and #stephenandpenelope if you want your images to be more visible! We love to share the photos you post with these hashtags!
I LOVE MY YARN, BUT WHY IS SOMEONE ELSE’S DARKER/LIGHTER/BLUER/ETC THAN MINE?
The beauty of hand-dyed yarn is that it has variations. Some batches will come out slightly darker, lighter, bluer, or just different than other batches. The dyers are making approximately 250 skeins of each colour, so some will look a bit different than others. We have selected some of the best dyers working today, so differences will not be great. We also do our best to make sure the three colours selected for each set compliment each other well.
For the first time, we’re offering the option of warm or cool colour palettes this year, so if you think that cool colours tend to make you washed out, you can opt for colours that work better for you.
I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT THE PATTERN. WHO SHOULD I ASK?
I’m glad you asked! We have lovely pattern support people to help you with questions. Simply send them an email at [email protected] and they will get back to you quickly.
Another option is to check out the YAL2020 group on Ravelry to see what other people are doing and if anyone is having the same issues as you and what they’re doing to remedy it.
WHAT DOES EXCLUSIVE MEAN?
All hand dyed yarn for the YAL is exclusive to this year's YAL. Those colourways will not ever be produced again! All patterns for the YAL are exclusive until the end of 2020. This means you get the first crack at these Westknits patterns and they won't be available to the general public until January 2021! This year's gifts are a selection of Stephen & Penelope brand accessories that every knitter can use.