Every year Stephen West does a Mystery Knit Along.  This year will be his 12th year!  Past MKALs have resulted in some of the most loved and treasured Westknits shawl patterns  including Exploration Station, The Doodler and Slipstravaganza. 
 
Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the MKAL. If you have read all of these and you still don't have an answer to your question, contact hello@westknits.com.
 
If you have questions about your MKAL kit, they should be directed to info@stephenandpenelope.com
 

ABOUT THE MKAL

MKAL stands for Mystery Knit A Long! Knit Alongs (KALs) are fun, social activities in which a group of knitters all make the same project in a specified timeframe. A Mystery Knit Along adds an extra level of spice, because you won't know what the thing you're knitting is when you start. A section of the pattern (clue) is released each week, and at the end of the Knit Along, the final design is revealed. 
 
The Westknits MKAL is always a shawl design, and always incorporates interesting techniques (shaping, stitch patterns, and other design features), but beyond that, it's a mystery!

Clue 1 is released on 5 October 2023.

From September 2nd you can purchase the MKAL pattern on Ravelry or westknits.com

There will be lots of fun chat in the MKAL 2023 Ravelry group and on Instagram.

The clues are released every Thursday. If you purchase the pattern through Ravelry, you will receive an email and be able to update your pattern in your Library. If you purchase the pattern through westknits.com you will receive an email when the update is available for download.

There are four clues:

Clue 1 - Thursday, 5 October

Clue 2 - Thursday, 12 October

Clue 3 - Thursday, 19 October

Clue 4 - Thursday, 26 October

The pattern will be suitable for adventurous beginners (you should already know how to knit, purl, increase, decrease, and read a pattern), and it will be enjoyable for seasoned knitters too. There is so much support throughout the KAL so you will find a lot of help and tips on completing each section in the MKAL 2023 Ravelry group. There will be photo tutorials and step-by-step videos to assist you with visualising the techniques and construction.

If there is brioche, there will also be a non-brioche option ;)

This year’s shawl features a gradient of 4 colours of fingering weight yarn, 100g of each colour.

This shawl is designed for fingering weight yarn.

It’s important to have a bit of contrast amongst your colours in order to see the details and crisp lines in the fabric. Solid, semi-solid, and lightly speckled fingering weight yarns are all great options for this year’s shawl. Try to avoid using very busy variegated and highly speckled yarns for all of the colours. It’s okay to have some painterly splashes for some of your colours, but I recommend crisp clean contrast for this year’s shawl. 


Think about your 4 colours as a crescendo of colour with colour A as the lightest colour and colour D as the darkest colour. We will be using each colour individually in order from A to D, rather than fading/blending the colours together. Knit the recommended swatch to get a good representation of this year’s colour relationship.


Superwash and non-superwash wool yarns will both work beautifully for the shawl. If you prefer to knit with non-wool fibers, then feel free to substitute your yarn with a cotton or cotton blend quality. Alpaca or silk blends would also be beautiful drapey fibre options. 

When you sign up by purchasing the pattern on westknits.comor Ravelry, you will receive a detailed introductory PDF demonstrating the types of colours and contrast effects that work best for this design.

Yes of course! The Mystery Knit Along is open to everyone, it's not necessary to buy a kit to participate. We're offering kits at a range of price points, and our customer service team are always happy to help you match yarn to skeins in your stash. 

ABOUT THE KITS

Saturday 2 September, 16:00 Amsterdam time

The pattern is not included with the yarn kit. You can purchase the pattern on Ravelry or westknits.com

Our system doesn’thold stock that you have in your shopping cart. Your order is only confirmed once payment has been received. Our top tips for MKAL ordering is to add any extra items you'd like with your MKAL to your basket ahead of time and to make sure you already have a Stephen & Penelope account.

Because of the volume of orders, unfortunately it's not possible to wind yarn in MKAL kits.

All customers outside of the European Economic Area (whose order is shipped outside of the EEA) will have the sales tax deducted at check out. Once your address is added during the check out process, you will be shown your invoice without tax.

Read more about tax-free shopping.

Due to the volume of orders it's not possible to combine multiple orders that are placed for MKAL.

Due to the volume of orders we aren't able to hold orders to be shipped at a later date.

During the MKAL our orders can take a bit longer to ship out than usual but we'll be working hard to get your order out as soon as possible. All orders should be on their way by 25th September.

Of course! You're more than welcome to purchase additional kits, our top tip would be add them to your cart using 'quick add' to avoid being take straight to your shopping cart and away from the MKAL kit selection

You can definitely order your kit to be picked up in store however, it might take a few weeks for us to process the MKAL kit orders so make sure you've received a message that your order is ready before heading to the shop, if you're unsure you can always call ahead.

We do! Our top tips are:

  1. Make sure you already have a Stephen & Penelope account and that you're logged in ahead of launch.
  2. Add any extra items you'd like to order with your MKAL kit before launch so you can checkout as soon as your kit is in your cart.
  3. Checkout as soon as you've added your MKAL kit to your cart as our system doesn't hold stock that's in your basket and we'd hate for you to miss out!