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 project bag and the last shipment also includes an embroidered achievement badge. A choice of colour palettes was offered for the first time last year, and we will be offering a choice again this year, you get to pick your pop! 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 Monday March 1 at 16:00 Amsterdam time / 10am EDT. 

BEST PRACTICES FOR ORDERING

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 order, 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 FedEx and DPD for Yarn Along shipping. 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. We've built a buffer time into our shipping timelines so your yarn will arrive in time for the pattern releases.

UK AND NORTHERN IRELAND RESIDENTS: please see our Brexit + YAL FAQ point, there is a slightly different situation for you.

FedEx sometimes adds a 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 FedEx.

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.

UK AND NORTHERN IRELAND RESIDENTS: please see our Brexit + YAL FAQ point, there is a slightly different situation for you.

The new taxation and customs requirements for orders to the UK and Northern Ireland have impacted Yarn Along subscriptions to UK residents.

We are still waiting on our UK VAT number to be issued by HMRC, and until we receive it, we cannot ship packages with a value less than £135 (€160) to the UK. Since each month's package is valued under this amount, we regrettably cannot ship UK YAL subscriptions individually. Instead, the three Yarn Along packages will all be sent together with the July shipment.

You will still receive your patterns each month, on the 7th of May, 7th of June and 7th of July.

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 COVID-19 developments may mean your circumstances change unexpectedly. If you need to change your address because of COVID-19 restrictions, please send us an email to info@stephenandpenelope.com with your YAL order number and new postal address.

Winding yarn for the YAL can be really time consuming with so many orders going out, so we don’t offer this service.

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.

ABOUT MY ORDER

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 FedEx 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 shipping timelines.

We ship the orders out in time for them to arrive by the pattern release dates, which are May 7, June 7 and July 7 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.

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 addresses (info@stephenandpenelope.com and orders@stephenandpenelope.com) to your contacts list.  You can also login to your account on our website and find your tracking number there.

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.

ABOUT MY YARN

This year's YAL yarns feature a variety of fingering weight yarns including superwash American wool, non-superwash merino/Texel wool, and soft merino wool and merino/silk blend yarns. They are all very soft and smooth to knit with producing that classic shawl drape that Westknits is known for.

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 hundreds of skeins of each colour, so some will look a bit different to 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.


In 2020, we introduced the option to choose your palette theme, and we're giving you the choice again in 2021. Pick between fun Brights or deep Jewel tones. See the YAL information page for more palette detail!

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 #yal2021 #westknitsyal2021 #yarnalong, and #stephenandpenelope if you want your images to be more visible! We love to share the photos you post with these hashtags!

All hand dyed yarn for the YAL is exclusive to Stephen & Penelope, and is exclusive to YAL members for the duration of the YAL. When you sign up for the Yarn A Long you will be first to receive these special colourways designed by Westknits and the participating dyers.  By popular request, this year all custom colourways developed for the YAL will be available after the YAL, so if you fall in love with a Yarn A Long colourway, we will have them available later in the year as well. 

ABOUT THE 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 7th 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 7th of June and 7th of July.

Once you have redeemed your pattern code, you will need to update the YAL 2021 pattern in your Ravelry library to receive the new pattern files.

The second and third patterns will be released on the June 7 and July 7. You will receive an email telling you there is an update to the YAL 2021 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 2021” 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 2021” and the YAL patterns will be the first to appear.  Click on the little blue library icon beside the pattern name to download the pattern.

The Yarn Along Pattern Download Code in your first shipment will add the patterns to your Ravelry library. If you don't use Ravelry, please contact our customer service team at info@stephenandpenelope.com and we'll send you your patterns via Gumroad.

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 info@stephenandpenelope.com

All patterns for the YAL are exclusive for six months.  This means you get the first crack at these Westknits patterns and they won't be available to the general public until January 2022!

I’m glad you asked!  We have lovely pattern support people to help you with questions.  Simply send them an email at support@westknits.com and they will get back to you quickly.
Another option is to check out the YAL2021 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.