My current work in progress:

1. pour moi, designed by Lori Versaci, knit from Wollmeise Merino DK in the "Stella Polaris" colorway on a 3.75 mm (U.S. size 5) needle.
2. Outlander MKAL Shawl, designed by Rachel Rodin, knit from Lornas Laces Shepherd Sport in the "Beauchamps" and "Fraser" colorways on a 3.75 mm (U.S. size 5) needle.
3. Myriad stealth projects.

Life is a Mystery

This summer, my life will be a mystery. As I have announced in the past couple of blog posts, my Summer Mystery Shawl KAL starts in a few days, on July 12. If you are thinking about joining in but haven’t bought the pattern yet, I encourage you to do so before the start date of July 12 — the pattern is now available for the reduced price of $3.00. On July 12 the price goes up to $5.00.

There is a lot of fun discussion in my Ravelry group right now about this project — everyone is introducing themselves, talking about yarn selection, asking and giving advice, etc. Come join in on the fun!

My Mystery Shawl project will run through the rest of the month of July (see the pattern page for details).

The mystery doesn’t end there! I will embark on another mystery on August 1:

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My very first project in collaboration with Craftsy: I designed and will host Craftsy’s August Mystery KAL! I am very excited to be working with Craftsy on this project. If you are a member of Craftsy and get emails from them, you were likely notified about this KAL via email today. Here is the email message:

I’m author and knitwear designer Wendy Johnson ofWendyKnits, and I’m so excited to be hosting Craftsy’s August Knit–Along! I’m saving the pattern details until the reveal, but I can tell you we’ll be making two projects for the first time in Knit–Along history! The first is a stylish accessory that will teach you useful techniques, and the second is a cute surprise that makes a great gift!

We’ll be using two soft skeins of Cascade 220 Superwash, the perfect pick for vibrant, easy–care projects! You can choose from five radiant colors: Como Blue, Aran, Turtle, Silver Grey or Charcoal.

These designs are the perfect way to practice increases, decreases and I–cord edging. Bring your basic knit and purl skills, and I’ll walk you step–by–step through both projects for fabulous results!

The cool thing about this KAL is that you will learn techniques with the first project, and then use those newly-learned skills as you knit the second project. You will learn an easy provisional cast-on, how to knit in the round on two circular needles, and how to create a decorative i-cord edging.

Right now Craftsy is offering the class (which includes two skeins of Cascade 220 Superwash) at a reduced price: $24.99. Hop on over to sign up — I think we are going to have a lot of fun!

Meanwhile at Camp

I am making great progress on my Camp Loopy project — the Endless Rainbow wrap.

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I am currently on the 33rd repeat and I joined in my second skein of the main color a couple of repeats ago. I think I will go ahead and make this a bit bigger than he pattern directs since I have plenty of yarn.

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Loki is waiting for me to get off the computer and spend some time with him. Who am I to argue?

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Second Camp Loopy Project

If it’s July (and it is — how did it get to be July already?) it is time for the second Camp Loopy Project! Here’s mine!

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This is Martina Behm’s Endless Rainbow, a really fun two-color garter stitch wrap. I am knitting mine from Shalimar Breathless in the Concord Grape and Fairy Dust colorways, using a U.S. size 3 needle.

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Most of the Endless Rainbows shown on Ravelry are using two colors with a lot of contrast. I thought it would be fun to knit a more subtle version, and so far I am liking it very much. There is enough contrast between the semi-solid Concord Grape and the variegated Fairy Dust so that it shows up, but the overall effect is quite subtle.

This pattern is a lot of fun to knit! There are long slogs of garter stitch as the piece grows, but they are broken up by the bits of contrast you insert every few rows. The little triangles of the variegated color are created by knitting back and forth and increasing on one end of the knitting, and Martina has a neat little trick with a crochet hook to bring the solid yarn not in use back to the end of the row after the triangle is created. She has even created a little video to demonstrate the trick — it is linked to in the pattern.

So I needed a crochet hook. Since the yarn I’m using is fingering weight, I needed a pretty small one. I dug this out of my knitting accessories:

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Isn’t it cute? The hook is 2.75mm and it works perfectly. What is also nice is that I can clip it onto my yarn keeper so it is always with the project!

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You can purchase this hook from The Loopy Ewe. And if you search for “mini crochet hook” on etsy, you’ll find ones for sale that are similar. I actually have several — they were sent to me as part of yarn club packages, and I’m sure I bought one or two myself. I keep one on my keyring because you never know when you’ll need a wee crochet hook!

WendyKnits Summer Mystery Shawl 2014

In case you missed the announcement, there is plenty of time to get your pattern and get ready for my summer KAL. The KAL starts July 12, and if you buy the pattern before the 12th, it is $3.00, going up to regular price of $5.00 on the 12th, the start date. You can purchase the pattern here. And there is already a lot of fun and conversation about the project going on in my Ravelry group here!

Loki is resting up for the holiday weekend.

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Summer Mystery Shawl 2014

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The pattern is now available — check it out on Ravelry here. All pertinent info is on the pattern page!

Almost Time

First off, the winner of a copy of Anna Dalvi’s lovely eBook Mystic Shawls is Kendra Struthers, who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway and told me which design is your favorite.

Next up, look what I finished!

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Yes, I finally finished my Array Cowl!

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This was knit from madelinetosh pashminia, in the water lily and malachite colorways, using a U.S. size 6 needle.

Actually, I finished it a week ago. I’ve been working on a stealth project since then. The sample for this:

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Yes! It is almost time for me to announce my Summer Mystery Shawl KAL! Watch this space!

As you can see, the excitement here is palpable.

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Mystic Shawls

Last week I got a review copy of Mystic Shawls, a pattern collection by Anna Dalvi. right now it is available as an eBook only — hard copies will be shipping later this month.

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Anna Dalvi is a prolific designer — if you look on Ravelry, you will find that she has 103 pattern posted there. This book is a collection of 14 lace shawls that were all originally part of knit-alongs (KALs). I pause to contemplate this: Anna Dalvo has hosted 14 shawl KALs.

These 14 shawls are Anna’s “Mystic” Collection — all have Mystic in their name. And they are all drool-worthy. I say this as someone who is extremely picky about lace patterns: one little thing that seems “off” to me can ruin a whole pattern and I won’t consider it. so this is amazing: a book with 14 patterns and not a dog in the bunch. (Apologies to all the dogs out there. I am a cat person.)

The shawls are in several shapes: triangle, rectangle, square, circle, semi-circle, and crescent, so there is something for everyone. Most of the patterns are knit from laceweight yarns, with a few written for fingering weight and one for sport weight. The lace motifs are all charted (I can’t even begin to imagine the proofreading nightmare that would ensue if they were written out line by line) and the charts are large and clear. The designs are beautifully photographed by Caro Sheridan and there are multiple views of each design so you can really see what each one looks like.

You can see all the patterns on Ravelry, here.

I’ve had a hard time picking my favorites. Mystic Embers jumped out at me immediately:

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I love how the diamond-shaped motif is placed into the rectangular shawl — so different!

I also love Mystic Roses:

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Such a lovely large shawl!

And Mystic Delight is . . . well . . . a delight!

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I love the mixture of color and lace here.

Go see all the designs on Ravelry! Which are your favorites?

You can purchase the eBook via Ravelry from the above link. You can also purchase a copy from the publisher, Cooperative Press.

You can also enter my contest to try to win a copy of the eBook. icon smile Mystic Shawls

To enter the contest, please leave a comment on this post telling which of the 14 shawls from Mystic Shawls is your favorite. To be eligible for the draw, leave your comment by 11:00 am Eastern time on Sunday, June 22, 2014. At that time the Random Number Generator will choose a winner.

Must dash — Loki and I have lots to do today!

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