My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Summer Mystery Shawlette

I’m happy to see that so many of you are going to knit along on the Summer Mystery Shawlette.

I have worked up a document (in pdf format) with all the preliminary information you need, along with the cast-on and shawl set-up. It is here. The link will be available from my Free Patterns page soon as well. And from the Ravelry pattern page too. Read this document first. (A note to advanced knitters who want to resize — add stitches in groups of 48 to make it bigger.)

Now, some guidance,

Skill Level

There is nothing that is terribly difficult to do in this shawl. You need to be able to cast on and bind off, knit and purl, and execute the following stitches (the links are to instructions for how to do each stitch):

The pattern is both charted and written out so you can choose which method works best for you.

Choosing Yarn

I’d say that for yarn you will want to lean towards less variegated rather than wildly variegated. The more solid your yarn color, the more the lace pattern will show. Some subtle variegation will work, though. I’m using a semi-solid: Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in the Mulled Wine colorway.

Choosing Needles

My shawl is worked on a 24″ Signature Needle Arts circular with stiletto tips. I think it is easiest worked back and forth on a circular needle, and I find a 24″ needle just right for the number of stitches cast on. Remember, this is worked from the bottom up, so you start with the most stitches you will ever have, and work down to fewer. To start, I wouldn’t go any smaller than a 24″ length because you’ll have your stitches bunched up a lot of the time. As you work your way up, you can transfer your work to a shorter needle, but I am happy leaving mine on a 24-incher.

A 32″ needle is fine as well if you don’t have a 24″ length.

Note that you will also need a needle 2 sizes larger than the size you are going to use to knit your shawl (see “Getting Gauge” below). This is for the cast-on only (to make sure it is nice and stretchy) and you will immediately knit the stitches off this larger needle onto the one you will be using to knit your shawl on the first set-up row.

Getting Gauge

The unblocked gauge is 5 stitches to an inch in stockinette stitch, and I get that with a U.S. size 5 needle (but I’m a loose knitter). If you know you are a tight knitter, do a little swatch with a size 6.

But remember, this is lace, so gauge is not terribly important. You just wanna be in the ballpark. And if you have a choice between 4.75 stitches to an inch or 5.25 stitches to an inch on two different needle sizes, go for the size that gives you the looser gauge rather than the tighter (i.e. 4.75 stitches to the inch).

Casting On

The pattern specifies either a long-tail cast-on or a lace cast-on(scroll down for the lace cast-on), but really, you can do whatever cast-on you are most comfortable with that will give you a stretchy edge. The cast-on is done on a larger needle to aid in stretchiness. I almost always do a long-tail cast-on.


I’ve not included an option to bead the shawl because I am not a fan of beaded knitting as a rule. I prefer to knit my knits unadorned. 🙂 That doesn’t mean you can’t add beads if you wanna!

Ravelry Discussion

Remember, there’s a discussion thread for this project in the Wendyknits Ravelry group, here.


The next piece of the pattern will be released on Tuesday (May 17) — I’ll post it here in my blog. There are a total of five parts of the pattern — here is the release schedule:

  • Preliminary Information — cast-on and set-up — today
  • Part One — Chart A, 12 rows — Tuesday, May 17, around 4:30pm
  • Part Two — Chart B, 12 rows — Sunday, May 22, around 11:00am
  • Part Three — Chart C, 72 rows — Thursday. May 26, around 4:30pm
  • Part Four — Chart D, 20 rows, and finishing instructions — Thursday June 2, around 4:30pm

Note that Part Three is a big chunk — I wanted it to be released before Memorial Day weekend (here in the U.S.) so those of you who have extra knitting time can indulge. But remember, because you are knitting from the bottom up, the rows get shorter and shorter, so it is not as daunting as it sounds!

That’s the schedule. However, you are welcome to knit at your own speed. If you prefer, wait until the entire pattern is released and start then. No pressure here!

Lucy is clearly feeling no pressure.


  1. So excited for this knit a long – thanks for posting all the details Wendy!

  2. Thank you for sharing your wonderful talents with us! I enjoyed the Pi Shawl and I’m sure to like this one too!

  3. And we’re off! What a great prelude to your Wendy Knits Lace book!
    Our fingers will be all warmed up for its release this summer!

  4. Phyllis in Somoma says:

    Thank you for this mystery shawl. It is my first mystery. I’m new to shawls, also.
    I look forward to the community you bring together, thanks!

  5. :dives into sock yarn stash:
    :disappears for three days:

    Thanks for doing this – shaping up to be a lot of sun!

  6. Yeay! Can’t wait to get started! Thanks, Wendy! 🙂
    Lisa´s last blog post ..90 Knittinghas moved!

  7. I am soooo excited to start this! I’m going to use a purple yarn I dyed myself! I’ve never done a triangular shawl from the long end up!

  8. Ok, ok. I give in. I’ll do it…
    Samantha´s last blog post ..Random saturdays and random food

  9. Thank you Wendy for sharing your wonderful talents with all of us!! I can’t wait to start my shawl

  10. Linda in TX says:

    Sounds like fun – and perhaps (for me) a bit of a challenge. Maybe if I’m successful with this one, I’ll have the guts to try one of your many patterns that I’ve already bought. (apparently having a lot of them doesn’t mean you don’t have to actually knit them to get a shawl) Thank you for sharing with this – and the personal push for me.

  11. I’ll play along. Haven’t done a KAL and I’m looking forward to it.
    Cheers to all!

  12. Thanks for the mystery shawl, now to go stash diving!

  13. Yarn – Check, Knit Picks Gloss in Dusk — loved the feel then realized I did not have enough for a shawl, so the mystery shawlette called to it
    Needles – Check, since I’m working on the Japanese Garden
    first page – printed, need to wind the second ball for long tail cast on with both balls, bad at estimating how much yarn to pull out
    enthusiasm – can’t wait to get started, hoping to keep pace and finish before Jun 18th, this is already planned to be a gift for a wedding attendee

  14. I’ve never joined a KAL before but this is sounding really interesting!!! I think I might be in too!!!!!

    How exciting!!!!!

  15. I am excited for my first shawl, and first KAL. I have one question that I hope is not too dumb. What is the difference between a SSK and a K2togTBL? I can’t figure out how it produces a different stitch, although I’m guessing it has something to do with twisting the loops first on the SSK. Any clarification would be greatly appreciated!

  16. Sheryl LaGood says:

    Thank you for the time and effort in putting this together. It’s such a treat, and I want you to know it’s appreciated.

  17. I am also excited about my fist KAL. I have a couple of questions. 1) I want to use a dark bkue yarn, will this make a difference? Some lace pattens recommend a lighter colored yarn. 2) I usually add a selvedge stitch at each side to make a neater edge. Will this make a difference in your pattern?

  18. Mary Lou says:

    Ready, set, KNIT! My first knit-along! Starting right now. Thank you, Wendy.

  19. Huntley says:

    Alright I finished that I’m ready for the next part now…no seriously where is it? I cannot wait!

  20. Dang! Ripped out the mighty two-colored sock yarn for this project, and then you tell us it works more beautifully in a mono-tonal. Sigh. Gotto go check the stash again–may even have to buy something! Rats!

  21. This looks like great fun! I am especially inspired as I am down to the last 6 rows of your Seaside Shawlette. It is my first successful attempt at lace! (knock on wood -I’m not quite there yet!) It’s going to be a beautiful shawl, and your pattern has been awesome to follow.
    Christina Bieloh´s last blog post ..Gettin’ Around &amp Knitting Disaster Averted knock on wood

  22. This is fun, I am in 😉 I am going to use ether green wool-silk yarn that I have or Icelandic thin wool that a frend has hand dyed for me in pinkis colors.
    Thank you Wendy for shering it with us.
    Edda from Iceland
    Edda Karlsdóttir´s last blog post ..Bútasaumur í eldhúsið

  23. Tall Kate says:

    I can’t wait to get started! I purchased a beautiful skein of light-ish fingering weight yarn at NH Sheep and Wool this weekend, and I already wound it and have the finished project in mind for my aunt! Thank you, Wendy!!

  24. I am excited to knit along with the mystery shawl. Your Japanese Gardens shawl was my first and I loved the bottom-up construction. Thanks so much for doing this Wendy!

  25. Nancy Jo C says:

    include me! I’m going to try the mystery shawl with some yarn that a friend picked up for me in Turkey. It will make a beautiful shawl.

  26. Gail Rector says:

    Yayyyy for the Magical Mystery Tour (KAL) Coming to take me away!
    Ever since announced my internal background music for this project has been the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (We hope you will enjoy the show!)
    Does that date me?
    Maybe Lucy likes the Beatles too.

  27. This looks like lots of fun! One question. You showed Madelinetosh Sock as your yarn. One hank? It lists to 395 yards or thereabouts. So approx. 400 yards of something fingeringish? Thanks!
    Carla´s last blog post ..Welcome

  28. Gail Rector says:

    Back from digging around the stash … I’m going to use the Cherry Red (lost the tags) Koigu I’ve had just waiting for me to learn to knit lace.

  29. Darlene says:

    Can you lease translate this into ozs? I have some white mohair (2 balls) that would work wonderfully but, alas, no band so I have no idea of the yardage. Please help!!!

  30. This will be SO exciting and my first KAL i hope to get all i need soon!!!!
    GlitterBaby´s last blog post ..Let the Sunshine In!!!

  31. This will be my first KAL and my first shawl!! Should be fun! So excited!!!

  32. This sounds great! I have other projects pending so I will probably have to wait till the whole pattern is out. I will have fun following along anyway.
    KateM´s last blog post ..Talking with Trees

  33. Awesome. I wonder if I could convince my mom to try her first lace project with me. We’ll both be around for the first three installments in case she needs help (and it isn’t like I don’t have a ton of yarn or access to more).

  34. Michelle says:

    I am in! I have some Merlot Heather Palette that thought it wanted to be part of a sweater but changed it’s mind & now wants to be a Wendy Mystery Shawl.

  35. I’m in! I’m about to cast on (long tail, I think) using Indulge fingering from, colorway Gummy Beary Juice. Thanks for the KAL!!!

  36. I’m in too! I’ve been loving all the lace shawls you’ve been making. It’s about time I make myself one too! I’ve been wanting to do a KAL for a while, but haven’t found the right one until now! YAY! I’m so excited to find yours! Thanks, Wendy!!! Now to decide which yarn I’m going to use!
    Stephanie´s last blog post ..May Treasury

  37. I would love to try this shawl. Just finished Fire and Ice form TLE April kit and I loved it. Sounds like fun.

  38. Patricia downie says:

    Would love to join you on making the shawl, I wish my yarn would come ! I’ll check to see if I have something else that is fun. thank you

  39. Nancy T says:

    I’m in! Loved the Pi Shawl earlier in the year!

  40. Liz Alar says:

    What a coincidence that you’re happy to see us all knitting along! We’re all very happy about it too. :3

    I can’t wait to see how this turns out!

  41. knittingleftie says:

    I would love to join along. I am a left-handed knitter and it seems that is pattern will be easy to reverse as I go along. I am hoping that it has a size Large option. I will be using a skein of WM for this — Questions: would this shawl look better in a semi solid or a varigated colorway???

  42. Awesome, thanks Wendy!
    Nicole´s last blog post ..Classical

  43. Bought the yarn today at Yarns of Palm Desert. Unfortunately I’m on sunny holiday and won’t be able to cast on until I get home to the rainforest of British Columbia.

  44. arthella says:

    this is my first mystery project and i’m sooo looking forward to it. thanks wendy!

  45. Okay, I’m ready for tomorrow’s installment!

  46. Deinera says:

    I wasn’t going to do this because I really don’t need another project, but it sounds like SO much fun. So I’m in. And super excited!!
    Deinera´s last blog post ..First Monster Finished

  47. I really got in to knitting, and particularly lace knitting, way back when you did the Summer of Lace. This brings back happy memories. I’ve never knit a mystery shawl before either, but I’m confident that I’ll like anything you design. Looking forward to playing along. Must quit chatting and go wind yarn!
    Sonja Poor´s last blog post ..Summer Bag – Take Two

  48. rae gommel says:

    OO! And I even found some Madelinetosh sock in my stash! Alas my new signature needles are 4’s … but they’re going to be used for the Japanese Garden shawl. Eagerly awaiting part 2 tonite.
    The is the first KAL I’ve ever done- but it sounds too much like fun to ignore!!

  49. It’s been way too long since I visited your blog. Lucky for me, I picked the perfect time to visit. I’ve been looking for a new knitting project to grab me. The Summer Mystery Shawlette is it. Now I have to look at my stash & find a nice solid color sock yarn.

    Hugs to Lucy from my Ragdoll Twyla Twinkle Berry
    Sherry´s last blog post ..Henry says- Wake me when the sun comes out

  50. Laceyknitz says:

    I hope I am not too late! This will be my first KAL and I am just so excited! I just visited your blog today and will try and get the set up done this afternoon and be ready for the next part by tonight! This is going to be so much fun!!

  51. I hope I am not too late! This will be my first and I am just so excited! I just visited your blog today and will try and get the set up done this
    sara@ addiction treatment centers Newark´s last blog post ..California Best Drug Treatment Center

  52. What a great knit along. Can’t wait to see how the pattern unfolds.
    Kristen´s last blog post ..Knitting Magazines- A Look at the Summer Editions

  53. so excited, learned about the site and kal on tuesday at my knit club. Now I need to play catch up, tomorrow is Sunday so no problem there.

  54. This is my first KAL….am very excited to begin. I have the first section (Chart A) finished and
    am awaiting Sunday’s Chart B. So far it going well.

  55. Hi Wendy,
    I am excited to join in on the mystery shawl knit a long. I just learned about it from the Knit Girlls and had to check it out. I think this shawl will be a fun addition to my summer knitting.


  1. […] If you are interested in joining along, then check out her blog: […]

  2. […] Since all the knitting was done, I started up on another monster which is turning into a much cuter thing than I expected. The twins and the new one are for the kids of a friend (the older sister can’t get nothing just because of the new babies, right?!). After I finish up this monster I’m starting on WendyKnits’ Summer Mystery Shawlette. […]

  3. […] a green shawl jag and just yesterday, I cast on another. Have you heard? Wendy Johnson is doing a Summer Mystery Shawlette KAL. I am somewhat intimidated; hopefully I can keep up. I am a huge fan of Wendy’s. I have both […]

  4. […] rows done? If you don’t, no worries — it won’t take you long to get that done. My last blog entry had the information for getting started, plus the link to the pdf document with the preliminary […]

  5. […] also started a new WiP, which isn’t far enough along yet to warrant pictures. This is the Summer Mystery Shawlette by Wendy Johnson. What can I say? I’m a sucker for shawlettes and KALs and Wendy’s […]

  6. […] doesn’t look like much at this point, but so far it’s a sweet knit. The pattern is the Summer Mystery Shawlette from Wendy Johnson (WendyKnits). To be honest, I wasn’t paying any attention until I saw the […]

  7. […] completely solid, or semi-solid (more like…tone-varigated, if that makes sense…) for Summer Mystery Shawlette by Wendy Knit’s (who has an ADORABLE cat, Lucy. Sooo CUTE! Haha, she actually looks almost […]

  8. […] Which is why I cast on for Wendy D. Johnson’s Summer Mystery Shawlette as soon as the set-up clue went up on her website. And promptly ripped back once the first errata […]