Join The 2011 AMS KAL! (All The Cool Kids Are Doing It)

Two years ago, I was relatively new to lace knitting.  In fact I had only one large lace-weight project to my name: my Cobweb Lace Stole.  Finishing that project took almost an entire year (including large spells of languishing unattended, of course).  The result was well worth it.  I love the finished product and wear it all the time.  It could use a good wash & block, but it has held up well otherwise.

5410 finished cobweb lace stole

Right around the time I was finishing the stole, I heard about a free lace knit-a-long offered by Goddess Knits (aka Renne Leverington).  The thought of finishing a shawl all by myself was terrifying, but a knit-a-long seemed much more do-able.  Weekly “clues” with just a little knitting in each, with a whole group of people working the same pattern at the same time–perfect!  I signed up for the 2009 Anniversary Mystery Shawl Knit-a-long (AMS KAL) and completed my first lace shawl: Ultramarine (pattern: Victorian Romance).

8622 shawl

The final clues took me a lot longer than a week, but I was still done by mid-July. I found out after the fact that I blocked the edge “wrong” (smooth instead of points), but I still loved it.  The Faroese shape makes it easy to wear, both draped and tied.

The 2010 AMS KAL was a pi shawl, with four pattern choices at each tier.  I took a risk and used a tonal colorway: Queen Anne (pattern: Mandala II). I think the results are stunning.

Clues 1 & 2 (choices A and D):
0027 AMS KAL (Clue 1 done)0066 AMS KAL Clue 2 done (A, D)

Clues 3 & 4 (choices D and D):
0084 AMS KAL (Clue 3 done, ADD)0139 clue 4D and edging

I finished the whole thing by the 1st of June — my fastest lace knit to date:

0174 completed Mandala II

All this brings us up to the present day, where a growing group of knitters are eagerly waiting for the first clue in the 2011 AMS KAL.  The start date is May 7th, but people are already swatching and chatting on the Yahoo Group.  It’s FREE! to join, but you absolutely must join before the start date in order to participate.  I believe Renee has about half a dozen of her own hand-dyed yarn still available, but you are not required to use her yarn of course.  The pattern will be a half-hexagon, and uses about 1300 yards of lace-weight yarn worked on #4 or #5 needles.

Here’s my yarn!  Jaggerspun Zephyr in Blueberry … my first time knitting from a cone.

1952 Blueberry Jaggerspun Zephyr

I was wondering if I should re-wind it, but a friend encouraged me to try knitting from the cone directly. The yarn feels HARD and inelastic on the cone, but the swatch came out beautifully, so I think I can safely skip the re-wind.

2112 swatch for AMS 2011

So, you know you want to join in the fun, right?  There are new lace knitters (like me in 2009) and experienced ones too (ahem, me in 2011).  If you have never done a KAL before, you are in for a treat–it is so much fun to have a group to knit with.  This year I’m blessed with a physical group in addition to the virtual one–so far three knitters in my twice-weekly knitting group have decided to give it a try!

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