My yarn is wound, my needles are ready and I am impatiently – and excitedly –  waiting for tomorrow to begin the spectacular 2017 MKAL journey that Stephen West – of Westknits fame – will take us on. This is my fifth year participating, and I am always amazed, surprised and inspired by his creativity, and at the same time, common-sense approach to giving instructions that are easy to follow.

(If you’re not a knitter, stay with me here, OK? There is something here for you, too – promise.)

A bit of background: I love a good mystery, which is one reason why I am always so intrigued with the idea of participating in a mystery knit-a-long – otherwise known as a MKAL.The premise is simple. A designer offers a pattern where the clues are doled out, one section at a time, to the waiting knitters – usually on a weekly basis. The mystery is that, other than knowing what we will be knitting (a shawl, sweater, hat, etc.) and guidelines for the yarn and needles, the rest is a complete mystery. There is a premiere of sorts – the date the first clue drops in inboxes around the world – and often there is much excitement building up to it. There are forums where everyone shares yarn choices, excitement, questions, and challenges – and spoiler threads to show what the project looks like as it is being knitted. Knitters who participate in a KAL are often viewed as courageous risk-takers, extremely trusting, or just plain crazy. 

For me, it all comes down to is trust. Trust the process, trust that the different yarn colors (in this case 8 different ones – 3 speckles and 5 pops) will actually play together nicely, and most importantly, let go – of control, of knowing, and of the outcome. I know there will be twists and turns, and at times I will feel like quitting. All great life lessons, right?

Think back to the last time you took on a project that would require many hours devoted to it and did it blindfolded with one hand tied behind your back. That’s kind of how this feels. 

Did I mention fun names? The one is called the ““Speckle and Pop MKAL 2017” The pre-pattern info shares the following – to get us hyped up and yet still in the dark; “The overall shape and dimensions of the shawl are part of the mystery. You can expect a vibrant and unique design reflecting the playful and innovative Westknits style.” I’m in geeky yarn heaven.

This weekend, I invite you to join me and take on your own “unknown something” that may make you feel a bit uncomfortable – a risk, a challenge, a journey. Who knows where it will lead? Maybe it’s time to add a little of your own version of Speckle and Pop to your life…