I cannot believe that this year’s Westknits MKAL, Twists and Turns, is over and done. In a way, I’m relieved but it’s also sad knowing that I have to wait a year for the next one! Stephen West outdid himself this year, keeping us guessing like never before (well, since I’ve participated). It was definitely fun but also more than a little stressful because of the amount of knitting.
Let me give you all the details!
When Stephen West let us know what yarn to use for this shawl, I knew I couldn’t use stash yarn. We needed two skeins of two different colors (for four total) and I just don’t buy skeins in pairs. So I went looking for some yarn, having a vague idea of color and very light speckles.
I happened upon Swoon Fibers on Etsy some time ago but when I looked at their yarn in regards to this MKAL, I realized it was exactly what I wanted. I ordered two skeins of a lightly speckled blue and two skeins of a lightly speckled teal. To go with that, I chose a brown skein that had teal speckles. When the yarn arrived, I decided against the brown and found a blue Madelinetosh instead. I decided that would go with more of my wardrobe. And it was perfect!
As I said, there was so much knitting with the four clues of this shawl. Unlike some previous years, there was no bonus clue, which was a relief. But I had to knit and knit and knit more than ever before to even be close to keeping up with these clues. The first section, though definitely not the easiest to knit, was my favorite when all was said and down. I love the braided loops.
But, as always, the reason I do these MKALs is to learn new skills. And Stephen has made me more and more comfortable with short rows, adding stitches, and now, thanks to this MKAL, cabling. So many cables!!!
Pattern: Twists and Turns: Westknits MKAL 2022 by Stephen West
Yarn: Swoon Fibers Peyton Sock in Verdigris (teal) and Seafood (blue); Madelinetosh Twist Light in Ceremony
Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm)
Made for: me
Time to Completion: 4.2 weeks
It took me a bit over four weeks to complete this shawl. The last clue had tons of knitting and I just couldn’t keep up.
The main change I made to this pattern was to forego the iCord loops in the cabling (the light blue bottom section of the wings). I just didn’t want the darker blue to interfere with the light blue. That was just a personal preference of mine.
Some knitters chose to stop knitting before the bottom section beneath the braids. Some thought it just didn’t fit with the rest of the design but I liked adding on to the depth of the shawl. For me, the more shawl, the better.
There will always be knitters who do not like the finished shawl from a MKAL. But I haven’t disliked any of the Westknits MKALs that I’ve participated in. Now if I saw these shawls on Ravelry, I would probably not choose to knit them. But as an MKAL, these shawls force me out of my comfort zone both in design and technique. I love learning new things and Stephen excels at teaching them in his videos.
So I’m hard pressed to find a reason to NOT do these MKALs. They’re just too much fun!