Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sign up opened for 2011 KAL

We have a new name!

Our Ravelry group name has changed to 2011 KALendar to make it easier to quote and remember, and we also have a new badge and banner for this year, thanks to raveler SnookiesOz. Great job, Jody!

Sign up opened
We are ready to sign up for the 2011 KAL. Joining between now and March, 21st is free, and late sign ups are possible by buying the cumulative clue, which will be uploaded after that date. We will keep 2 clues available at any given time, up to a month's time to catch up.
The sign up process is simple. Read the 2011 KAL ten commandments .
Then, go to the Ravelry group and post in the sign up thread stating that you have read, and understood, the rules and you wish to join. That is it! No joining other groups.
Clue posting
Clues will be posted on Rav, same as last year, and we will keep an updated compiled pattern with all the past clues so you can catch up if you miss any. It will cost you a little cash ($2.50 I think) but you will only have to pay once, even if you loose multiple clues at different times.
We have a great group of test knitters who are really keeping me on my toes, and we are already four clues into the testing. The shawl is looking great, both the triangle and the square versions.
So far, the clue release schedule will be:
Clue 1: March 1st.
Clue 2: March 7th.
Clue 3: March 21st, also the end of the free sign up period. The cumulative pattern will be posted then.
After that, the clue release will drop to every 3 to 4 weeks (we will see a little further ahead) as the shawl will grow large quite soon, and larger yet with each clue. The plan is to be able to release the final clues in time for everybody to be done by Christmas, if not sooner.
Members participation
Like last year, it will be possible to post inspirations in form of lace pattern suggestions, or plain good old pictures related to the theme. We will post a list of all the "stops" of our trip in the Ravelry group, so feel free to post anything you like! A pretty picture of a building, people, food, fabric, anything you like, or some gorgeous lace pattern you feel evokes a place or a part of the story.

2011 KAL Materials List:


For square, about 1800-2000 yds of lace weight to light fingering. Any material works, but keep in mind there might be a chance of nupps later, and pure silk and cotton don’t do well with those. There will be options for nuppless shawls though. For triangle, about half that amount.


Square shawls will need a set of DPNs until the shawl is large enough for circulars, then circulars of variable length. I would recommend a 24” and then a large, 40”, and that is probably all you’ll need. Size US 3 to 6, depending on desired size and laciness degree.
For triangles, the DPNs are not usually needed, and a single large circular will suffice.


If you are the beady type, go ahead and get some. The pattern will allow for alternate or optional beads in some clues. Definitely will plan for optional beaded border, but those who don’t like beads fear not, it is not required.

Crochet hooks

Maybe useful for start up cast on, a medium size. A tiny one for beading is useful if you work beads, since I don’t recommend pre-stringing (I have no idea how many we will be needing!).

Stitch markers, etc

Your best friends. I favor the little brass rings ones, but get whatever you want. As the shawl gets bigger,you may need a pile!.
You will probably need a lockable marker, a safety pin or some waste yarn for the start up (square mostly).
Waste yarn and tapestry needle for lifelines, weave ends, and so forth
Blocking stuff. Still lots of time to get that.
Chart holder/row markers. Plenty of ideas on the group pages.
A pretty bag to hold it all! And a notion bag!
Coffee, tea, chocolate, gin or whatever you need to fortify yourself. Nice background music or TV program of choice. Kids in beds, cats under control, dogs locked up, husbands busy.

What character is your shawl?

No doubt, one of the most fun parts of the KAL is to pick your yarn. I started thinking that each of the four main characters of the book would choose very different materials and colors if they were to make a shawl. 
Phileas Fogg's Shawl
Mr Fogg is the imperturbable, unsinkable, all-British gentleman who makes the wager that he is able to go around the world in 80 days. He is predictable, logical, and apparently devoid of emotion, though the evolution of this character in the book shows that he has a generous, brave heart and a deep stock of chivalry and honor. 
I see Mr. Fogg in crisp, cool colors a true Englishman will wear: silver greys, pure white, blacks. Wool blends and Alpaca with a touch of cashmere or silk for his refined yet practical character. He may give a little room for nupps, but no such thing as beads. 
I choose one of my shawls to be a Fogg shawl. I have ordered some great pure cashmere lace from Hedgehog Fibers, in Winter Thaw colorway - still getting dyed so it will be a while until I get to meet my yarn. Look around Beata's Etsy shop, as she has a great eye for soft, whispering colors 

Passepartout's Shawl
Passsepartout, the Frenchman that joins Mr. Fogg as his servant the very day they are to depart, is his perfect opposite. All improvisation, all heart and emotions, resourceful and kind, Passepartout is a jack of all trades that has been anything form a gymnast to a circus performer. I see him picking bright, bold colors that betray his circus background, with anything but the kitchen sink: nupps, beads, and whatever works. This shawl is sure to make a statement!He may choose any material, from sensible to wacky.
Here is a sample : A bright sunflower yellow merino/angora/cashmere cobweb by The Gossamer Web, who has lovely ultra-thin yarns is traditional soft pastels, as well as bright and bold, unusual colors.
Aouda's Shawl
The beautiful Indian maharani saved by our travelled from being burned in the funeral bier of her husband, Aouda is regal, collected, elegant and calm. No doubt I see her in the deep Jewel colors and rich bold tones I associate with India: purples, deep pinks, blues, saffron. And I see beads in gold, silver and jewel colors to echo the richness of Indian saris. Also, no doubt for me, she must have some silk.
My second shawl choice is for Aouda - I have on the way a skein of Indigo Moon Muga Silk in a deep blue color, which I plan to pair with golden beads, for a triangle shawl.
Take a look also at the offerings of  Dragonfly fibers, which has a great eye for brights, pinks and purples. This lovely color is Gaia Lace, a supersoft cashmere/silk blend, in Walking in the Sun colorway. I just finished a Cliffrose on this material (not same color), and it is like knitting buttah!!!
Mr. Fix
The persistent, obstinate policeman that hounds our heroes through their travels, believing them to be bank robbers! He is a practical, cunning fellow, however capable in the end to amend his mistakes. Mr. Fix would choose sensible, practical color in wool blends, such as this lovely Forest Green from Knit Picks Shadow, a long time favorite of mine. Surely, he has no time for embellishments such as nupps, and even eyelets are a concession, LOL!!!
So, who does your shawl want to be? It may even be a different character yet!

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