Color Craving – Stephen West’s Mystery KAL 2013


Stephen West newest Mystery KAL Color Craving starts today. I’m pretty excited about as it is my first KAL ever I participate. A KAL is a Knit ALong where a bunch of people knit the same project during a specific time frame. If it’s a mystery KAL it’s a knit along where you don’t know at the beginning of the KAL how the end product looks like. You may only know the type of project, for example a shawl or socks. The only thing we know so far is that it needs three different colors of fingering weight yarn for your shawl. Today Stephen releases the first clue and then every week until the fourth of october (in total there are four clues).


Stephen West was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He studied dance at the University of Illinois where he encountered his first local yarn store, Klose Knit in Urbana, IL. The creative atmosphere of that local shop spurred Stephen to start designing knitting patterns and he was quickly featured in Knitty’s fall 2009 issue with his Colonnade Shawl. Soon after, he began publishing more patterns and launched a series of pattern books under the name Westknits. He continues to produce pattern books and hosts several online knit alongs each year like the Mystery Shawl Knit Along and Westknits Shawl Club. His simple clean designs have now been knitted by thousands of knitters all around the world. (source:

westknits-work1. Boneyard shawl,  2. Colonnade shawl,  3.Windschief hat, 4.Skinny Skid hat,  5. Chadwick shawl, 6. Spectra shawl, 7. Earth & Sky shawl, 8. Rockefeller shawl (Stephen’s MKAL 2012), 9. Stringband hat/cowl, 10, Shrowl cowl/bolero, 11. Geysir Stretch shawl, 12. Baxtur hat, 13. Gullfoss vest/poncho, 14. Drangey pullover, 15. Tripartite cardigan/vest/shawl, 16. Batad cowl/poncho. (All pictures are from Westknit’s Ravelry site)

His design progress changed to crazy, amorphous pieces like “Tripartite” what you could wear as a shawl, cowl, vest and whatever. He doesn’t take fashion to serious and shows that in his designs. Those multi-wearable garments are interesting and break the limits of everydays fashion. Therefore I’m even more curious about this MKAL….


Three colors will needed to work the pattern. But there are so many options and it’s hard to chose if you don’t know how the pattern looks like. To chose the colors Stephen gives advices if you want it to be cheerful in following description:

I want to make a statement!
If you want high contrast in the fabric, select a light, medium, and dark yarn for the three colors and use the lightest and the darkest colors as A & B. It doesn’t really matter which one is A or B. This will give you a graphic look and all the lines in the design will be clearly visible.

As I like colors it was pretty hard to chose the right ones. Looking through my shawl collection I have already teal, orange, corall and multi-colored colored shawls. But I want to leave my comfort zone. The idea came when I’ve bought my last watch. It’s a really colorful watch and it reminds my to a friendship bracelet. It has blue, orange and pink in it. I know, I’m not at all a pink person but combined with orange I think it gets interesting.color craving - swatching

In Margret Radcliff’s book “The essential guide to COLOR KNITTING techniques” she writes about the value of colors. The value is important for the amount of contrast between colors. It can be very difficult to tell the relative values of yarns just by looking at them, because we tend to notice the hues first. There are several ways to test the relative values:

  • Twist together strands of yarn you want to use. View them in dim light and see if the yarns blend togehter or if the two strands are still clearly defined.
  • Make a color and a greyscale image of the yarns (by computer or digital camera) to help determine their values.

And another way that I suggest:

  • Take a red transparency (or a transparent file jacket) and hold it over your yarns to see the different values of your yarn.

color craving choice

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