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Join the Fair Isle Advent MKALendar

For the 2022 holiday season I'm doing things a little differently. Instead of daily pattern sales on my mailing list, this year's advent calendar is a free colorwork mystery knitalong (a.k.a. MKAL) that happens in my Mighty Networks community.

Read all about it below!

Fair Isle Advent MKALendar

What the what?

With the Fair Isle Advent MKALendar you'll create either a stocking cap or a tubular cowl in 25 days, worked entirely in the round in stranded colorwork. This pattern is ideal for all sorts of fingering-weight leftovers, scraps, half-a skeins, unicorn tails, or advent calendar minis.

Each day's clue is presented as a stranded colorwork chart. All charts can be worked with just two colors but you can use as many colors as you wish! Your color choices determine whether your advent will be filled with classic or modern interpretations of traditional Fair Isle motifs. Regardless of how many colors you pick, all rounds are knit with just two colors and short floats that don't need to be caught.

A photo of eight scrap yarn balls arranged in color order from teal to light green.

Sizes & Materials

The pattern comes in five sizes: four sizes for the stocking cap (kids, teens, ladies, and gents) and one for the cowl.

If you know you'll be busy during the December (let's face it: who isn't?), I recommend picking the stocking-cap style for your MKAL project. Roughly from the midway mark forward, you'll work decreases on the cap so the rounds get ever shorter and shorter, you'll have fewer and fewer stitches, and the clues get faster and shorter to knit the closer we get to Christmas.

For the stocking cap, choose a size with approx. 10% of negative ease in ribbing and zero to a small amount of ease in circumference. If you're between sizes, think about your tension in colorwork. If your tend to knit colorwork tighter than regular stockinette or you have tight floats, pick the larger size. If, on the other hand, your colorwork tends to be loose and stretchy, pick the smaller one.

The cowl will be the same circumference all the way through. This is a great project if you want to practice your colorwork skills: there's no shaping and it's all just worked around and around. The cowl is also a great option if you want do some (or lot of) stashbusting: it'll use up the most yarn.

To knit the Fair Isle Advent MKALendar you'll need fingering-weight yarn in as many colors as you want (at least 2), approx. 440–730 m or 480–800 yd in total, depending on size.

You'll also need 2.5 and 3.25 mm (US #1½ and #3) short circular needles (or size to obtain gauge), one stitch marker, and a darning needle. A colorwork yarn guide or knitting thimble — such as the one seen on this colorwork tutorial — is optional but can be useful in maintaining tension and ensuring your floats stay loose in stranded colorwork.

A photo of eight scrap yarn balls arranged in color order from yellow to burgundy.

Join & Share!

Fair Isle Advent MKALendar kicks off on December 1, 2022 at 8:00 am UTC. The mystery KAL is released in 25 daily clues: 24 days of colorwork charts for the Advent with finishing instructions on Christmas Day. Note that only charted instructions are given for the daily colorwork patterns.

The daily clues will be released only in my Mighty Networks community and will be available for free until the end of January 2023. (New Mighty Networks members need to be approved manually so please wait a while to get access to the community.)

Can't wait? You don't have to! Download the MKAL info sheet now and start planning your colors. The pre-release information package, available for download both on Payhip and Ravelry (seizure warning), comes with a list of materials, tips for planning your color palette, and instructions to get you started.

Who's in? Share your MKAL creations on Instagram with the hashtags #fairisleadventmkalendar and #talviknits. I've already knit the stocking cap version and will be doing the cowl during the KAL. Got all my colors lined up and ready to go…


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Susanna Winter is a knitwear designer, creating timeless and elegant pieces with clean lines. She has been knitting for over 20 years, knit blogging since 2007, and designing knitting patterns professionally since 2016.

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