top of page

STAY IN THE LOOP

Get tutorials and blog posts delivered right in your email inbox.

Smoke and Mirrors MKAL

The talvi knits mystery shawl is back! After skipping 2021, it's exciting to restore the tradition once again this spring. If you need a refresher, the previous ones were Zusammen in 2018, Spring It On! in 2019, and Trick of the Light in 2020.


Smoke and Mirrors :: mystery shawl knitting pattern

The 2022 mystery shawl is called Smoke and Mirrors, a three-color shawl worked in two types of yarns and to be released in five parts. Simple stitch patterns and textures play off of each other in this shawl made of straightforward visual elements that draw your attention every which way like a magician performing an illusion.


Some of the stitch patterns come with both written and charted instructions but some are so simple they're given only in written format.


Here's what you need to know. 👇


Schedule

The pattern is released in five weekly clues starting April 1, 2022 — no joke! New clues come out every Friday in April 2022 at around 10 AM (Helsinki time).


  • Clue 1: April 1, 2022 — approx. 11% of the entire shawl

  • Clue 2: April 8 — approx. 26%

  • Clue 3: April 15 — approx. 18%

  • Clue 4: April 22 — approx. 17%

  • Clue 5: April 29 — approx. 28%


Some of the clues are short and sweet but some — especially towards the end of the MKAL — require a bit more knitting.


What usually happens to me in MKALs I start all excited and with guns blazing… and then peter out by the second-to-last clue. 🙈 To combat this, the last clue has a couple of options for modifiying the shawl and cutting down your knitting time if you want to finish a little earlier.


Yarn

To knit the Smoke and Mirrors mystery shawl you'll need 3 colors of yarn: two fingering weight (Yarns A and B) and one lace weight (Yarn C). Pick colors with at least some degree of contrast between them depending on the look you're going for.


Front to back: Louhittaren Luola Röyhetyinen in "Platina" (Yarn C) and Louhittaren Luola Luonnotar in colorways "Suru" (Yarn A) and "Valaan laulu" (Yarn B).
Front to back: Louhittaren Luola Röyhetyinen in "Platina" (Yarn C) and Louhittaren Luola Luonnotar in colorways "Suru" (Yarn A) and "Valaan laulu" (Yarn B).

For my sample shawl I used merino singles (Louhittaren Luola Luonnotar, 100% superwash merino, 400 m/100 g, 444 yd/3.53 oz) for Yarns A and B, and silk/mohair (Louhittaren Luola Röyhetyinen, 72% kid mohair, 28% silk, 420 m/50 g, 464 yd/1.76 oz) for Yarn C.


Yarn A

For this yarn, choose a smooth fingering-weight yarn, such as 100% wool, a wool/silk blend, or a sock yarn (wool/nylon blend). Anything that gives the shawl drape is a good choice here so blends with superwash wool, silk, or plant fibers work great.


Yarn A could be considered as the main color of the shawl. It's used the most and it dominates the overall appearance of the shawl. The color could be almost anything: solid, semi-solid, speckled, subtly variegated, or even a long gradient. Gradient sets of mini skeins are also a great choice!


For Yarn A you'll need one 100 g skein of fingering-weight yarn or approx. 400 m / 440 yd.


Yarn B

The second color, Yarn B, is also a smooth fingering-weight yarn. For Yarn B, pick a contrasting, pop, or accent color — something that stands out from the rest. Solid, semi-solid, or speckled colors work marvelously but Yarn B could also be quite highly variegated.


For Yarn B you'll need one 100 g skein of fingering-weight yarn or approx. 320 m / 350 yd.


Yarn C

The third yarn is the fluffy one! For Yarn C, choose a lace-weight yarn with a lot of halo, such mohair, silk/mohair, or brushed alpaca. If you don't want to use a fluffy yarn, Yarn C could also be substituted with a third fingering-weight yarn. I don't recommend using a smooth, no-halo lace weight, though, because that would be too much of a gauge difference.


Yarn C should be a complementary color to the other two. It can be similar to Yarn A… although preferably not the exact same shade. Light(ish) solid, semi-solid, or subtle speckles work best.


For Yarn C you'll need one 50 g skein of lace-weight yarn or approx. 340 m / 370 yd. If you have scraps left over from other fluffy projects, you could also use two or three different colors!


I'd advice against using self-striping or self-patterning colors for any of the yarns.


Needles & Notions

Because the mystery shawl is made up of different stitch patterns, you'll also need knitting needles in several different sizes.


Suggested needle size for the main needle is a 3.5 mm or US #4 long (80–100 cm or 
32–40") circular needle. The main needle should be the size that gives you a gauge of 24 sts × 34 rows per 10 cm or 4" in stockinette using Yarn A (blocked, natch). It's the needle size that's used the most.


Larger and smaller needles should be 1 or 2 sizes (0.5–1.0 mm) up or down, respectively, from the main needle. Suggested sizes are 4.0 mm or US #6 for the larger needle and 3.0 mm or US #2½ for the smaller. Adjust needle sizes based on your personal tension.


The fourth needle is a spare needle. The exact needle size doesn't matter for this one but it should be considerably smaller than your main needle (such as 2.25–2.5 mm or US #1–1½). The longer, the better! I recommend using at least a 100 cm or 40" circular as the spare needle but it doesn't hurt to be even longer.


For notions you'll need one removable (a.k.a. locking) stitch marker and a tapestry needle for weaving in ends.


Join the knitalong!

The pattern for the Smoke and Mirrors MKAL is now available in my pattern shops on Payhip and Ravelry (seizure warning). Get 15% off the pattern price by joining my mailing list before the first clue drops! The full pattern will also be available from LoveCrafts later on this spring.


When you buy the pattern before any of the clues are out, you'll get access to a two-page information sheet about the MKAL. Once the mystery starts, you'll get a notification each Friday when a new clue is available to download — either in an email (via Payhip) or a private message (on Ravelry).


There are three ways to join the knitalong:



See you there!

 

Pin this post!

Smoke and Mirrors is a three-color mystery shawl. Simple stitch patterns and textures play off of each other in this shawl made of straightforward visual elements that draw your attention every which way like a magician performing an illusion. Pick 2 contrasting colors of smooth fingering weight yarn. A complementary color in fuzzy lace weight rounds out the trio. This mystery shawl is released in five weekly clues starting Apr 1 2022. #knit #knitting #knittingpatterns #mystery #shawl #knitalong

408 views0 comments

Related Posts

See All
On Instagram
Ask Me Anything

Got a question for me? A great idea for a blog post? Or a knitting tutorial you'd love to see?

 

Type your suggestions below!

Thanks for submitting!

Recent Posts
 
About the author

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.

Subscribe to blog

Join my mailing list and get new blog posts automatically in your email inbox.

bottom of page