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Project Highlight - A MKAL story

2022 friends knit make/made MKAL shawl

2022 : October Project Highlight 

Nothing brings the knitting community together like a Westknits MKAL!

It's an opportunity to connect with local knitters and share the ups (and sometimes downs) of knitting during the month of October. We love our growing MKAL tribe and deepening friendships while knitting together. So, we thought it would be fun to ask Nicole to share her first MKAL experience with us. Nicole’s shawl is stunning and we loved what she created from the left overs!


Over to you Nicole...

My biggest achievement, which I'm most proud of to date, has been the latest MKAL 2022 'Twists and Turns' shawl. I can't believe I completed it in close to a month. With the excitement of weekly releases of the next pattern clue, it kept my interest, not to mention our wonderful MKAL "Cast Off Collective" knitting group get-togethers.

Meeting like minded people of all ages and stages of knitting abilities was like 'finding my tribe', here on the Northern Beaches. Sharing our progress visually, seeing all the different colour combos, textures and threads was a sight to behold. I was able to also talk about any concerns, and challenges along the way,(mainly mistakes I made, while having the television on while knitting. A BiG NO NO for me)  and we encouraged each other to keep going but, at our own individual pace. I felt no pressure even when I was lagging behind a little.

Having specific YouTube instructional videos to watch each week was amazing. I do use and recommend google alot when learning how to create a new stitch, etc. Yet, I found Stephen's personal appeal and simple step by step demonstrations soooo helpful. He's so entertaining and brings a lightness to even the most challenging sections, saying it 'doesn't have to be perfect'. That was a BiG lesson for me, as I know I can be a perfectionist, which has led me to pulling my knitting out, in frustration. There are other 'ways to rescue your knitting', Stephen suggests.

We compared needle sizes from 4-3.5 depending on knitters' tensions, tight to loose. Everyone was at different levels and came with varied experience in knitting. I'm a beginner and most of the abbreviations were 'double-dutch' to me. Taking it a section at a time helped me not get overwhelmed.

Because I am small, I chose to finish my shawl off with the early cast off. Yes, there are options in size.

This first time knitting the MKAL was a great opportunity for me to learn the amazing chevron stripe with its fun 3D loop effect and different cabling including the antlers. I even got to weave icords through the cables. Who would have thought to do that?  Not me, in a million years!

Now I wear my shawl with pride and love it when people ask me 'where I bought it'. It's not just the finished product, I'm happy to admit I knitted, it was the whole process from beginning to end. 

On a personal note, my twin (who's beloved French bulldog passed unexpectedly the day we started this project) and I, took this opportunity to talk while knitting and it became her therapy sessions through her time of grief. In memory, we called them our 'Coco's shawl' and added her little dog tags for a finishing touch. 


An added bonus was, despite my loose knitting, I ended up with plenty of leftover wool and so decided to use it to make three crocheted dolls. Fun!  


I would highly recommend this amazing geometric shawl. It's huge wingspan is unique and I love how it can be customised with tassels and pops of colour.

Anything is possible. 

Some details about Nicole's project

Craft : Knit
Pattern : Twists & Turns by Stephen West
Made for : Me
Size : Because I am small, I chose to finish my shawl off with the early cast off.
Needle / Size : 3.5mm
Yarn : Wren & Ollie Sock Yarn (Main & Contrast Colour) and Fiori Sock Accent Colour 
Quantity & Colour :
Main Colour W&O Sock Cinnabar x 2 skeins.
Contrast Colour W&O Sock Smitten Kitten x 2 skeins
Accent Colour Fiori Sock Abalone x 1 skein

A note on the LYS proprietor : Wendy, you helped steer me in the right direction from the start, when I first got a little 'off track' with my colour choice. Gently, you shared with me your extensive experience, which I am so grateful for today. I was so happy with 'our' final choice of 'Wren and Ollie' sock yarn wool, in colours Cinnabar (MC) and Smitten Kitten (CC) x2 skeins of each. I toyed with some green accent colours but again, with your unwavering positive guidance, settled on the subtle 'abalone' mauve colour in Fiori (AC) x1 skein. A favourite of mine to this day.
A reply from the LYS propritor : LOL I sound like a boss lady! Thank you Nicole for sharing your Twists & Turns MKAL experience with us - and for framing my input so kindly ;-) 

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