Woolly Wormhead MKAL 2017

The secret allure of a mystery knit-a-long and regaining my knitting mojo

I won’t lie to you, fellow crafters: my knitting and crochet mojo has been on hiatus for awhile. Back in March I announced that I was going to publish a book of geeky, nerdy knitting patterns. I set myself very strict, aggressive goals so that the book would get published (my myself, which means lots of up-front costs) this year.

Well.

Life had other plans for me, from getting busy with other day job projects, to getting into some seriously amazing yarn shows (Perth, Yarndale, Nottingham this weekend, and Waltham Abbey in January), to dealing with some very persistent brain bats by the names of anxiety and stress. I finished some of the projects (socks, a cardigan, legwarmers, mitts, and half a sweater), but I found myself in a cycle:

Step 1: Feel guilty that I wasn’t meeting my deadlines.

Step 2: Ignore the projects because I feel guilty about them.

Step 3: Repeat.

And so I wasn’t knitting or crocheting anything ELSE, either – because working on something else would mean I wasn’t working on what I should have been. I did knit the Essie shawl by Anna Nikipirowicz in the Reverse Rainicorn yarn, which was AMAZING and FABULOUS and totally broke the mojo curse.

But then, weirdly, I was right back in the yarn void. I worked on other creative ventures: reworking a bass clarinet and piano duet I wrote a year ago, designing new stickers and pins, dyeing new yarns – but the needles and hooks stayed firmly out of sight.

Until.

Until the new Woolly Wormhead MKALs started last week. I had purchased both hat mystery knit a longs the previous month (hat A and hat B), thinking there was no way on Earth I’d keep up with both hats and end up completing them on time. After I spent 14 hours skeining, wrapping, tagging, and packing almost 400 mini skeins of yarn for the Advent calendars, I found myself itching for a new cast on. So I dug through both stashes (shop and personal), I pulled out my DPNs, and I cast on hat B with The Upsidedown yarn from the shop stash.

Woolly Wormhead MKAL hat B

I found myself itching for the next round. Unfamiliar techniques, paired with the mystery of not knowing what the end result will look like, spurred me on. I was up until 2am knitting around and around, and ordering new Hiya Hiya sharp circulars on Amazon because these bamboo DPNs really, really suck for lace stitches, even eyelet lace. Don’t look too close, there are definitely mistakes!

Much to my shock and surprise, I zoomed through the first clue on hat B in less than a day. Who was I? I hadn’t felt this kind of surge in excitement since the Essie knit back in August, and before that was more months of the yarn void.

So on Sunday, I cast on the Woolly Wormhead MKAL, hat A, after tearing through my personal stash hunting for the perfect two shades. This one starts at the brim and I bust out my new sharp circulars for the job, along with some UK Alpaca yarn for the first color. I’ll be using some Amano for the second color later in the pattern.

Woolly Wormhead MKAL hat A

Again, I zoomed through the first clue, even though it’s just knitting garter stitch in the round. I felt inspired, rejuvenated, and I can’t wait for the next clues to be released tomorrow.

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