I’ve been trying to finish up an old MKAL from last summer lately and that has got me thinking about MKAL’s. What do I really think about them? Do I even like them? Well, on some level I must like them since I’ve made so many of them and I also usually finish them. (The only one I haven’t even started was a red silk scarf from May 2015. It was 2015, I was knitting Great Lace and it was red in May, everything was wrong and I doubt I will ever make that one.) I wear at least half of them on a semi-regular basis. So yeah, I think I like them.
Now that I’ve been finshing up this shawl though, I’ve realized what I don’t like. I don’t like that they take so freaking long time to finish. I rarely spend more than a few weeks on a project and if I don’t finish in that time I get bored with it. An MKAL usually takes about eight weeks to finish, one clue each Friday for eight weeks. That’s a long time and that’s probably why I never seem to count the current MKAL as an on-going project. I spend a few ours on Friday night and Saturday finishing up the clue and then I move on. It the clue requires more time I get annoyed.
I had only made it to the second clue on the shawl and this past week I’ve had my own little MKAL. I haven’t really looked at other’s finished projects and I haven’t looked ahead in the pattern so it’s been a mystery even though the whole pattern was published almost a year ago. This has also given me a chance to really concentrate on this project, to treat it like an on-going project and not something that’s in between other projects. The other day I finished two clues in one evening and I could scroll down to the next clue in the pattern without having to wait several days.
It also showed me that the pattern is actually a pretty quick knit (I suspect the finished shawl will not be a big one, despite me moving up a needle size), something that I find tricky to estimate when the project is dragged out for eight weeks and I think this might stop me from knitting these patterns again.
Being able to knit several clues at once was also something I appreciated while finishing up Paris in the Springtime and the Vampire shawl. I think I might actually make another one of the shawl’s I’m currently knitting, now that I know it’s both pretty and fairly quick.
I doubt my thoughts here will lead to any changes, I will keep knitting MKAL’s and also continuing making one clue each week, but at least I know that if I miss out on an MKAL it’s not so bad to pick it up later, it might actually be quite nice.