What I Learned From the Costa Maya KAL

The Costa Maya KAL has wrapped up, and now I’m experiencing that same bittersweet feeling of pride and loss that comes with the end of a wonderful experience. Not unlike the wrapping of a show when I was working in theater. Even though it’s a little sad to say goodbye to Costa Maya, I’m once again humbled and blown away by all of you and how much you’ve learned and grown. Also there are still plenty of KALers continuing to work on their lovely sweaters and rest assured, I’m still here to answer questions. Keep at it, I know you’ll love your finished sweaters!! My favorite part of the KAL aftermath is scrolling through the Ravelry group and reading the comments by the wonderful KALers, so I thought I’d share some with you!

9 Things Knitters Learned During the Costa Maya Knit-Along

If you weren’t able to come on this amazing journey with us, it’s not too late!! The Costa Maya Sweater Class (as well as all of the previous KALs) is still available to purchase for $19 at my website! That’s right, you can have access to the pattern, over 30 videos, message boards, and a wealth of new knitting knowledge! Here are some great reasons to take the dive!

The Costa Maya class builds confidence:

This KAL was so good for me. I learned so many things. First of all, I did a gauge swatch and got gauge, that was huge in making sure I will get great fit. Second, I learned how to use a schematic to set up your knitting – what a time saver. Writing things out in a way that makes sense and is easy to follow. Then, I learned how to SSK and CDD in a totally new way (which I love and will be using from now on). Along the way I learned how to block your garment so it looks great. Finally, I learned how to put it all together, seaming the pieces. This has been a great learning experience with so much useful info from Patty. This is my first sweater KAL. I tried knitting a sweater on my own before and it is still in time out.”


PERSEVERANCE! I learned I may not keep up with the KAL. Life may get in the way of my KAL. However, I will work on my KAL project, Costa Maya, and finish it no matter what gets in my way (even if it is me and excuses). I will finish my Costa Maya Cardigan 🙂


1) With excellent instruction and support, I can achieve a lot and create a beautiful garment that is above my current skill level!
2) A KAL can be a relaxing process with the right pacing.
3) I love learning new knitting skills when I have video support (I’m a very visual learner).
4) A successful KAL inspires me to try new skills!
5) A well-fitting garment is a beautiful thing!


There are also lots of new tips and techniques:

I absolutely LOVE the idea of marking up the blow up of the schematics before knitting, so much that I made my own for the sleeves. What it really made me do is slow down and read every word until I understood it well enough to diagram it out. This meant I never was surprised during knitting by things I didn’t already understand or prepare for. I did have to ask some questions along the way, but I believe this technique really helped me learn to think things through for myself.


Thanks to this KAL, I learned a nifty cast on for a gauge swatch. I’d never before thought about making sure my swatch would match the actual knitting in the finished garment. I also learned two new increases (RLI and LLI). Finally, I learned that although I need to make sure my sweaters will fit my chest appropriately, I’ll need to make sure I resize my sleeves to fit my arm length.


This is my 3rd KAL with Patty Lyons and my 4th Patty Lyons sweater. I learn lots of new tricks & techniques with each one. Patty is a great teacher. Her videos are very helpful and she is very attentive to the group forum. She’s quick to answer questions and to give pointers along the way. Here are 3 of my favorites from this KAL:
Armhole Bind Off trick Video #9- I love, love, love this simple little trick. My armholes look so better. I used it again on to begin the sleeve cap bind offs. Really cool.
German short rows- First time doing German short rows and Patty’s videos made them so easy.
Turned Hem- Although challenging at first, I love how the turned hem came out. And we got plenty of practice. It was a piece of cake by the time I got to the sleeves.


And most importantly, grow your understanding of what you’re knitting:

I am absolutely loving my first KAL! I could go on for days about the pace of the KAL, all the bonus videos, the detailed pattern, the charts, the schematics, the discussion boards and how the community helps each other…
For the sake of brevity, the most important skill I’ve learned is how to “read” my knitting! I’m finding I’m a much better knitter when I can understand what I’m doing and see mistakes before they become permanent design elements. laughing I still have plenty of my own design elements, but I’ve also been encouraged to take my time and enjoy the project. It’s not about perfection or speed, it’s about enjoying my craft and learning something new everyday.


I am a slow knitter and that’s okay. The active KAL is about to end and I am still working on the back. However, I know that speeding through lace is never a good thing for me. Though I can also say – I’ve learned how to read my lace, find my mistake, and even fix it without ripping all the way back. That’s a biggie for me. In past I would have ripped back no matter how many rows back the mistake was.
With Patty’s lessons being on video – and KAL members having access to them forever I don’t have to worry that I’m behind. I can keep working and learning. I can watch those videos multiple times, especially great if you’ve had to take a knitting break (I have back and shoulder issues that flare at the most inopportune times). The videos always get me to reset, relearn and carry on. Looking forward to finishing the back and then continuing the rest of my sweater. Perhaps I’ll even have it done before the next KAL comes out. 🙂


I learned how to read and follow a little more complex sweater pattern (not hard but complex – a lot of beautiful details). After working with Patty and her precise style of writing patterns, I now find that I can pick up most patterns and apply the knowledge I learn from Patty’s Sweater Class KALs to most other patterns by different designers. Many times other patterns are not quite as clear and I learned how to compensate from working with Patty’s patterns. This pattern is a complete class with videos so it is very hard to summarize all that I have learned. It is always a bunch! The tricks for knitting lace and fixing mistakes was just awesome! As always, thank you so much Patty!


I’m already hard at work on the new KAL coming this fall, and I can’t wait to get back on the bandwagon with you glorious knitters! Thank you again to those who participated, and to those who’ve been holding back, what are you waiting for? Join the fun!!


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