KALs, CALs, MALs – what’s all the excitement about?

We already know that knitting and crocheting is enjoyable on your own or with friends but some of us find it even more fun with thousands of random strangers all over the world! I was first introduced to the world of CALs (Crochet Alongs) when learning to crochet. My mom was having a milestone birthday and I wanted to make her something special. When I saw the Lisa Richardson Spring CAL, I jumped right on board. This project was amazing to learn on as it had a huge, supportive Ravelry group. While there may have been quite a bit of frogging at the beginning of each hexagon pattern, I truly learned many new skills and became part of a community of crocheters on Ravelry.

Pattern available at knitrowan.com

To add to the excitement of the CAL/KAL/MAL, sometimes the finished item remains a mystery! You will have a general idea (making a shawl, a blanket, a pair of socks, etc.) but you won’t know what the final item looks like until you receive the last clue. I like to take part in the mystery alongs as they keeps me more excited for each pattern/clue to come out. Sometimes I do like to see what I’m working towards, especially if it will be an article of clothing or shawl. Since my first CAL, I have participated in another KAL through Rowan designed by Martin Storey. This beautiful blanket is still a WIP as I have a few more squares to finish knitting before I can begin assembly. However, another great feature about alongs is that you can do them at your own pace! Nobody cares whether you finish them on time or not.

Pattern can be found at knitrowan.com

I really love that most alongs have kits put together by the yarn supplier. These kits make ordering simple and are usually a better deal than buying individual yarn. Sometimes, there are even bonus items or bonus patterns included in the kit. While the kits are very nice and often filled with luxurious yarn, your budget may not accommodate your wishes. Please let us know if you would like assistance putting together a kit of alternate yarns to suite your budget. We would be more than happy to provide those to you or point you in the direction of another supplier if we are not able to provide an alternative that suits your needs.

While I have participated in various other alongs, I have been most addicted to the ones hosted by Scheepjes. Scheepes is a wonderful Dutch yarn company which supports a great group of designers and bloggers and generally has at least one CAL per year. We are still eagerly awaiting this year’s CAL but have been keeping busy with the Read Between the Lines Shawl (a MAL – you may choose to crochet or knit). If you are interested in shopping for Scheepjes yarn or finding out about the latest kits, head over to The Knotty House. The Knotty House is another Canadian online retailer with phenomenal service and wonderful stock.

If you’d like to join in on the Knitterati KAL (it just started!), take a look at the kits we have in stock which come in a Cascade Logo Bag for convenient storage of your project. We also have the beautiful patina bamboo ChiaoGoo needles in stock to get you started.

As always, please feel free to share your comments and photos. We would love to see what alongs you have participated in!

~ Monika ~