What a CAL actually is…

…and why you should join one today.

Let me just start by saying that I love the idea of thousands of people, strangers from all over the world, connecting through our mutual love for a craft carried out with something so simple as some yarn and a hook.

Hygge 2017

Ever since I began crocheting I have been kind of addicted to CALs. CAL is the acronym for “Crochet ALong” and it is just what it sounds like; you crochet a specific pattern together with the designer and other crocheters for a specific period of time. Sometimes it’s a mystery CAL (as in you have no idea of the end result) or as an open CAL (you have pics on the finished product and now exactly what you are crocheting). Everyone is doing their own piece but they all follows the same pattern. The parts are released accordingly to a preset schedule, usually once a week. Some are quick and small, and some takes weeks or even months to finish. It’s usually a sort of blanket but can be for absolutely everything; a bag, pillow or a darling little coaster as the one I held earlier this year: the ELo Star CAL

The patterns are usually free and connected retailers sell “ready to go”-yarn packages, but you can of course choose to put together one of your own choice with other yarns from your stash at home. 

The biggest thing about a CAL is just this; being social and part of a community. The progress is shared on social media such as Instagram, Facebook and in Ravelry groups which makes it a really great way to meet other crocheters and get inspired.

So why should you join a CAL?

A CAL is a good way to learn something new and develop your skills as a crocheter. The patterns often have really good step by step-pictures, videos (usually released on YouTube) and not to mention a super helpful gang of people to ask when you are stuck or unsure, including the designer.

Perhaps there is something you have always wanted to try but never dared to? Maybe the thought of taking on a blanket feels scary and overwhelming? By breaking it up into smaller parts, doing only one part at a time (or a week depending on the set pace of the CAL), adding the fact that you have a whole crochet community cheering you on, all doing the same thing together and that there is always someone happy to help out; sharing their tips and tricks, the project instantly becomes less frightening and more doable.

It’s so much fun trying out new patterns, big and small, together with others. Sharing the joy, the learning process and all the creativity! People from all over the world coming together and creating together. Some follow the pattern, which is the way I do it, and others do it the free styling-way. It’s like a big party that goes on for several weeks and everybody is invited resulting in a great mix of beginners and more experienced crocheters.

Joining a CAL can provide the focus and encouragement to achieve your crochet goals in a fun and supportive environment. You can be as social or non social as you want. Whether you’d like to chat away and post progress pictures or just read comments and browse around for inspiration; you are welcome to join!

Want to see what the fuzz is about? Here are 15 examples (sorted by year of release) of some lovely CALs:

  1. Sophie’s Universe (2015) by Dedri Uys (Look at what I made)
  2. Last dance on the beach (2016) by Marinke Slump (A creative being)
  3. Kalevala CAL (2017) hosted by Sari Åström (Arteeni) and Milla Elo (Me and yarn)
  4. Double Trouble CAL (2017) by Jolanda Verschiere-den Toonder and Naomi Harreman
  5. Eastern Jewels – Persian Tiles (2017) by Janie Crow
  6. In Bloom CAL (2017) by Johanna Lindahl (Mijocrochet)
  7. Nuts about squares CAL (2017) hosted by Esther (It’s all in a Nutshell)
  8. Spring Lane CAL (2017) by Drops Design
  9. Elements CAL (2017) by Sandra Kuijer
  10. Atlanticus CAL (2017) by Vanessa Smith (Hooked on Sunshine)
  11. Seaside Stash Busting Blanket (2018) by Eleonora Tully (Coastal crochet)
  12. Grinda MAL (2018) by Tatsiana (Lilla Björn’s Crochet)
  13. Vintage Flower Garden CAL (2018) by Marie Hoff (Virktokig)
  14. Unicorn Mandala CAL (2018) by Anna Nilsson (Annavirkpanna)
  15. Ubuntu CAL (2018) by Dedri Uys (Look at what I made)

So let’s top it off with a little quickie abbreviation list:

  • CAL: Crochet ALong
  • MCAL: Mystery Crochet ALong
  • MAL: Mystery ALong, Mystery crochet ALong or Make ALong
  • KAL: Knit ALong
  • SAL: Stitch ALong
  • QAL: Quilt ALong

The latest CAL I’ve joined is the Scheepjes Ubuntu CAL 2018 by Dedri Uys. A stunning hexagon blanket that will be crocheted on over the next 12 weeks, up until the middle of December. Both me and Kay have been lucky to be chosen as two of the pattern testers and we can’t wait to share more about the CAL and about being testers. Read more about how we first “met” Dedri and her lovely Ubuntu in our first introduction post that you’ll find here

Until next time, happy hooking!

Love,

Tess

What a CAL actually is...

…and why you should join one today.

Let me just start by saying that I love the idea of thousands of people, strangers from all over the world, connecting through our mutual love for a craft carried out with something so simple as some yarn and a hook.

Ever since I began crocheting I have been kind of addicted to CALs. CAL is the acronym for “Crochet ALong” and it is just what it sounds like; you crochet a specific pattern together with the designer and other crocheters for a specific period of time. Sometimes it’s a mystery CAL (as in you have no idea of the end result) or as an open CAL (you have pics on the finished product and now exactly what you are crocheting). Everyone is doing their own piece but they all follows the same pattern. The parts are released accordingly to a preset schedule, usually once a week. Some are quick and small, and some takes weeks or even months to finish. It’s usually a sort of blanket but can be for absolutely everything; a bag, pillow or a darling little coaster as the one I held earlier this year: the ELo Star CAL

The patterns are usually free and connected to retailers sell “ready to go”-yarnpackages, but you may of course also take the oppurtunity to de-stash and use yarns you already have at hands.

So why should you join a CAL?

A CAL is a good way to meet new people and to learn something new; developing your skills as a crocheter. The patterns often have really good step by step-pictures, videos (usually released on YouTube) and not to mention a super helpful gang of people to ask when you are stuck or unsure, including the designer. 

The biggest thing about a CAL is just this; being social and part of a community. The progress is shared on social media such as Instagram, Facebook and in Ravelry groups which makes it a really great way to meet other crocheters and get inspired. 

Perhaps there is something you have always wanted to try but never dared to? Maybe the thought of taking on a blanket feels scary and overwhelming? By breaking it up into smaller parts, doing only one part at a time (or a week depending on the set pace of the CAL), adding the fact that you have a whole crochet community cheering you on, all doing the same thing together and that there is always someone happy to help out; sharing their tips and tricks, the project instantly becomes less frightening and more doable.

It’s so much fun trying out new patterns, big and small, together with others. Sharing the joy, the learning process and all the creativity! People from all over the world coming together and creating together. Some follow the pattern, which is the way I do it, and others do it the free styling-way. It’s like a big party that goes on for several weeks and everybody is invited resulting in a great mix of beginners and more experienced crocheters.

Joining a CAL can provide the focus and encouragement to achieve your crochet goals in a fun and supportive environment. You can be as social or non social as you want. Whether you’d like to chat away and post progress pictures or just read comments and browse around for inspiration; you are welcome to join!

Want to see what the fuzz is about? Here are 15 examples (sorted by year of release) of some lovely CALs:

  1. Sophie’s Universe (2015) by Dedri Uys (Look at what I made)
  2. Last dance on the beach (2016) by Marinke Slump (A creative being)
  3. Kalevala CAL (2017) hosted by Sari Åström (Arteeni) and Milla Elo (Me and yarn)
  4. Double Trouble CAL (2017) by Jolanda Verschiere-den Toonder and Naomi Harreman
  5. Eastern Jewels – Persian Tiles (2017) by Janie Crow
  6. In Bloom CAL (2017) by Johanna Lindahl (Mijocrochet)
  7. Nuts about squares CAL (2017) hosted by Esther (It’s all in a Nutshell)
  8. Spring Lane CAL (2017) by Drops Design
  9. Elements CAL (2017) by Sandra Kuijer
  10. Atlanticus CAL (2017) by Vanessa Smith (Hooked on Sunshine)
  11. Seaside Stash Busting Blanket (2018) by Eleonora Tully (Coastal crochet)
  12. Grinda MAL (2018) by Tatsiana (Lilla Björn’s Crochet)
  13. Vintage Flower Garden CAL (2018) by Marie Hoff (Virktokig)
  14. Unicorn Mandala CAL (2018) by Anna Nilsson (Annavirkpanna)
  15. Ubuntu CAL (2018) by Dedri Uys (Look at what I made)

So let’s top it off with a little quickie abbreviation list:

  • CAL: Crochet ALong
  • MCAL: Mystery Crochet ALong
  • MAL: Mystery ALong, Mystery crochet ALong or Make ALong
  • KAL: Knit ALong
  • SAL: Stitch ALong
  • QAL: Quilt ALong
The latest CAL we’ve joined is the Scheepjes Ubuntu CAL 2018 by Dedri Uys. A stunning hexagon blanket that will be crocheted over the next 12 weeks up until mid December. We were so lucky to be asked as two of the pattern testers and have had so much fun working on this project. Can’t wait to share more about the CAL and being a tester. 
 
Read more about how we first “met” Dedri and her lovely Ubuntu in our first introduction post that you’ll find here

Until next time, happy hooking!

Love,

Tess

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