With the start of the new year, we thought it would be fun to highlight two very popular 'a-longs' that are happening over on Instagram. The first is a knit-a-long/crochet-a-long (KAL/CAL), and the second is a make-a-long (MAL). But firstly, what exactly is a KAL/CAL/MAL?
If you are new to knitting, crochet, sewing or crafting in general, you might be wondering what these 'a-longs' entail. KALs, CALs and MALs are all community events, where a group of crafters either knit, crochet, sew or create the same or similar projects together and then share their crafting experience and projects with each other either online, through social media, or via social groups (like knitting or sewing forums). It's a great way to get involved in the crafting community, meet new friends, discover new patterns and inspirational crafters, try out new techniques and, most importantly, to have fun and connect with like-minded people. Most social sites have hashtags that you need to use when posting about your projects; that way everyone can see what you are doing. Some 'a-longs' have strict deadlines or certain criteria that you need to follow, so it's a good idea to read up on all the details before you start. So that's really all there is to it. Sounds like something you might be interested in? Then read on.
The idea for this KAL/CAL began last December when I had posted on Instagram my intention of making 2018 the year of the sweater. As it turns out, there were a lot of people who liked the idea and so #2018yearofthesweater was born. The main aim is to have fun knitting or crocheting garments together. You might want to challenge yourself by setting a goal to make loads of sweaters, or just take it easy - the choice is completely up to you.
This KAL/CAL is not just about sweaters, you can also knit or crochet cardigans, tops, tees, vests, etc. If it's a garment and it is wearable on the top half of your body, then it qualifies. The challenge runs throughout 2018 and, as mentioned, you can choose to knit or crochet as many 'sweaters' as you like. These may include baby and kids sizes, as well as unfinished projects (works in progress, WIPs) from the year before. This is a great a-long for discovering new patterns, designers, yarns and inspiring makers. To join, all you need to do is decide how many garments you want to make in 2018, state your intention on Instagram (don't forget to use the hashtag!) and away you go! Click here to check it out! The patterns above are some of my choices for the KAL/CAL. I've committed to knitting eight garments, which for me will be quite a challenge. The patterns pictured are (from L-R) Embruns Cardigan by Emilie Luis, Let It Fall by Matilda Kruse, Tegna by Caitlin Hunter and Comfort Fade Cardigan by Andrea Mowry.
The idea for this MAL was started in December 2015 by Rochelle of Home Row Fiber Co (you can read more about it here). The aim of this MAL is to narrow down your list of makes to nine projects, and focus on creating a mini collection or capsule wardrobe. This is great for people who are strapped for time OR who are looking to be more mindful about what they intend to make.
Make Nine 2018 runs for the entire year; you can choose to knit and/or sew projects. Again it is fabulous for discovering new designs, fabric, yarn and makers that you may not have otherwise met. It's also a great way showing off your own makes and meeting new friends. To join in, you first need to decide which patterns or designs are calling out to you (you might just begin with one or two patterns), then go ahead and start posting about them using the #makenine2018. Check out the #makenine2018 MAL here. This year I'm going to challenge myself to sewing a collection of nine garments. I haven't decided on all nine yet, but the designs pictured above are on the top of my list. They are (from L-R) Alder Shirtdress by Grainline Studio, Helmi Tunic Dress by Named, Arum by Deer and Doe, and Cupidon by I Am.
Are you joining in a year-long KAL/CAL/MAL this year? We would love to hear about it! Please post your comments below.