What’s a KAL

20151027_060731_resizedSometimes even though I love knitting, I just don’t know what I want to make. I think about the yarn I have, the projects I have stored up, people in my life, and none of it wants to come together into a project. That’s where KAL projects can be a great filler. There are all sorts of them, for every type of knitter. “KAL” means “knit along” – and it’s typically a project you (gasp) knit along with others. This allows you to have discussions about the piece, get help, show off your progress and all the rest. Even though you’re all making the same project, using different types of yarn and having different sets of skills and tensions creates very different projects. I spent some time looking through the Ravelry groups and eventually settled on “Beginner’s Knit-Along” which is an active group with quite a few members. They have three types of knit along projects. Special KALs, Monthly KALs, and Mini KALs. The patterns are all free, and they keep the old ones up in the group so there’s no required ‘end date’ you can take as long as you want, you can begin the project when ever you want, and you can choose whichever project you’d like. I like this method quite a bit. It’s a great friendly place for beginners, and you’ll learn lots of skills. The first thing I decided to do was the mini KAL 2 for October, which is the lace headband that I’m wearing in the picture on this post (apologies for the quality, the bathroom mirror is not the prettiest place to take a picture). It was a very easy piece to knit up, it only took an evening. It fits well, stretches, and taught me that I’ve been doing my SSK stitches wrong. The mini KAL can be found here, it’s called February Lady Lace Headband. I’m trying to be a bit more social, knitting is a great activity and it’s nice to meet like-minded folks of all ages. I know previously knitting was seen as something only grandmothers did, but these days people of all ages are getting involved. Especially now that there has been some studies released about the benefits of knitting.

Some of the KAL projects seem a bit too advanced for me at this time – but I can’t wait to dive in. I WANT to keep challenging myself, I want to keep knitting bigger and ‘better’ projects, and getting more complex. I would also like to learn to read charts properly, for now I still go by text instructions, which is fine, but being able to read charts is also important. There’s a vote up for the project for November, it looks like the hat is winning out at this time, but that could change. In the meantime, I am still working on my cable scarf. I’ve finished the first skein and it’s a bit over two feet long, I’m aiming for a scarf 5 feet long (general rule of thumb is that scarves should be as long as the wearer is tall) as a Christmas gift. I should be able to get it done in plenty of time. It’s also time to cast on another pair of socks! This time I’m knitting them in a worsted weight yarn, so I need to re-make a gauge swatch so I know what size needles to use. I’m guessing I’ll need to get down to a size 1 or so to make gauge, but we’ll see.

Happy knitting!

 


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