6 reasons why we love knitalongs

We love a good knit along. Who doesn’t? There are so many reasons why they’re so popular among us knitters and crocheters.

Here at Olann and, we’ve run three knitalongs (KAL) and have just come to the end of our very first crochetalong (CAL) – the Criss Cross shawl. Our KALs have been: the Nellie May shawl, the Marshmallow Hot Chocolate shawl and the Sunshine and Sprinkles cowl. They’ve proven very popular among our readers, and we love the buzz in our Ravelry threads. It’s lovely too to see everyone’s finished objects and to be on hand if and when people need to ask us a question or get our opinion on yarn or colours.

We definitely plan on running some more KALs in the coming year so stay tuned. In the meantime, here are 6 reasons why we love a good KAL.

They create a mini community

We know knitters and crocheters are already part of a large crafting community, but KALs and CALs create small sub-communities all focused on one design. Through Ravelry group chats or via social media people who participate in KALs can keep up with the chatter, how people are getting on and check for any updates. These smaller groups give us the opportunity to virtually meet new people, get to know designers and find knitters or crocheters close to you that you may not already know.

You can learn new techniques

It can be daunting sometimes to try new knitting or crochet techniques. We all have our own comfort zones, whether it’s scarves or socks, but KALs can often be the impetus to let you explore new stitches or techniques such as lace, cables and brioche, safe in the knowledge that there’s a whole group of people making the same design that you can turn to if you get stuck (which leads me nicely to my next benefit).

You can troubleshoot with others

Thanks to the virtual KAL community you’re now part of, you can take the opportunity to troubleshoot a particular complicated technique. We knitters are a helpful bunch and we love being able to give people a hand if they’re stuck. In that way, KALs can be a great learning ground for those taking part.

You get inspired by others’ colourways and yarn choices

KALs can also be a great place to get inspired. You get to see everyone’s colour and yarn choices. You might see an interesting colour combination that you would never have considered or discover a new-to-you yarn. It can really open your eyes to the possibilities out there. Seeing a finished object knit up in a certain colourway, using a certain yarn and hearing how that yarn behaves, seeing how the colours work together, is a great opportunity to expand your own horizons.

Mystery KALs – sense of anticipation

And then there are mystery KALs. These are knitalongs where the steps or different phases of a design are fed out to participants on a phased basis. The Starting Point by Joji Locatelli is a good example of a much-loved mystery KAL. We all love a bit of mystery, and KALs are no different, phased clues create a sense of anticipation and excitement, and not knowing exactly what you’re making just adds to the fun of it all.

You’re pushed to finish within a set deadline

Of course, with all KALs there is a deadline. For people like me, who has built up quite a number of UFOs (unfinished objects!), deadlines are ideal. It puts a firm end date on the project, and gives you that little kick you need to keep going.

What do you love about KALs or CALs. Are you taking part in any at the moment? What was your favourite ever KAL?