Posted on 9-12-2021 by Janita van Rijnsbergen
Even if you've only just started crocheting or knitting, you've probably come across the term CAL or KAL. But what exactly is a CAL / KAL and why do fellow makers get so excited when they hear these terms? Yarnplaza explains all, with a list of the best CALs / KALs for you to join.
What is a CAL / KAL?
They might sound the same, but there is a difference. CAL with a ‘c’ is the abbreviation of Crochet-Along. KAL with a ‘k’ stands for Knit-Along. Think ‘sing-along’, but with yarn!
In practice, during a CAL or KAL, you and lots of other crochet or knitting fans work alongside each other on the same project at the same time. One of the most popular projects to make is a blanket, but there are also lots of great CALs / KALs for garments, accessories, and even amigurumi. There are even mystery CALs / KALs, so-called MCALs / MKALs, where the end result of what you are making is a surprise.
With a CAL / KAL, the pattern of your crochet or knitting project is published in installments. Take, for example, our upcoming Dream Blanket 6.0 CAL/KAL. Starting on January 11, 2022, we will release the patterns in 10 parts over the course of 10 weeks, with a new installment going live every Tuesday at 12:00 (CET). Although you have a general idea of what the finished blanket will look like, the pattern each week is still a surprise, and your project will grow a little bit more as each week goes by.
And by the way, it is usually possible to join a CAL/KAL part way through or even after the official CAL/KAL is over. In both cases, you simply knit or crochet the project at your own pace.
Join a CAL / KAL… DO IT!
Maybe you’re still on the fence whether a CAL / KAL is something for you. Let us convince you:
1. Learn new stitches and techniques; this is often the most important reason for taking part in a CAL / KAL. A Crochet-Along or Knit-Along usually comes with video tutorials to help you tackle each part of the pattern. Ideal if you’re looking to upgrade your knitting or crochet skills.
2. After such a long period of social distancing, nothing beats working alongside others on a project. Not only will you make great friends and inspire one another, but you will find that the maker community is always willing to help you out if you get stuck or need advice. Most CALs / KALs have a dedicated support group, either on Facebook or Ravelry.
3. Do you struggle getting projects over the finished line? Then we highly recommend joining a CAL / KAL! You will want to keep up with your mom or friends working on the same project. You will want to have the previous installment done and dusted in time for the new one. And you will want to share your progress with others and show off your beautiful project. Basically, a CAL / KAL comes with built-in incentives to ensure this new project does not end up on your WIP (work-in-progress) pile.
4. Unwrap a present every week! That’s exactly how it feels whenever a new part of the pattern appears in your inbox. It’s a gift that keeps on giving for weeks, and sometimes even months!
The best CALs / KALs in a row | Our top 10
1. Dream Blanket 6.0 CAL and KAL
The news is out: Dream Blanket 6.0 is starting soon! Both the CAL and KAL of this mosaic masterpiece begin on 11 January 2022. You can either knit (KAL) or crochet (CAL) the blanket in the respective mosaic techniques that are clearly explained in the patterns and demonstrated in the video tutorials. You can order your crochet or knitting kit now in 10 different colorways. A fantastic gift for the holidays!
2. Temperature Blanket CAL
A very special CAL designed by Rosina Plane that kicks off on 1 January 2022! This treat of a CAL will run all year long and you will crochet a mosaic blanket recording the daily temperatures of wherever you live in pre-determined colors. For a whole year! This means that each blanket will be completely unique. It doesn’t get more exciting than that.
2. Dream Blanket 5.0 CAL or KAL
Our Dream Blanket 5.0 is also available as to knit or crochet. These blankets feature filet crochet and lace knitting, techniques used to create the eyelet motifs that give them their stylish look. Because Dream Blanket 5.0 is knitted or crocheted in just one color, the stitches really get a chance to shine, plus it makes it much easier to create a blanket that fits in seamlessly with the rest of your décor. Each installment of both patterns is supported by an in-depth video tutorial.
4. Chasing Sunsets CAL
Our first clothing CAL was an immediate success! Liefs van Suus designed a very trendy cardigan that we enjoyed crocheting together over the course of five weeks. When you order the crochet kit or pattern now, you will receive all five parts in one go. That means you will be able to hook up your new showstopper in time for the holidays!
5. Katia Equinozio KAL
Hot off the press: The Katia Equinozio KAL. You can now order the yarn pack for this KAL from Katia in our webshop. The Italian sisters, Alessia and Fabia, behind the popular Instagram account @_knittingforbreakfast_ will teach you how to knit jacquard, cables, textured diamonds, bobbles, stripes, and openwork stitches. The result is a large shawl featuring lots of gorgeous motifs. The KAL starts on 22 January 2022 and can be followed via the Katia Facebook group.
6. Yarn and Colors Must-Have Mini CAL 1
Last summer, Yarn and Colors treated us to a tropical surprise. During their mystery CAL, we crocheted all sorts of fruit, resulting in a brightly colored fruit basket. All the free patterns are still available on the Yarn and Colors blog. Simply purchase the yarn kit (complete with crochet hook and scissors!) at Yarnplaza.
7. Yarn and Colors Must-Have Mini CAL 2
Following the success of their tutti frutti basket, Yarn and Colors launched a veggie CAL this fall. Perfect for your kids’ play kitchen, for example. The CAL is now over, but you can still find all the vegetable crochet patterns on the Yarn and Colors blog. Order your yarn kit and join the fun!
8. Katia Nana CAL
Good luck resisting the magic of granny squares when you see the Katia Nana Baby Blanket. During this Crochet-Along from Katia, over a few short weeks, you will crochet a treat of a blanket in sweet pastel shades. The soft blanket is made with 25 unique granny squares. They are all crocheted with Katia Cotton-Merino, a wonderful yarn made from organic cotton and extra-fine merino wool. The CAL started on 17 November 2021 and can be followed via the Facebookgroep Crochet-Along Katia in 6 different languages. Order your yarn kit at Yarnplaza to crochet along!
9. Yarnplaza Socks KAL
Learn how to knit socks with this free online course. In just 7 weeks, we will teach you how to knit the perfect pair of socks, from cuff to toe and everything in between. As the KAL is over, you can follow the course at your own pace. The accessories kits come with all the tools you need to get started on this KAL.
10. Letitia’s Blanket CAL
Two super popular CALs from Stylecraft are the Letitia’s Garden Blanket CAL and the Letitia’s Holiday Blanket CAL. A summery blanket full of flowers or a warm blanket with classic Christmas motifs; the choice is yours! Both blankets are designed by Rosina Plane and the patterns (US & UK terms) are available in her Ravelry Store. As a Stylecraft Star Dealer, you can shop the kits for both mosaic blankets in all the original colorways at Yarnplaza.