Wednesday, 7 January 2015

CALs and KALs

Well, it's another new year and for some reason I always feel as though it's a new start - even though I'm still doing the same things as last year. But like everyone, I have new plans, new ideas and new projects to get started on.

I've emptied my stash onto my spare bed (eek!!! do I really have that much yarn??) and this year I'm determined to reduce it to a more manageable level, as it's really getting out of control!!! This photo shows about half of my stash.

I was pondering what I can do with all my yarn when coincidentally there seems to be lots of CALs and KALs going on. If you're new to these acronyms, a CAL is a Crochet-a-long and and KAL is a Knit-a-long, where a designer produces a design that people can join in with. They may release the pattern all in one go and let you get on with it at your own pace, or they may release the pattern bit by bit. Because of the nature of a CAL or KAL, they are usually blankets.

The question is - which ones do I join - there seems so many (including one of my own which I will blog about separately).

I love the Secret Garden KAL in Let's Knit issue 88, designed by Sian Brown. You can find it here on ravelry:

and if you want to tweet your progress you can use #lksecretgarden on Twitter.

I love Rico yarns and Sian has designed her blanket in some very pretty shades of Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran. I'll be making mine in more muted tones, and in DK yarn, as I don't have enough Aran in my stash. I'll hopefully find a bright colour for a bit of spark. The blanket will be useful in my knitting demos and classes to demonstrate various techniques and also making up.

I'm also joining a CAL (Crochet-a-long), using up lots of oddments of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino that I have. I just hope I have enough. This CAL has been designed by Ali Campbell who is an expert crochet tutor, author and designer. Her CAL uses baby hexagon motifs and each one literally takes 10-15 minutes.You can join in if you like and the link for the pattern is here:

I've already made 12 (I got a bit carried away - plus I have a busy week this week so I thought 'd get a head start!!). I've just realised though that I have made a mistake in each hexagon as I failed to read the pattern properly - oops. I rushed in with all guns blazing and introduced an extra chain in between each of the 6 corner groups. Oh well, there's no going back now so I'll just have to make them all with the extra chains. I'm joining as I go and I'm also weaving in the ends once a week so that I don't have any nasty jobs to do at the end. Here's mine so far:

I'll keep you posted about my knit and crochet-a-longs and I have a knit-a-long of my very own that is being published any day now in Woman's Weekly Knitting and Crochet Magazine. I'll post more about that one when the yarn packs are available. What an exciting start to the year :)

Have a Fab and Crafty 2015 wherever you are xxx

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