Day 26: Have you ever been a part, or wanted to be a part of a knit-a-long? What was it? If not, why?
I have always been fascinated by the idea of a Knit-A-Long (KAL). For those of you who might not know, a KAL is when a group of people get together and decide to knit the same pattern together. They would get together and talk about how their knitting is going, how the pattern is, how their yarn choice is, and other sort of knitting geekery. It is basically a modern version of a sewing circle or a quilting bee. Now that Ravelry is in the picture, you still have KALs, but they are all online and you can find very specific KALs for different things. The premise is still the same of people coming together and talking about what they are knitting and how they can knit things better. Generally, the whole thing is very social and very fun to do.
I have only been in three KALs and they were both on Ravelry in three very different groups. The first one that I ever participated in was in the Socks Knitters Anonymous (SKA) group. It is their year long Sockdown Challenge where there is a monthly theme, a featured designer, and sometimes a mystery sock (MOCK). The best thing about it is that it is completely optional each month. You don’t have to participate in the sockdown to be a part of the group, but it is a fun thing to do where everybody encourages everybody to challenge themselves and knit fancy socks. Of course, every time you complete a pair of socks for the challenge, you are automatically entered into a raffle to win a skein of nice sock yarn from a wonderful indie sock dyer or a nice indie project bag big enough to put a pair of socks in. It is normally something sock related.
The second KAL is another sock based KAL on the Knit Picks Lover group on Ravelry. It is their never-ending sock-a-long thread where everybody shares off their socks knit with either Knit Picks yarns or Knit Picks patterns. This thread has a different feeling than the SKA sockdown challenges because the one in the Knit Picks group is more like a show-and-tell thread. It is fun and encouraging seeing how a yarn that you like but may not have knits up while being able to share what you have made as well.
The third KAL is a little more complicated because it is a heavily themed one based on the wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter called Hogwarts at Ravelry. It is a complete group where you sign up to get sorted into one of the Hogwarts Houses, complete knitting projects for classes, and earn house points. All of the prizes are for bragging rights and everybody is really friendly with everybody. This one is something that you really need to experience to understand and if you love Harry Potter and like having deadlines for you knitting to help you get things done, then this is a wonderful group for you.
The only other KALs that I have been interested in are the ones that Jasmine and Gigi from the KnitMoreGirls podcast. Every once in a while they host a KAL with a specific theme or with a specific designer. Their KALs are always low key and have very chatty threads. They are more fun for me to linger in and read than to participate because I normally don’t want to go out and get the specific patterns that they are doing, but it is fun to watch everybody’s progress. And sometimes it is those threads that introduce me to a different designer that I fall in love with. So, it is always worth looking at even if you don’t intend to participate in them.