If the answer to the question is 'no' then read no further! Otherwise ... read on!
Every job has its associated jargon and the worldwide knitting/crochet community is no different! We've already introduced you to the UFO (unfinished object) with our Sew up Saturdays. Now it is the turn of the CALs, KALs and MC/KALs. For the uninitiated the AL stands for A-long so we have Crochet-A-Long, Knit-A-Long and if pre-fixed by M they are Mystery Knit/Crochet-A-Longs.
CALs and KALs are a great way to learn new techniques and explore ideas that you might not have otherwise come across. Patterns are released step-by-step, with a minimum of a week between the parts and are often linked to a facebook group or YouTube videos for help with queries. The project is announced in advance with dates for when pattern parts and details of the yarns used and and there is often a linked facebook group. Crafters also post their progress on Ravelry so it's easy to find out more. These projects are a great way to link up with other crocheters and knitters and see how they are doing and whether they are following all the rules or going a bit off-piste either on pattern or colours. Yarns shops can produce a yarn pack for the project and will be happy to help with other colours or yarn options. The Mystery versions of CALs and KALs don't give any pictures in advance of the finished project so the design is a surprise -- one of my favourite MKALs is Follow Your Arrow shawl KAL by Ysolda Teague which gives different options at each stage so no two shawls will be alike.
So now you know what the jargon means why not give it a go? Our favourite crochet teacher Gaelle has been hosting a CAL through facebook for her lovely Sandrine shawl and we have been promoting the stunning Fruit Garden Blanket CAL by Janie Crow. The Fruit Garden CAL pattern is available on the Stylecraft website and we have the Naturals Bamboo Cotton yarn packs in stock. There are other stunning CALS from Stylecraft too and there will be a new one launching in July in a later post!
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Here we will share our experiences of running a local yarn shop in South Wales.