Very excited to be holding our first Knit Along (KAL) event this November.
It is often suggested to me to run courses and activities online & it's something I am quite hesitant about because it takes a lot of time, making, editing and posting a lot of content which is not something I have time for just now. But I can also see the benefits - reaching a wider audience for one - even if it is still a local one! In the Cairngorms each village may not be that physically far from one another but in the winter months, with unpredictable weather and darker nights, many of us don't want to travel too far. So having something that can be accessed from home can be a big benefit.
So a KAL seems like a nice compromise! It's not exactly a course or workshops but there are still learning opportunities to be had!
What is a KAL?
A Knit Along is essentially a group project - everyone works on the same pattern, in (roughly) the same timeframe and we share pictures, comments and tutorials as we go.
The structure of the KAL can be quite relaxed - "Here's a pattern, off you go, see you at the finish" - or quite organised, with the pattern remaining a mystery, divided into set parts, each one released on a certain date (see any Stephen West KAL!)
Personally I like a mix of the two - I am not yet 100% sold on the full mystery element - I like to know a bit about what I will be making! But having set deadlines for sections is actually very helpful for me & I find it very motivational.
Another thing I love about a KAL is seeing everyone's projects! Even though it's the same pattern, everyone's take on it is different - from colour and yarn choices, to little tweaks knitters make to the instructions to make it their own.
Then there is the community - which is the most important factor. You may have anyone join from complete knitting virgins to people with over 60 years experience and everyone has their own techniques, tips and contributions to the KAL as we go along. It's a safe space too - if you are a slow knitter (like me!) there's no pressure to keep up. If you decide halfway through you hate it & want to make something different but still share photos, that's awesome! And if you get really stuck (or can't decide on which colours to use!) then there's a group of people to go to for help.
Our November KAL
We are going to be making the Moonstone Plaid Blanket from Two of Wands - it's available as a free online pattern or you can buy an advert free PDF copy.
I've chosen this one for 3 reasons:
It's a simple pattern - firstly it's worked in garter stitch (knit on both sides) which is the easiest stitch for beginners to pick up. And secondly, it's a chunky knit so can be done quite quickly.
It's got interesting features - the plaid design and twisted rope tassels are nice additions and also easily done
You can never have too many blankets - I love being snuggled under a blanket! And if you do have too many then it's an ideal thing to give to someone as a Christmas present!
We will start the KAL on 1st November and you can follow along here or on our Facebook event page here