Knitters, like every other group, have their own language. There’s technical jargon like “M1R, and “10-stitch, 12-row repeat,” and there are cutesy phrases we use just for fun - think frogging and tink*.
We use those words because we assume everyone knows what we mean, and for the most part, everyone does. But newer knitters, or knitters who don’t have a knitting community may not, so these are like an inside joke that can feel exclusionary. No one wants that. Especially me, when my goal is to make sure everyone knows they arealways welcome here.
While I’m not so big on the cutesy phrases, I am as guilty as anyone in using the term KAL without fully explaining what it is. That’s what this post is about. There’s also a lot of confusion about the term because there are so many ways a KAL can be run, so let’s take a look.
The concept of a knitalong evolved around the early 2000s when knitting had its resurgence and the internet began to connect a community of knitters. Through the web they shared thoughts, ideas, patterns, and projects, giving birth to the knitalong.
What is a knitalong
In its broadest sense, a knitalong is an organized system through which many knitters knit the same project during a given period of time, sharing their progress and experience. There is usually a leader who might be a little bit ahead of the others, and answers questions others might have. There are typically knitters of varying experience levels involved. More experienced knitters often help out less experienced knitters.
Why would you want to do a knitalong?
The knitalong ABCs
A - Accountability
Since there are others knitting the same thing, you feel like you want to keep up at some level. There will always be knitters who are faster than you or who have more free time to knit, and they will likely finish before you. There will be other knitters who are behind you. Both are okay. The leader will have regular check-ins or knitting times which can help keep you on track.
B- Building Skills
Regardless of where we are in our knitting, there is always something to learn. During a knitalong, you are likely to see different ways of accomplishing something, or be introduced to a new technique. You may be a new knitter and feel anxious about reading a pattern or performing some of the stitches used in the pattern. With a knitalong, you have the safety of other knitters who can help you learn. Experienced knitters enjoy the opportunity to pay it forward and help others learn, as someone helped them in the past. It’s quite lovely how that works.
C - Camaraderie
Lots of knitters join knitalongs just for the opportunity to spend time with other knitters and make new connections. A knitalong is a mini community you join just for the fun of knitting with others. You will meet a lot of wonderful people and make new friends.
We do quite a few knitalongs at Crazy for Ewe. Sometimes they’re planned, like the Walking in Shade Shawl KAL Mary is doing for everyone who purchased that kit, Sometimes they’re pop-up knitalongs. Someone finds a pattern and decides they absolutely have to knit it, and everyone at the table decides they absolutely have to knit it too. This usually happens on Monday nights with Jenny! Super fun. They just started a knitalong for theMain Squeeze Cardigan by Jen Geigley, who we just happened to meet in Vogue Knitting Live. If you’re interested, go grab the pattern and someRowan Big Wool, and head to the shop Monday nights.
For the Agave knitalong, I am doing it virtually. I’ll be in the shop, but we’ll be live-streaming on YouTube and Facebook. This way the information will be accessible long after the knitalong is over for anyone who needs a little more time or decides later to get in on the action.
I’m thrilled to have designer Georgia Farrell participate in the Agave KAL. She’ll be live at the kick-off, and maybe at other sessions, as her schedule allows, so that will be really special.
If you haven’t gotten your Agave materials yet, head overhere and see the kits I have in three different color options. There’s also size information. Take a look at the finished bust measurements - there’s quite a bit of ease, so please take that into consideration when you’re choosing a size.
If you want to go off-road, you can also put together your own color combination - just choose thecolors of Tweed Hazeyou like and order according to the size and quantities on the Agave kit pagehere.
I hope you’ll join us for the Agave KAL, but if not for this one, then for another one in the future. I look forward to seeing you soon. You are always welcome here.
*tink means to take your knitting out stitch by stitch. It is knit spelled backwards
*frogging is to take your knitting off your needles and pull the stitches out - to rip it out - rip it rip it rip it - like a frog says. 🙂
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