I’m a bit late to the party because I knew I wanted to write about knitalongs and my Hapalong project, but this is my initial post for A Playful Day’s April Love Your Blog Challenge: topical blogging during April.
The theme is interactions and community.
I love knitalongs.
I’m fortunate to have a robust, local fiber community around me, but it hasn’t staunched my love of a big, busy knitalong with the global community on Ravelry. It’s made me a much better knitter and I hope I’ve helped out others along the way, too.
Seeing the diversity of projects knit by makers following the same guidelines is magical. We’re all knitting the same thing, and yet, everyones’ project is unique. So many different personal aesthetics at play: color choices, gauge choices, wool breed choices…
Here are a few bits of advice I’ve gleaned from participating in many knitalongs over the years:
1. Find -alongs in Ravelry under the Groups tab/-alongs by craft. There’s something for most every size and interest. Whether you’d like to knit a pair of Nancy Bush socks every month, participate in the bigger shawl Mystery KALs like Westknits or Ysolda’s, spin club fiber from your favorite dyer along with other fans, or get a handle on your WIPs, there are likely other people on Ravelry who will do it along with you.
2. You don’t have to be a big extrovert to participate. I’m very introverted by nature, and my participation in KALs, initially, was pretty much a cast on post and a finished object post. I was a lurker. I’m a bit more social now, but if you’re not chatty by nature, don’t let it deter you from participating in a way that works for you. You’ll find more kindred spirits than you’d expect.
3. Want to learn a new skill? Try a knitalong. Whether it’s cables, lace knitting, socks, or spinning, KALs are often full of active participants who will help walk you through a new technique with encouragement and excitement. And tutorial videos and pictures. Yes, sometimes there’s snarkiness or drama, as there is IRL, but you’ll see a large number of problem solving posts in KAL forums. It’s one of the best parts of working on the same project with others, especially if you’re unsure of a technique.
4. If you don’t like how your project is knitting up, don’t finish it. (Unless you know someone who’d like it as a gift.) This is one of the risks of knitting a mystery project. You’re not obligated to supply an FO to anyone, it’s your KAL. Use your nice yarn for something you’ll love, not because you feel obligated to finish a project you don’t like.
Right now I’m knitting along with KnitBritish’s hapalong.
I wear lots of everyday shawls, and this project will be a welcome addition to my collection. I finished by center garter stitch triangle over the weekend, but am not in love with my contrast color choices, so I’m going to go back to the wheel and spin up some creamy colored Targhee to replace the bright white Corriedale shown below, and switch out the heathery yellow Alpaca for something more orange/peachy. I’m happy with the gray leftovers from my Brora Black shawl, and the dark purple Shetland/BFLX, tho. I’m excited to get to the stripey part!