Have you ever participated in a CAL (crochet along)?  Neither have I.  Oh, a bunch of readers will have participated in them.  I can’t really determine how I feel about them.  The Mystery CAL’s seem like they might be more interesting than a ‘regular’ CAL.  I’m not quite sure what benefits there might be for a CAL.

This is the first motif in a Lion Brand CAL that I just received information about.

CAL motif  0909Aside from the fact that I don’t want to join motifs, I find this hexagon to be quite pretty.  Don’t know where this CAL is headed – if it’ll be an afghan, scarf, or garment.  I’d have to sign on every Thursday to find out.

Therein lies the rub.  I won’t remember on Thursday.  Will you?  Yeah, I know I could maybe figure out how to use the calendar feature on my browser and have it remind me – but I’d probably have piles of other work to do on Thursday and would overlook the reminder.

My friend Ronnie has made several interesting things on CAL’s.  The latest of her projects that I’ve seen turned out a unique, very smart cardi-wrap that I would like to make.  But, it was a Mystery CAL, so since I didn’t know which way it was headed, I woudn’t consider joining.

So, what are the pros and cons of CAL’s.  Let me here from YOU!


  1. says

    I don’t particularly like CAL’s or KAL’s due to the fact that 1: I’ve seen too many errors during the process. Therefore when that happens you have to wait for the errata and start again. 2: You don’t know what you’re making, so it might not be something you want to make, nor do you even have a clue as to what it’s supposed to be, so have no idea if you’re on track with the directions given. Too many mysteries for my taste. If I’m interested in the slightest, I wait till the whole pattern has been posted with photos before I decide to actually make the project or not.

  2. Enid says

    I’ve just started on CAL’s. The first one I totally enjoyed (maybe because I suggested the doily to use)… lol
    The CAL’s make sure that I get done with the project instead of keeping starting new ones. The fact that you are supposed to show your progress makes for interesting discussions. And also, if you have a problem with a pattern, then everyone is on the same page.

  3. Wendy says

    I agree, the hexagon is very pretty though not my favorite color combo. I would be much more likely to join if I knew which way it was heading. The colors I would use for a scarf are very different from what I would use for a afghan which are very different from what I would use for a sweater. And how the heck do you know how much yarn to buy?? BTW – I would love to see the cardi-wrap pattern

  4. Ronnie says

    As you may have gathered…I’m addicted to CALs…especially the mystery ones.

    I look at them as an opportunity to test patterns, to give the designer/host input on the pattern, to review different pattern writing techniques/phrases/styles.

    And then comes the unveiling…seeing the pattern done in different colors or yarns is very exciting…

  5. Cheri says

    A few years back I participated in two crochet-a-longs for Irish Crochet butterflies, and we used antique patterns that were supplied to us by the group’s owner. We could post questions, or suggestions, to the group; and it was a big help to read other peoples comments about how they were solving the Irish Crochet problems they were encountering. I gleaned some very helpful tips at how to master the Irish Crochet padding cords that I had never used before. It was wonderful to see the photos of the finished butterflies that others had created. The knowledge that I gained about Irish Crochet was definitely worth me joining the crochet-a-long.

  6. says

    I do NOT participate in any crafts-alongs. I want to see the whole project, with a picture, and preferably schematics, before I start so I know where I’m heading. As a previous poster said– I want to know if it’s going to be something I want to make in the first place, and “one row a day” is not my way of crocheting (or anything else). I don’t like working “blind”- the “discovery” aspect is usually disappointing IMO, no better than the current “prizes” in Cracker Jack boxes.

  7. lee ann beausejour says

    except when you have a designer of the caliber Ronnie seems to hit on (hi /ronnie) I don’t do cals either but I admire those who have the courage to do so.

  8. Sabrina says

    I have only ever done one crochet along, and I am currently participating in it. I have really enjoyed doing this crochet along as it has helped me with some techniques, and also helped me learn to more efficiently plan my time, and I know I can always go and ask someone in the crochet along what to do if I get stuck. It is kind of fun to see everyone do the same project, but all with different colors and yarns. I am most excited to see everyones finished afghans (we are crocheting one 12″ Granny Square per month). I joined the block a month crochet along because it is NOT a mystery crochet along, so you know what you are crocheting, and they give you alternative squares to do as well. I would definitely recommend that everyone get out there and join at least one crochet along if you have never done one before.

  9. Marilyn says

    I have never participated in a CAL, but just signed up to have new ones sent to me. I would like to try one, but not a mystery. Those of us who are seniors with no children & no babies to crochet for would not always want to crochet another granny afghan…couldn’t begin to tell you how many of those I have made. I would love to try one for a cardigan sweater for myself or for socks you can wear with shoes. Thanks for the question.

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