Guest blogger, Sally Seed
When The Fibre Co.’s founder, Daphne, asked me to write about the Brenna KAL, I had to admit to total ignorance. What’s a KAL? And, even with the abbreviation explained, what’s a Knitalong – or should it be Knit Along?
My first thoughts were that a KAL would feature someone knitting the full pattern with a video camera running and chatting about the project to people who were watching online via Ravelry – but it’s much more interactive than that. And, as I’ve learnt, it’s not all in one go either. A Knit Along is very much about taking time to enjoy the creative process and picking up new ideas as you go along.So, what IS a Knitalong? It’s a thread of posts and comments, often with images, from a group of people who are all tackling the same project. You can join whenever you like, post as little or as much as you prefer and read how others are doing before you hit the trickier bits! I’d say it’s a great way to find the ideas, reassurance and any help that knitters need as well as a way of feeling part of a friendly group, sharing their enjoyment along the way.
I’m loving seeing the Brenna KAL Ravelry thread develop with pictures of different people’s colourways and comments about the “bobbly bits” and casting on methods and other really practical aspects of knitting the Brenna cowl. Many are adding their images to Instagram using the #tfcautumnkickoff hastag too.The technology is bringing together knitters from the USA, UK and Australia to share progress, ask about any problems and see how others are adapting the pattern and using The Fibre Co.’s Cumbria yarn and colourways. There is also a German language thread on Ravelry. And having Emma Wright, the Brenna cowl designer, posting gives a real insight into her techniques, ideas and the whole story of why the design is as it is – and how to vary it.If you’re not already knitting along, it’s recommended!The Fibre Co. is planning to run more KALs in future, ideally one each season. The aim is to build a friendly community that’s like the best of knitting circles with knitters of all abilities working through a beautiful design together, learning from the designer and each other and, of course, sharing a love of great yarn from The Fibre Co.
We’d be interested to know whether you knit with friends or join in on KALS? Or do you do both and for different reasons? Please let us know.