Rise of the INDIE CAL
Simply Crochet|Issue 114
Big yarn brands aren’t the only ones to run crochet-alongs; independent designers are increasingly doing their own too. We find out what’s to love about an indie CAL
Colette Earley

Crochet-along aka CALs are an event that brings together numerous makers to crochet a project in tandem. A uniting and somewhat social activity, they are more popular than ever at the moment and with good reason. As more and more independent designers are releasing their own crochet-along, we thought we’d shine a spotlight on a few of our favourite makers to see what makes this activity so special.

GETTING STARTED

Heather Gibbs published her first crochet-along in 2015, inspired by one of Moogly’s CALs from the previous year. “I know myself well and knew the only way that I would ever keep up to date with a CAL was to run one myself,” says Heather. “And it worked! What’s more, lots of people decided to crochet-along with me – I couldn’t believe it. After the 2015 project, I was hooked on doing CALs. Since then, I have run a CAL pretty much every year.” Heather’s objectives when doing CALs are mostly to share a style or technique of crocheting, perhaps something that people might not have tried before. “I love the engagement with my audience that a CAL brings, it’s much more of a social occasion than just releasing a ‘normal’ pattern into the world,” she says.

CALs come in another form – a make-along or a MAL. A MAL is when a specific pattern is released with all of the details required to make the design, along with a specific start date for everyone to begin their project, together. “Then, unlike a crochet-along where you often have segments of the pattern released over a number of weeks, you have the pattern in full with just an end date to make it by,” explains Heather. “It’s a relaxed way to make a project as you can work at your own pace, but there is a deadline to hold you accountable should you need one. I think both CALs and MALs are fun to do and it would perhaps just be a person’s preference on how they like to crochet that decides whether they choose a CAL or a MAL.”

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