If you’re wondering ‘what is a CAL?’ – well we’re not talking about calories or Californians, we’re talking about crochet-alongs! These fab crochet along projects are hugely popular among new and more experienced crocheters alike, as they encourage a real sense of community with fellow crocheters who are also making the same project.
Crochet-alongs are generally patterns for larger projects such as blankets, where the patterns are released in stages so that people can crochet the individual parts at the same time. Many CAL’s have associated hashtags or facebook groups so that people can share photo’s of their progress and completed crochet along projects. Lots of crochet-alongs are also available with accompanying yarn kits, so that you know you have all the yarn and colours to make your project from start to finish.
There’s loads of different CAL’s out there, and many of the patterns are free, so we’re taking a look at some of our favourite crochet-alongs that you can hook up in 2021!
New Magic Carpet CAL from Simply Crochet
In issue 110 we’re very excited to bring you the brand new Magic Carpet Throw crochet-along! Designed by Rosina Plane of Rosina Crochets using West Yorkshire Spinners ColourLab yarn, the throw is made using the mosaic crochet technique, which looks stunningly intricate but is easy to do. This fabulous crochet-along project runs over 7 parts, and in each part you’ll hook up two segments of the blanket using both the overlay and inset mosaic crochet techniques.
Deramores brought our a super-fun crochet-along for 2021 – the Safari Animal Blanket CAL! Designed by Helen Smith of EmKatCrochet, this fun crochet-along ran over 7 weeks starting on the 4th June 2021. We love the fantastic crochet safari animal faces, and we’re sure your little ones will love it too!
Starting on the 12th April 2021, the Folk Tales Blanket crochet-along was a fantastic CAL brought to you by Deramores. This colourful blanket designed by Anna Nikipirowicz uses the amazing West Yorkshire Spinners ColourLab DK yarn, an awesome 100% wool yarn with incredibly rich bright colours. The crochet-along ran over 5 weeks, and features blocks of colourful squares with fun and entertaining stitch patterns.
The Filet Fantastic crochet-along is a fun and exciting CAL by Heather of Keep Calm and Crochet On! This stunning filet blanket CAL was released in 12 parts, starting from the 5th March and running to the 28th May. The patterns are all free on Heathers website, and there are two colourways available using Scheepjes River Washed and Scheepjes Colour Crafter yarn. We love how this crochet-along really shows the stunning effects that can be achieved with filet crochet!
Granny Square Christmas Crochet along from David & Charles
Arts and crafts book publisher David & Charles have just launched an amazing Christmas Crochet-Along. It includes 24 amazing Christmas granny square patterns by top designers like Ira Rott, Sarah Shrimpton, Steffi Glaves, Lee Sartori, Esme Crick and more. Two patterns are released each week (you can find any you missed here), meaning you can have a wall hanging or lap blanket ready for Christmas day. It’s all in aid of the British Heart Foundation – the CAL is free to enter, but a small donation to the British Heart Foundation is greatly appreciated.
The Dreamy Lattice CAL was one of the early crochet-alongs of 2021 and has already come to an end, but you can still hook up this fantastic project! The Dreamy Lattice crochet-along by MijoCrochet ran over 6 weeks in February and March, and created this gorgeous shawl. Even when crochet-along projects have come to an end, they’re still well worth trying out as they make fun and engaging projects that you won’t get bored of thanks to the fact that they’re made up of different parts and sections.
Starting on the 21st April, the Sweet Blossom CAL from Sirdar proved hugely popular online! This pretty pastel blanket by Sue Rawlinson is designed to be a relaxing project that features 5 steps, and is perfect for crochet beginners and more experienced crocheters alike. The patterns are available for free, and yarn packs of the Sirdar Hayfield Bonus DK yarn are available, but don’t miss out, they’re selling fast!
We couldn’t help squeezing one more of our own previous CALs in! If you’re still relatively new to crochet, and maybe think some of these CAL’s look a bit difficult, then you should definitely check out the Hook ‘n’ Learn crochet-along! Designed by Lucy Croft and published in Simply Crochet during 2018, this 12 part crochet-along is a brilliant project for both beginners and ore experience crocheters. Each part of the blanket is made up of different stitches, so it’s a great way of widening your stitch repertoire! You can buy the full pattern, as well as finding plenty of handy tutorial videos and more on our Hook ‘n’ Learn crochet along post.