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 starting in Simply Crochet issue 110
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. Subscribe to Simply Crochet today and you’ll receive a huge 14-ball bundle of WYS 100% British wool to complete the Magic Carpet CAL, worth over £90!
Starting on the 12th April 2021, the new Folk Tales Blanket crochet-along is a fantastic new 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 runs over 5 weeks, and features blocks of colourful squares with fun and entertaining stitch patterns.
Eleonora Tulley of Coastal Crochet designed one of our favourite crochet-along projects of 2020 with her Beachcombing CAL, and she’s done it again with her brand new crochet-along for 2021 – the Picnic on the Beach CAL! This beautiful blanket can be made in 2 colourways, Summer Picnic and Autumn Picnic. It started on the 26th February 2021 and runs for 8 weeks, so while we’re nearing the end now you can still get hold of the free patterns and colourpacks.
The Filet Fantastic crochet-along is a fun and exciting new CAL by Heather of Keep Calm and Crochet On! This stunning filet blanket CAL is 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!
Crochet-alongs don’t just have to be all about blankets, here’s one for you amigurumi fans! The Ricorumi Spring CAL sees a host of adorable animals take a roadtrip, and you can join them with the fabulous free patterns that are released over 9 weeks from the 19th March – but don’t miss out, the patterns are only available until 21st June 2021 on the Ricorumi website. Grab your Ricorumi yarn from Deramores, and share and follow @ricorumi on Instagram and don’t forget to share your complete crochet along projects using the hashtag #ricorumiCAL.
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 is already proving 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 will be 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.