About Me

Arizona, United States
I'm a work-at-home mom who enjoys the beautiful sunsets here in the high desert.

My Designs

For the free patterns for these afghan squares I designed for My Reading Afghan, click here.

My Recently Completed Projects

On The Hook

Ravelry CAL Afghan 1 in progress
Ravelry CAL Afghan 1

Ravelry CAL Afghan 2 in progress
Ravelry CAL Afghan 2

Ravelry CAL Afghan 3 in progress (squares 1-4)Ravelry CAL Afghan 3 in progress (squares 5-8)
Ravelry CAL Afghan 3

Ravelry CAL Afghan 4 in progress (squares 1-4)Ravelry CAL Afghan 4 in progress (squares 5-8)
Ravelry CAL Afghan 4

Ravelry CAL Afghan 5 in progress (squares 1-4)Ravelry CAL Afghan 5 in progress (squares 5-8)
Ravelry CAL Afghan 5

Ravelry CAL Afghan 6 in progress (squares 1-4)Ravelry CAL Afghan 6 in progress (squares 5-8)
Ravelry CAL Afghan 6

Ravelry CAL Afghan 7 in progress (squares 1-4)Ravelry CAL Afghan 7 in progress (squares 5-8)
Ravelry CAL Afghan--Flower Burst 7ARavelry CAL Afghan--Flower Burst 7B
Ravelry CAL Afghan 7

Ravelry CAL Afghan 8 in progress
Ravelry CAL Afghan 8

Ravelry CAL Afghan Blocks:
Dream Catcher
Cross My Heart
Chocolate Delight
Flower Burst

Sunday, February 10, 2008

CALs and KALs

CALs and KALs: CAL stands for crochet-a-long, meaning a group of people are crocheting the same project in roughly the same time frame. KAL is the term for the same thing for knitting projects. CALs and KALs turn what is usually a solitary activity into a group activity, somewhat like the old quilting bees, and because of the internet we can share with each other online. In addition to the social aspect of talking about the project we're working on with others who are working on the same project, it's a perfect way to get help if you run into any problems like if you're not sure about the pattern instructions and whether you're following them correctly. My favorite part of CALs and KALs is being able to see everyone's project developing and all the different ways people end up doing the same project. It's very inspiring to see all the different color combinations, and in the case of motif-type afghans--the different placement of the squares, fillers used, different types of joinings and all kinds of borders. I'm currently participating in CALs/KALs for the following projects:

The Great North American Afghan
The Ravelry Book Club Afghan
Jeanie (shawl)
Pinwheel Sweater
The Ravelry CAL Afghan

All of these CAL/KAL groups are on Ravelry. I'll also be joining in KALs for The Great American Afghan and The Great American Aran Afghan as soon as I get started on those. In the meantime, I love looking at the pictures of everyone else's projects.

The Ravelry CAL Afghans: This group on Ravelry is a block-a-month group, where there is a featured block for each month that we all crochet during that month. This past week I decided to make multiples of these blocks in order to make more than one afghan. So far, I have gathered the yarn for five different colorways, thus the makings of five different afghans. (Thank you to my two youngest daughters and husband for helping me figure out the best color combinations!) I'm hoping to come up with at least two more colorways for a total of seven afghans to result from this CAL. Last night I finished a Dreamcatcher block (January's block) in Shaded Browns and will be working on completing the same block in the other colorways until I have all five Dreamcatcher blocks completed. Then I'll start on February's block (called Cross My Heart) in all five of the colorways I currently have. I thought this would be a less boring way to get more afghans finished. Making the same block in different colors is less boring than making the same block over and over in the same colors. Also, making a different block each month is fun to anticipate and a welcome change from the previous block.

The Ravelry Book Club Afghan: This is most likely going to be my afghan because it won't really have any meaning to anyone but me and my fellow Ravelry Book Club members. Each square is designed to represent one of the books we've read. So far, that has been three books since the inception of the group. We're currently reading our fourth book. There is an afghan square design contest for each book. So far, I won the contest for the first book by being the only one who submitted an entry! It looks like I'm the only one who submitted an entry for the second book as well, and the deadline for entries on that one was yesterday. Our third book, however, has three entries so far and could get more since the deadline isn't until March 29. I'm hoping that a lot more people will submit their designs because the more squares I can make, the faster my afghan will get done.

Knitting and Crocheting Organization: Because I generally have several WIPs (works in progress) at a time, I decided to come up with a system of keeping track of my progress with each one. I found some old neon-colored 3 x 5 index cards in my desk and put all the particulars for each WIP on its own card. Ravelry uses a percentage system to keep track of progress and I do the same here on my blog (see the progress bars in the left-hand column for each WIP), so I figured out all these percentages for each project and wrote them down on the index cards. Now that all the math is done, all I have to do is look at the card and see that if I get to row such-and-such or finish half of a sleeve or whatever the case may be, the project will be a certain percentage completed and I can advance my progress bars accordingly. I am using these cards as a way of making steady progress on all of my WIPs as well. As soon as I reach the next percentage place on the card, I rotate to another WIP, check its card and do the same. These short-term goals are helping me to make progress on the projects that tend to get boring for me. I know that I only have to work on it until the next percentage, and then I can move on to a different project. That way the projects that seem 'endless' are less overwhelming, and I can feel a sense of accomplishment with each percentage point I reach.



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