MKG Cable Gram - Volume 21, Number 1
The explosion of blogs (weblogs, or online journals) has brought with it an explosion of knitting blogs. And with this explosion of knitting blogs has come another, one of knit-alongs.
Knit-alongs, where a group knits the same item simultaneously, certainly exist in the world of non-cyberspace, many of them with a focus on producing charitable comfort. Groups knit Sheila’s Shawls or bears for the Motherbear Project. Square by square, Afghans for Afghans are sewn together. This charitable knit-along spirit has been adopted by many on the internet; the two latest I have seen are the Dulaan Project (knitting warm items for children and adults in even-colder-than-Minnesota Mongolia) and the Red Scarf Project (red scarves are knit and sold to benefit Chinese orphanages). It doesn’t stop at charity knitting. There are knit-alongs for specific Rowan patterns, for the color green, for men’s sweaters. There’s a knit-along for those studying for the Knitter’s Guild of America Master Hand-Knitting program. I started a knit-along based on a book (Scarf Style, by Pam Allen, published by Interweave Press) because the idea of innovation seemed like a perfect match for the free-spirited vibe of internet knit-alongs.
The internet takes knit-alongs to a new level; within message boards or mailing lists, it takes just seconds to find someone else who fell in love with the latest pattern on www.knitty.com or in Interweave Knits. You’ll probably find ten someones, and before you know it, someone will be taking down names and tracking progress. Blogs make it even easier; multiple people can post messages with questions and photos.
This is where the true beauty of a knit-along lies: it’s not in the camaraderie or the finished product, but in having a fast knitter find mistakes, the ingenious knitter figuring out that a different decrease is more attractive, the texture-minded knitter trying out an unusual yarn. If you give ten knitters the same pattern, you’ll end up with ten different pieces at the end, and a knit-along lets you see them all.
Sit down, boot up, and start knitting with these resources:
The Mother Bear Project:
Afghans for Afghans:
The Dulaan Project:
Red Scarf Project:
Scarf Style Knit-Along: