Organizing yourself up for a Crochet Along (CAL) is similar to setting up for any project, it just takes a little more work. Especially for one that results in a blanket.
What can be so hard? You find one you want to join, choose a yarn, a hook, and then get hooking right? Well most CAL’s last for several months to a whole year. They can have anywhere from 8 to 36 blocks. That means you need to be organized from the beginning or you will lose track of your progress, forget how you tweaked a block, what hook you are using, forget your plan on how to place the blocks, or worst of all you use the yarn for something else. But if you are organized from the beginning then you will be able to keep track of where you are, what you are doing, and know where everything is – and not accidently use up your yarn on something else.
After reading the guidelines I have decided to use the following materials:
· Caron One Pound Yarn. This is a good worsted weight yarn that is not only machine washable but has no dye lot. This is a bonus because I don’t have to try and guess how much yarn I am going to need for the whole blanket. If one pound of yarn isn’t enough then I can just go get another pound and be confident that it will match seamlessly. I am not even going to try and explain why having a machine washable blanket is a good idea.
· Clover J Hook with wide plastic handle. (These hooks are my favorite I use them when ever I can.)
· A plastic tote for storage. It is large enough to keep everything together and since it closes the neither my mermaid nor the cats can get in and play with my yarn.
My plan for keeping track of my CAL is
1. Go ahead and make a page for each square in my Yarn Journal. This way all of my notes are kept together in one place, and by labeling the pages now I make sure that they are all grouped together in the journal, instead of being spread out because I have added other notes. Nothing irritates me more than having to track down notes on a project in different parts of my book.
2. I am going to keep my yarn and blocks together in a plastic bin in my studio. I normally use a tote bag to keep my projects organized, however the size of my yarn means I need a large plastic tote. They are one pound balls of yarn, they take up a lot of room. A bonus of keeping everything in a tote is you can lay your squares flat under the yarn. This makes blocking easier later on.
3. I added the main page for the CAL to my favorites bar, and wrote down the web address in my yarn journal. Sure you think this is over kill, but has your computer crashed and you lost all your bookmarked pages? Or have you ever lost your yarn journal in a hospital? I have done both. Plus when it is late at night and I just want to find an answer quick a bookmark is a time saver.
4. I marked the publishing date for each square on my calendar. Life gets busy; you blink and lost 4 weeks before you realize it.
5. Joined the Ravelry and Facebook Groups. I love to see how other people place their colors, and are laying out their squares. Plus accountability.
6. Commit to finishing the square, writing my update, and posting it here and in the groups within 5 days of Moogly making it available. For me a 12×12 block takes me between one and two hours (without interruptions) so this is a good time line for me. Plus I already have my yarn so I can’t use that as an excuse.