Knit-Alongs (KALs) are a frequent event on Ravelry. A group of knitters will decide to knit the same project at the same time. The benefits are obvious. Camaraderie. Allowing your fellows to encourage completion of the project. Knitters can decide to stretch their skills some and try a pattern that promises to be difficult. If they get stuck, there will be a boatload of knitters ready to bail them out.
My first ever KAL is Mindy Vasil’s Thinking Cap. Mindy’s pattern is available to download on Ravelry and Knitpicks for $1.99. She generously offered her pattern for free in August and it looks like about 55 Ravelers completed it. We used all sorts of yarns, but mine is Cascade 220 wool. Mindy calls it the Thinking Cap because “with the cog lace pattern, [you] put the wheels of your mind in motion.”
Some of us knitted it easily and quickly. We had stragglers and strugglers and I put me in the strugglers catagory. I made mistake after mistake, which is why mine is the Too Much Thinking Cap. The pattern is 100% correctly written, but apparently “cog lace” and I were not meant to have an easy relationship. Finally, I put in lifelines and matters smoothed out considerably. I knit one less row of cogs, which gives my cap quite a bit less slouch than the one Mindy designed.
A lifeline, for those who haven’t knit enough lace yet to know the term, involves threading a thin strand of floss of some sort through the stitches. Not through the stitch markers though, or else you anchor them permanently in that row. If you goof, you can rip back to the lifeline and still keep all your yarn overs intact. Clever. Knitters often use dental floss for their lifelines. That’s what I used. I’m going to have to buy some that isn’t mint flavored, though, and keep it in my knitting bag. My Too Much Thinking Cap still bears the scent of the dental floss. So does my knitting bag.