Sunday, August 31, 2008

Me and My CAL

This weekend marks the end of summer. Maybe it’s not the official end of summer, but the mental end. Though to me September always feels like a beginning. After the languid days of July and August, everything seems to start up again.

Some people think spring is full of promise. For me it’s the fall. I think of crisp days and changing leaves. That’s really a throwback to growing up in Chicago. In L.A., September is actually the hottest month and instead of looking for changing leaves, I’m still planting flowers.

I’m having a hard time getting a flow going on this blog entry. One of my cats, a huge black and white one named Rocky, keeps pestering me and knocking things around. Any second I expect him to come over the back of my chair and start hugging me. Yes, he does really hug me. He puts his front paws around my neck and purrs in my ear. He prefers it when my hair is loose. He likes to stick his paws in my hair and flip it around. He’s an unusual cat, at least compared to the other cats we’ve had. We adopted him along with his “sister” last March. He’s seven, she’s ten, so their already pretty set in their ways.

This isn’t supposed to be about my cats or my dog who was sick last week, but is now recovered. Or the blind dog that showed up in my driveway. Luckily, she had a collar with a phone number on it. The point I was on my way to was that I did start something. I joined a CAL. What’s a CAL, you ask? I didn’t know either the first time I saw the letters. Eventually I figured out it means Crochet Along. It seems like it should really be CA then, but I guess CAL looks better. Even knowing what the letters stood for, I still wasn’t sure what it was.

I noticed a group that meets in a library back east had done a Crochet Along with HOOKED ON MURDER. In that case, it appears the members all used the instructions for a granny square wash cloth I included in the book. Then they posted some of the final projects. I was pretty cool to see what they had made and know it came from my head.

The Crochet Along I joined is online through the Lions Brand yarn site. They showed a photo of the Crochet Along project which is a lovely afghan made up of squares. The whole thing is done in one color, but the stitches in the squares vary. I liked the idea of squares. They are portable and when you finish one you have a sense of accomplishment. Since I’m going to Chicago on Wednesday and like to crochet on the plane, the afghan squares seemed perfect.

They asked that you introduced yourself by leaving a posting. I left a posting the other day and the number next to it was something like 167. Now there are over a thousand postings of potential CALers. I read a lot of them. It turns out that many of them were already altering the kind of yarn and don’t plan to use the Fisherman’s Wool that I spent the afternoon looking for. Since it’s my first CAL, I didn’t know that you didn’t have to follow the rules or apparently the pattern either as some of the posters were going to change that, too.

Actually, there don’t seem to be any rules for the Lions Brand CAL. We all more or less make the same thing and then at the end there’s a chance to post a photo. During the CAL, there’s a chance to aks questions. I’m not sure with over a thousand people how that’s going to work. But it should be interesting. Many of the people who joined seemed to think it would give them the incentive to finish something. I guess I’m not the only one with a room full of unfinished projects. Uh oh, the cat is sitting behind me and looks like he’s getting ready to jump.

As a last thought - I will post a photo of whatever I have done of the afghan at the end of the CAL. I just hope it is more than one square.


Camille Minichino said...

CAL is such a great concept, Betty. I see so many possibilities, like SAL for Joanna, NAL for Monica, QAL (QUAL?) for Terri ...
I think we should start a HAL for Hobbies at our next conference.
Anyone ready to sign up?

Linda O. Johnston said...

I can identify with your pets and pet rescue taking over your blog, Betty. As I started to write this comment, my puppy Mystie leaped onto my lap and started hugging my face. Then she sat on me, staring, hoping to get my attention. Next, she started talking to me. Hard to type when my face is being squeezed.

I like CAL, too. PAL for me! And, Camille, HAL works for me as well.

Betty Hechtman said...

Camille: You forgot MAL for you.

Linda: Yes, it must be hard typing when you face is being squeezed. And hard not to stop writing and start cuddling. Last night Rocky the cat was apparently disgruntled that I didn't stop writing and in the middle of the night he started tossing my hair around and massaging my shoulders with his claws, which reminds me they need to be clipped.

Monica Ferris said...

Snaps sits on my desk and begins kneading my left, er, chest. When I stop typing to glare at him, he rises on his hind legs to lick my cheek. Sometimes I shove him onto the floor, but other times I pull him into my arms for a cuddle. Either way, he's a distraction. One of these days I'll remember to close my office door. NAL, good idea!