All crocheters have a secret bottom drawer full of woolly mistakes - projects started in good faith that fell by the wayside. Either the pattern was too complicated, or you ran out of the right yarn ... or life just happened. Well, if this is the story of your crocheting career, don't despair. CAL (crochet along projects) could be for you.
Lots of people sign up to make a project, usually involving squares, making one element every week or month until the scheme is finished. Peer pressure and a bit of competition can work wonders and help you get the whole thing finished this time around!
Watch the Rowan CAL video tutorial:
If you're interested in CAL projects, have a look online for the major manufacturers of yarn like Rowan (as above), Stylecraft, Red Heart and so on, who all offer supported crochet along projects, with tutorials, how-tos and more - and of course have lots of yarn for you to choose from.
If you prefer to be involved with a more independent CAL and you're not crazy about flowery themes, you could try Two Hearts Crochet, which has some amazing patterns celebrating Doctor Who, Harry Potter and Star Wars, among others. This amazing Hogwarts blanket features the Sorting Hat, Ron Weasley, Hedwig and Harry Potter himself:
One of the joys of the CAL projects is that no one expects you to finish everything all in one go. A CAL is a labor of love, spread over as many weeks (or months) as you need to take, with no rushing. The fact that your fellow crocheters will share their pictures of the finished result on social media does help, though, to add just enough sense of gentle competition to keep you working away to the end.
A favorite CAL of mine is the Hexagon crochet along organised by a group of bloggers. There are eight motifs to choose from, all reasonably simple, which you can make into a beautiful blanket - or a purse, a belt, a pillow, coasters or anything else you like. The flexibility of the outcome reflects the different ideas of all the eight crocheters involved, and there are plenty of pictures to show you what to do, how to do it and what to use it for when you've done it.
If you've never tried a CAL, why not give one a go - you could be saying goodbye forever to that pile of abandoned projects.