What’s the difference between a class and a knitalong (KAL)? This question has come up a lot in my knitting life lately since I began offering both options since beginning to teach group classes earlier this year.
A knitting class is easy to define. Classes are situations where students will be learning specific knitting techniques, styles, or working through a complex pattern with the assistance of a hands-on teacher. There’s several ways classes can be taught. Some lead participants through a pattern row by row, step by step, others encourage a go-at-your-own-pace situation and will come to you as you reach a certain point and give individualized instruction. In both scenarios you’ll have a certain amount of homework to try to complete before the next session. I’m a fan of option two, with my own classes, I’ve seen a range of skill levels within the same class and feel that if I taught a row by row style class a more advanced student will inevitably get bored and shank me with a needle. I don’t need any extra holes in my body at this point.
Knitalongs are a different beast. KALs are group meetings where multiple participants will sign up to work on the same project togther, and if need be, help each other. KALs are an opportunity to work through a project you know is within your skill level but you may be a little nervous about, or just a project you think is awesome and would like to work along with peers. KALs typically do not offer the benefit of the dedicated teacher from a knitting class, in fact the KAL leader is most likely going to be sitting at the table working on their own version of the KAL project with you.
Hopefully that clears some things up.