Hiya Bonnie, n welcome to the party
KAL means Knit A Long. A bunch of people are working for the most part on the same pattern and it's really kewl to be able to chat with someone doing the same item. Not to mention if one person has hit a rough spot then someone else who's already done that part can help.
There are also CAL's Crochet A Longs.
Also would like to point out that some kal's all do the same pattern or some do the same item like socks or scarves or sweaters etc. Not the same pattern though.
It's actually quite fun and you do meet lots of kewl peeps with something in common.