Crochet Along and Crochet Alone


Remember I told you I was joining in with a CAL (crochet along), where a new section is added each month for twelve months?

 Or perhaps you have a life?

Nevertheless, I promised you puff stitch and here it is in the section for June which has been crocheted directly on top of  the section for May which is the way of these things I believe.

This is the ‘Sunshine and Showers’ CAL from Jane Crow –  first issued monthly in a magazine last year and now available for free on Jane’s blog.

I am still a beginner really so I thought this would teach me some new skills.

This month I learnt how to do flower stems, puff stitch,  crochet into front of loop, crochet into back of loop to name just a few thrills and spills.  Nobody can say I don’t know how to live.

See the turquoise row? Well that had me foxed because it comes out as a sort of separate strand on the wrong side of the work at first and I didn’t think that was right so I undid it all and tried it a different way which, of course, was wrong.  Eventually I found a photograph of the back of the work on somebody’s Ravelry project and realised I had done it correctly the first time.  So, it would have been useful to have been given a ‘rear view’ for this particular row in the otherwise very detailed tutorial.  Still, I got there in the end and am almost finished the second, identical piece ready to add on the next bit when it is issued next month.

With all these different stitches, colour changes and my inexperience, I am worrying about the edges of the blanket becoming wavy – a problem some other people have mentioned on Ravelry.  I know this yarn is acrylic but I’m sort of blocking it as I finish each section – i.e. spraying it with some water and pinning it to size – hoping it will limit the waviness somewhat.

It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago and I had put two crochet books on my list which my daughter obliged me with so look out for amigurumi monsters and faux taxidermy which might, or might not, be flying off my hook some time in the future – although it will probably not be the near future.  I am finding the zebra’s head a little intimidating so I might start with the mouse’s head as, with all the cats around here,  it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a life model should I need one – although there probably wouldn’t be much life left in it by the time I got to it 😦   Still, they haven’t dragged a zebra through the cat flap yet so I’ll have to make do.


You might remember that I started a ‘fusion’ blanket a while ago which is a sort of fabric/crochet hybrid.  Squares of fabric with wadding in between and each square surrounded by a border of crochet.  I thought it would be a good portable project to do with my sewing buddy on Wednesday afternoons.  I haven’t been doing any of it at home – apart from sewing the fabric ‘sandwiches’ together –  saving it for Wednesdays.  She however forged ahead without me which is why my work still looks more or less like this……

…..and hers looks like this

This is a proposed layout, just needs whip stitching together then an outer crochet border added.  Still, it’s so pretty that it has encouraged me to get on with mine and stop moaning about the splitty cotton yarn I’m using and the 2.5mm crochet hook which both come as a shock after using a 4mm hook and DK yarn on the two other blankets I’m working on.

As a bit of a diversion from all things crochet I had a commission for one of my étui cartonnage boxes but not a hexagonal one this time.  A previous client asked me for one of the small boxes I make which was quite a relief as I’ve lost my box making mojo at the moment – I’m sure you know the feeling 😉 .  Anyway, her brief was brief but rabbits were mentioned.

So, here be rabbits

with some floral goings on inside


Off to the hairdressers in a minute to ‘have my roots done’ and when you see the photos of me in my next post you will understand why.




, , , , , ,

  1. #1 by The Snail of Happiness on June 29, 2017 - 18:06

    Tell Jane Crow about the need for an additional photo of the back of the row – it’s really easy to overlook such things when you are experienced and it’s always useful to get feedback from users.
    I do like that fusion idea… I assume there’s blanket stitch round the fabric squares to crochet on to?

    • #2 by tialys on June 30, 2017 - 09:02

      You assume correctly. Here’s a link to the tutorial just in case you have a spare moment 😉

  2. #3 by nanacathy2 on June 29, 2017 - 18:38

    That blanket fusion is really extraordinarily pretty, and the rabbit box is so cute, I love it. Enjoy your hair appointment!

    • #4 by tialys on June 30, 2017 - 08:57

      I am all one colour again! 🙂

  3. #5 by Dartmoor Yarns on June 29, 2017 - 19:39

    Love the rabbit box and your friend’s fusion blanket. Still not sure about the whole knitted/crochet animal trophy head thing. I joined a CAL once and didn’t do a stitch! Don’t think I’m very good at the whole CAL/KAL thing 😦

    • #6 by tialys on June 30, 2017 - 08:57

      I’m surprised about that – you are usually very good about taking on a challenge and then sticking to it, unlike me.

      • #7 by Dartmoor Yarns on June 30, 2017 - 11:26

        I am and I love to be sociable too, but I also like to plough my own furrow, so maybe it’s about it restricting my freedom?

  4. #8 by magpiesue on June 29, 2017 - 20:38

    Your friend’s fusion blanket ought to be inspiration enough to get you going with that project again; it’s lovely! Well, except for the challenge of splitting yarn and a small hook. 😉 I wish you good fortune with your amigurumi and taxidermy. That’s about the only way I’d ever have a critter’s head hanging on a wall!

    • #9 by tialys on June 30, 2017 - 08:56

      The actual pattern calls for 4 ply baby wool – perhaps we’ll go for that next time, if there is a next time for me – Sandra’s already thinking about colours for a second one.

  5. #10 by claire93 on June 29, 2017 - 21:34

    your CAL blanket looks brilliant, and you certainly seem to be getting to grips with all the new fancy stitches!
    And I hope Sandra’s beautiful fushion squares motivates you to get back to work on yours, even if things do seem slow on a 2.5mm hook.
    As for the trophy heads . . . I think they look fab, and would love to have a zebra hanging above the fireplace, but sadly, I think husband would have a thing or two to say about that.

    • #11 by tialys on June 30, 2017 - 08:49

      The finished article represents several ‘undoings’ but, yes, I do get a sense of achievement when I’ve mastered a new stitch.
      I can understand your husband’s reluctance – I will start small with a mouse or rabbit and put it on the wall in the conservatory which doubles as the cats room as there is a cat flap into it. Eventually….

  6. #12 by sew2pro on June 29, 2017 - 21:58

    I’m enjoying your taste in crochet; both the colour combinations and the themes. You can’t ever have enough animals in the house!

    • #13 by tialys on June 30, 2017 - 08:47

      Well, I have run out of space on the floor 😉

  7. #14 by katechiconi on June 30, 2017 - 00:17

    Love Sandra’s fusion blanket – if that doesn’t get you restarted nothing will! I fear crochet and knitting will always be a closed book for me, but I can certainly admire what you’ve done and sympathise with lack of detail on what goes on behind the scenes, as it were…

    • #15 by tialys on June 30, 2017 - 08:46

      I am encouraged by Sandra, especially as she wants to make another one now. We used cotton for the crochet but, next time, I think we might use a 4 ply baby wool (am I getting too technical? 😉 ) as it should be easier to work with although might not give the slightly stiff ‘lacy’ look the cotton yarn gives. We’ll see, I’ve got to progress with this one first!

      • #16 by katechiconi on June 30, 2017 - 09:53

        I love the look of the lace effect, but I think in a blanket a softer, more flexible feel might be nicer. See how you feel about the whole thing once you’ve made some more squares!

  8. #17 by dezertsuz on June 30, 2017 - 00:38

    Your posts are always good for a few smiles. Thanks for that. The crocheting is coming along nicely, I think. You’ve a lot of things happening at your house! The rabbit box is adorable. Needs a crocheted rabbit inside. LOL

    • #18 by tialys on June 30, 2017 - 08:42

      The client just sent me a message today to say she’s received the box and loves it which is a relief as she left all the fabric choices to me which is a bit daunting – although heaven knows I’ve got enough to choose from 😉

  9. #19 by anne54 on June 30, 2017 - 05:58

    I suspect, if a zebra does come through the cat flap, you will have more to think about than asking it to sit still to be a model for your crochet hook! I love your fusion pieces too, and your friend’s is inspiring. Clever Ms Snail to have worked out that it must have been a blanket stitch around the edge, as I was having trouble imagining a crochet hook going through the fabric!

    • #20 by tialys on June 30, 2017 - 08:40

      The largest thing we’ve ever had through the cat flap is a rabbit’s head which, funnily enough, is one of the patterns in the book. Yes, blanket stitch forms the foundation for the crochet – it’s bad enough getting a needle through the fabric sandwich, I wouldn’t want to try pushing a hook through.

  10. #21 by KerryCan on June 30, 2017 - 12:59

    I didn’t think I’d like the fabric and crochet combo but I love it! Makes me want to try crocheting again! I’ll be interested in seeing you do those trophy heads–I went to feed an acquaintance’s cats and her husband has real deer heads on the wall. I think that’s creepy. Do you sell pattern for those square etuis?? I love it!

    • #22 by tialys on June 30, 2017 - 13:30

      I think real animal heads are creepy too. I might start with a mouse or rabbit head as nobody puts real ones of those up as a trophy do they? Unless my cats have a little trophy room somewhere I don’t know about 😉
      I do indeed sell the tutorial – it’s in my Etsy shop here If you enter the code BOXCLEVER that will give you $2 off as you are one of my blog readers 🙂

      • #23 by KerryCan on June 30, 2017 - 14:07

        I ordered it! I probably won’t get to make it until the fall or winter but I think it would be fun to try with handwoven fabric! I’ll make one first with regular fabric, though . . . I’ll keep you posted!

      • #24 by tialys on June 30, 2017 - 18:18

        Yes, please do keep me posted (and thank you for giving it a try 🙂 )

  11. #25 by Born To Organize on July 1, 2017 - 22:22

    Just yesterday I wrote about my novice entrance into crocheting as a way to relax, and here you are making it look so easy. I love, LOVE, love the squares with a crochet border. I want to do that one day. You are so inspiring! That’s a cute little bunny box. And now I’m dying, (pun,pun) to know about your roots. 🙂

    • #26 by tialys on July 3, 2017 - 13:43

      I’m only a novice too Alys so you’ll be doing all sorts before you know it.
      Roots now a thing of the past and I can bow my head without shame again 😉

  12. #28 by jendavismiller on July 3, 2017 - 14:21

    Happy Belated Birthday! I love your crochet, as well as your sewing, and your boxes. That rabbit one is just adorable! In a competition, I’d be the one with one square, too. As for roots, every 5 weeks (or 6, or ….) when I have them touched up, I promise to leave them alone. And then I take my promise again at the next appointment. One of these days. I certainly hope you never encounter your cats’ trophy room. It could be terrifying! 😉

    • #29 by tialys on July 3, 2017 - 18:33

      I have a friend who – with the help of her hairdresser – has decided to go grey gradually but I can’t quite go there yet and, anyway, my roots look quite dark rather than grey. They make it sound worse here in France as they don’t even call grey hair ‘grey’ – they call it ‘white’.

      • #30 by jendavismiller on July 4, 2017 - 02:29

        White! Yikes. I’m salt and pepper in the back, but no one will ever know. 😉

  13. #31 by craftycreeky on July 8, 2017 - 20:52

    Everytime I see your crochet I think I must try a CAL to improve my skills, yours looks so pretty. I love the fusion ones, I’m glad I read the comment about the blanket stitch as I did presume you were pushing through with the hook!!

    • #32 by tialys on July 16, 2017 - 09:12

      I think you have enough on your plate with the ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ quilt you’re doing but I am finding it interesting doing stitches I probably wouldn’t normally contemplate so perhaps you could put a crochet CAL on your ‘to do’ list.

  14. #33 by Kim on July 9, 2017 - 19:46

    That blanket looks lovely, and the box is beyond cute. I do hope you make the zebra! It is absolutely fabulous.(I love the joke about how fast the animal must have been going to come through the wall like that 😂).

    • #34 by tialys on July 16, 2017 - 09:09

      I’d like to get my crochet skills up to Zebra level one day.

  15. #35 by craftingcreature on July 18, 2017 - 20:58

    You sound like me, having several projects at once going. I like variety. I’ve tried different things. I tried the blanket you are doing. Couldn’t keep it straight. Hope you have better luck. I pulled mine out.

    • #36 by tialys on July 19, 2017 - 07:55

      Do you mean the ‘Sunshine & Showers’ crochet along one? I must admit I’m a bit worried about that myself. A lot of the projects on Ravelry have turned out with wavy edges I’ve noticed and somebody suggested that blocking helps – even though the Sirdar yarn is acrylic. I’m only just about to start the third section and I’m blocking as I finish each section just in case that helps. I am nowhere near as experienced as you with crochet so I’m trying to be really careful but, with all the different stitches, it’s probably a bit pre-disposed to have wavy edges unless your tension is spot on – which mine isn’t 😦
      We’ll see – I will be upset if I have to undo it all but, in the meantime, I’m enjoying learning some new techniques.

      • #37 by craftingcreature on July 19, 2017 - 08:50

        I’m not sure if it was exactly the same. But I did one like it with different stitches each row. I don’t think I counted properly. But as you said if you don’t keep your tension exactly the same , you can run into difficulty. But keep at it it’s a learning process. Even thought I’ve been crocheting forever. I still learn new things everyday.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: