Posts Tagged crochet along

It’s Blanket Time

Around this time last month, I attempted to show you some autumn colour but it hadn’t really started turning yet here.  We’ve now had a bit of rain and it seems we have gone straight from Summer to Winter at least up on those peaks.


Time for lots of blankets so just as well I’ve finished all 48 squares for the ‘Natures Walk’ crochet along – albeit a week late

I’ve laid them all out and now it’s time to join them together  😱

The colours look a bit ‘muddy’ here because I made the mistake of laying them out in a room without much natural light  – see above photo for more accurate colours.

The rogue off-white square is there because I found the last square design given to us a complete nightmare to do and couldn’t face another one so I’ve put in my test swatch as a substitute.  I call it my ‘signature’ as it will differentiate it from all the other blankets made in this colourway and it’s also a good excuse.

Although I’ve fallen behind by a week (will soon be two) at least I’ve managed to actually get all the squares done which was the important thing as far as I was concerned.  I’m not going to rush to join them together just to keep up so it might be some time before you see the finish.

Plus there’s quite a fancy border to go round the edge which looks as if it might occupy more than a few evenings when I suppose I will be forced back into my addiction – watching Greys Anatomy on Netflix – I’m up to series 3, only 14 to go.  It’s not got any better – the lead actress is still as lachrymose as ever and her erstwhile beau is a match for her in tear production.  In fact, last night, I wondered whether watching this series is possibly bringing out the worst in me.  When our leaky heroine was dragged from the water half drowned by her wet- in both senses of the word – boyfriend and taken to hospital where they tried their utmost to revive her for over an hour and a half – I’ve never hoped so much to see a flatline.

But, what can I tell you? I’m ho😉ked

 

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Will I Crochet-Along or Won’t I?

Remember I told you I had to finish a shawl (that I will probably never wear) before starting a new crochet project?

Well, it’s done.

I blocked it on the floor over a yoga mat and a bath mat – as one does –

-then I gave it to my ‘me’ mannequin to model it for you as it was Sunday morning and I hadn’t yet bothered to get dressed and, while wearing a shawl over a floaty summer dress, jacket or coat might work, wearing one over a nightie would just make you look like an old lady so I didn’t even go there.

She may be ‘accessorised’ in this way for some time to come although I might wear it as a scarf.

I did try to put tassels on the three points for scarf wearing purposes but my hand made ones didn’t look right so they came off again.

Still, crochet shawl made, at least that’s another ‘project in my head’ that has come to fruition and a ball of relatively expensive yarn used instead of stored away and contributing to stash overload.

So, I was now free to start the Nature’s Walk crochet along designed by Cherry Heart and organised by Black Sheep Wools.

Eight squares a week doesn’t sound like much really but, when you have as many other non-crochet projects on the go as I do, I found myself struggling a bit.


I made the test swatch whilst waiting for the yarn to arrive as I had used Scheepjes Stone Washed yarn before so had a bit left.  I am obviously a loose crocheter because I have had to drop at least one recommended hook size depending on the square in order to obtain the correct size.  The test square had little hearts on it so I’m hoping to use that design later on in the blanket or in another project.

As this is called ‘Natures Walk’ and, with the colour of the yarn pack I bought being called ‘Wild Hedgerow’, the ‘nature’  theme for the squares is revealed as the patterns are released,

This one is called ‘Gates’ for which I had to drop down to a 2.5mm hook.

This one is ‘Butterflies’ which I managed with a 3mm.

If you bought your yarn pack from Black Sheep Wools they issue you with a bonus square each week so you do four of the ‘ordinary’ one and four of the bonus one.  There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth from those who aren’t getting the bonus squares but I guess it’s a marketing ploy by BSW which is obviously working.  Although, the bonus squares will be released in January on Ravelry for free so patience will be rewarded.

The current week’s squares are called ‘Wheat’ and ‘Berries’ and, if I manage to get them all finished, I’ll show you those next time.  I bet you can hardly wait.

So, will I won’t I?  It doesn’t really matter does it?  Some people only crochet and don’t do dressmaking or quilting or other crafting so they can whizz along.  Some people are at work all day or are wrangling small children so simply haven’t got as much time as others might have.  Some people do housework.  Whether I manage to stick with the schedule or not – I’m enjoying learning new patterns and there are plenty of people still waiting for their yarn to arrive and haven’t even started yet so I won’t be alone if I lag behind.  Nobody’s waiting on me to finish and there are no prizes.  I refuse to feel pressured when there’s no need.

How do you feel about CALs, QALs, WhateverALs?  Do you like them? Do you feel incentivized or under pressure.  I must admit this is giving me a bit of a push to get on with it and not let it become a longtime WIP but I’m not going to let it stress me out.

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Just a Couple of Little Projects

While my Mum was visiting I abandoned sewing and my workroom for the much more sociable and garden friendly crochet.

I was prepared.  Having made a fairly simple blanket as a beginner project I thought I’d tackle something a little more complicated and was tempted by the Sunshine and Showers blanket by Janie Crow which is running as a CAL (crochet along) on her blog  here.

You make two identical sections per month for twelve months and then join some sections together and you should end up with the above which looks hideously complicated to me.   Look! there are flowers and little hearts and bobbles and things – but I’m hoping to learn as I go along.  There are two versions – one in a merino mix yarn and the one I’m doing which is in Stylecraft Special DK which comes in some splendiferous colours.  I decided to go with the same colours used in the CAL because there will be less room for confusion and I like them anyway.

I have completed one of the sections for the month of May – the wave pattern is intentional and not due to wine consumption –

Now I have to make a second,  identical one and wait for June’s section to be released when, apparently,  I will learn ‘puff’ stitches – I can hardly wait and, although I know that sounds sarcastic, there is a an element of truth in it.  Simple pleasures……..

I had forgotten how much I hate doing long foundation chains  😦

A glutton for punishment, however, and wanting something easier to do in between waiting for the sections to be released, I bought the yarn to make Lucy at Attic 24’s Hydrangea Blanket for which the pattern is on her blog here

At first glance I wondered why these colours were anything to do with hydrangeas but Lucy explains that she watched how the blooms changed colour over time and has some great photos on her blog (one of which below) showing how right she is.

Wool Warehouse stocks the kits for Attic 24 patterns so I went ahead and sent for them here and began the repetitive, yet addictive, stitch which forms a really nice dense texture.

I like to look at the balls of yarn in their basket.  Such a range of colours is hard to resist and, although I avoid 100% acrylic in knitting projects that I am going to wear, in my house a blanket needs to be put in a washing machine.  Also, after struggling with a cotton yarn that splits as soon as you look at it in my fusion quilt (squares of fabric with a crochet border) this is an absolute pleasure to crochet with.  I’m hooked!  Sorry, not sorry.

This is where I am with it so far but progress might slow down a little now Mum has gone back to the U.K. and I am drawn back to the sewing room.

Just in case I wasn’t already knee deep in crochet, I made a hat.  For an egg.  Well, why wouldn’t you?

Actually, it’s not really for an egg, although it could be,  it’s for a bottle.  I can’t remember where I saw it mentioned first but Innocent Drinks are, once again, asking for little knitted (or crochet) hats to put on the top of their smoothie bottles in the supermarket and, for each hat-wearing bottle sold, they donate 25pence to Age UK.  Since 2003 ,  6 million hats have been knitted which has helped raise over £1.9m and increase awareness of the great work done by charities like Age UK.

On a selfish note, it helps me improve my crochet ‘in the round’.

You can read about it here if you fancy putting your needles (or hook) to good use  – the deadline this year is 31st July.

The fabric haul from my Walthamstow Market visit has arrived with Mr. T. from the U.K.  He has got a ‘pulled’ shoulder muscle from the weight.  I blame it on the black flecked jersey on the bottom there which is heavy and there is 3m of it.

I’ve given him some Ibuprofen, treated the affected shoulder with a cursory massage and told him to buy a cabin bag with wheels.

Close ups and potential uses for the precious cargo to follow .

 

 

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