Posts Tagged Sunshine and Showers CAL

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.

 

 

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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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