CAL stands for crochet-a-long, a crochet project where lots of people join in and do it at the same time. There are always CALS going on somewhere, this year there is a worldwide mood blanket CAL, but I am not part of it.
However, I am participating in 3 CALS at the moment.

One is the Kaleidoscope crochet blanket, which I am blogging about monthly each time I complete something.
Then there is my own CAL – The Hexagon Project 2014, which I blog about also from time to time.
And the third is one I joined only recently. I hinted about it in my last blog post – it is the Jane Crowfoot Mystery Crochet Blanket CAL. Yes, another blanket!
I joined it on a whim, just as I had finished the February instalment of the Kaleidoscope CAL. I must be mad, as I have more than enough projects to keep me going as well as lots of ideas for designs in my head. But I love joining in CALs and I knew one of my friends was in the Jane Crowfoot club, so I just did it!

I know many of you will want to know how it is going. So here is a progress photo:

Jane Crowfoot Crochet Club
Jane Crowfoot Crochet Club

I’m sorry about the quality of the photo, I had such a problem today because the sun kept getting into all the shots. But that is a welcome problem!

This is the completed February instalment, or at least half – there are 2 of every motif. And the good thing is the March instalment comes out a few days into March, hopefully just as I finish the March instalment of Kaleidoscope. So the timing fits in perfectly.

You probably want to know how they compare – well here are a few facts:

They are different, very different – which is good.
One is in cotton yarn the other in merino wool, I find the merino (a single) much better to work with.
One has beads in the design.
One is join as you go, the other is join at the end – I prefer join as you go, and I am dreading the chore of joining at the end!

There is one other point, not a comparison of the projects but of the approach. There is activity on Ravelry for both CALs, but only one of the designers is active in this so far. I do hope the other designer pops up on Ravelry soon, because the Ravelry community is there only because of her design and she should be part of that community.

I am enjoying doing both CALs, it is good to ring the changes. And it will be interesting to see how they compare at the year end.

Do you join in any CALS? If so, please share your experience of them.

Happy crocheting xx

February CALs

I finished the February instalment of the Kaleidoscope crochet blanket yesterday, yes only 5 days into the month! Here it is:

Kaleidoscope February
Kaleidoscope February

I love how this is growing, there are more blues in it now (I like blue) and whilst working on it I found it was beginning to feel like a lap blanket. I can’t wait for March……..

It’s strange but I now feel a void. I have plenty to do but I have discovered I really enjoy CALs like this. So yesterday I joined another crochet blanket club… on that another day!

Happy crocheting xx

Colour in crochet

I‘ve been thinking a lot about colour recently. Perhaps because I’ve been making colourful hexagons for a few weeks ahead of the launch of The Hexagon Project 2014 which I blogged about yesterday here:

I like to think I use a subtle colour palette in what I do. If you saw my home youwould see it is fairly modern with plenty of oak and neutral shades everywhere – just odd splashes of colour for accent. But I do love colour in many things, just as long as it isn’t glaring out at me from every corner. So I am not afraid to use colour provided it fits in my world.

You won’t find much multi colours in anything I make or design – just look at my Ravelry project and design pages to see how I use colour!

However, my thoughts have made me reflect on the blankets I have made over the years.

The first blanket I ever made was a granny in shades of blue, mainly pale blue. It served me well at uni. It was thrown out years ago – so I don’t have a photo of it. Believe me when I say it was subtle, not glaring.

The second blanket I made was a small knitted hap blanket – beige with red highlights.

Hap blanket
Hap blanket

Then came Starry Night by Amanda Perkins, I made it in grey, silver and 2 shades of dark blue.

Starry Night
Starry Night

The fourth blanket I made was another design by Amanda Perkins called Lily. This time I started to use more colour – I wanted lots of red – and that is what I got!


The next blanket (knitted) was back to my neutral shades.

Heike's afghan KAL
Heike’s afghan KAL

Then no 6 was a baby blanket in ice cream colours

Baby blanket
Baby blanket

And then a small lap blanket in soft blue, green, cream.

Little Hearts
Little Hearts

Then I made a granny style blanket in lots of colour – quite a change for me! It is confined to the spare bed and is very practical. But I do quite like the colour pick-me-up as I walk in that room.

Poppet's Blanket
Poppet’s Blanket

The first blanket for this year is very colourful, it is another Amanda Perkins’ design and I blogged about it here:

I have also made 2 other blankets recently, I’m not going to tell you about them yet, other than to say one is ‘nicely’ colourful and the other is back to my more subtle colour palette.

Now all of this has made me think about the world of crochet. There are so many fields of crochet in the world from the delicate old Irish crochet used frequently in crisp white doillies to the bright colourful world of simple but effective granny squares, with a myriad of styles, taste and colour inbetween. The recent growth in the crochet world has been predominantly in the colourful granny area – after all it is easy to see the impact of colour and grannies are quite quick and easy to make when you are just getting going.

Just recently I have started to sense a slow change in that colourful granny world, maybe, just maybe, it is growing closer to my preferences of subtlety. I think it is about time it should.

Personally, in the world of colourful crochet my preference is always in the direction of Amanda Perkins, her use of colour is exceptional. It is so much more sophisticated than the granny world. If we are to use colour in the world of crochet it is much better to do with sophistication don’t you think?

Yes, I would dearly love to know what you think, so please share your thoughts with me.

Happy crocheting xx

Edit: just after pushing the ‘publish’ button, I read the latest blog by Lucy of Attic 24 which only served to confirm my sense of colour shift!