Friends Around the World 5th Anniversary CAL (FATW5) – week 2

What a week!  I can’t believe my feet are still on this planet – I feel like I’ve reached the moon!  Thank you so much for the love of my Thistle Block, the first design of over 40 in the FATW5 CAL.  I said this is the best CAL in the world, and you have all confirmed this 🙂  There are so many fantastic designers lined up for the following squares, maybe we’ll all get to the sun and back!

Talking of the sun, we are at week 2, and my second pattern is now released.  If you love Thistle then I hope you love Highland Sunburst.  When asked to design 2 squares Thistle came into my head straightaway, but it was a while later before Highland Sunburst did.  However, I fell completely in love with it when I was only halfway through crocheting my prototype.  It just flew off my hook and didn’t need a tweak!   I love it so much – and I really hope you do too.


It is ‘framed’ with the same last few rounds of Thistle, so they work well together.

The pattern is on Ravelry here, with UK and US crochet terms and the first of many translations which are provided by the fabulous CAL team.  Join me in giving them huge thanks for all their work on this.

A reminder (in case you need one!) – the CAL – crochet a long facebook page is here and the CAL requirements can be found here.

Just a quick word about the yarn I used – Cascade 220 worsted. Here in the UK we don’t use worsted often – DK or aran are the norm.  So when I was asked to use worsted I had to do a yarn search.  I prefer natural yarns so it took me a while to find something available that I liked.  I did have quite a lengthy discussion with one of the admin team about what sort of yarn to use and wpi (wraps per inch) but I think I got a bit too technical!   Anyway, after much thought I decided to go for Cascade 220 which is 100% wool.  I had used it before so knew how it worked up and I think it is quite affordable for a quality wool yarn.  I bought several skeins as I plan to use it again and it’s always good to have a stash of yarn, isn’t it?  Especially at the moment when we need our yarn craft more than ever.  We are living in very strange times, ours lives aren’t what they were last year and may not return to normal for some time.  But our love of crochet is something that I know will keep us together (in more ways than one!) and the CAL community will help support us through the challenges.

Stay strong, stay safe and happy crocheting xxx

Friends Around the World 5th Anniversary CAL (FATW5)

Up until now, there have been 2 Friends Around the World CALs over the last few years.  The first started in 2016 and the second started in 2018.  These are amazing CALs organised by the CAL – crochet-a-long group on Facebook, and bringing together afghan square designs by a huge number of exceptional designers from around the world. I was so pleased to be part of both of them and designed 2 squares for each.  If you need any help remembering here are 4 blog posts: OctoghanFlower Compass, Noughts and Crosses.

If you are reading this you probably already know that there is a new Friends Around the World CAL – the 5th Anniversary CAL – and I am absolutely delighted to announce that I have once again designed 2 squares for it.  This is another fantastic collaboration of over 30 designers from around the globe and promises to be another showstopping CAL.  No crocheter will want to miss this.  These CALs are, in my view, the biggest and best CALs in the world and take a humungous amount of organisation by the admin and volunteers.  Once again I give them my heartfelt thanks for all their work.

The first square for FATW5 is published today and it is one of mine!   Oh my goodness, it is such an honour to kick off the CAL with the first square.  I do hope you like this one, I call it Thistle


I designed it in 2 colours, but you could use more if you like.  I was inspired by all things Scottish when I designed this (I’m a big fan of Outlander!) so this incorporates a thistle stitch, which I have used before because I love the texture of it and it looks so like a Scottish thistle!

The pattern is available here on Ravelry.  There are currently 2 versions, one in UK crochet terms and one in US crochet terms, both also have a chart.  In due course these will be translated into other languages by the CAL team.

I can’t wait to see the first thistles of the CAL!

Details of the CAL requirements can be found here.  I will be following the CAL closely, and I am so excited to see all the squares as they are published!

I do hope you join in the fun!

Happy crocheting xxx