2019 Blanket CAL Part 5

Part 5 of the 2019 Blanket CAL – Down Memory Lane – has been published.  Wow!   I can’t believe we are up to Part 5 already, time is flying and there are some gorgeous squares to see!  If you purchased the pattern you should find it in your Ravelry library.

This week both squares are based on 2 very recent free patterns which I designed for the Friends Around the World 3rd Anniversary CAL – Noughts and Crosses:

Both of these have one less round than stated in the original patterns, so that they end with the correct stitch count for the blanket.

I incorporated the 2 squares because I love the texture.  Did I say 2 squares?   Well they can be combined to make different ones, and I made 4 of these for my blanket:

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I am very tempted to make some larger squares using these, maybe a 4 x 4 square would make a lovely cushion cover!

Next week is the last 2 squares of the blanket CAL both of which are based on paid patterns but, as always, I will provide a suggested alternative of free squares.

As always, please share progress in the Ravelry group.

Happy crocheting xxx

 

March Mini Mystery CAL 1 – Part 2

Part 2 of the first March Mini Mystery CAL has been added to the Ravelry pattern page here.  This completes the first CAL.

Part 2 is a little tricky as you’ll be working with jute, but I’ve added a few tips on this in the pattern.

Please share progress on the Ravelry group, where you can share spoilers!

I can’t wait to see your creations!

The second CAL starts on Sunday 🙂

Happy crocheting xxx

 

March Mini Mystery CAL 1 – part 1

Happy Crochet Month!  The celebrations have started and Part 1 of the March Mini Mystery CAL 1 has been published on Ravelry here.  This is a free pattern.

This is the first of 4 mini mystery CALs to celebrate this month of crochet and they are hosted in my Ravelry group here.  Not all are free patterns, but there will be a coupon code available for a very short time as each pattern is published, making  them free if you are quick!

There are no spoilers here on the blog until each CAL is fully published.   So the only thing I can show is the materials:

March Mini Mystery CAL 1 Part 2 (the final part of this one) will be published on Wednesday.

I hope you join in for the fun!

Happy crocheting xxxx

2019 Blanket CAL Part 4

Part 4 of the 2019 Blanket CAL – Down Memory Lane – has been published.  If you purchased the pattern you should find it in your Ravelry library.  If you are following the free version read on for details of how to adapt free patterns.

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Motif 7 is based on Openwork from Winter Blanket CAL 2015.   I have extended it with a bit more lace.  If you are following the free version then what not substitute with a variation of the first square from my Christmas Blanket CAL 2014 here, just add 4 more rounds of trebles (US dc) to get to the correct size and stitch count.

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Motif 8 is my absolute favourite, Octoghan, which I have extended by one round.  If you are following the free version then you can find the original free pattern here, simply add one round of trebles to get the correct size and stitch count.

Next week both squares are based on free patterns.

I love to see what you make, so please share progress on Ravelry here.

Happy crocheting xxxx

 

 

 

 

 

Preparing for…….

International Crochet Month – the 4 mini CALs.

Tomorrow is 1st March and the start of International Crochet Month.  I have 4 mini mystery CALs planned for the month.  The first one starts on Sunday 3rd March when I will release part 1 of the CAL.  The second and final part will be released  on Wednesday 6th March.   Thereafter a further 3 CALs will be released in 2 parts on the following Sundays and Wednesdays.

These are mystery CALs each finished item will not be revealed until Part 2.  However, to help you prepare these the materials you need:

Double Knit Cotton yarn – I used Stylecraft Classique DK Cotton – be as colourful as you like!

Some jute twine (about 10m) – I used Nutscene Jute Twine which comes in a variety of colours.  This is needed for mini CAL 1 only, which is a free forever pattern.  Look at these lovely colours:

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Of course, you could use plain natural jute twine if you prefer.

Some large-holed beads – large enough to fit your crochet hook through.

This is my selection of materials:

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You will also need:  a 4mm (US G/6) crochet hook, a yarn needle and 9 stitch markers.

The CALs will be hosted in my Ravelry group

I hope you can join the CAL – it should be fun!

Happy crocheting xxx

 

 

 

International Crochet Month

March is International Crochet Month and to celebrate it this year I am running 4 mini mystery CALs.   These are fun, short CALs making useful items for the home.  Each one has 2 parts and they are easy makes which can be made in a few hours.  The first one will start on Sunday 3rd March, with the second and final part on Wednesday 6th March.  The following 3 mini CALs will be published on the 3 following Sundays and Wednesdays in March.

The CALs will be hosted in my Ravelry group but will be announced here and on Facebook.

The first CAL will be free forever.  The other 3 will be free for a very short time with a coupon code on Ravelry.

All need DK cotton yarn and a 4mm (US G/6) crochet hook.  One also needs some jute twine and one needs some large beads.  These are some of the colours I’m using.

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Not only are these mini CALs useful little items, but they would make fabulous gifts as well – perfect for those little Easter gifts and calorie-free!

If you have any questions, please ask away.

Happy crocheting xxx

2019 Blanket CAL Part 3

It is Saturday so it is new squares day!

Part 3 of the Down Memory Lane Blanket CAL has been published.   If you purchased the pattern on Ravelry then you will find the new pattern in your library.  Once again 2 versions are available – UK terms or US terms, so make sure you select the correct one.

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Motif 5 is a variation of Posts.   The original ‘Posts’ was an 8 round square in the Winter Blanket CAL 2015.  This was a paid for pattern so if you are following the free version why not try using square number 6 from my Blog Blanket CAL 2015 – you can find it here.   Just add 2 extra rounds of trebles (US dc) to get it to the correct size).

This version of Posts has been adapted to continue the posts until the 9th round.  I love the texture, lace and distinct pattern.

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Motif 6 is a version of ‘The Square that got away’ which was published on my blog in 2015.  It’s another square I love for the simplicity of the design.   If you are following the free version look here.  Work the pattern to 10 rounds.

Part 4 will be published in a week – one based on a free pattern and one based on a paid pattern.

I’ve seen some beautiful completed squares on Ravelry, why don’t you join in and share your progress on Ravelry here.

Happy crocheting xxx

PS Stay tuned tomorrow for an announcement for International Crochet Month!

Unravel

Unravel is a yarn festival at Farnham Maltings in UK.  The 11th Unravel is held this weekend from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th February – 3 days of lovely yarn inspiration!

It has workshops and talks as well as over 70 exhibitors selling all yarny related fare.   I have never been to Unravel, but I know people who live more local to the event who go every year and they tell me it is one of the best yarn festivals in the UK.  Some of my favourite indie yarn dyers will be there.   So one day I will visit.

Although I am not there I will have a virtual presence on the Willow Knits’ stand.   Willow Knits has the most luscious silk yarn which Anne dyes in beautiful colours.  I have the privilege of working with Anne on several projects.  At her last outing at Waltham Abbey she took some kits of my designs, some patterns and copies of my book.  The kits are a new collaboration using Anne’s glorious yarn and a crochet scarf design of mine – called Silk Sorbet.   If you haven’t tried silk yarn before, then these are a great introduction to the glories of working with pure silk as they include just 50g of 4ply yarn at a great value price.

Silk Sorbet is the 2-colour scarf on the left of this photo.  Doesn’t the silk yarn glow?

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At Unravel Anne will launch a new collaboration kit – the Bilateral Mitts.  These are unusual in that they are knitted and crocheted.   There are 2 variations in the pattern – a simple version where the knitting is straight and would be good for those who are not confident knitters but can crochet and a more challenging version where the knitting is in the round so would be good for a confident knitter who just wants to try a little crochet.  The kit uses 50g of worsted weight yarn and is also at a good price and a great introduction to the yarn.  I can’t show you a photo of the kits yet as they are being created as I type – but this is a photo of the simple mitts.

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After Unravel Anne will have these kits available in her etsy shop.

If you do go to Unravel, I would love to hear what you think and even see any photos you take 🙂

More information on Unravel can be found here.

Happy crocheting xxx

 

 

 

2019 Blanket CAL – Part 2

Part 2 of the 2019 Blanket CAL – Down Memory Lane – has been published.  If you purchased the pattern on Ravelry you will have received an update linking to the update in your library, which includes the full written pattern for each of the new squares and the charts.  If you are following the free version read on for details of where to find this week’s 2 squares.

These are 2 favourites for different reasons.  First is Agathi which is named after the maker/owner of a lovely shop in Kassiopi, Corfu.  You can read all about it and find the free pattern here.  All I have done for this CAL is add two rounds of trebles (US dc) to make  the square the correct size.

The second is based on one I designed for the Friends Around the World Anniversary CAL 2 years ago – it is called Flower Compass.  This is a favourite because it is one of those designs that almost hooked itself!  I started with a little flower and it just grew organically.  You can find the pattern here.  All I have done for this blanket is add one round of trebles (US dc).

Both of these designs would work with one or more colours.

Next week one of the designs is not based on a free pattern, and it uses front post stitches so you may wish to brush up on your front posts!

Don’t forget to share progress – here or on Facebook or on Ravelry

Happy crocheting xxxx

 

 

2019 Blanket CAL part 1

Today’s the day!  Part 1 of the Down Memory Lane Blanket CAL is now available on Ravelry.   Part 1 is an easy start with 2 simple squares.

If you have purchased the pattern you should have received notification from Ravelry that it has been updated.    There are 2 versions – UK and US crochet terms, so make sure you select the correct one.

If you are following the free version then Motif 1 is a sold motif found here and Motif 2 is a more lacy motif found here.  In each version you need to make 10 rounds to get the correct size.

Both these photos are of the unblocked motifs.   I recommend you block before joining!

I always start blanket CALs with easy motifs, as they help you work out your size/tension and allow you to play with your colours without getting stressed over a more complex design.  These 2 are also pretty sturdy squares which give good weight to the blanket, which makes it a proper blanket not a throw!

Motif 1 is also useful in working out your yarn requirements.  I worked out it uses an average amount of yarn for all the 12 designs of motif, so is a good guide as to how much each motif will use.  Here’s a brief guide on how to do it:

First make the motif in yarn you know the weight and meterage (or yardage) of.   Then measure your motif. Using this measurement work out how big you want your blanket to be – so if the motif is 25cm and you want a blanket 150cm square then it will need to be 6 motifs square – that’s 36 motifs.  Whatever size you want let’s just say the number of motifs you want is N
Now weigh your motif – it doesn’t matter if you weigh in grams or ounces. Let’s just say that weight is W
For the motifs you need yarn with a total weight of N times W, but you need to add a margin for joining, colour matching/changing and a border. I recommend a minimum of 10% (which works for a very small border and if you are careful with colour matching) or 20% (which works well with a larger border) or 25% (if you aren’t confident about colour matching and/or don’t really know what you want to do for a border).
So take N by W, add 10%, 20% or 25% and then divide by the size (weight) of skeins/balls for the yarn you are using.

The estimating works if you are using all the same yarn throughout the blanket, if you use different brands of yarn then you should look carefully on the ball band to find out how many m or yd are in each brand – they vary quite a lot. If yours vary, then you’ll have to do some more maths to work out your requirements. Essentially you need to work out the meterage or yardage of your motif, rather than just the weight.

The blanket I have is 7 by 7, so needs 49 squares.   I made 4 of each of these first 2.

Please join the discussion on Ravelry here and feel free to ask any questions.

Until next week….Happy Crocheting xx