And we’re off!

Today is the start of the Advent CAL 2021 – a flurry of snowflakes! As I look out of the window I see snow – what a coincidence that the first snow of winter came today!

I made my first snowflake using the 2018 Snowflake pattern this morning whilst drinking a large mug of tea. In my excitement and eagerness to photograph it for you I managed to spill my tea on it, so I need to give it a wash before I block it. But here is the pattern photo, so you know what I was aiming for

Don’t forget all the snowflake patterns in the CAL are at a 50% discount when purchased on Ravelry from now until midnight GMT on 7th December, and there are prizes available. Read this post for more information

Until tomorrow

Happy snowflake crocheting xxxx

ADVENT CAL 2021

It’s that time of year again! Advent starts on 28th November and I’m pleased to say I am running an Advent CAL this year which will start on the same day. There is only one new pattern for the CAL this year – my 2021 Snowflake. But this snowflake was the inspiration for the CAL. You all know that I love snowflakes, I love their delicate hexagonal forms and I love that no two are alike. So I decided I would incorporate all my snowflakes into the CAL.

The CAL starts on 28th November and runs until 20th December, and there will be prizes for participants who make and share at least 12 snowflakes on the Ravelry group. These are some of the snowflakes that feature in the CAL

The patterns that can be used in the CAL are

Festive Snowflakes

Quick and Simple Snowflakes and Stars

Advent CAL 2016

Snowflakes 2014

2018 Snowflake

2019 Snowflake

2020 Snowflake

Snowflake 2021 which was published today!

Within these patterns there are over 12 snowflakes to mix and match as you wish.  If you do not already have the patterns, then all patterns are 50% off from now until 7th December (midnight GMT) provided you use coupon code ADVENT on purchase, this discount applies only on purchases from Ravelry. The CAL will run on Ravelry and instructions on the details for this can be found here.

I’m so looking forward to this CAL – I will be making more snowflakes myself and posting my progress, in fact my hook and yarn are ready and waiting!

Happy CALing xx

Coming soon….a flurry!

It is that time of year again – the CAL season is beginning! My first CAL this year is the Advent CAL which will comprise a flurry of snowflakes – you know how I love snowflakes! I will post about it later this weekend, but meanwhile I can provide you with a few tips on working snowflakes in the round

  1. Go slowly, it isn’t a race so work at a speed that your are comfortable with
  2. Stop and count your stitches regularly
  3. All my snowflake patterns include a chart, so if you can use a chart then try just using the charts – they are a pretty close visual aid!
  4. I also include some photos in many of my patterns, showing how your snowflakes look after a round is completed. Use these photos, and if you are looking at the pattern on a screen (tablet, PC, phone) then magnify the photos, you will find they can help you a lot
  5. Sewing the last stitch on the final round gives an excellent finish
  6. Use stitch markers – in fact a set of 6 stitch markers means you can mark all points or particular stitches on each round (did I mention that one of the things I love about snowflakes is their hexagonal shape!)

And whilst mentioning stitch markers I must share some gorgeous handmade stitch markers by a friend of mine – she has knitting and crochet stitch markers in her shop here

I love these green ones – and magically there are 6 in the set! This is a new shop and she has only a few at the moment but will be expanding in due course. They are a perfect gift for a friend or yourself!

Happy crocheting and look out for the CAL! xxx

Cloud CAL part 1

I can’t believe a week has passed since I introduced this CAL.   But here we are ready to start Part 1!   I hope you have selected your yarn and beads.  I have seen a few people considering the colour of beads, so if you are undecided I suggest you wait until you’ve done a bit of Part 1 and then try the beads against the crochet.

I am joining the CAL as well, and this is my yarn choice, plus some beads (I’m undecided on the beads):

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The yarn is vintage Natural Dye Studio Cobweb, I have 50g with approx 360m – maybe I have enough for 2.  That would be good as I am so undecided on the beads – it gives me the option to try another colour of beads!

So are you ready?  Well, let’s start 🙂

First weigh your yarn.  Sometimes the ball is a slightly different weight to that expected.  Mine was only 22.95g rather than 25g but it had been lurking in my stash for years, so I may have used a little of it on a project.

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You will need to weigh your remaining yarn regularly as you work.  So make a note of the amount you started with and keep those scales handy as you work.  Now do a little maths – first divide by 2 and then add 0.2g.   For me this was:

22.95 divided by 2 equals 11.475, add 0.2 equals 11.675.  I rounded this up to 11.7g

Keep a note of your number because you need to stop crocheting the first part when your remaining yarn weighs this amount!

What if you have more than a 25g ball?   Well, you work until you have used about 12.3g or the length is half what you want.

Tension/gauge does not matter for this design, but you do need to ensure you keep a loose stitch for a light and airy feel to the scarf.    For this you must allow the hook to decide the stitch size and do not pull the yarn tight when you complete each stitch.

I found 22.95g was sufficient for a scarf approx. 10cm wide by 220cm long (in Rowan Kidsilk Haze yarn, 22.95g is about 190m).   So unless you want a very long scarf, and provided you have a full ball of yarn, then you can afford to do a little tension trial to start with.  Try the first 4 rows – this should measure approx. 10cm wide and 5cm long.  It doesn’t matter if you are a bit out.  But if you are a lot out (say more than 20%) try using a different hook – bigger hook if your swatch is too small, smaller hook if you swatch is too big.  Having said that, if you like the look of your tension swatch it really doesn’t matter if it isn’t the correct size!

Now we can start crocheting!

The pattern is written in UK terms only, so here are the abbreviations I use (with US in brackets, if different):
st(s) = stitch(es)
sp(s) = space(s)
ch = chain
ch-sp(s) = chain space(s)
dc = double crochet (US single crochet)
tr = treble (US double crochet)
t2tog = work 2 treble together (US dc2tog, work 2 dc together)

Foundation: make 21ch

Row 1: Turn and work 1dc in 2nd ch from hook, (1dc in next ch, 1ch, miss 1 ch, 1dc in next ch) repeated until last ch, 1dc in last ch, turn.  You should have 6 1ch-sps and 14dc.

Now to make life easy for you when doing the next row, place a stitch marker in every 1ch-sp, like this:

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Row 2: 2ch, *(1tr, 1ch, 1tr) in 1ch-sp (where the stitch marker is), missing all the dc inbetween; repeat from * to last 1ch-sp, in this last 1ch-sp you do something slightly different: (1tr, 1ch) in last 1ch-sp, tr2tog placing first part in the same 1ch-sp and second part in last dc on the Row, turn.  You can remove your stitch markers now.

The first 2ch and 1tr together count as a tr2tog – so you start and end the row with a tr2tog which helps give a firm edge.

Row 3: 2ch, *(1tr, 1ch, 1tr) in 1ch-sp; repeat from * to last 1ch-sp, in this last 1ch-sp you do something slightly different: (1tr, 1ch) in last 1ch-sp, now tr2tog placing first part in last 1ch-sp and second part in last st on the Row (this is the top of the 2ch at start of last Row), turn.  You should now see that the pattern is a series of V sts.

Row 3 is the pattern, repeat it until your remaining yarn weighs that magic number you calculated – it must be no less than this number, so you may want to weigh your yarn regularly and estimate when that magic number will be reached.   I did a total of 77 rows.

This is how my stitches look, light and open with a lovely haze:

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Do not break yarn when you reach the end – wait until next week when I show you what to do next!

Some tips on working this design:

As I mentioned in tension, let the hook decide the size of your stitch – do not pull the yarn once the hook is through the stitch as this will tighten it too much and you won’t get the open cloud-like effect.

It is very easy to miss the yarn and hook a bit of the fluff instead.  So check that you have placed you stitches correctly at the end of each Row.   It means stopping for a few seconds to look, but it is worth the effort as that check can save some frogging later.

If you do have to frog, go very slowly and use the hook to help break the fibres that somehow manage to blend together in the fluff, don’t use scissors as it is easy to have an accident and cut your yarn!

If you have plenty of yarn and want a wider scarf, then increase your foundation chain in multiples of 3ch, each 3ch extra gives an additional V st to each Row.

Please feel free to ask questions, here or on Ravelry or on Facebook.  And please share progress photos!

Until next week, happy crocheting xxx

Ta dah!

The final part of the Winter Blanket CAL is the border:

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A simple beautiful frame to the blanket, which is shown in glorious sunshine (funny how the sun came out just in time!):

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So now you have it – 8 different designs, 6 different colours, 49 squares  – all in a simple border.

I hope you enjoyed this CAL.

The full pattern is available on Ravelry here (all 16 pages of it!) , and now includes a US terms version as well.

Did you use all the 8 designs?  What colours did you choose?

Happy crocheting xxx

Winter Blanket CAL part 8

For the last square I wanted something a little different.

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What do you think?

It is made first in rows, then a couple of rounds are added to finish it off.  I love the stripes of colour.  I made 4 of these to sit in the middle of each edge of the blanket with the stripes running parallel to the edge.  Tension can be tricky on this sort of square, so you may need to practice with a few hook sizes before you get the size you need.

You can find the pattern here and join in the discussion here

Next week it’s the final part – the border.  And the Big Reveal!

Happy crocheting xx

 

Winter Blanket CAL part 7

Your patience of the last week is now rewarded, here is number 7:
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I love the concept of circles in squares, and there are many such designs available. For this blanket I wanted a circle that was not too big and not too small, it took a lot of swatching but I like the end result.  I made mine in 2 colours only, but this would look good if the circle were in 4 colours.  In fact, that is what I plan to do in the CAL blanket I am making along with you.

The pattern has been updated to include this new motif, and it runs to 14 pages including patterns, some charts and instructions on joining, together with the suggested layout.

Here are the other 6 motifs included so far:

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We’ve had the full granny, filet style, flowers joined into a square, flower on a mesh square, openwork and raised stitches.   Only one more motif to go, and that will be different again!

You can find the pattern here and join in the discussion here

Happy crocheting xx

 

 

Woo hoo! part 6!

Part 6 of the Winter Blanket CAL has just been published.   It includes some texture in the form of raised stitches as well as some openwork.

Here it is:

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There are 4 of this square needed for the blanket, and that means that the centre 25 suqares are now released.  Do you want to see what it looks like?

Well here it is in all the glorious colour:

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One of the 6 published squares isn’t seen on this block, but the other 5 are there.

Only 2 squares and the edging to go before it is all complete!

You can find the pattern here and join in the discussion here.

Happy crocheting xx

 

 

 

Winter Blanket CAL part 5

First an apology.  I didn’t show you my progress on motif no 4, so here it is:

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For my CAL blanket I made all 4 of this motif in the teal colour, bringing a bit more depth to the colour scheme.   So I now have 25 completed motifs out of 49, just over half done!

What next?   Well here is motif no 5:

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I call this ‘Flower and Mesh’ and there are 8 needed in the design.   With the colours of the sample, I had a great time mixing the flower colours on different backgrounds!  Maybe I’ll share a few photos of the completed sample next……..

Motif no 5 has been added to the CAL pattern, which now runs to 11 pages.  You can find it here and you can discuss your progress and ask questions here.

Happy crocheting xxx

 

Winter Blanket CAL part 4

Here’s motif number 4:

Motif no 4
Motif no 4

I call this ‘Openwork’ and it is quick to hook up.  Only 4 of these are needed in the design so, after a mammoth 9 motifs of motif no 3, it should be a welcome relief to complete this week!   And if you are following the exact design, then once these 4 are complete you will have done 25 out of 49 motifs – so roughly halfway 🙂

The pattern has been updated to include this motif and the locations in the blanket, it also includes a chart for motif 4 (for those who prefer charts).

If you want to join in the CAL you can find the pattern here and the Ravelry discussion thread here.

Happy crocheting xxx