Winter Blanket CAL part 2

Well the big day is over, and you’re probably stuffed full of food and wanting some not too strenuous exercise.   So how about tackling square number 2 in the Winter Blanket CAL?  Wielding that hook will get you moving and maybe when you’ve done a motif you’ll gain that sense of achievement which will power you up for a Boxing Day walk 🙂  Or maybe you’ll just prefer to lounge on the sofa and make more motifs!

As a reminder about requirements have a re-read of this post.

Now onto motif number 2:

First a reminder of abbreviations:

The pattern is written in English crochet terms.
St = stitch
Ch = chain
Tr = treble (US dc)
Ss = slip stitch
Sp = space
Ch-sp =chain space

MOTIF 2 – AGATHI

I call this motif Agathi.  Agathi is a lovely lady called who has a craft shop in Kassiopi, Corfu.   The open filet style design is inspired by one of her motifs, but is not as complex.

This motif is best made in one colour throughout.

Motif 2 - Agathi
Motif 2 – Agathi

Foundation:  Make a 4ch foundation ch and join into a ring with a ss

Round 1: 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 2ch) 3 times into the ring, 2tr into the ring, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 2: ss into 2ch-sp, (note for this and each subsequent round: this ss is to position the start of the round in the right place) 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, *1tr in next st, 1ch, miss 1 st, 1tr in next st**, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in 2ch-sp on the corner; repeat from * another 2 times and then from * to ** once, finish with 1tr in the first 2ch-sp and join to 3rd ch from start with a ss. 

Round 3: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, *1tr in each of next 3 sts, 1ch, miss 1ch-sp, 1tr in each of next 3 sts**, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) into the next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 2 times, then from * to ** once, finish with 1tr into first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 4: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, *1tr in each of next 5 sts, 1ch, miss 1ch-sp, 1tr in each of next 5 sts**, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) into the next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 2 times, then from * to ** once, finish with 1tr into first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 5: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 1tr into the same 2ch-sp, 1ch, *1tr in each of next 5 sts, 1ch, miss 1 st, 1tr in next st, 1ch, miss 1ch-sp, 1tr in next st, 1ch, miss 1 st, 1tr in each of next 5 sts, 1ch**, (1tr, 2ch, 1tr, 1ch) into the next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 2 times, then from * to ** once, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 6: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 1tr into the same 2ch-sp, 1ch, *1tr in next st, 1ch, miss 1ch-sp, 1tr in each of next 3 sts, 1ch, miss 1 st, (1tr in next st, 1ch, miss 1ch-sp) 3 times, 1tr in next st, 1ch, miss 1 st, 1tr in each of next 3 sts, 1ch, miss 1ch-sp, 1tr in next st, 1ch**, (1tr, 2ch, 1tr, 1ch) into the next 2ch-sp; repeat from * another 2 times, then from * to ** once, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 7: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 1tr into the same 2ch-sp, 1ch, (1tr, 1ch) in each tr along each side (missing all the 1ch-sps and the centre tr of each group  of 3tr) and (1tr, 2ch, 1tr, 1ch) in each 2ch-sp on the corner, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Round 8: ss into 2ch-sp, 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, 1tr into each st and 1ch-sp around, (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) into each 2ch-sp, and work a final 1tr into the first 2ch-sp, join to 3rd st of starting 5ch with a ss.

Break yarn and fasten off, leaving a long tail of about 3m for sewing or crocheting together later.

You should have 31tr along each side and a 2ch-sp at each corner.

This is where I placed the motifs on my blanket:

Agathi motif is shown as 2
Agathi motif is shown as 2

Today the pattern is published on Ravelry here, including a chart for Agathi.  The next 6 motifs will be added to this pattern on a weekly basis, with photos and progress updates shown here on the blog.

Of course, you may prefer to use just the 2 motifs I have published here on the blog. So here are a couple of possible layouts you may like to try:

layout 3

Agathi motif is shown as a cross, solid motifs are shown as shaded squares2
Agathi motif is shown as a cross, solid motifs are shown as shaded squares

There is a discussion thread in my Ravelry group here.  Please join in the fun!

Happy crocheting xxx

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas!

I wish all my lovely readers a great day, whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

And here for you all is the final reveal of the Soothing Mandala CAL.  I hope it brings light and joy into your lives.

Shell edge
Shell edge
Picot edge
Picot edge

The pattern can be found here (in US terms and English terms) and the Ravelry discussion thread is here.

Happy holidays xxx

Soothing Mandala Part 4

Part 4 is now published.  Today there is one new round, bringing the mandala up to 6 rounds now.

I’ve given you only little peeks so far, but today I thought you’d like to see Part 4 in all it’s glory:

DSC01124

There’s still time to join in the CAL, so pop along to Ravelry to get the pattern.  Further details here.

Happy crocheting xxx

 

 

 

Part 3 and a special offer

Part 3 of the Soothing Mandala CAL is now published on Ravelry.   You can read all the details here.

If you look here you will see some crocheters have been posting progress photos 🙂

And I have some exciting news for you.  In the summer Autumn Beaches Scarf was published in Inside Crochet and the rights returned to me recently.  So I have published this as an individual pattern.

Photo courtesy of Nic, Yarns from the Plain

The scarf was designed in some luscious Mobberley DK from Yarns from the Plain and as a special offer Nic, the owner of Yarns from the Plain, is offering a 10% discount on any of her DK yarns.  So if you purchase the pattern here you will find a discount code in the pattern which will enable you to obtain the 10% discount.  This applies to any DK yarn in her shop, and she has some gorgeous yarns to choose from.

The pattern works well in semi solid colours and variegated colours, but would also work in multiple colours.   It works up fairly quickly and would be a lovely scarf to make for yourself in the New Year.

Some yarns in Nic’s shop that I would love to see in this pattern are:

Wilmslow DK in colour Ask:

Ask

Mobberley DK in colour Bewitched:

Mobberley_DK_Bewitched_2_JPG-100206-250x250

Mobberley Dk in colour Greengage:

Greengage_jpg-100332-250x250

And there are many more colours to choose from.   Go on, spoil yourself!

 

Happy crocheting xxx

 

Soothing Mandala CAL part 2

Part 2 of the Soothing Mandala CAL was added to the pattern this morning.   This brings us to 4 rounds…….would you like a sneaky peek?

Remember, you can find the pattern here and if you use coupon code CHRISTMAS you will be able to purchase the pattern free.  This code expires at midnight GMT on 31st December 2015.

So sneaky peek:

....but only a peek!
….but only a peek!

If you enjoy this CAL please consider donating to The Christie – there is a Justgiving page here.

Remember, the pattern is easy enough for anyone to try (provided you know how to crochet in the round) and each day it should take only a short amount of time to tackle the new round(s) in the CAL – just a little daily crochet to soothe you in the hectic days before Christmas.

Please share your progress in the Ravelry group.

Part 3 will be published on Monday morning UK time.

Happy crocheting xx

 

Right now it’s 19th December on Christmas Island …….

…..so I have just published part 1 of the pattern for the Soothing Mandala CAL.

You can find the pattern here.

And if you use coupon code CHRISTMAS you will be able to purchase the pattern free.  This code expires at midnight GMT on 31st December 2015.

If you enjoy this CAL please consider donating to The Christie – there is a Justgiving page here.

Remember, the pattern is easy enough for anyone to try (provided you know how to crochet in the round) and each day it should take only a short amount of time to tackle the new round(s) in the CAL – just a little daily crochet to soothe you in the hectic days before Christmas.

Please share your progress in the Ravelry group.

Part 2 will be published on Sunday morning UK time!

Happy crocheting xx

 

 

 

 

Soothing Mandala CAL

The next stage of the Winter Blanket CAL won’t be published until Boxing Day, so if you have been waiting patiently (or impatiently!) I have another CAL to keep you occupied until then.

It is a charitable mandala CAL which will commence on Saturday 19th December and conclude on Friday 25th December.  Each day one or two rounds of the mandala pattern will be published, with the last round being published on Christmas Day – or I should say rounds because I will have 2 options for the final round.  I’ve named it the Soothing Mandala as a round or two of crochet every day may help soothe you in the hectic run up to Christmas!   If you don’t know what a mandala is this may inspire you:

Mandalas...
Mandalas…

My aim is to raise some money for a great charitable cause – The Christie Charity. This is a UK cancer hospital charity and for those who don’t know about it you can read more here.   This has been one of my favourite charities for many years.  Not many people are aware of all the services provided by The Christie – two in particular are the Complementary Therapy and Art Sessions & Therapy, both of which are funded entirely by the charity.  Mandalas are frequently used in colour therapy and meditation, and these fit very well with the Complementary and Art Therapies, and so it seemed a good type of CAL to use to support the charity.  Who knows, one day crochet could feature in the alternative therapies used!

How will it work?

The pattern will be available on Ravelry, and will be updated each day as new rounds of the mandala are published.   A code will be published on the blog on Saturday which will allow you to obtain the pattern free until the end of the year.  This makes the CAL accessible to all, which I hope will raise awareness of the charity.  However, I will also publish links to a Justgiving charity page where you can donate to the charity; whether you wish to donate is up to you, as is the amount. In addition all proceeds from the sale of the pattern from Saturday until the end of 2016 will be donated to The Christie, so hopefully there will be ongoing benefits for the charity also.

What materials are needed?

I used a dk cotton in up to 9 colours, using only small quantities of each, a 4mm hook and a tapestry needle.

However, it could be made in any type or weight of yarn (although I wouldn’t recommend anything heavier than aran), provided you use a suitable hook size.

How difficult is it?

The pattern is written in the round and uses no complex stitches, just chain, double crochet, treble,  half treble and slip stitch.    So if you know how to work these then you should find it straightforward.   I will publish an update photo on the pattern each time new rounds are published, so you will have a visual aid as well.    The pattern will be written in English crochet terms initially, but I will add US terms once the full pattern is published on Christmas Day.

If you’ve never made a mandala before this should be a great one to try as there will be chatting and support on my Ravelry group.

Until Saturday….

Happy crocheting xxx

Winter Blanket CAL – update

Yesterday I finished my 8 motifs for the CAL.  It has been my ‘knitgroup’ project, so I’ve been doing a little every few days, I had a spare couple of hours yesterday so decided to finish them.

Here’s a progress photo:

Motif 1 - finished!
Motif 1 – finished!

You will notice that I have a chain running off the corner of each motif.  This is my way of ensuring I have enough yarn on each motif to slip stitch them together afterwards.   You see a chain st uses the same amount of yarn as a slip stitch, so if you work out how many slip stitches you will need all you have to do is a chain the same number (plus a bit spare) and you should have enough yarn to join the motifs at a later stage.  Just don’t tie off the chain, leave it loose so that you can pull it back quickly.  For me this meant a chain of 70 sts, because each motif has 33 sts down each side and most of the motifs will be joined along 2 sides – so 2 times 33 plus a bit equals 70.  I guess this is Tip number 6!

How are you getting on with your CAL?  Have you finished all 8 of the first motif yet?

Well, if you have you may be getting impatient, so I’m planning a quick CAL in the week up to Christmas which should keep you interested.  And I plan to do it for charity.  All you will need are some scraps of cotton dk yarn in some nice colours – up to 9 colours.  More about this soon 😉

Happy crocheting xxx

 

 

Winter Blanket CAL progress update

I started on my CAL blanket yesterday afternoon.   I made one ‘solid’ granny in 2 colours – Teal and Fern.   But I didn’t like the effect at all, so I frogged immediately.

My mistake was lack of colour planning!   I had already decided that Teal, Fern, Mint and Aqua would be my ‘background’ colours and that one should feature in each motif – but I now know that 2 didn’t work.   A quick re-think and I decided to use all 4 of Daffodil, Melon, Zing and Rose, followed by Fern.

So Tip number 1 – do some good colour planning!

Progress was good – I have completed my first ‘solid’ granny and done 4 rounds of the other 7.

Solid granny progress
Solid granny progress

The last 4 rounds are in Fern and finishing them will be a good project for knitgroup (Tip number 2 – never take anything complicated to knitgroup, there is too much natter, laughter and other distractions such as coffee and cake!).

I have been good and sewn my ends as I go, making the finishing much more straightforward.

Tip number 3 – sew your ends as you go.

When doing my sample blanket I used different yarn and I used my favourite Clover Amour crochet hook.  I have a LOT of crochet hooks but by far my best ones are Clover Amour and  Hamanaka Raku Raku, they are the ones that fit best in my hand – size, weight and touch are perfect for me.  If you look at the photo you will see I’m using the Hamanaka Raku Raku hooks for the CAL blanket, and my yarn is different.  Interestingly, the size of these squares is coming out larger – about 21cm square, which I think is a combination of different yarn and different hook.  The amount of yarn seems about the same, so I’m not at all bothered by this as I know I have plenty of yarn.  But I will keep my scales handy and keep a check on my yarn as I work through the CAL, just to keep track of how much yarn I’ve used and to ensure I have sufficient left for the rest.

Tip number 4 – use a hook you are comfortable with

Tip number 5 – check your tension after the first square and work out how much yarn you’ve used, change hook size if necessary and keep a notebook handy to record yarn used.

That’s all on progress so far.

Incidentally, the Hamanaka Raku Raku crochet hooks are lovely and would be a fabulous addition to your Christmas present list!   They are available as a set from Janie Crow, who also stock Clover Amour.

Happy crocheting xxx

Here we go……..

Welcome to the Winter CAL 2015.   Today I’m introducing the CAL, providing information on requirements and the pattern for the first square motif, a ‘solid’ granny which should be pretty familiar and which will help you estimate your own requirements if you aren’t using the same yarn.

This post is rather long, so make a cuppa and settle down for a long read !

YARN

First let’s talk about yarn.  I’m using a double knit (DK) yarn and I’m making 2 blankets.

My first is a ‘sample’ blanket using 6 bright colours which cheer up winter and the second is also a bright colour palate but will be structured differently. I’m using the second colour set to crochet along with you.

Sample yarn:  John Arbon, Knit by Numbers DK, 100% merino, 100g/250m per skein.  2 skeins each of Blue (039), Pink (063), Yellow (052), Green (071) and Purple (029)  and 1 skein of Orange (015).  This is sufficient for a blanket 7 motifs square, so a total of 49 motifs and a small border.

John Arbon Knit by Numbers
John Arbon Knit by Numbers

CAL yarn: Stylecraft Life DK, 75% acrylic/25% wool, 100g/298m per ball.  I’m using 2 balls each of Teal (2416), Mint (2342), Aqua (2357) and Fern (2311) and 1 ball each of Daffodil (2394), Rose (2301), Melon (2359) and Zing (2356).    The blanket will be 7 motifs square also, the same as the sample, but I will put a larger border on this.

Stylecraft Life DK
Stylecraft Life DK

HOOK

I am using a 4mm crochet hook (US G/6)

MOTIF/TENSION

The motifs are square and each motif is approx. 19cm (just under 8in) square after blocking, using the ‘sample’ yarn.

ADAPTABILITY

You can use any yarn you like, as long as you use a suitable hook size.  And you can make it to any size you like.  It is a perfect stash buster.  Later in this blog I show you how to you estimate your yarn requirements.

COLOUR SCHEME

Some of the motifs in this design work well in just one colour, others work well in up to 5 colours.  So whatever you choose, I recommend you have at least 5 colours of yarn.  I used 6 colours in my sample blanket and I’m using 8 colours in my CAL blanket.

MOTIF DESIGNS AND TIMINGS

There are 8 motif designs, and you can use as many or as few as you like.    The first 2 designs are free and will be published on this blog, so you could use just these 2. The first design is published today, the second design will be published on 26th December.

The other 6 will be published weekly thereafter and will be included in a comprehensive pattern which will be available to buy on Ravelry, it will be published initially on 26th December and updated as each motif is released. Photos of the new motifs will appear on this blog, along with my progress updates.

SIZE

You can make the blanket any size you like.   The lap blanket I am making will be 7 motifs square – a total of 49 motifs.  It will be just over 1.3m/52in square with a small border.

HOW TO WORK OUT YARN REQUIREMENTS

This is an approximate way to work out your yarn requirement.

First make the motif in this blog.  I worked out it uses an average amount of yarn for all the 8 motifs, so is a good guide as to how much each motif will use.

Then measure your motif.  Using this measurement work out how big you want your blanket to be – so if the motif is 20cm and you want a blanket 120cm square then it will need to be 6 motifs square – that’s 36 motifs.

I prefer my blankets to have an odd number along each side, as visually I find odd numbers more appealing.  So you may prefer to aim for 7 by 7 (49 motifs), or 5 by 5 (25 motifs) or even 9 by 9 (81 motifs).

Whatever you decide, 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 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.

For my bright sample I had 49 motifs, each weighing an average of 20g – so 49 by 20 plus 10% is  1078g and the skeins come in 100g, so I need 10.78 – or 11.

The estimating works if you are using all the same yarn, 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.  I’ll provide information on this in my Ravelry group here if you want it – so just join in the discussion and ask!

Now onto the pattern:

This is the first motif.  It is similar to one I used last year but this has more rounds in total, it’s a ‘solid’ granny square.

ABBREVIATIONS:

The pattern is written in English crochet terms.
St = stitch
Ch = chain
Tr = treble (US dc)
Ss = slip stitch
Sp = space
Ch-sp =chain space

Solid motif
Solid motif

I made 8 of these in a variety of colours:

Foundation:  Make a 4ch foundation ch and join into a ring with a ss

Round 1: 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), (3tr, 2ch) 3 times into the ring, 2tr into the ring, join to 3rd st of first 5ch with a ss.

Round 2: ss into 2ch-sp, (note for this and each subsequent round: this ss is to position the start of the round in the right place) 5ch (counts as 1tr, 2ch), 2tr into the same 2ch-sp, 1tr into each tr along each side and (2tr, 2ch, 2tr) in each 2ch-sp on the corner, finish with 1tr in the first 2ch-sp where you started the round and join to 3rd ch from start with a ss. You should have 7tr along each side and 2ch in each corner of your motif.

Rounds 3 to 8: Repeat Round 2.  Each round the number of tr along each side will increase by 4, so at the end of Round 8 you should have 31tr along each side and 2ch in each corner of your motif.

Break yarn and fasten off leaving a long tail about 3m long for sewing or crocheting together later.

COLOUR

In my sample blanket I made 8 of these motifs in just one colour each.   But you can use up to 8 colours, just by changing colour at the start of each round.  I will start my CAL blanket later today and I’m planning on using at least 2 colours on each of my 8 motifs.  I’ll post progress photos tomorrow.

LAYOUT

The ‘solid’ motifs can be positioned anywhere in the blanket but I thought it would help to give structure to the blanket if I positioned them around the edge of it.  So here is where I put them in my blanket (shown as 1):

Solid motif locations
Solid motif locations

If you want to chat about this, there is a discussion thread on my Ravelry forum here.

Or you could just comment on this post.

I’m looking forward to seeing what yarns you choose 🙂

Until tomorrow…..

Happy crocheting xxx