Finally I finished my Stardust Melodies CAL (makes a happy dance)! After I successfully finished all squares and joined them together it was “only” border time. I choose the paid border pattern as this looks much fancier and fits more the blanket in my head. The border pattern looked simple enough – the beginning was quite forgiving working with either even and odd numbers of stitches and afterwards it was just a repeat of two different rows. But you probably did hear all the swearing and cursing last week.
I was always proud of being a “mathematical girl” – I loved maths at school, I did special courses, studied banking and finance and am working in the IT of a bank. But as it seems basic mathematics such as counting to three eludes me completely. Three – yes, three! – times I had to frog one round because I made a mistake in counting. This, of course, I realized only when I was working the next round. My hubby ducked and hid – he already knows that he needs to be really quiet when that happens and let me cope with it myself. I ground my teeth, frogged and restarted – cursed, frogged, restarted – swore, frogged, restarted and prayed.
But once this round was finished successfully the rest was easy! So I proudly present the final and totally complete Stardust Melodies! Winter can come now 🙂
Currently I am only working on one project I really like to finish soon: my Stardust Melodies blanket. At least I am not the only participant of the CAL that struggled to keep up and failed. I would so love to have more time to crochet during the week but mostly I find time on weekends. Now I have only four squares left to join to my blanket – three of them are already on the blocking board and the fourth is waiting to be done. But after eight squares in two days my hand starts to hurt, so I need to make a short break before making a run for the border.
As well I need to get ready for vacation and need to work on my surprise – the sneak peak I recently posted. So until everything is ready here’s the current progress on my Stardust Melodies – It looks a little bit wobbly but I love how the colours come together:
This week I have been busy with catching up on my Stardust Melodies CAL. Actually the border patterns have been released already and I had not even finished all 24 squares once. Until now I didn’t even know how big my blankets gonna be. It’s the first time that I actually did not have a plan layed out in detail right from the start but kind of went along with what came. Now that I have three rows already joined, I am able to get a feeling on how big it already is and how big it might be by adding my chosen border.
The only decision open was, if it’s going to be a blanket for one person or if I am going to snuggle underneath it with my hubby. You have to know that my husband is quite a lot taller than me, therefore needs a longer blanket or his toes will stick out. I was not keen on adding additional squares to make it longer so I decided that I might be able to adjust the length by adding to the border instead.
It’s not easy for me to have the picture of the finished blanket in my head but still needing to create the second half of the squares. Luckily there are a lot of nice movies on Amazon Prime and Netflix and the weather is usually not that good on weekends. It always seems to me that there is a unknown law of nature that the weather is nice and sunny during the week when I have to work and is rainy and cold when I am off….
Last week I still did not have much time for crocheting as there was another cake waiting for me to be made. This time it was for the mother of my best friend. This woman is a really great person and kind of “adopted” my husband and me. So there was no way I would say no when I was asked to create a cake for her 80th birthday. Sadly she has diabetes so I had to ensure that the cake did not contain too much sugar. I picked yellow sponge cake with blueberry filling and a whipped cream-mascarpone cream. Her favourite color is yellow so I added some yellow roses and blue hydrangea made of Cake Dutchess modelling paste. I love how thin this paste can be rolled out and still be workable for some time.
I love how easy the petals could be dusted with petal dust and how well it holds the color after steaming. I have used this cake as an excuse to buy the cake steamer I had an eye on for quite some time. It was on sale at that moment so my restrain to buy it was easily resolved 🙂 It’s so much easier to work with a professional steamer rather than the water boiler I had used before (and almost burned my fingers with). Now I have all my equipment ready to practice more flowers as roses are fairly easy as soon as you have figured them out. The hydrangea don’t look that right though – maybe it would have been better to make them in white and dust them later just as I did with the roses.
Now that the cake season is over again for some time, I will again have time for some CAL work. I will give you an short update on my Stardust Melodies CAL. Here you see the next six squares ready to be joined to the rest. I am still behind six squares but I am sure that I am able to catch up. I am not sure yet if I am going to add more squares or if I just use it as a lap blanket. I think it will become pretty heavy the more squares are added as it is made of cotton yarn. I am not sure if I want to give it away every time for washing as I don’t know if washing saloons have enough knowledge still so that they don’t mess it up. I would be devastated if it got ruined after having invested so much time…
In the mean time I have a sneak peak for you until next week. Something I have been working on in between flower making for my upcoming vacation…..
Why on earth are there such things as catch-up weeks in CALs? And how could it happen that this week was catch-up week on BOTH CALs I am currently participating? Why was I punished like that? I participate in two CALs at the same time in order not to have too much waiting time! I was devastated….
So actually I was wandering back and forth and looking at my yarn stash, trying to figure out what to do with all that spare time. And even though I didn’t want to start another big project I could not resist for long. I started my own Charlotte’s Dream throw for my bedroom. I love when a color scheme I had in my head works out just perfectly. I love this pattern so much – the texture, the central flower, the easiness of creating it. Each square is huge but I still need at least 23 more. It will be my in between project, so it might take eternity until finished.
Then I decided to do something about all those squares already on my blocking board. I can still remember how hard it was to join all those squares on my Nuts, so I didn’t want to wait until the end with the Stardust Melodies. I was undecided which join to use – I was torn between the celtic lace join and the flat braid join. I tried the celtic lace first but it was way to dominant for the squares. I wanted something that helps bring out the texture of the squares not distract from them. The flat braid join works perfect for that – I totally love how it adds a filigrane feeling to the rather solid squares.
Did you know that there actually exists a youtube playlist for the Stardust Melodies CAL? Each square is designed around a peace of music and it’s really fun to listen to it while crocheting along.
The second square was fun to make as it creates a lot of texture with simple stitches. It’s called Fools Rush In and it is well named – I did rush in, messed up in the beginning and had a hard time figuring out where I went wrong. I had quite a laugh afterwards about that.
The third square is called Don’t Fence Me In – a nice and easy pattern that will actually make a great square in between some busier squares. I am now trying to take the complexity of the pattern into account when choosing the colour of the square. I have settled on a colour layout right in the beginning and now need to fill in the appropriate squares when the pattern is released. As you can see in the picture the square fits well next to the Fools Rush In but lacks next to Begin the Beguine.
The CAL continued with a square called I’m Beginning To See The Light. Now if you need to practice bobbles you should try this square. But it’s fun to see the square in the square growing in the process. It’s a little bit wobbly and needs blocking but I just store it on my blocking board for the moment until I am sure that each square ends up the same size. Until now it works fine but my experience with blocking the Nuts about Squares CAL has shown me not to get to cocky. One square might just make me reconsider the size I thought would be appropriate. Even though that means that I will have a lot of squares to block before being able to crochet them together.
Last week was actually the last week for my hygge – and I am really a little bit sentimental about it. It’s been a long journey with quite some ups and downs and it was a really hard work blocking it in the end too. It softened up after wet-blocking so actually using it as a wrap might be an option. I have not found a fabric yet that spoke hygge or Danish mermaid to me. So I did not line it yet and at the moment it is just hanging around a little bit waiting for the right usage.
As it seems now I have a lot of spare time and as I promised last week there’s a new CAL I am participating in. It’s Stardust Melodies by the gorgeous and creative designer Polly Plum. It’s all about textures, so I picked some Paintbox cotton aran as cotton makes stitches more defined than the fluffy acrylic yarn. My hubby picked the colour scheme and I ordered three packs without knowing how much I will actually need for the blanket. Seems I have miscalculated a little bit but Loveknitting was so fast delivering that I am not concerned about ordering more as soon as I need more. They missed to send one yarn ball though – you can see the missing dark blue in the top row – but resent it without any trouble. Really great support service!
I started of cause as soon as I had my yarn with the square called Begin the Beguine. It looks complicated but actually is really simple as soon as you have figured it out. It’s a little bit smaller than I expected – it will block to 20 cm – but this just means that I might have to make more of the squares. At the moment I am planning on doing 2 of each for a 6×8 sized blanket. I have not done the second one as I am not sure about the layout of the blanket. I’ll make one of each square and then check out which fit together best. They are actually really nice and easy to fit in every evening – maybe because the are single color – so no weaving in of a million threads like the Nuts about Squares CAl. In case you want to try to create one too, make sure to check out Polly’s great video tutorial on Youtube. It is really very helpful in case you are not the pattern reading type of crocheter or if you want to clarify where to put a specific stitch.
Now I am off to do my next Nuts about Squares squares – I can tell you for sure that next week there will be some beauties showing up here!