So it’s kick off week again – this time I present to you the amazing Ross Poldark blanket. Or at least the first two weeks as the CAL will take place until August. But what I like about this CAL is that you actually know what the finished product will look like as the pattern has already been released before. So I know I love the design and also the original masculine color scheme. The first week consisted of sixteen small squares – after the Nuts squares they looked tiny. They where quite easy to do as they do not contain any fancy stitches. I like the way it creates a nice pattern while staying simple.
The next week was only four squares – but this time bigger ones. Don’t the colors look gorgeous? And they where quite fast to make in only two evenings. Can’t wait for this week’s release in order to see how the squares will come together. As well those small squares are nice to work on even when it’s hot. And while waiting I am working on the next squares of my Stardust Melodies CAL.
This week was quite busy – not concerning finishing projects but more on getting new projects on board. I worked on my Nuts Border but we are currently having a heat wave which makes cocheting on it slow work. So sadly I don’t have a finished blanket yet.
However the first new project added to my list is the Ross Poldark CAL. The pattern was created by the amazingly creative designer Catherine Bligh and the CAL will be starting on the 12th of July. I have received my yarn pack already from Loveknitting and can’t wait to get started. The colors are so lovely and the design is so gorgeous <3. And of course it’s again connected to a Facebook group – my fourth crochet related one – that provides me with one million of new project ideas. I am so doomed ….
A good friend of mine is actually responsible for the second project added. She asked me recently if I do anything else besides crocheting. Yes, I still clean my apartment and even my balcony garden gets watered now and again :P. And I have time to meet with friends, too. But it’s quite true that this year I spent very much time on crocheting – it can be done next to the TV, it is easy to pick up and easy to store away and I don’t need to plan very much (which is nice after a hard day at work which involves lots of planning and organizing). So on my way home I read that Etty van Urk, the Cake Dutchess, who is my inspiration for modelling fondant figurines, wanted to start an “edible alphabet cake topper collaboration” using Cake Dutchess modelling paste. My fingers were faster to type “I’m in!” than my brain was able to process what I was doing :P. I now have to come up with an idea for a word starting with the letter “H” and an kids-suitable design. I am loving the challenge!
And last but not least I published my first free pattern. You might remember the dish scrubber I created using Rico Creative Bubble. It’s not a fancy design but I thought that I might as well write it down as I was not able to find such a pattern when searching the web. I decided to publish it on Ravelry, my own preferred source of patterns – and after quite a struggle with figuring out how to actually get my instructions uploaded there, I am happy to announce that you can find it here in case you want to give it a try too. It’s my first written and charted pattern – so please be kind to me ;). Any feedback is welcome – especially if anyone knows the official chart symbol for a drop stitch (searched the web to and fro and was not able to find anything on it at all).
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.
I know I am breaking my own routine by not writing about the Starburst Melodies CAL but about my Nuts about Roses. But on the one hand side I messed up square 11 of the Starburst Melodies and had to frog it already twice and on the other hand I just couldn’t stop with my Nuts.
The last square was Lise by probably one of my most favourite designers – Polly Plum. This one was so much fun as it was easy to make. Just the right square to finish of the square making. I love how in these squares my color choice really played well together.
I still have a lot of yarn left of my color B – the really bright pink – and some of color C – the green – but I already have a stashbuster project in mind. I just wait until I am sure that I really don’t need any of those for the border.
And then the joining started – it was the first time I ever joined squares together. The instructions called for a zipper join. I was happy about that because I like that neat look it creates. And it does not add too much to the already pretty busy blanket.
Halfway through – when checking the Facebook group – I found out that I started totally wrong. I was supposed to start joining the short rows first and then add the length to it. I started with the length and then had to struggle a little bit with the heaviness of the blanket. I was almost finished when I realized that I twisted two squares on the last row by accident. So some frogging and a break later, all squares where at least halfway joined.
Then the really tedious work began – the joining of the rows while balancing the whole blanket on my legs in a heat period going up to 36 degrees. What a hell but at least I now know that the finished blanket will be nice and warm. And I tested it already on my hubby and for his blanket I need to add at least one more row to it. I am already thinking on which squares I am going to pick as add-ons.
But now I have to wait for two weeks until the pattern for the border is released. I hope that until then the weather is a little bit cooler cause I am not looking forward working on my Nuts in heat again.
This week I have not been working a lot on my squares for my Nuts about Roses. But at the end my conscience kicked in and it kicked me really well. Maybe it also helped that I am actually close to finishing another big project. I present you the next two weeks even though I have almost finished two more. But one week is still on the blocking board and the last ones are still only half finished.
The next square I finished is the lovely Fall Blossom by designer Aurora Suominen This square is so beautiful, I fell in love with it right away. It creates so much texture with simple stitches – I really enjoyed every minute with it. I am getting used to adapting the size of the last rounds now though in order to come out with squares which are equally sized. I just wished I had known that much in week two already – when blocking that one, I had to stretch it quite much and I could have prevented that by just adapting the stitches of the last rounds. But as the saying goes: we grow with every error we make – and believe me, I have grown much with the Nuts CAL. Or I might have become a designer with all those “design elements” added 😜.
The next week brought a surprise – just two squares where on the list. But that’s actually okay for whoever is doing the math will surely see that 3 squares each week for 12 weeks would add up to 36 squares which would be hard to join in a rectangular blanket. We are actually doing 35 squares which will be joined to create a 5×7 blanket. The two squares where also not the same pattern but two different ones. The first one was the lovely Maroccan Window by Heather Gibbs. The second one the square Sweet and Fair by Julie Yeager. I actually am a little bit disappointed by the later one. It was nice and easy for sure – but I feel like it just does not fit in with the other squares as it lacks structure and depth. I will take a look at how it will fit in as soon as the final layout is out and might then consider a substitute. On the other hand my color C is running low so I might just have to live with it.
The rest of the week I spend actually mostly with enjoying myself after work at the Vienna Pride – Austria’s landmark LGBT event. I am a strong believer in everybody’s personal right to love whoever he or she wants and the right not to be prosecuted for loving someone. This week there was a whole week of music and queer performances and it was nice sitting outside with a cocktail or two celebrating love. On Saturday my husband and I went to see the Rainbow Parade which is always a colorful and great event. And we even got a good view on some “celebrities” like designer Glöckner. Or a group of crocheters with gorgeous crocheted umbrellas – I almost wanted to run and ask them for the pattern. And I saw some mystical creatures – unicorns, angels and even mermaids …
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.
I am terribly sorry about having you made to wait for todays post. Usually I set everything up on Sunday so that publishing occurs right on time. Yesterday however I was so tired that I could not make myself write anything that would at least make a moderate amount of sense. For those who are wondering now – no I did not spent the whole nights of the long weekend crocheting (though I actually did one square). My hubby and I spent three days sightseeing the city of Hamburg – a really great place to visit. We have walked what felt like a marathon or two and almost every day just dropped right into bed as soon as we were back at the hotel again.
Last week I promised you some gorgeous squares of my Nuts about Rose – so this is what I will therefore do now.
The first three where really fun to make and seeing the picture might make you understand why I love this square. I am really considering exchanging my logo with a nice shot of one of them – even though I like the current one which I hand lettered myself. The squares name is chosen well – it’s Fantastic! by Julie Yeager and fantastic is what this square really is.
The second set of squares actually contains two patterns – one called Cat’s Claw by Margaret MacInnes and the other one Tropical Delight by Susan Stevens. I ❤️ the Tropical Delight as it looks so pretty – my color scheme works great here. But it was by miles the hardest pattern I have ever crocheted – and I have already done very many … It felt like ages until I was finally finished and I messed up the stitch count in the last rounds and had to get creative to get to the right stitch count on all sides in th end. I think the complexity of that square was the reason why it was matched with two Cat’s Claws. This one was really easy and is fast to make. Nevertheless it looks quite fancy.
The blanket is now fast approaching a good size – I laid out the squares on my floor (yes, I know, again ☺️) to see how the squares fit together. I am really happy with how it starts to look.