I’m super excited to tell you about a secret project I’ve been working on, with a new friend I made over lockdown, which has resulting in a very fun collaboration and my very first make-along project!
I’ve joined forces with Kitey, aka The Yarn Whisperer, on a brand new design, working with some of his lovely hand-dyed yarn, to create a unique crocheted wrap called Solstice Garden.
It was a case of crochet designer virtually meets yarn dyer! Back in March I joined one of Kitey’s Virtual Stitch-n-B*tch sessions and thereafter joined in with the almost daily chats with a new host of lovely people. The more we got to know each other the joke started that we should do a collaboration – then this developed into the idea for a make-along (MAL).
A make-along? What’s a make-along or MAL I hear some of you ask? Well maybe you are familiar with the term CAL for a crochet-along (or a KAL in knitting) it’s sort of similar but a MAL has a few differences.
A make-along is when a specific pattern is released with all of the details required to make the design; along with a specific start date for everyone to begin their project together. Then, unlike a crochet-along where you would have bits of the pattern over a number of weeks, you have the pattern in full with and end date to make it by. It’s a relaxed way to make a project as you can work at your own pace, but there is a deadline to hold you accountable should you need one.
As we met during lockdown and enjoyed being part of the online crafting community, both Kitey and I wanted to collaborate on a project that would continue with that sense of crafting community spirit, and which would allow people from all over the world to join in and make something at the same time. We decided that the time leading up to the Winter Solstice would make a perfect crafting window.
In history the Winter Solstice has been seen as a time to celebrate, a time of re-affirmation, and a time of courage to tackle new things. 2020 has been a long and challenging year for many of us, and so part of the inspiration behind the wrap is that the winter garden is by no means a dead place, the plants are still alive, living off energy that they’ve stored ready for when they’ll fully bloom again – plus we’ve added a bit of sparkle, because who doesn’t love sparkly things!
I’m not going to show you the wrap design yet, but I will say for this design I’ve been digging into traditions. The wrap features circles, which the pagan’s used to represent the year and stylised wreaths or blooms to symbolise the turning of the seasons. Traditionally wreaths are symbolic of immortality because they don’t “die” in the winter, they stand for protection, unity and balance and that’s what I wanted this wrap to represent too.
As we bid goodbye to the sun at the end of the MAL, on the longest night of the year, we can enjoy the sunrise after the solstice with a brand new finished wrap, and think about the sun and opportunity for wellbeing in the new year. Plus that sparkly new project you’ve just finished will come in handy as a wrap or scarf during colder weather – or it might just be made just in time to gift to someone special for Christmas (if you celebrate it).
The MAL will start on 1 December and will run until 21 December when everyone can have a ta-dah moment and show off their wraps. Kit’s for the wrap which will include 2 skeins of Corriedale Sock 80/20 yarn, sparkly Precosia beads, and a digital copy of the pattern (which will be sent to you at the end of November). There will also be a few treats for good measure! Pre-order’s can be made on The Yarn Whisperer website NOW (26 October) and if you order in the first 48 hours you can enjoy an Early Bird special offer of 10% discount, after this date kits will cost £37 + postage.
The first few kits are dyed and ready to be sent and Kitey will be dying more kits to order; with generally a 1 week turn-around from order to shipping.
International orders will be shipped by 9 November and UK orders will be shipped by 16 November to give your kit plenty of time to reach you for kick off on 1 December. Although with slow mail deliveries, due to the current situation, we cannot guarantee delivery for international customers – we advise the earlier you can order, the better!
There will be support for the pattern as usual in my Facebook group, and also you can pop in and join in with the Virtual Stitch-n-B*tch sessions hosted by Kitey. Those are a bit like going to a virtual knit and natter group, and everyone there is really lovely and helpful.
Although there is an end date to the make along, it doesn’t really end because you can still make the pattern later. If you’d prefer to use yarn from your stash then you can do (as we wanted to make this relaxed and inclusive for everyone) the pattern alone will be available from my usual stores, and the crystal bead kits will be available from Kitey’s shop from 1st February 2021.
We do hope that you will join both Kitey and myself for this fun make-along – we can’t wait to see your wonderful new wraps come to life!
Until next time folks! Happy hooking, keep calm and crochet on my friends xx