So I thought I’d share some facts with you – in our CAL we have…
Worked through 24 new patterns – way to go everyone that had never read a pattern before!
Used 31 different kinds of stitches – I think we’ve all learnt something new whilst doing this CAL, I know I certainly have!
Learnt to be crochet bi-lingual by following both UK and US crochet terminology – just think how useful that will be in the future!
Used several techniques including working in back loops, front loops, around back posts and front posts, learnt how to extend to rows already worked, crochet several stitches together, work Jacobs ladder, a larks-foot stitch, a spike stitch, tapestry crochet, overlay crochet, basket-weave, made 3-D elements and also how to crochet backwards – some seriously impressive skills to be proud of!
And now I want to share some of the amazing finished Afghan’s that I have had the kind permission of the owners to share! So without further ado here are some unbelievably gorgeous Afghans to feast your eyes on!
Made by Crafty Ridge
By Debbie WellsBethel
Made by Jennifer Wilson
Made by Tish Wilson
Made by Shelia-Utton-Robbins
Made by Danielle Morrell
Aren’t they just all stunning! Thanks again to everyone that has shared their beautiful work with me! I love seeing your finished Afghans x
It’s here! It’s here! It’s time!!! The END of the 2015 Keep Calm and Crochet On UK Afghan CAL! But don’t worry if this is the first you are hearing about this CAL you can find the full schedule here and I promise to keep all the details on the blog FOREVER x
First I want to say a few thank you’s! Ooo it feels a bit like the Oscars doesn’t it! I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you once again to all the lovely designers that were kind enough to let me use their designs as part of the CAL (see the full list here). I also want to thank the fabulous admins (Kimberlie, Michelle, Jenn & Kat x) of the Facebook group for their support throughout the year. Finally I want to thank YOU all for crocheting along with me! So many more of you joined in this project than I ever imagined! I hope you have enjoyed crocheting a-long with me as much as I’ve enjoyed seeing all the fabulous work that you have shared with me.
And now… the moment we’ve all been waiting for…the BIG REVEAL!
Tah-Dah!!! My finished multi-square Afghan blanket!
It’s unbelievably tricky to try and get a photo of a blanket this large, mine fits most comfortably over a single bed with some overlap but I just about managed it! It’s annoying though how the lovely dark purple that I used comes out as blue on my camera sometimes so these aren’t quite the true colours that I actual chose (see them here).
I’m really pleased with how the finished blanket has turned out. It’s the biggest thing I have made to date…
It’s been great joining it together whilst the weather has been turning colder as it’s been keeping me lovely and warm, and I did joke to my husband that I might have to keep it for myself. But the little person for whom this blanket was intended has been eagerly waiting for me to finish…and she LOVES her new blanket (and yes she is wearing make-up from a pamper birthday party that she went to and yes she then refused to take off!)
The finished blanket was quickly claimed hot of the hook and what followed was lots of gleeful rolling about in finished the blanket…
And that’s, almost literally in the case of Little G, a wrap! But don’t despair…I have some new CAL plans for 2016 so watch this space for details coming soon!
Thank you all again, for crocheting-a-long with me this year! I can’t wait to see your fabulous finished Afghans – some of which, with kind permission, I’ll be sharing this week!
Sooo I wanted a nice simple solid edge to bring together and compliment our finished Afghans whilst at the same time be usable to all you lovely crochet-alongers with varying end stitch counts – not an easy task I can tell you! But I finally came up with something that I think you will like!
Introducing the ‘Beaded Beauty Border’ which is our edging for our 2015 Crochet-Along Afghan – though I think it would make an attractive crochet edging on any blanket!
This is an easy pattern suitable for beginners looking to learn some new crochet techniques. Click here to add this pattern to your favourites / queue onRavelry or scroll down for the pattern.
Beaded Beauty Border:
Use the same yarn and hook that you used to make your blanket. For my border I used up left overs of the colours and yarn that I used for my CAL (which I blogged about here).
UK Double Crochet/US Single Crochet (dc/sc): Insert hook in st indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), yarn over, pull through both loops on hook.
UK Half Treble /US Half Double Crochet (htr/hdc): Yarn over, insert hook in next st and draw up a loop (three loops on hook), yarn over, pull through all three loops on hook.
Bead Stitch: Insert hook and pull up a loop, * yarn over and pull through 1 loop on hook, * repeat from * to * twice more, yarn over and pull through two remaining loops on hook, making sure your ‘bead’ is facing the right side work 1 dc/sc in next st (see photo tutorial below).
Crab Stitch / Reverse Single Crochet: A reverse single crochet stitch is worked the same as for a regular single crochet — except in reverse. Instead of working from right to left, you work from left to right. Insert hook, from front to back, in the next st to the right and draw up a loop (two loops on hook), yarn over, pull through both loops on hook. See my photo tutorial for crab stitch here.
[ ]: work all the sts in brackets into 1 st.
To set the blanket up for the border you need to be working in a multiple of 2 sts. For my first round I evened up my sides by working a htr/hdc in the 3rd loop (though you could work in the back loop if preferred) and decreased/increased where needed. In the corners I worked [1 htr/hdc, ch 2, 1 htr/hdc].
Rnd 1: Ch 2 (or use a standing htr/hdc) to start, then work1 htr/hdc in each st around until end; working [1 htr/hdc, ch 2, 1 htr/hdc] in each corner, finish off and weave in ends.
Rnd 2: Starting in any corner ch 1 (or use a standing dc/sc), then work 1 bead stitch, continue working bead st around your blanket working, [1 dc/sc, bead st] in each corner, finish off if changing colour here and weave in ends (see below for photo tutorial).
Note: I used the same colour for rnd 3 and rnd 4 to finish off the border.
Rnd 3: Starting in any corner ch 1 (or use a standing dc/sc), work 1 dc/sc in each st around until end; working [3 dc/sc] in each corner.
Rnd 4: Work crab st in each st around, finish off and weave in ends.
And that’s it!
Bead Stitch Tutorial:
Insert your hook into your first st
2. Yarn over and pull up a loop
3. Yarn over
4. Pull through 1 loop on the hook only
5. Yarn over and pull through 1st loop on hook again
6. Yarn over and pull through 1st loop on hook again
7. Yarn over and pull through both loops on hook
8. Making sure your ‘bead’ is facing the right side, work 1 dc/sc in next st
If this edging is not to your taste have a look at some of these other suggestionshere, hereandhere.
So that’s the border! I’m not going to show you the whole of my blanket yet…I’m saving it for the big tah-dah reveal on16th December! I seriously can’t wait to see all your finished blankets!!!!
Soooo it’s time to start joining our blocks together for the2015 CAL! For my joins I really wanted something that would create a ‘frame’ for each of our unique squares. I wanted something that was slightly raised (to compliment the 3-D blocks we’ve used) and something that would add a bit of texture (because you can NEVER have too much texture!).
So I started looking around and there are some really lovely joins out there, (check out Moogly’s round up of joinshereand some ideas from Craft Passionhere), but they just weren’t right for the idea I’d got in my head about how I wanted my end blanket to look.
Now I’m a big fan of crab stitch (or reverse UK double crochet / US single crochet) it is definitely my go to edging because I just love how it looks! So I wondered about using crab stitch to join my blocks and once I’d tried it I absolutely LOVED it as a joining method!!! The nice thing about a crab stitch join is that, as with single crochet join, it doesn’t matter if you have an odd or even number of stitches on the sides of your blocks – plus it’s really quick to join blocks with too.
See below my tutorial on how to do crab stitch and how to use it to join your afghan blocks together. For anyone who just can’t get along with crocheting backwards you might want to try this tutorial I have seen on My Hobby is Crochet for aTwisted Single Crochet.This stitch is like crab stitch, but moving forward instead of backwards.
Crab Stitch Tutorial
Crab Stitch (or reverse UK double crochet / US single crochet) is made by doing dc/sc crochet stitches backwards! If you are right-handed you will work the crab stitch from left to right, and if you are left-handed you will work from right to left.
Sl st your yarn into your first st,
2. Insert hook into stitch to the right (or left) then yarn over once (just like a dc/sc)
3. Pull the yarn through the st (you should now have two loops on your hook).
4. Yarn over again, and pull through both loops on your hook – and that’s it, your first crab stitch made.
5. Keep working in this manner to make your edge (or in our case in a moment your join). Nice and simple and absolutely yummy in it’s textural glory!
Crab Stitch Join
You will need to have already made your preparations for joining up your blocks which I talked about here.
Tip 1: Use stitch markers orknit clips to hold your squares steady and lined up whilst you join them together.
Tip 2:Do not pull your yarn too tight when working your joins. Generally you should have the same sort of stretch that the crochet squares have.
With the right sides of both your blocks facing outwards, line up your blocks so the edges and stitches match then start your crab stitch along one edge, working the stitches through both squares, to join.
2. When you get to the end of the row hold your next two edges together and continue to work your crab stitch straight across. Continuing working in this way until you have joined eight squares together in a long row. At the end of the row, fasten off and weave in your ends. Do the same for all your horizontal rows.
3. Next work the vertical rows in the same way.
So that’s the join! I’m not going to show you the whole of my blanket yet…I’m saving it for the big reveal! Next week though we’ll look at adding our border – don’t forget to check back on9th December.
So getting ready for joining a big ole pile squares together can be a bit daunting! So I thought I’ll let you know how I’m going about it…
First I did the tricky bits!
I wrote down my end pattern counts for the last row on all my blocks and wrote it down on a piece of paper.
I then used some math (!) to find the mean number of my sides. So I added up all my row counts and divided it by 24 – which gave me an average of 158.
Then I added either 1 rnd of dc /sc (or alternative stitches like htr/hdc or tr/dc to add height if required) to either add or decrease stitches as required.
Then I took AGES trying to work out how I wanted the layout of my blanket to be. Check out thiscool tutorial by Mooglyon how to do this on Pinterest. I then drew my plan on a bit of paper to help me when I was ready to start joining…
These are the estimated end stitch counts – if you added or subtracted rows already when originally creating remember your end row count will be different from the list below:
Moroccan Windows = 156
Ladder Loops = 164
Yarn Clouds =164
Larksfoot = 172
Magic Spike Mandala =148
Easter Day =152
Tiptoe through the Tulips =156
On the Huh =132
Embracing Variety = 160
Eye of the Beholder =152
Will’s Weave =160
The Secret Garden =160
Beware the Ides of March =152
Spiro Star = 160
Sun Catcher =152
Fan Club =144
Bavarian Beauty =160
Mountain Majesties = 168
And this is my finallayout plan for joining:
Ooo loving seeing them altogether! It’s going to be an exciting moment for us all to show off our final blankets!
Make sure you check back on 2nd Decemberfor joining details x
This is it folks! The very last block in the CAL! Sometimes it really doesn’t seem so long ago since we started does it – but here we are ready to hook up our remaining square.
However, we are not quite finished yet! After today we still have the joining and the border to do which I have actually realised I haven’t provided you all with a huge amount of time for. So to allow catching up time and actually doing the joining and borders I’m changing the the end dates slightly…make sure you check out important next steps at the bottom of this post too!
Joining squares together details will now be released on: 2nd December
Border details will be released: 9th December
Grand reveal of our blankets: 16th December
How does that sound to everyone? Better? And don’t worry if this is the first you are hearing about this CAL you can find the full schedulehereand I promise to keep all the details on the blog FOREVER x
Okay lets get onto the last block…
Click on the link in the title below to go straight to the pattern or add it to your Ravelry queue. This square is currently free on Ravelry and has been since September 2015.
Air dc: Holding tail of yarn with finger on hook YO twice. Insert hook into starting space/stitch, YO, and draw through space/stitch. YO and draw through two loops, YO and draw through two loops. After working next stitch tail may be let go of.
Air sc: With yarn on hook (using slip knot if needed), work an sc into designated stitch.
Beginning dc: Any of the following, as preferred. (sl st, ch3), standing dc, or air dc.
Beginning sc: Any of the following, as preferred. (sl st, ch1, sc), air sc, standing sc.
FPDTR: YO three times, insert hook from front of work across back of designated stitch and return to front of work then YO, [YO and draw through two loops]four times.
Standing dc: Raise loop to same height as a dc stitch. Twist loop in a clockwise motion. Place finger on top of loop to help hold in place and insert hook behind both strands of loop. YO and bring around. YO and draw through two loops, YO and draw through last two loops.
Standing sc: Without using a ch1 for height, work a sc as normal.
FPTR: YO two times, insert hook from front of work across back of designated stitch and return to front of work then YO, [YO and draw through two loops]three times.
FPTTR: YO four times, insert hook from front of work across back of designated stitch and return to front of work then YO, [YO and draw through two loops]five times.
V-stitch: Work (dc, ch2, dc) into same stitch YO: yarn over
Ta dah!! This is my version of this square using my colour palette (I blogged about this here). This was a really fun square to finish off on, I really love how the border is done, I think it looks so effective! I didn’t add the last row of tr/dc changing it instead to dc/sc to make it up to the 12 inches; you may wish to measure as you go for the last few rounds to check you meet your size. It’s unfortunate with these dark UK winter days that I couldn’t get enough light to get, what I would class, as a proper photo as it really is a gorgeous block!
Getting Ready for Joining!
So to get ready to join all your blocks together I would suggest that you:
Either check the end pattern count or count manually the stitches for the last row on all your blocks and write it down on a piece of paper.
Then you will need to decide how many stitches you want each block to have – use a ch 2 in each corner for ease of joining.
Then add either 1 rnd of dc /sc (or alternative stitches like htr/hdc or tr/dc to add height if required) to either add or decrease stitches to your required amount.
Then have a bit of fun trying to work out how you want the layout of your blanket to be by swapping all your squares about until you are pleased with how it looks. Write down your plan on a bit of paper and save it for2nd December.
Back loop only (BLO):Work new stitch in back loop of indicated stitch only.
V Stitch (V st):Work (dc, ch 1, dc) in indicated stitch. If you chain tightly or the round bows up, please feel free to chain 2.
Extended dc (edc): yo, insert hook in st, yo and pull through (3 loops on hook), yo and pull through 1 loop (still 3 loops on hook), yo, pull through two loops (2 loops on hook), yo and pull through remaining 2 loops.
Ta dah!! This is my version of this square using my colour palette (I blogged about this here). I just love, love, love the ruffle on this one and thought it would fit in nicely with some of the other 3-D squares that we have made.
Don’t forget to stay tuned for the LAST block to be released on 25th (or 26th)November.
So it’s time for block 22 and it’s a brand NEW design from me! Born out of my own desire to learn how to do Bavarian crochet our next block ticks that off my to do list and brings, what I hope you will agree, a fun addition to the CAL.
I’m not going to lie, Bavarian crochet is a little tricky to master at first but once you get into the swing of it you should be fine! I have added photos of the first 6 rnds in the pattern as extra guidance but should you find it just not to your taste a list of alternative blocks you could use can be foundhere. If this is the first you are hearing about this CAL the full schedule can be found here.
Click on the link in the title below to go straight to the pattern or add it to your Ravelry queue. This square is currently free on Ravelry and will be forever.
Colours:Works best in at least 4-5 different colours
Pattern uses UK and American crochet terms.
UK Half Double Treble / US Half Double Crochet (htr/hdc): Yarn over, insert hook in next st and pull up a loop (three loops on hook), yarn over, pull through all three loops on hook.
UK Double Treble / US Treble (dtr/tr): Yarn over twice, insert hook in next st and pull up a loop (four loops on hook), yarn over, pull through two loops, yarn over, pull through two loops, yarn over, pull through remaining two loops on hook.
UK Double Treble 4 together / US Treble 4 together (dtr4tog/tr4tog): * Yarn over hook twice, insert hook in next stitch, yarn over hook, pull yarn through stitch (4 loops on the hook), yarn over and pull through 2 loops on hook (3 loops left), yarn over and pull through 2 loops on the hook (2 loops left) * repeat * to * 3 times, yarn over and pull through all 5 loops on the hook.
UK 4 Back Post Double Treble Decrease / US 4 Back Post US Treble Decrease (4 BPdtr-dec/4 BPtr-dec): When working back post sts you insert hook from back to front to back around post of indicated stitch (your hook should now be positioned horizontally behind of the st that you’re working around). * Yarn over hook twice, insert hook around post of indicated st, yarn over hook, drawn yarn through stitch, (yarn over hook, draw yarn through 2 loops on hook) twice * repeat * to * 3 times around the next 3 st posts, yarn over hook, draw yarn through 5 loops on hook.
UK 8 Back Post Double Treble Decrease / US 8 Back Post US Treble Decrease (8 BPdtr-dec/8 BPtr-dec): Working the same as the 4 BPdtr-dec/4 BPtr-dec but continuing to * hold the last loop of each stitch on hook, bptr/bptr around each of next 4 stitches *, skip sl st between sts and then on next group of dtr/tr’s, repeat * to * once, yarn over, pull through all loops on hook.
Ta dah!! This is my version of this square using my colour palette (I blogged about this here). I did enjoy doing the Bavarian crochet though it can be a bit fiddly if you use a covered hook with the 8 BPdtr-dec/8 BPtr-dec’s. It was also fun to work out the colour placement and I know that you guys are going to come up with some amazing combinations – can’t wait to see!
Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next block to be released on11th or 12th November.
Throughout this CAL I have been trying to look for blocks that are all a little different so our resulting Afghan will be a multitude of creativity and fun! That’s why I love this next block; stripes, ruffles, texture, segments…there really is something for everyone!
If this is the first you are hearing about this CAL the full schedule can be found here.
Click on the link in the title below to go straight to the pattern or add it to your Ravelry queue. This square is currently free on Ravelry and has been since Feburary 2015.
Standing sc – to start a round, with slip knot on hook, insert hook into indicated stitch, yo and pull up a loop, yo and pull through two loops on hook
Standing hdc – to start a round, with slip knot on hook, wrap yarn around hook and hold in place with thumb or fi nger and insert hook in indicated stitch, yo and pull up a loop, carefully yo and draw through all three loops on hook
Standing dc – to start a round, with slip knot on hook, wrap yarn around hook and hold in place with thumb or finger and insert hook in indicated stitch, yo and pull up a loop, carefully yo and draw yarn through two loops on hook twice
fpsc/fptr – like normal sc,or tr, but instead of inserting hook at the top of indicated stitch, insert it from front to back around the post of stitch
Ta dah!! This is my, as yet unblocked, version of this square using my colour palette (I blogged about this here). It’s annoying that my camera sometimes seems to insist that the purple yarn I’m using is blue!
I was super excited to see how this unique block would look in my colours and I really love how it’s turned out. I did have to add a row of htr/hdc to mine as I crocheted quite tightly but it was a perfect 12 inches once I’d added those.
Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next block to be released on28th or 29th October.
Can you believe it’s time for block 20!!! It’s also kind of sad now we are almost coming to the end of the CAL but also exciting as we are not far from our complete blanket. Now whether you are an Afghan square enthusiast or not you’ve got to love the designs of Julie Yeager. Her Afghan squares in particular are always stunning and the ones I love the most are those that resemble a stained glass window. As a big fan of hers I knew I wanted to add one of her designs in the CAL.
This square will be available as a free Ravelry download throughout the end of the year 2015 (December 31, 2015).
Ta dah!! This is my version of this square using my colour palette (I blogged about thishere). I love how it turned out! I love, love, love the stained glass window effect and how it highlights the pinks and purples in the centre!
Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next block to be released on 14 or 15th October.