Stitch Story Crochet Along | CAL Planning

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So in this post I wanted to talk a bit more about how I came to design the Stitch Story Crochet Along (starting on 4 July) and I also wanted to talk a bit about yarn and finished sizes before we begin. However don’t worry if this is the first you are hearing about this CAL, it hasn’t started yet and you can find the full schedule here and a link to the crochet along page here.   

This years crochet along was inspired by the myths and legends of Geansaí Árann jumpers (sweaters) that originate from the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. There is a lovely romantic theory that the stitches in those types of jumpers have a special ‘meaning’ and I loved the idea of creating a design that conveyed something a little extra. Traditionally, an Aran jumper is made from undyed cream-coloured báinín (pronounced “bawneen”), a yarn made from sheep’s wool, but I wanted to find something a bit more accessible to make my blanket with…

When I started designing this years crochet along I had quite a clear idea in my head of what I wanted to try and achieve with the final look. I really wanted to create a classic yet contemporary style for this blanket whilst also still pays homage to an aran jumper which is why I decided to make it in a single solid colour. 

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I wanted the yarn to have a ‘heritage’ feel about it because that was such an integral part of my idea for the design. Scheepjes Soft Fun Denim yarn gave me exactly what I was looking for! Although it was a brand new yarn for me the subtle colour variation gave me just the right combination of traditional / modern feel that I was wanted and the cotton / acrylic mix meant it was comfortable enough to be cuddled up in yet eminently practical if it got dirty and needed washing!

Using colours…

Although I chose a single colour I knew the pattern would also look great in multiple colours. So my lovely mum made another version of the blanket using six different shades of Scheepjes Colour Crafter. I’m a big fan of Scheepjes Colour Crafter, as a premium acrylic is is just soooo soft and it’s available if over 90 shades – it just makes it harder to pick which ones you want! My mum chose colours she wanted to match in with her living room.

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If you are looking for some inspiration on how you can pick and put different colours together I can certainly recommend the Design Seeds website for beautiful colour collections. I can’t wait to see what colours you choose!

For the full yarn amounts needed please see my first post about the CAL here.

Size and Layouts:

As I mentioned last time there will be two sizes of each square that you can choose from – either a 15cm (6″) block or a 30cm (12″) block. Which size blocks you make will be totally up to you but I have put together some layouts, similar to mine, below to help you plan. You could also play around with the blocks to make a smaller size square or rectangular blanket. Both my mum and I created our blankets with Schematic 3 as we wanted to make both size blocks. 

I’ve also saved these schematics on the CAL Pinterest Board and they will also be available in the e-book on Ravelry.  The first instalment of the downloadable 46 page PDF e-book is now available for a small charge (payable once) and will be released in instalments along with the CAL so as not to spoil anyone’s fun. This PDF has the full pattern descriptions, charts and information all in one place without adverts (as requested). 

Support:

And there’s more support for anyone that needs it with the accompanying videos by Esther from It’s All in a Nutshell that accompany this CAL will be released AFTER each new block release. And excitingly I’m now working with the lovely Iris from Een Mooi Gebaar who, for all the Dutch speakers who want to join in the CAL, is translating it for us! See her first post here.

Big thanks to Scheepjes, Esther and Iris for helping bring this CAL to life for everyone!

And I’ll just quickly mention again my KCACO-UK Community Facebook Group which is a great source of support and helpful tips from fellow Crochet-a-longers.

Not long left to wait…part one starts 4 July

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Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Stitch Story Crochet-Along | Announcement

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It’s taken a bit longer than I anticipated to get it all together but the crochet along design I’ve been working on for over a year is finally ready for us to start hooking together! Are you excited? I know I am!!

Following the poll I conducted in my Facebook group for the theme for our next Crochet Along (CAL) *drum roll please* the clear winner was to create something like a samplerghan blanket. So I put on my (crocheted) thinking cap and came up with, what I think, is a unique design that you will enjoy making and which I’m quite eager to share with you.  

I have already shared the pattern with someone though – and that person is my lovely mum! This is because she has made her own version of the Stitch Story blanket so I could show you how the design looks in a single colour (as I made mine) and how it looks using a selection of colours (as my mum made hers). 

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Right then, are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin with some of the information about this years design which I’m super-duperly thrilled to say has been sponsored by Scheepjes yarns, it’s been tough holding in my excitement about that I can tell you, but the most important bit to tell you is that… 

The Stitch Story Crochet Along starts Wednesday 4 July 2018!

I’ll be telling you more about the inspiration for this crochet along in my next post but let’s first go over some of the specifics. This CAL will run for 13 weeks and in that time you can create a blanket either the same as mine or unique to you (I’ll explain more about that in a moment).  Square motifs will be released every two weeks (on a Wednesday) here on the blog and I will guide you through the process of learning new stitches and techniques until you have a lovely multi-textured heirloom blanket of your very own – all finished by Christmas. 

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This is a CAL with a bit of a difference; bi-weekly you will receive a pattern for one of twelve differently designed squares. There will be two sizes of each square that you can choose from – either a 15cm (6″) block or a 30cm (12″) block.

Which size blocks you make will be totally up to you! Make your blanket all one size or mix and match, whatever takes your fancy!  This afghan will be completely unique to you with lots of stitches so it won’t get boring!  After we have made all of our blocks the last few weeks will include instructions for joining your squares together and adding a border.

The patterns will be available in English and American crochet terminology and a free English step-by-step video tutorial will also be available by the fabulous Esther from It’s All in a Nutshell blog

This is an ideal project for a beginner who would like to move on from the basics of crochet, but those with more experience in hooking should enjoy it as well.  

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Yarn Amounts:

For the Stitch Story crochet along if you wish to make the same size blanket as me (which is the largest size) you will need at least 1800g  (36 x 50g balls / 5,040m) of yarn. The larger sized finished blanket (as shown in the photos) measures 1.8m long x 1.2m wide / 6 foot long x 4 foot wide so suitable for a single bed.

  • I used Scheepjes Soft Fun Denim yarn (Shade: 507) for my blanket which is a cotton / acrylic blended yarn that has a subtle colour variation in it much like aged denim (hence the name). 
  • My mum used Scheepjes Colour Crafter which is 100% premium acrylic yarn which is incredibly soft (and hypoallergenic). She used the following shades and amounts;  Hasselt (Shade: 2010) x 2, Vlissingen (Shade: 1723) x 2, Ermelo (Shade: 1710) x 2, Veenendaal (Shade: 1064) x 3, Haarlem (Shade: 1054) x 3, and Breda (Shade: 1029) x 3.
  • Esther from It’s All in a Nutshell blog is using  Scheepjes River Washed yarn (Wheaton / Shade: 950) which is a dual toned soft woolly feeling cotton yarn. She has estimated using 1000g (20 x 50g / 2600m) for her smaller square blanket.

Hooks:

Hook sizes range from 3.5 mm to 4.5 mm (US size E to 7). The size for each particular block will be indicated on the relevant pattern. 

CAL Details:

  1. There is no charge to join the CAL; anyone can join in as long as they have some yarn and a hook. 
  2. You can favourite / add this project to your Ravelry library here.
  3. All featured pattern elements in the CAL will be FREE of charge pattern on this blog
  4. However following requests this time round I will also be offering a downloadable 46 page PDF e-book for sale containing the full pattern in one printable file (without advertisements) on Ravelry for a small charge. During the duration of the CAL this pattern will be released block by block, via Ravelry updates, so as not to spoilt anyone’s fun.
  5. Also following requests I have created a chart for each block design (for both block sizes) which I’ll include in each blog post.
  6. For those that like a deadline I will be adding new details about each square every two weeks on a Wednesday at 8.30pm-ish (GMT time) – see below for full schedule. For those that want to hook when they have the time then that’s fine too; there’s no pressure to this CAL it’s all about having fun!
  7. I will be using both UK and US crochet terminology in the pattern (UK/US) so you can pick your preference. I will also always include any helpful information about each element including links about special stitches with the release of each new section.
  8. The videos by Esther from It’s All in a Nutshell that accompany this CAL will be released on the subsequent Friday AFTER each new block release.

The Schedule:

 6 June 2018 – TODAY CAL details
 20 June 2018 CAL Planning
4 July 2018 Design 1: The Gauge Block
18 July 2018 Design 2: Irish Moss
1 August 2018 Design 3: Diamond Pop
15 August 2018 Design 4: Pilgrim’s Pathway
29 August 2018 Design 5: The Institution of Marriage
12 September 2018 Design 6: The Ladder of Life
26 September 2018 Design 7: Blarney Bobbles
10 October 2018 Design 8: Garden Trellis
24 October 2018 Design 9: Fisherman’s Basket
7 November 2018 Design 10: Cabled Ropes
21 November 2018 Design 11: Six Stitched Braid
5 December 2018 Design 12: The Bee Keeper
19 December 2018 Joining the blocks together and the border

As well as posting information on this blog I’ll also be linking the information in my KCACO-UK Community Facebook Group, which if it’s anything like last year, is a great source of support and helpful tips from fellow Crochet-a-longers.

Social Media Links:

The hashtag for this years CAL is #SSCAL18 for Twitter and Instagram. Though you you can join in with any progress photos by linking your projects on your favourite social media sites: Ravelry, Facebook page or Facebook group and Pinterest.

I am so looking forward to seeing everyone’s blankets develop over time! 

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Simply Crochet Magazine |Sierra Summer Diamond Blanket

Yay! Simply Crochet issue 71 and I’m very excited to say that I’ve got a brand new blanket pattern inside which is perfect for summer picnics.

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I’d like to introduce the Sierra Summer Diamond Blanket…

 

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Add a little touch of flair and warmth to your outdoor parties with my fun geometric bold granny diamond blanket…

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Made with Stylecraft Special Double Knit this blanket is made up from lots of lovely diamond motifs made in the round and then joined together. I do so love a motif, they are small and relatively fast to hook up so you feel like you are accomplishing something quickly and they are easy to take out and about with you. 

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Move over orange and black, the way forward is definitely orange and navy!

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As well as my blanket there are some other great patterns in the magazine, it’s got a very  sporty vibe this month with, amongst other things, a fab stylish sporty t-shirt, some great socks (I still need to crochet me some socks!) an uber-cool Tunisian jean trims pattern from my lovely friend Eleonora’s from Coastal Crochet and I just adore 

the adorable Jammy Dodger tape measure free kit with the print edition – I’m definitely going to be making that at some point!

Simply Crochet issue 71  is now available both in-store at and online and they also offer worldwide subscriptions!  If you do make the Sierra Summer Diamond Blanket I hope you’ll share a photo with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) – I love to see it!

Until next time, keep calm and crochet on my friends x

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