Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Lily Pond CAL - Block Six

We are very lucky to live near some beautiful woods and parks right on the edge of the green belt to the north of London. I love living here because we get the best of both worlds - the lush countryside of Hertfordshire one way and the excitement of the city the other way. I adore the fact that I have miles of countryside right on my doorstep and have always loved my time walking the dog over the woods whatever the weather and whatever the season, it gives me some really great thinking time and of course a little exercise, whilst also making me a total hero in the eyes of our dog who is happy to charge around the woods like a loony for an hour, circling back to check on my progress every few minutes.

Our walk includes a visit to a large lake in the centre of the woods. Back in the 1930s through to the 1950s you could hire small boats and take a row around the lake, but now it is the domain of fishermen and dog walkers like me. It is a quiet, pretty place, where I see herons, squirrels and the occasional deer, but this time of year it is extra special because the water lilies are starting to appear. Their leaves are busy growing up through the water and the buds of the lilies are beginning to show through and I just can't wait for the day when I get to the lake and first of the lilies are in bloom. As soon as they appear I will post some images.

image courtesy of John Keogh

Jack's Lake in 1942

If you're doing the Lily Pond CAL you will probably know that today is new pattern day! You can download pattern set number 6 'Bobbles and Wavy Shells' from the Stylecraft web site by following this link.

As with a few of my other blog posts in regard to the Lily Pond CAL, I don't have a huge amount to tell you about this piece, so instead of waffling on, I am posting the step by step images so that you have a larger version than those used in the patterns to refer to. 

The block starts in exactly the same way as Block Four, 'Bobbles and Pinwheels' and you can see the step by step images for making the bobbles by following this link to my blog post about Block Four. On Row 4 you will make a wave by working a pattern repeat of stitches that range from double crochet (US single crochet) thorough to double treble crochet (US treble crochet).

Make sure you count your stitches after Row 5. Having the wrong stitch count will affect where the fans are made on the next row and you could find that your pattern is out of sync.

On Row 6 you will make some fans using the mint shade of yarn - all 7 stitches are worked into the same stitch. 

The pattern has a four row repeat. Every alternate row is a row of double crochet between the rows where you make the fans. 

I love this stitch formation as it reminds me of ripples in the water and of the water lily leaves beginning to form on the top of the pond water.

On Row 18 you need to work a combination of stitches in order to create a straight edge. Once again it is important to check your stitch count before and after you work this row.

Once you have completed your piece you need to sew in your yarns ends. I tend to do this as I go along so that I don't have a major sewing job to do once my crochet is complete. 

Once you have completed your 4 blocks, you need to work a row of slip stitches along each side. You are going to place a motif from Block Three between each strip so make sure you crochet your edges in the correct shade - Teal where the Lily Bud will join in and Olive along the remaining side. the images below show the slip stitches along the edge of Block One, but the way you work the slip stitch rows is the same. 

Join the Lily Bud motif using double crochet (US single crochet) on the wrong side of the work and matching one side of your slip stitch to each full stitch around the motif. 

If you prefer a flatter seam you could do your joining using slip stitches, but you will need to use a larger hook than the one used for double crochet (US single)

It is hard to believe that there is now just a month before the last set of patterns are released for the CAL. As you are now beginning to put your motifs and blocks together, Stylecraft have posted Blocking and Pressing instructions which you can download from their web site and you can link to a blog post which includes this information by following this link.

The response to the Lily Pond CAL has been really amazing and I am so happy that Stylecraft supported me in this project. I am a major fan of their yarns and so have been working on a new blanket project which we will be releasing as a kit very soon. I have pasted a taster image below in the hope that it might whet your appetite for another Janie Crow project and I will add more images and info about this project very soon.

The kit will be available in both Life DK and Special DK and we are currently aiming to have kits ready for dispatch in about a month's time, so watch this space!