Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Lotus Moon Crochet Along

I published my first Crochet Along (CAL) project in 2011 after encouragement to do so from my friend knitwear designer Debbie Abrahams who has herself run a Knit Along blanket club for the last 10 years. I have always loved designing CAL projects as I tend to get a bit bored with repeated blocks and love the challenge of adding lots of different elements and techniques to a design.

Crochet Along 2011

Since my first Crochet Club in 2011 crochet along projects have become incredibly popular - indeed my 2 most recent CAL projects, Lily Pond Blanket and Frida's Flowers Blanket have had thousands of participants world wide and my designs are just a drop in the ocean in the world of Crochet Along projects as there are so many fabulous CALs to choose from. My current favourites include Sophie's Universe, which, more than a year on from the launch of the the CAL, has me totally in awe of Dedri Uys's expert stitch construction and the Last Dance on the Beach CAL from Scheepjes.

Despite the fact that I love these designs, there are very few CAL projects that I have the time to work on even though I would love to spend my days working through other designers projects! However in the last few weeks I have fallen head over heels in love with 2 current Crochet Alongs - one is Sue Pinner's Carousel CAL which you can find a link for yarn packs for by following this link. The CAL starts in September (I am planning to follow it using the Batik yarn) and it has a really fun theme of circuses and travelling fun fairs. there are 2 colour ways to choose from, or, as the patterns will be free via the Stylecraft web site you could choose to use up yarns from your stash.

The other project that I am really keen to have a go at is the Lotus Moon Tiles CAL by Polly Plum from Every Trick on the Hook. To join the CAL you need to purchase the wonderfully in depth pattern via Polly Plum's Ravelry page (the link is here). Then you can join the Facebook group, which already has almost 2000 members, to see other people's interpretations of the design and especially really great ideas for yarn colour combinations.

The pattern is written for a Worsted Weight yarn, but I am going to do mine using Stylecraft Special DK and part of the reason I want to work through the whole project is so that we can work out yarn amounts and have dedicated kits on the web site - with the kind permission of Polly Plum of course! The CAL runs until the 19th October with weekly updates on the Facebook page.

I have already worked through one complete main motif using shades from the Stylecraft Special DK range, but to be honest the colours are not totally doing it for me and so I am going to do the blanket in a slightly different choice of shades. Below is an image of the original colour way which I want to emulate. I am happy with my first 2 colour choices - cream and yellow - as I don't think I can go too wrong with these!

The first stage of the CAL and therefore this week's task before the next stage on Monday is to make the first 3 rounds. The original pattern (for Worsted weight yarn) is for 12 main motif, but as my pieces are going to come up smaller because I am using DK weight I am going to make 20. I am also using a smaller hook.

I have sat this evening and worked through a couple of motifs. I need to work through about 3 or 4 a day to keep up with the pace of the CAL so hopefully I will get a little more spare time tomorrow - I am doing a workshop all day so perhaps a can squeeze a few sneaky rounds in during my lunch break? Anyway, I will let you know how I am getting on and will post again about the CAL next week.