The Lilly Pond Blanket CAL – Are You Ready?

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It’s officially April now and hopefully, all the fun and games of April’s Fool should be well and truly over by now.  As it was the 1st yesterday, the countdown can officially begin for the launch of Stylecraft and Jane Crowfoot’s’ Lilly Pond Blanket CAL, which begins with the launch of the first pattern on the Tuesday 7th.

The Special DK delivery of CAL colours has arrived, but despite all of the assurances there were still 3 shades necessary to complete the blanket missing 😩 Happily, I had 2 of these shades in stock however my supply of the shade Petrol was minimal – 3 balls to be exact.

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Teal on the left and Petrol on the right

Drama and more drama.  After I’d finished banging my head against the wall of the stock cupboard, I realised I had 2 packs of a very similar colour sitting on the shelves. I think the Teal makes a pretty good alternative?  In real life it’s slightly greener than the Petrol, but the difference is minimal.

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Due to the ongoing issues surrounding stock of the suggested colours that I mentioned in my previous post here Stylecraft have released a list of necessary shades to complete the first clue, to try and help everyone participating.  You can see from the chart above that Petrol is amongst the first 6 shades so there’s no avoiding it 🙈

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Now lets talk tension and I’m not referring to the type caused by → missing colours ←.  If you’ve downloaded the original leaflet from the Stylecraft website you’ll know that you’ll be using 3 different sized hooks to complete the blanket, 3.5mm, 4mm and 4.5mm.

As you can see the required tension for your double crochet is 4 stitches x 5.5 rows on a 4mm hook and for the trebles it should be 5 stitches x 2.5 rows with a 3.5mm hook.

Cut to my swatches now 🎬

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Oops, they’re the wrong way round, sorry 😳 Even more embarrassing are the rather wonky edges.  I did promise to post up my attempts, warts and all and my crochet is not the greatest.  It got better as it went on though 🙂

My tension though, is pretty much bang on 🎯

It would be great to hear how you’re getting on with your tension test squares too.

Happy Crochet!

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Exploits in Crochet

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Following on from the crochet madness of Dina’s scarf I thought I’d have a go at making something else and as you might have seen on the Facebook Page or Instagram I decided to have a go at The Chunky Crochet Basket by Elizabeth Trantham.

Heading outside to crochet in the sun, I was grateful I’d managed to get the bottom of the basket made before the rain clouds appeared and chased me inside.  Thankfully Elizabeth has put photo tutorials to accompany the pattern up on her blog, great if you’re like me and assume because you can ‘do a little crochet’ you must be able to conquer the most complicated of patterns.

In her original basket, Elizabeth uses 2 strands of a super chunky yarn held together and an 8mm hook.  This means the resulting basket is sturdy and stands up independently like you might expect a basket to do.

2014-06-07 10.46.19Cue my attempt

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It’s general state of floppy isn’t really that bad.

I followed Elizabeth’s pattern but used 3 strands of Rico’s Country Aran held together and a 7mm hook.  This meant the base of the basket when I’d reached the suggested 48 stitches was a little on the small side so I continued increasing my stitches until I had 72. My basket is approximately 10″/26cm’s across it’s diameter.

The basket is a very usable height at /19cm7.5″and as you can see I decided not to add the handles.  I did work them up, but didn’t like the way mine turned out and my yarn was running a little short, so I completed 14 rounds of the half trebles.

 

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Perfect for my current crochet project, one of them anyway.

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I’m thinking ideal gifts for friends?  Ones that don’t crochet though because I’m pretty sure I had more than my original 72 stitches when it came to finishing off the basket with double crochet (ahem).

Happy Knitting or crochet.

 

Squares Everywhere

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Our blanket collection for The House of Hope in Vanadzor, Armenia is well underway and there are squares everywhere.

I’ve got piles of them sorted by size, strips already sewn to be made up into blankets and several finished blankets complete with crochet border, a very basic crochet border believe me.

We’ve calculated it takes approximately 7.5 hours to sew the squares together, sew in all the ends and crochet the border.  So we’ve been trying to sew the squares up as they come in to try and keep on top of things.  A big thank you to those that have been sewing as well as knitting.

As you might expect, the squares initially came in, in various sizes and dare I say shapes.  Undeterred all squares are being used and as you can see the blankets are beautiful when sewn up.

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Please keep your squares coming in as we would love to be able to give as many residents as possible a blanket each.  It might be a little ambitious though as there will hopefully be 80 people, nothing like a challenge.

Happy Knitting!