Week 41: CAL Blocks #181 #185 #189


#181 Begonia

5 1/2″ sq.

I’d cut down on the chains on R1 next time. Maybe 3 rather than 4 with my tension.


#185 In the Pink

OR: In the pink & blue!

5 1/4″ – 5 1/2″ – will be when blocked. I’m glad this is the last corner squiffy sized block now.


#189 Willow

5 1/2″ sq.

Such a nice design. I’d like to experiment with this block using chunky, super chunky and very fine sparkly yarns.


These are nice sort-of relaxing colours this week in contrast to the sometimes chaotic colours of other trios.

I predict that come September when we all begin to join and border our CAL blocks I’ll wailing into the ether “Why WHY didn’t I block these each week as I went along?!!” It’s been dawning on me gradually that this would have been the sensible thing. Ouch.

I’m pretty sure I can’t do the facial steam method which I used for the Yarndale Bunting, can I? It’s got to be pin and spray then leave to dry for woollen yarns?


I really thought someone had thrown a gherkin over the fence when I saw this yesterday!


Week 35: CAL Blocks #109 #113 #117


#109 Four Square

It’s big one – 6″ sq.

There is something about the different way that this pattern is written which makes me wonder if it’s by Jan Eaton. All in all it’s tedious to crochet and I don’t like the feel of the fabric; it’s too dense. My mid block joins are a bit messy. I prefer them on the corners generally.

On a more positive note I like my colour combination!IMG_2385

#113 Wisteria

5 1/2″ sq.

Pretty, I like the cross effect that the chain spaces create.IMG_2383

#117 Granny in the Middle

5 1/2″ sq.IMG_2392

This week I’ve used a sewing machine for the first time in at least ten years, maybe fifteen. I went slowly. So slowly I think my cousin might have wondered if the repair shop had put a speed limiter on the machine! I sewed into thin air and rucked up the fabric, unpicked and tried again more successfully, forgot to go around a corner and plodded in a straight line, unpicked and resewed. In the end I did it; I sewed a simple lining for my knitted first-time-I’ve-cabled bag. I’ve got to hand-sew the handles around two lengths of piping cord, and finish slip stitching the lining to the cabled panels of my bag then I’ll show you. Proudly, with a bit (lots) of the 5 year old “Look! Look at what I’ve made!”

Have a great bank holiday weekend all in the UK, and enjoy your measily two days the rest of you! :-D

Week 30: CAL Blocks #88 #89 #90


#88 Edwardian Fancy

5 1/2″ square

Another pattern blip: R2 ‘ join yarn B to any dc…1tr into next dc.” What dc? There are none. If this was an American book first and was translated into UK terms I’d understand this error…

R9: I did 2 tr, 2ch, 2 tr corners into 2 stitches as I had too many stitches left otherwise. Did you find this too, or was this my mistake?

A very pretty block, it would look lovely in pinks and blues.


#89 Spinner (I’d call this one ‘Bull’s eye’)

5 1/2″ square

A dense block, it would make a warm throw or blanket. I maybe wouldn’t give it to a very young child; you can imagine them wrecking it by poking fingers into the middle hole! IMG_2281

#90 Bright Triangles

6″ square – another huge diagonal increase/decrease block just like #1 Triangle Stripes

This block felt a bit like groundhog day as it’s so similar to the first block of the CAL. I used the same strategy of working out and writing down the stitch count for each row before the sets of 5 rows. Then I checked my stitches tallied at the end of the rows as it’s so easy to crochet into the starting chain otherwise without realising.IMG_2277

I took these photos in a rush before a last tidy up before family arrived for Easter Sunday lunch yesterday, that’s why they’re even more unruly than usual.


I hope you’re having a lovely Easter weekend.

Are you enjoying some chocolate? Unlike two of my friends who were having 1) WeightWatcher’s soup and rice cakes 2) a diet friendly roast (huh?) for their Easter Sunday lunch. Oh no! NO NO NO no! Feast days and holidays are just that in my book; times to enjoy a scrummy meal with family and friends without reserve. And that’s why I’ve eaten 4 peanut butter cups (I made bags of these for family Easter presents, with a few spares for us) for my breakfast today. Now what for lunch? A Cadbury’s creme egg, a Lindt bunny or a salted caramel mini egg?! :-D

Week 29: CAL Blocks #85 #86 #87


#85 Lemon stripe

5 1/2″ square

There was some talk amongst some of the CAL block makers that the pattern was wrong and should say to make 4ch in the corners of R5&6, not 3, but I stuck to the pattern and mine’s fine. But then my tension’s not tight at the best of times, you can try it both ways and see what works best for you.

This is not an attractive looking block, in any combination of colours in my opinion. In fact if the BBC Dr Who production team are looking for a fabric covering for aliens then I suggest they look no further.

Nope, still not a fan of the ole popcorns!


#86 Sunray

5 1/2″ square

I crocheted this a few weeks ago, along with the other blocks of week 28, as it looked straightforward to make while watching something good on telly. I just can’t remember what it was now.


#87 Peony

5 3/4″ square

After trying once with my usual 4mm hook I used a 5mm for the 2ch foundation chain, then carried on with the 4mm. It was much easier, far far less fiddly and as you’re going to darn in the end nice and neatly, which always tightens up the initial ring, it doesn’t really matter if it’s a bit loose to begin.

There are a few ‘ss into the first of the 3ch’ instructions at the end of some rounds – but you haven’t begun with 3chains. Oops yet again.IMG_2268

None of these blocks make my heart go pitter patter, but the top Sunray block is probably my favourite. Lots of these in nice colour combinations would be a fun throw; I’m thinking rusts, browns and autumnal colours.


Mile of Mice News: There are now 40 mice knitters in my KAL group on Ravelry. Just look for the Mile of Mice KAL group and come knit a mouse or two along with us. It’s for a very good cause to raise money for The Alzheimer’s Society, and the project will also attempt to set a Guinness World Record in October here in the UK.

The organiser Libby is sorting out a crochet pattern at the moment. If you’re on Facebook and have a mouse crochet pattern, which will make an approximate 9″ mouse from nose to tail, please get in touch with her via the Mile of Mice group.

I’m so embarrassed about my mice bodies pictures (thanks for pointing out why I should be Patch) I’m not even going to link to the post, and you know how much I love linking things. I’ve knitted 7 bodies now. I must knit some ears soon as I already need 14 of the fiddly little things!

The other day I was watching The Gilmore Girls season 7 and there’s an episode about Stars Hollow holding a knitathon to raise money for local bridge repairs. Just try to see that episode and tell me how many of the actors can actually knit, or look as if they’ve ever held a pair of needles and yarn in their lives?!

I’m new to the lovely Gilmores, it crept up on me slowly from the 5th series or so. At first I thought they gabbled on all the time talking soo fast and were a bit too slick but I’m now watching to the end of the series. I record episodes shown on the Freeview 5* channel which shows one a day at 4pm on weekdays; if you’re also in the UK and want to see what I’m talking about. I then plan to rent the series from 1-4 and see Rory grow up. It’s a bit like Benjamin Button (terrible film!) going from OAP-baby.

Enough waffle! I’m off to heat up the River Cottage parsnip & ginger soup I made earlier and cook some lamb kebabs for dinner. :-D

Week 26: CAL BLocks #76 #77 #78


#76 Granny Stripes

6 1/4″ W 5 1/4″ H with a 3.5mm hook. AND I added an extra stripe at the top. So, that concludes the brief experiment using a different sized hook. I also redid #75 with a 3.5mm hook and it was still rectangular (6″ W 5 1/4″ H) So I’m going back to my original plan of using the same 4mm hook and just crocheting the patterns. If I change them by adding rows or extra stitches then it’s not Jan Eaton’s 200 Blocks, they’re mine. I know I’m probably going to be struggling with the fixing them together but that’s for later, not stressing at the moment.

The good thing about doing this CAL is that in the future I can look back to my weekly posts, when planning blankets etc, and choose my favourite similar sized blocks.


#77 Raspberries and Cream

Hmmm, as usual for a corner square it’s very squiffy measuring between 5 1/4″ – 5 3/4″ at various points of the block.

I enjoy these decrease to 3 stitches blocks, they’re very relaxing to crochet because you’re not staring at the pattern every row.


#78 Briar Rose

5 1/2″ squareIMG_2185

Very bright and Spring-like with the yellow and green. I like the colour combo this week.

I’ve been slack about my darning this week but I will keep up with my CAL resolution and do the ends before I crochet the next set.

This week we have another new block maker, check out her first CAL blog post here. It really made me grin to have someone so enthused about the project, especially when we’re now 6 months into the Crochet Along and I was definitely feeling a bit jaded last week (about the blog posting, not the crochet!) Admittedly that might have been down to lethargy from a cake overload?!

Check out the Ravelry group too, we are still gaining members, there are now 100+ which surprises me as the forum is practically silent. It’s great that newbies are still signing up to the CAL. If you fancy playing the TPBM game pop in to the forum.  I love silly games!


In other news: I dropped my iphone into a cup of coffee this week! It slid straight down out of my hand and plopped into my mug. It all works apart from the wifi, which is pretty vital.


It’s going away by post to my mobile operator –Y’know, the company who I pay a lot of pounds to every month — and is guaranteed to be back within 4 working days. In the meantime what will I do without a mobile?!

Week 6: CAL Blocks #16 #17 #18

Week 6 already!

#16 Waterlily
I have to say that the entire pattern for the Blooming Flower cushion is better than the one for this single block. It just makes sense with Lucy’s adaption of an old pot-holder pattern.

I chained 6 for the foundation row, not 8 as specified because the resulting hole was too big on my first try.

Row 5: I chained 6 not 7 and that may be why the petals are slightly frilly. I quite like the look, but I might do another version of this block sometime.

#17 Alternate Bobbles
The other bobble blocks were curly too and needed pinning for the CAL photographs. I will try blocking for the first time soon. This morning I grabbed what was to hand!


Another one of the blocks which has turned out to be 6″ square – always pleasing!

#18 Traditional Granny

Can you tell I grabbed a small corner of sunshine this morning?!

Week 1: CAL Blocks #1 #2 #3

I was really keen to start crocheting something new, so I crocheted the first 3 blocks last week. I was feeling a little apprehensive about how long they would take me to accomplish, since I am probably only at an intermediate crochet level at this stage. Will I understand the patterns? Will I master bobble stitch (block #4 uh-oh) spike stitches and the dreaded popcorn which always makes me nervous for some reason, although I’ve never actually tried making one. They’re probably a cinch? I’m also between projects because I’m meant to be darning in all those pesky ends of the Rhubarb Ripple and the Target Squares blankets, but my fingers get itchy if I don’t do any crochet for a day or so.

CAL Resolution: I’m going to darn in every single end when I’ve finished a block before I begin another. Darning is fine, but not 1000 ends at once which holds up the exciting final stage of joining or edging.

Have you made any CAL resolutions? Go on, spill if you have – I’m so nosy.

Here goes then….

#1 Triangle Stripes

#2 Tiny Textures

#3 Square Target

It was all going so well with #1 until the decreasing rows

If the paper can stay this is fine!

Redo – carefully! Counting is the answer.

Stylecraft special DK (SSDK) 6″ square-ish!

Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino (DBBC) Bliss indeed! My first posh wool, it’s so soft to work with and the stitch definition is amazing. Compare block #2 SSDK & DBBC
This is 6.5″ square using a 4mm hook

Oh fudge! I thought this was a perfect first attempt. The needle highlights where the error began

Second try. Ohhh! Spot what I’ve done? (Ignore the tape measure) I added an extra row for this block to try to square it up, then decided to stick with the written pattern for the next attempt (I swear there is one more row in the pictured block in the book…)

HURRAY! Third time lucky
SSDK 3.5mm hook 5.5″ square

Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino: 4mm hook 5.5″ high & 5.7″ wide
This is my patch of marigolds

SSDK 5.5″ square

The outer pink is darker than shown – photo taken under the apple tree so the sunlight was dappled

Pleased and a bit proud of myself, mistakes and all it’s been good fun

The plan so far:
>I’m going to carry on using the two hook sizes for the two yarns.
>I’m not going to stress about the differing sizes as there’s blocking, which I’ve never tried but is meant to work like magic, also some clever soul suggested using the larger blocks for one project, the smaller ones for another.
>I’m just going to enjoy the challenge of crocheting the blocks and decide what to make out of them later.


PS:: I’ve found out a mug of earl grey tea on a lap-top does not reach a happy conclusion. Just to let you know in case you’re breezily sitting with your drink right there…. DON’T!