Week 43: CAL Blocks #205 #209 – THE END!

IMG_2540#205 Hourglass

5 1/2″ W 5 1/2″ H But —- will fix that I hope! (Fill in the blank; y’know what I’m saying by now!)

IMG_2533#209 Marigold

5 1/2″ sq.

What a lovely one to end on!


So, 43 consecutive weeks of crocheting blocks and we’ve reached the end. :-D Well done everyone, it’s been fun. I’ve enjoyed being introduced to new blogs and seeing all the photos on the Ravelry CAL group project pages.

Thanks for joining me. I’m glad I didn’t plough through the book alone. It’s been fun comparing colour combos and seeing if others have the same issues with patterns, or like the same designs. My pattern reading skills have really developed because of the CAL. I’ve also learnt some new stitches and discovered how much I love (bobbles) or hate them (popcorns, kind of!)

Now we’re on Summer hols (ya hoo!) until September when we can post about blocking, joining, what we’re planning to do with our 128 blocks (!!!!) and share any issues or concerns etc etc.


Week 42: CAL BLocks #193 #197 #201

Here are my unruly blocks in the penulitimate post of the CAL for the September starters. It feels good! It’s been great fun, and good for my crochet skills in lots of ways, but I’m really enjoying the freedom from the schedule of making 3 blocks every week.


#193 Textured Stripes

5 1/2″ sq-ish. with a bit of tugging out at the sides. You already know that I’m going to say how much improved all three will be after blocking, right?

I like the texture of this stitch. It might be a a good one for a dishcloth.


#197 Fretwork

5 1/2″ sq.

I like this, there’s a good contrast between solid and openwork crochet.


#201 Zig-Zag Bobbles

5 1/4″ W

5 1/2″ H

R4&6 have a missing *. I just made a dc into 7 st then MB again.

I didn’t read the pattern in reverse so my bobbles are more Zag-Zig, but I don’t think it matters for the sake of avoiding the aggravation of reversing everything. I increasingly feel that designers should include pattern details for lefties too. Why not?


I’m amused, and a bit pleased, to see that new joiners are still coming to the Ravelry CAL group, despite the threads being silent for a long time. Check out the projects page to see lots and lots of blocks, people have posted some beauties.

I must dash now and eat lunch, then go shopping this afternoon. It’s my MA Graduation Ceremony (feels like it needs to be in capitals!) tomorrow and I need to get a few things to look smart when I wear the cap and gown. Did I ever confess that starting the CAL was a complete distraction from the study, and writing, I should have been doing for my research dissertation? Probably not. But both have been completed. ;-)

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!


CAL homework

Having perfectionist tendencies it’s bugged me that I know blocks #109 and #157 were spoilt by wibbly mid-block joins. I didn’t redo them because they’re my favourites (far from it) but simply because I know they’re my let-downs of the CAL.

As you know I’ve been on a bit of a crochet mission lately and this week have finished all 128 unique blocks from Jan Eaton’s 200 Crochet Blocks.

Before I tacked the darning part I decided to undo and attempt these two again. You can see by the tension that I was feeling more relaxed about this by the second block! They are not perfect but considerably better now, don’t you agree?


There are three more weeks of the CAL left, if you began in September, with three blocks  a week for the first two and two blocks in the last week, so don’t panic if you’re feeling behind. I’ve just got carried away lately! I’ve started listening to the audio version of Chaplin and Company by Mave Fellowes. It’s perfect to crochet along to especially if, like me, you’ve got a fascination with canals and enjoy stories about quirky characters.

What are you reading/listening to at the moment?

Week 39 CAL Blocks #157 #161 #165


#157 Boxed Square

Here it is in all its wibbly mid-joins ‘glory’! I did seriously consider redoing this but decided it’s going to be the ‘eccentric looking’ block in whatever it becomes. It can stand as a testament to an afternoon of good conversation, and no crochet stitch counting (!), with a friend.IMG_2445

#161 Daisy Chain

R5: There seems to be a ch3 instruction missing

R8: I trebled into the chain spaces as I prefer the way it looks, and let’s face it – it’s far less fiddly! It looks fine to me.


#165 Coffee and Cream

R4: Ignore the instruction to treble into 2 stitches, I’m sure this is another typo and should be dcs as for the rest of the round.


All three are 5 1/2″ square.

Are you a bit fed up with these CAL posts? I’m over it really, or feel so this week, BUT I’ve only got ten more blocks to crochet and that’s it….HuRraY!

JOINING MATTERS…….I was wondering if it’s better to continue on after the last CAL post and set about joining blocks, or shall we have a bit of a CAL holiday and save the joining for the autumn evenings? We could aim for a September start (ie a year after the CAL began…..!!!!!)  Let me know what you reckon here or on the Ravelry CAL group thread.


Here’s Lynne’s Knits giveaway prize which arrived when I was here in the Little Room waffling at the end of last week’s CAL post.

I was delighted to win this book because it’s by THE Debbie Bliss, but also because I won it from Lynne. It was her patterns I found I kept gravitating to in Let’s Get Crafting Knitting & Crochet magazines as a newbie crocheter in 2011.

Come and say hi on my Facebook page!

Have a great weekend all :-D

Week 38: CAL Blocks #145 #149 #153


#145 Chocolate Box

5 1/2″ sq.

As I find for some of my middles this is a bit skew-whiff (as I type this it occurs to me that it’s probably one of our very eccentric English expressions?!), but the blocking should adjust this issue.

#149 Solid Square

5 1/2″ sq.

Fast to make though I’m not keen on the mid-round joins as usual – they show in the book’s block too.


#153 Candy Stripe Bobbles

More bobbles! I think for many of us bobbles have turned out to be the star stitch of the CAL. They’re so cute and give a nice texture to the crocheted fabric.


As you might have guessed this is the last of the batch of blocks I made ahead and photographed when England still knew what the word sun meant, when we weren’t velcroed into our raincoats, clutching mugs of hot chocolate.

I’d also already made #157 Boxed Square, part of next week’s batch of three, but might redo it as the mid-round joins are so wobbly. We’ll blame my very chatty friend for the wobbliness, honestly she gives me a run for money, which is saying something. Then I’m back to crocheting the blocks as I go, week by week.

It’s been about a week and a half since I last crocheted anything. After I’d made the two striped backs for the Union Jack cushion (which needs buttons, I’ll buy some at a craft sale I’m going to tomorrow) I moved onto a bit of a sewing jag with the Puffy Dog bag as I can’t help calling it. Now I’m doing a bit of X stitch, but after seeing that Lucy off Attic 24 and the planned autumn craft event Yarndale are requesting Granny Square bunting and feeling that I should get on and make some mice for the Mile of Mice KAL/CAL I’m getting itchy fingers to take out my hook again over the bank holiday weekend.


I’ve won this Jane Mean’s ribbon from a giveaway hosted by the shop All the Fun of the Fair. Isn’t it preeetty?

I’ve gone from never winning anything, ever, to a few things in the last year. This week I won another giveaway! According to Jill of Nice Piece of Work I am a “lucky flipping fish.” Well, ok then. I hope it carries on! And, I think my latest win just landed on the doormat, along with the new Simply Crochet magazine. Ooooooooh! I’ll show you next time I pop into The Little Room.

Are you planning on crocheting, sewing or …. this weekend? Whatever you do have a relaxing one.

Week 37: CAL Blocks #133 #137 #141

This turned out to be the week of some very dodgy colour combinations….


#133 Sunshine Stripes

5 – 5 1/2″ but easy enough to stretch out I think (hope.)

It’s beginning to dawn on me that I’ve referred to future block-blocking so many times that now I  have 37+ weeks of it ahead of me. How about we have a BAL next? 3 blocks a week and we post about how successful we are finding it, plus share any tips and techniques? No? Ok.


#137 Criss Cross

5 1/2″ sq.IMG_2410

#141 Quartet

5 1/2″ W, 5 1/4″ H. Can be stretched out pretty easily as there’s lot of give.

I took these photos a few weeks ago, but actually the sun is shining today and all feels well with the world. It is funny how so many bloggers refer to the weather; I suppose it’s inevitable because of how it affects our activities and moods. I’ve been longingly looking at Aussie and Kiwi bloggers’ pics all winter: sunshine, beach picnics and cooling drinks. But now it’s all hot chocolate and hot water bottle covers!  Speaking of which, have you seen Kate’s HWBC of Greedy for Colour? And this one.


I’ve been checking out the other block maker’s blogs this week, after getting a bit behind on my reading (BlogLovin said I had 95 unread posts the other day!) There are a band of us still plodding onwards. I can’t believe we’ve been going since September. Well done everyone!

Yesterday a bloggy good friend sent me a link to crochet workshops at Loop, London. Looking at the skills they teach I realised how much I’ve learnt and practiced things like changing colours, following patterns, trying new stitches and just gaining confidence with crochet through doing the CAL with you guys. If little and often is a good way to learn and hone something new then a CAL is definitely a good, sociable, way to do so. If you’re newish to crochet then I’d consider starting a CAL (or joining an existing one on the Ravelry website.) You could always buy  the Jan Eaton 200 Crochet Blocks book and start another round of this CAL.

Talking of sociable I crocheted #157 Boxed Square with a friend last Friday afternoon. She knitted a sock while I hooked away. It was a really nice time but when I’d darned in the ends, still chatting merrily away, I looked at my mid-block joins and honestly, they are like a wave. Lack of counting, lots of chatting!!!!! I should probably redo it, but it’s one of those dc dc dc dc dc dc blocks. Argh!

What have you learnt doing the CAL? If you’re not CALing with us, has it inspired you in any way?

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 34: CAL Blocks #100 #101 #105


#100 Pastel Delight / Block 100 delight!

5 1/2″ sq

I like this, it adds extra interest to the Granny Square middle


#101 Into the Blue

5 1/2″ sq

Bit boring to crochet if you made a whole blanket from these blocks – according to my CAL notebook.IMG_2380

#105 Double Stripes

5 1/2″ sq (3/3 this week!)

These dc stripey blocks are a bit of a swizz – a filler for the book’s block count. I’ve photographed this upside down! If I rotate the pic the angle makes me feel vertigo-ish so I’ve left it.


Confession: I’ve also crocheted next week’s blocks this week because I haven’t got anything else in progress at the moment. I fancy doing some hand sewing so will do a bit next week as I’m ahead with the blocklets. I won’t post them early though, I don’t want people to feel they’re behind when they’re not.

I’ve got a pack of felt, some threads and ribbons so will see what I can come up with. Oooh speaking of ribbons – guess what? I WON five rolls of three metre ribbons this week. :-D I’ll post a pic when they arrive.

I’m in declutter and scrape the dust off the surfaces mode at the moment. It must be bad because at one stage I stopped singing along to Louis Armstrong and found myself doing an “Oh myyyyyy god” at the billowing clouds of dust that were between some of my folders. Shameful.

Have a creative weekend, if you can, everyone!

Weeks 31 & 32: CAL Blocks #91 #92 #93 #94 #95 #96


#91 Terraces

6 1/2″ W x 5 1/2″ H

I added 4 more rows at the top to bring the dimensions a little more into line, but stopped at completely squaring it; I might make this into something else. It’s not going to fit with the squarer blocks. Maybe it would be good doubled in width for a scarf?  I reckon small fingers might pick at the loops of the dtr if it was a blanket.IMG_2363

#92 Victorian Lace

5 1/2″ sq.

Definitely needs blocking to see the detail and straighten it out! At the moment the middle is slightly bunched up.

I’m really glad to have more of this mauve wool, it’s such an earthy colour for the garden theme. It should tone down some of the brighter blocks if I make a huge blanket at the end.


#93 Sequenced Stripes

5 1/2″ sq.

“Row 6: 1 ch into each of the next 2dc, turn.” ?!?!


IMG_2348 - Copy

#94 Gothic Square

5 1/2″ sq.

Not so much a gothic square in these colours as a full-on summer cottage garden. I’m picturing a flower growing against a blue trellis.

This has a really pretty middle. It also needs blocking to straighten out, but it’s sweet. IMG_2352

#95 Kingcup

5 1/2″ sq.

Kingcup has a 3 hook – challenging – level of crochet rating, but I found it easy. This was very pleasing!

My overall favourite of the Easter fortnight’s blocks.IMG_2355

#96 Light and Shade

5 1/2″ sq.

This was a block where I wished there was also a symbol pattern to go with the written version. I used the book’s photograph to check mine was on track.

IMG_2350 - Copy

I notice there are many blocks with a 1 hook – easy – level of crochet coming up, which is good since I feel I want to zip through the next few weeks worth of blocks. I’ve got my Mile of Mice bodies to sew up, tails to attach and features to stitch (rude comments about the linked post will not be approved Jill & Trish.) Also, I’ve knitted another cable piece for my first-time-I’ve-ever-cabled bag. I need to sew them up and attach the handles. My cousin’s going to help me sew a lining for it over the next few weeks.

Thanks for all your likes and comments about my Wool Money post. I’ve had a few more items arrive in the post after I spent some more of the winnings (JD as he should now be known, short for Jammy Dodger, has ordered an expensive fishing jacket and there’s still lots of loot left. Woo hoo!)


I had reluctantly taken the Knitting & Crochet Bible back to the library, so it seemed sensible to buy my own copy. I found a brand new one for a little over £11 on Amazon, which compared to the RRP of £26.99  is an absolute bargain. I can imagine using it as a reference guide, particularly for knitting stitches, for years.

What are you making at the moment? Do you also have a list of items to complete before you start any more projects?

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 28: CAL Blocks #82 #83 #84


#82 Webbed Lace

This is the runty one of the litter this week, I’ve crocheted it with a 4mm and 3.5mm hook. Both are rectangular, nowhere near square. Guess what I’m going to say about this pattern? (Prizes if you get it.)

This would make a nice Springtime scarf in the right kind of yarn! (Did you win?)

4mm=6″W x 5″ H

3.5mm=5 3/4″W x 4 1/4″H


#83 Diamond in a Square

3.5mm=5 1/4″ but then I added two more R8 to enlarge the block so it’s 5 3/4″. I just fancied using my pink 3.5mm hook for a change from the blue 4mm, so I did.

Now tell me is there a mistake in the instructions for R6? There don’t seem to be enough instructions before the corner space stitches. I just trebled along until the last 3htr, surely it should specify 14tr then 3htr? There’s always the photo in the book to check; but I think of how confused I’d have been if this particular block was the first I tried as a newbie.IMG_2260

#84 Combination Stripes

5 3/4″ – 5 1/2″ depending on if you’re measuring the fat or thinner end!

I thought this was less wonky than my usual (unblocked) corner squares, but looking at this photo I’m not so sure. Generally the corners where you increase, rather than decrease, come out less wibbly for me. It’s probably all about the tension.


Week 28! Wow I can’t believe we’ve been going since 1st September crocheting and posting pics! WELL DONE if you’ve been with me since the beginning and are still crocheting along. I could post a list of links to current block-makers’ blogs in my CAL week 29 post to make it easy for readers to click to yours so they can have a peep. Just send me a link to your last CAL post here if you fancy.

I’ve heard from Jen of The Eclectic Stitch to say she’s rejoining the CAL which is cool. I’m really looking forward to seeing more of her blocks.


I’m thinking of taking part in A Mile of Mice which according to the Make & Craft website involves: ‘knitting a mile of knitted mice to raise funds for The Alzheimer’s Society. 7600 mice need to be joined nose to tail and measured at Altrincham Football Ground in October 2013 to gain a Guinness World Record and gain publicity for The Alzheimer Society. Knitters can be sponsored and the mice will be sold off after the Big Measure to raise more money for them. Donations of money, wool or stuffing most welcome from people who don’t want to knit themselves.’

I thought I could make a pink alpaca mouse, or two, from my Knitting and Stitching Show workshop wool. Every mile of mice needs a pink alpaca family.

Shall we get involved and do a mini KAL? (Knit-along) but with no fixed schedule? I’m happy to post links to blogs/photos showing completed mice. It could be squeaking good fun. What do you reckon?

Week 27: CAL Blocks #79 #80 #81

IMG_2213#79 Baltic Square

5 1/4″ square

Urgh! I dislike popcorns in baby cashmerino. I just think they look better in a proper DK thickness of yarn. I used a 3.5mm hook to see if they’d look tighter and sexier etc, but not. Alternatively, it might just be me and my inability to do them properly?


#80 Blocks and Shells

6 1/2″ W with my usual 4mm hook, so I changed to a 3.5mm hook (refreshing change actually) but it’s still a widey at 6″ w x 5 1/2″ h like the previous blocks #76 and #75.

This would be another good scarf pattern though there’s something a bit irritating about the multiple trebling into one treble, you might find it fiddly and not very fast to whip-up like scarves often can be (should this be re-christened MAL-CAL today? Moan along crochet along?! Sorry. I will pep it up with the next block.)IMG_2211#81 Sunshine and Showers

5 3/4″ (4mm hook)

My favourite in a long time, I like the flowery middle and it’s a sturdy block because you go around previous treble rounds in double crochet. This would be an excellent blanket block. A little darnarama and not speedy to crochet, but overall well worth the effort of making. Sometimes the things that take the longest time to create are the things most worth having.

S was working in Oslo for a week, came home for the equivalent of a long weekend and then shot off on a ten day trip to work in Hong Kong. He came home last night – hurray! (Though I really hate it when he texts me before take-off showing a photo of his two windows with a wooden windowsill with a pretake-off glass of Krug, from the First class cabin, and the ottoman that has room for someone else to sit at the table for dinner opposite and which later converts to a bed. Plus knowing there are only 5 other passengers in the cabin when I’m used to being packed into economy on long flights. It might be time for me to consider a career change? These messages are especially galling when I’m sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea and a ham sandwich feeling a bit lil Orphan Annie!!!!!)

Anyway, I had to show you this Japanese ‘delicacy’ that he takes great glee in buying as a gift for my poor brother. S instructs me that you have use the Banzai voice to say its name. If you’re not familiar then don’t worry, it’s really not that funny!


Here are a couple of gifts S gave me after last year’s business trip to HK. At the time I was definitely a beginner crocheter but now I reckon I could dust them off and follow the symbol patterns.

What are you doing this weekend? Any fun plans for Mothers’ Day?

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 25: CAL BLocks #73 #74 #75


#73 Catherine Wheel

5 3/4″ square

R4 has a missing instruction. It should say ch3 at the beginning (which counts as a tr) If you picked up the book as a beginner, or not so experienced, this is the detail you need to know.

I’m not sure about the colour combo, but then I’ve said this quite often. I’d probably choose different colour combinations,  and not all in a rush just before the shop closed next time! Or, maybe the yellow was a mistake and the colours were sound before I added more?


#74 Seville

5 3/4″ square

Another editing issue: R7 should say [1 tr into next tr, 1 ch] lazy proofing, or like many companies perhaps they’ve sacked the proof editors thinking that computer programmes alone can pick up errors. When you read have you noticed how many mistakes have crept into contemporary novels? But, having said this please don’t judge me by all my mistakes; this is just another little crochet blog.

This needs blocking sooo badly, I know.


#75 Half and Half

6 x 5 1/2 ” rectangular! If I want to use this (and I do, it’s posh wool £££) I’ll have to redo it, but for now it’s shoved in one of my block boxes. It needs either fewer trebles or a smaller hook. I haven’t gone down the using different sized hooks route for different blocks because frankly I don’t want to fanny about here essentially making samples checking for measurements. Yah-boo for number 75!


The lateness of my posting (it’s usually around Friday/Saturday at the end of the CAL week) is due to having FUN! A girlies long weekend in Cardiff, Wales stalking the places where Gavin and Stacey was filmed (look it up and watch!!!) and generally mooching, talking and eating a lot of cakey type things.

I must admit that the CAL is beginning now to feel a bit like homework, or at least after a very fun weekend away when I know I’ve got to unpack, do washing and write this update. I’m also starting to wonder how the hell I can fix together blocks which differ in size as much as 3/4″. You might be sat smugly reading this thinking you’re not surprised and you expected a similar comment sooner or later, but it’s not really surprising to me either. I knew all along I’d feel like this at some point.

This is the plan: I’m finishing the blocks and then will sort out blocking, sizing, coordinating and joining issues…….later!


I’ve just heard a huge thump as my new knitting and Tunisian crochet books land on the door mat. YAY!

Have a good week blogettes.

Week 24: CAL Blocks #70 #71 #72

IMG_2163#70 Zigzag
5 3/4″ square
Yes well I’m really not sure what went wrong with this one, but you can’t say I didn’t warn you! I was initially 99.9% sure my colour changes were to blame for the wiggly look (I did them my usual way ending the last stitch before the change with the new colour) rather than wrongly following the pattern. If I cover the changes with my finger the zigzags show clearly which seems to back this theory, but there are not 3 pointy zigs and the zags are dodgy so…..

Ah well, this is abstract art.

IMG_2160#71 Starflower
6″ square
Pretty but a bit holey for a blanket?!

IMG_2162#72 Ribbed square
I crocheted this at the beginning of the year when keen to choose and make random blocks that were left.

My plan was to crochet 2-3 blocks a week and actually I’m bang on target with three a week working out perfectly 24×3=72. :-)

PS: We’ve nearly done six months crocheting along together! 6 months!?! SIX MONTHS?*!Z*!? That’s amazing.

Week 22: CAL Blocks #64 #65 #66

#64 Sunshine Lace
5 1/2 ” square

#65 Patriotic Sunburst
Nearly 5 1/2″ square
I’m not sure about the rounded corners on this one, perhaps it just needs stretching out flat…

#66 Abstract
5 1/2″ square
I laughed a bit when I read that one blogger has decided she mustn’t watch tv and crochet at the same time. It made me think that I must be way more accomplished and had really mastered this crochet thing. Ha ha ha Rachel…

I crocheted these blocks last weekend during writing breaks. This one was ‘completed’ during Saturday Morning Kitchen, then half undone and re-crocheted during the week when watching The Gilmore Girls. Then, finally half redone this morning during Saturday Morning Kitchen (very, very gritted teeth.) I just kept making the section above the splodge too wide. I don’t know why really; I blame the gorgeous James Martin (A Yorkshire chef & presenter on SMK. Phoar!!!)
The splodge looks like a splodge in the book too. This one’s darnarama also. Needless to say I WILL NOT be making this one again.

Curly twirly corners ;-)

Just after I posted here yesters a beautiful bouquet arrived! :-D
I’ve had such lovely messages from friends and family too. My favourite text was from my friend Sarah when she saw my two bound dissertations – ‘Holy Sh**!!! Well Done!!!!!!!’ She’s working hard on hers at the moment and I know exactly how she’s feeling. It’s so good to be at the end of a lot of hard work. I’ve got that school’s out for summer feeling now.

The icing on the cake is while I’ve been writing this the postie has just brought me:

I took advantage of the first 3 issues for £5 offer. I did the same with The Simple Things mag, but really didn’t like it much. I have high hopes for this one…I’ll let you know my thoughts if you like?

What are your plans this lovely weekend? Tell me what you’re up to. :-)