Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Crochet-Along (CAL) from Marly Bird

I recently joined my first Crochet-Along (CAL) and although I am a bit behind, it has been a very positive learning experience!  I am only on square #3 as the group zooms on to the newly released #5, but I hope to be caught up by the end of this week.

Never tried a CAL?  Interested in giving it a try?  Mosey on over to Marly Bird's website (#MarlyBirdCAL) at http://www.marlybird.com/ and check out the Crochet Stitch Sampler Baby Blanket.  Be sure to join the very active and fun group of crocheters on the Facebook page - lots of wisdom and great ideas floating around from this group!

I do have to say that this is not a beginner's CAL.  I've been crocheting for years and consider myself  at least an intermediate and sometimes, on a good day, an advanced crocheter, and finding the right gauge has given me a bit of a headache.  I know I crochet tight so I automatically move up a hook size or two on most patterns, but finding that sweet spot to have my squares come out exactly (did I mention I am a perfectionist?) 11 inches square has been frustrating.  I've done my share of frogging on the first square and once I had something close, I went for it. Not exactly 11" but close enough! The yellow ribbed square (1 x 1 Double Crochet Ribbing) was a fun front-post-stitch (FPS)/back-post-stitch (BPS) combo that is heavy but stretchy. When I block it, I believe I will be able to get it to the 11" size I am looking for.  this pattern would make an excellent pot holder done in a nice 100% cotton!

My second square required a change in hook size and an accommodation on the number of stitches as I really did not want to go to a hook size smaller than a G.  Instead, I removed one set of the pattern repeat, or 8 stitches, and stuck with my size H hook.  This turquoise Basket Weave pattern did come out right at 11" so when I block it, I will be sure to not stretch it at all. In all of my years of crocheting, I have never tried the basket weave stitch - loved it!!  Again, as I think about other uses for this pattern, it'd make a great potholder!  It is not as flexible as the ribbed square, nor does it have the stretch.  It does seem to be a solid pattern and with some fun edging in your favorite 100% cotton, you'd have a great potholder!

Loops & Threads Impeccable in Aqua (#01201) and Butterscotch (#01612)

I just started my third square today - the Fan Tail Crochet Stitch - and am already one set of rows into it - Rows 2-5 make the repeating pattern.  I have crocheted this pattern before and love the look!  In making adjustments, I've stuck with a size H hook and reduced the chain stitches by 10 to start with 42 rather than 52.  This removes one set of the repeating pattern and seems to be right on track for my 11" size.

Loops & Threads Impeccable in Rouge (#01531)
Although I've not watched them, Marly Bird has created a series of videos on her YouTube channel to help out the group in working through the different patterns. From the feedback of my FB group mates, I might need to watch the next one on the Bobble Stitch as I've heard that there are some techniques to get your bobbles to pop off of the pattern!

Looking forward to the next 6 blocks!