4 In crochet

Oh Dear, a CAL!

Yes, that’s what this blog post is all about. I am going to admit it right here at the beginning: I am not a CAL-girl. I know that a lot of people like participating in a crochet-a-long and you’ll find so many different ones going on pretty much all year round. The thing is, I know that I often have a hard time sticking with them and keeping up with the schedule. And then, when I get too far behind, the piece will just lie somewhere in a basket untouched.

Now, a few weeks ago I saw Sandra (you may know her as Cherryheart) introducing her new CAL which is called Nature’s Walk. It’s a blanket made out of blocks in several designs and it’s rounded off with a beautiful border (you’ll find all information about it here). I started to feel an itch because I instantly loved the design! Just look at it!

Photo credits: Sandra / Cherryheart

However, I tried to be sensible. I have too many things on-the-go already and some of them are designs that I really want to (read: have to) finish. And my wish-to-make list is definitely long enough already. There is no need to add a CAL (for a blanket!) to that pile of works-in-progress!

The not so self-disciplined part of me immediately stepped in, of course. And to be honest, that is a substantial part of me. It’s actually the same part of me that is responsible for not finishing CAL’s too… So, this part of me pulled in the injured foot and a bit of self-pity because of that (I severely sprained my ankle when on holiday and it is only healing very slowly….) And, besides, I should be able to make a few squares per week, right? That’s not a full-time job!

So, there we have it. The decision is made. Next step: selecting yarn and colours! Sandra’s inspiration for the different colour packs that are available comes from nature and, more specifically, from the surroundings when walking her dog. I immediately had an idea and I’m taking you on a short trip to Ireland to explain.

Inspiration

Earlier this year in June, we went on holiday to Ireland. We stayed in Dublin for a few days (and I went to Woollinn!), then we did a mini tour of the eastern part of the country and stayed in the Wicklow area amongst others. Near Wicklow is a small town called Avoca, situated on the River Avoca and home to Avoca Handweavers. You can visit the working mill for free and the entire process of weaving is very well explained. Also, the people working there are happy to answer any questions and demonstrate things.

On the premises, you will also find a nice cafe with great food and a beautiful shop. And that’s where it happened… I fell in love with a woollen throw.

A small selection of woollen throws in the Avoca shop

That was easy actually since the shop was full of them! Arguments against buying it immediately: we would have to take it with us on the plane (tight on luggage already) and the price. The sensible me didn’t buy it straight away but decided to think about it. We could always return to the shop in a few days. I couldn’t get it out of my head. Therefore we did return a few days later and bought it.

I love the simplicity of it. I think it’s a true timeless throw in beautiful natural colours. It’s 100% Donegal wool and it is woven in Ireland so it is actually 100% Irish. I really like that fact and for me, it justifies the price too.

Picking my colours

How is this all related to the Nature’s Walk CAL I hear you think? Well, I decided that I wanted my crochet blanket to match this throw in terms of colour. The throw basically only uses three colours which are used in different combinations and that makes a total of five ‘colours’ or shades. For the crochet blanket, Sandra uses six different colours for the blocks and a seventh colour to join them and for the border.

I wanted to stick to the grey, brown and neutral tones and I also wanted it to be a bit woolly (again, matching the throw). After doing a bit of yarn research, I found that Drops Design have the perfect combination in a yarn called Puna.

Puna is a 100% alpaca yarn that comes in a range of solid colours. But there also is a range of mix colours: semi-solid colours in browns and greys. Exactly what I was looking for. And I actually already had enough balls of two of the colours in my stash! Lucky me!

These are the colours that I will be using for my Nature’s Walk! From left to right the colours are: brown (03), taupe (04), beige (02), natural (01), light grey (07), grey (06) and dark grey (05).

As part of the preparation stage Sandra made a Getting Ready file and suggested to make a swatch to test gauge. She actually designed an extra square pattern for it! I’ve made mine last weekend and it’s a little larger. I expected it to be, since my yarn is a little thicker so I have to use a larger hook. But I don’t mind that the blanket will be a little bigger because of that.

Did I tempt you to join in? Head over to Sandra’s website for all information and the link to the free pattern! I’ve also created a project page on Ravelry with all the details.

Thanks for reading! I’m going to make a few crochet squares now!

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Sandra
    25th September 2019 at 23:30

    It was lovely to read about your inspiration for this and those photos from Ireland are gorgeous! Those drops colours are so harmonious and perfect aren’t they? Can’t wait to see it come together! (You have to finish it now! )

    • Reply
      Judith
      26th September 2019 at 11:11

      Thank you so much! I really like how the colours fit together. It’s always a bit of a guess when selecting them from a screen, right? And yes, I’ve raised the bar for myself now!

  • Reply
    Annette - My Rose Valley
    15th October 2019 at 20:20

    Hi Judith
    LOVE your color choice and just like you I fell in love with Sandra’s new CAL blanket design but I wanted it in natural shades… I think it will make a gorgeous timeless blanket. I hardly crochet anymore these days so I let this CAL pass… However I’m dying to make something in those shades you picked. It is that time of year you know.
    Xxx
    Annette

    • Reply
      Judith
      28th October 2019 at 12:58

      Hi Annette!
      Thanks for your comment and I apologize for responding so so late! I’m making good progress on my squares and they are a joy to make. Sometimes it’s sensible not to start a larger project when time is limited… it could end up to become an eternal work in progress I guess. I hope that other good things are keeping you from crochet! Oh and yes… the shades are really lovely. I have to admit that I haven’t used all-natural shades before in a project, but I am really liking it and the yarn is great to work with.
      X, Judith

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