Tuesday, 10 May 2016

The Ultimate Crochet Calendar

Namaste friends. How are you today?

If it is vacation time for your kiddies I hope you are enjoying the vacation. Summer holidays mean picnics, movies, water parks and best of all ice cream...loads of it! Can you tell I am a big fan of ice cream ;)

On the other hand, for us mums it also means more cooking, more laundry and more cleaning-up, right? Nevertheless it is still fun. Holidays are all about the kids which means very little time for crafting for the mums. So here is something just for you.

CAL Calendar 2016
I was browsing the net to make a list of the CALs going on, when I came across this fantastic calendar. It is chock full of crochet projects for the whole year! It is a CAL calendar for 2016. While I have no idea who has filled in the details or even how it is done, a million thanks and hugs to the person/s who has done this. It lists all the crochet-along projects for the year and clicking on the name will take you to the relevant page or blog post where you can get all the details. 

HERE is the link to the Calendar. 

crochet CAL calendar 2016


A few pointers;
  • Most of the time the crochet-along patterns are free forever, but sometimes the patterns are free only for the duration of the CAL, after which they are listed as Paid patterns on Ravelry or the websites. So if you like a project be sure to download the pattern right now and keep it for future use.
  • Go through all the details of the project carefully. Some projects require purchase of the pattern or a magazine, or may be available only as a kit.
  • For my Indian readers:- While we cannot get the yarn brands mentioned in the project (sometimes we cannot get any kind of branded yarn!!...terrible, I know) pay attention to the hook size mentioned in the project and just find a yarn that is suitable for that hook size. 
  • Gauge is not  important for items like blankets, scarves or cowls etc, but if making a wearable item like sweaters, gloves or hats, buy a small quantity of yarn first to test the gauge using the hook size mentioned in the pattern. It will save you a lot of time, lots of frogging and heartache. :)
  • Bookmark the main project page on the blog so that you can easily visit the page and download the updates as and when they are released.
  • Use the "Week" view on the calendar to get a complete list of projects for that week - day-wise, especially when there are more than 3 projects on that particular day.
  • The events are listed as per Eastern time (US) so consider the time difference with your time zone when looking for updates. I usually visit the sites on the day after the CAL update, as we are around 10 hours ahead.
  • If you missed any project in 2015 you can also find them via this calendar.
I am sure you will find a project to your liking and this calendar ensures that you will have something to work on all through the year.

I am extremely delighted to have found this CAL calendar and I hope you benefit from it too. Do let me know if you find anything exciting.

I have started one more project - Mandala Madness which is simply fantastic. If you want to take your crochet to a totally new and advanced level this project is for you. More details and pics in my next post.

Until then, Happy crafting.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Have you found your CALing?

Namaste friends, so have you found your calling yet? Don't worry I am not asking about any deep life calling or purpose of life etc. :) What I mean is crochet CALs.

My crochet Word of the Year 2016 is CAL and there seem to be so many just CALing (ahem) I mean calling out to me. I am having a tough time making up my mind and choosing between them. Some of the projects are from 2015 and some are new while some are yet to be released but definitely scheduled for 2016. So here goes;

This one is not exactly a CAL but a new pattern just released by the lovely Dedri at Lookatwhatimade. It is a gorgeous granny square blanket and the rose border is to die for. I am in love with the border and i suspect that is what is spurring me on. 

crochet lydia blanket

This is an amazing project once again by the very talented Dedri. It is huge and will be the largest project I have ever attempted and completing it will be a challenge. I am not sure about my colour choices but I am also on a stash busting spree.

crochet sophies universe

3. Queen Mandala
This CAL is a gorgeous mandala for which you have to join THIS Facebook group. New instructions are released every week and the CAL is on week 10. I have just reached week 4. What do you think, do the colours go together?

crochet/hekel mandala cal 2016

Yarn: For all the above projects I have used a yarn brand called Ruby from Ludhiana. The yarn comes in gorgeous colours and has a mohair like feel but the yarn is thicker than DK weight.

Hook: I am using a 5.00 mm hook for all these projects.

Some more CALs I hope to do this year:
Sunny Log Cabin blanket by Attic24. I plan on busting my Stylecraft yarn stash for this blanket. You can see my stash HERE.

Lily Pond Blanket - Beautiful blanket by Jane Crowfoot, with huge gorgeous flowers. May have to order yarn for this one. Yay!...an excuse to buy more yarn. (Happy dance...happy dance)

AND a few more that are soon to be revealed!!
Frida's Flowers - once again by Jane Crowfoot, from 5th April. Once again with ginormous flowers and I am sure lots of new techniques. I am so curious about this one!
FRAN Mystery CAL - a manghan. Part 1 was revealed on 7th March. Maybe something special for sonny boy.
Mandala Madness CAL - a circular blanket with 18 weekly parts, beginning on 17th March '16.

In my next post I am going to list some more CALs 2016, which I came across while doing research for this post. So if you are tempted to start one but none of the above appeal to you, worry not. But do start something after all it is NatCroMo!  :D

Until then, ciao.


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

How to follow crochet patterns and charts (Videos)

Namaste friends,

NatCroMo

Let's celebrate the glory, beauty and strength of being a woman. The celebrations don't end here as it is also National Crochet Month (NatCroMo).  Okay I know it is not NatCroMo in India but as they say "it is 5 o'clock somewhere in the world", so it is NatCroMo in the US and that is good enough for a celebration :) I am hoping to keep my posts crochet related this month, fingers crossed. 

Are you aware of "Word of the Year", this is something I discovered in 2016. On the personal front my word is Declutter and I have been pretty successful so far. You have no idea how difficult it has been as I am an extreme hoarder. Yes, I never throw away Anything! Which means I have all the greeting cards I have ever received, penpal letters, patterns saved from magazines etc., the smallest scrap of remnant yarn, CDs we don't listen to anymore, favorite clothes which don't fit my "slim" form and may never will, and everything in my kitchen has to be in multiples!! But I am very pleased that I am making good progress and I hope this continues till the end of the year.

In my crochet life, the word of the year 2016 is CAL (Crochet-Along). I have already started a few and more are on my list. Hopefully I should complete them all this year. More details about the CALs in another post.

Let us get on with celebrating NatCroMo. How about starting at the very beginning? So, tell me; 
  •  When did you learn to crochet? 
  •  Who taught you to crochet?  
  •  Do you dabble in any other crafts? 
I am a self taught crocheter and I bought my very first crochet books at the age of 15 and I have never kept my hook down ever since. Initially I followed written patterns and it was after I bought a Spanish crochet leaflet that I learned to follow crochet symbol charts. Today I am surprised that I managed it all on my own! Must be the spirit of youth. :)
Are you comfortable with written crochet patterns or do you find it easier to follow crochet symbol charts?
I found two wonderful videos that are going to solve the problem for both groups. The first video is by crochet designer Marly Bird, where she explains how to follow crochet symbol charts in great detail putting an end to any guesswork.
 

 Click HERE if you have any problem watching the video above.
The next video is by Kristen at GoodKnit Kisses where she explains crochet pattern reading in wonderful detail literally reading it word by word.
 

Click HERE  in case the video above does not play.

I hope you enjoy both the videos. While I am addicted to crochet, I also like to knit, paint and dabble a bit in embroidery, sewing and macramé. What about you? Are you multicraftual? (Yes, it is a word...haha)

See you soon. Keep crafting and revel in being a woman.

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