Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Happy New Year + a new CAL!

Hi everyone!

Fwoah, 2018 was an epic year - new baby, no more housemate, new boss at work... I feel like I hardly crocheted at all :'( But Allie is growing like a weed, now nearly 8 months old and commando crawling about the place at great speed and talking up a storm. She has ba ba ba and da da da down pat - dare I hope for some ma ma ma soon? 


We are having a heatwave in Australia this week, to the point where the meteorology service had to invent a new colour to designate hot temperatures - thank goodness for air conditioning! 

I know the traditional new years blog post is a resolution to blog more regularly, but that just feels like empty words without a plan for action. So in 2019, I am going to do JulieAnny's Block a Week Crochet-A-Long and try to keep up every week. Then I have no excuse - I should be able to blog once a week about the new square and anything else that is going on! Sound like a plan? 

I did start a little late because we were still on holidays when it started, but I'm all caught up now. 

Introduction

The idea behind the CAL is that a new free square pattern is released every week, late on Monday night Sydney time. There will be 48 squares between now and November, then in December we will join and border the afghans. It's being called BAWJ2019 on Instagram so that's what I'm going to call it from now on!

I have loved Julie's designs ever since I made the Stained Glass Afghan, and had lots of fun with her 2015 Mystery CAL. I can't wait to see what Julie and her team of designers come up with over the year :D  

I am using Stylecraft Batik and Batik Elements, of which I have a surprisingly large stash! I think I way overestimated how much yarn I would need for a new design and, well, you know how these things can get out of hand. It is lovely and soft, and all the colours go well together which makes it a great stash busting yarn! I'm picking colours pretty much at random and changing colours on each square where the pattern says to.

If you want to join in on BAWJ2019, check out Julie's Facebook group, blog and Ravelry Board for more information.



WEEK 1 - POPCORN HEARTS by JULIE YEAGER

Pattern: http://julieyeagerdesigns.com/week-1-bawj2019/ 

Yarn colours: Sage, Silver & Bismuth 


So. Many. Popcorns.


So many. But such a pretty square! I like how the hearts pop up around the middle. Plus I got to learn a new stitch - the berry stitch - which is worked from the wrong side and pops out the front. I think learning new stitches is my favourite part of CALs :) 

I did have a bit of trouble stitching into "the top of the popcorn" but I think that's me overthinking things rather than it being inherently confusing... 


It's even pretty from the back! 

WEEK 2 - LOLA BEAN SQUARE by SARAH SHEA

Pattern: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lola-bean

Yarn colours: Gold, Plum, Heather and Iron


A dodecahedron to an octagon to a square? Love it!  


I got to learn TWO new stitches in this square - the bean stitch and the extended dc. The extended dc was the most interesting, as it could be a good substitute for trebles!   



This one is going to need much more blocking, but then again, peer pressure is a powerful force in afghans :P 

Phew, that's the first two weeks! Wish me luck in keeping up! 

What projects are you planning for 2019? 

Saturday, 5 January 2019

First 2019 Reflections


Happy 2019 everyone!

2018 was quite the adventure... Moving to the Netherlands, starting a new job, and so on. It was a pretty exhausting year - I felt like I was running the whole time without ever catching up or catching a breath.


Hopefully, 2019 will be better. So far, the first couple of days have been good. I knew I was sleep deprived, but man, until now, I didn't know how much... I feel like a whole new person after a couple of well-rested nights! Fingers crossed, the feeling will stay. 


I didn't finish the crochet projects I planned as Christmas presents. There were lots of tears involved when I realized I couldn't make it. There was too much going on, and I was plainly exhausted. Looking back, I feel sad how much I was beating myself up mentally for not being able to finish the projects. It did suck the joy out of crocheting, and I don't think that is something I want to happen again. 



At the moment, I have just one blanket on the hook, and I think it will take quite a few more days to finish it. I am using the Hydrangea Stripe Blanket pattern from Attic 24, and I really like the relaxing nature of the pattern flow. Oh, and I am even a good girl and am weaving in the ends after finishing each color! Woohoo! 



Don't the colors work well together? I am sure I mentioned this before, but I love the Belissima Yarn from Stylecraft. It has such a beautiful stitch definition, is so soft, and just flows from the hook. I hope they will add more colors in the future. For this blanket, I underestimated the yarn usage, so, I will need to get more yarn soonish.  I would love a stronger yellow for example. 



This blanket was supposed to be finished in December as a gift to a dear friend of mine. As mentioned, I didn't complete any of the intended projects last months, AND I am sure this blanket won't even be finished in January. I am still coming to terms with it, but in the end, I am sure it won't matter that the gift arrives late. My friend lives in Australia which means she couldn't use the blanket now anyway (too hot!)...

How is your 2019 going so far?

Take care, Anne

P.S. Stylecraft Yarns send the yarn I am using for the blanket mentioned above last summer, but I am not in any way obliged to say anything nice about the yarn. Thus, all sentiments expressed above a 100% mine! :)