Friday, 15 November 2019

CBW Advent Meditation Crochet Along 2019 - Overview

Hi everyone,

Two years ago we ran an advent meditation crochet along through our blog. We got a lot of positive feedback, and several people asked us if we would do it again. 2018 was too busy for the two of us (Michelle welcomed her first child into the world, and Anne moved country); however, in 2019 we are game again.

We love Advent, the time before Christmas, but we do know that it can be a very hectic and stressful time. So why add something to do during this time, you might ask. Well, we had the idea that because life is so hectic during these days, it is all the more important to take some time to calm down and to focus. So, the idea of the Advent Meditation was born.

For us, crochet can be like a meditation, that is, a time where you live in the moment because you focus on the task at hand and don't let your mind wander. However, when one follows a written pattern, it is very easy to get distracted (hello phone, hello family, hello housework... you get the picture). It is also easy to skip ahead, to read ahead, and thus not focus on the task at hand (in this case, the row or round you are working on). While thinking about this dilemma, Michelle had the idea of a crochet meditation podcast, that is, a pattern that can only be heard but not read.

In the meditation podcast, each pattern is read out, and one has to crochet the rows/rounds as one listens to the instructions. No worries, it is not read at super speed but at a decent crochet time (we had it tested). 

We will post the links and extra information for each meditation here on the blog, so make sure to come back by the 1st of December!

This post is not the start of the CAL; it is designed to answer frequently asked questions and to offer an overview of the overall setup.

Two small personal notes beforehand

(1)   Please note that we are offering this crochet meditation CAL for free in our spare time. We will not be able to answer your questions at any time of the day. Living in two different time zones (Australia and Europe) means that we cover a decent chunk of the days; however, we also have a life and will definitely not always be online or available even if we are awake. Furthermore, there is a chance that technical difficulties might occur (they did last time). We ask you to notify us if they do, but we also ask you to be patient with us. To be honest, people complaining in pretty mean words is not a big motivation to set these kinds of things up for free (and it has happened in the past).

(2)   We are Stylecraft Blogstars, which means that Stylecraft sent us the yarn we used for this CAL for free. We are under no obligation to say anything nice about their yarns or use their yarns. If we do so (and we do), it is because it is our own opinion. Furthermore, we will be active in the Stylecraft Make-Along Group on Facebook. Feel free to join, but it is not an obligation to do so if you want to participate in this CAL.

FAQ

What will we crochet?
We will crochet a set of 4 different Christmas tree decorations. So there is a nice side effect aside from taking some time for yourself to relax: you will crochet a Christmas tree decoration set which you could give away as a Christmas present!

Will there be a written pattern or a graph?

There will be no written pattern. There will be no graph. There will be nothing which you can see. Nada. You will have to listen to create the pattern. For anything other than the basic stitches (chain, slipstitch, single crochet, double crochet, treble crochet) we will have a stitch guide in the blog post too.


How do I participate?
Every week, we will post the YouTube link in a separate post on the CBW blog.

Once you get the link, you will have to find the time to listen and crochet as you listen to the meditation.

Where can I get the file?
We don’t own/rent file storage space for the file. Last time, we tried googledrive (which maxed out after too many downloads within the first 30 minutes) and a free file sharer (which had a lot of advertisement, not all of it on topics we were comfortable with “promoting”). So this time, we will upload the file to YouTube only.

We do know that YouTube is a mild inconvenience to some of you as you cannot download the file. However, you have to understand that we don’t have the funds to rent proper file storage space as we offer this CAL for free and in our spare time.

Do I have to pay something to participate?
No! However, you have probably read/heard about the devastating bushfires in Australia this year. If you have something to give, we ask you to donate for the bushfire victims of the bushfires east of Armidale in Australia (know as the Bees Nest Fires). The donations are managed by Rotary Australia World Community Service, an organisation we trust. Plus, if you're Australian, donations over $2 are tax deductible. 

What do I need?
About 50gr of DK/8 ply yarn.

We have crocheted the patterns with cotton yarn (using Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK) and acrylic yarn (Stylecraft Stardust). Both work, but the “end product” looks a bit different. Cotton results in a bit more texture, whereas acrylic was a bit prettier in regards to the colours.

If you are in a festive mood, you might want to choose Christmas-y colours. We used Stylecraft Classique Cotton DK in Poppy, Ivory and Leaf, and Stylecraft Stardust in Holly and Poppy. The Stardust yarn sparkles!

You will also need a 4.5mm crochet hook, scissors and a yarn needle. 

How many meditation podcasts will there be?
Four. One in each week of Advent.


How long is each podcast?
Each podcast is less than 30 minutes long - Michelle can make three or four of each decoration in that time, so we are confident you will be able to make one! 


When will the meditation podcasts be published?

Each Sunday of Advent: 1 December, 8 December, 15 December and 22 December


Will there be pictures of the decorations available beforehand?

No. We want you to focus on the process and not to think ahead what might come next. We fear that a picture might be a distraction. We will probably publish pictures one or two days after the podcast episode was released. 

Can I post pictures of my finished items?

Of course! In fact, please do - we looovvee to see what you made with our patterns. If you're on Instagram or Facebook, please use the hashtag #cbwadvent, so we can find your pictures easily.

Furthermore, we will be active in the Stylecraft Make-Along group. We do, however, ask you to post your pictures in the assigned post only (it will have SPOILER in the text), so that others are not “spoilered” by your pictures. 

Are the patterns hard to follow?

No, at least we don't think so. They are suitable for intermediate beginners, but not for total beginners. That is, you need to know how to crochet specific stitches and be able to crochet at a steady pace. Don't forget you can always pause the podcast to catch up, or rewind and listen again. We will also post a list of the stitches used beforehand and we will include links to tutorials, so you can check them out beforehand.

For those of you who participated in 2017, please note that the patterns are a bit more difficult than last time.

If you want to want to work on slightly easier patterns, you can also check out the 2017 meditation as well.

Which crochet terms will you use?

U.S. crochet terms. 

What if I find a mistake in the pattern?

Please contact us right away, so we can start an errata list. We try very, very hard not to have any mistakes in the pattern, but oh well, it might happen – we are only humans after all. 


20 comments :

  1. Please seriously consider publishing the patterns afterwards. I am a bobbin lace teacher and am well aware of all the different learning styles and for me personally, after a head injury 30 years ago, aural learning is by far my weakest. Unless your verbal instructions are read so slowly that it becomes tedious for the most able, if anyone who is not a natural aural learner has a hiccup doing a stitch and gets left even a tiny bit behind, they will have trouble working one stitch while trying to remember instructions for what is happening a stitch or two further ahead.

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    1. Thank you for your thoughts Jacquie! We may publish the written pattern after the event, but as the main purpose is the listening and creating mindfully, the actual thing being made is almost secondary. It is easy to pause, or rewind the youtube recording to go back and listen again - just hit the space bar or tap your pause button after each instruction, and you'll have plenty of time to work all of the stitches.

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  2. This sounds like an awesome idea. I look forward to joining in.

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    1. Yay! :) The first one is publish now if you want to give it a try!

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  3. Thank you for your kindness in doing this. I do appreciate it's your own time. Hope YOUR lead up to your Christmas season is happy, healthy & free from additional stress xxx (I'm certainly going to have "fun" trying to remember to adjust US to UK terminology, as an Aussie! AND yes, bushfires are bad, and scary, as I live beside bushland in Hornsby. Hoping some idiot doesn't play firebug...)

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    1. Thank you for your kind words!!

      Are you using UK terminology? Both Mich & I learnt to crochet in Australia and we use US terminology.

      I hope that the bushfires will be under control soon and no new ones will occur. It's so hard to believe that some people light them on purpose!

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  4. Cant wait be a nice change to just listen and crochet and not have to read a pattern or watch.

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    1. :) It is very relaxing. Hopefully you will like it!

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  5. New to podcasts. No set time

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    1. We will publish a blogpost every Sunday with the link and additional information. If everything goes according to plan, the posts should be posted at 10am GMT+1.

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  6. Love this idea, really hoping to find time to do it. Thank you!

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    1. Fingers crossed! It doesn't take very long - the actual pattern part is only 16 minutes long.

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  7. Awesome idea. Can I just clarify if they are YouTube then you will need internet? I was hoping to do this on my long commute but there is no phone service or WiFi

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    1. Hi! Yes, they will be on youtube, thus you need a internet connection. However, I just googled and saw that apparently, it's possible to download videos (in some countries) to watch them offline on your phone: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/7381437?hl=en - perhaps that would work for you?

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  8. Thank you for offering this; it sounds wonderful

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  9. Just completed this. Plenty of pause and rewind action as I'm not a speedy hooker! Looks lovely, thank you xx

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