It’s finally spring! Hooray!
Well, we made it through another long hard winter here in the Rust Belt and have been rewarded with a couple of weeks of early spring! There have been more Aprils than I care to remember where we’ve had snowstorms plow right through, so the 60- and 70-degree weather has been a real blessing. I spent a good week out in my yard, tilling the soil and planning out the garden here. This will be my first summer in this new place, and I’ve discovered that 95% of my yard is shaded by a forest line that runs alongside the property. So I’ve had to rethink my gobs of tomatoes and peppers that I’ve put aside for the past couple of years. It looks like I’ll be focusing more on leafy greens and some shade herbs, but that works. As long as I’m growing something, I can be happy.
I’ve also had some rough luck with this blog the past couple of days! Sometimes, like anyone, life gets a little busy, and I get caught up in it and don’t post for a little bit. I’ve had a few people ask me to add them to a mailing list so that I can update them when I post again. So I looked around for a newsletter plugin, and wouldn’t you know I crashed my whole site down after installing it! Obviously, I was able to get it back up, but not without a slight period of panic. Fortunately, I found a good one that works, and so if you’d like to be notified when I post, just fill in the contact info right over here in the sidebar —> under “subscribe”. I’m pretty low-key when it comes to this. I’ll be sending out a weekly newsletter filling you in on anything you missed from the week, so you don’t have to worry about me clogging up your inbox, and the subscription process is really simple.
While I was poking around trying to figure out what I was doing wrong, I found a section where I had received a bunch of mail that never went through with the mail forwarding I had set up. I feel so bad! If you’re one of the people who sent me a message anywhere in the past year or so and never heard back from me, you have my apologies! I am slowly going to start working my way through that list as well
Hopefully though, things have settled down enough here that I’ll be posting much more frequently again. And I have a lot to share that I’ve been working on over the past month. But today I want to share the Block-a-Month Crochet-Along squares for April, since I (finally) finished them and they’re such lovely patterns.
I try to get my bamcal squares done early in the month, because it’s always nice to have something completed off my monthly checklist! (I have checklist after checklist, so really, it’s great to get anything done.) But this month was hectic and the month was halfway over before I got around to finishing all three of these patterns. It was worth it though, because they all turned out to be such great patterns, and I had so much fun making them.
The first, above, is the Romantique Crochet Square by Joyce Lewis. This square has so much detail! I love the bullions and their vintage effect – they’re an optional stitch, but I think they add the extra texture that really makes this square beautiful. I did a little bit of my own work here on the outer borders, making some front post leaves in the corners with tapestry crochet, and then adding a border of various colors with [hdc, ch1, sk1] around. The pattern is a free Ravelry download and my project page for this square is here.
If you like Joyce’s work, she recently released a book full of crocodile stitch projects. One of these are definitely going to end up on my summer crochet queue!
The filler square that was voted on by the group this month is Julie Yeager’s Sun Catcher Square. I’ve always loved Julie’s patterns because they’re very easy, well written, and they always come out with great results. This square is usually a paid pattern, but until the end of the year it’s free (edit 10/2017 – the pattern is currently $4.99), so if you’re interested in making this, download it now, even if you plan to make it later. The pattern is another free Ravelry download and my project page is here. I extended this square to make it a 12″x12″ square by continuing the outer border round, adding a new front dc stitch after skipping two stitches. The way it turned out reminds me a bit of those old stained glass windows in churches. It’s a beautiful pattern.
Finally, the 6″ square for the month is SmoothFox’s May Flower. Now, sometimes these 6″ squares can be a hit or miss for me. Sometimes they’re fun to make, and sometimes I find myself struggling for motivation. Part of the reason I joined the CAL in the first place was to stretch my crochet horizons and make squares that I normally wouldn’t make, and try to make them as beautiful as I can. Fortunately for me, this month’s 6″ square was a dream to make. The pattern is well written, and the square turned out beautifully. And even the centers could be used alone as an applique. The link to the free pattern is here, along with my project page for these here.
So there they are – more squares for the Block-a-Month Crochet Along. The summer months are coming along, and I tend to slack off on the CAL, for no particular reason except that I get caught up in spending all my time outdoors. But I’m going to be making a good effort this year to stick with it! And of course, if you’re interested in joining, feel free to jump right in. You can make the squares from January until now, or you can start now and ignore the rest. There really are no rules, it’s just a place to work together to make beautiful crochet squares. So I hope to see you there1
Have a happy Monday,