More Crochet Along Squares

I’ve been slowly moving along on catching up on some of the crochet along squares from years past.  These are a lot easier for me to work on than bigger projects with a toddler underfoot, and half the time I’m working on them as a car passenger while the family’s been running errands, or when I’m waiting to pick the kids up from one activity or another.  A crochet along square is easy to pack up and bring along, and even fifteen minutes here and there eventually add up.  Sometimes I really need to be able to start and finish a project and be able to see it from beginning to end, especially in these mothering years where everything else tends to be an endless cycle of repetition. 

My 2015 blanket is the last large project that I finished, and turned out to be so successful and is used in our home every day, so I figured the 2016 and 2017 deserve a chance to be finished up too! Hopefully in time for the holidays this year, because I have two families that would love them and that I would love to share my creations with.  So, with some slow and steady progress, here are a few more squares from the 2016 Block-a-Month Crochet Along group from Ravelry that I’m adding to the pile of finished creations!  And if you’re following along with my progress, here is my gallery for the squares I have finished for this particular blanket on Ravelry.  Hopefully one that will be growing incrementally!

For all of these squares, I used Caron Simply Soft yarn and a G (4mm) hook.  The colors I used black, off white, light country peach, and red.  Because I use a smaller hook and sport weight yarn when most of the patterns call for worsted weight and an H or I hook, I make my squares 9″ instead of 12″ and often have room for a bit more of a border. 

Blue Jeanne Crochet Along Square

Blue Jeanne Crochet Square - Crochet Along Square - mellieblossom.com
Blue Jeanne Crochet Square

The original version of this square was designed with blue yarn, hence the name, but I think the red and peach turned out pretty well too.  I love the way the center motif of this crochet along square turned out – very unique but not overly difficult to make.  Blocking squares that have a million back post stitches are always difficult, so I hope I captured the essence of how pretty this square turned out to be!

Block-a-Month Crochet-Along Square: 2016 November Filler square

Free Ravelry Download: Blue Jeanne Crochet Square

Designer: Hooked on Sunshine

Price (at time of post): Free

 

Rebirth Crochet Along Square

Rebirth Crochet Square - Crochet Along Square - mellieblossom.com
Rebirth Crochet Square

This is the most recent of the 2016 squares that I completed, and I love it.  It’s been on my list to make since it first came out, with its strong zigzags and clean lines.  This one was made to be a little fancy by using tapestry crochet to carry the puff color through the dark background.  I also added a little bit of embroidery as flower puff “stems”, which I think turned out kind of fun.  I fall in love with this square again every time I look at it.

Block-a-Month Crochet-Along Square: 2016 December Filler square

Ravelry Download: Rebirth Crochet Square

Designer: Magdalene Lee

Price (at time of post): Free

 

Queen of the Meadow Crochet Along Square

Queen of the Meadow Crochet Square - Crochet Along Square - mellieblossom.com
Queen of the Meadow Crochet Square

This crochet along square is so unique.  It was the main square for August of 2016, and captures the essence of summer breezes, as was intended.  I did make a few changes, mostly in the “breezy” aspect of the white surrounding smaller stitches.  The original called for it to actually look like they were flying off in the breeze.  However, my picky sense of symmetry forced me to follow the alternative layout of the simple repetition instead.  Still, I love how it turned out. 

Block-a-Month Crochet-Along Square: 2016 August Main square

Free Ravelry Download: Queen of the Meadow Crochet Square

Designer: Lettice Rose

Price (at time of post): Free

Sometimes after I’ve been working on a crochet along square for a while, I get so caught up in making the details as perfect as I can that I forget to take a step back and look at them as a whole.  I’ll want to start an entire square over if I decide after the fact that a round should have been made in a different color, for example.  Being able to put them away for a while and go back to them helps me appreciate the work I’ve done.  Just posting these here makes me inspired enough to want to work on more squares today!  I’m so glad to share them, and each step closer to the final project being finished is progress made!

~Mellie

2018 Crochet Along

So here we are at the end of February, and I’m only just recently starting to pull myself together for the 2018 Block-a-Month Crochet Along (or bamcal for short) group on Ravelry.  These past couple of years have found me so busy that I’ve barely done any crochet at all (well, from what I’m used to).  But I’m really hoping that will change.  I’ve been in nesting mode – it’s true, we’re expecting another sweet little one at the end of spring.  My heart is swelling with joy, and we’re all so happy.  And chances are that this will likely be my last little one, so I really want to take all the time in the world to enjoy every last minute of being a mother to an infant. 

felted pregnancy - mellieblossom.com

Clara has been a dream of a baby – easy going, a good sleeper, calm.  I’ve really been blessed with her, and she just bubbles over with happiness and love for life.  I’m hoping that she will embrace being a big sister just as much as she embraces everything else.  My older boys, too, have stepped up to the plate so much to help – watching Clara when I need to nap, helping with feeding when necessary, and entertaining her when I need a few minutes to myself.  That’s one of the reasons why I have had a bit of extra time to myself.  Although I’ve spent more time than necessary on cooking and cleaning, I’m making sure lately to see that I am also getting time to create, even if it’s just a round here and there of crochet, or doodle on the sofa while I’m nursing.  And so, I’ve fortunately been able to start catching up with the 2018 crochet along. 

2018 Crochet Along - Grumpy Grandad crochet - mellieblossom.com
Grumpy Grandad Square – January 2018 Crochet Along

So here I’m sharing the first three January squares for the 2018 crochet along.  The first one here is called Grumpy Grandad square by Sadie Cuming, found for free (as of this writing) here as a Ravelry download.  I added a little bit of decorative embroidery in the center, just because, and went a little crazy with the blocking, because the lines of this are so striking. 

I’m using my new colors for this year’s bamcal, which are from the Caron Simply Soft line.  The colors are white, soft green, blue mint (from the brite line, as the deepest blue), and robin’s egg blue for the midtone blue; the lighter pinkish color is the same light country peach that I’ve used in previous bamcals (and which I stocked up on when I thought they discontinued the color, but now it’s available everywhere again, so who knows!?);  and the deeper pink is plum wine.  I was a little hesitant when selecting these colors because there’s such a huge trend right now in crochet with the turquoise/pink thing, but I think the contrast works well with the addition of the green and peach. The color flow is so soft and pretty. 

2018 Crochet Along - Sunrise Beach - mellieblossom.com
2018 Crochet Along – Sunrise Beach

Sunrise Beach by Jen Tyler was the group’s choice for the filler square for February.  The pattern is available as a free Ravelry download here. I love this square.  Especially with the colors; it goes so well with the femininity of the ruffles, the floral theme, the embellishments and puffs.  I really had a lot of fun designing the color layout and then making the square. 

Both the squares are made for worsted weight yarn and come out to 12″ in the pattern.  But since I’m using a sport weight yarn, I also use a smaller hook than is usually recommended as well.  These were both made with a 4.00mm / G hook.  Because of this, they don’t come anywhere near to 12″.  In fact, I usually need to add a few rounds to get them up to 9″.  But 9″ is perfect, because, as with my 2015 bamcal blanket, the squares are all in multiples of 3″, so I can mix and match them at the end of the year into a pleasing pattern. 

2018 Crochet Along - Knotted Puffs
2018 Crochet Along – Knotted Puffs – mellieblossom.com

And finally, the 6″ square for January is Knotted Puffs by Amber Schaaf.  This is another Ravelry download (also free) that can be found following the link here. These came out smaller than 6″ for all the reasons I mentioned above.  Usually I just add a few extra rounds onto the squares to bring them up to 6″, but instead I did something a little different by putting them together into a 4-square and then adding the borders around that to bring it up to 9″.  I’m sure I’ll have plenty of 6″ squares by the end of the year that a few of them can be pieced together like this just fine. 

Anyway, friends, thank you for all the comments and emails.  Like I’ve been promising (and promising, I know), I will eventually get back to you and answer some of the questions that you’ve left.  Thanks for all your support and patience, I truly do appreciate it!

~mellie

Spring Crochet Squares

I say spring crochet squares, but I’m actually an entire year behind. 

Since last year was spent in a pregnant blur, I missed out on the bulk of the two blocks a month crochet-along  (2bamcal2016) on the Vanna’s Choice Fan Club on Ravelry.  I made a couple of squares before the pregnancy, but after that, so much crochet work came to a screeching halt.  So I may be a year behind, but I still plan on finishing up this blanket.  I love the colors, I’m having a lot of fun with the patterns and not putting too much pressure on myself to make them perfectly.  And it’s been nothing but fun.

Spring Crochet Squares - mellieblossom.com

Since I’m going back almost a year, the squares that were selected had a spring theme – and that’s fitting, considering that the weather is warming up around here.  I’ve finally started hearing morning birds outside my window again.  And the Mr. isn’t paranoid about me being outside because of Zika because I’m no longer pregnant (never mind that there have been no cases of Zika here; he excels at worrying about us all!)  I was able to put Clara snug in a wrap and we gathered the kids and the pup and we all went for a long and much needed walk in nature today.  It felt wonderful to be outdoors with the wind in our hair and the muddy grass beneath our feet.  Our pup greeted each and every dog he met with happy leaps and the boys played up and down the trails.  It was really nice.  I’m glad that winter is ending.

Spring Crochet Squares - mellieblossom.com

I digress, though.  The squares for the VCFC 2bamcal use a worsted weight (Vanna’s Choice) yarn and a larger hook (5.00/H) than I use in the monthly bamcals, where I do more intricate work.  I don’t know why I put so much pressure on myself to get things “just so”, but nevertheless, I do.  However, since these are already larger by yarn weight and hook size, it takes much less time, especially when I stop at 9″, and occasionally 12″ (always multiples of 3 for me to make my jumbled afghans!).   Not all of these patterns are free either.  They may have been at the time of the posting, but they aren’t at this point.  I’m always happy to support my fellow crocheters with their pattern writing efforts though; the end results are usually totally worth it. 

For these squares, I’m using Vanna’s Choice yarn in the following colors (a dark rainbow): brick, mustard, olive green, navy, honey, and beige.

Spring Crochet Squares - mellieblossom.com
Spiralling into Spring Crochet Square by Margaret MacInnis (free)

This is such a gorgeous square, isn’t it?  I mean, I can just look at this project and think: so lovely!  This pattern incorporates tapestry crochet, where you carry one yarn color underneath the other.  I use it often in my work, but this style of using the color switch in chains rather than stitches was new to me.  Fortunately, there are detailed instructions on how to do this, and it turned out wonderfully.   The pattern is by Margaret MacInnis, whose patterns I’m a big fan of to begin with.  You can find this pattern as a free Ravelry download here

Spring Crochet Squares - mellieblossom.com
Promise Me Spring Crochet Square by Margaret MacInnis ($2.99)

This next square, Promise Me Spring, is also by Margaret MacInnis.  One thing about her patterns is that you’ll never get bored making them.  This one, for example, was made by making the four centerpiece motif edges separately and then connecting them all together.  Pretty unique!  But also pretty fun to make.  This pattern is available as a Ravelry download for $2.99 here

Spring Crochet Squares - mellieblossom.com
Mirror, Mirror Crochet Square by Funny dieBarbarin ($1.99)

Finally, the Mirror, Mirror Crochet Square has really nothing to do with spring crochet, but it’s still flower-ish and pretty (and the other one I completed and took a photograph of in time for this post), so it’s being included anyway.  And who’s to say that we’re not all looking at ourselves in the mirror before the warmer weather comes anyway (and admiring the gifts of pregnancy? ha.)  Anyway, this is another lovely square to make that is very detailed in instructions.  I like that it doesn’t pull at all, which some other square tend to do.  Nice, straight edges.  And there’s a good variety of stitches involved. Follow the link here to find it on Ravely for $1.99.

It got chilly overnight, and it surely looks like rain, so today seems like it might be a good day to stay inside, cuddle up with my littles ones under some warm woolies and catch up on more crochet and netflix. 

~Mellie

 

 

Crochet Trends: 2017

There are some things that seem to go hand-in-hand with crochet: baby blankets, baby hats, comfortable afghans, amigurumi toys; but as crochet becomes more and more popular, there are a lot of crochet trends that I’ve noticed popping up.  Now, I’m not an expert in forecasting or anything like that, but I prowl Pinterest and Ravelry and other sites enough to notice there are a few crochet trends that are becoming more and more common.  I’ve included some links to patterns within each trend, just click on the photo caption to take you to the pattern.  Also, all the patterns are free except where otherwise noted.

Hygge

The word of the season – both in crochet, and on every other front it seems (try typing it into Pinterest), is hygge.  Hygge, pronounced “hoo-gah”, is a Nordic term that is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.”  This is the kind of warm and fuzzy feeling that I associate with being safe and warm in my comfortable home, surrounded by family and the things that I love.  While hygge is more of a state of mind, as an emerging trend, it has come to encompass the its own style as well.  Far from the cries of minimalism, or cold, structural modernism, the hygge style embraces sorts of things like candles, family dinners, homemade teas and pies, softness, and warm blankets and woolies. 

Crocet Trends - Hygge - mellieblossom.com
Hygge Crochet Along 2017

Besides the fact that crochet and blankets go together like peas and carrots, there are crochet patterns that are dedicated solely to hygge.  My favorite thus far, and one that I’m most excited about, is the Hygge Crochet-Along hosted by Scheepjes. This beautiful wrap is made by cross-stitching on top of rows of single crochet.  Some of the projects in progress are just wonderful – I can’t wait to get started on mine!

Messy Bun Hats

Bun hat patterns seem to have exploded this past winter.  These hats, which have a hole at the top of the head for a ponytail or bun to stick out, are so fun.  I wear my hair up out of my face a lot of the time, and having one of these (yes, it’s in my queue) would help alleviate the big bulge where my clip is under my hat or my avoiding wearing one all together.  Anyway, there are a lot of really cute patterns for these crochet bun hats – they’re not too complicated and I think they’d make great gifts for the holidays next year (yep, I’m always planning ahead for Christmas gifts!)  Here are a few that I like:

Crochet Trends - Bun Hats
Ribbed Bun Hat by Naztazia
Crochet Trends - Bun Hats
It’s All About the Messy Bun by June Nemeth
Crochet Trends - Bun Hats
Linen Stitch Ponytail / Messy Bun Hat by Jennifer Pionk

 

Octopuses (Octopodes? Octopi?)

Owls have always been a common trend in crochet.  I’ve made an owl bookbag, there are owl baby cocoons, owl hats, and page after page of other owl patterns.  But lately, octopuses have been taking over.  Amigurumi octopuses are popular, from the realistic to the cute miniatures.  Perhaps bolstered by the news that crocheted octpuses seemed to help some babies born prematurely, “octopuses for preemies” has also become a common pattern with a lot of fun variations.  I’d love to crochet some octopuses for little babies!  I may have to call hospitals around in my area and see if they’ll accept donations. 

Here are some of my favorite octopus crochet patterns so far:

Crochet Trends - octopuses
Octopus for a Preemie pattern by Gosia / My Nomad Home
Crochet Trends - octopuses
Claud the Octopus by Kate E. Hancock £4.00 GBP
Crochet Trends - octopuses
Octopus for Preemie – Octo Project by Anastasia Popova
Crochet Trends - octopuses
Mini Amigurumi Octopus by Sarah Hearn

 

Mermaid Tail Blankets

Some months back, I started being tagged by a lot of my friends on Facebook, where they would all lead me to a Mermaid Tail Blanket, usually with a hinting question like “can you make one of these?”  Since then, many variations have popped up, and they are definitely a hot crochet trend right now.  I have yet to make one for my daughter, but the Mr has mentioned that he wouldn’t mind the shark version.  Perhaps another Christmas gift?  Here are three such patterns:

Crochet Trends - Mermaid Tail Blanket
Mermaid Tail Afghan by Nadia Fuad
Crochet Trends - Mermaid Tail Blanket
Jillybeenies Mermaid Tail Blanket by Jill Harrison $5.00
Crochet Trends - Mermaid Tail Blanket
Bulky & Quick Shark Blanket by MJ’s Off The Hook Designs $5.99

 

Mandalas

Okay, so mandalas have been making the crochet rounds for a few years now, but they are becoming more and more popular as crochet patterns.  The circular symmetry of crochet motifs is a perfect medium for mandalas, and so they’ve been showing up in blankets, squares, wall hangings and all sorts of other unique ideas.   

Crochet Trends - Mandalas
Spanish Mandala Pillow Overlay Crochet by Tatsiana Kupryianchyk $5.50
Crochet Trends - Mandalas
Rainbow Mandala Waistcoat by Sara Huntington £3.50 GBP
Crochet Trends - Mandalas
Amazing Grace Mounted Mandala by Dawn McIntyre
Crochet Trends - Mandalas
Mandala Madness by Helen Shrimpton

Have you noticed any crochet trends that I forgot?  If so, let me know in the comments! I love watching these kinds of trends emerge, and how they play out through all different parts of life, including what we crochet. 

~Mellie