Crochet Squares – March

Finally, between teething fussiness and the inability to do things that require two hands, I’ve been able to catch up with my February and March crochet squares for the 2017 Block-a-Month Crochet-Along on Ravelry. I’ve actually finished these, like the previous ones, over a period of a few weeks, but actually weaving in the ends and getting the photographs were a whole different story.  Regardless, I feel like I’m catching up on so many things that I’ve been meaning to create.  Having a baby around again is an amazing feeling, and things are so different than they were when I first became a mother ten years ago!  And I’ve been so fortunate and lucky that Clara is a great sleeper and a generally all-around happy baby.  My elder boys were much more high-needs, so I’ve been thoroughly enjoying this wonderful time with my little love. 

Clara just loved playing with all the yarn while I made these crochet squares.  I leave the skein next to her while I’m using it, and she delights in the colors and texture.  She’s always supervised because – well, it’s yarn – but I hope she may one day love to work with fiber the way that I do. 

Crochet Squares - March - mellieblossom.com
Marigold Mandala Crochet Square

Moving on to the actual crochet squares though.  These are the February and March squares (minus one that still hasn’t made it to the photograph phase).  I’m pretty sure I mentioned the colors before, but I still love them as much now as I did when I first assembled them, and that’s a good sign (not like last year, which saw me changing the whole scheme halfway through the year, and leaving me with a huge amount of work that still needs to be done).   The Marigold Mandala Crochet Square by Dorianna Rivelli was the filler (as voted on by Ravellers), and I can understand why – it’s simply a gorgeous square.  I love everything about this square, and there is a detailed tutorial of the free pattern that can be found on The Lavender Chair by following this link here

Crochet Squares - March - mellieblossom.com
Window Box Granny Crochet Square

The Window Box Granny Crochet Square pattern by Lisa Mauser was the 6″ option for February.  I made four of them in each of the colors I’m using and used the off-white as the focal point.  I usually get a little lazy with the 6″ squares, because repeating four of the same squares over and over can be kind of tedious, but I ended up really enjoying this square and ended up whipping it up in no time flat.  This is available as a free Ravelry download here. 

Crochet Squares - March - mellieblossom.com
Picture Frame Crochet Square

Picture Frame Crochet Square by Lisa Naskrent is a square that I made once before in the Sprouting Hues swap, but I enjoyed making it again. I had purchased the pattern back then, but now it’s available as one of the several published crochet squares in the Chain Reaction Afghan Project, and the entire ebook is available for free here, with the Ravelry link here.  This really is a gorgeous square, with all the leafy corners and the textured, center motif.  And I like this version even better than the other one I made. 

Crochet Squares - March - mellieblossom.com
That One Sister Crochet Square

That One Sister Crochet Square by Melinda Miller has a touching story about its creation which you can read about on the download link page.  I’m a big fan of Melinda Miller’s patterns, because they are very lovely squares that look complicated but are simple to make, especially with her very clear instructions.  This one was so much fun, even if I ended up sewing my flowers on instead of leaving holes (you have to actually read the directions to follow them, oops!)  I had briefly looked over the pattern before taking my kids to a play place, and by the time I got home, so much of the square was already finished that I decided to just use it as it was.  My crochet time is sparse these days.  I do what I can.  The pattern is available as a free Ravelry download here

Crochet Squares - March - mellieblossom.com
Popcorn Puff Square

Last but not least, the Popcorn Puff Square by Ruth C. Roy was the 6″ crochet square selected for March.  Like the Window Box Granny above, I usually make four versions of the 6″ square, but by the time I had finished the center motifs of the squares, I decided that these would look really nice stitched together without any further rounds added on.  I like the way the block turned out with the four motifs, and since I used a G hook, it turned out to be a 9″ square (like my other squares have been this year).  Using a sport weight yarn (Caron Simply Soft) and the smaller hook lets me top these patterns out at a smaller size, which, as a multiple of 12 for the final blanket, works out perfectly. The pattern is available as a free Ravelry download here, and can also be accessed on 365 Grannies here

I’m so excited to have actually accomplished something from start to finish that I have three projects sitting right in front of me that I want to just dive right into.  Happy crocheting to you and happy Monday!

~Mellie

Catch Up Crochet

Catch Up Crochet - mellieblossom.com
Baby Love

Once again I’m working on some catch up crochet. 2016, this year of pregnancy and new baby have gone by in the blink of an eye, especially with a newborn.  These have been such a happy months, and it’s hard for me to believe my little one is 2 months old already!  They grow so fast, don’t they?  And after having two babies who never liked to sleep, Clara has been a dream!  She sleeps well through the night and cuddles up to me in the sling, napping throughout the day.  I love snuggling her and breathing in her baby scent, and her big brothers love her to death, too. They have even acted as watchful eyes over her, letting me actually get showers in, and even an uninterrupted meal or two!  To say I feel blessed would be a huge understatement.  I’m over the moon!

I’ve even been able to get (a little bit of) crocheting in.  That’s been less easy, considering that crochet takes two hands and what Miss Clara makes up for with her napping is the desire to be held most of the time.  This leaves me with only one free hand.  But during those naps, when I’m not trying to catch up on the housework, I have managed to get a little bit of time in.   (Anyone want to invent a one-handed crochet method?) 

I’m pretty certain I won’t be making crochet gifts for everyone (or anyone) for holiday gifts this year, and it’ll likely be midway through 2017 before I finish up the 2016 bamcal squares.  But I am getting  a few squares done here and there.  It’s almost essential to my well being to not go too long without crocheting at least something

Like this square, for example.  This is the November main square for the crochet-along.  Pane in My Dahlia is a hilarious play on words (read about it and get the free pattern here).  I’m not usually a big fan of huge, 3d floral motifs, but in some cases, the results can be stunning, and this is one of those scenarios.  I love the way this flower looks.  I used the crochet tapestry method, carrying yarn along the back in order to achieve the white petal outlines, and I added a slip stitch around the edge of the flower into the back loops and a fpsc into the posts.  The red center petals photographed a little bright, but I really like how the overall square turned out. 

Pane in my Dahlia Crochet Square - mellieblossom.com
Pane in my Dahlia Crochet Square

The other one that I finished up is the September filler square, which is Lotus Pavilions by Helen Shrimpton.  I knew I’d like this pattern because I love Helen’s crochet designs to begin with.  This one was no exception – well written, pretty overall and well detailed.  It’s available as a free download either through Ravelry or on her website, Crystals and Crochet.  As complicated as it looks, it was so much fun to make that time flew!

Lotus Pavilions Crochet Square - mellieblossom.com
Lotus Pavilions

The other bamcal squares will slowly come along.  I’m not putting too much pressure on myself to get things done with a newborn; I know this song and dance all too well.  With all the stacks of unfinished projects alongside me, it’s hard not to want to work on them all.  But I have to remind myself to take deep breaths and pace myself.  The yarn will be there waiting for me, but my baby keeps on growing. 

~mellie

 

Pink Puddles Crochet Swap Squares

The title of this post is a little misleading, because while Pink Puddles is the latest crochet swap I joined, I’m not actually swapping any squares.  I joined in the crochet swap as a CAL (crochet along-er), because I’m fairly certain with the little one on the way, that I won’t be on time getting my squares finished and sent out.  But because I loved the color scheme so much, I’m still sort of joining in.  Just from the side.

We know that we’re having a girl, due to all of the extra testing we had to have done earlier this year, so when I saw the color schemes for the fall crochet swaps on the Vanna’s Choice Fan Club on Ravelry, I fell in love with two of the color schemes (the other of which I’ll write about later).  But my number one favorite was Pink Puddles, which is a beautiful, gray scheme offset by a touch of pink.   Perfect, I thought, for a baby girl.

Pink Puddles Crochet Swap - mellieblossom.com

The yarn colors are a little less warm than the original photo selection, and actually upon closer inspection, there are no real grays in the inspiration photo whatsoever, but these were the colors that were agreed upon, so these are what I used.  I actually added a third gray to the color scheme, charcoal, which is a much darker gray; but I think it gives the color scheme a little bit of extra drama and pop.  The yarn, of course, is Vanna’s Choice:

Pink Puddles Crochet Swap - mellieblossom.com
Silvery Gray, Silver Heather, Linen, Taupe, Pink,

So on deciding what squares to use for patterns to start off this blanket, I decided to join in on the Moogly Crochet-Along.  The squares are not as complicated as many of the ones selected for the BAMCAL, and it felt like a relaxing way to enjoy the colors, make some progress, and try out some new patterns.  And so that’s where I’ve started.  (Ravelry group for Moogly CAL is here). 

I’m not following any particular order for the Moogly CAL, rather, I just printed out all the patterns at once and picked up one and started working on it at random.  These are the two I have completed so far:

Pink Puddles Crochet Swap - mellieblossom.com
3D Flower Granny Crochet Swap Square

First is the 3D Flower Granny Square by Sarah Zimmerman (link to free pattern here).  I altered this one up just a little bit by adding a little more variety to the ou ter rounds, and I’m really happy with the way it turned out.  I’m not usually a fan of small motifs in squares, but the outer rounds really accentuate the simple, yet pretty flower in the center.  And the 3D effect is just as subtle, fulfilling the depth factor without obnoxiously bursting out of the center of the square. 

Pink Puddles Crochet Swap - mellieblossom.com
3D Flower Granny detail

You can just barely see the little charcoal leaves underneath the flower when you view it from the side, and that adds a little bit of nuance to the square as well.  I enjoyed making it, and I like how it turned out. 

Pink Puddles Crochet Swap - mellieblossom.com
Winter Bloom Crochet Swap Square

The second square I’ve finished for this crochet swap is the Winter Bloom Afghan Square (link to free pattern here).   This is another one of those that I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, and ended up being very pleasantly surprised.    I’m also really enjoying the neutral palette being offset by the slightest bits of pink here and there.  I think this is going to end up a very lovely blanket for my new little baby girl!

I have plenty more squares to make in this color scheme, but I’m going at a relaxing pace.  Still, I’m excited to make some progress on this.  More to come!

~Mellie

Vanna’s Choice Crochet Along Squares

So much has happened over the past couple of months, and I have so many great things to share that I hardly know where to start!  I’ve also done quiet a bit of crochet since I last updated this blog, so check back often as I bring this blog up to date with everything else that’s going on in my life!  First, though, let me spend some time talking about the Vanna’s Choice crochet along squares!  Because these were so much fun to make and they turned out so wonderfully.

As I mentioned earlier this year, the Vanna’s Choice Fan Club over on Ravelry is hosting a crochet along where two squares are selected every month to make, one at the beginning of the month, and one in the middle of the month.  No official “joining” is required, so if you’re interested in participating, the link to the crochet along thread is here, along with the links to the patterns below which have already been selected. 

And while it’s technically a group for Vanna’s Choice yarn lovers, using that yarn is not a requirement either.  However, since I do like that yarn, I stuck with it for the squares.  I love how they turned out, and I think the colors work so well together.  My color selections for this CAL are: navy, brick, mustard, olive, beige and toffee.  Below are the four that I’ve made, and March’s was just put up a few days ago, which I’ll be working on soon as well!

Vanna's Choice Crochet Along Squares - mellieblossom.com
Blizzard Warning Crochet Square

 

Vanna’s Choice Crochet Along Squares

 

Blizzard Warning Crochet Square

I love pretty much every single pattern that Polly Plum makes, and this square is no exception.  Blizzard Warning is a beautiful square with some great detail and texture.  The snowflake motif is just so pretty, and a very fitting pattern for the beginning of January (even though it took me to almost March to finish it up!)  There is a very detailed, step-by-step photo tutorial on how to make this square free on her website, and you can find that pattern through this link here

Vanna's Choice Crochet Along Squares - mellieblossom.com
Rachel Block Crochet Square

Rachel Block Crochet Square

The Rachel Block by Melissa Green is another fantastic example of texture in a crochet square. I love the juxtaposition of the organic and soft center motif to the angular lines that the front and back post stitches make around the border rounds.   This pattern is a free Ravelry download which you can find here.  I made a few modifications to this square for both decorative and functional purposes (my corners were bulging a bit).  You can find these modifications in my notes on my Ravelry project page

Vanna's Choice Crochet Along Squares - mellieblossom.com
Denna Crochet Square

 

Denna Crochet Square

Another beautiful crochet square by Polly Plum is the Denna Square. This is another square that I have made before, earlier in the year – and one that contains great memories, as I was sitting  in downtown Chicago having the time of my life while crocheting it.  While this one was made in a little more humble conditions, cuddled up under winter blankets, it was nonetheless still a fun square to make again.  This is a free Ravelry download that can be found here

Vanna's Choice Crochet Along Squares - mellieblossom.com
Frostbloom Crochet Square

Frostbloom Crochet Square

And finally, Shan Sevcik’s Frostbloom Crochet Square is such a pretty and fun square to make.  It’s available as a free Ravelry download through this link

I made this square a couple of years ago when it was selected for the 2014 Block-a-Month crochet along.  It’s fun to see how my crochet skills have improved since then (and my photography skills as well I suppose!)  I would definitely count the various crochet-along groups I’ve been involved in with honing my abilities as a crocheter.  Many of the squares that are selected aren’t necessarily squares that I would think to make.  It forces me to use my creativity and color placement in new ways, along with learning new stitches and techniques along the way.  I would definitely recommend a crochet-along to any beginning crocheter. 

Since I made this square before, I thought I would make a few minor modifications.  I wanted a more flowery center and then I altered a bit of the rounds to make it more of a granny-style border, then repeated the pattern outward until it reached 12″.  More detailed modifications and my project page for this can be found here on Ravelry. 

There’s a new square up for the group already, one of Margaret MacInnis’s squares (another very talented crochet designer).   Promise Me Spring is a gorgeous square that I’m looking forward to making.  Check out the group thread and get a coupon code to download it free while you can

Happy Crocheting!

~Mellie ★