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

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