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!


Firefly Crochet – the Polly Plum Files

Hooray for Firefly crochet!

Count me along the Browncoats – like so many others, I loved Firefly and was crushed when the series ended with the story only half told (and was grateful for Serenity  for later existing to correct that).  I used to sit and watch the show while crocheting away – I don’t think I’ve watched a movie or TV show over the past decade without some sort of project in my hands.  So what a fitting surprise when one of my favorite crochet designers – Polly Plum from Every Trick on the Hook – put out her eBook of Firefly crochet patterns named after the women of the series.  The collection, called “Shiny” features 4 patterns named after each of the awesome female characters – Zoë, Inara, Kaylee, and River, and Serenity (the ship), who I suppose is technically female as well. 

I had so much fun making these  I’d been waiting to find the perfect color combination before starting this series, and I ended up with a variation of a swap scheme from the VCFC group on Ravelry.  The swap, from last fall was the “Retro Doodles” colors, originally: Magenta, Lilac, Brick, Peacock, Lime, and Fisherman from the Vanna’s Choice yarn line.  I modified this somewhat, bringing in Big Twist yarn in two colors – Sprout, which replaced the Lime color – which I can’t find anywhere anyway, and is also much brighter and more saturated than Lime; and Cinnamon, the brownish color, which I purchased a whole bunch of when it was on clearance some months back.  I also replaced Fisherman with Beige, which I felt has a more retro-ish feel to it, kind of like weathered white does when it’s 50 years old. 

Anyway, after finally settling on the colors, and being so uninspired for the past few months with the current projects I’ve been working on, I pushed everything else aside and whipped up all the squares from Shiny in a matter of only a couple of days.  And I’m so in love with the results!

The Patterns:

The Shiny e-book is a Ravelry download.  At the time of this post, the cost is $9.99, which comes out to about $2 a pattern.  I would say it’s definitely worth it.  However, each pattern is also available individually for $2.49.

  • E-book download: Shiny
  • Inara only download: Inara
  • River only download: River
  • Kaylee only download: Kaylee
  • Zoë only download: Zoë
  • Serenity only download: Serenity

You need a Ravelry account (free) to download the patterns.

My Firefly Crochet Squares:


Firefly Crochet - mellieblossom.com

This was the first of the bunch that I made.  I wanted something that was challenging and absolutely gorgeous, and River did not fail to deliver.  I’m a big fan of the hdc in 3rd stitch, which was utilized heavily in this pattern.  And I think the end result is just lovely. 

Firefly Crochet - mellieblossom.com

I wasn’t expecting Kaylee to be as much fun as it was.  The ruffles are so satisfying.  I sometimes get a little bored with center floral motifs, because so many of them are only slight variations on the same thing over and over.  But this was definitely not one of those.  And the leafy edge ruffles were a nice touch.

Firefly Crochet - mellieblossom.com

Inara turned out to be my favorite of the bunch.  In order to place the colors in the pattern method that I had in mind, I ended up using tapestry crochet with two colors in order to get the center cross the way I wanted it.  It was a bit of extra worth, but the end result was worth it.

So, you may be wondering, where are the Zoë and Serenity Firefly crochet squares in all this?  And the answer is that Zoë is completed, but I had a lazy weekend, and honestly haven’t gotten around to photographing it.  But that’s on the list of the (many) things I hope to accomplish today and will hopefully be up tomorrow.  The Serenity square, on the other hand, is on the list of squares to make.  But because I wanted some more complicated crochet to work on, I ended up setting that one aside for later. 

I have big plans for this series of squares, though – and it includes continuing this color scheme through plenty more Polly Plum squares.  Stay tuned!


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.


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



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. 


Crochet Penguin

Crochet Penguin - mellieblossom.com

It was a long week with my two older boys suffering from a stomach bug.  These are the joys of motherhood.  I have so much to catch up on: laundry and cleaning and homeschool and errands.  But I was able to whip up this adorable little crochet penguin with a Valentine scarf for Clara and her new incoming teeth.  Free pattern is here. 

Have a healthy, happy Monday!