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

In Progress: Crochet Owl Blanket

Crochet owl blanket - mellieblossom.com

There’s an owl that lives in the woods outside my home.  He comes and goes at various points throughout the year, but he always returns, and sometimes he has scared the living daylights out of me.  There have been plenty of nights, when the kids are asleep and I’m sitting in the dark that I’ll hear some little creature screech and hear loud wing flapping and then for the next minute or so, it sounds like some terrible fight is taking place.  But there’s never any evidence in the morning, even though when i go out looking, I half expect to find mangled, horrific remains from the sounds of the struggle.  But it is likely just this little owl who does his nocturnal hunting and then returns to his nest to hoot through the night. 

This crochet owl blanket has shown up in my Pinterest feed so many times, and I’ve favorited it, saved it, marked it.  But with the advent of this new little one on the way (and coming soon, I might add!), I was inspired enough to start a new blanket for her (yes, it’s a her!).  I love the rainbow colors of the original blanket – I think it was made with KnitPicks’ Chroma?  But the color scheme was a bit too close to my Little Hearts Scrapghan (the eternal work in progress), so I decided when selecting my colors for this project to do something a little less bright. So naturally for a crochet owl blanket – I decided to go through all my woodland colors and find a nice blend of earthy yarns.

Crochet owl blanket - mellieblossom.com

I ended up going with Vanna’s Choice colors, with a couple of outliers and lot of discontinued colors.  Mustard, taupe, kelly green, fern green, olive green, terra cotta, beige, and honey are all from the current VCFC line.  The dark brown is the discontinued espresso color, and of course, my favorite discontinued color of all, pea green, makes its appearance as well.  The light brown is a mystery yarn that is the same weight as the VCFC line, but I honestly don’t know where it came from, only that I found it in my stash and it went well with the color scheme. 

The link to the crochet owl blanket pattern can be found here in the etsy shop TheHatandI.  It’s called “Owl Obsession” and is (currently) $5.99.  If you’re a novice crocheter, the pattern is filled with photos and details on how to make the blanket, so it’s a decent project.  I made some modifications myself just out of personal preference, such as skipping the back loop only through the octogons, and modifying the way the ears were made just to make things a little more in the shape I want it.  Of course that left me with a bunch of ears that need to be tacked down, so that’s one of the things I’ll be working on as I finish this up  But overall, I’m quite pleased with the results. 

Crochet owl blanket - mellieblossom.com

Anyway, this etsy shop is amazing, and no, I’m not getting paid to say this, lol!  It’s hardly just the crochet owl blanket – I love the selection of patterns, the colors, and the creativity involved in them – like, cute little turtles next to the ocean?  What’s not to love?  These are some others patterns from the same shop that I have in one queue or another that I do hope to make one day – check out the patterns for sale if you like:

Clockwise from top left: Cat Lover Blanket, Crayon Box Blanket, Follow Your Heart Crochet Blanket, Twist Top Beanie, and Turtle Bay Blanket

The Hat and I Etsy shop
The Hat and I Etsy shop

And as for my own owl blanket, I have a little bit of work left.  I have to finish up the half octagons for the side and get a border on there – I’m not certain which border I might use yet, but I have some ideas. But it will definitely be ready in time to wrap my little bundle up in some love!

~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

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
River

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
Kaylee

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

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!

~Mellie