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Hi!

Here is finally a new post! A couple of weeks ago I finnished Scheepjes CAL 2016, Last Dance on the Beach, an incredibly beautiful blanket! And a fun CAL where you get to try new techniques!

When I posted pics of my blanket in some Face-book groups I got quite a few requests on what yarn I have used and other things so I decided on a post to cover that and some tips and tricks I picked up on the way doing the CAL. Enjoy 🙂

This CAL was originally plannd by Marinke from A Creative Being, who tragically ended her life last year. Scheepje has cooperated with Marinkes blog-friends to finish the CAL in honour of Marinkes memory.

Scheepje has yarnpacks for this CAL, and I fell in love with the colourway of Dancing in the Rain. Unfortunately the yarnpacks sold out at the beginning of the CAL.

Since patience has never been my strong side I searched the internet for something to substitute with and found Drops Merino Extra Fine instead. Since my readers come frome different countries, here is the link to Garnstudio, where you choose your country/ language. Fromt there you can find a dealer in your country.

When you buy a yarnpack from Scheepjes some of the profit is put in a fund in the memory of Merinke but you can contribute to this fund separately, see Scheepjes webpage for info.

 

I also did not have the patience to visit a yarnstore to see the colours of the yarn live. Instead I tried to compare yarn colours on Scheepje’s and Garnstudio’s websites.

There where quite a few colours that did not match at all, so it became a bit of an experiment to see if the colours I chose would work together, especially since the colours displayed at the website more often than not differs in reality. Luckily I made a list on how I planned to sub, otherwise I wouldn’t have had any clue when the yarn arrived 🙂

 

Originally I ordered the same amount of balls as stated by Scheepjes but as it turned out I needed extra for quite a few of the squares. So please order one ball extra for each colour for the squares and two or three extra for your joining- and edging colour. I never counted the exact amount I used.

And please observe that join and border of my blanket is made in different colour than the one I chose to sub with, so switch amount of yarn inbetween colour 14 and 01 if you want to follow my colourway. (More on that when we talk about join and border.)

All the squares in this CAL are designed by different designers so you need to switch hook size between the squares to get the same size. In the videos that come with each week Esther suggests a hook size and it almost allways worked for me. (Unfortunately I did not write down wich hook sizes I used.) The base size for merino yarn is no 4,5.

To have something to measure against I made a card box template 20 x20 cm.

This worked perfectly. I crocheted a few rows and then measureda against my template. Your squares need to be a bit smaller than the template since you will be adding a round of single crochets around your finnished square.

I also used the template for blocking. I pinned my squares dry and used the template to get right size. I then sprayed the squares with water and let them dry. I really recommend you to block your squares as you go so you are ready to join when squares are done.

Spray blocking, now that is a hit! I will most certainly use the method again. When you soak wool yarn it tends to go a bit soggy and hard to get straight angles, but whith spray blocking that is not an issue!

Now here are my squares. You find the link to the pattern in the week number.

 

Week 1

Drops Merino Extra Fine nr 08

I remember using hook size no 4,5 for the first and last rows and going up to size 5 for the rows with pop corn stitches since these tend to pull the work.

I als o strongly recomend you to mark your corner stitches as Scheepje recomends since this will make joining so much easier.

Week 2

Drops Merino Extra Fine nr 23

I loved this one! The trick to make the stars nice is to pull your hook upwards drawing the star loops to get nice big loops. I had to do some frogging before I got it wright but it was totally woth it!.

There are only three squares in some of the pics. This is due to not having enough yarn. Always make four of every square.)

Week 3

Drops Merino Extra Fine nr 07

Week 4

Drops Merino Extra Fine nr 05

Week 5

Drops Merino Extra Fine nr 01

I wasn’t very successful with this square. I had a hard time understanding where to insert my hook making the fott prints. Since finishing the CAL I have made another one and then I suddenly got it. So read the pattern carefully and watch Esher’s video and you might do better than me! This is also the colour I decided to go with for joining and edging so order the amount of yarn Scheepje suggests for colour Michelangelo (plus one ball extra) if you want to follow my colour way.

 

Vecka 6

Drops Merino Extra Fine nr 14

I really disliked this colour when it arrived in my mail, but I was too lazy to change it. I disliked it throughout the CAL but after the border was done it was suddenly really nice and fit into the blanket. I also enjoyed the C2c technique.

Week 7

Drops Merino Extra Fine nr 23

This square I tried to block with knitting needles wowen into sides to make them straight. But I really did not like the end result. Luckily it doesn’t show in the finnished blanket.

Week 8

Drops Merino Extra Fine nr 05

I never took a photo of this block but you can see some of it in this photo. This was fun to make and would make a great pot holder

Week 9

Drops Merino Extra Fine nr 19

One of my favourites and designed by amazing Dedri who runs  Look at What I Made .

Week 10

Drops Merino Extra Fine nr 28

This is the first one I did not follow original pattern. It was tedious and the result wasn’t worth it.

I did all of my stitches in the “front front loop”. Easier and even prettier in my point of views. Still not a favourite of mine…

About the colour; this one stands out, but a lot of designers say that you should allways have a bit of “poison” choosing your colours and in the finnished blanket I love this colour!

Den första rutan jag inte följde beskrivningen på. Det var helt enkelt för bökigt och slutresultatet var inte värt det.

 

Week 11

Drops Merino Extra Fine nr 15

This one is not crocheted following the original pattern at all. I did not care for the holey effect in the original since all of the other squares are pretty solid.

In the Facebook group that Scheepje runs someone had used the pattern for  Moogly’s Blackberry Sallad as a base, and I stole that idea.

For me it worked with 25 dc as a base, using crochet hook no 4,5. Then I had to stretch the squares a bit when blocking.

But after completing mine I have seen some really nice squares made with tweaked original pattern in the Facebook group so you might want to check them out before deciding which way to go.

 

Week 12

Drops Merino Extra Fine nr 03

This one was slooow to crochet, but the result! Gorgeous! It features a mix between slip stitches and half double (half triple in UK terms) crochets.

I had a hard time to find which stitches to crochet into so I suggest using stitch markers to not miss stitches. And patience 🙂 The end result is worth it!

Week 13, joining

So came time for joining. And I realised the yarn I bought for joining was a pure catastrophe! So I decided to switch Drops colour no 14 to colour no 01 for join and border.

Before joining I placed my squares on my bed in the order Scheepje suggests. I then switched squares from week 5 and 6 to avoid having squares the same colour as border at outer edge.

I then also switched a few other ones I did not like besides each other. I don’t remember exactly how but in this pic you see my placement well:

 

I then had to try making a nice join quite a few times before I got that I was supposed to keep my yarn underneath my work in order to make the join look good. I used hook no 5 for joining.

To avoid pulling I added a single crochet stitch between each square when joining. I did this in both directions.

Also, the pattern for joining is a bit weird. It states that you should skip corner stitch at top of squares when joining but crochet into bottom one. Doing this means that you will end up with two edges of blanket with unjoined corner stitches at end and two edges with joined corner stitches.

I decided to skip joining corner stitches at all edges of my blanket but ran into some trouble when edging, so if I was to do it again I would join all corner stitches at edges.

I also made the mistake of working away my joining yarn tails before edging. This did not make a pretty backside of my blanket so leave them and work away when edging is done and you will have a much nicer looking backside!

Here is my blanket joined. I was still hesitant to if the result would be as nice as it should be concidering time and money spent, but wait until it is edged!

Week 14,  border

 

This is the prettiest border ever! And so easy to make! I used hook size no 6.

Since I hadn’t joined the outer corners of each square I ran into some trouble joining and had to crochet two stitches together on almost every square. It also didn’t help I am apperantly not capable to count to 26 so the amount of stitches around my squares was not consistent. But this is solvable by either crocheting stitches together or not skip a stitch here and there.

You are supposed to crochet the first round into back loops only. This can pull up gaps but I do it same way as Lilla Björn  and also crochet into “back back loop” wich makes for a stronger stitch.. Tutorial here.

After first couple of rounds I was a bit worried since the border wasn’t straight. It dipped at the joining points of squares. But after a few more rounds everything was even and nice.

Finally done! I am so happy with this blanket, it might be the most beautiful work I have done!

 

Week 15, bonus pattern

Scheepje has posted a bonus pattern for left over yarn. This is a heart shaped pillow. I don’t like it so much. I do however have quite a lot of left over yarn. And four squares joined with a bit of edging is perfect size for a cushion so I am making more squares to cover my cusions in my sofa.

Here is a list of how I subbed the  yarns:

Da Vinci- 08

Lowry- 05

Braque- 07

Giotto- 23

Raphael- 01 Glöm inte att byta och köpa lika mycket av den här som Scheepjes rekomenderar till Michelangelo plus två-tre nystan extra om du vill ha samma färg på kanten som jag!

Turner- 19

Michelangelo- 14 Köp lika mycket av den här som Scheepje rekommenderar till Raphael om du följer mina färger.

Vermeer- 15

Hogarth- 03

Malevich- 28

Good luck!