Tag Archives: CAL

Spirits of Life CAL – by Lilla Bjorn Crochet

I have no words.  None.

Well, of course, that’s not true – I have plenty to say today.  And most of it begins with the phrase “OH MY GOD…”

Tatsiana (Lilla Bjorn Crochet) has launched her latest CAL, called the Spirits of Life, and it’s going to blow your freaking mind!

Spirit of Life CAL by Lilla Bjorn. Photography by Oleg Ignatovich

Photo credit: Oleg Ignatovich

Tatsiana is a truly amazing designer.  You’ve seen her previous CALs of course.  There’s the Circles of the Sun and the Peacock Tail Bag, and she designed squares for both the LDOTB and the Nuts About Squares CALs.

She specialises in overlay crochet and there are some pretty impressive examples in this CAL, along with mosaic crochet and some other techniques which are guaranteed to make you a better crocheter!

There are three colourways, including Spirit of the Lake, Spirit of the Volcano and Spirit of the Orchid.  The yarns used are a mixture of Scheepjes Catona and Scheepjes Spirit.

The Spirit of the Volcano is my favourite.  It’s calling me.  Making me want to break into song, even!  I’m seeing Tatsiana in a couple of weeks, I do hope she brings this with her so I can steal it snuggle it.

spirit of the Volcano colourway for the Spirit of Life CAL by Lilla Bjorn. Photography by Oleg Ignatovich

Photo credit: Oleg Ignatovich

The CAL is being hosted by the Official CCC Social Group on Facebook and it will run for nine weeks.  Each week Tatsiana will post a new section on her blog: Lillabjorn’s Crochet World and there will be loads of support within the group, so make sure you join the 60+ thousand others!

You’ll also be able to join the fun on Ravelry, so add the project to your queue, and join Tatsiana’s group here.

The CAL will begin on 18 October, so you’ll have plenty of time to order your colours from your favourite spot, including:

Wool Warehouse (global shipping)
Knotty House (Canada)
Love Knitting (US)
Benelux Retailers like Sticks And Cups

The kits go on sale at the end of September, and are going to sell fast.  If you can, I recommend pre-ordering so you don’t miss out.

*Just a note: this post contains a couple of affiliate links which, if you choose to use when feeding your yarn habit, will earn myself, and Tatsiana, a small commission.  This helps keep up the freebies and doesn’t cost you a thing. Thanks so much! ♥

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Nuts About Squares CAL

After being the voice we all hear behind some of the coolest CALs of recent years, including Sophie’s Universe, LDOTB and now the Hygge CAL, Esther from It’s All in a Nutshell is hosting her own CAL, named, you guessed it: Nuts About Squares!

Nuts About Squares CAL in Scheepjes Colour Crafter by Esther Dijkstra

The CAL will kick off on Friday 31st of March, with a new square being released on Esther’s blog each week.  There are 11 fabulous designers involved, including my dear friends Dedri and Tatsiana.

Nuts About Squares CAL bye Esther Dijkstra

There are also three colour packs available, in Earth, Sea and Sky*.  I think my favourite is Sea, but it’s a difficult decision!

Nuts About Squares CAL colour packs in Earth, Sea and Sky

Of course you can put your own colours together, here’s what Esther says:

“To make your own colorway, choose 6 colors you like and that work well together. Then determine which color you want to be color A, which color B, etc. Color A is used the most in the blanket and will be the main color. Colors E and F are accent colors and it works best if colors E and F are lighter or contrasting to color A. Colors B, C, and D are used about equally. Determine the yarn weight of the yarn that you are using to determine how much yarn you will need. The three kits give you yarn amounts for three different yarn weights.”

Nuts about Squares CAL in Scheepjes Stone Washed, by Esther Dijkstra

I’m really looking forward to watching this CAL week to week.  I’d love to make the time to participate, so I’m going to see if I can fit it in to my schedule…

Nuts About Squares CAL in Scheepjes Sunkissed by Esther Dijkstra

Pop on over to Esther’s blog and her Youtube channel, and make sure you hit Subscribe to keep up with the latest.

The yarn packs for this CAL will suit all budgets and are available from both Wool Warehouse* and from Scheepjes retailers such as Caro’s Atelier here in Almere (with European shipping).

Last Dance on the Beach CAL – Week 8

Isn’t this CAL just flying by?

How did you go last week?  Did you just love the heart square?  I certainly did.  Although, I’ve only made one so far – I need a lot more hours in the day.  Having to work isn’t awesome, I could use those hours to crochet!

This week we meet Jellina from Jellina’s Creations.  I’m sure you’ve already seen (or made) Jellina’s work.  I especially love her Escher style projects; they are mind-bendingly good.  Jellina blogs mostly in Dutch, so google translate is your friend if you don’t know the language.

Jellina from Jellina-Creations

Jellina has designed a waffle stitch square for you.  It’s another technique that I have never tried, so I’m eager to get started!  Make sure you visit her post this week about her inspiration (which is seriously cool, btw) and what this project means to her.

Week_08_square_Jellina

Click here to download the pattern from the Scheepjes website.  As usual,Estherhas created a fantastic series of videos in English, Dutch and for us lefties.To help you with your gauge and tension, visit the Tips and Tricks document at the CAL home page, plus a great video, again by Esther here.

Do make sure you share your squares on social media so we can all see and comment on them.  Use hashtag #scheepjesCAL2016or#lastdanceonthebeach all over the internet and I’ll be sure to find them on Insta or Twitter or Facebook.

Last Dance on the Beach CAL – Week 4

Surely it’s not week four already?  Didn’t week three just start yesterday?!

This week it’s Atty’s turn, with her waves square.

Last Dance on the Beach CAL - week 4 by Atty

Atty’s designs are fabulous.  I love watching her create, it’s like her hands have minds of their own – the motifs grow and change and suddenly they’re there, and beautiful.

Atty of Atty's

Click here to download the pattern from the Scheepjes website.  As usual, Esther has created a fantastic series of videos in English, Dutch and for us lefties.

To help you with your gauge and tension, visit the Tips and Tricks document at the CAL home page, plus a great video, again by Esther here.

Do make sure you share your squares on social media so we can all see and comment on them.  Use hashtag #scheepjesCAL2016 or #lastdanceonthebeach all over the internet and I’ll be sure to find them on Insta or Twitter or Facebook.

Happy Hooking!

Last Dance on the Beach CAL – Week 3

We’re already into week three, the CAL is flying by!

This week it’s Tatsiana’s turn with her beautiful sunsets in the waves square.

Last Dance on the Beach CAL - week 3 by Tatsiana

Tatsiana is the seriously talented designer of Lilla Bjorn’s Crochet World, of which I’m sure you’re very familiar.  Her intricate overlay mandalas are beautiful, and so are the light knitted garments she creates.

Tatsiana of Lilla Bjorn's Crochet World

You can download this week’s instructions here.

Again, Amazing Esther of It’s all in a Nutshell has produced English, Dutch and lefthanded videos for this square:

Now, this square has been scaring people a bit.  It looks and sounds complicated, but I promise, the effort is worth it for the result.  Tatsiana has added some very important and useful tips to her blog post this week, so you should definitely visit that before you start.

Don’t forget to work with your gauge swatch again, you may have to go up a hook size for this one if your cabling is tight. Do try to keep your hands relaxed and you’ll be fine!  And remember, there are thousands of crocheters in the FB groups to help you out if you need it.

To help you with your gauge and tension, visit the Tips and Tricks document at the CAL home page, plus a great video, again by Esther here.

Do make sure you share your squares on social media so we can all see and comment on them.  Use hashtag #scheepjesCAL2016 or #lastdanceonthebeach all over the internet and I’ll be sure to find them on Insta or Twitter or Facebook.

I’ll be back in a couple of days with info on next week’s square, by Atty!

Last Dance on the Beach CAL – Week 2

We’re already into week two of the Last Dance on the Beach CAL, can you believe it?

How did you go with last week’s square? I know the gauge threw a few people off, but it’s already a great learning experience, right?  All the pics I’ve seen so far look amazing, and the pleasure that comes across with the sense of achievement has been wonderful.

This week it’s Kirsten’s turn.  I’m sure you already know Kirsten’s blog Haak Maar Raak, and her beautiful designs, right?  Kirsten is a rising star in the crochet world, and it’s somewhat appropriate that she decided to use the Star Stitch for her square this week!

Kirsten from Haak Maar Raak

Last Dance on the Beach CAL, week two. By Kirsten from Haak Maar Raak

I love this square.  It’s simple and textured and although they are sea stars, they remind me of the succulent plants that grow out of the sand dunes along the coast of South East South Australia where I grew up.

You can download all the instructions here.

Esther from It’s All in a Nutshell has also made comprehensive left and right handed videos for each week, and you can see this week’s here:

For the Dutch and left handed versions of the videos, visit Esther’s channel.

If you haven’t already, just a quick reminder to make and refer to your gauge swatch.  We’re already noticing that crocheters are going up one or two hook sizes this week compared to last.  It’s important to make sure you pull up your loops high enough while making the stars, otherwise your tension will be tight and the square will be small.  Also, the square design is very flexible.  If your horizontal gauge is good, but the vertical gauge is too short or too high, you can easily add or remove an extra two rows.  It’s important that your square is square, so if adding two rows will do that for you, go for it!

To help you with your gauge and tension, visit the Tips and Tricks document at the CAL home page, plus a great video, again by Esther here.

Do make sure you share your squares on social media so we can all see and comment on them.  Use hashtag #scheepjesCAL2016 or #lastdanceonthebeach all over the internet and I’ll be sure to find them on Insta or Twitter or Facebook.

Have a great week, I can’t wait to see all the pics posted on Instagram!

 

Last Dance on the Beach – Kick Off!

Here we are!  Finally, after what feels like years of waiting, we get to start the Scheepjes CAL 2016, Last Dance on the Beach!

ldotb

Week one kicks off with the square by Esther from Happy in Red.

 

Esther from Happy in Red

Photo credit: Dedri Uys.

 

Isn’t this a beautiful square?!  If you click on Esther’s pic above you can visit her blog and read about her inspiration for this design.

Last Dance on the Beach Scheepjes CAL 2016 week one - square by Esther from Happy in Red

You can download the instructions here.

Esther from It’s All in a Nutshell has also made comprehensive left and right handed videos for each week, and you can see this week’s here:

The Dutch and left handed versions can be found by visiting Esther’s channel here: It’s All in a Nutshell . Esther will be your best friend for the next 14 weeks, believe me!

If you haven’t done so already, you absolutely must make a gauge swatch for this CAL.  As each square is created by a different designer, the gauge is different every week.  You may find in week one you need a 4mm hook, but in week two you need a 5mm (or vice versa).  The hook size may vary anywhere between a 3mm and a 6mm hook, depending on your own tension.  So by making the gauge swatch first, you’ll be able to compare your squares each week to that, to see how you are progressing and if you need to go up or down a hook size.

To help you with this, there is a Tips and Tricks document at the CAL home page, plus a great video, again by Esther here.

Do make sure you share your squares on social media so we can all see and comment on them.  Use hashtag #scheepjesCAL2016 or #lastdanceonthebeach all over the internet and I’ll be sure to find them on Insta or Twitter or Facebook.

All right.  I’d best be off, I have squares to crochet and post on Instagram!

 

Get Set, Go! – Last Dance on the Beach CAL packs on sale Today!

Today’s the day!  Today you can start getting your hands on the yarn packs for the upcoming Last Dance on the Beach CAL that I have the absolute honour of being a part of!

Scheepjes CAL 2016, Last Dance on the Beach. This is the beautiful Dance in the Sea colourway.

There are quite a few places  you can get your hands on the packs still, but hurry.  Seriously, they’ll be sold out faster than Adele concert tix.

If you’re in the Netherlands, head to Caro’s Atelier here in Almere or online to pick up the Colour Crafter pack for 43.40, or the Luxe pack for 159.90.

If you’re in the UK or international (like in Australia – I feel so bad for you guys, having no Scheepjes distributors yet), head to either Wool Warehouse or Deramores.

In the US, head to Paradise Fibers, and in South Africa, Be Inspired has you covered.

Just to remind you, here’s what’s in the kits.

Here's what's inside the Basic and Luxury kits for the Last Dance on the Beach CAL by Scheepjes and Marinke Slump

I don’t know about you, but I want that tote!!

I might have to jump on my bike later and head over to Caro’s Atelier to have a feel…

And if you can’t decide which fibre is right for you, check out this wonderful comparison by Sarah from Crafts from the Cwtch.  It’ll really help you make up your mind.

What are you still doing here?  Why haven’t you left to order your pack yet?

Oh, and if you want to assemble your own colour packs using Scheepjes yarns, you totally can.  The info on how many balls you’ll need has been released in the Facebook groups just now.  Dutchies head here, and internationals, this one is for you.

Go on, go!

Just a little note: this post does contain a couple of affiliate links.  So if you choose to purchase from Wool Warehouse or Deramores using my links, you’ll be helping me fund my yarn addiction.  Thanks very much for that! X

Last Dance on the Beach

I can’t believe I can talk about this, finally!  Today is the day!  Scheepjes has just revealed the final images of the Last Dance on the Beach CAL which starts on April 20.

Scheepjes CAL 2016, Last Dance on the Beach. This is the beautiful Dance in the Rain colourway.

Scheepjes, together with a group of wonderfully talented designers (myself included!) have created the most beautiful CAL, based on my friend Marinke Slump’s last, unfinished design.

Marinke’s death hit very hard last year, so when I was offered the opportunity to participate in this last, beautiful tribute I couldn’t not take part. The results are spectacular.  It’s a design full of love, full of dreams, full of hope.

Scheepjes CAL 2016, Last Dance on the Beach. This is the beautiful Dance in the Sea colourway.

There are three gorgeous colourways, Dance on the Beach, Dance in the Sea, and Dance under the Stars.  I keep swinging back and forth between all three, unable to pick a favourite.

Scheepjes CAL 2016, Last Dance on the Beach. This is the beautiful Dance under the Stars colourway.

There will be kits available to buy on April 1, and the CAL will start on April 20.  There will be two kits in each colourway available, one will be the Luxury Kit, which is filled with the gorgeous Scheepjes Merino Soft, and the other will be using their Colour Crafter Premium Acrylic.  So there will be a kit to fit everyone’s price point.  The Basis Kit will retail for 43.40 euros, and the Luxury will retail for 159.90 euro.  2 euros from the sale of each kit will be donated to charities for mental health both in the Netherlands and the UK. Here’s what’s inside:

Here's what's inside the Basic and Luxury kits for the Last Dance on the Beach CAL by Scheepjes and Marinke Slump

The CAL will run for 14 weeks and each new installment will be released as a PDF on Wednesday afternoons (CET).

In the Benelux you can get hold of the kits via the wonderful Scheepjes stockistsScheepjes stockists, or internationally via Wool Warehouse, Deramores, and Paradise Fibers in the US.

Are you going to join us?  It’ll be the most wonderful shared experience.

GREG Mystery CAL

I’ve been thinking for a while now about joining a CAL*. I never have, mostly because the level of commitment required to finish is much higher than I feel I can ever achieve. For instance, my Mood Blanket from 2014 is still stalled in February!

However.  I decided it was time to find the commitment and join in.  And serendipitously, Shelley from Spincushions announced a brand new one, called GREG.

Why GREG, you ask? Well, it was a bit of a joke that turned into a cool acrostic title: Grand and Resplendent Endeavour in Gaiety. Cool, hey?

So then there was the task of choosing the yarn.  I have a lot of yarn in my stash, but not enough of one colour to make an entire blanket, and I really wanted to follow Shelley’s lead and make a solid colour blanket.  I hit the ordering machine and after about 45 minutes going back and forth between yarns and their costs, I chose Drops Belle.

Drops Belle

The yarn is a Cotton, Viscose and Linen blend and uses a 4mm hook.  It’s soft and has a slight sheen, but isn’t shiny like mercerised yarn.  It can also be machine washed which is a real bonus when making a blanket.

I immediately had to make a test square to see how it felt, and thankfully it was a good choice.  The square looked great!

Test square using Drops Belle

Then all I had to do was wait for the CAL to start.  I’m not alone in thinking that the waiting is the hardest part, am I?

Finally (well, a week and a half later), the first square was released.  TOM (Talismatic and Officially Marvellous) is beautiful and wonderfully mindful.  I have a feeling that all the squares will be great exercises in mindfulness actually.

Now I have to wait for the second instalment, in a few days…

Do you participate in CALs?  Which is/was your favourite?

*If you haven’t hear the term CAL before, it means Crochet Along, and is essentially a joint project between a designer (or designers) and anybody who would like to join.  It’s essentially like a giant group crochet session, with everyone sharing pictures and experiences, and it really builds a community.