Tag Archives: last dance on the beach

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!


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!


Reuniting The Blogger Tribe

I’m deep in the Come Down from the weekend. Properly miserable.

I have just experienced the most inspirational and energy-filled weekend with the most wonderful group of bloggers; my Blogger Tribe. And now it’s over, I’m devastated.

I exaggerate, obviously.  But, there is a very definite come down effect.  I went to dinner with friends last night, and while they were all chatting and laughing, I wasn’t really feeling myself.  I just wanted to be transported back to the weekend and to hang out with my blogger girls.

Scheepjes Blogger Tribe

Each year Scheepjes hosts a Blogger Weekend and I’m lucky enough for this to be my third year.  We started with a small handful of ladies; and now look at us!

This year we descended upon the beautiful city of Groningen in the north east of the Netherlands.  If you haven’t been, you must. It hosts one of the best Saturday markets in the country, along with some of the most lovely architecture and it has the coolest vibe.  Plus the shopping is amazing!

We spent the first day being let loose in the warehouse to feel all the buttons, squish the yarn, and gasp over the gorgeous fabrics.  The girls were all laughing at me because I needed two people to help me carry everything!  So be warned, there are a LOT of projects coming from me in the coming months!

We had a great session in the afternoon with tech editor Cara Medus, learning some of the fundamentals of garment design.  I’m pleased that although I’m not a fan of maths, I can understand formulas, so what I learned is going to be VERY useful and I can’t wait to put it into practice!

We were also extremely lucky to learn some of the inside gossip, and see some of what’s coming up in the next 6-12 months from Scheepjes, and let me tell you, it’s revolutionary!  For a small family business, they’re visionaries and are only going to grow and become industry leaders – mark my words!  I’m so excited to be along for the ride.

I wonder what this could be all about…..?

YARN - what's this all about?

I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you…

Suddenly we were all at dinner, and then all the young’uns retired while the Usual Suspects headed for the bar until stupid o’clock with a few bottles of wine and a lot of laughter and a few tears.

Feeling a little rough after a short nap overnight, it was time for round two! One of the biggest highlights was finally being able to see the finished Last Dance on the Beach CAL blankets that we all designed together in memory of our Beloved Wink.  Seriously, these blankets are beautiful.  Spectacular.  Absolute heirloom pieces. I had no idea, and I mean, absolutely none, that the blankets would be as beautiful as they are.  It’s difficult to tell the difference between the Merino Soft and Colour Crafter.  The biggest tell is the weight – the Merino Soft is quite a bit heavier than the Colour Crafter, and a bit silkier to touch.  Never in a million years would I have thought I’d be impressed by an acrylic yarn blanket!

Here’s the Stars (lovely picture by Dedri)


I also spent a bit of time with Esther filming a quick left handed segment for her instructional video for my square.  You’ll be able to see my shaking hands in person when it’s my week!

Nerissa and Esther filming a left handed tutorial for the Last Dance on the Beach CAL

I even took the plunge and have started learning to knit socks!  Tammy has been at me for ages to do it, but I just thought it would be too hard.  Then I saw her busy with two at a time using the Magic Loop method and they look so easy!  So, Sarah gave me a quick course on how to do Judy’s Magic Cast-on and how to increase using her finger and thumb method and I was away!  Well, kind of.  My knitting skills are not very advanced, so there was a random yarnover creating a hole, then somehow I managed to mess up my stitch count, so I had to rip it all out and start over. by second attempt is much, much better and I just wanna knit all the socks!

I didn’t take any decent photos as usual, but you can see some great shots taken by the other girls on their blogs and Instagram.

Here we are all together with the amazing Dance Under the Stars blanket

Scheepjes Blogger Tribe with the Dancing Under the Stars blanket for the Last Dance on the Beach CAL by Wink and friends from Scheepjes

From left to right we have Kirsten from Haak maar Raak, Jellina from Jellina Creations, Esther from It’s all in a Nutshell, Dedri (at the back) from Look at What I Made, Carmen (front) from Crafty Queens, Esther (back) from Happy in Red, Christa (front) from the Curio Crafts Room, Mr Scheepjes (Job), Atty (in front of Mr Scheepjes) from Atty’s, Tatiana from Lilla Bjorn Crochet, Bernadette (back) from Berniolie, Sarah from Crafts from the Cwtch, Me, Tammy from Canadutch, and Maria from 50 Shades of 4ply.  Missing was Annelies from Vicarno, and Susan from Felted Button (we missed you girls!!!!!).

All too soon it was over.  It was time to get in the car, leave these lovely women, and make the sad journey home.  Now I have a with a head absolutely chock full of inspiration and a heart wishing I could go back in time and hit pause so I could stay there forever.  There’s still more I have to tell you about the goodies we received, but that’s for another day!

Thank you so much to Job and our Tribe Builder and the rest of the team at Scheepjes.  It’s such an honour to be part of this cool group of women, these girls have changed my world.

Now excuse me, I have socks to knit.