Changing Tides Blanket CAL – Introductions and Planning

I’m going to be hosting another Crochet Along (CAL) which will start on Friday 12th April and in this blog post I’m giving more details so that those who want to join in can plan ahead! 😊

Yes, I’ve turned this gorgeous pile of Stylecraft ‘Special Aran’ yarn into a blanket…

I was overwhelmed by the amazing response to my last CAL which I hosted from January through to September 2018. You can read more about that here… So many beautiful blankets were made (and still are being made) all over the world! 😊

My new Blanket CAL is called ‘Changing Tides‘ and I’ve used the changing tides of the sea as my inspiration throughout the design process… from turning the blanket on each round just like the tides turn, to the different stitch combinations, textures and the colour choices too.

Just look at these photos… all taken during January 2019 on my local beach and from exactly the same spot! Isn’t it amazing to see how different it looks from day to day depending on the tides, the weather and the state of the sea. The changing tides are constant, coming in and out yet they can change the beach completely on a daily basis, from shifting the pebbles, washing all kinds of things onto the shore and ever changing heights of the water too…

And sometimes the changing tide is so high that we can’t even access our beloved beach…

It’s no wonder that the changing tides provide so much inspiration for me and the stitches used and textures created in this blanket reflect that inspiration… 😊

At the weekend I posted the following in my Facebook ‘Coastal Crochet CAL’ group as well as over on my Instagram and asked a question…

Hi Everyone… happy Saturday! So my blanket design for the new CAL is finished!! Look at these ends… πŸ˜πŸ’™πŸ’šπŸ’› I am now in the process of pattern testing, taking some step by step photos and also a few video tutorials to accompany the CAL. But I’d love your input please and I have a question!

 

Do you want to see the finished blanket design?

 

The last CAL was a stash busting project that I designed as we went so not even I knew what it would look like before the end… This time it’s all planned ahead so a different approach for me!

On Facebook I had around 281 comments of which approximately 248 said yes, please show a photo as they wanted to see the blanket!

On Instagram I had around 175 comments of which approximately 139 said they wanted to see the blanket.

So that’s an overwhelming 85% who want to see the blanket now! And I’m also very aware that Lucy of Attic 24 asked a similar question to people ahead of her current blanket CAL and 91% said yes.

But I do want everyone to be happy so below are two links… one with a sneak preview of the blanket draped over a chalk boulder on the beach which shows enough but not everything for those that are a little curious but still like a tiny surprise. The second link is a full preview clearly showing the blanket in its full glory… so it’s entirely up to you whether you have a look or not. If you don’t want to see the blanket then don’t click on the links!

Sneak Preview

Full Preview

Please don’t share these images… there are some people who want the element of surprise. Although the sneak preview photo will be revealed and shared more widely on social media nearer the time… it gives an idea of the blanket but certainly keeps a lot back for those who like the surprise each week.😊

And I’m very happy to announce that ‘The Knitting Network‘ are selling exclusive yarn packs to accompany the CAL. Have a look here 😊

I’ve put a huge amount of my time and love into this new blanket design and there’s been a lot of frogging here and there too… it’s not always plain sailing!

It’s a large square blanket which measures 140cm x 140cm – the perfect size for a double sized bed or just a fabulous sized blanket to wrap right around you!

It’s heavy too as we’re using an Aran weight yarn (which in the US is a Worsted weight). The Stylecraft ‘Special Aran’ is a 100% acrylic yarn which does keep the blanket cost effective but of course other yarn types can be used. It’s entirely up to you!

By using an Aran weight yarn the blanket grows quickly to a big size. But if you’re happy with a smaller blanket then feel free to use DK weight yarn (which in the US is Light Worsted). The blanket will be smaller but still a good size.

The ‘Knitting Network’ have put together DK yarn packs too… look here 😊

To show this I’ve crocheted two samples of the beginning of the blanket using Stylecraft ‘Special Aran’ and Stylecraft ‘Special DK’. I’ve photographed them side by side to give an idea of size difference and if you want to see the comparison click on the link below…

Aran versus DK

This is a blanket full of texture inspired by those changing tides…

The CAL will be 16 weeks long ending with the final instalment on Friday 26th July. The pattern will be released weekly on Fridays here on my blog and will be available in both UK and US crochet terms.

It will be completely free on my blog but there will be a link to an e-book on my Ravelry for a small one off payment for those who prefer to print the pattern out as a PDF. The e-book will be updated each week along with my blog.

I’ve used 7 colours of Stylecraft ‘Special Aran’ for my blanket in the following quantities:

3 x 100g balls Cream (1005),

3 x 100g balls Aster (1003),

3 x 100g balls Cloud Blue (1019),

3 x 100g balls Meadow (1065),

3 x 100g balls Silver (1203),

3 x 100g balls Saffron (1081) and

Only 2 x 100g balls Storm Blue (1722)

So that’s 20 x 100g balls in total but some colours only just tip into the third ball whereas others use most of it. If you want to use fewer colours you would probably only need 17 x 100g balls in total.

If you’re using DK these quantities will be less as each 100g ball has more length of yarn making it go further although the resulting blanket will be smaller. If you’re using 7 colours, then 2 x 100g balls in each colour should be enough.

Once you’ve chosen your colours it’s a good idea to organise a little swatch card so you know which yarns to go to when we’re changing them along the way…

Like in my previous CAL I want to encourage everyone to be creative so please do choose any colours you like! The blanket would work with more colours and fewer… it really is personal preference!

So there you have it… a little introduction to my CAL for those of you who are thinking about taking part. You now have plenty of time to get yarn ordered and think about colours too.

Taking part in a CAL is as much about the community aspect of sharing progress and encouraging each other… this was particularly special during my last CAL. I hope this will be the same for my ‘Changing Tides’ CAL… the Facebook group is well established and the Instagram community is also very encouraging so do reach out to others! The CAL hashtags will be #changingtidesblanket and #coastalcrochetcal so please start sharing and connecting with each other! 😊

And feel free to ask any questions…

Happy Crocheting Everyone… 😊❀️

151 comments

  1. I’m really looking forward to starting on Friday. I’m not very experienced at crochet and left handed. Any tips for β€œlefties”?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Please let people know that The Knitting Network is having a problem getting the yarn packs for this CAL to people in the US. I ordered the yarn the day you announced this CAL and have waited and waited for the yarn to arrive. Yesterday, I was refunded the money because the yarn never arrived. The Knitting Network said β€œthe package was probably too heavy”. Now it’s 2 days before Day 1 of the CAL and I have no yarn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Vicki… I’m so sorry to hear that! πŸ™ The Knitting Network informed me only last week that there was an issue with Overseas shipping. I was hoping that those who had already ordered would still get their yarn and in many cases they have. The Knitting Network have updated their website so it now doesn’t allow people to proceed if they are ordering from overseas. They are hoping to get around the weight issue by sending the yarn in two packages but that unfortunately doesn’t help you… I hope you manage to find yarn elsewhere. It is a slow CAL so you will be able to catch up if you don’t get to start on Friday… Best Wishes, Eleonora ❀️❀️

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  3. I am in the US and I have tried to order this pack, as many others also. I called them and they cannot ship to the US at this time. Is there a way I could get the list of colors and a color chart to try to find coordinating yarn to match? And, could you please recommend a type of size of yarn I can purchase here please? Thank you very much for your help.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much. I’m not sure why, but I could not find the colors and list earlier. I have now though!! I’m on a mission to find some similar. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve bought StyleCraft DK before and I live in Illinois. I use the Texas Yarn Farm. It’s been a couple years but she had superb service!! Very fast shipping!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Jenni, Week 12 pebbles will use a lot of yarn and should use up most of yarn F…some people have even run out! The final weeks will need much more yarn as the rounds are larger as the blanket gets bigger and there are over 700 stitches on each round! So hopefully by the end of the Blanket you won’t have too much yarn left over. The worry is usually running out of yarn… good luck! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’™

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