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. This looks beautiful! I run a community crochet cafe (also by the sea!) and we’re currently working on your previous CAL, but this will be a firm favourite with the ladies and gents! Thanks for taking the time to share 😊

    Liked by 2 people

      1. We’re on the beautiful Isle of Wight, and have 5 crochet cafes around the island so far. We teach for free, and have a variety of ages attend who are all using their new found skills to benefit others. It’s an amazing thing, and your CAL is a perfect project to keep everybody entertained and happy πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Wow Sally… coincidentally I’m visiting the Isle of Wight for the very first time next weekend!!! I’ve never been before and we’re having a family gathering to celebrate my father in laws 80th birthday!! Would love to pop in to one of your cafes…. we’re staying near Shanklin! πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜ŠπŸ’™πŸ’™

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh wow, amazing! How long are you there for? Our cafes run in the week, and our flagship cafe in Sandown (just down the road from Shanklin) runs on a Tuesday πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      4. This is amazing, you’ll be so welcome! We’re at Sandown Methodist Church on York Road (there’s free parking for an hour outside or there’s a pay and display car park right next to the church), from 11:30 until 13:30. There’s tea and coffee, and someone usually brings cake too (cake and crochet are a must, right?!). Our page if you wanted to have a look is http://www.facebook.com/crochetcafeiow

        How exciting! Can’t wait to see your finished CAL! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. oh wow, Eleonora, I did take a look and its gorgeous!! I must check my stash ( I think I have more yarn than time left to use it all lol )….and I have told myself NO new yarn this year!!!

    I lOVE the beach photos – they are amazing! However, the look on your fur baby stole the limelight…..:)

    I havent posted my finished seaside blanket on IG as yet, last year kinda disappeared like a fog…..

    looking forward to your new cal x0x

    Kate

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh no , it’s just too pretty. Maybe I shouldn’t have looked, 😍 wanted to do the last one and didnt, oh gosh decisions. Think it’s going to have to be a yes, you are very naughty, too clever

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have so much love for this CAL already!! This could be just the blanket I’ve been looking for to have on my bed Eleonora! Although in the original voting I had said ‘No’ to seeing a photograph, I just knew I couldn’t resist a sneaky peak πŸ˜‰ xx

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh heavens, I’m going to have to improve my technique for the nameless bits I liked least last time! Delighted to see the foam though. I found a pattern in a book last week for that and I nearly emailed you with it!
    Well done with the sneaky peak. It’s just perfect to let me know roughly what you’ve come up with.
    Now to choose some colours…..I hope lots of people do their own version too. Umpty billion identical blankets is a bit like John Lewis. Dare to be different I say!
    Enjoy your IOW trip. We loved Osborne House (mind it was summer!) and the Needles.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh WOW! I can’t wait to get started. Love your coast colours but I think I might put a hebridean twist into my colour choice and make this for a 21st birthday present. Now the agonising over colour choices starts along with lots of visits to match and squish wool at various yarn storesπŸ˜ƒ

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Eleonora, Your new CAL is beautiful. The colors really speak to my spirit. I do need several months to get ready….I’m inspired to paint my guest room in one of the colors, probably blue.The array of colors chosen by your members for your first blanket was stunning.
    I believe that a group of people joined together for a common goal is so powerful. Our goal of working with color, creating beauty itself is healing but also our spirit of helpfulness and harmony adds to our beautiful planet’s healing as well as ourselves and each other.
    Continue to guide us, and attract like minded people. Allow our spirit of love and peace be imbued in each of our blankets.
    Patti Brooks TX USA

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your beautiful, kind and encouraging words Patti… you’ve said exactly what I would like this CAL to be… that sense of community and togetherness… it can be so special! I’m so happy you like the colours… and the pattern will be here waiting whenever you’re ready…. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Like

  8. Fantastic
    Your coastal crochet was a highlight last year. I made several both in dk and aran.
    Also matching set in aran of throw and cushion for my bed.
    Love new blanket. Can’t wait.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love to see crafts inspired by nature Eleonora πŸ™‚ Your blanket (I had a look at the finished one!) looks very coastal, gorgeous colour combinations, and looks so interesting to crochet. Love the photos of the chalk cliffs and waves. x

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I started the last one late but I did finish it and my son was the proud owner of it now, He loved watching me crochet it and ripe it out because I forgot UK and US different. do not know how to Instagram think that’s what it is, so until I figure it out I can not share. Love seeing everyone’s, going to pick up yarn shortly. working on another one at present. wondering is softer yarn better for this one. Thank you for doing this, it is fun

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi I am a beginner at crochet, do you think I would be able to join in with your new CAL coastal blanket as I love it. Thank you I love your work.
    Caroline

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Sooo… I was one of the ones who said not to show in advance.
    So of course I wasn’t going to look…
    but maybe just the sneak peak….
    well perhaps a quick look at the whole thing…..
    It’s totally gorgeous!!!
    I’ve only started crocheting this year and am on row 101 of the last CAL. Can’t wait to get going in this one. I did think about making it for my friend’s 50th – but that’s 14th July – so won’t quite fit. Guess I’ll just have to make another blanket in tandem
    I love your colour scheme – but wonder how it might look in those wonderful Mexican colours you were doing at that Brighton workshop (orange/red/pink/yellow/turquoise). Maybe that’s the other one!
    Exciting times ahead.
    Thank you for doing this for us
    x

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve been desperately looking for your post where you visited a workshop in Brighton – the photo was a group of you with a fabulously madcap shawl in those gorgeous colours. And with additional flowers as I recall. I should have bookmarked it!

        Liked by 2 people

  13. I’m going to do this one. Husbands birthday is april 20th. He passed January 30th from a rare brain disease. The company that I donated his body to for research will bury his remains at sea. It just seems appropriate to honor him with this ocean afghan.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Wow what a gorgeous design, and I just couldn’t resist the full preview. Very tempted to join in, but I have so much on at the moment I’d be scared of falling behind. Oh sod it I need to start colour searching, what’s another WIP hey? Thank you it’s just beautiful x

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thanks for the Pollyvie link, Eleonora! Bookmarked now – I SO love that shawl. You are amazing the way you reply to us all – it’s a wonder you ever get any crochet done! xC

    Liked by 1 person

    1. πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚ Awww, Thank you! I do try… although it’s not always easy getting that balance!! I will always reply to comments on my blog… getting harder to keep up with it on Facebook and Instagram though! 😊😊❀️❀️

      Like

    1. I think it would work really well! I can’t say exactly how much it would measure but to give you an idea there are 191 stitches on each side in the last rounds. That number in 4ply would make a lovely sized baby blanket (on the biggish size) … πŸ˜ŠπŸ’™πŸ’™

      Like

  16. Hi Eleonora
    I have never done a CAL before, I wanted to do the the coastal one but could only find bits and pieces on pinterest.
    I would so love to do this new one it looks fabulous, how do i go about following it when it starts
    Thank you in advance
    Jackie

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This is my very first CAL and I’m still trying to decide whether I’ll use the Stylecraft DK or just find a different yarn and try to find similar colors! I’m not crazy about acrylics and figure I’ll use a wool blend. I’m so glad you’ll be putting the directions out there in American terms too! I love what little bits I’ve seen of the blanket so far. Thanks!!

    Liked by 1 person

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