I’m super excited to introduce my next blanket crochet along (CAL) design – the ‘Beachcombing Blanket’! 🙂
Update July 2020: This was a 12 week Crochet Along which I hosted here on my blog between April – June 2020. The original introductions blog post with all the information needed remains below and all the subsequent weeks with full instructions are here on my blog too (go to the menu).
But the full pattern is now available over in my Ravelry Store. It includes a printer friendly TEXT ONLY version, both UK and US crochet terms as well as a version with lots of step by step photos.
Here’s the link… https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/beachcombing-blanket
I also have a 23 page version with some photos in my Etsy shop:
Here’s the link… https://www.etsy.com/beachcombing-blanket
This will be a 12 week crochet along that I will host here on my blog starting on Friday 10th April. Everything you need to know to get ready, including yarn packs, and all the details are in this blog post… enjoy! 🙂
This is a blanket inspired by time spent on the beach and the joy of beachcombing…
It’s amazing what the sea can wash up onto our shores and the array of beachcombing finds has provided inspiration for the colours, textures and shapes within this blanket design. From treasures to trash, from natural wonders to manmade objects, that line between land and sea is an ever changing place and each day provides new possibilities and discoveries…
This wonderful book ‘Beachcombing and the Strandline‘ by Steve Trewhella and Julie Hatcher describes beachcombing as “an activity to delight all ages, from toddlers picking up pretty seashells to hardened naturalists uncovering exotic creatures carried here from foreign shores, or artists collecting sea-worn driftwood and romantics decorating their garden with colourful fishing buoys“. I can recognise myself in all those descriptions! 🙂
Some beachcombing finds are wonderful, others less so. Some, like seaglass, shells, fossils and driftwood, you are actively searching for and can use in such beautiful and creative ways – it’s like beachcombing for treasure!
But some finds, such as plastics, fishing litter and general rubbish, are a harsh reminder of the impact humans can have on our ocean ecosystem and wildlife.
It’s a wonderful pastime, beachcombing along the strandline, searching for and anticipating what your next find might be… I absolutely love it! 🙂 It can be so versatile too… Beachcombing for pleasure or Beachcombing with a purpose, such as taking part in a local beach clean.
And I just can’t resist taking home so many of these discoveries… Our garden is looking, well, like a beachcomber’s garden! I’m definitely the “romantic decorating their garden with colourful fishing buoys“! 😉
So onto the blanket that has been inspired by all this beachcombing activity… 🙂 My ‘Beachcombing Blanket‘ is a design I’m super happy with and I really am so pleased with how it’s come together.
Here are some preview photos which shows a lot but certainly not everything! After these photos there’s a link to click on if you want to see the blanket in full ahead of the CAL starting…
I know some people prefer to wait for the CAL to start before seeing the whole blanket. But if you do want to see the blanket in full then click on this link…
CLICK HERE FOR FULL PHOTOS: Beachcombing Blanket Full Preview
My first blanket CAL, the ‘Seaside Stash Busting Blanket‘ was crocheted in rows, my second, the ‘Changing Tides Blanket‘ was crocheted in the round so it felt natural for me to do something with individual squares this time. But I wanted it to be different to only squares so it’s a combination of squares and rows to construct a rectangular blanket. I really am very excited by this design and what I’ve created and I hope you will love it too…
I’ve crocheted two versions of this blanket – one in an acrylic DK and the other in a cotton 4ply. Update January 2021: The Knitting Network supported me with yarn packs for this CAL and whilst these are no longer available, if you click on the links below and purchase your yarn from them, I earn a little commission from sales of the packs which is very much appreciated.
I have designed this blanket using Scheepjes yarns with a choice of either using their ‘Colour Crafter’ 100% acrylic DK or ‘Catona’ 100% cotton 4ply. Scheepjes is a Dutch yarn company and the name means ‘little ships’. Being half Dutch myself and having an affinity to little ships and all things nautical due to all my coastal inspirations, I felt Scheepjes was the perfect choice for my next CAL! Having used plenty of Scheepjes yarns over the years I know that the quality of the yarns is absolutely brilliant and the range of colours is just amazing!
The ‘Colour Crafter’ acrylic yarn is cost effective, hard wearing and easy to crochet with. Acrylic yarns are just perfect for the rough and tumble many blankets go through. Here’s the range of colours I’ve chosen…Using the DK acrylic will result in a blanket measuring approximately 130cm x 110cm (51 x 43 inch).
Yarn is available here: https://www.theknittingnetwork.co.uk scheepjes-colour-crafter
- Yarn A: 2 x 100g balls Gouda (1081)
- Yarn B: 1 x 100g ball Helmond (1724)
- Yarn C: 3 x 100g balls Barneveld (1005)
- Yarn D: 2 x 100g balls Den Helder (1068)
- Yarn E: 1 x 100g ball Eelde (1422)
- Yarn F: 1 x 100g ball Terneuzen (1821)
- Yarn G: 1 x 100g ball Leeuwarden (1711)
- Yarn H: 1 x 100g ball Urk (1034)
- Yarn I: 1 x 100g ball Middelburg (1003)
- Yarn J: 1 x 100g ball Texel (1019)
So 14 balls in total.
The ‘Catona’ cotton is a beautiful mercerised cotton in a 4ply weight. It has a beautiful lustre and even though it’s a thinner yarn than the acrylic it has a wonderful weight to it. I’ve matched the colours to the acrylic colours as near as possible but they’re not exactly the same. The yellow is less sandy than the acrylic version. Here are my choices…Using the 4ply cotton will result in a smaller blanket measuring approximately 115cm x 95cm (45 x 37½ inch).
Yarn is available here…https://www.theknittingnetwork.co.uk scheepjes-catona-50g
- Yarn A: 3 x 50g balls Primrose (522)
- Yarn B: 2 x 50g balls Lilac Mist (399)
- Yarn C: 5 x 50g balls Bridal White (105)
- Yarn D: 3 x 50g balls Vivid Blue (146)
- Yarn E: 2 x 50g balls Tropic (253)
- Yarn F: 2 x 50g balls Apple Granny (513)
- Yarn G: 2 x 50g balls Royal Orange (189)
- Yarn H: 3 x 50g balls Cyan (397)
- Yarn I: 2 x 50g balls Cornflower (511)
- Yarn J: 2 x 50g balls Sky Blue (510)
So 26 balls in total.
It’s always a good idea to get the yarn organised and labelled in advance…
It’s also a good idea to work a tension square ahead of the CAL starting. This is really important in helping you choose the best hook size to suit your tension for this project. There’s more about this towards the end of this blog post.
The CAL will be 12 weeks long ending with the final instalment on Friday 26th June.
The blanket pattern will be published in weekly instalments here on my blog every Friday and will be free and accessible for everyone on my blog. It will be available in both UK and US crochet terms. I will also be offering a printer friendly PDF copy of the pattern which can be purchased for a one off payment at the start of the CAL over on my Ravelry. This pattern will be updated each week along with my blog and will include a text only printer friendly version too which I know is popular to save on printer ink.
I offer the pattern for free on my blog so that everyone can join in. I’m sure my love for crochet shines through but I do also need to earn a living! There are a few ways you can support my work: purchasing the yarn packs from The Knitting Network, purchasing the pattern from my Ravelry when the CAL starts or support me through my new Patreon membership page…
Thank you so much for all your support! 🙂
The Beachcombing Blanket is the third CAL I have hosted here on my blog and I look forward to many of you joining in. These annual CAL’s really are very special… bringing people together from all over the world with a shared experience in crochet and creativity!!
It’s the community that builds up around a CAL that makes it so special and such an enjoyable crochet journey. The CAL hashtags for sharing on social media will be #beachcombingblanket #beachcombingcal and #coastalcrochetcal so please do get sharing with your photos! 🙂
And there’s a thriving Facebook group called ‘Coastal Crochet CAL‘ which is a brilliant place to connect with each other and ask questions or get support…
Join here: Coastal Crohet CAL Facebook Group
So that’s all the information about my ‘Beachcombing Blanket CAL‘… thank you so much for being interested and I hope that many of you will join me in this blanket journey.
Here’s a little more about tension to help you choose the best hook size for you…
Tension can vary so much from person to person. Some of us crochet tight, others much looser. There’s no right or wrong, it just means that many of you will need to use a different hook size to me to achieve the same results. It can be personal preference as to whether you want your stitches to be loose and give lots of drape or whether you prefer them a little tighter. A blanket of course needs drape but I do prefer the stitches not to be too loose because the weight of a finished blanket will pull the stitches apart.
I tend to crochet tighter than many people. Someone with a looser tension using the same hook size will use more yarn. The yarn quantities in the yarn packs are what I used with yarn left over to allow for tension changes but it’s best to match my tension as near as possible to avoid running out of yarn.
Here is my tension square for the Colour Crafter acrylic yarn. I used a 4.5mm hook but I know that many people will benefit from a smaller hook size to me and I recommend a 4.0mm hook as a starting point. This square is 20 double crochet (US single crochet) stitches across and 20 rows.
As you can see 11 stitches across and 12 rows measures 5cm x 5cm. If you have less stitches then your tension is looser than mine and you should go down a hook size to a 3.5mm or 4.0mm.
The stitches should feel quite firm. This won’t be what the end blanket will feel like because most of the stitches used in the actual blanket are taller stitches which are looser and will naturally result in more drape. Here is a smaller tension square of just 10 stitches across and only 6 rows in treble (US double crochet) stitches. I used the same hook size and as you can see it looks looser due to the taller stitches…
Here is my tension square for the Catona cotton yarn. I used a 3.5mm hook but again I know that many people will benefit from a smaller hook size to me and I recommend a 3.0mm hook as a starting point. This square is 20 double crochet (US single crochet) stitches across and 20 rows.
As you can see 12 stitches across and 13 rows measures 5cm x 5cm. If you have less stitches then your tension is looser than mine and you should go down a hook size to a 2.5mm or 3.0mm.
The cotton yarn will feel harder than the acrylic yarn and the double crochet (US single crochet) stitches will feel firm. The finished cotton blanket is heavy and the taller stitches used shouldn’t be too loose or the weight will pull them apart.
Enjoy getting ready… I’m really looking forward to sharing this blanket journey with you all… 🙂
Happy Crocheting Everyone… 🙂 🙂