I’m super happy to finally be able to share with you all my ‘Tropical Shores’ blanket which I’ve designed for yarn brand ‘King Cole’.
I’ve designed this blanket but it’s the lovely people over at King Cole who will be hosting this as a free crochet-along (CAL) over on their website. There will be 6 weekly instalments beginning on Monday 5th July so not long to wait at all! 🙂
This blanket is totally inspired by a tropical trip I went on 20 years ago to French Polynesia and throughout the CAL I’ll share lots more about that trip because I actually kept a diary at the time and I’m going to be sharing extracts with you all!! 😃 Keep scrolling down for the first diary entry…
Here’s the link to King Cole’s introduction and shopping list for the blanket… 🙂
All the patterns will be free and King Cole have recorded comprehensive videos to accompany each stage of the CAL too which is amazing so this is definitely achievable for all crocheters! 🙂
And here’s an introductory video on their YouTube Channel:
I’ll put links to all the patterns and videos from King Cole here on my blog each week. And remember there’s the Coastal Crochet Facebook Group as well as King Cole’s ‘Craft Along’ Facebook Group where everyone is more than welcome to share their progress, ask questions and connect with each other as we crochet along!
And if you’re over on Instagram use the hashtags:
#tropicalshoresblanket #tropicalshorescal #coastalcrochetcal and #kingcolecal so you can connect with each other there too… 🙂
Yes, this is yet another blanket CAL designed by me! It’s felt a little like buses with my blanket CAL’s lining up one after the other this year… I have more designs to share in the coming months but I promise that this is the final CAL blanket in 2021 from me!
And this blanket is one that I absolutely adore! How I love the tropical colours and textures which I immersed myself in throughout the design process…
Recreating in crochet the palm trees, sparkling seas, coconuts, shells and blue lagoons was an absolute pleasure. My hooks were excitedly crocheting all throughout the design process… maybe it’s because I was dreaming of distant tropical shores, something so elusive to many of us during the pandemic, that meant I enjoyed being taken there so much through my crochet! 🙂
And I kept being reminded of the time 20 years ago that my husband and I really were together on tropical shores…
Totally inspired by tropical shores… all the tropical photos you’ll see from me throughout the CAL are photos of the actual photos taken on our trip 20 years ago. Yes, we’ve opened up the photo albums again… 🙂
And here you can see the inspiration which helped me choose the colours…
I used 8 colours of King Cole ‘Big Value DK’ (100% acrylic) and all the colours and quantities you’ll need are listed over on the King Cole website…
And Amanda from Mrs G Makes has put together a set of stitch markers to accompany the CAL available to pre order in her Etsy shop!🥰🏝🩴
So here’s a little more about the trip that inspired this blanket! It was 2001, exactly 20 years ago, and my husband and I took a couple of months out to literally travel around the world. We bought a round-the-world airline ticket and visited various destinations including Toronto, San Francisco, French Polynesia and the island of Moorea, New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong.
It was truly fabulous and we created many happy memories with the tropical shores of Moorea being a definite highlight. It was a different life and a different time…
20 years ago we didn’t have smart phones, we didn’t have a digital camera (the photos I took were on a camera using film which needed developing when we got back home – remember those days!!?😄) and we still sent home postcards!
Here’s a postcard I sent my parents which they still have…
And that simpler time (only 20 years ago!!) is probably why we wrote a diary! Our teenagers were seriously amazed when I showed them our diaries from that trip – all that writing! 😄
Without smart phones to record videos or take countless photos, and no smart phones to browse through social media, no access to the internet and no way to stay in touch with home through video calls, we had time each evening to record our adventures in writing…
And throughout this CAL I’m going to share my diary entries from that trip with you all. No editing, no changes, just the exact words from a 20 years younger me!
We stayed in French Polynesia for 6 nights / 7 days so it will be perfect to share a day from my diary each week throughout this CAL. It’s been so lovely to read the diary again… these words haven’t been read for 20 years… at the time we came home, the diaries and photos got put away and our lives marched on. So to get them out and read about our time on those tropical shores has been wonderful…
Enjoy them… and I hope that by crocheting this blanket or through watching from the sidelines, you’ll be reminded of tropical shores you’ve visited, or maybe live near, or maybe plan to visit in the future! 🙂
And here’s the first diary entry from 20 years ago … enjoy!
Monday 16th April, 2001
11.40 Tahitian time
I can’t say that we slept very well on the plane last night. The flight took over eight hours (from Los Angeles) and we just couldn’t get comfortable. Nevermind, when we arrived at Tahiti airport we were greeted by a Polynesian lady giving out flowers and a band playing tropical island music! What a welcome! When we got off the plane the heat hit us, even though it was about 02.30 am.
After we collected our luggage, we walked out to the main entrance of the airport and were efficiently greeted by our Tahitian rep who drove us to our hotel – The Sheraton. Our name ‘Tully’ was written on a board and he gave us each a garland of beautiful flowers – gorgeously scented! He told us our transfer to Moorea would start at 08.25, but luckily Steve stepped in and asked if there was a later pick up. Fortunately, there was. We had paid a lot for this room (£130), and we want to make the most of it! Our new pick-up time is 12.40.
We had a lovely lie in and woke to a view of palm trees and the harbour with high mountainous peaks. The room was lovely – very large with a balcony and huge bed. We enjoyed a shower and a cup of tea and checked out at the last minute – 11.00. We are now seated in the reception area and are waiting for our transfer. It feels very hot even though it is currently overcast. The weather must always be so nice here as this reception area is totally open to the outside with only a roof. The airport was the same!
Our transfer arrived on time, and in the minibus we made our way to the wharf where our catamaran would take us to the Island of Moorea. On arrival at the dock area I exchanged our voucher for two tickets to board the boat. As I walked back to Steve who was with our luggage, I slipped down a slight slope and fell flat over! Oouch! Two lady tourists (one English) came to help me up and then Steve realised I was on the floor and came running over! I have cut my thumb and also grazed my left knee. Our first aid kit which we have carried everywhere came in extremely useful as I was able to wipe clean the wounds and apply plasters. I felt quite embarrassed!
The catamaran arrived and we boarded going straight to the top deck which was open air with seats. It was an extremely smooth crossing – at first we didn’t realise we had started moving even though there was a vey strong wind blowing. The air still felt very warm. Since leaving the Sheraton hotel it had rained a couple of times but it is warm rain and very short lived.
On arrival in Moorea we looked around – the high volcanic peaks were misted over but the island looks exceptionally beautiful. Lush mountain slopes with large palm trees right to the water’s edge. We can see exactly what a lagoon is – the waves from the sea roll up onto sand banks far out, so the water lapping up to the land is very shallow and calm.
We met ‘Raymond’ our driver who took us to the ‘Hotel Les Tipaniers’. There was an English family also going to this hotel who were returning from a round-the-world trip and this was their last stop. Raymond was advertising tours that can be done whilst he was driving us – he is a French man who has lived here for 27 years – and we have booked to go on a Jeep tour of Moorea on Thursday – looks like fun!
Where we are staying is truly idyllic. We are in a gorgeous little thatched bungalow and we can look out to sea. It is basic but very fitting! The beach is again idyllic, and we can’t believe that we are actually on this beautiful tropical island in the middle of the Pacific! It is picture perfect and the sort of island you see on television and on postcards. It really is time to unwind and it feels so perfect to come here after having done two cities which can be quite tiring.
We had some lunch in the beach bar and this evening as the sun set (quite early before 18.00) we walked out on the jetty over the water and sat down for quite a while with our legs hanging over the water. The water was so clear, and we could see a variety of exotic looking fish swimming around.
I have done a large handwash of clothes that were building up – it will certainly dry very quickly here. It is now dark and we are going to go to the restaurant here for a meal.
I had just finished writing the above account when I looked up and saw a lizard on a roof beam on the ceiling. We then noticed at least 3 or 4 lizards walking on the ceiling beams! It is noisy outside with all kinds of strange sounds from insects and frogs! Neither of us felt very hungry so we decided not to go for a meal. We just wanted a drink so went to the beach bar only to find that the lady was closing up! We have no water, and the tap water is not safe to drink so we are unfortunately going to bed thirsty and a little jumpy because of all these creatures crawling about!
Extract from Steve’s diary: These Pacific islands are getting to the end of their rainy season, and although it has rained, the air is so hot that everything dries up again. Our beach hut apartment looks directly onto the sea and the water is so clear and just laps up so calmly against the shore. It’s so peaceful and idyllic. We’ve just been sitting out on a blue wooden jetty watching the sun go down across the sea. We’re now sitting in our thatched wood hut with the ceiling fan on, listening to the grass hoppers and tropical birds singing outside as night-time descends, and some 11 hours ahead, England is just waking up to another day!
I hope you enjoyed sharing those memories of our first day on Tropical Shores 20 years ago… I’m really excited to be sharing this journey with you all!
And happy ‘tropical’ crocheting everyone! 😄 🙂