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Where it all began...

As you will have seen from my about me piece I learnt to crochet after dropping into Fudges Haberdashery and Wool Shop here in Cullompton after there was news that someone new had taken it over. The lovely Cara and her sister Tori had taken a leap of faith in buying a wool shop and starting their working lives all over again. I had always knitted but had never quite been able to get my head around crochet, despite my gran's valiant efforts. Cara was a crocheter first and foremost and I was inspired by her creations and the new layout of the shop with yarns jumping out to be bought. I bought some James C Brett Cotton On yarn and thought I'd make a blanket.

I had absolutely no idea how to make one or where to look. I Googled and I Pinterested and I search Facebook crochet groups. I stumbled across Attic24 and within the week I had learnt the basics of granny stitch, single, double and treble and the beautiful Neat Ripple Wave pattern ( ) and off I went. I finished it in no time and that was in 2015. The blanket is now in the ownership of my daughter and the dog and serves multiple purposes, currently its covering the top of her chest of drawers to create a girly dressing table, other times the dog secures it and its his snuggle blanket.

I was off then, I wanted a challenge. The Sophie's Universe blanket had been all the rage according to Facebook so that was the second blanket I ever made. It was a serious baptism of fire but I learnt so much and my confidence grew. I never did quite finish it and it ended up as the dogs' favoured cushion now. As you can guess the dog is somewhat spoilt, but he does love a good snooze and why not enable him to be warm and comfy?

There was something that madly made me think I could make something like this and so my very first crochet along in January 2016 was born. I bought the 200 Crochet Stitches Book by Sarah Hazell and used this to work out my borders, working out from a circular middle. I received some fantastic support from the CAL Crochet A Long Facebook group who provided me with three testers that worked through my pattern and helped me get it right. I will always be grateful for the wonderful administrators of this group and their band of testers, without them I would not have had the confidence to move on from this first CAL. I never thought anyone would make it but here I am six years on from first publishing it and there have been over 2,500 downloads of the pattern on Ravelry. I am a believer that crochet alongs should be free wherever possible and this will remain as such as long as I have somewhere to publish it. The blanket is 53 inches square and I made the original in double knitting yarn on a 4mm hook but you could make it in any yarn you wanted, adjusting the hook size accordingly.

If you drop over to the Ravelry page ( ) there are a number of beautiful projects of other people that have shared their colourful creations. I know I say it a lot but I am always amazed how the placement and use of colour can completely change a pattern. I've added the pdf link to the English version of the pattern below. Over on Ravelry it is also available in Dutch, Finnish, French, Spanish, German and Swedish all as a single document and all for free. If you do pick up the pattern and make one I'd love to see how yours turns out.

I know in recent years crochet blankets have become more intricate with overlay crochet and the latest technique of mosaic, I however love traditional stitches and patterns. It probably comes from my love of traditional patchwork quilting where it allows the fabric to do the talking. I can appreciate modern and abstract creativity but for me tradition rules.

The strangest thing is I don't actually have the blanket any more. In fact I don't keep many of my original blankets, giving them away to charity where they would be of more use. This one went to a charity in North Devon that gives blankets to children in foster care. These children often end up at a foster carer with just a bin liner of belongings and not a great deal to really call their own. Having worked along side this area in my previous mortgage paying careers I wanted to give something that someone would treasure. Perhaps I need to remake this one and give it a new look with some fresh colours.

2016 CAL English
Download PDF • 2.98MB

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