*Cricket Chips* I know I have been a wee bit quite, but it’s because I am hooked… literally. I have become an overnight crochet addict. I can’t get enough yarn and I spend every free moment with a hook in my hand. It’s become very natural very quickly and I’m thrilled to have discovered a new hobby that is giving me so much joy.
The project that is currently sucking up most of my time is the Spice of Life Crochet Along (CAL) with Black Sheep Wools and Sandra Paul of Cherry Heart. A crochet along is a project that is divided into parts. Each week a new piece of the pattern is released and the whole group follows along, encourages each other and shares their progress on social media. There is a very active facebook group of amazing crocheters of all levels of skill. The best thing about this crochet along (also known as a CAL) is that each step increases in difficulty. It’s perfect for a new crocheter who has a good grasp of basic stitches (a Chain, US Double Crochet and Single Crochet). It gives you lots of practice with counting stitches, controlling your tension and stacking and combining various types of stitches to create new patterns.
Another great thing about this CAL, is that everyone is making it their own! Obviously the suggested colors are amazing, but most people have looked in their stash and created beautiful and unique palettes that make the blanket one of a kind. A lot of people are also adding stitches and rows to make the finish blanket larger. I skipped a row when I started my waves in part four. To “fix it” I went rogue and created my own design by adding a couple of rows. I love how it ended up looking, even though it doesn’t follow the original pattern.
The community aspect of a CAL really encourages you to keep going and is a great way to troubleshoot if you struggle with a stitch or find your blanket shrinking. The #spiceoflifeCAL hashtag on Instagram already has over 1,000 tags. It’s a global group too! Black Sheep Wools is located in the UK, so the group is mainly focused there and here in the US. There are people from every continent (except Antarctica of course).
I’m using all Stylecraft Special DK for mine. It’s the very best acrylic I have come across. It comes in tons of colors and have a beautifully soft hand. It also stitches really nicely and the price is great. I get most of mine from Love Knitting. Get 15% off your first order AND free shipping by visiting this page. You will also need the following…
- 4.0 mm Clover Amour crochet hook (or a hook size that coordinates with your yarn of choice)
- Stitch Markers
- Darning Needles
By the end of this crochet along, I’ll have a gorgeous one-of-a-kind blanket to throw over my lap on a cold Ohio winter night while we watch TV. I’ve started a second one in ice cream colors for a future baby shower as well. I think it’s going to be a stunning (but deceptively inexpensive) gift for a lucky kiddo and mama. If I didn’t have a million things in my “in progress” pile, I would make a ton of these for Christmas gifts.
You still have time to catch up! Visit this page to get all the current PDF’s and check back there on Tuesday morning for the newest section to be released.