Stitch Story Crochet Along | Design 2 – Moss Stitch


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Are you all ready and waiting for block 2? I’ve really enjoyed being tagged to see all the wonderful first blocks you’ve made! However don’t worry if this is the first you are hearing about this CAL you can find the full schedule and Scheepjes yarn amounts here and a link to the crochet along page here. Would you like to see photos and specification all at once? Then click here for the Pinterest Board!

So let’s just quickly run through some of the pattern particulars…

Pattern:

This pattern will be free here on the blog but it’s also available in an e-book on Ravelry.  There is a small charge for the downloadable 46 page PDF e-book (payable once). The booklet will be released in instalments, along with the CAL, so as not to spoil anyone’s fun. This PDF has the full pattern descriptions, charts and information all in one place without adverts (as requested).

Through the course of this crochet-along I will provide you with patterns to make twelve different blocks, each in two different sizes. Which one you make is totally up to you! Make all one size or mix and match, whatever takes your fancy!  However to give you a helping hand I have included some schematics which you can see on this post here.

Support:

  • The KCACO-UK Community Facebook Group  is a great source of support and helpful tips from fellow Crochet-a-longers.
  • NEW! There is now a Ravelry thread for support with the Stitch Story CAL facilitated by the lovely Reimy.
  • A Dutch translation will be available by Iris from Een Mooi Gebaar (and a Dutch e-book will be coming soon to Ravelry) 
  • Accompanying CAL videos are being created by Esther from It’s All in a Nutshell. Link to Part 2 is below:

Stitch-Story-Part2

Social Media Links:

The hashtag for this years CAL is #SSCAL18 for Twitter and Instagram. Though you you can join in with any progress photos by linking your projects on your favourite social media sites: RavelryFacebook page or Facebook group and Pinterest.

Stitch Story…

Block 2 of the Stitch Story CAL represents carrageen moss which is a type of seaweed found on the Irish Coast. The stitch symbolises abundance, growth and nature.

Design 2: Irish Moss

Hook: 4 mm / US size G or size needed to obtain 15cm /6” or 30cm / 12” square 

Abbreviations (same for both blocks):

  • Chain (Ch)
  • Slip Stitch (Sl St)
  • UK Half Double Treble / US Half Double Crochet (htr/hdc)

Stitch Guidance (same for both blocks):

  • Slip Stitch (sl st): Insert hook in st indicated, yarn over and pull through all loops.
  • UK Double Crochet/US Single Crochet (dc/sc): Insert hook in st indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), yarn over, pull through both loops on hook.
  • UK Half Double Treble / US Half Double Crochet (htr/hdc): Yarn over, insert hook in next st and pull up a loop (three loops on hook), yarn over, pull through all three loops on hook.

15cm / 6 inch block:

Block2-01-SML

  • Note: Ch1 doesn’t count as a st
  • Note2: Don’t pull your sl st’s too tight

Row 1: Ch26, htr/hdc in 2nd ch from hook * sl st in the next, htr/hdc in the next st * turn (25sts)

Row 2: Ch1, sl st on top of the htr/hdc, * htr/hdc on top of the sl st, sl st on the htr/hdc of the previous row* repeat from * to * until end, turn.

Row 3: Ch1, htr/hdc in the same st as the ch1 * sl st in the next st, htr/hdc in the next st * repeat from * to * until end, turn.

Row 4-30:  repeat row 2 & 3 for pattern until end, finish off and weave in ends.

Block2SML-SSCAL-CHART

30cm / 12 inch block:

Block2_LRG-SSCAL18

  • Note: Ch1 doesn’t count as a st
  • Note2: Don’t pull your sl st’s too tight

Row 1: Ch51, sl st in 2nd ch from hook *htr/hdc in the next st, sl st in the next * repeat from * to *ending with a htr/hdc on the last st, turn (50sts)

Row 2: Ch1 * sl st in the next st, htr/hdc in the next st, * repeat from * to * until end, turn.

Row 3– 60: repeat row 2 for pattern until the end, finish off and weave in ends.

Block2LRG-SSCAL-CHART

Edging for all blocks: 

On the right side of your work evenly work dc/sc along each side of your block working 3 dc/sc in each corner (25sts for smaller block / 50sts for larger block).  Fasten off and weave in ends.

You do not need to use the same number of stitches I have for each square, you just need to evenly spread the single crochet border along the rows and edges.  Whatever number edging you use just keep the same number of stitches for ALL of your blocks – with the same count of single crochet border on each edge then they will line-up when its time to turn them into a finished blanket.

And that’s it!

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Skimming Stones MCAL | Parts 1 and 2 done!


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It’s work in progress Wednesday! If you follow me on Instagram then you will have seen that over June and July my WIP is the Skimming Stones Mystery Crochet A-Long by designers Kat Goldin and Joanne Scrace (aka The Crochet Project). It’s a paid for pattern CAL that started on 20 June with a new section released each week for a total of 4 weeks.

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There’s always so many amazing CALs out there but unless it’s my own CAL I’m usually a bit rubbish at not letting other things get in the way. However the Skimming Stones CAL seemed manageable (for me) as it’s four parts released on a weekly basis. So not too long a CAL to start impeding on my other commitments and the right kind of project to make me feel like I’ve really accomplished something as I get a nice new shawl just for me at the end.

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And I was extremely good and didn’t buy any new yarn for this project (I’m not ill I promise!) I just really need to start using some of my own yarn stash before we all become buried alive in it. And I have some lovely stuff in my stash, so I’m beginning to try and get more of a use it up attitude – so it was stash shopping I went!

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I picked out some of my favourite yarn, Scheepjes Stonewashed, from my stash in the following colours and amounts:

Col A = 2 x 50g / 260 metres of Smokey Quartz (802) 
Col B = 1 x 50g / 130 metres of Corundum Ruby (808) 
Col C = 1 x 50g / 130 metres of Lilac Quartz (818) 
Col D = 1 x 50g / 130 metres of Amazonite (813) 
Col E = 1 x 50g / 130 metres of Crystal Quartz (814)

And I’m pretty much in love with how these colours are working together! With the Stonewashed I’ve used a 3.5mm (US size E) hook and of course keeping all my WIP together in a handy Dear Ewe project bag 😉

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I’m really enjoyed a mini break from designing and found it so refreshing to just follow a pattern were someone else had done all the working out for me! 

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It’s such a fun design too and I basically followed all the helpful tips by Lynn Rowe (from the Woolnest); starting with a 2ch and carrying my yarn up the side of my work too, I also made sure to weave in my ends as I went (anyone else usually leave that till the end – or never if they get the chance?!).  

I’ve made it up to clue 2 and I’m a little behind as I stopped to crochet a platypus (more about that in another post)…but I’m very pleased with myself for keeping up as a reason I don’t usually join in the CALs is because I know I will get caught up in other projects and not finished! But not this time (I said to myself)…

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By the time this post is published I’ll hopefully be off to download parts 3 and 4 of the pattern and finish it all off! 

Have you been working on the Skimming Stones CAL too? I’d love to hear how you are getting on with it too if you are?

Until next time folks! Keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

 

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Apple for Teacher Amigurumi |Free Crochet Pattern


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It’s mid July, which can only mean one thing for parents of children in school; the school year is almost over (eek!) and it’s time to start thinking about a little teacher thank you gift. Why not say thank you to a hard-working teacher at the end of this school year with a quick and easy handmade gift.

I know an apple for teacher is rather cliche but there is no denying that it’s a well know association and I find the history behind it really interesting. Apparently the stereotype for giving an apple to an educator started in the early 1700s, when poor families in Scandinavia, gave teachers baskets of apples as payment for their children’s educations.

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I love the idea of barter one skill for another and I recon giving a teacher an apple is still a kind way to them your appreciation!

An Apple for Teacher Amigurumi

Add this pattern to your Ravelry Queue and Favourites

Yarn: (8ply / yarn weight #3 / double knit)

22 g of yarn in the following colour:

  • YARN A – Red (or green)

Scraps of the following colours:

  • YARN B – Brown
  • YARN C – Green 
  • YARN D – Pink

Materials

3.75mm hook, stitch markers, yarn needle, polyester toy stuffing, 2 x 9mm black safety eyes, black embroidery thread 

Difficulty: Easy 

Size: Circumference of 29cm (11.4inches)

Gauge: 4dc = 2.5cm (1 inch)

Stitch Guide: 

  • ch(s) = chain
  • st(s) = stitch(es)
  • Slip Stitch (sl st): Insert hook in st indicated, yarn over and pull through all loops.
  • UK Double Crochet/US Single Crochet (dc/sc): Insert hook in st indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), yarn over, pull through both loops on hook.
  • UK Double Crochet/US Single Crochet 2 sts together (dc2tog/sc2tog): Insert hook in st indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), insert hook in next st, yarn over, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through three loops on hook.
  • UK Half Double Treble / US Half Double Crochet (htr/hdc): Yarn over, insert hook in next st and pull up a loop (three loops on hook), yarn over, pull through all three loops on hook.
  • UK Treble / US Double Crochet (tr/dc): Yarn over, insert hook in indicated st and pull up a loop (three loops on hook), yarn over, pull through two loops, yarn over, pull through remaining two loops on hook.

Notes:

Using a stitch marker: Sections are worked without joining in continuous rnds (unless specified) – place the stitch marker in the top of the first st to mark start of rnd

Instructions:

Cheeks (Make 2):

Rnd 1: Using 3.75mm hook and YARN D make a magic ring; work 8dc/sc into ring. 8sts

Fasten off but leave a long tail

Stalk:

Using 3.75mm hook and YARN B ch8, sl st into the 2nd ch from the hook; sl st in each st along until end.

Fasten off but leave a long tail

Leaf:

Using 3.75mm hook and YARN C ch7, sl st into the 2nd ch from the hook. Then work the following in the ch; 1dc/sc, 1htr/hdc, 3tr/dc, 1htr/hdc, 1dc/sc, sl st, ch1, then working along the other side of your beginning ch, sl st, 1dc/sc, 1htr/hdc, 3tr/dc, 1htr/hdc, 1dc/sc, sl st to the top of the beginning st

Fasten off but leave a long tail

Apple:

Rnd 1: Using 3.75mm hook and YARN A make a magic ring; work 6dc/sc into ring. 6sts

Rnd 2: (2dc/sc) to end. 12sts

Rnd 3: (1dc/sc, 2dc/sc) to end. 18sts

Rnd 4: (1dc/sc in the next 2sts, 2dc/sc) to end. 24sts

Rnd 5: (1dc/sc in the next 3sts, 2dc/sc) to end. 30sts

Rnd 6: (1dc/sc in the next 4sts, 2dc/sc) to end. 36sts

Rnds 7-13: 1dc/sc in each st

Rnd 14: (1dc/sc in the next 5 sts, 2dc/sc) to end. 42sts

Rnds 15-20: 1dc/sc in each st

Rnd 21: (1dc in the next 5sts, dc2tog/sc2tog) to end. 36sts

Rnd 22: (1dc in the next 4sts, dc2tog/sc2tog) to end. 30sts

  • Add eyes between rnds 16-17 approximately 5sts apart
  • Using black embroidery thread embroider a mouth over rnds 13-14
  • Sew on cheeks either side of the mouth

Rnd 23: (1dc in the next 3sts, dc2tog/sc2tog) to end. 24sts

  • Start to stuff; continuing to stuff as you go

Rnd 24: (1dc in the next 2sts, dc2tog/sc2tog) to end. 18sts

Rnd 25: (1dc, dc2tog/sc2tog) to end. 12sts

Rnd 26: (dc2tog/sc2tog) to end. 6sts

  • Fasten off but leave a long tail
  • Sew up remaining 6sts, then using the yarn tail thread it through the centre of the apple and pull up to create a indent in the bottom for the apple bottom.
  • Repeat this process pulling back through the centre of the apple from the top to create the indent for the apple stalk and leaf to sit in. Secure and fasten off.

Making up:

  • Using YARN B sew a star shape into the bottom indent for the apple bottom
  • Attach the stalk and the leaf in the indent at the top of the apple

And that’s it!

Ami-Apple-KCACOUK_01

If you hook up the Apple for Teacher Ami please share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) – I love to see what you make! 

Until next time folks! Keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

 

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Stitch Story Crochet Along | Design 1 – Gauge Square


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Let’s get this CAL up and running shall we! It’s time for block 1 and I’m very excited to get started – how about you? However don’t worry if this is the first you are hearing about this CAL you can find the full schedule and yarn amounts here and a link to the crochet along page here. Would you like to see photos and specification all at once? Then click here for the Pinterest Board!

Pattern:

This pattern will be free here on the blog but it’s also available in an e-book on Ravelry.  There is a small charge for the downloadable 46 page PDF e-book (payable once) and the booklet will be released in instalments along with the CAL so as not to spoil anyone’s fun. This PDF has the full pattern descriptions, charts and information all in one place without adverts (as requested).

Through the course of this crochet-along I will provide you with patterns to make twelve different blocks, each in two different sizes. Which one you make is totally up to you! Make all one size or mix and match, whatever takes your fancy!  However to give you a helping hand I have included some schematics which you can see on this post here.

Support:

Stitch-Story-Part1

Social Media Links:

The hashtag for this years CAL is #SSCAL18 for Twitter and Instagram. Though you you can join in with any progress photos by linking your projects on your favourite social media sites: RavelryFacebook pageor Facebook group and Pinterest.

Right let’s get started!

Design 1: Gauge Swatch

Hook: 4 mm / US size G or size needed to obtain 15cm/6” or 30cm / 12” square 

Abbreviations (same for both blocks):

  • Chain (Ch)
  • UK Double Crochet/US Single Crochet (dc/sc)
  • UK Half Double Treble / US Half Double Crochet (htr/hdc)
  • UK Alternating Half Double Treble / US Alternating Half Double Crochet (Alt htr/Alt hdc)

Stitch Guidance (same for both blocks):

  • Slip Stitch (sl st): Insert hook in st indicated, yarn over and pull through all loops.
  • UK Double Crochet/US Single Crochet (dc/sc): Insert hook in st indicated and pull up a loop (two loops on hook), yarn over, pull through both loops on hook.
  • UK Half Double Treble / US Half Double Crochet (htr/hdc): Yarn over, insert hook in next st and pull up a loop (three loops on hook), yarn over, pull through all three loops on hook.
  • Alternating Half Double Treble / Alternating Half Double Crochet (Alt htr/Alt hdc): This stitch is worked exactly like a normal htr/hdc but you work the stitches in the back and front loops; alternating from one to the other as you work. When you start the next row your first st should be the SAME as your last st e.g. if you have worked in the BLO, you will start in the BLO

15cm / 6 inch block:

Block1SML-SSCAL

Note: Ch1 doesn’t count as a st

Row 1: Ch26, 1htr/hdc in 2nd ch from the hook and in each st along, turn (25sts)

Row 2: Ch1, starting in the front loop; 1 Alt htr/Alt hdc in the same st as the ch 1 and in each st along until end, turn.

Row 3-18:  repeat row 2 for the pattern until end, finish off and weave in ends.

Block1SML-SSCAL-CHART

30cm / 12 inch block:

Block1_LRG-SSCAL18

Note: Ch1 doesn’t count as a st

Row 1: Ch51, 1htr/hdc in 2nd ch from the hook and in each st along, turn (50sts)

Row 2: Ch1, starting in the front loop; 1 Alt htr/Alt hdc in the same st as the ch 1 and in each st along until end (ending in the back loop), turn.

Row 3: Ch1, starting in the back loop; 1 Alt htr/Alt hdc in the same st as the ch 1 and in each st along until end, turn.

Row 4-36:  repeat rows 2 and 3 for the pattern until end, finish off and weave in ends.

Block1LRG-SSCAL-CHART

Edging for all blocks: 

On the right side of your work evenly work dc/sc along each side of your block working 3 dc/sc in each corner (25sts for smaller block / 50sts for larger block).  Fasten off and weave in ends.

You do not need to use the same number of stitches I have for each square, you just need to evenly spread the single crochet border along the rows and edges.  Whatever number edging you use just keep the same number of stitches for ALL of your blocks – with the same count of single crochet border on each edge then they will line-up when its time to turn them into a finished blanket.

And that’s it!

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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Pattern Release | Floral Mandala Ring Cushion


So this May was a very special month for me as my best friend, of over 25 years, got married. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to design her ring cushion for her special day – and now it’s all over she’s happy for me to release the design as a pattern for others to enjoy too.

What was really funny when I started thinking about designing this cushion, and a testament to how well we know each other after all these years, I knew she wanted purple to be her wedding colour so I picked up some purple yarn and the accent button when I happened to see them. But this was before she’d made the final choice for her wedding decor – but it all matched perfectly, I just knew what she’d like!

Introducing the Floral Mandala Ring Cushion…

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If you’ve chosen to have a ring bearer on your wedding day and you’d love to include a handmade element in your day then this could be the perfect solution for you.

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This sweet and simple textured cushion with it’s floral mandala motif is elegant enough on its own and lets the rings do the talking. 

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The colours can be adapted to match any wedding theme and it’s a relatively easy item to make. Perfect for a beginner that was looking to learn some new crochet techniques or an experienced crocheter as a quick project.

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The cushion is made with Scheepjes Cotton 8 (4ply / fingering weight) yarn but if you made it with Aran (worsted weight) yarn and a larger hook I think you would also have a fantastic cushion for your favourite chair!

If you hook up the Floral Mandala Ring Cushion please share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) – I love to see what you make! 

Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine | Russian Dolls and Cacti Collection


Issue 102 of LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is out in shops now and I’ve got two exclusive patterns in this issue. You can just see a couple of them highlighted in the yellow star on the front cover!

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The first of the patterns I designed for this issue were a cute pair of Russian dolls. I’ve always loved Russian dolls, my mum had a giant one with smaller dolls stacked within the bigger ones that I was obsessed with when I was little.  I think at it’s heart a Matryoshka is truly a doll and a child’s play thing so I was delighted to be given the chance to design a mother and daughter set.  I love how they turned out and you could really have fun with the tummy embellishments adding embroidery and maybe even beads to make your doll completely splendid!

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This month I also got to design a cactus collection, I’m a little bit obsessed with cacti and succulents and we have a variety dotted all over our house – it was really fun to make these everlasting ones though. My favourite has to be the curly cacti which was a little bit different and for those that which to know is based on an Epiphyllum curly locks.

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The magazine comes with a six melody yarns which are lovely bright pastels and  contains a two-tone ombre yarn and mini cream buttons as well as;

  • 3mm hook & 3mm knitting needles
  • 46 exclusive patterns
  • Plus… your 68 page magazine

LGC Knitting & Crochet Magazine is available in major supermarkets and newsagents across the UK.  If you hook up either the Russian Dolls or the Stylish Succulents please share your photos with me on social media (facebooktwitter or instagram) – I love to see what you make! So why not hop to it and get your copy of the magazine now! 

Until next time folks! Happy hooking, keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

 

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Stitch Story Crochet Along | CAL Planning


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So in this post I wanted to talk a bit more about how I came to design the Stitch Story Crochet Along (starting on 4 July) and I also wanted to talk a bit about yarn and finished sizes before we begin. However don’t worry if this is the first you are hearing about this CAL, it hasn’t started yet and you can find the full schedule here and a link to the crochet along page here.   

This years crochet along was inspired by the myths and legends of Geansaí Árann jumpers (sweaters) that originate from the Aran Islands off the west coast of Ireland. There is a lovely romantic theory that the stitches in those types of jumpers have a special ‘meaning’ and I loved the idea of creating a design that conveyed something a little extra. Traditionally, an Aran jumper is made from undyed cream-coloured báinín (pronounced “bawneen”), a yarn made from sheep’s wool, but I wanted to find something a bit more accessible to make my blanket with…

When I started designing this years crochet along I had quite a clear idea in my head of what I wanted to try and achieve with the final look. I really wanted to create a classic yet contemporary style for this blanket whilst also still pays homage to an aran jumper which is why I decided to make it in a single solid colour. 

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I wanted the yarn to have a ‘heritage’ feel about it because that was such an integral part of my idea for the design. Scheepjes Soft Fun Denim yarn gave me exactly what I was looking for! Although it was a brand new yarn for me the subtle colour variation gave me just the right combination of traditional / modern feel that I was wanted and the cotton / acrylic mix meant it was comfortable enough to be cuddled up in yet eminently practical if it got dirty and needed washing!

Using colours…

Although I chose a single colour I knew the pattern would also look great in multiple colours. So my lovely mum made another version of the blanket using six different shades of Scheepjes Colour Crafter. I’m a big fan of Scheepjes Colour Crafter, as a premium acrylic is is just soooo soft and it’s available if over 90 shades – it just makes it harder to pick which ones you want! My mum chose colours she wanted to match in with her living room.

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If you are looking for some inspiration on how you can pick and put different colours together I can certainly recommend the Design Seeds website for beautiful colour collections. I can’t wait to see what colours you choose!

For the full yarn amounts needed please see my first post about the CAL here.

Size and Layouts:

As I mentioned last time there will be two sizes of each square that you can choose from – either a 15cm (6″) block or a 30cm (12″) block. Which size blocks you make will be totally up to you but I have put together some layouts, similar to mine, below to help you plan. You could also play around with the blocks to make a smaller size square or rectangular blanket. Both my mum and I created our blankets with Schematic 3 as we wanted to make both size blocks. 

I’ve also saved these schematics on the CAL Pinterest Board and they will also be available in the e-book on Ravelry.  The first instalment of the downloadable 46 page PDF e-book is now available for a small charge (payable once) and will be released in instalments along with the CAL so as not to spoil anyone’s fun. This PDF has the full pattern descriptions, charts and information all in one place without adverts (as requested). 

Support:

And there’s more support for anyone that needs it with the accompanying videos by Esther from It’s All in a Nutshell that accompany this CAL will be released AFTER each new block release. And excitingly I’m now working with the lovely Iris from Een Mooi Gebaar who, for all the Dutch speakers who want to join in the CAL, is translating it for us! See her first post here.

Big thanks to Scheepjes, Esther and Iris for helping bring this CAL to life for everyone!

And I’ll just quickly mention again my KCACO-UK Community Facebook Group which is a great source of support and helpful tips from fellow Crochet-a-longers.

Not long left to wait…part one starts 4 July

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Until next time; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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