Stitch Story Crochet-Along | Announcement


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It’s taken a bit longer than I anticipated to get it all together but the crochet along design I’ve been working on for over a year is finally ready for us to start hooking together! Are you excited? I know I am!!

Following the poll I conducted in my Facebook group for the theme for our next Crochet Along (CAL) *drum roll please* the clear winner was to create something like a samplerghan blanket. So I put on my (crocheted) thinking cap and came up with, what I think, is a unique design that you will enjoy making and which I’m quite eager to share with you.  

I have already shared the pattern with someone though – and that person is my lovely mum! This is because she has made her own version of the Stitch Story blanket so I could show you how the design looks in a single colour (as I made mine) and how it looks using a selection of colours (as my mum made hers). 

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Right then, are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin with some of the information about this years design which I’m super-duperly thrilled to say has been sponsored by Scheepjes yarns, it’s been tough holding in my excitement about that I can tell you, but the most important bit to tell you is that… 

The Stitch Story Crochet Along starts Wednesday 4 July 2018!

I’ll be telling you more about the inspiration for this crochet along in my next post but let’s first go over some of the specifics. This CAL will run for 13 weeks and in that time you can create a blanket either the same as mine or unique to you (I’ll explain more about that in a moment).  Square motifs will be released every two weeks (on a Wednesday) here on the blog and I will guide you through the process of learning new stitches and techniques until you have a lovely multi-textured heirloom blanket of your very own – all finished by Christmas. 

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This is a CAL with a bit of a difference; bi-weekly you will receive a pattern for one of twelve differently designed squares. 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! Make your blanket all one size or mix and match, whatever takes your fancy!  This afghan will be completely unique to you with lots of stitches so it won’t get boring!  After we have made all of our blocks the last few weeks will include instructions for joining your squares together and adding a border.

The patterns will be available in English and American crochet terminology and a free English step-by-step video tutorial will also be available by the fabulous Esther from It’s All in a Nutshell blog

This is an ideal project for a beginner who would like to move on from the basics of crochet, but those with more experience in hooking should enjoy it as well.  

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Yarn Amounts:

For the Stitch Story crochet along if you wish to make the same size blanket as me (which is the largest size) you will need at least 1800g  (36 x 50g balls / 5,040m) of yarn. The larger sized finished blanket (as shown in the photos) measures 1.8m long x 1.2m wide / 6 foot long x 4 foot wide so suitable for a single bed.

  • I used Scheepjes Soft Fun Denim yarn (Shade: 507) for my blanket which is a cotton / acrylic blended yarn that has a subtle colour variation in it much like aged denim (hence the name). 
  • My mum used Scheepjes Colour Crafter which is 100% premium acrylic yarn which is incredibly soft (and hypoallergenic). She used the following shades and amounts;  Hasselt (Shade: 2010) x 2, Vlissingen (Shade: 1723) x 2, Ermelo (Shade: 1710) x 2, Veenendaal (Shade: 1064) x 3, Haarlem (Shade: 1054) x 3, and Breda (Shade: 1029) x 3.
  • Esther from It’s All in a Nutshell blog is using  Scheepjes River Washed yarn (Wheaton / Shade: 950) which is a dual toned soft woolly feeling cotton yarn. She has estimated using 1000g (20 x 50g / 2600m) for her smaller square blanket.

Hooks:

Hook sizes range from 3.5 mm to 4.5 mm (US size E to 7). The size for each particular block will be indicated on the relevant pattern. 

CAL Details:

  1. There is no charge to join the CAL; anyone can join in as long as they have some yarn and a hook. 
  2. You can favourite / add this project to your Ravelry library here.
  3. All featured pattern elements in the CAL will be FREE of charge pattern on this blog
  4. However following requests this time round I will also be offering a downloadable 46 page PDF e-book for sale containing the full pattern in one printable file (without advertisements) on Ravelry for a small charge. 
  5. Also following requests I have created a chart for each block design (for both block sizes) which I’ll include in each blog post.
  6. For those that like a deadline I will be adding new details about each square every two weeks on a Wednesday at 8.30pm-ish (GMT time) – see below for full schedule. For those that want to hook when they have the time then that’s fine too; there’s no pressure to this CAL it’s all about having fun!
  7. I will be using both UK and US crochet terminology in the pattern (UK/US) so you can pick your preference. I will also always include any helpful information about each element including links about special stitches with the release of each new section.
  8. The videos by Esther from It’s All in a Nutshell that accompany this CAL will be released on the subsequent Friday AFTER each new block release.

The Schedule:

 6 June 2018 – TODAY CAL details
 20 June 2018 CAL Planning
4 July 2018 Design 1: The Gauge Block
18 July 2018 Design 2: Irish Moss
1 August 2018 Design 3: Diamond Pop
15 August 2018 Design 4: Pilgrim’s Pathway
29 August 2018 Design 5: The Institution of Marriage
12 September 2018 Design 6: The Ladder of Life
26 September 2018 Design 7: Blarney Bobbles
10 October 2018 Design 8: Garden Trellis
24 October 2018 Design 9: Fisherman’s Basket
7 November 2018 Design 10: Cabled Ropes
21 November 2018 Design 11: Six Stitched Braid
5 December 2018 Design 12: The Bee Keeper
19 December 2018 Joining the blocks together and the border

As well as posting information on this blog I’ll also be linking the information in my KCACO-UK Community Facebook Group, which if it’s anything like last year, is a great source of support and helpful tips from fellow Crochet-a-longers.

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: Ravelry, Facebook page or Facebook group and Pinterest.

I am so looking forward to seeing everyone’s blankets develop over time! 

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

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Yarn Shop Day 2018 | Milo the Cat


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I have the most exciting news to share with you! Some of you may have already seen me mention it on Instagram but now I can tell you all properly.

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Last year I was approached by the editor of Let’s Knit Magazine to see if I would like to design the mascot for Yarn Shop Day.  Me!?! Design the mascot for Yarn Shop Day! I couldn’t believe it! What an honour to ysd-2018-logodesign the mascot for such a big day celebrated all over the United Kingdom! Of course I said yes and I quickly donned my (crocheted) designers cap and started planning.

If you aren’t familiar with Yarn Shop Day, it’s an annual annual event that celebrates bricks-and-mortar yarn shops. Part of the wider Love Your Yarn Shop campaign, this year’s event takes place on Saturday 12 May 2018. Each participating store will host its own special event, with all sorts of fun activities taking place.

I was asked to come up with a design for a cat and so in my excitement I drew about eleventy billion cat sketches and even tried playing with some designs to see what developed, but we finally settled on developing the cat sketch (below) using the Yarn Shop day colours.

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I made him from bits of double knit yarn I had in my stash, that I had bought from various yarn store visits, and this is how he turned out…Meet Milo the Cat 🐱

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And as I had to send that Milo away to the Let’s Knit Magazine team I’m currently making myself another little Milo in Scheepjes Catona yarn which I bought from Black Sheeps Wool last year – because he has to be made with shop bought yarn naturally.

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Milo the Cat and Dixie the Llama are the crocheted and knitted mascots for 2018 and are exclusively available (for free) in participating stores, along with specially produced knitted and crocheted blanket patterns. If you’re a keen crocheter or knitter, be sure to pop down to your local yarn shop for a day of fibre-tastic fun. Click on the banner below to find participating stores near you.

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I never need an excuse to visit a yarn shop and this year I hope to pop down to Abakhan in Hanley to join in the fun. I hope you will be out too supporting your local yarn shop! I feel it’s so important to be an advocate for any small shop owner, they are often the people who are experts in their field, love what they do and are just trying to live their dream.

And if you hook up Milo the Cat, I hope you will share your project on your favourite social media sites, Facebook page or FacebookgroupTwitter,  Pinterest and Instagram as I love to see your finished work! Also if you are featured in my newsletter, as the customer spotlight, you could win a pattern of your choice – so don’t forget to tag me when you share.

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

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A Splash of Neon | Free Zig Zag Zing Crochet Cushion Pattern


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Do not adjust your computer screens we are going bright, bright, bright!!

Lovecrochet.com often put together themes for collections and you may remember that I took part in their Coastal Adventures Anthology in June last year with my Pembroke Shawl.  For their first collection for 2018 lovecrochet.com decided they wanted to go bold and bright with a Splash of Neon

Now neon obviously works great for signs and lights in the real-world but used in yarn…hhmmm you say….I can hear you aren’t convinced…but wait, by the end of this post you’ll want to add neon to everything (possibly)!

Now I’ll confess neon is something I’ve never included in a design before and so when the call came out for neon inspired designs, using Paintbox Yarns, I knew I had to take up the challenge!

If you aren’t familiar with Paintbox Yarns they are a practical (machine washable) high quality premium acrylic and cotton yarn available in various weights. For premium yarn it’s really soft and super lovely to hook up a project with and the range comes in over 60 shades in a modern colour palette which, for any crafter, is fabulous to see. It’s also great value and lovecrochet.com often run Paintbox Yarn sales which you can keep up with by signing up to their newsletter. 

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You might think that neon colours would be tough to use without clashing and that they are too loud and brassy. Scary combinations for crochet right? Well when carefully implemented I’ve learnt that they can be a super fun addition to a project. Take a look at the the eight designs that make up the Splash of Neon collection for instance. Aren’t they all fab! Can you guess which is my make?

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Did you guess the cushion with the pink pom-poms? Well you’re right!

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I’m really excited to now reveal my new Zig Zag Zing cushion!! 

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Now you can express your creativity by adding the bright on-trend zing of neon to your home in a fun, not scary, way.

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The Zig-Zag Zing Cushion is perfect either on its own or coordinated with other cushions and is a great way to bring a pop of colour to any living room or bedroom.

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This free crochet pattern is very straightforward pattern so that it can be readily picked up by beginners. There are written instructions, a chart and I’ve also included instructions for adding a zip opening for a clean look and easy care.

So have I changed your mind a bit about neon? I hope so! I can’t wait to see your finished neon projects. Why not start with my Zig Zag Zing cushion cover which you can get a free copy of right now on Lovecrochet.com

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

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Poppy Brooch | Free Crochet Pattern


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In 2013 I made a little poppy brooch to commemorate Remembrance Day. I’ve used that photo for the last 4 years as my post on social media on the 11th hour, of the 11th day and over the years I’ve had many people ask about a pattern.  Now at the time I didn’t write down the pattern, I was just playing and made something up, but at the Knitting and Stitching Show you may recall I bought a lovely box filled with Scheepjes Catona Cutie Pies and whilst I was a bit loath to open the box I thought they would be just perfect to try and recreate my poppy brooch.

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This free pattern is to help anyone crocheting poppies to raise money for The Royal British Legion.

Poppy Brooch

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Add the this pattern to your 💗 Favourites and Ravelry Queue here.

Yarn

Scheepjes Catona Cutie Pie 10g balls in the following colours:

  • Poppy Rose (Shade 390) 
  • Jet Black (Shade 110)
  • Small Trimmits Black Seed Beads (Optional)
  • Brooch pin (with sieve backing) or normal brooch pin

Hook: 2.75mm hook (US size C)

Difficulty: Easy 

Size:  5cm long x 3cm wide (2″ long x 1.1″ wide)

Gauge: Is not important for this item

Abbreviations: 

  • st(s) = stitch(es)
  • sp = space
  • sl st = slip stitch
  • ch(s) = chain  
  • dc/sc= UK double / US single crochet
  • htr/hdc= UK half treble / US half double crochet
  • tr/dc= UK treble / US double crochet

Stitch Guidance: 

  • 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 Treble / US Half Double Crochet (htr/hdc): Yarn over, insert hook in indicated 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 next 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.

Instructions:

The poppy brooch is worked in the round placing a stitch marker in the top of the first stitch to mark start of round.

  • Rnd 1: With black; start with either a magic ring or ch2 and work in 2nd ch from hook, work 6dc/sc into the ring. 6sts
  • Rnd 2: 2 dc/sc in each st around. 12sts

Fasten off and weave in ends

  • Rnd 3: Rejoin red yarn to any st, ch1 and work 1dc/sc in same st as beginning ch1, and then working around the poppy *2htr/hdc in the next st, 3tr/dc in the next st,, 2htr/hdc in the next st, 1dc/sc in the next st, sl st in the next st * repeat from * to * once more, 1dc/sc in the last st. 20sts
  • Rnd 4: 2dc/sc in the next st and working round the poppy; 1htr/hdc in the next st , 2tr/dc in the next st, 1tr/dc in the next st, 3tr/dc in the next st, 1tr/dc in the next st, 2tr/dc in the next st, 1htr/hdc in the next st, 2dc/sc in the next st, sl st in the next st,  1dc/sc in the next st, 2htr/hdc in the next st, 1htr/hdc in the next 2sts, 3htr/hdc in the next st, 1htr/hdc in the next 2sts, 1dc/sc in the next st, sl st in the last st. 28sts
  • Rnd 5: Sl St around the whole of the outside of the flower, fasten off and weave in ends

Finishing:

  • Sew on seed beads to the middle of the brooch (optional)
  • Line the poppy with felt (optional)
  • Add a brooch back onto the back of your brooch

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And that’s it!

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I hope you enjoy this little brooch. I can’t wait to yours! Make sure you link me your finished projects on Ravelry  or your favourite social media  (Facebook Twitter, and Instagram) and if you are featured in my newsletter you could win a pattern of your choice!

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

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Wulla Super Bulky | Yarn Review and Free Wulla Wreath Crochet Pattern


Disclaimer: I received a free sample of this yarn however I have not been financially compensated by the supplier to write this review. All opinions expressed are my own and based on my own experiences of using the yarn.


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Well I don’t think Christmas could come any chunkier than with the Wulla Wreath! I’m very excited to share this free pattern with you today for a true statement keepsake wreath just perfect for the holiday season – though I’m tempted to leave mine up all year!

Back at the beginning of October the lovely Caz, an indie spinner and dyer, from Wulla Yarn placed a call out for designers on Instagram to see who fancied experimenting with her amazing giant yarn.

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Isn’t it incredible! Well as you can imagine I REALLY wanted to get my hands on some of that lovely stuff to have a play!  So I dropped Caz a message with my idea and, luckily for me, she decided a collaboration would be a great idea. 

If you aren’t familiar with Wulla Yarn it might be because they are relatively new on the yarn scene. Started in April 2017 Wulla was born out of Caz’s desire to make big, bold contemporary yarn to inspire crafters to explore and create. The name ‘Wulla’ is a corruption of the word Wul, the Anglo Saxon for ‘wool’, and combines Caz’s love of history and her drive to do something new! 

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This yarn is serious stuff with a recommended hook size of 12-15mm or bigger! So let’s check out the yarn’s vital statistics we: 

  • Weight:  Super Bulky (7)
  • Blend: Wool
  • Yarn Ball Weight: 400g
  • Yarn Ball Length: 60m
  • Wash instructions: Cool, gentle hand wash only.
  • Price: £28.00 (at the time of this post)

Like many types of hand spun yarn the thickness and texture differs slightly along it’s length but, that to me, lends to it’s undeniable charm. 

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To me this yarn had statement piece written all over it and so I decided I wanted to try and create a giant hunky chunky wreath.  I chose to make my wreath with the un-dyed yarn as I think, although it’s neutral, the light natural cream colour has a lovely elegancy about it.

The wreath works up very quickly and, although a bit fiddly when you start off until you find your flow, it’s suitable for beginners to make as the pattern is essentially just giant UK double crochet / US single crochet stitches.

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Add the Wulla Wreath to your 💗 Favourites and Ravelry Queue for a print friendly of this page please scroll to the bottom of this post and click on the Print & PDF button. 

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  • Yarn: Super Bulky Undyed Handspun Giant Yarn / 60m / 400g
  • Hook: I used my 25mm hook – but smaller would work too, you might just need to experiment.
  • Size: 35mm
  • Gauge: Establishing the correct gauge is not critical to this pattern. 

Abbreviations: 

  • st(s) = stitch(es)
  • dc/sc= UK double crochet / US single crochet

Stitch Guidance:

  • 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.

You will also need:

  • 35mm / 1.4 inch Polystyrene Wreath (I got mine from Hobbycraft)
  • D ring (or something similar) for hanging the wreath
  • Cotton Thread / Needle
  • Large Pom Pom Maker (Mine had a 85mm / 0.3 inch diameter)

Pattern:

Rnd 1: Make giant UK double crochet / US single crochet’s all around the wreath – I found the easiest way to do this as follows;

Add the yarn with a slipknot on to your hook.

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Put the wreath in front of your yarn

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Pull up a loop of yarn through the middle of the wreath with your fingers

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And pop it around your hook

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Then bring your yarn over your hook

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And pull the loop through all loop on hook (this includes your slipknot loop for the beginning only). And that’s your first stitch made.

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Continue to work in this way all around the wreath; if you get any twisting of the yarn, straighten it as you go and push your yarn / stitches together so that none of the polystyrene shows.

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On your last stitch to do not join; cut your yarn and pull the tail all the way through the stitch, then thread the tail under the loop of your first stitch.

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Then pull the yarn into the centre of the last stitch to create an invisible join. 

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Finishing:

  1. Make three giant pom poms, I used my Clover Grand Pom Pom Maker just because I think the tool makes fabulous pom’s but you could use cardboard circles with a 88mm (0.3 inch) diameter. All pom’s should be tied leaving a 30 cm / 12 inch piece of yarn for hanging; if using the wulla yarn you should make sure your knot is secure, then trim off one of the pieces of yarn to leave one ‘strand’.
  2. Attach pom poms onto the bottom / back of your wreath 
  3. Attach a ‘D’ ring onto the top / back of your wreath

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And that’s it!

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I’m completely in LOVE with the texture and the look of my Wulla Wreath, I think it’s just delicious – and I have to admit to keep stroking it a bit.  

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And if you want to have a go at making your own wreath the lovely Caz from Wulla Yarns has a special offer for all you lovely KCACO.UK readers. For the whole of November her fabulous meta yarn has a 15% discount in her Etsy shop if you use the coupon code: KCACO1

If you have a go at making a Wulla Wreath don’t forget to share your finished projects with me on your favourite social media sites: RavelryLoveCrochet.comFacebook page or Facebook group, Twitter,  Pinterest and Instagram and if you are featured in my newsletter you could win a pattern of your choice!

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

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Out of this World MCAL | Joining and Tah-dah moment!


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Right all that’s left then is to put all these bits that we’ve got together! Have you guessed what it is yet?

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If you missed the announcement about the CAL and want to check out the general CAL info and material details you can find it all here and you can catch up with Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here and Part 4 here.  You still have time to make up your little amigurumi though, if you want to be featured in the finished project galleries you have until Saturday 30 September to submit a finished photo!

Making Up:

  • Add each part of section E to section A over rnds 8-12 and using a yarn needle and the tail ends attach securely. Insert a safety eye into the middle of each circle. Stuff section A firmly.

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  • Pin both parts of section G to the top of section A roughly 3.5cm / 1.5 inches apart; then using a yarn needle and the tail ends attach securely.
  • Using black embroidery thread embroider on a black mouth over rnds 14-16

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  • Insert the circle of section D into the loop of section D and the secure to middle of section B

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  • Sew the whole of that joined section (B & D) to the centre of section F
  • Sew section H to each side of section F on rnd 25

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  • Attach section C to either side of the bottom of section F

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  • Finally attach section A to the top of section F – and you are finished!

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And you’ve made a little alien buddy!

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I hope you had as much fun making him as I had designing him. I’m super excited to see your finished projects! The hashtag for this CAL is #ootwCAL. Make sure you link me your finished projects on your favourite social media sites so I can see them: RavelryFacebook page or Facebook groupTwitter,  Pinterest and Instagram! And don’t forget if you want to be featured in the finished project galleries you have until Saturday 30 September to submit a finished photo!

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

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Out of this World MCAL | Part 4


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Oooo we are up to the last parts!!! If you missed the announcement about the CAL and want to check out the general CAL info and material details you can find it all here and you can catch up with Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

Yarn: 

I have used three different colours in this pattern but you can use any colour you wish though I do suggest that sections in YARN B are best made in white. Yarn suggested colours for each particular piece will be referred in this pattern as:

  • YARN A – Any colour you wish
  • YARN B e.g. White
  • YARN C – Any colour you wish

For this design I used double knit/8 ply/yarn weight #3 however the pattern will also work in worsted /aran/ yarn weight #4 with a larger hook such as a 4mm (US size G) – your finished project will just be bigger!

Abbreviations: 

  • rnd = rounds
  • beg. = beginning
  • rem. = remaining
  • st(s) = stitch(es)
  • sp = space
  • sl st = slip stitch
  • ch(s) = chain  
  • dc/sc= UK double crochet / US single crochet
  • dc2tog/sc2tog= UK double crochet two stitches together / US single crochet two stitches together
  • BLO – Back Loop Only

Pattern Notes:

Many sections of this CAL are also worked without joining in continuous rounds by placing a stitch marker in either the the top of the first st to mark start of rnd.

Stitch Guidance:

  • Slip Stitch (sl st): Insert hook in st indicated, yarn over and pull through all loops.
  • Double Crochet/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.
  • Back Loop Only (BLO): Insert your hook underneath the back loop of the stitch only and make the stitch as indicated.

Pattern – Part 4:

SECTION G (Make 2):

Rnd 1: With YARN C; either make a magic ring or ch2 to start then work 8dc/sc into ring or 8dc/sc in the 2nd ch from hook. 8sts

Rnd 2: (2dc/sc) to last st. 16sts

Rnd 3-5: 1dc/sc to last st

Rnd 6: (dc2tog/sc2tog) to last st. 8sts

Begin to stuff; continuing to stuff as you go making sure they are stuffed firmly

Rnd 7: (1 dc/sc in next 2sts, dc2tog/sc2tog) to last st. 6sts

Rnd 8-11: 1dc/sc to last st

Fasten off but leave yarn tail

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SECTION H (Make 2):

Rnd 1: With YARN A; either make a magic ring or ch2 to start then work 6dc/sc into ring or 6dc/sc in the 2nd ch from hook. 6sts

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

Rnd 3-7: 1dc/sc to last st

Rnd 8: (1 dc/sc, dc2tog/sc2tog) to last st. 8sts

Stuff rnds 1-8 only

Rnd 9-16: 1dc/sc to last st

Fasten off but leave yarn tail

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And that’s part 4 done! Ready for the make up instructions tomorrow and then the big reveal….not long to wait!!

The hashtag for this CAL is #ootwCAL. Make sure you link me your finished projects on your favourite social media sites so I can see them: RavelryFacebook page or Facebook groupTwitter,  Pinterest and Instagram!

Until tomorrow; keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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