Wednesday, April 30, 2014

crochet block-a-month blanket roundup - part 1

Hello everyone and welcome to the first crochet post here in ages! Like seriously two years maybe. I don't know why I never continued doing them because I spend a lot of time crocheting and it is another passion of mine that I know a lot of you share. I'll let a few ideas trickle in over here more frequently for my nail'n'yarn-loving readers!

If you follow me on Instagram, you definitely have seen my twice-monthly posts of different crochet squares which will eventually become a blanket. I've had a lot of requests for the patterns and more pictures and whatnot, so now that the project is halfway completed, I figured it is a good time to begin rounding up all that information for you lovely people! It will be a long and wordy post because there's just so much information to share! Keep reading for all the details.

Here's the lowdown on the project. 
My friend Emma and I decided we would start making a "CAL afghan" (which can be short for either calendar or crochet-a-long) meaning that two or more people (often large groups like on the popular crochet/knit site Ravelry) choose squares for a blanket each month and at the end of a year you have an eclectic and fun blanket to be proud of! It's also a great way to tackle a blanket project because each month you only have to make one or two squares, and because each pattern is different, you don't get bored of making the same square over and over like you would for traditional afghan blankets. 

We decided that each month we would both pick a square (there are thousands of 12 inch square patterns available for free and for purchase all over the web) therefore making 24 squares in a year and a resulting blanket that would be 4 feet by 6 feet. A big cozy blanket!

The blanket will have a special meaning for myself and Emma also because we have been making it every month since Emma moved to another province and we can't see each other without airplanes involved! So we are staying close with our crocheting. At the end of a year apart, we will each have a besties blanket. Much better than a lousy friendship bracelet. We are cute, right? 
So without further rambling, let's get into the squares and patterns. A lot of them require a Ravelry account to access the pattern but it's free to join! There are also some that we bought the patterns for, but in total we've only spent $5.99 so far. As you will have noticed from the first photo, I started putting the blanket together so unlike in my IG photos, the pieces are now part of a whole.

Materials used:
- H(5) and I(5.5) crochet hooks
- Red Heart Comfort - Mint (3149)
- Red Heart Comfort - Amethyst (3196)
- Red Heart Comfort - Shocking Pink (3194)
- Red Heart Comfort - Turquoise (3185)
- Craft Smart Value - Gray

October block #1: More V's Please (chosen by me)
The first block! I crochet pretty tightly, so I had to add four rows of single crochet moss stitch to get the block to be 12".
You may begin to notice that all the blocks I chose are gray on the outside edge, and the ones Emma chose are colored. That makes it easy to alternate between mine and hers in the final product. No gray edges touch, no colored edges touch.

October block #2: Center Heart Square (chosen by Emma)
This square gave me a bit of a headache in that it really doesn't want to lie flat. It's wider through the middle than the edges. To try and solve that I added a row that has DC in the corners and 6 or 7 stitches from each side, with HDC in between those. That added more width at the corner edges to bring them out and make the whole thing more squared off.

November block #2: Spikey Circle (chosen by me)
Nice and simple, works up quickly. I believe I added two rows of single crochet to get it to 12". Everyone usually has to alter a square to fit their own crochet tension.

November block #2: JulieAnny's Stained Glass Square (chosen by Emma) $
$2 is a small price to pay for such a beautiful pattern! This one is maybe not the best for beginners, but not too hard. I totally wanna make this again with black like it shows in the pattern photos. Check out that full blanket with all the different colors! Nice.

December block #1: The Lambent Light of Morning (chosen by me) $
This block is the first from a set of four that I bought on Ravelry. The patterns are so well-priced that I didn't mind buying them, and once I started making them and learned how well they are written, I was really happy I bought them! They're unlike anything else I've made before. You can get all four for $4 (or $1.50 each if you buy separately.)  
My pal Jacki from Adventures in Acetone liked my picture of this square so much that she recreated it on her nails

December block #2: Homecoming Queen of Bullions (chosen by Emma) 
This pattern involves a stitch both Emma and I hadn't done before, the bullion. I'm not sure how I feel about them though, and I probably wouldn't choose a pattern with them again.

January block #1: The Lucid Light of Day (chosen by me) $
This is the second block from the set I bought, using the 12" instructions. This block is fun to make because it it's really different, and again the pattern is well written. I like how each color is separated. This would make a fun blanket on its own!

January block #2: Woolly's Snowflake (chosen by Emma)
We did the 12" extended version of this pattern which is seen after the short version. Because of the way I placed my colors, I made it look less like a snowflake than the examples you can see in the pattern. I don't think I altered this one.

February block #1: The Longing Light of Evening (chosen by me) $
Third pattern in the set I bought. Again, I did the 12" version. So pretty! I believe I actually omitted the final round in this block because it was already big enough (which was weird for me!)

February block #2: Kata (chosen by Emma)
I love this big flower! I'm happy that I made all the petals purple because I had been thinking of doing it multicolored. My final row was HDC instead of SC to get it just that little bit bigger. I think I will be making a full blanket with this pattern soon for a friend!

March block #1: The Darkness Held At Bay (chosen by me) $
This is the final block from the set of four that I bought. Again, I made the 12" version. The outer edge of the center of the flower is raised from the square. As with the others, this is a really wonderfully written pattern and enjoyable to create! 

March block #2: Waldo's Puzzle (chosen by Emma)
This one is not as hard as it looks, but it is also not exactly for beginners. The rings are the tough part - the rest is simple. This square seems to be everyone's favorite! I believe I added another round of the scallops before doing the finishing round of double crochet.

There you have it! I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know if you wanna see more crochet in the future!
To keep up with this project, be sure to follow me on Instagram where I will be posting the next squares as they happen (and actually April's are already posted.) Then when they're all done, another roundup post, with the finished product!


  1. There all so pretty! What cute looking designs on them too.

  2. These are adorable! I love the idea of different patterns in the same colours. Your blanket is looking gorgeous!

  3. These are so cool! I wish I had this skill ;)

  4. ive been watching your project on instagram and i love that i get to see it come together!

  5. This is seriously beautiful. I love the colors you've chosen. I started to learn to crochet for the first time last year with a simple stocking. I was amazed that I could actually do it! I've always been intimidated before. Seeing this makes me want to try more.

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