24.4.16

Dance On The Beach Crochet-Along Week 1

And we're off! Week one pattern was released last Wednesday and already my social media feed is flooded with completed squares!!!

So week one was designed by the lovely Esther from Happy in Red.


(Photo by Dedri Uys)

You can read her blog post about this design here

So time to make a start on my blanket! 
I do believe that 2016 just might be the year of the Blanket in this house!!! 
I didn't make a single one year and so far this year I've made Dance in the Sea (pattern testing!), one for a magazine commission that's *almost* finished and 2 more on the go which will be free blog patterns. Phew! 
Anyways....can a girl have too many blankets?
NO!

I've decided to go off piste with my CAL blanket. 
Rather than have different colours, I've decided this blanket will be all about the texture of the different squares. 


I've chosen colour 603 Michelangelo in Scheepjes Merino Soft for my blanket. It's a beautiful silvery grey and will work well with the colour scheme in my sitting room.


Those easy start tabs are a god send! 
So Merino Soft is made up of 50% Merino, 25% Microfibre and 25% Acrylic. 
50g equates to 105m of delicious softness that is machine washable at 30 degrees. 
It really is a delight to work with!



So here's my finished blocked square. 
My popcorns need pushing through and are a little wonky but it matters not!!! 


And the finished group of 4 squares. 
In real life the colour is a little lighter. It wasn't a good photo taking day here in Northumberland!

A little word on blocking. I know. I always bang on about blocking!
Blocking really does make your finished work bloom. It straightens edges and gives the finished fabric a wonderful drape. The Merino Soft yarn is quite a springy yarn so blocking really does make a difference. I never stretch the life out projects when I block them (unless that's what I want for the finished result!). I made my squares 18 - 18.5 cm and very gently eased them to 19cm while blocking. 
There are various different methods of blocking. 
Personally I NEVER steam block 
*shudders at the thought of applying that level of heat to my precious work*
My method is to pin out the squares to the desired size and then soak them with a spray bottle. I use tepid water with a couple of drops of Eucolan in it. I then leave to dry naturally. I soak garments, scarves and shawls in the same mix of water and Eucolan and then roll in a towel to get rid of excess moisture. 
I treat my handspun yarns in exactly the same way :-)

The designers and organisers of this CAL want you to end up with a gorgeous blanket that lies flat and is easy to join. This is why we recommend making a gauge swatch and blocking your finished square. Obviously, it is entirely up to you whether you follow this advice.

Ok I will climb off my soapbox now.

Next time I'll show you the finished Monsoon Stole.
Til then x

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1 comment:

  1. Your squares are looking beautiful, Maria! I think it will be a beautiful blanket that shows off all the textures and it has great stitch definition.
    I only ever steam-blocked an acrylic lace shawl (I know, it was in my acrylic days ;) and it worked really well! I usually spray-block too :) xo Carmen

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