Today marks exactly three weeks until the Woodland CAL begins. That's only 21 days, or 504 hours, or 30,240 minutes, so you see it's not very long to wait at all!! There is still time to gather your yarn and hooks if you'd like to join in and start 2018 in a beautiful, blankety way.....honestly, I can't think of any better way to begin the New Year.
Following on from the Woodland CAL Introduction, I thought it would be useful to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the Woodland blanket and Crochet-A-Long which starts on Friday 5th January 2018. But before I begin, I'd just like to say a huge big, massive, squishy thank you to everyone who has already bought a Woodland yarn pack, I really hope you enjoy swooning over the colours as you wait patiently for the CAL to begin. I am so so excited to start out on this journey, honestly, you have no idea how giddy it makes me feel when I think about how many gorgeous blankets will soon be under way all over the world.
So lets get cracking with the FAQ shall we?
Do I need to sign up to join in the Woodland CAL?
For those of you who are new to my blog or haven't ever joined in with an Attic24 CAL (crochet-a-long) before, I'd like to reassure you that I run a very relaxed and informal hooky camp here. There is no need to sign up or commit to anything, just gather together your yarn and hooks and join in the fun. The pattern and first CAL installment will be published for free here on my blog on Friday 5th January 2018, then every Friday after that throughout January and February 2018.
Is there somewhere I can ask questions or share pictures once the CAL starts?
I always read all comments here on my blog - they come to me as an email, so I will always try and reply to questions in person via the email address you leave with your comment.
You can also ask questions on my Facebook page and I will do my very best to catch them all (Facebook is quite tricky for me to keep up with at busy times, but I do try hard not to miss anything). Every week I'll invite you to show/post photos of your blankets in progress on my Facebook page and I'll choose some of them to feature on my blog, so do please share!
And lastly, there is a fabulous Facebook group (called "Attic24 Moorland and More") which started with the Moorland CAL and is still going strong. This is a very supportive and friendly group where you can ask for pattern help/guidance, share pictures and connect with lovely ladies who are crocheting Attic24 blankets all over the world. Just to mention that this isn't a group set up or moderated by me, although I do pop in most days.
What size blanket will I be able to make from one yarn pack?
One Woodland Yarn pack contains 15 x 100g of DK weight yarn. In my experience of blanket making, this is usually enough to make a single bed size blanket measuring 120 cm x 180 cm (approx. 4ft x 6ft).
I'll be giving advice about working a small sample piece before you begin your blanket so that you can decide on the correct hook size to suit your tension. If you follow my advice and make a blanket the same size/tension as mine then you shouldn't run out of yarn!
Will there be enough yarn to make a border, and what sort of border will it be?
If you are using the Woodland yarn pack and following my colour order, the design will allow for enough yarn to make a border. I'm planning to use Lime, Gold, Spice and Tomato for my border which I think are the most beautiful Autumn colours and look stunning together. This might be subject to change (eg I might only use 3 of the above colours). The border will follow the wavy line of the ripple (there won't be any straightening out of that beautiful curvy edge), and will be simple to create.
What if I want to make the blanket larger, to fit a double bed?
If you wish to make a double bed size blanket, you will need to buy two yarn packs.
When I write the pattern, I'll give guidance about the starting chain and pattern repeat so that you can work out exactly how wide you wish to make your own blanket. I'll give exact numbers for you to work either a 6ft or 7ft wide blanket, but once you know the pattern repeat and crochet up a small sample, you can work out your own starting chain if you wish. I'll also be giving additional, optional stripe info each week which will add an extra 30 cm / 1ft onto the length of your blanket.
What hook size do I need?
This is a tricky one to answer up front as the hook size you use will very much depend on your own personal hooky tension.
The standard hook size for Stylecraft Special DK yarn is 4 mm. However, after much sampling and experimenting, I've found that this pattern looks and feels much better if it's not worked too tightly. For example, I'm a tight crocheter so I'm making my Woodland Blanket using a 5 mm hook. If you crochet quite loosely, then you will probably find that a 4 mm hook suits you just fine, or maybe you might even drop to a 3.5 mm.
In Part 1 of the CAL, we'll be working up a small tension sample to test out the Woodland Ripple pattern and to decide on the right hook size. I would strongly advise you to do this with me (please don't think it's a waste of time!) as I would hate for you to find that your blanket comes out too small/tight, or too big/loose meaning that you run out of yarn.
I get asked this question about all of my blankets and the answer is always a resounding NO! Obviously, I would love it if you felt inspired by my colours enough to want to follow along, but I am equally thrilled if you want to use the pattern with your own choice of colours. If you fancy making a blanket using one of my other yarn packs, or your own colour palette, that's brilliant and I'm really looking forward to seeing you make this pattern your own.
Each week of the CAL, I'll be giving colour information for you to work up 18 Woodland stripes to create a yarny walk through the woods (I explained this colour idea in my CAL Introduction post). But really, the main thing is that we all enjoy making a blanket together.
I'd prefer a random stripe blanket rather than a blanket that tells a visual story, can you help me with choosing a colour order?
With this particular colour palette, I think it'll make a really stunning blanket if the stripes are worked up in a random order. So in addition to the Woodland colour story that I've got planned for the CAL, each week I'll also give you a random stripe option. There will be 105 stripes in the Woodland blanket, so if you are choosing to follow a different pattern (eg the cosy stripe which only has 90 stripes), you will need to make sure you stop in the right place!
Is the Woodland Ripple suitable for beginners?
Yes I think this blanket would be OK for beginners to have a go at, so long as you can crochet a chain and know the basic crochet stitches. I write my patterns in UK crochet terms, and the basic stitches you need are dc (double crochet) and tr (treble). Like all ripple patterns there is simple counting involved so you will need to concentrate on the repetitive rhythm of the pattern so that you don't miscount the groups of stitches. But other than that, the actual crochet part of this pattern is very, very straightforward. I'll be providing my usual full-on picture-heavy tutorial to help you every step of the way, so I'm hoping even newbie hookers will feel confident to give it a go.
I'd really like to practice the Woodland Ripple pattern before the CAL starts, what can you recommend?
The hardest thing about crocheting a striped blanket (especially for beginners) is working that first dc row into the foundation chain, so this is definitely something to practice. Try experimenting with going up a whole mm in hook size and see if this makes it easier for you.
The other thing you might like to try is creating a foundationless double crochet row (PLEASE NOTE that's UK double crochet = US single crochet). I know many people who worked my Moorland blanket found this approach helpful, although I've tried it and hated it! It's a very personal thing. Remember that if you are searching for information on this technique, please please make sure you know if you are following a UK or a US tutorial (especially if you are on YouTube as it's not always made clear).
Will the Moorland CAL information stay on your blog if I want to go at my own pace or make the blanket later in the year?
Oh yes indeed, always! Nothing ever gets taken off my blog, so all patterns and tutorials remain here for free so that you can dip in and find the information when it suits you. The CAL will run for 8 weeks in total but it really doesn't matter if it takes you a whole year to make this blanket - you certainly won't be alone! You can start and stop, hop in and out as you wish. There is no deadline, no strict timing, no guilt. I really want you to enjoy the whole process of creating this blanket so that you LOVE it every step of the way, and often that means that your journey may well have stops and starts, or be a slow pootle instead of an energetic run.
I hope that's covered everything - please do leave me a comment if I've not answered something you need to know.
One more quickie little thing before I go - The British Craft Awards are open for voting and I'm really delighted to have been nominated in the "Crochet Blog of the Year" category. The voting is open to both UK and Worldwide peeps (yippeee!) and closes at midnight on Sunday 17th December. There are only five categories in the Crochet section so it's a very quick vote, and I would appreciate it muchly!
Oh, it might help to give you the website (!)......here it is >>