This posts describes my progression through Days 11 through 17 of the Crochet Liberation Front’s Freeform CAL.
This week, I took more detours from the instructions than in previous weeks. This was partially because I am working on a cat blanket instead of a wearable, so I didn’t want to use beads (because I would end up pulling them out of the litter box ;)) or very lacy stitches (that would get snagged on his claws).
I was a bit off track at the beginning of the week since I was busy with school and work and am reading a book on the commute rather than crocheting.
I sat down on Wednesday (Day 13) with the instructions from all three days and my bag of yarn. I decided to continue my theme of working with a different stitch guide every few days.
For Day 11, I used my Days 7, 8, & 10 swatch, which was very textured and used the most diverse range of yarn weights and types of my three pieces. I decided to somewhat follow directions by adding 10 rows to the piece. For the three colors on the first addition, I used Caron Simply Soft 9707 Dark Sage, Red Heart Soft 9522 Leaf, and Loops and Threads Impeccable 01013 Chocolate. I worked 8 rows in the pattern in the back loops of a slightly modified version of the pattern. I then added a half double crochet corner (bringing it up to 10 rows) in Loops and Threads Impeccable 01011 Soft Taupe. I used a Boye K hook.
For Day 12, I picked up my Days, 4, 5, & 9 swatch. For some reason, Catherine Wheel called out to me, so I basically disregarded the instructions all together and went to work with a Boye J hook and Loops and Threads Impeccable in 01243 Forest and 01013 Chocolate. I didn’t work the full 10 rows since this piece was rapidly outgrowing my other two pieces and I wanted to try to bring them to a similar size.
For Day 13, I picked up my Days 1-3 & 6 swatch, which was by far the smallest piece. Fearless Leader posted pics of her work, and since she was also deviating from her own instructions, I decided to skip them all together for the day. (Besides, charms/beads and cat blanket don’t go together in my mind!)
I had one ball of yarn in the bag that hadn’t been used on anything yet, so I decided to pick it up even though it didn’t really “go” with the rest of the piece. This yarn ball is one that I got from my grandmother years ago when she was destashing. It feels a lot like Red Heart Super Saver (i.e., a very stiff acrylic), and I know she used to buy Super Saver a lot at Woolworth’s (the “five and dime”). It is a green color but the tone sets it apart from the other greens in my project. I decided to add a border around the entire piece in single crochet, including some bobbles (3 repeat bobbles, to be specific) on one side. Then I jumped into my chosen stitch pattern.
Day 14 (instructions)
Here I faced a conundrum. The instructions called for broomstick lace. I actually really enjoy making broomstick lace, but I was concerned it would not survive my cat’s claws. (After all, a bobble in my Days 4, 5, 9 & 12 swatch is already looking a bit damaged from him playing with the piece while I was working on another piece.) I did a few experiments with different yarn weights and different knitting needle sizes, but I decided I couldn’t get a broomstick lace with a look that I liked that also had the sturdiness to survive incorporation into a cat blanket :(.
The stitch guides seem to have been bringing me luck, so I picked up another one.
This time, I decided on the Interlocking Shell Stitch (p. 233). I started with a half double crochet border around my Days 7, 8, 10, & 11 swatch using the Red Heart Super Saver 0971 Camouflage. I added Loops and Threads Impeccable 01243 Forest as my second color.
Day 15 (instructions)
Since the yarn bag I set up for this project only included one textured yarn (Loops and Thread Country Loom with a lost wrapper but probably the color Shale), I decided to use it again. I added some borders to the two pieces without the textured yarn to even up the sides in preparation for joining my pieces. (My days 15, 16, & 17 pictures are all taken at an angle and the actual pieces are more rectangular than trapezoidal.)
Days 16 & 17 (instructions)
Our instructions for the weekend were to add length and width to our pieces. My pieces are probably close to large enough for a cat blanket, once they are, er, um rectangularized, and I join them and add borders. So I decided just to even out the one piece which had the most unusual shape. I picked up my Red Heart Soft 9522 Leaf and went to work.
So now that I’ve passed the halfway point, I’m not sure how much further I will continue with the Crochet Liberation Front’s CAL. I don’t need my pieces much larger to make my cat blanket. I could actually just even them up and join them now, and be finished. I’m glad I tried a freeform project but I’m not sure that working it through a CAL for 31 days is the right approach for me.
Also, there are 18 chapters in Crochet Master Class, so to work through the entire book in a year, I probably need to spend 2-3 weeks (rather than 4) on each technique. What do you think? Time for me to move on to another chapter, or keep on working through the CAL?