Tag Archives: loops and threads country loom

Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class – Freeform, part 3

(This post is part of my Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class series.  You can find my first two posts on freeform crochet here and here.)

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).

Days 11 (instructions), 12 (instructions), and 13 (instructions)

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.

This is one of my favorite stitch guides. I purchased my copy on Yesasia.com.

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.

Days 7, 8, 10, & 11.
I really like the stitch pattern (#259) I chose for my Day 11 piece.

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.

Days 4, 5, 9, & 12.
Detail of my Day 12 work, using stitch #268 with a row of single crochet at the beginning and end.

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.

Days 1-3, 6, & 13.
This is a detail of #80 from Crochet Patterns Book 300.
Because of the stiffness of the yarn, I feel like these bobbles will hold up under my cat's claws!

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 is one of the first stitch guides I ever owned. I'm glad I held on to it, especially now that I can knit, too.

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.

Days 7, 8, 10, 11, & 14.
Here's a detail of the Interlocking Shell Stitch from Day 14.

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.)

This is my Days 1-3, 6, 13, & 15 piece.
Days 4, 5, 9, 12, & 15.

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.

Days 7, 8, 10-11, 14, 16-17.

Dilemma

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?

Putty is too busy sunbathing to worry about cat blankets.