Getting Ready!

I hope you are as excited as I am with just 1 week left before the CAL starts!  I am truly enjoying all the beautiful center blocks everyone is sharing on the FB CAL – Crochet A Long and Rivalry Around-the-Bases groups.  This week, I wanted to showcase some of the most popular designs people are using.

Please be sure to read through as there are discount codes that have been generously offered by two designers!  (Please note that both discount codes are valid for a limited time only and will expire on days specified below.  Also, please do NOT share the codes on other websites including social media.  You can let people know to check this page but the offers were made specifically for the CAL and I would like the designers’ generosity to be protected.)

Sophie’s Garden

Olsen Field @Texas A&M University

What more can I say?  Sophie’s Garden by Dedri Uys of Look at What I Made is probably one of the most beautiful crocheted squares I have ever seen.  Its intricate design may seem a bit intimidating at first but Dedri offers excellent photo tutorials on her blog and it is nothing but fun to make, especially with video tutorials by Esther of It’s All in a Nutshell. Sophie’s Garden is composed of 36 rounds, but for ATB CAL, if you stop after Round 35, the stitch count will be perfect with 82 stitches per side.

You may also want to check out Block a Week CAL 2014 Dedri hosted.  The CAL featured 48 blocks designed by 18 talented individuals.  These squares will make you want to crochet multiple blocks for sure!

Tropical Delight

Tropical Delight

My sample for the CAL was made with Tropical Delight in the center.  As written, the pattern ends with 37 stitches per side.  You can see how I made my square a little bigger and adjusted to 46 stitches per side here or make your own adjustment and add 3 stitches using the “Need 3” method explained here.

We are so grateful that Mellie of Mellie Blossom took the trouble of obtaining permission from the publisher to share the pattern which was originally published in Herrschener’s More Blue Ribbon Afghans.  Mellie’s projects on Ravelry are also worth a look!  She has pictures of a number of squares she has crocheted in beautiful colorways!

Polly Plum Designs

Polly Plum

Photo Courtesy of Polly Plum

Polly Plum (Every Trick on the Hook on FB) has beautiful squares on her Ravelry shop and Denna, How I Wonder, and Lise have been popular choices for many.  Not only are they beautiful with endless colorway possibilities, but they all end with the perfect stitch count for the CAL with 40 stitches per side!  What I also love about her patterns is that she lists the stitch count at the end of each row so it is easy to adjust to {multiples of 6 minus 2} for the CAL.

Julie Yeager Designs

Sun CatcherJulie of Julie Yeager Designs has so many gorgeous designs that are being crocheted by ATB participants.  Julie too has stitch counts listed for each row, which makes turning any of her squares into {multiples of 6 minus 2} easy. Her Sun Catcher Afghan Square is unique and fun to make.  (Go grab the pattern now while it is free – it will become a paid pattern next year).  It ends with 38 stitches per side.  It will be easy to add 2 stitches using the “Need 2” method but I see a variety of creative ways of adding rows on her Ravelry page (I copied Polly‘s color ways.  I also like one made by Mellie).

Another block that we need to check out is Fantastic! that is a free pattern on her blog ($1.99 on Ravelry).   This will be a very pretty base block for our CAL!

Her most popular block is JulieAnny’s Stained Glass Afghan Square, which is a paid pattern but well worth every penny.  When you visit her on Ravelry, I know you will also be tempted by Firenze Afghan Block and Sunflower Too among others.  (I told you she has many beautiful blocks!)

Julie is generously offering her Strawberry Blossom pattern (normally $2.99) for free to ATB participants – discount code “SB2015”.  Go to pattern page on Ravelry, hit BUY IT NOW, shopping cart pops up, box to enter code is on the left side, type in the code, hit apply, price will go down to zero, download pattern as prompted.  The code is valid from August 9, 2015 through November 22, 2015.  If you would like to share the great news, please direct people to this blog but NOT post the discount code elsewhere (social media, etc.).

Julie’s Summer Mosaic Mystery Afghan CAL just started on July 31 and is sure to be a hit!  You can find details of the CAL (including a coupon code to get the pattern for free) on her blog.  I am following her on FB at Julie Yeager Crochet and Knit Designs and she also has Crochet – A – Long with JulieAnny group.  On Ravelry she has two groups for her CAL: a Spoiler thread and a No Spoiler thread so we can choose to see the pictures or enjoy the CAL as a mystery!

Crocodile Flower

Crocodile Flower

Joyce Lewis’ Crocodile Flower was also one of the featured blocks (Block 32) for Block a Week CAL 2014.  A true eye catcher, this gorgeous square has 46 stitches when worked up to round 17.  A photo tutorial by Dedri is a blessing when working on this amazing pattern for the first time.

Joyce also has another beautiful crocodile flower pattern called Crocodile Stitch Afghan Block – Dahlia, which is free on Ravelry.  The pattern is available in both US and UK terms as well as in French.  It also lists stitch counts for each row – again, a bonus when trying to work one into {multiples of 6 minus 2}.  It ends with 30 stitches and will need 4 more for the CAL (see the “Need 4” method here).

Joyce has a Ravelry group, Designs by Joyce Lewis, where you can discuss her patterns, ask questions, etc.  Be sure to check it out!

Enchanted Garden

Enchanted GardenAnd if you love Crocodile Flower and Sophie’s Garden, you are sure to adore the Enchanted Garden designed by Courtney Laube of Spin A Yarn 32.  She has worked with both Dedri and Joyce and created this gorgeous square that she turned into a tote bag!  I am in such deep love with her square that I wrote a separate page about my search for that Perfect Base with Perfect Yarn (and Colors)!  Her square ends with 72 stitches.  You can decrease stitches on the last 1 or 2 rows (change the corner 2 sc to 1 sc, etc.) if you want to finish all the rows in the pattern.  Or if you don’t mind skipping the last row, that too will give you a stitch count of 70 stitches per row (similar to skipping Row 36 on Sophie’s Garden).

Courtney generously offered us a discouont code for our CAL (this has now expired).  Thank you so much, Courtney!

Scheepjes CAL 2014

Last week, I posted about my center block I will be crocheting along real time with the group using Marinke “Wink” Slump’s Picot Mandala.  In addition to mandalas, she designed beautiful afghan blocks, including a total of 10 block designs for Scheepjes CAL 2014. Our video tutor master, Esther of It’s All in A Nutshell, did all the video tutorials for the Scheepjes CAL 2014 and is using the square from Week 8 for her ATB CAL (watch her video tutorial here).  For ATB CAL, she added 1 stitch to make it to 40 stitches per side by replacing the corner [2dc, ch2, 2dc] with [3dc, ch2, 2dc] on the last round (Read about her center square here).

MY Personal Favorite…

Lorna TisdaleAnd last but not the least, I wanted to showcase MY personal favorite – Lorna Tisdall’s baseball field square!  I’ve asked her to tell us about herself and her base block.

“Hi, my name is Lorna Tisdall and I live in a small city in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. I’m a mom and a grandmother. I also love baseball. In particular, the New York Yankees. When this CAL was announced, I pretty much knew that I was going to be a part of it. I loved the name and was inspired to make myself something unique to cuddle up with during play offs as well as spring training games next Feb. and March. I found this pattern called Diamond in the Rye on Ravelry and I knew it was the one. I knew I wanted my center block to represent a baseball diamond and this was perfect. I did have to adjust the stitch count on my last row, by simply doing 2 less stitches, next to the corner stitches. I also did not add the very last row as I know I will be adding to this square. I will be adding other colors – one of my granddaughters plays softball, a grandson, little league, so I will be incorporating those colors as well. Thank you for this wonderful pattern, I’m excited to continue.”

2 comments on “Getting Ready!

  1. Susan Bonner
    August 23, 2015

    i am sooooooooo excited to have found your CAL thank you sooooooooooo much i am just about to do the butterfly band on Sophies Universerse CAL by lookatwhatimade and its in 8ply and not as big as i would of liked the stitch count at the end of the butterfly band is perfect to match the its innings so i am very very happy to of found this to grow Sophie. Am home with the flu for the next two days hopefully tomorrow i will get some strength back to finish the butterfly band so as i can crochet along with you all thanks soooooooo much for it being such a perfect match


  2. Pingback: Around the Bases CAL, part 1 | The Crochet Dabbler

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This entry was posted on August 2, 2015 by in Around-the-Bases CAL and tagged , , , .
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