Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Ode to October

Hello, friends! I hope you've been enjoying autumn like I have. It's my favorite time of year. I just love the cooler temperatures and the fall foliage. We've had glorious weather this month, and I've been enjoying it because the autumn rains are due in a couple days. Colorful leaves are everywhere including in my front yard.

A walk in Minto-Brown Park on the Willamette River was a great way to relax the other day.

This lovely maple is in Pringle Park behind the hospital. I find meditating on this beauty more therapeutic than anything they might do to me in the hospital.

Now that we've had some eye candy, let's get on to crochet. 


Ok, I'll admit it. I'm addicted to CALs aka crochet alongs. It's so much fun to see everyone's projects and cheer each other on. I might have gotten a little too eager this fall because I've been doing a bunch of CALs. All of them have been organized by various Ravelry groups. 

Starting in September, was the September Shawlalong CAL in The Cozy Cottage Crochet Podcast group. As you might notice from the name, the group is for followers of The Cozy Cottage Crochet podcast, a video podcast found on YouTube. In fact, all of the CALs I've joined recently are associated with podcasts. Podcasts, whether audio or video, are another of my addictions. I've provided links to them here, but haven't included descriptions because I'll be doing that soon in a post dedicated to podcasts. As you might surmise, all of them involve crochet. For the September Shawlalong, participants could make a shawl, scarf or cowl. Basically, anything that can be worn around the neck. I made a shawl I'm calling Autumn Cascade. The pattern is Flurry of Foliage by 10 Hours Or Less. I've wanted to crochet this since the pattern first came out. I love leaf motifs, and these are quite realistic with their post stitch ribs. I was going to use 3 colors as called for in the pattern but couldn't decide amongst these five.

So, I used all the colors! The pattern is written as a stole and is more or less rectangular but with pointed ends. I modified the shape to make it a trapezoid which also made it a slightly larger shawl.

The Cozy Cottage Crochet group also joined the Crochet Luna Podcast group to sponsor the Super Simple Tunisian CAL this month. Crochet Luna is another video podcast found on YouTube. Claudia (Crochet Luna) and Hannah (The Cozy Cottage Crochet) each chose 2 Tunisian crochet dishcloth patterns. The idea was for people to learn Tunisian with these small projects. I already know how to do Tunisian crochet, but one of the patterns was very intriguing so I decided to make at least that one. It's circular and looks like a pinwheel! The pattern is theTunisian Shaker Dishcloth by Staci Perry. There's a video tutorial on the Very Pink blog.  Staci threw in a couple knitting skills by starting with a provisional cast-on (a crocheted chain done on waste yarn) and seaming the first to the last section with Kitchener stitch.

For a similar pattern without the knitting techniques see the Radioactive Scrubs pattern by Kim Guzman.

At the last minute, I decided to also make the Tunisian Cross Stitch dishcloth from Brittany of BHooked Crochet. And yes, Brittany also has a podcast. This dischcloth is made with the Tunisian purl stitch and, as the name suggests, a crossed stitch. The latter was a new stitch for me.

CAL #3 is the Back To School Sweater CAL sponsored by The Crochet Circle podcast. This one started in mid-September and runs until November 18 so you still have time to join in! Come on! You know you want too! :-) You can make any sweater you want. For many people this is the first crocheted garment they've made, and judging by the comments in the chatter thread, it's been a great learning experience. I'm making the Kolika sweater by Doris Chan. Here's my progress so far. The pattern comes with a DVD featuring Doris teaching techniques in custom fitting a sweater. I'm making this one in a recycled cotton yarn so it will be a nice transitional sweater when something warmer isn't needed. 

Which brings me to CAL #4. This one is actually a craft along since the project can be crocheted or knitted. It's called the FIFO (First In First Out) craft along and is sponsored by the Skein Enable podcast. The idea is to make a pattern you've had your eye on for a long time and/or use yarn that's been in your stash for a long time. And guess what! I'm doing a double dip because the Kolika sweater qualifies! I've wanted to make it since it came out in 2013. I bought the yarn in 2014. Not my oldest yarn or pattern, but it's not the latest shiny object to catch my eye either. Thankfully, the rules on the craft along are loose enough that I can sneak this one in.  I have a number of other patterns that have been in my queue for years so I'll probably do a second project for this "along." It encourages me to work from stash which I really must do.

But wait! There's more! Yes, one more craft along. This is the Single Shot craft along in the Two Ewes Fiber Adventures group. Of course, there's a podcast that can be found right here. I told you I was addicted. A single shot of a fine whiskey or other libation is quick and satisfying. The projects in this craft along are too. Small projects providing a kick of satisfaction. When this craft along was announced, I knew immediately what I must make. A Pumpkitten! The pattern is by Elena Pichugina and was perfect for October not to mention just plain cute.

I'll leave you with that, my friends! I hope you all are having a fun Halloween tonight.


  1. Love reading your roundup! I too love CALs and podcasts. That FIFO craft along is a super idea. I think I missed it! Your sweater is looking wonderful so far. I must try a Doris Chan design one of these days. Happy Fall! It's my favorite time of the year too.

    1. Thanks, Tamara. Do check out Doris Chan's designs. They're always very wearable, and the patterns often contain options for customization. The CALs have been so much fun!

  2. I just downloaded a few podcasts to try out! Thanks for the recommends.

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  4. Oh wow love those projects. What a lot of of Cal accomplishment.

  5. Wow, Amy, you are SO productive! How do you do it? That leaf stole is a stunner, and the Kolika sweater is coming out beautifully. (You've probably finished it by now.)
    Beautiful autumn colour.

    1. I'm not spending my time designing like you are!


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