No, it’s not time to start the Scheepjes CAL Last Dance on the Beach just yet, but it is time to get ready for it. This CAL is very special because it’s designed by 12 different designers and in loving memory of Wink, but at the same time this very special feature of 12 designers also means special challenges.
Tips & Tricks
To make life as easy as possible during this CAL, do yourself a favor and READ the tips and tricks and MAKE a gauge swatch. I know this sounds belittling, but I am saying this for a reason. If you are anything like me you just want to jump in and start making squares, right? No time to read all those silly guidelines, right? But this time around it’s really important to take note of all the special issues with the CAL. You see, the 12 designers all have a different tension and hence it can be a challenge to get all your squares to the same size. That is why a gauge swatch is essential.
Make a gauge swatch
Take the time to make a gauge swatch for this CAL. The swatch should measure 18cm x 18cm for the Color Crafter yarn and 19cm x 19cm for the Merino Soft yarn. I show you how to make the gauge swatch in an English (UK Terms) or Dutch instruction video. You are going to use the gauge swatch a lot and it is going to help you to get all your squares the right size.
As I discuss in the tips and ticks video, the way you make your stitches are important for the height of the gauge swatch. Here a comparison of 3 gauge swatches, all 28 stitches and 22 rows, but definitely not the same height (these squares are worked in Color Crafter). These swatches are all about the same width, but because I worked the golden loop as either a “yanker”, “rider” or “lifter” you get significant differences in size. My natural way of working looks most like a rider.
Invest in hooks
During this CAL you are going to be using a range of hook sizes to get all your squares to the same size. I used a 3.5mm to a 5.0mm hook for the Color Crafter yarn and a 4.0mm to a 5.5mm for the Merino Soft. So, to make a long story short, make sure you have all these hook sizes so that you can jump right in on those beautiful squares when they are released. My favorite hooks are the Clover Amour hooks.
If you still want to join the CAL, there are kits available in two yarns and in three color ways. You can choose a base kit with Color Crafter yarn or a luxury kit with Merino Soft yarn. The three color ways are Dance in the Sea, Dance in the Rain and Dancing under the stars. Both kits have yarn and a special edition label to add to your afghan. If you choose for the luxury kit you will also get lots of other goodies. And maybe the best part of this project is that 2 euro of each kit sold goes to a charity aimed at helping people with mental health difficulties. Kits are available from Paradise Fibers (USA/CA), Wool Warehouse (UK/International), Deramores (UK/International), or your local Scheepjes stockist.
Last Dance on the Beach starts on April 20, 2016. To join the CAL, please join the International (English speaking) or Dutch (Nederlands) Facebook groups. The patterns will be posted each week in the Facebook groups and on the Scheepjes website.