Joining Last Dance on the Beach squares

We have all been working hard over the past few weeks to make 48 beautiful squares designed by 12 talented designers, all in loving memory of Wink. Each week a new part of our blanket has been taking shape and this week is the moment you have all been waiting for; we are joining all those lovely squares.

How it all started….

Last Dance on the Beach is a special project for many people for many reasons. Some see the blanket as a tribute to someone they have lost, others see it as a recognition for those struggling with mental health difficulties. Personally, I look at Last Dance on the Beach as coming full circle; I would not have started making crochet videos if it were not for Wink.

Almost two years ago I impulsively joined my very first CAL. I had only been crocheting for a few months and I saw lovely autumn colored Scheepjes ROMA yarn to accompany the Scheepjes CAL 2014. I bought it because I fell in love with the warm colors; I had never used Scheepjes yarn before so I had no idea that it would be such a delight to work with. With great excitement I looked forward to the release of a new square each week. I enjoyed making every square and I posted my completed squares in the Facebook group weekly. I noticed that there were women who were struggling with the squares and some were even giving up. Some blamed themselves for not being competent enough, others blamed Marinke for writing bad patterns. I thought to myself: “If only they could see how to do it, where to put the stitches, what to watch out for…”. The idea grew in my head to make video tutorials that would show how to actually make the squares and because the idea did not want to go away, I decided to act on it!

Scheepjes CAL 2014 worked with ROMA in autumn colors

I contacted Marinke and asked her permission to make videos that would support her designs and illustrate how to make them. To my amazement she said “yes”. Remember, at this point I was a total stranger to her, I had nothing on my crochet-CV and I had no references whatsoever. She trusted me with her designs and let me create my very first set of videos. And the rest as they say, is history. Looking back, Marinke started me on my journey of video tutorials. If she had said “no” I would not be here writing this to you now, not be a Scheepjes Blogger and I would not have made the videos for Sophie’s Universe, Flight of Fancy or Last Dance on the Beach.

I met Marinke only once, during a meet-and-greet of the CAL she designed for Scheepjes in 2014. Here are some photos from Marinke’s blog at the meet-and-greet sessions. If you look very closely, you will find me in one of them.

Photo: A Creative Being

Photos: Marinke Slump – A Creative Being

Joining your squares

You will be using my favorite method to join your squares, the so-called zipper join or flat joining method. The great thing about this join is that it is totally flat which gives a very professional and aesthetically pleasing finish. The main thing you need to pay attention to is making sure that all your stitches are of the same size.

All the details for joining the squares are to be found on the dedicated Dutch and English video pages on my blog or my YouTube Channel. The two most important things for this week are consistency and tension. Make sure your stitches are all the same size because this will make your blanket look its best and check carefully that your tension is loose enough so that your squares do not pull inward. If you are struggling with tension, go up an extra hook size if needed. I worked my Color Crafter join with a 4.5mm hook and my Merino Soft join with a 5.0mm hook. For the rest, joining an afghan is always a lot of work. So take it slow, two squares and one join at a time.

Almost finished…

I am really happy with how my two blankets are turning out but I want to keep the final result a secret. Be sure to come back next week for the full reveal of both of my Last Dance blankets.

With love,

Esther

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29 thoughts on “Joining Last Dance on the Beach squares

  1. Esther, I am so glad Marinke said “Yes”, because you have been my guiding light through my very first CAL (Last Dance). You are a perfect teacher, and born to instruct others. Please don’t ever stop making your videos. Many many thanks.xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Super! Deze methode vind ik heel passend om aan mekaar te haken. Eerst nog wat lapjes verder haken en dan kan ik het ook vastmaken! Dank je wel voor je wekelijkse video boodschap. Als gevorderde haakster, was het filmpje toch elke week een nog duidelijker houvast, bij toch heel wat nieuwe steekjes voor mij.
    Groetjes Sofie

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Like you I had only started crocheting a little bit before the 2014 CAL. However I was not confident enough to try to make the squares. However, I printed every pattern, and I watched and listened to you each week. And it helped me with my other beginner projects, and now, here we are again with the 2016 CAL. I don’t know if you fully understand how much you, your calm voice, your non judgemental way of explaining, has helped countless people to keep moving through squares that they may have otherwise thought too difficult. After I am finished this wonderful CAL I am looking forward to listening to your voice each week as I finally start the 2014 CAL. Thank you again and I look forward to next years CAL 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Esther, wat een mooi verhaal! Zonder de visuele hulp was het mij zeker niet gelukt als beginneling en met mij velen ook niet. En je doet de video’s geweldig! Heel veel dank hiervoor.

    Hartelijke groet, Trudy

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I had never made anything in crochet before as I found it too
    difficult. Your videos in the 2016 CAL have been so helpful, easy to understand and follow. I know I shall now crochet for the rest of my life. From the bottom of my heart thank you so much Esther. Shall follow your videos forever. XX

    Like

  6. Pingback: Last dance on the beach - Week 13 - Joining - haakmaarraak.nl

  7. Hi Ester, I am convinced that there are many ladies so thankful that you acted on your impulse to start making video tutorials. I have not personally started on the Last Dance CAL, because of other commitments, but I will definately use your tutorials should I get around to it and encounter problems. Keep up the wonderful work you are doing in the crochet community worldwide

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you so much!!! I have been crocheting about 16 months and ATB was my first CAL. I relied upon your videos to get me through. It makes a big difference and let’s me attempt projects I would never try otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for all the wonderful videos you have done for this CAL. I certainly couldn’t have done it without them. I’ve loved learning new stitches, even if I kept having to stop and watch bits of the videos again when I confused myself. I’m sure all the videos took you so much time to do, I really appreciate it!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you so much for your fantastic videos. I am a new crocheter and have loved this CAL. It has been challenging and I wouldn’t have made it to the end without being able to watch your tutorials, stopping and replaying until I got it. Xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Esther! You had only been crocheting a few MONTHS (!) when you had the idea to help others with your videos?! That’s surely proof that you were not only destined to crochet but destined to teach others. I’ve been crocheting all my life and still don’t have the knowledge or skill you have acquired in a few short years. But thanks to you, I continue to learn and be inspired. Thank you for your wonderful contribution to the crochet community and for helping all of us learn so much as we honor Wink in completing our blankets.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you for your videos – this is my first CAL and I don’t think I would have got it completed if it wasn’t for the help your videos gave me.
    Thank you again – don’t stop making videos – I could listen to you all day !!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Last Dance on the Beach completed with all video tutorials & color list | It's all in a Nutshell

  14. Pingback: Scheepjes CAL 2014 blanket | It's all in a Nutshell

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