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!
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.
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.
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.
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