Nuts about Squares CAL – Joining the squares – Week 13 & 14

The time has come to assemble all 35 of those fabulous squares making up Nuts about Squares CAL into one amazing blanket. I have purposefully taken two weeks for assembling our blanket because to my experience assembling a blanket is a LOT of work and needs to be done with care to ensure a fabulous end result. 

We are going to use flat surface slip stitches to join our squares because this gives a professional and very aesthetic finish. It is slow going, I realize that (another reason why we are taking two weeks to join the blanket), but the end result is so worth it!

Resources

NEDERLANDS / Dutch

Yarn kits

There are three colorways available for Nuts about Squares

available as kits from Wool Warehouse,  Deramores,  Caro’s Atelier or your favorite Scheepjes stockists. Thank you for supporting my work by buying your yarn through the links on my blog.

Layout & colorway

The colorway for joining Nuts about Squares is simple, join your blanket using Color A. The table below gives a suggestion for how you could arrange your squares. However, if you want it totally different, please do so. It is your blanket!



Instructions Nuts about Squares week 13 & 14

© Esther Dijkstra 2017. All rights reserved.

Use the following hook size to join your squares, or go up 0.5mm from the hook size that you have been using the most during the CAL:

  • Color Crafter – 4.5mm
  • Stone Washed – 4.0mm
  • Sunkissed – 3.5mm

I advise to go up a hook size because it will help prevent the slip stitch join from being too tight and rippling. You want your join to be smooth and have a bit of elasticity to easy use and comfort of the blanket.

Arrange the squares according to the layout given above or use your own layout. The joining of the squares is done in continuous rows, square by square until an entire row is finished. Very important: do not cut your yarn after 2 squares are joined but only cut your yarn when you reach the end of a row. First join all the horizontal rows of the blanket and only then join the vertical rows.

Joining is done from right to left for right handed people or left to right for left handed people. One thing that is VERY important, make sure that your squares don’t twist on themselves, particularly when you have only one or two rows joined. You will be so mad at yourself if that happens.

Maybe when you read the description of the join you feel a bit lost. I show you how to join the blanket in THIS VIDEO, maybe that helps you visualize the joining process.

Horizontal join

With Color A make a slip knot on your hook and align the first two squares that need to be joined with their right sides facing upwards, in other words, with their back sides facing each other. Make a slip stitch through the ch2-corner space of both squares, making sure that your yarn is BELOW your work between the squares.  You will be joining the squares by catching one loop at a time on each of the two squares directly opposite each other. These are the two most inner loops of the squares as they lay next to one another.

Insert your hook from front to back in the inner loop of the first stitch. Then insert the hook in the inner loop (also from front to back) of the first stitch of the opposite square and pull your yarn through all loops on your hook to complete the slip stitch. Continue to the next stitch and join in the same way till you have joined all 44 stitches.

When you reach the end of the first two squares, make a slip stitch through the ch2-corners of both squares. DO NOT CUT your yarn, but continue on to the next two squares.

Align the next two squares that are to be joined adjacent to the first two. Pay extra attention that you have the squares in the correct order. You will be amazed at how easy it is to get your squares connected in mirror image.

Continue by making a slip stitch through the ch2-corners of the next two squares and then join each each of the 44 stitches with a slip stitch in exactly the same way as the previous square. Continue till all the squares in one row are joined. Now you can cut your yarn.

Continue like this for all the horizontal lines in the blanket. Be careful to ensure your previously joined squares are NOT TWISTED when you move from one row to the next.

Vertical join

Use the same method when joining the vertical joins in the blanket.

A tip: although this is not strictly necessary, I find that my joins are more flexible when I do the following when I reach a crossing. Work a sc through the ch2-corner spaces of the two squares currently at, ch1 to cover the slip stitches from the horizontal join, sc through the ch2-corner of the next two squares. I find that by doing a sc instead of a ss as well as the extra ch1 that the join is more natural looking and does not pull in on itself.

Tutorial to help

Dedri Uys from Look at what I made has a photo tutorial showing how to make the flat zipper join we are using to join our blanket. If the video is not your thing, check out her tutorial!

Yarn tails & finishing

I left my yarn tails from the joins till I had the border completed because it gives more options for working them away. You can leave blocking your blanket till you have finished the entire blanket.


Nederlandse Instructies (Dutch Instructions) voor Nuts about Squares week 13 & 14

© Esther Dijkstra 2017. Alle rechten voorbehouden.

Gebruik de volgende haaknaald om je vierkanten aan elkaar te haken of neem een 0.5mm grotere naald dan die je voor de meeste vierkanten van de CAL hebt gebruikt:

  • Color Crafter – 4.5mm
  • Stone Washed – 4.0mm
  • Sunkissed – 3.5mm

Ik raad aan een maat grotere haaknaald te gebruiken omdat het helpt voorkomen dat je halve vasten te strak worden en zo de deken in elkaar trekken. Je wilt de naad soepel hebben met een beetje elasticiteit zodat de deken straks makkelijk te gebruiken is en comfortabel valt.

Rangschik de vierkanten zoals in bovenstaand diagram of gebruik je eigen layout. De vierkanten worden in ononderbroken rijen aan elkaar gehaakt, vierkant voor vierkant tot de hele rij aan elkaar zit. Erg belangrijk: Knip de draad niet af zodra je 2 vierkanten aan elkaar hebt, maar pas als de hele rij aan elkaar zit. Haak eerst alle horizontale rijen van de deken aan elkaar en dan daarna de verticale rijen.

Rechtshandigen haken de vierkanten aan elkaar van rechts naar links, linkshandigen van links naar rechts. Nog iets dat ERG belangrijk is: wees er zeker van dat je vierkanten niet gedraaid of verkeerd om zitten, vooral als je nog maar 1 of 2 rijen aan elkaar hebt. Je zult zo boos zijn op jezelf als het gebeurt.

Misschien voel je je een beetje verloren als je deze aanwijzingen voor het aan elkaar haken leest. Ik zal je de stappen laten zien in deze Engelstalige video, misschien helpt dat om het proces duidelijk en zichtbaar te maken.

Horizontaal

Kleur A: maak een schuiflus op je haaknaald en leg de eerste twee vierkanten die aan elkaar gehaakt moeten worden naast elkaar met de goede kant naar boven, ofwel met de verkeerde kanten tegen elkaar. Haak een halve vaste door de hoek 2-lossenbogen van beide vierkanten, wees er zeker van dat je werkdraad ONDER je werk ligt en tussen de vierkanten. Je haakt de vierkanten aan elkaar door één voor één de achterste lusjes van de tegenover elkaar liggende steken op te nemen. Dit zijn dus de meest binnenste lusjes van de steken als de vierkanten naast elkaar liggen.

Steek je haaknaald van voor naar achter door het binnenste lusje van de eerste steek. Steek daarna je haaknaald (ook van voor naar achter) door het binnenste lusje van de eerste steek van het tegenoverliggende vierkant, maak een omslag en haal de draad door alle lussen op de naald om de halve vaste te maken. Ga verder met de volgende steek en haak op dezelfde manier alle 44 steken met halve vasten aan elkaar.

Aan het eind gekomen van de eerste twee vierkanten maak je nog een halve vaste door de 2-lossenbogen van de hoeken samen. KNIP de draad NIET AF, maar ga verder met de volgende twee vierkanten.

Leg de volgende twee vierkanten die aan elkaar moeten op de juiste plek naast de eerste twee vierkanten. Let extra goed op dat ze in de juiste volgorde liggen, het is verbazend eenvoudig om ze gespiegeld aan elkaar te zetten.

Vervolg door een halve vaste door de 2-lossenbogen van de nieuwe vierkanten te maken en haak dan ook elk van de 44 steken aan elkaar op precies dezelfde manier als de eerste vierkanten. Ga zo door tot alle vierkanten van deze rij aan elkaar zijn gehaakt. Nu mag de draad worden afgeknipt.

Op dezelfde manier haak je alle horizontale rijen aan elkaar. Kijk zorgvuldig of je eerder aan elkaar gehaakte vierkanten niet gedraaid liggen als je van de ene rij naar de andere gaat.

Verticaal

Werk op dezelfde manier de verticale verbindingen van de deken.

Een tip, hoewel niet strikt noodzakelijk: mijn naden zijn naar mijn idee meer flexibel als ik het volgende doe op een kruispunt: Haak 1 vaste door de 2-lossenbogen van de vierkanten waaraan je werkt, 1 losse (om de halve vasten van de horizontale verbinding te bedekken), 1 vaste door de 2-lossenbogen van de volgende twee vierkanten. Door een vaste te haken in plaats van een halve vaste en ook door de extra losse vind ik dat de verbinding meer natuurlijk lijkt en minder de neiging heeft om in elkaar te trekken.

Tutorial

Dedri Uys from Look at what I made heeft een foto tutorial waarin ze laat zien hoe je de sluiting maakt die wij ook gebruiken voor onze deken. Het is in het Engels, maar de foto’s zijn duidelijk.

Draadjes en eindjes wegwerken

Ik heb mijn draadeindjes van de verbindingen laten hangen tot ik de uiteindelijke rand ook klaar had omdat ik daardoor meer mogelijkheden had om ze weg te werken. Je hoeft de deken pas op te spannen als deze helemaal klaar is.



Video tutorial

If the words make no sense to you, and I don’t blame you if they don’t, maybe the video tutorial will help you to master the slip stitch join and get your Nuts about Squares blanket beautifully joined.


Share your blanket

Look at that! Now you have a real blanket just waiting for the finishing touch. If you would like to share your blanket you can do so in the Official CCC Social Group on Facebook, share it on my Facebook page or tag me in your post on Instagram. If you use the hastag #NutsAboutSquares it will help me find it.

I hope to see all of you two weeks from now for the last installment of Nuts about Squares, the border!

With love,

Esther

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© COPYRIGHT IT’S ALL IN A NUTSHELL. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THE COPYRIGHT OF NUTS ABOUT SQUARES IS PROTECTED BY SCHEEPJES.COM

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Demelza Blanket – video tutorials, colorway and yarn amounts

The time has once again come when a beautiful project we have been working on for quite some time has reached its completion. With happy feelings I look back om making my Demelza blanket using Scheepjes Stone Washed yarn.

demelza-crochet-blanket-completed-1

The Demelza blanket is designed by Catherine Bligh and is accompanied by a photo tutorial in English and Dutch. There is also an update available with UK terms. The design is inspired by the character Demelza from Poldark, a series of novels written by Winston Graham in the 20th century and adapted for television by the BBC.

Resources


Video tutorials

You can find all the videos for making each of the squares, the join and the border for the Demelza series on my dedicated page here on my blog or on my YouTube channel.

demelza crochet blanket completed


Colorway and Yarn amounts

I used 13 colors of Scheepjes Stone Washed yarn with a 3.5mm hook to make my Demelza blanket. All details for when I used which color for the squares as well as the join and border are given in my color chart.

I used 28 balls of Stone Washed in the following colors: 3 x Moonstone (801), 3 x Boulder Opal (804), 2 x Canada Jade (806), 2 x Red Jasper (807), 2 x Corundum Ruby (808), 2 x Deep Amethyst (811), 1 x Lemon Quartz (812), 3 x Amazonite (813), 2 x Green Agate (815), 2 x Coral (816), 2 x Citrine (817), 2 x Lilac Quartz (818), and 2 x New Jade (819).

You can buy Scheepjes Stone Washed from Wool Warehouse (UK/Int), Deramores (UK), Paradise Fibers (US/CA), Bol.com (NL), or your local Scheepjes Stockist.

Demelza crochet blanket completed


My Demelza

If you would like to look back on the road we have traveled to make Demelza; we started with 16 small corner squares, flowed by 8 flat flower squares in first one and then a second design, after which we then made 4 3D flower corner squares, the rectangular panels and finally the center square. Joining all the pieces was a lot of work and the cherry on the cake was the border.

Demelza crochet blanket

This brings us to the end of another beautiful project. For the short term I have no new CAL’s planned, but I am working on several projects for the new year. When the time is right I will tell more.

With love,

Esther

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This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure and copyright policy. All opinions are my own and I only link to products I use or would use. Thank you for using the links on my blog and supporting my work.

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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Circles of the Sun completed

completed circles of the sunIt is Friday again and today is the last day of the Circles of the Sun Overlay crochet along. It is a happy day to finish our design and a sad day because our project is finished. I really hope you enjoyed working on it as much as I did.

In the final video I show you how to join the grannies we have been making over the past nine weeks. You can find all the videos on the Circles of the Sun video page. I also have a color chart available for all the color choices I made using Scheepjes Cotton 8.

I have not completed my cushion just yet, time is an issue, but to give you an idea what the final cushion will look like I placed it on the back of a cushion on my couch. Looks nice doesn’t it 😀

circles of the sun (almost) completed

circles of the sun

I have bought myself a floral fabric for making the back of the cushion. If you would like a felt fabric for your cushion, Minerva Crafts has 50% off all new new patterned felt fabrics from September 1st running for the entire month. (Use the coupon code FELT30). Here is my fabric, I really love the simplicity of the design which means that if I want a little less color, I can just turn my cushion around.

fabric with blue flowers

I hope you enjoyed doing overlay crochet and that you learned something new during this CAL. I also hope to see you again for a new project.

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