Making Friends

“Making friends for the world to see,
Let the people know you got what you need,
With a friend at hand you will see the light,
If your friends are there, then everything’s all right”

Elton John


Link to the pattern:

Are you ready?  Do YOU have what you need?  We’re SO ready to kick off our Friends Around the World 3rd Anniversary CAL 2018 today!   We’re traveling around the world and we’re starting out in the UK with Valerie Bracegirdle.  We’ll tell you a little about Valerie shortly but first wanted to remind you to please read through this entire post carefully to help you get ready for this amazing CAL!  Especially important is the information and link to the VIDEO in the “Extra” section below. As always, If you have questions, be sure to head over to our Facebook group page, CAL – Crochet A Long.

Our first designer is Valerie Bracegirdle of the Agrarian Artisan.  Valerie tells us she’s 86% British (according to her DNA!) and being from North West England, surrounded by the mills of the industrial revolution, it’s probably no surprise that fibre is in her blood.  Her grandfather had a textile business and her grandmother was a seamstress.  Valerie’s mother taught her to sew and her aunt taught her to knit and crochet; by the time she was in her teens she was making all her own clothes.  That adds up to quite a few decades of experience!

After a career in finance, Valerie fell into designing and tech editing by accident (querying a pattern in a magazine was a turning point!).  She finds inspiration all around her and can often be found ‘doodling’ with her hook.  Naturally, her doodles quickly turn into designs.  She has over 200 designs in her portfolio and has worked with many magazines and independent designers.

Valerie’s favorite yarn is anything natural – there is nothing like the warmth and weight of wool in blankets and the drape of silk in shawls.  She is becoming increasingly concerned with the effects of man-made fibres on our world and is making efforts to remove them from her work.

You’ll remember Valerie from our first “Friends” CAL with her two squares Octagon and Flower Compass.

This years pattern is called Noughts.  Noughts is the Old English word for “nothing”.  This beautiful square is anything but! When we asked Valerie about the inspiration for her square, she told us, “When I was invited to contribute to FATW3, I was in the midst of designing a simple joining method for another blanket. The brief for FATW3 was texture, so I thought why not design a textured square but make it small then use the joining method to turn 4 small textured squares into one? The result was Noughts!” You can find the pattern link on her blog, Agrarian Artisan.

Link to Agrarian Artisan Blog post on the correct technique to join the squares: ZigZag Join

Extra Stuff

Yarn Requirements

Last week we told you a little about yarn requirements. If you need help, check out that post here.  Here’s what the testers used for this square:

Lynette:  Worsted/Aran, 126 grams

Marjolein:  Stylecraft Special DK, 40 grams

Silvana:  Herrschners Worsted 8, 87.4 grams

April:  Stylecraft Aran, 92 grams

Important Additional Pattern Info

Don’t forget you will need to add an extra three rounds to your square to achieve the final 48 st/side count which is necessary for joining. You can find the instructions for all squares here. Translations for these additional rounds can be found here.    The extra rounds will vary slightly from week to week because the squares vary in ending stitch counts so be sure to follow the directions for each square.

For Noughts the instructions are as follows:

Rnd 1: Begin with a standing sc (stsc)  in any corner chsp, ch1, *(sc, ch2, sc) in corner chsp, sc in next 41sts* 4 times. (43sts, ch2)/side

Round 2 – Join in any corner chsp, ch1, *(sc, ch2, sc) in corner chsp, sc in next 43sts* 4 times. (45sts, ch2)/side

Round 3 – Join in any corner chsp, ch1, *(2sc, ch2, 2sc) in corner chsp, skip hidden st, sc in next 44sts* 4 times. (48sts, ch2)/side

Testers Too

Last, but most definitely not least, we have to give a shoutout to our pattern testers.  You have no idea how many hours of work is involved in undertaking such a project.   Special thanks to Lynette Brown, Aprille Collar, Marjolein de Sain, Silvana Albanese Tabacchi and Micki Devlin.  Here are the photos of their Noughts squares.  Gorgeous, aren’t they?

Here’s Valerie’s Blog:  Agrarian Artisan

We hope you enjoy this first square.  Thank you so much Valerie…your square is really something!  Do share your photos on our FB group page! We’ll be back right here with next weeks square which is also by Valerie.  Stay tuned!

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