FATW5 – Week 1 – Thistle

Today is the day…. the day we gather together over our devices and crochet with our friends…… the day that Friends Around the World 5th Anniversary CAL starts.

“Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.” – Henry David Thoreau

So extremely excited to get this CAL underway!!!!! Do you have your supplies??? Did you pick your color way, and then redo it at least 17 more times like I did? Have you got your hook and yarn set out next to your favorite crochet spot? Your cuppa sitting next to your armrest steaming away, or your lemonade with ice glistening in the glass…. waiting for you to sit down and CROCHET? Or will you wait until the littles are off to bed and sit down in the stillness and enjoy a few moments of peace while you crochet?

Week 1 brings us to the United Kingdom and a design created by the extremely talented Valerie Bracegirdle from the blog Agrarian Artisan (take a look…. there are some amazing things posted there). Here are a few words from Valerie about who she is and how she has become the designer we know and love:

I’m 86% British (according to my DNA!) and being from North West England surrounded by the mills of the industrial revolution it’s probably no surprise that fibre is in my blood: my grandfather had a textile business and my grandmother was a seamstress. My mother taught me to sew and my aunt taught me to knit and crochet; by the time I was in my teens I was making all my own clothes. So that adds up to quite a few decades of experience!

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

My favourite yarn is anything natural – there is nothing like the warmth and weight of wool in blankets and the drape of silk in shawls. I am becoming increasingly concerned with the effect of manmade fibres on our world, especially plastics – so I no longer purchase acrylic yarn and the little I have in my stash will be used wisely.

You can find Valerie at the following social media links and websites:

Blog: Agrarian Artisan

Ravelry: HERE

LoveCrafts: HERE

Facebook: HERE

She also has an Instagram, but rarely uses it and suggests the other platforms first

And now for the part we have all been waiting for……

THISTLE by Valerie Bracegirdle, Agrarian Artisan

Week 1 Pattern link can be found

Don’t forget you will also need to add the “extra three rounds” to your square so the final st/side count of all squares will be 48, which is necessary for joining. The instructions for the “extra rounds” will be posted the following week on Monday. You may choose to do the rounds on each square as they are released, or you may choose to wait until the end of the CAL and use these “extra rounds” to adjust any small size variances that you may have in your squares by adjusting the length of the stitches in those rounds (sc, hdc, dc for our US Terms friends – or dc, htr, tr for our UK Terms friends). The choice is completely yours and you are welcome to do what is best for your crochet project! Just be sure that you have the “extra rounds” completed when we are ready to join!!!

And of course….. a peek at the tester squares…..

Until next week with the second square by Valerie……

Valerie has also designed several other squares for our previous FATW CALS:

And we cannot wait to see the squares for NEXT FATW…. 😉

Happy Crocheting,

Jo💗

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