Love this #76: The Kalevala CAL

You might have seen on social media last weekend that I decided to teach myself to crochet. It's been a long time coming, and you might be wondering why now?  That's a fair question as I originally said I wanted to start crocheting back in 2014, and I've not really got close to it before. It was one of those aspirations, that well remained just that. 

At least though I'd bought some wool, some crochet hooks and a granny square book, and mum sent me the Learn to Crochet booklet. It doesn't have a date, and I hesitate to call it vintage, but let's just say the price on the front is 2/-

And I made good progress; four traditional granny squares and a foray into something more adventurous too - the Blooming Granny, complete with popcorn stitch flower (get me!)  - and mum's asked me to show her this stitch.

I'd always looked at crochet diagrams in bemusement, but I quickly realised with a bit of decoding, the learn to crochet guide and a peek at YouTube it wasn't anywhere near as hard as I thought. And much to my surprise the crochet diagrams are easier to understand than the written instructions.

I've always been a knitter (some might say knit) and so working with a single hook seemed alien. Over the weekend I learnt that the hook does all of the work and it's quite fascinating to watch and see my granny squares develop.  On the plus side, it seems progress is quicker than knitting too, which for a beginner is just awesome...

 BLOOMING GRANNY

BLOOMING GRANNY

So I've seven completed squares, and the crochet has been in my bag every day at work this week. It hasn't quite made it out yet, but lunchtimes this week have been a bit rushed, but it's staying there because I'm an eternal optimist.  I was starting to tire of using the same wool, but the pistachio green and candy pink wasn't quite the look I was going for, so off I headed to Hobbycraft after work on Monday.

It's great, I walked there and then home again so I could feel totally virtuous with the 13,500+ steps I clocked up that day, and thankfully walking meant I had to carry my purchases.  I wasn't sure what I wanted, other than a change of wool, but I left with more yellows, mint greens and creams. 

MOH hasn't seen them yet, and he doesn't really need to just yet - he's already asking what I'll do with the growing pile of squares I'm manufacturing. The answer is clear, I'll make a blanket. Obviously. He looked less than convinced, but it'll look great in our spare bedroom.

But I haven't told you why last weekend yet, have I.  And my granny squares are just that, they're nowhere near as beautiful as the Kalevala CAL in the title of this post.

The Kalevala CAL

Early Saturday morning saw some Facebook browsing and I came across a post about the Kalevala CAL, which I had no idea what it was. But the lady that posted seemed excited by it, so I took a look. And maybe, the image below might have caught my eye.

I mean, isn't that blanket fantastic?!

My ambition for learning to crochet was always to make an afghan (or blanket) with various patterned squares, but like learning to crochet I'd done nothing more about it. And here, fortuitously it had been presented to me and so with my simplistic way of thinking, it was clearly meant to be. 

My Facebook browsing was abandoned and I went into research mode.  I learnt the Kalevala CAL is a project to celebrate Finland's 100 years of independence. The blanket is made up of twenty four squares, plus the join and the border and each square relates to the Kalevala poetry by Elias Lönnrot.  

But could I do it?  

Well laying in bed there Saturday morning the answer was clearly no, but I thought if I could learn to crochet then I'd be in with a fair chance. And so that's what I did, but first I dived into what colourway my Kalevala CAL would be.  And yes, I contemplated yellow, but decided this would hopefully be something that would be around for a long time (finished I mean, not part-made) and so an olive green would have better longevity. 

So I ordered the wool and I'm waiting for it to arrive.

Am I mad? Yes!

Will I have a beautiful hand crocheted blanket? I hope so!