Late last month, Lucy of Attic24 announced she would be running a crochet-along – a CAL – on her blog. The project is the Attic24 CAL blanket. Every Sunday Lucy will post a new sequence of colours for us to follow if we want and to show her blankie progress.
I have joined in a bit late and am going more slowly and my colour choices, although very similar to the Attic24 cosy palette, are slightly different. Lucy has posted week 1 and week 2 already and is up to stripe 30.The main picture above shows my cosy effort so far:
The yarn I am using is also Stylecraft Special DK, bought from Wool Warehouse. Its very good value at £1.69 a ball and the pattern is free on Lucy’s blog.The cosy colours apart from meadow (which I am not keen on) are all in there but I could not resist some of the other lush shades. Notably emperor, a rich, regal purple, burgundy, walnut, a rich gorgeous brown, turquoise, teal, bright pink and grey. That gives me a 20-colour palette to play with to learn more about my own sense of colour.
Start of my Attic24 CAL blanket journey
My CAL blanket is special for many reasons. One of the main ones is because I am joining in with so many others doing the same project at the same time. Like me, many others will be using different colour combinations and even completely different yarn, but its the sense of community spirit across the world that is really appealing.
To make it even more special, I began my CAL blankie on my birthday, on November 8th 2014. A day when I snuggled inside (out of the cold November rain), wearing my new onesie and crocheting to my hearts content by the fire.
I broke off only to eat and drink and read my new Making Jewellery magazine.
In the first week I managed to get a few stripes done and it really is a nice pattern to work with. Very relaxing – and I was able to watch the final episode of Downton Abbey without going wrong. Always a bonus.
It does mean, however, that I am rather torn in the few hours available. Which crochet project should I do this evening? I have two blankets on the go and am planning a third and have a few wearables in the pipeline too.
There is another reason I’ve decided to join the Attic24 CAL even though I have plenty of projects underway. And that reason is very important. Having gained so much inspiration and pleasure from Lucy’s blog since I discovered it and having attended one of her workshop’s in Skipton and spent the day with her, I want to add my support for Lucy and her blog at this point in time.
There has been a bit of a Hu-ha on her blog of late. Like many bloggers she wants to make a living out of her writing and creative activities. Attic24 is very highly regarded with a huge number of followers – her FB likes are approaching 250,000 very rapidly.
Some folk don’t like that. They don’t approve of her association with Wool Warehouse, a small, family-run British company that sells yarn, or Stylecraft, the company that makes the lovely acrylic yarn we are using in the CAL blanket. They don’t like the fact that she has become one of the organisers of a new yarn festival, Yarndale in Skipton, North Yorkshire. Taking place at the end of September, I went along this year to the Auction Mart (where animals are usually bought and sold) and it was fantastic.
I wasn’t into crochet or yarn in 2013 so didn’t attend but, by all accounts it was just as successful and enjoyable as the first.
Last year, Lucy asked readers of her blog to make 6 bunting triangles, which they were only too happy to do and send in, providing an impressive and moving visual display.
This year it was mandalas; meditative crochet discs made with bright colours and intricate designs. I did my own mandala and was chuffed to bits to see it on display.
Some readers of Attic24 were not, however, impressed. They felt mislead and believed Yarndale was a charity event. Whipped up by comments that suggested that the organisers had been less than honest by not making it crystal clear they had formed a limited company to run the event, outrage and indignation erupted from a small minority. On the other side, some staunch supporters of Lucy and Attic24 waded in with their own harsh words and the comment section of the blog became rather colourful, although not in the nice way that is usual.
Some bloggers asked for their mandalas back. Cripes
My own view is that this was all rather a storm in a teacup. Lucy is absolutely entitled to post whatever she wants on her blog, and to make money from it if she so wishes. Unlike many other blogs, she provides multiple patterns and tutorials for free and its not compulsory to buy the same yarn to join in, even if you want to do the CAL blanket. Events like Yarndale need to be run by a limited company so that they can get some compensation for the hours and hours of work and because they need to pay other suppliers up-front and set up essentials such as public liability insurance. This sort of venture carries a great financial risk and money needs to be stumped up in advance. The fair was never advertised as a charity event, although it did, indirectly raise a lot of money for many different charities.
It may be a commercial venture that made a profit (let’s hope so, or it will fold) but that profit will be ploughed back in next year to pay the up-front expenses such as advertising, venue booking and printing, amongst many other things.
So in doing the CAL with so many others I am adding my little voice to the swell of support for Team Lucy and Attic24. Its a lovely blog and I hope it continues to go from strength to strength, with workshops, Yarndale, patterns, posts and tutorials extending far into the future.