It’s been a while. Perhaps longer than a while. I find it so difficult these days to keep up with the admin of the website, the social media feeds I run for Be Inspired, as well as running the studio and all the online orders and…well, let’s not talk about the wips. I barely keep those under control! I am back here to chat about the Finnish cal, the Kalevala. A friend spotted it and thought it would be fun to do. As usual, I jump right in and only think about the work aspect later! These blocks are free online here, and are NOT our designs. Designed to celebrate the Finnish centenary, each of the 19 designers have contributed one or two blocks.
We have put together yarn packs using Scheepjes, in various colourways, and those that bought packs from us will get monthly newsletters with charts. These charts are drawn by Julie of Be Inspired and are our own work, based on the designs, which we then crochet and decipher and then the charts are created. They take hours and hours per chart, especially seeing as these blocks are not simple blocks. We find it easier to work using visuals, and like to help people with the charts. A lot of people are like us, visual learners who battle with words jumping all over the place. If you have never read a chart it’s about time to start! It really makes life simpler. Once we have some more charts complete and checked, we will be offering them to the designers so they can help more people complete this beautiful blanket.
The Kalevala blocks are beautiful worked in a single colour, but if that is not your thing, they are pretty worked up in multiple colours. Only one of our social cal groupies is mixing the colours, so will be interesting to see her blocks. For photographs of the blocks made up here in the studio on our social days, follow our Facebook Kalevala album here
The blocks are designed to be worked in a slightly thicker yarn than the borders and joining sections. We have decided to play with Scheepjes Softfun as blocks, paired with Stonewashed for the joins and borders, as well as Riverwashed for blocks, paired with Spirit for the joins and borders. Once we have a few blocks we will experiment with these yarns and let you know the outcome.
Block 1 was relelatively easy compared to block 2 (which we have skipped until March) and block 3 (which presented some challenges). There are videos that you can watch here that may help if you are far away from our studio.
Block 3 is the one I battled a bit with. It is called The Birth of the World and it is a little tricky. Here are my notes to myself which may help you: (please note I speak UK crochet and not US). I only noted the rounds where i felt it easier to summarise, or to give a tip. Some rounds are straight forward.
round 2: the popcorn is 5 trebles (it is only 4 trebles in the first petal as the first chains are = treble)
round 3: ch 1 in top of pop corn, 3dc’s into ch space, dc into top popcorn, repeat until 24 stitches
round 4: if working in same colour you are already at top of a popcorn, ch 2 nd tc = first cluster, ch 1 then 2 tc cluster in same stitch, then in middle dc of the 3 dc set, 2 tc cluster, ch 1, skip dc and repeat
round 5: this round i could not get 48 stitches until i did the following in summary: 2 dc into ch space, 1 dc into top cluster, 1 dc between the double 2tc clusters, 1 dc into top of both of the 2 tc clusters = 48 stitches
round 6: start with a 3tc cluster, repeat: ch 4, join with sl stitch to 3rd dc after cluster, ch 4, and cluster in 3rd dc
round 7: 4 dc’s into ch spaces, 1 dc on top of cluster
round 8: don’t make slip stitches too tight!!! Chain 4, 2 dtcs, ch2, 3 dtc = corner, skip 3 dcs, make 3 tcs (first is in the stitch before the dropped stitch of round 7), 1 htc, 1 dc, 3 slip stitches, 1 dc, 1 htc and 3 tcs, skip 3 dc’s
round 9: Back loops only – I missed this and had to undo the whole round
round 10: Miss the blind stitch after corner
round 13: corner = 2 dc’s, ch2, 2dc’s NOTE: dc between the tcs, into ch space, on top of puff and into chain space and tc and around
round 14: front post half tc in all stitches apart from first 3 before and last 3 after a corner
round 15: back loop dc into last stitch before ch 3, ch3, dc into last stitch of corner, 2dc in corner, dc into second stitch after corner
round 16: ch 3, tc into next stitch, sk stitch, 3tc into ch space, tc into next stitch, (corner = tc, ch 2, tc), tc into next stitch, skip stitch, 3tc into space, skip stitch, tc into each stitch across to corner
round 17: i changed right down from a 5mm hook to a 2,5mm hook. But only made this in one block, second block I left it off
I hope those help you, they are not meant to be definitive but rather to add to your notes and as a guide. If still stuck then watch the videos or even contact the designer. There is an official facebook group and am sure there are still people working through the blocks on there that can help.
As we go along, I may get better at making notes to help! I am so used to teaching face to face!
Have a good evening :)
yours in yarn