Waka Waka – Our Fall CAL

For the past three years, when fall rolls around, my Mum and I have joined in on the Scheepjes yarn sponsored CAL.

For the past three years, when fall rolls around, my Mum and I have joined in on the Scheepjes Yarn sponsored CAL. This is a crochet-a-long that they run every year and involves a (usually rather large or intricate) design that is released over many weeks and is created by crafters from around the world, all at the same time. They have a wonderful Facebook group full of supportive makers and we love feeling a part of the collective creative experience. We order our yarn when the kits are announced and wait excitedly to start on the adventure together. However….. due to COVID, this year’s CAL had to be postponed by Scheepjes…. what to do?!

This summer we both discovered the world of interlocking crochet through the wonderful designs of Astrid Schandy. We have made *many* pot holders as we learned the technique and discovered the many fun patterns.

So, when we decided we still wanted to have a fall ‘CAL project’ to work on together, we eventually settled on the Waka Waka blanket from Astrid’s design collection. This is a stunning, colourful blanket with African motif’s throughout – the name Waka Waka is taken from Cameroon slang, meaning “do it!” And so we shall!

Our yarn arrived and we started stitching on Sept 7th. I drew up a tentative schedule for us to follow until just before Christmas – so I guess we are going to release the pattern sections to ourselves lol!

Two weeks on, our first section is complete and we are getting into the groove of 45min to get across one row of stitches!! And counting… counting… counting!

I’ll continue to post our progress here and we can all see if we make it to our mid-December deadline!! I’ll be posting sneak peaks to my Instagram account as well @CraftyArcticFox

My Voyage Shawl & a trip to Temagami

My Voyage Shawl – Scheepjes Whirl Salted Caramel Matcha

In August of this year we took an 11 day backcountry canoe trip to the Temagami Wilderness Area in northern Ontario. As I can rarely go a day without my crafting and keeping my hands busy, I picked a relatively compact project to stitch from a single Scheepjes Whirl of yarn. I’ve had the “My Voyage Shawl” by Dedri Uys from Look at what I made on my to do list for a while, but the stars aligned that it would be the project for this trip. It was very busy right before we left, but this colour way happened to be in my closet, I lucked out on beads that fit perfectly at my local craft store, and I managed to figure out the first rows of the pattern before we set off!

Good thing yarn is squishy! I quickly got the hang of which bag it was packed into each day and it soon fit into the routine of our campsite evenings! About this stage of things, it also took a swim in the lake and I learned not to put my work down so close shore!!! Thanks to my quick friends the wet yarn was retrieved, along with my hook and stitch markers!!

By the time we were nearing the end of our paddling, the whole group was into the spirit of things. I would call out “bead on” when I added one, and I get ridiculously excited about colour changes so everyone was in on those as well. When I finished up the last rows at home, I still announced the last “bead on” to our group chat 🙂

The weeks following the trip we were lucky enough to be at the cottage where my rows and beads and relaxing continued!

The hues and shades of this beautiful colourway will always remind me of my voyage into the wilderness and stillness and beauty of nature. I recently heard this described as taking a forest bath. I love this term – it’s exactly what it was!

My Voyage Shawl

Scheepjes Salted Caramel Matcha Whirl

Happy trails everyone – I hope you were able to get outside to enjoy a forest bath this summer or are planning to this fall!

Discovering the kinship mandala

Kinship Mandala designed by Oombawka Design

As the world seems to turn up on its end and many of us find ourselves sitting at home developing new routines, I turned to my crochet social media sources for joy and inspiration. I am a newer user of Instagram and somewhat haphazardly found my account filling up mostly with geocaching and crochet photos. (My new iPhone with an amazing camera has a lot to do with this!!) With this came many new people to follow, and so I came to learn about the Kinship Mandala. Designed by Oombawka Design and hosted by Dedri from Look At What I Made, this delightful mandala pattern was released over 6 days on Instagram and gave me something cheerful and whimsical to look forward to during my first days of travel quarantine. It can’t be said enough how important social connections are right now, and feeling connected to my global crochet community is invaluable!

So, here are some photos of my progress and the finished round product. Today, Dedri has posted the instructions to turn this into a square… decisions decisions!

  • Scheepjes Stonewashed XL in five colours
  • 5mm hook