There is no denying that 2020 was a rollercoaster of a year that for a lot of the world turned into a total nightmare.
So when I was coming up with ideas for my 2021 crochet along, I wanted something bright and colourful that would cheer up the coming year.
What is more colourful, and uplifting than a stained glass window? All those gorgeous colours shining through and reflecting off every surface in the room. Those beautiful colours never fail to lift my spirits. This is where I found my inspiration for The Ray of Hope crochet along design.
It wasn’t any stained glass window in particular, I just went looking at various windows I found on Google and felt most drawn to the ones with the sun and the rays coming off it.
The sun coming up on a new day offers new opportunities, the chance of it being a better day than yesterday – hope.
So the Ray of Hope crochet along was born. A central mandala representing the sun with sun rays between which are panels of colour, all made with different crochet stitches. Keep reading for all the information you need to join in and the materials you will need.
Why So Many Different Crochet Stitches?
One of the comments I see a lot in Facebook groups is “I can only make the granny stitch” or “I can only make a couple of stitches, anything else will be too hard” and I just want to cry out that’s not true!
Most crochet stitches are a combination of 6 basic stitches. If you can make a granny stitch then you can make a V stitch or a Ripple stitch, or the Corner to Corner stitch. All these stitches use the exact same basic stitches, they’re just made in a different order to create a different look
One of my aims with my crochet along is to encourage your confidence to try new stitches and see that they’re not as difficult as you fear. Each new stitch comes with a picture tutorial and a video to show how the stitch is made step by step. We also have a Facebook group where you can ask any questions you need and I can help you master the new stitches.
How Does The Ray of Hope Crochet Along Work?
The CAL will start on Friday the 15th of January 2021. The 1st part of the pattern will be released at 8pm GMT on my blog with the links to the pattern and the video posted in the Ray of Hope Facebook group and sent by email to those who sign up for email alerts.
A piece of the pattern will be posted every Friday after that at the same time for 46 weeks.
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What Yarn Do I Need For The CAL?
I’m using DK (double knit / light worsted / 8/8 / weight 3) for my blankets. The original in the pictures in this article was made using Scheepjes softfun which is a cotton/acrylic blend. My 2nd blanket which you will see in the pattern pictures and videos has been made with Stylecraft Special DK. I chose both of these yarns as they come in a large range of colours. If you want to use a different yarn, you can find good substitute ideas at yarnsub.com
I’ve used 18 different colours for my blankets, but you could use more or less than this. This project would make a great stash buster crochet project if your looking to use up your yarn stash.
The minimum number of colours that I’d recommend is 4. A few of the stitches are made in 3 colours, and you need a 4th contrasting colour to join them all together.
My colour list is below:
Scheepjes Softfun – 50g balls cotton/acrylic blend, DK weight
- 6 x 2408 Black
- 2 x 2518
- 2 x 2427 Tangerine
- 2 x 2634 Bumblebee
- 2 x 2496
- 1 x 2495 Hot Pink
- 1 x 2535
- 1 x 2516
- 1 x 2519
- 1 x 2514
- 1 x 2513 Light Rose
- 1 x 2515
- 1 x 2410
- 1 x 2647 Capri
- 1 x 2511
- 1 x 2512
- 1 x 2629 Azure
- 1 x 2517
Style Craft Special DK – 100g balls 100% acrylic, DK weight
- 3 x Black 1002
- 1 x Lemon 1020
- 1 x Citron 1263
- 1 x Buttermilk 1835
- 1 x Clementine 1853
- 1 x Lavender 1188
- 1 x Proper Purple 1855
- 1 x Grass Green 1821
- 1 x Kelly Green 1826
- 1 x Sage 1725
- 1 x Fuchsia Purple 2307
- 1 x Fondant 2556
- 1 x Candyfloss 2510
- 1 x Bluebell 1082
- 1 x Lapis 1831
- 1 x Cloud Blue 1019
- 1 x Empire 1829
- 1 x Matador 1010
Can I Have A Closer Look At The Ray Of Hope?
Of course, let me give you a tour.
We will be starting with the central mandala. This centre piece will be made over the first 3 weeks. We have lots of shell and puff stitches in this central piece and we will also be using half double crochet stitches to add some lovely texture too.
In week 4 we will be starting on the outer pieces. There are 40 pieces in total – 20 rectangles and 20 rays. We will be making 1 piece a week and joining them as we go using a slip stitch join. So there will be no massive joining session at the end.
For the final 3 weeks, we will be working on the border. I’ve used what was left over from the skeins I used for the rest of the blanket for the puff stitches, and changed my starting point for each round to mix the colour changes up. This gives the border a different look depending on where you look.
The final blanket is 1.25 metres wide, a good size for a lap blanket or a bedthrow
If you would like to join our Facebook community and create this stunning 46 week project together with us, you can join here.
You don’t have to join us in Facebook, we also have weekly email updates which will send you the links to the blog post and the video straight to your inbox each week. You can sign up to the emails here
Lastly, although this project is completely free to join, if you would like the ad free, printable pdf files you can purchase them on Ravelry and I will add the next pattern each week. The link to purchase is here
Enjoy the pattern, and here’s to wishing you a 2021 filled with hope and brightness