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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. Since I last posted about my crochet work I had been working on another afghan which was the Scheepjes CAL 2020: d’Histoire Naturelle by Christina Hadderingh from the blog A Spoonful of Yarn. When this CAL was run (starting September 2020) I was working on another project so I didn’t participate while it was running but I kept up with what was happening by following the OFFICIAL Scheepjes – International Group on Facebook. Christina was inspired to create this afghan after reading the book All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr which I listened to the audio book version of a few years ago when it first came out.

All The Light We Cannot See

Christina explains how the book was her inspiration:

“In the story we follow Marie-Laure and her father who is a locksmith at the National Natural History Museum at Paris. Anthony Doerr paints such a vivid picture of the Museum and its contents that I had to design a blanket around it. As you crochet the blanket, Scheepjes and I will take you through all the main Museum gardens and galleries: the Jardin des Plantes, the Galerie d’Entomologie, the Galerie de Botanique, the Galerie de Minéralogie, the Grande Galerie de l’evolution and the Galerie de Paleontologie.”

There were four colorways created for this CAL and two different yarn types to choose from making a total of 8 kits you could choose from if you wanted to use the colors Christina picked out. I chose the Entomology colorway in Scheepjes Stone Washed/River Washed yarn. In addition to running the CAL Christina also had a read along portion. She also recorded an interview with the author to discuss the sections of the book the group was reading. You can see all the interviews on the Scheepjes YouTube page.

Now I would like to take you through the CAL showing you how the 6 parts came together. I will mostly let Christina’s words explain the work and encourage you to click on the links to each “chapter”, as she calls them, to see some pictures of the actual museum and its collections.

Chapter1: Jardin des Plantes

We begin our journey outside, in the Jardin des Plantes, which is the museum botanical garden…Can you envision the grand hedges that cast their shadow upon the botanical gardens with more than 10,000 named plant species?

In this part you will find floral stitch patterns, inspired by botany, as well as round hedges in the corners, inspired by the grand hedges of the garden.

814 - d'Histoire Naturelle CAL - Entomology - Part 1 - lr

Chapter 1: Jardin des Plantes

Chapter 2: Galerie d’Entomologie

In real life, the Galerie d’ Entomologie is sadly no longer open for public. It closed for renovation in 1996, but due to lack of funding it remained closed ever since. However, from 1960 to 1996 it housed more than half of the worlds total biodiversity regarding insects, such as beetles, butterflies and bees. Envision cabinet after cabinet full of drawers with insects from all over the world, their iridescent wings and mind blowing colors

The square of the blanket will be turned into an octagonal shape, using four precious bees. After that the shape will be expanded, using eight gorgeous butterflies, encased in a flower with eight petals, which is created by using front post stitches.

(You can click on the images to see larger views of them)

Chapter 3: Galerie de Botanique

The Galerie de Botanique is situated in the Jardin des Plantes and contains the largest and oldest Herbarium in the world, with eight milion specimens. Envision beautiful scientific drawings of flowers and herbs, humid greenhouses full of exotic plants, of which Marie-Laure thought it smells like humus, wet newspaper and lobelia and rows and rows of cabinets full of ancient seed and plant specimens.

After the big octagonal shape, we will gradually turn it into a circle, which ends in a big border full of gorgeous leaves. The stitches are inspired by orchids and leaves shown on herbarium sheets or scientific drawings of flowers and plants.

(You can click on the images to see larger views of them)

Chapter 4: Galerie de Minéralogie et Géologie

Minerals play a big part in the story of All the Light We Cannot See, as we read about the curse of the infamous Sea of Flames, the gorgeous descriptions of the Galerie and as we follow major Von Rumpel on his hunt for precious gemstones and crystals. The galerie is situated in the Jardin des Plantes and contains a dazzling 770 thousand specimens. Try to keep your eyes from wandering

In part 4 we will start to turn the big circle into a square shape, using four corner shapes. The corner shapes are made with separate motifs, inspired by geodes, agate and quartz, encased in lace. After the corner shapes are attached to the blanket, Sea of Flames diamonds are made in between the corner shapes to finish the part.

(You can click on the images to see larger views of them)

Chapter 5: Grande Galerie l’Evolution

The Grande Galerie is very impressive to wander around in with more than 7000 lifelike species. Although it is only mentioned once in the book, All The Light We Cannot See, I thought it very inspirational and I wanted it to be a part of the blanket. The crochet stitches are inspired by the procession of giant mammals in the main hall, such as elephants, giraffes and rhinos and also inspired by the open space staircases and walkways along the walls of the Galerie.

In part 5 the square shape is finalized by working two elephants on each side of the blanket in between the corner shapes, which are inspired by the great procession displayed at the Galerie. After that a big border is made, inspired by the architecture and balustrades along the Galerie walls.

(You can click on the images to see larger views of them)

One thing I want to note is that in the original pattern it does not include ears on the elephants. This is one thing I picked up from following the Facebook group and decided to add them to my afghan. I also want to note that the designer was happy to have this added to her pattern.

Chapter 6: Galerie de Paleontologie

We will end our journey in the Galerie de Paleontologie. It contains an impressive collection of fossil vertebrates like dinosaurs and other extinct animals, but also invertebrates like shellfish. Shells play quite a big part in Marie-Laure’s story as she loves to touch and collect them.

Part 6, the final part, is made using two borders. One is inspired by the shells Marie-Laure collects and the role the ocean plays in the story. The shells are made using front post stitches and are made in front of the rest of the crochet work. The second and final border is inspired by bones of animal skeletons.

(You can click on the images to see larger views of them)

I really enjoyed working on this blanket and thank Christina and Scheepjes for hosting the CAL. The afghan now resides in our living room next to the Fruit Garden afghan. 

(You can click on the images to see larger views of them)

I’m joining the The Loop Scoop Yarny Link Party (formerly know as Hookin on Hump Day). You should stop by to see some of the other projects people have posted.

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Hi everyone! It’s Walter here.

Walter relaxing 4-30-21BW - lr

It’s been super hot around here lately.

Walter sleeping 6-1-21 - lr

I’ve been spending lots of time sleeping in air conditioned comfort.

Millie is doing much of the same…we just don’t have any pictures of her doing it. We hope you all are able to stay cool where ever you are.

We’re joining Comedy Plus for their Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. Sorry we haven’t been posting much. There hasn’t been much going on around here other than doing some yard work when it wasn’t raining.

Since the last time I posted about the Fruit Garden CAL I finished and blocked the afghan.

6086 - Fruit Garden Afghan - Love is Enough - lr - 2

Fruit Garden Afghan in Love is Enough Colorway

I really enjoyed making this afghan with all the different flower blocks. Each block was more complicated than the last one when done in the order the designer laid out for the patterns. The next block I completed since my last update was the Hollyhock. This block completed all the blocks for the center of the afghan. 

6094 - Fruit Garden Afghan - Hollyhock Block - lr

Hollyhock Block – Fruit Garden CAL

Next the center blocks were joined and the inner border was added (I’ll show you details about that later).

The Dianthus was the next block completed in the afghan. This block didn’t have the layers like some of the others but it was more complicated than it looked to create.

6093 - Fruit Garden Afghan - Dianthus Block - lr

Dianthus Block – Fruit Garden CAL

The final square shaped block was the Chrysanthemum block which had the most 3 dimensional work of all the square blocks.

6090 - Fruit Garden Afghan - Chrysanthemum Block - lr

Chrysanthemum Block – Fruit Garden CAL

Each of these blocks required me to make 4 of each of them. The final block that I created for this afghan was the Acanthus. This was a rectangle shaped block and I had to make 8 of them. In my previous post I showed you the progress on that block and here is the completed one.

6090 - Fruit Garden Afghan - Acanthus Block - lr - 2

Acanthus Block – Fruit Garden CAL

The designer spaced out the pattern for this large block which was a good idea however now I’m sure I could tackle it straight through. This block definitely was the most complicated part of this pattern with so many intertwined parts. Once all the blocks were completed the final border was added.

6091 - Fruit Garden Afghan - Inner & Outer Borders - lr

Border Details – Fruit Garden CAL

The inner and outer borders were not very many rounds of crochet but I think they are the perfect compliment to show off all these gorgeous flower blocks. If you are interested in finding more information on this blanket you can find it on the Janie Crow website.

Along the way while creating this afghan I also created crochet charts for each block. The Acanthus was so complicated it took multiple views to show all the details. I always prefer to work from charts especially when I have to do multiples of the same block. It’s so much easier to look at the chart and see what you need to do than read lots of words to represent the same thing. Here is just a little sample of the flower pattern from the Forget Me Not Block.

Fruit Garden CAL - Forget Me Not - flower pattern

Forget Me Not Flower Chart

The charts will come in handy if I decide to make another version of this afghan or if I want to make one of the cushions that were also designed to go with this afghan.

I’m joining the The Loop Scoop Yarny Link Party (formerly know as Hookin on Hump Day). You should stop by to see some of the other projects people have posted.

 

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Hi everyone! It’s Walter here.

Why does this comforter feel lumpy?

I don’t know where Millie is. Maybe you can help me find her.

We’re joining Comedy Plus for their Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. About a month ago I showed you pictures of some ducks at Webster Park. Since then the weather has turned much colder and snowier and there isn’t much open water to see any more.

Webster Park Pier in Black & White

To see how different the pier looked in December you can scroll down to the last picture in this post. All the white to the left in that picture is the frozen lake but on the right the water is still fairly open.

Webster Park Jetty

This moon scape looking scene is actually a jetty where the rocks are and in warmer weather is open water where you see those small humps. Here is what the jetty looks like in warmer times although the pictures aren’t taken from quite the same angle.

Webster Park Jetty in October 2020

It’s been fun seeing how this little park area has changed as the temps have dropped. There may be more views of the lake as it fills more with solid ice to come.

We’re joining Comedy Plus for their Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

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Hi everyone! It’s Millie & Walter here. We got out of the house today and went to our town hall park for a walk.

I love walking at this park.
Me too!

It’s nice that they plow the main loop around the park and there are trails through the woods too.

Hey! I think I see our car.

Come on, dad! You don’t want to get left behind.

We had lots of fun on our walk. Walter left plenty of messages behind to let everyone else know we were there. BOL!

We’re joining Comedy Plus for their Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

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Hi everyone! It’s Millie & Walter here. Christmas was a few weeks ago but we waited until after New Year’s Day to see if we had any late arriving cards before we did our final tally.

These are all the cards we received.

The last card to arrive was from our uncle Paul who lives in Connecticut which is about 350 miles away. It took 4 weeks for it to make it to our house!

Check the postmark! This was mailed on December 11th and arrived on January 7th.

The card enclosed in this late arriving envelope was so appropriate for this year. You can see it on the far right ribbon. It’s a dark gray color and on the cover it just says “WTF”! BOL! Our uncle has a great sense of humor.

We haven’t been very happy with the postal service in this country lately. Our mom mailed a package to her mom on December 14th and it finally arrived yesterday over 4 weeks since it was mailed. She mailed another package to the same town on the same day and it arrived 2 weeks ago! 

Here’s what I have to say about our postal service lately. A great big raspberry!

We’re very thankful to all our friends and family that sent us cards, both snail mail and email.

Hey Millie, aren’t all our cards pretty?
I love seeing so many cards on our wall.

As usual we crushed our parents in the card count again this year.

The final card count is:

Millie & Walter

19 Snail Mail cards

14 e-cards

Total Card Count – 33

Mom & Dad

13 cards

Thanks for helping us beat our parents again this year.

We want to finish this post with a picture of just our cards so everyone that sent us one can try to find theirs (we even printed out all the email cards). Just click on the image to biggify it so you can see your card.

Look at all those beautiful cards.

We also want to thank our readers and friends that sent cards to The Ladiez of Beaglebratz Manor and their mom. All reports are that you helped to make their Christmas a little happier. 

We’re joining Comedy Plus for their Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

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Hi everyone! It’s Cindy here. I’m thankful that I have crochet to help distract me from scenes like what we saw in our nations capitol yesterday. This was going to be a Hooking on Hump day post but I couldn’t concentrate on writing it yesterday.

I’ve completed three more types of squares since I first showed you this project.

Columbine Square

My previous post showed the beginnings of this flower but not the completed columbine square. Each square has gotten a bit more difficult and requires a lot of work behind the flower part to create leaves and the background.

Clementine Square

The clementine also required you to do some surface crochet to add a little dimension and color to the flower. It doesn’t show very well but it’s there (the burgundy on the outside of the orange circle is one).

Purple Aster Square

I think the purple aster square is my favorite so far and probably because it has plenty of purple in it. Those of you that crochet might notice that almost every round until you get out to the background is a different color. That results in plenty of yarn tails that have to be sewn in! I’ve been doing the sewing after every few rounds because if not they can get tangled in your work.

Hollyhock Flower

I’m currently working on the hollyhock square and have completed the main flower and I’m now working on the outer leaves. I addition to working on the squares the designer has us working on a larger motif in sections. 

Acanthus motif

The acanthus will eventually be a rectangular shape with a few more leaves and some background to it. Except for the clementine we only need to make four of each of the squares but we have to make eight of these acanthus. I’m glad the designer spaced out the work for this one as it’s very a intimidating design. Her instructions are very clear and there are videos included to help you understand the process.

Completed Squares

I’m enjoying working on this project (except maybe for all those ends we have to weave in) and can’t wait to complete it. When I finish the hollyhock squares I can join all the motifs for the inner section and then add the inner border. I expect to show you that next time. If you are interested in finding more information on this blanket you can find it on the Janie Crow website.

Crochet is a wonderful stress relieving hobby and I’m glad I have it to help me on days like yesterday. I also am thankful for the ladies that join me on Zoom meetings weekly to craft together. Since we can’t meet in person like we used to do we now gather on Zoom and I’m thankful to have them join me.

I’m are joining Brian for the Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

 

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