Amethystry CAL = Crochet-A-Long

Hi friends!

If you follow me on social media you will probably have seen this little promo video:

This is the introduction to my first project of 2021! A little CAL or Crochet-A-Long.

I mentioned in my previous blog that I wanted to create a way for people to join in and help me grow while building a community here with Amethystry, but in a way that didn't require you to dip into your pockets and buy things from me. I wanted to bring things for you! If that makes sense? Basically, I don't want to be 'all about the money' and just pushing product photo after product photo. Obviously I would love one day for this to be my career, but I don't want to grow superficially. I want to make a difference, engage, be part of a community. All that good stuff I look for in other people I support. And so we're starting here. Consider this your 2 week notice to grab whatever you might need to join in!

What is it?

So this is a Crochet-A-Long. Which means I will be posting instructions on how to make a final product on a weekly basis. This is a SUPER easy project, the stitches will be very simple and there won't be too many steps involved. It will take a little time but all the information, tutorials, lives etc. will be saved for you to go back to and review. With lockdowns happening all over the world, people have varied time on their hands. If you're completely free, then you can work on this project more often but if you don’t have as much free time, that's ok too! Just do what you can and you will still end up with the same final product, maybe just a little later. I will be working full time at my day job as well as on my business off hours so I won't be going at a crazy speed either! But I will make sure all instructions come quick enough for those of you who have the opportunity to speed ahead!

The aim is to end up with a blanket that looks like this very crude drawing I made:

Using a 5mm crochet hook this blanket should end up around 49" x 49".

It's definitely nothing innovative. I'm sure this design has been done 1,000,001 times. But I love love and this with things being so hate filled in the world, I wanted to create something cute and happy. So this is it!

Why am I doing this?

So if you've followed me for any longer than a month, then you will probably know that I suffer with anxiety and depression (with suicidal ideation). My days can fluctuate in productivity, enthusiasm and lethargy and not just day to day but hour to hour (so much fun!). I suffered a very serious breakdown a few years ago which has had honestly, changed my life. I'm not the same person I was before. On days where I feel like I can't 'life', my husband normally pushes me to get up and so I look for my pillars. My pillars are things I do when I'm having an episode that can help change my mood. These include things like high intensity work outs if I'm having an anxiety episode and reading, crochet or things I can do with my hand and are repetitive when I'm having a depressive episode. My mam taught me to knit when I was a kid but I taught myself to crochet when I was in my late teens/early 20's. I realized quickly that crochet was good for my mental state. It allowed me to relax, slow my brain down, stopped my 'jiggling' and the sense of achievement I got from completing a project REALLY helped with my self esteem!

I have been crocheting for fun and for my mental health for many years now. It's also great because if I can't force myself to get off the couch, I can put on a TV show or podcast and not move ALL DAY but still feel like I've done something productive. I know 2020 was a FUCKING tough year for EVERYONE! Friends who had never had anxiety experience anxiety daily, friends who suffer with mild depression found themselves struggling to get dressed. Mental health for a lot of people took a huge decline as month after month went by and things got worse. So this is why I decided to start with this project. I want to create something that brought people together. Working on the same project gives strangers a common ground to start building on. Now more than ever, we're connecting with people more online and I wanted to help create another connection point for people. So here it is. It might flop haha. It might just end up being me doing this, which is totally fine. I'll tell you all about it and you may find my enthusiasm for it makes you want to jump in at a later date. But it might also speak to people. It might force people to pick up a new skill for the first time. If this even reaches one person and helps give them a sense of accomplishment then my goal has been achieved!

How is it going to work?    

So this is your notice to grab supplies. Over 5 weeks starting January 20th (every Wednesday) I will post a blog post with a step and a tutorial that will eventually lead to the finish blanket. I was also thinking of every Sunday (I will poll on my Instagram @lauraemily.amethystry what time on a Sunday will work best for you all, but I'm thinking around 3pm EST) going live either on Instagram or Youtube, to give everyone an opportunity to ask any questions, confirm any techniques and catch up to see how things are going with your progress! 

I'm super excited to share this with you! I really hope things work out the way I have them in my head! And I really hope you're excited to join me in this too! 

A few clarifications

I am in no way, shape, or form, a great crocheter! I have been crocheting for probably around 10 years but I'm not amazing, I often make mistakes, I'm not awfully quick. This isn't a project to create a wonderful blanket. This is a project to connect people, create something, learn something, and do the best we can, however that looks. No judgments, no perfectionism, no being hard on yourself! 

I am not a teacher!! I have zero experience teaching, I am not very good at explaining things (hence the need to upload tutorials and things because I can show you better than I can walk you through using words) so please don't expect to much from me haha!

It doesn't have to be exact! If you crochet already and just want to join in and there for have different colours or scraps you want to use up, then do it! You can get fun and creative with this! Use whatever colours you want. 

What you will need:

PLEASE NOTE: I don't have an exact amount for the yarn. I am starting with 2 balls of red, 2 balls of pink and 2 balls of white. but I feel I will need to get 1 more of the red and pink to complete it and might not even need to 2 of the white. If you do end up with some left over, you can use the rest to start another project! Thats how much confidence I have that you will enjoy this!

Also, each ball of yarn has a suggested hook size. I will be using this yarn:

It has a suggested hook size of 5mm but I have used this yarn to complete projects with a hook of 5.5mm/6mm and 4mm (the smaller the hook, the trickier it might be if your yarn is thick). Again, I'm a hobbyist and not a professional, so I don't know if this is the 'done thing'.

1 x Crochet hook - 5mm size

3 x Balls of Pink yarn (4.5oz/127.5g/285yds each ball)

4 x Balls of Red yarn (4.5oz/127.5g/285yds each ball)

2 x Balls of White yarn (4.5oz)

A Pair of Scissors

A big needle - You can buy yarn needles pretty cheap but a little hack, if you have a bobby pin, you can use this to weave in the ends too! Again, it's not 'proper' but when I haven't had one and didn't have the money to spend, I used one and it was fine so....

A stitch marker - This is optional. I never used stitch markers until just a few years ago. It can be tricky to remember where you started sometimes so they are definitely helpful but honestly, I don't think they're super necessary. Another little hack, you can use a nose ring or a hooped earring to hold mark the first stitch if you find yourself struggling to keep track. Or even a little clipped charm, anything that you can open and close easily.

A cup of tea! - Or coffee or even wine! Your favourite beverage is always required when crocheting. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this over! I really hope you're as excited about this as I am. I will be adding Step One on Wednesday January 20th to give people time to get their materials together! Remember this is supposed to be relaxed, fun, imperfect.


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