A Catalan Bay Blanket Story

Once upon a time (about a year ago) a lovely crochet designer called Eleonora published a crochet-along (or CAL) pattern for a new blanket called ‘Changing Tides’. The previous year, Eleonora had published another seaside themed blanket on her Coastal Crochet blog called the ‘Seaside Stash Buster’ which I joined in with and created my Sandy Bay Blanket.

Even though I had approximately 7,248 other crochet projects on the go at the time (well not quite, but it felt like it), I couldn’t resist having a go at Eleonora’s new project, and so it began…

Just like the previous year, Eleonora posted helpful You Tube videos along the way to help with tricky stitches and rows and soon had us all crocheting like pros!

I set off like a bull at a gate and didn’t take the time to plan what my colour choices would be, and decided (resonably early on) that I didn’t like what I had done so started again…

My project came with me on holiday…

…and before I knew it, I had a rather nice ‘changing tides’ sea developing in front of me. The name ‘changing tides’ is very appropriate because at the end of each row you turn your work and travel back the way you came in much the same way the waves do as they land on the beach.

It even made it down to the beach…

…those bobbles are rather time consuming, so I did a spot of bobbling on the bus…

…and still the tide came in.

And look … it even featured on Eleonora’s Instagram feed on one of her weekly round-ups! That made my day I can tell you.

By this point I felt that perhaps it was time to think about something other than just sea and waves…

And inspiration hit me. Last year’s blanket was based on Sandy Bay.

My Sandy Bay blanket from last year

Why not make a blanket based on another of Gibraltar’s lovely beaches…. Catalan Bay?

The brightly coloured houses gave me lots of excuses to use some different vibrant colours.

But what colour should I opt for first? What about the aptly named ‘shrimp’?

Shrimp was just the ticket for another row of bobbles and they could represent the buoys which hold up the nets in the family swimming area.

It felt good to see a pop of colour against all that blue. The buoys were finished during a short break in Spain while sitting under the cool of some trees.

And again, my blanket made it into one of Eleonora’s weekly round ups! What a thrill.

Time for more waves, and then finally dry land and a beach!

Then came the sandy bobbles, a terracotta coloured sea wall, and those brightly coloured houses which populate Catalan Bay. Behind the houses came the green vegetation which then gave way to the grey of the upper Rock and finally the sky and wispy Levanter clouds forming on the crest of the Rock.

I tell you what, those different colours were a bit fiddly and you do not want to see the loose ends that were on the back!

It’s taken an inordinately long amount of time to get to the end, but get to the end I have! It’s time for the big unveiling!

Last year, I was able to do my big ta-dah moment on Sandy Bay beach itself. This year, because of our current situation in lockdown because of the Coronavirus, my big ta-dah is just having to happen on my balcony… at least the sun’s shining!

Thank you very much Eleonora for yet another fabulous crochet-along pattern. Thank goodness I managed to get this one finished before you launch this year’s blanket (just a week before I believe!). The online community which was formed because of these blankets is truly wonderful. It’s so important to feel like you are part of a community, especially at times like this.

Until we meet again, Catalan Bay, thank you for your inspiration!

Friday photo challenge (week 25) Summer

Nothing says ‘summer’ more to me than alfresco crochet by the sea for my annual Summer Craft Challenge! Here are a few photos from last year when I made this crochet shawl from Little Box of Crochet which was designed by Eleonora from Coastal Crochet and was finished during our holiday in Suffolk.

I’ve already done a spot of alfresco crochet for this year….

… on Monday (which was a Bank Holiday here) – also another Coastal Crochet design; this year’s Coastal Crochet CAL.

A Sandy Bay Blanket story

Way back in January, when I already had several different crochet projects on the go, I spotted that one of my favourite bloggers was starting a new CAL (Crochet-Along). That blogger was Eleonora at Coastal Crochet. In my experience up to this point CALs usually involve purchasing a wool pack to accompany the project (which is absolutely fine) but the thing that made me want to join was that this was completely open to interpretation. You could use any coloured yarn from your stash, which meant I could start right away! So I did.

Another great attraction for me was that Eleonora released the pattern for just a couple of rows twice a week, so it was really easy to keep up with, and if I fell a few weeks behind, I soon caught up! At no point did I feel overwhelmed.

I decided early on that as the name was ‘seaside’ related it had to have marine inspired colours to begin with;

But I also wanted it somehow to have a connection to Gibraltar. But how? The western side of the Rock is its best known angle but that’s a bit complicated, so I opted for the eastern side. But Catalan Bay has so many colours that I couldn’t envisage how to include them all.

Then it hit me, Sandy Bay! It has one long developement across the whole of the Bay, with white apartments, terracotta roofing and yellow sun canopies!

The blanket became my companion and came away with us on holiday…

I soon found myself chosing colours to reflect the surroundings in Sandy Bay; beach umbrellas and paddle boards, the houses and the spring flowers growing on the Rock behind.

Above the houses are the old water catchments, which in spring are green and covered with wild flowers…

I chose yarn colours to reflect the yellow and pink flowers, then the greys and dark greens of the rocky face and shrubs above.

Last of all, it was time for the sky, and well, Gibraltar can often be found wearing its cloudy Levanter hat, so that had to feature too!

Before I knew it, I was completing the last few rows and it was almost time for the border. But first, there was the messy/boring job of weaving in all my endy bits… this was about a third of them!!

Then time for the border…

So, are you ready for the big reveal?

Can you see it? That’s my Dad humouring my silliness and holding it up for me on Sandy Bay beach!

Thanks Dad!

For the border I used grey (for the Rock), dark green for the shrubs on the Rock and blue with white wiggles which could represent the cloudy sky or the waves.

I’m really happy with it now it’s all finished and a bit sorry this lovely project has come to an end. A lovely community of crocheters from around the globe came together on Instagram and in Blogland, all united by this project – thank you Eleonora for taking us all along for the Seaside Stashbusting Blanket ride!

Friday photo challenge (week 34) Stitch

Only 24 hours late for my Friday (ahem Saturday) photo challenge for this week. Stitch is the theme. Stitches have been with me ever since I was a child. I first learned to sew, knit and crochet when I was probably younger than 10. Taught by my Mum and Grandma.

It brings me lots of pleasure and I always have several projects on the go at any one time. The first photo of crewel wool honeysuckle has been a work-in-progress for at least 8 years (whoops – I really should get it finished).

Then there’s a pile of some of my crochet blanket creations (the bottom two using lots & patterns from Attic 24).

And as I am currently at my parents’ house on holiday, here’s a couple of my previous projects from years gone by which hang on their walls….

International Yarnbombing Day 2018

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while may remember that 2 years ago, I undertook some guerrilla crochet and yarnbombed the Alameda Gardens for it’s 200th anniversary. You can read all about in this post from International Yarnbombing Day 2016.

Alameda Botanical Gardens Yarnbombs June 2016

Well it turns out, today is International Yarnbombing Day 2018 and I fancied getting my yarnbombs out of storage to see the light of day again. This time though, it was a bit less guerrilla (I actually had permission this time – must be getting old and more responsible!).

I dusted off my original yarnbombs and added a few new ones including this handful of butterflies…

Want to see them in situ? Here goes…

Molly Bloom’s got her necklace back on…

Giuseppe Codali’s got his scarf back on too…

He’s looking rather dapper as he stands guard overlooking his bridge:

My mini blanket is now hanging up alongside the fundraising plaques for the Alameda BioDome.

This time it has some little crocheted butterflies holding it in place.

More of those little butterflies are fluttering about nearby…

And last of all, vines of little crocheted flowers have wound themselves around the railings too.

If you would like to go and see them for yourself, they should hopefully be there until Wednesday.

Happy International Yarnbombing Day!

For more information about the Alameda BioDome Project, why not check out their blog?

Summer Craft Challenge 2017 (Week 2)

Last week, I began my summer craft challenge for this year. Beginning on the first day of July seemed as good a time as any! So this is the second installment of my weekly craft challenge round up. It began in Gibraltar and ended in Manchester as the Little Postcards and I started our summer holidays.

Day 8 : Saturday 8th July

Our last chance to take a dip in the pool and my last chance for some Mediterranean alfresco crochet for a while. A simple granny square by the pool was as exciting as it got.

Day 9 : Sunday 9th July



On Sunday, we flew from Gibraltar to Manchester to visit my family. I was rather tired by the end of the day after wrangling three Little Postcards through the airport without Mr Postcard (we left him at home). I managed to begin a project using my new Caron Cake, but just a few rows as I was a bit jaded!

Day 10 : Monday 10th July

Monday saw a bit more progress on my Caron Cake project, although not a lot!

Day 11 : Tuesday 11th July

By Tuesday I was getting into the swing of it and really loving the colour changes in the yarn.

Day 12 : Wednesday 12th July

On Wednesday it was rather busy, so I didn’t have much time for crochet, just a lonely little granny square to add to a long standing WIP back at home.

Day 13 : Thursday 13th July

After a bit of a slow start to my week, craft wise Thursday was brim full of yarny goodness… First stop Black Sheep Wools in Culcheth, near Warrington to drop off three Sixty Million Trebles blankets which had been made in Gibraltar. One was made as a collaboration through the Gibraltar Crochet Collective, the other two by me. They will now be parceled up and sent off to child refugees.

Oh how I do like Black Sheep Wools… So many lovely balls of wool to squidge and gorgeous colours to feast your eyes upon. Europa felt rather at home there 😉.


Next stop, a nearby pub for a spot of lunch. Then, while the Little Postcards played nearby, I managed to get a bit of surreptitious under the picnic table hooky done!

Back at my parents’ home I finished it… I played yarn chicken (going in for another row) and won!

The finished article… Perfect for snuggling up in winter.



Day 14 : Friday 14th July


Time for another new project using birthday present wool (the Caron Cake used for my scarf this week was also a birthday gift). I got into a raspberry swirl with this lovely yarn as I began a string bag pattern.

So, there you have it, my second weekly round up. If you feel inspired, why not join in too, just tag your Instagram photos with #summercraftchallenge2017.

Thanks for stopping by!