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!

Sunday Sevens #158 14.10.18

Hello and welcome to this week’s Sunday Sevens. We have had some rather windy and wet weather today, although nothing compared to what many people elsewhere have suffered this week. Hurricane Leslie was on a direct collision course with Gibraltar a couple of days ago, but luckily for us (but not for Lisbonites) it took a detour and hit land near Lisbon in Portugal.

As always I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series. Here’s what’s been going on in my world this week….

Med Steps on a Monday

It was pretty murky on Monday morning when I took a trip up the Med Steps. There were loads of apes about again. This little family group made me smile – there seem to be quite a few babies around at the minute.

Sandy Bay blanket

My Sandy Bay blanket post last week got some truly lovely comments. Thank you to everyone who took the time to read and comment on the blog, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you made my day :-).

Pretty flowers

Before my parents left last weekend, my Mum bought me some lovely roses. This one, with the dark pink edges to its petals was my absolute favourite – it’s so pretty.

Watercolour class

The Busy Lizzie’s are finished. My next project is a little landscape…

A visitor

On Thursday evening Mr Postcard got the shock of his life when, as he was sitting by the open window, a mantis flew in and landed on him! It then moved to the curtains! It’s only the second time in almost 10 years that I’ve seen one up close like this – the last one (which was rather aged and brown coloured) landed on our washing line and stayed there for a few days before it died.

This one was caught and put back outside!

On top of the Rock

It was a stunning morning on Friday when I did the Med Steps, not a cloud in the sky, just vapour trails. It was really rather hot though due to the lack of cloud cover!!

Beautiful Marbella

Yesterday we took a trip along the coast to Marbella for lunch and a wander. It was a beautiful day, we ate tapas in a chiringuito on the beach and meandered through the old town. I stumbled upon this shop…

I wish I’d seen it before my ‘purple’ photo challenge entry last week!!

Thanks for stopping by, Sunday Sevens should be back again next week… I wonder what this week will have in store for us? 🙂

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!

Summer Craft Challenge 2018 (week 6)

Another week gone already, I can hardly believe it. The summer holidays are whizzing by, and we have just 2 weeks left here in Gibraltar. Here’s what I’ve been getting up to this week in my craft challenge….

Day 36 (Saturday 11th August)

I enjoyed doing my Jennie Maizels sketchbook club picture so much last week, that I thought I’d have another go on Saturday and give some Southwold Beachhuts the Jennie Maizels treatment. This time, though, I couldn’t leave them black and white, I just had to colour them in.

Day 37 (Sunday 12th August)

Done! Now, I wonder what I should draw next?

Monday

A trip to Commonwealth Park which running some errands in town meant a few moments of Crochet calm on a bench in the dappled shade. The perfect excuse to crack open another Little Box of Crochet!

Later on, in the evening, I got reacquainted with an old friend…

Day 39 (Tuesday 14th August)

A few more rows were completed on my Coastal Crochet CAL after dark on Tuesday.

Day 40 (Wednesday 15th August)

It was International Granny Square Day on Wednesday, so I had to join in!

Day 41 (Thursday 16th August)

We spent most of the day at the beach on Thursday so my crochet came too!

Day 42 (Friday 17th August)

I’ve been working on my Sandy Bay Seaside Stash Busting Blanket a bit this week, as I had a lot to catch up on. On Friday I spent quite a bit of time on it and am working on making a crochet version of the Rock of Gibraltar (hence the grey & green rows). I think I’ve done about 17 rows this week. Here it is in all its glory:

That’s it for this week. The end of week 6 means we are three quarters of the way through the long school summer break already! Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday Sevens #138 27.5.18

Crumbs, is it just me, or is this year flying by? I can’t believe we are at the end of May bank holiday weekend already! Slow down please!!! I hope this Sunday Sevens finds you well and that you are enjoying your long weekend (if you are in a part of the world which has one). Here’s this week’s Sunday Sevens…

First barbecue of the year

And relax… feeling a little achey after the Med Steps 5 Challenge last Saturday, our first barbecue of the year, my new book and a cold beer were just what the Dr ordered!

Down by the sea

Two Little Postcards had an in service day on Monday. We headed down to Camp Bay for a bit of a kick around and ice cream. What with bank holidays and extra days off school at the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a ‘normal’ week at the moment – perhaps that’s why it feels like time is whizzing by!

Bird’s eye view

I had a trip up to the Great Siege Tunnels this week as a parent helper on a school trip. We got a bird’s eye view of the tunnel being built at the end of the runway, can you see it? There are two tunnels with what looks like a spine and ribs over the top. It was the first time I’d been to the Siege Tunnels with a guide (well a teacher who knew all about it) and I learned quite a few new things. Which reminds me, I went there with the Little Postcards a few months ago during a school holiday and I was meaning to write a post all about it…. one day!

Beautiful blossoms

I love the colour of Jacaranda blossom. This tree sits on Main Street and you could easily miss it as you go about your business. Sometimes it’s a good idea to look up!

Sandy Bay blanket

My seaside stash busting blanket now has a name; the Sandy Bay blanket. I wanted it to have a Gibraltar theme so reflected colours I see about the place. The white and yellow section was inspired by the Both Worlds housing development which sits above Sandy Bay and the green and magenta by the succulents growing above on the old water catchment slopes. Here’s the whole thing so far:

A green future for Gibraltar’s School children

On Thursday I was invited to a special reception in the Alameda Botanical Gardens. A community group I used to be involved with has sponsored a plaque to raise funds for a bio dome and learning facility for school children. It’s a very exciting project and has already garnered a lot of support, but there is still a way to go to raise all the cash needed to build it. For more information about the Alameda BioDome, you can read about it here.

A breezy trip to the beach

My Sandy Bay blanket made it to Sandy Bay on Friday morning. It was gloriously sunny between the wispy clouds skudding across the sky but the breeze was rather brisk. I had to kneel on my blanket to take the photo to prevent it blowing into the sea! Thank goodness I went while the Little Postcards were at school – they would have well and truly disowned me as I clambered over the rocks to try and get a decent photo!!

That’s all from Sunday Sevens for this week, I hope you have had a great weekend. I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.