Introducing Nature's Walk Crochet Along by Cherry Heart

Say hello to our new crochet along for 2019 - Nature's Walk designed by Cherry Heart. Sandra is an incredible crochet designer, who you may remember designed our very first CAL, 'Spice of Life' and then the follow up 'A Spicier Life'.

We are soooo happy to be working with Sandra again and absolutely love her new design. The square motif design is a refreshing change to a sampler style blanket. We hope you like it too! Don't forget to share your progress with #natureswalkcal

The CAL starts on 24th September. All of the crochet along details can be found on our Nature's Walk page, where you will find all three colour packs for sale too. Once the patterns are released they will be available to download from the page.

To introduce the blanket we sent Sandra a series of questions about the blanket to find out more. 

Nature's Walk Crochet Along - Wild Hedgerow

This is the third CAL you have designed for us. The Spice of Life and A Spicier Life blankets were sampler style designs worked in rows. We are absolutely smitten with your new blanket, what made you go for a completely different design this time round?
Thank you so much! Well, I’ve always liked blankets made up this way because each time I make a square I get that feeling of a mini project completed, so it’s quite satisfying. It’s also a really good way to make a big blanket project more portable as you only need to carry a small amount with you to whip up an individual square.

A Nature’s Walk is the name of the new crochet along. What is the inspiration behind the theme?
Well the whole idea for this blanket came about while I was out walking my dog, Bertie. I was starting to mull over possible ideas while we were strolling along and in the end the surroundings provided the inspiration for the entire project really. Once I had the initial idea, all I had to do was look around me and soak up the sights and sounds.


How long does it take you to design something like this? There must be lots of sampling and testing along the way.
Yes, absolutely! There so much more to consider when making a blanket for a Crochet Along to be made over several weeks than there is for releasing a standard pattern. It takes months and months from the initial idea to pull all the elements of it together. Having designed a few Crochet Along’s now though, I’ve learnt that the process will be much easier and smoother if I have a pretty clear idea of what I’m trying to achieve before I put hook to yarn, so I will generally know how I want the final blanket will look and how the pattern will need to be presented, before I get to the sampling. There can still be plenty of trial and error though and a trips back to the drawing board before I even start working on the final blanket!

How did you come up with the colour palettes? The names conjure up ever so pretty scenes - Wild Hedgerow, Open Fields and Sweet Meadow.
Picking the colours are the part I enjoy most, there is nothing better to me than playing around with different shades, putting groups together and seeing which combinations I like best. I did do some colour theory back in my college days, but to be honest I generally approach it in a quite unstructured way and go more on instinct and intuition than the rule book! The I love the name for these ones too, they seemed to fall naturally into place and are completely inspired by the landscape I walk through. I’m lucky to have beautiful English countryside just a few steps from my front door.

What inspired your yarn choice? Scheepjes Stone Washed, Stylecraft Bellissima and Bambino are all fabulous choices by the way!
Often the first thing I think about is the range of colours available to choose from, I’m always drawn to ranges with plenty of choice and lots of beautiful shades to work with. After that, I know I want something that is going to be nice to crochet with. Big projects like this take time, so I definitely want the process to be a pleasurable experience. Then, once the blanket is complete, I find they tend to see a lot of use, so I always want to go for a yarn that will wear and wash well too. These yarns fit the bill nicely. I think the Stonewashed look suits the look of the blanket just perfectly and the Bellissima and Bambino are new ‘go to’ favourites of mine.

What can we expect to find in the blanket? Any particular stitches to look out for?
I wanted the focus of this blanket to be more about the soothing and rhythmic qualities of crocheting, so a lot of the squares use quite simple stitches. I always find that walking the dog provides a little calm interlude in the day which can otherwise be quite full and busy, so I wanted to make the time spent making this blanket to have a similar peaceful effect. I’ve scattered a few more interesting stitches and techniques throughout the design though, to keep things interesting right to the end.

Do you prefer to use a certain type of crochet hook?
The style with a soft touch handle are essential for me, it changed my crocheting world when I first tried them and found how comfortable they are how great they are for reliving any wrist or hand strain. I have a set of Tulip Etimo hooks for so many years now, they really are my absolute favourites.

What level of crochet would you say the blanket is for? Beginner, intermediate, advanced?
I always want to help encourage crocheters to reach a little further in my patterns, that’s why I like to include tutorials and pictures as extra help. I’m always hoping to tempt people into trying something they haven’t done before. This pattern is great for beginners who have mastered the crochet basics and standard stitches, but it introduces some intermediate elements too, so I think it’s a great way to take that next step. I’m hoping that more experienced crocheters will enjoy the meditative qualities of the simpler patterns, but I think there’s also a nice amount of variety to keep everyone interested. I try and create designs that I would like to make myself.

Do you have a favourite square?
Humm, that’s a tricky one. I do really love ‘Wheat’ though, it’s inspired by the beautiful golden fields of ripe corn and barley that fill the hillsides around our village in summer. I love the texture of those puffy stitches!

The lace border is just divine.It really finishes off the blanket beautifully. How do you decide on a border for a blanket? Did you have more than one idea for this CAL? Whether it is a simple subtle edging or a bold section, it makes such a difference to the overall look.
Thank you! That’s an interesting question because I agree it can change the look completely and so I usually find that the idea for the look I want for the border will come to me as I work on the blanket. This time though, as soon as I have the initial idea, I knew I wanted a nice wide and lacy open border for it. It’s not often that an idea comes so fully formed!

We are super excited for the launch of Nature’s Walk crochet along. It will be fantastic to have you in store for the day on 7th September for our Crochet Along Launch Party. Are you looking forward to meeting everyone?
Oh yes, I can’t wait! It’s so exciting to be there for the launch, it’s something we’ve not done before and I think it will be a really fun way to kick off the CAL. It’s always a little nerve wracking when it comes to unveiling a new project for the world to see, so I’m sure all the lovely yarny eye candy in your shop together with a chance to meet and chat to everyone will be the perfect antidote!