Solar System CAL – First attempt

Digital preview of blanket  from Two Hearts Crochet

I’m having to start this again from scratch as after 3 weeks the blanket is 40 inches diameter and the completed blanket should be only 48 inches in total.

However I don’t feel like deleted the recording of about 20 hours work so the first 3 weeks works is combined here and I’ll start again in a fresh post.

Everything from here on is as it was originally.

It’s seems strange saying this, as I’ve been crocheting for quite a few years now but I’ve never done a CAL before.

I saw Two Hearts Crochet were launching a Solar System one which appealed to my inner nerd so I signed up to do it.

For those of you who aren’t aware of the term


it means Crochet ALong, and is usually a pattern released on a weekly basis for a larger project such as a blanket. There are some really fabulous ones out there but as a bit of a commitmentphobe I’ve tended to avoid them – until now.

Two Hearts use US not UK terminology (I have a comparison chart here.) but any comments I make in this post will be in UK terms for consistency across this blog.

I’m not going to copy the Two Hearts pattern here, you can access it through each week’s header and there are supporting videos. This will be where I make notes, commenting how I get on as a first time CAL follower.

Update – my tension is a lot looser than their’s so I ended up making more adjustments than I originally planed.


The pattern requires 19 balls of Stylecraft DK in 13 colours which I ordered from Deramores. Once I  finished rolling in admiring it, I could get down to business.


I don’t normally have that many colours in a project so it was time to set up colour pegs so I could keep track. I’ve labelled colour on one side and yarn type (Stylecraft DK) on the other.


I’m going to be fine when I inevitably lose the ball bands. Just have to make sure I don’t lose the pegs!

Each week’s pattern is to be released on a Friday, starting 5th January 2018.

Week 1

Due to other commitments I was unable to start the project until 15th January (10 days late) but I hope to catch up within a couple of weeks.

Being late meant there was already feedback on the week 1 pattern and updates were available on an initial curling issue, so I started the project on the suggested 3.5 mm hook.

It still created a central bump but not as obvious as obvious a one as on a 4 mm hook.

Diameter: 14 inches

Time taken:5 hours

week 1 first

Next day: I spent all night trying to work out how to flatten the work without pulling what I’d done down. Despite telling myself that the sun is a ball and the bulge would make it 3D I gave in and frogged it all.

[Frogged: pulled down – because you “rippit, rippit”]

Bit of thinking out loud here next

Without going into the mathematics too deeply, the problem is the stitch is too high for the number of increase per round. I know if  work in double crochet increasing by 6 per round works, but it makes the sun too small unless I add extra rows (on left below) or I could continue with half treble crochet and add extra increases, for example in row 3 taking it to 24 rather than 18 stitches. (on right below)


After running up the  two sample pieces, I’ve decided to go with the second option, staying with half trebles on a 4 mm hook but with more increases. This looser piece has meant I have achieved the correct diameter for the sun with 8 rows rather than the pattern’s 10, although I have ended up with a lot more stitches, 84 rather than 60.

The edge of the sun has starting to get wavy so I will drop the number of increased per row back down to 6 when I start the next colour.

Because of these adjustments,  I have set up a table so I can keep track of my increases per row.

Revised stitches per row – Week 1

Row Colour Stitches Increase every
1 Sunshine 6
2 Sunshine 12 1
3 Sunshine 24 2
4 Sunshine 36 3
5 Sunshine 48 4
6 Sunshine 60 5
7 Sunshine 72 6
8 Sunshine 84 7
9 Midnight 90 14
10 Midnight 96 15
11 Midnight 102 16
12 Midnight 108 17
13 Grey 114 18
14 Midnight 120 19
15 Midnight 126 20
16 Midnight 132 21
17 Midnight 138 22
18 Midnight 144 23
19 Midnight 150 24
20 Grey 156 25
21 Midnight 162 26
22 Midnight 168 27
23 Midnight 174 28
24 Midnight 180 29
25 Midnight 186 30
26 Midnight 192 31
27 Midnight 198 32
28 Midnight 204 33

This seems to have worked with the blanket having a nice texture. I was also able to get back to where I was pre-frogging in one day.

Size after 1 week – 17 inches diameter (a little bigger than my first attempt)

Time taken about 6 hours

week 1

Week 2

Because of the adjustments last week it is necessary to continue adjusting the number of stitches per row on the main blanket.

I noticed that the circumference was getting tight around row 7 of this week’s work so row 8 has 12 increases rather than 6.

Revised stitches per row – Week 2

Row Colour Stitches Increase every
1 Grey 210 34
2 Midnight 216 35
3 Midnight 222 36
4 Midnight 228 37
5 Midnight 234 38
6 Midnight 240 39
7 Midnight 246 40
8 Midnight 252 20
9 Midnight 264 43
10 Midnight 270 44
11 Midnight 276 45
12 Grey 282 46
13 Midnight 288 47
14 Midnight 294 48
15 Midnight 300 49
16 Midnight 306 50
17 Midnight 312 51
18 Midnight 318 52
19 Midnight 324 53
20 Midnight 330 54

Rows are now taking much longer but the increase stitches are easy to spot so crocheting the blocks of Midnight void forms a rhythm which is quite relaxing.

Size is 30 inches

Time taken about 6 hours

week 2

Week 3

This week adds texture to the blanket as we get to the asteroid belt. This was a relief after almost 60 rows of double crochet & half treble crochet.

I’m hoping we start doing a planet a week from now on to provide a break from the vast expanse of the remaining solar system. I’m guessing we’re about a third of the way through the diameter. Who knew a solar system would be so big! 🙂


Week 3 adjusted stitches per row

Row Colour Stitches Increase every
1 Graphite 324
2 Midnight 330 54
3 Midnight 336 55
4 Midnight 342 56
5 Midnight 348 57
6 Midnight 354 58
7 Midnight 360 59
8 Midnight 366 60
9 Midnight 372 61
10 Midnight 378 62
11 Midnight 384 63
12 Grey 390 64
13 Midnight 396 65
14 Midnight 402 66
15 Midnight 408 67
16 Midnight 414 68

Sun’s corona

Due to reworking the first week’s work I forgot to work the last row in the back loops. Rather than work the corona as separate piece and sew it on I decided to work the first row around the posts.


It’s slightly proud but I believe it can be flattened. If that doesn’t work  I’ll redo it as an applique.


Took 2 evenings to do this week’s work – up to 8 hours.

I’m not sure exactly as I did take breaks, doing 3 weeks in 2 plus other projects has led to a bit of hand cramp.

Diameter after 3 weeks: 40 inches – this is NOT good.

I’ve been looking back at the previous week’s instructions from Two Hearts. This blanket is original described as a lap blanket being 48 inches across. I think I can safely say this is not going to be the case.

Looking at their design the bit I’ve done so far is about one 3/7 of the total diameter, so assuming that my blanket would be 90 inches across. A 7ft 6 blanket is a bit excessive.

So I’m going to start again…..