The Wrapped In Jamie CAL will – as the TV Show – be released in Seasons.
Unlike the TV show you won’t have to wait forever for the next Season to start. We will be going seamlessly from one to the next. Here is a rough outline:
Background - Season 1
Season 1 gives you the first 12 squares. They all relate to the time before Jamie meets Claire, except for square 12 – Sassenachs. That’s where they actually meet.
At the time of designing these squares I did not even think about publishing, let alone in the format of a CAL. I had just finished the Stardust Melody CAL by Polly Plum and had so much fun with her squares, that I wanted to try something of my own.
Being an engineer/architect by training and story collector by heart, I could not just do a design without a background story. At that time I was listening (again) to the audiobook series Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, read (so beautifully!) by Davina Porter and I was wondering how this story would translate into a design.
Starting from the beginning, I looked for events that happened before the actual story starts. Twelve to me is a magic number and it happened that I found 12 major events that I do believe shaped Jamie into the man who meets Claire.
Background - Season 2
Season 2 starts with the Claire Square, followed by another eight squares plus the triangles you need to fill the gaps in some layout options.
Initially I thought about Scotland and what makes it so special. Some of the ideas seemed a bit silly and asymetrical, like Nessy (the blue square) or unbalanced (the dark grey square which you can’t see, where I played with the idea of the stone circle).
Others turned out surprisingly beautiful, like Square 1 – Year of the Ox, which is pretty much unedited from its first creation. I only adjusted the number of rounds, defined an “inner square” border and the put the border motif in the middle and later added a border that is the same for all squares; otherwise it is the identical design from the start.
Square 13 to 20 are still influenced by the ideas around Scotland, mixed with reference to Jamie and Claire.
Thistle was one of my first designs and it was the most difficult to translate. It took me over a year of trial and error to get it to a stage that I consider acceptable. It will be your Square 17.
Initially I wanted it to be a complete set of designs just around Jamie and parallel to the squares I worked on a bigger square called Jamie. Similar technique, but using several colours inspired by Lilla Björns mosaic and overlay crochet.
I kind of liked the Jamie square, but wasn’t sure about the mixing of styles, so I decided to let the Jamie square go for now and started a completely new design. It was then still called Jamie Square.
Jamie or Claire?
The idea for a Claire Square came much later. In the meantime I had worked out a number of designs for the squares, some in different versions, all still without a border, some of them in different versions.
What is it going to be?
I asked myself the same questions that later many of the members in the Wrapped In Jamie CAL facebook group asked. What will it look like in the end? How am I going to bring the squares together? Will I make a blanket? Not enough squares. How can I make it bigger? Add more squares, have a feature square like in Sophie’s Universe. How can it be arranged? What will I call it?
And so the “Claire Square” was born.
The Claire Square is designed to be the center of a bigger square, which means it is the size of 4 small squares. Accidentally – or not – it is also the size of 9 squares without the outer border (as my test squares did not have one).
As the idea to publish a CAL started to form, I put more thought into the Claire Square. i did like the design, but to me it did not represent Claire and apart from the lots and lots of popcorn stitches, it was rather masculine.
So I went back to the drawing board, put some more thought into the whole project and came up with the new Claire Square which I am excited to introduce to you as the first three parts in Season 2, along with all the triangles that are necessary to complete the biggest layout option incorporating all available designs.
We call this the Diamond Kilt Claire 20
Background - Season 3
With all the layout options to come, I will be offering ideas how to bring your squares together. I am usually not a fan of sewing squares together, but during the Stardust Melodies CAL I loved that I could take a pattern and a small square with me everywhere and work on it while waiting for workshops or lessons to finish or whenever there was an opportunity to crochet without having to lug around a blanket that was getting bigger and bigger and heavier and heavier.
I hope you can appreciate that too, even if it means having to bring it all together by sewing. Another positive aspect is that you can still change your mind as you go how you would like your layout to be and you can make it work with any colours you choose.
To complete the project, I will give you three border options. A very simple one that matches the triangle designs (which by the way will not tell their story as obvious as the squares), a more sophisticated one similar to the outer square border that you might want to work in a solid colour and one the reflects your chosen colourway again where you can play with your colours and work away some left-over yarn – if applicable.
When I first asked if people would be interested in a CAL called Wrapped In Jamie, I had not anticipated the overwhelming positive response.
Within a week I had people signing up through the website from all over the world and my inbox exploded from subscribers who wanted to join the email list. I quickly exceeded my allowance of free subscribers and had to upgrade my account.
Though the Wrapped In Jamie CAL is and will be offered here for free forever, a lot of effort and thought has gone into its creation. The website needs to be hosted, emails need to be sent out through a provider and apps and plugins need to be installed to keep everything smooth and running. PDFs for each part of the pattern are available for a very low contribution, but are not essential for you to participate in the CAL. All the information you need for the complete project is and will stay accessible for free.
While I am not a huge fan of affiliations, they are a great way to receive a small contribution that helps to cover some of the costs that enable me to provide a CAL like this for free without an expense for you. I would therefore kindly ask you and appreciate if you could order your yarn, other crochet supplies or yarn kits through my special links on this website.
I keep the website as clean as possible from advertisements and I completely stay away from those nasty Google ads that annoy the *peep* out of everyone when they pop out of nowhere and I only put my name between you and a supplier that is relevant to handwork or that I truly believe to be beneficial, relevant or having a positive impact on your life or our Mother Earth.
Thank you for taking part in this extraordinary adventure with me.
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Have you joined the Black Sheep Crochet Group on facebook yet? You can find my latest projects, collections and patterns there.
The Wrapped In Jamie CAL facebook group offers specific pattern support and helps you to answer all kinds of questions around the CAL. You can showcase your own WIJ project there or get inspired by other participants’ yarn, colour or layout choices.