Circles of the Sun Mystery CAL - General Information

Only five days are left till the official beginning of my summer Mystery CAL 2015 (as the first pattern will be published next Friday, on 26th of June) and it’s the right time to give you more details about this project. Oh! I’ve actually come up with the name. My CAL will be named "Circles of the Sun". All 9 granny squares are different but still made in the same style, and they remind me of small suns. There are both floral and geometrical elements, so I really hope you will like them. After I posted brief information about this upcoming CAL I got many questions from you. So I will try to answer them in this post.

Circles of the Sun - Mystery CAL in overlay crochet - general information -

What is this Mystery CAL about?

As I’ve announced earlier, this Mystery CAL will be about Overlay crochet and granny squares. The main aim of this project is to introduce Overlay Crochet technique to you. If you have never heard about it before it will be a nice opportunity to start mastering it. And if you've tried my patterns already – then you will get a chance to make one more project in this amazing technique.

During this CAL you will create a front decoration for a pillow cover consisting of 9 squares made in overlay crochet. There will be no pattern for the back side of the pillow, so you will need a fabric pillow cover onto which you will sew your crocheted decoration.

IMPORTANT: Please, be aware that all my patterns (free or paid) are protected by copyright. All patterns are for personal use only. You are not allowed to copy, reproduce, redistribute, sell and edit them in part or as a whole. Translations and video tutorials are NOT allowed without permission. You are welcome to sell your finished items made by my patterns, but you cannot use my pictures to promote them. Please, always credit me as the designer of these patterns. You are not allowed to share pdf-files created from my posts with anyone. If you would like more people to join my CAL – please, share a link to my blog with them. You can check Copyright page for more details.

  • Tutorials. The patterns of each block will be published here, on my blog, every Friday.

  • Newsletter. If you haven’t done this yet, be sure to subscribe to my Weekly Newsletter not to miss a single beat of this CAL. I also offer a free pattern of Macaron Pin Cushion exclusively to my subscribers. If you have some problems with subscribing, please feel free to do it on any page of my blog.

  • Ravelry. Please, add this CAL to your Ravelry queue. You can also join my official group on Ravelry where the information about each tutorial will be published and where you can also share your finished blocks.

  • Facebook. Don’t forget to join my Facebook club. And be sure to check Official CCC Social Group which will host Circles of the Sun CAL 2015.

  • Pinterest. I’ve created a new board on Pinterest where all the tutorials of this CAL will be added after being published on my blog.

  • Video. All videos for this CAL will be kindly recordered by Esther Dijkstra from It’s all in a Nutshell. You can view the video in the end of each post!

  • CAL version in Dutch and German. I am happy to announce that my CAL will be kindly translated to Dutch by Dianne Baan from You can read general information about this CAL and ready tutorials in Dutch HERE. And translation of this CAL to German is made by Libminna. Please, read general information in German HERE. The links to translation of each tutorial will also be added to separate posts.

Stitch Abbreviations

US standard abbreviations are used in this pattern. But if you are used to other terms, please check this Crochet Translation Project which might be helpful in translation to your language. There will be detailed instructions about how to make every stitch given in the pattern for each block.

Skill level: Beginner or Intermediate?

I am very often asked if this CAL is also suitable for beginners… In general overlay crochet is considered to be intermediate to advance technique. But I have my own opinion on this and I expressed it in this post. In fact overlay crochet uses the same stitches as "classical" one and the only difference is in a way you attach overlaid stitches.

I tried to design not tricky patterns with advanced beginners in mind. I think that due to a huge amount of pictures this CAL should be not a problem. But everything of course depends on your personal level.

You should already know how to crochet in rounds, in front or back loops, how to join rounds, how to make magic ring, (US terms here) chain, slip stitch, single crochet, double crochet, treble crochet and their variations like dc3tog, dc4tog, tr2tog and so on.

If you haven’t done this yet – please, check Overlay Crochet section on my blog. I published all the important information about this technique. I would recommend to you to have a look at it before you start the CAL. Especially it is important to know how to attach the yarn and how to join the rounds. I will of course link up to certain articles from every tutorial.

Yarn and colors

I used Cotton Light yarn (DK) by DROPS for this CAL in 6 colors: beige, gray, ruby, yellow, green and orange… Well, I should be honest with you now as I actually used one skein of Safran yarn (Sport weight) by DROPS (orange) which is a different weight.

It happened because I wanted to add orange but this shade was not available and I decided to take a risk by adding one skein in different weight. And… And it worked! :) There was lots of orange yarn left so I am safe to say: if you choose 6 skeins of Cotton Light – that should be enough.

Circles of the Sun - Mystery CAL in overlay crochet - general information -

BUT! Please, be aware that the amount of yarn YOU will use for your CAL depends on many factors: on the yarn you use, on the size of the hook and on your personal crochet style. I used a 3.25 mm (D) hook and I would say I am a tight crocheter.

While designing this decoration for a pillow I really wanted to keep you away from purchasing new yarn as I wanted it to be a stush buster project.

So before actually buying new yarn, please, dig deeper into your stash and may be you will find some yarn there. If you have a small amount of each color – you can use more colors for this CAL (not just 6).

Overlay crochet is about drawing with yarn. Making each square you will change the colors on ever round and it’s not really necessary to exactly follow the color key given in each pattern. You can change the colors according to your taste, and your pillow will be unique!

I am often asked which colors would work best for this CAL. Well, I would recommend solid and contrasting colors. But if you rather want to take several shades of two or three colors, please, be sure to use light and dark shades.

If you take similar colors the whole image of each square will not be so vivid. And I would also recommend to use stiffer yarns rather that soft. And with no “arty” effects. Please, feel free to check this post where I show in examples how different yarns can influense the look of the project in overlay crochet.


The size of each block and a pillow as a result will naturally depend on yarn and hook chosen. My squares are 12.5 cm x 12.5 cm (5” x 5”) large. And my front decoration with the border is 40 cm x 40 cm (16” x 16”).


There is no gauge listed here as it will also depend on your yarn and hook. And also on your crochet style. The only important guideline here is that every your block should be flat and of the same size.

Circles of the Sun Timeline (Links to all the tutorials as they become available)

Block 1                                    26 June 2015
Block 2                                    3 July 2015
Block 3                                    10 July 2015
Block 4                                    17 July 2015
Block 5                                    24 July 2015
Block 6                                    31 July 2015
Block 7                                    7 August 2015
Block 8                                   14 August 2015
Block 9                                   21 August 2015
Joining and the Border             28 August 2015

Seems like this is all for now… Please, leave a comment to this post if I missed something important.

Remember to subscribe to a weekly newsletter not to miss a single pattern and tutorial. And you can also follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

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  1. I am so looking forward to this CAL!

  2. Hi, I plan to use Hobby Lobby I Love This Cotton, is it going to work with this pattern? What hook size do you suggest using...what is recommended (on the package) or going with a smaller hook size? Thanks for your help.

  3. Hello Jen! I have never tried this yarn so unfortunately I cannot recommend you anything here. I saw this yarn only in the pictures and I think it should work well. I usually take smaller hook but it depends on your style. You should feel comfortable with crochet and your blocks should stay flat. I hope this helps!

  4. Hi, can you please list the yarn colour code numbers as well. Love the sneak peak. Looks gorgeous. Thanks Caroline x

    1. Caroline, please, be aware that real shades can differ from what you see in the pictures. It depends on my photography and on your monitor settings... So before purchasing these exact shades I would recommend you to have a look at them in real life.

      The shades are (CottonLight)

      30 - dark grey
      22 - brown ( I called it beige in this post)
      28 - yellow
      17 - dark red
      11 - green

      and Safran - 28 - orange

  5. Hi, Im in love with your crochet works and I have also bought some patterns of you, and I doing this CAL to... May I write it on my blog? of course with your link where you can find the pattern...and my crochet granny

  6. Hi! Sure, please, feel free to post the pictures of your finished projects on your blog. I don't mind :) I will be grateful if you credit me with the link either to my blog or to my patterns store. Thank you!

  7. Is this still available links didn't
    work ?

  8. Is this still available the link didnt work ?

  9. It is still available and links should work! :) The first part will be published today.

  10. I am very excited to receive the first part :) I just now signed up to your newsletter and I understood the instructions will be sent out via email. Hope I didn't miss it :)

  11. I am sitting waiting patiently for block no. 2! Can you tell me what time it will be available from, UK time, please????

    1. Hello! Unfortunately I will always post late on Fridays... I guess it will be around 11pm in UK. We coordinate our work with Kimberly Slifer on Facebook to post at the same time, and this time of the day works best for both of us... thank you for understanding!

  12. Hello from Spain!!! I like your SAL. I bought Safran in Sale and make your patter with that. I am playing with you. Thanks!!!!

  13. Thank you for you generosity in sharing this CAL project and also for all the excellent accompanying instructions, techniques and tips. I am looking forward to making a start on this when I have finished my current project (though am very tempted to start now!).

  14. Wow your circles are simply just gorgeous ❤
    I am SO glad, that I saw this CAL in right time 😊

  15. Love you, love you, love you, so inspire me!!!

  16. Thanks for sharing the pattern for free :-) I really enjoyed making the pillow :-)

  17. Hello from the Philippines! I just came across your blog while browsing in Pinterest which I joined primarily for my interest in crochet. Crocheting is a recently rekindled passion for me after learning it almost half a century ago while I was in grade school (whew! Was it really that long ago!��) I'm not much of a techie but I'm so glad for the Internet for the wealth of materials it offers. Thank you very much for this free pattern of a gorgeous project. I'm so excited about it and am drooling over the yarn you used for their quality and colors. This is quite a problem for me as there is limited availability of yarn here. Or they can be very expensive if ordered online because of shipping cost. Anyhow, I have to find a way to make a version of this design. Thanks again! :)

  18. Lovely posts. I enjoyed a lot. Thanks a lot.

  19. Your work leaves me in awe. With every project of yours, I am more spellbound. Thank you so much!

  20. Darling Little Bear! You have given so much joy when I made my blankie for my first grandchild... I chose bamboo and jewel colours... Would love to show you!

  21. Hi Debbie! I wouldlove to see your blanket! You can e-mail me the picthre or better share it on my Facebook page so that everyone can see it :)

  22. Душа поёт и радуется с вашим Творчеством))Благодарю за Радость!!!

  23. Hi
    I bought the same drops cotton light and it splits all the time which is too hard to continue with when using overlay crochet. With 8 strands it is too easy to split or leave behind a strand when pushing the hook through.
    which cotton would you recommend that does not split?

  24. I second that review.i purchased several balls of it years ago and couldn't get around 3 circles due to the splitting. Terrible yarn. I'm in the USA where out selection is very limited and mostly acrylic. I shop from Dermores in the UK. It's worth the wait for good yarn.

    1. Yes, the yarn is splitty, that's true. But with the right type of the hook the effect might be minimized. I use Clover Amour hooks... they help a lot. But it's also important to get used to the yarn.

  25. Adorei conhecer seus trabalhos, são muito lindos. Vou tentar fazer um quadrado e te mostrarei o resultado, obrigada por postar.

  26. Several years late, just found your blog! I love your patterns and this CAL is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent =)

  27. it is now 2021 and asI wandered trough the crochet things on line I got smacked in the face by your circles of the sun . I don't know what a CAL means, but I am doing one called casablanca and my stitchingis way too loose, so I thought it be good to try granny squares to learn to crochet tighter, and saw the beautiful circles of the Sun, but I can't find how to find the pattern, to buy or use, it was a long time ago so maybe it isn't around any more. do you sell the pattern? or videos on how to make it. the colors are delicious. please help me find the patterns, as I want to make a small throw out of granny squares for my couch, and one for my daughter, she loves these colors.

  28. Ii was thumbing through pattern cals and ran across your circles in the sand. I am proud to say I want to give it a try. Ty so much to the creator of this pattern. I can't wait to start. Ty again it's just beautiful

  29. I have made the circles of the sun twice. At first in cotton for myself, the second for my mother with all her ever used yarns for years as a memory That made us both very happy. It's a nice patern, thanks.

  30. This is a pattern that always rekindles my love for crochet when I'm feeling bored or restless with it. Thank you so much.


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