A new design from Pam

Head over Heels Square

Head over Heals is the new design from Pam Knighton-Haener / A Yarn of Serendipity. I had the pleasure to test this square in July.

Although I had decided at some point to do all her tests with Hobbii Rainbow Cotton 8/4, this time I felt I didn’t have the right colours for it. So I came back to my SSDK after all. Instead of the 4 mm hook I normally use with this yarn I chose 4,5 mm this time. I think the result is better but I am still not 100% satisfied with the stitch definition.

I love the colours though. I wanted to try this combination for a long time

Cream, Apricot, Pistachio, Silver and Graphite.

Square I

For my test square I followed Pam‘s colour way 2 with some slight changes for two rounds. Hooking the square I was so fascinated by the center part that I wanted to see how it would look in another colour combination. And I also was curious how my colours would look in another arrangement. So I made a second one following my own ideas. Not sure which one I like better.

I was thinking about mounting one of the squares on a cushion cover. Unfortunately I only have one in a dark grey. So I’m already thinking about whether I should make a third square in slightly brighter colours, hm … Well, we will see!

Square Ii

Here some details

Pattern

Head over Heels Square
available on Ravelry

Designer

Pam Knighton-Haener from A Yarn of Serendipity

Technique

regular crochet

Yarn

Stylecraft Special DK

Colours Square I

Following Pam’s colour way 2
A – Cream
B – Graphite
C- Pistachio
D – Apricot
E – Silver
Changes:
round 7 – colour A
round 8 – colour E

Colours Square II

Round 1 – Cream
Round 2 – Pistachio
Round 3 – Cream
Round 4 – Cream
Round 5 – Graphite
Round 6 – Silver
Round 7 – Apricot
Round 8 – Cream
Round 9 – Silver
Round 10 – Pistachio
Round 11 – Apricot
Round 12 – Graphite
Round 13 – Pistachio
Round 14 – Cream
Round 15 – Graphite

Hook

Clover Amour hook, 4,5 mm

My first traditional Granny Square

Can you imagine that I never have done a traditional Granny Square? I only noticed this in summer when I was looking for a project that could be easily done in the heat. I was thinking about finally starting the Beach Walk Blanket by Marion Mitchell. I purchased this pattern over a year ago but never started.

It is a blanket made of Granny Squares and I was caught by the colours she used which reminded me of my holidays at the North Sea. Due to all the different colours you need a huge pile of yarn. So before putting the whole yarn together I wanted to try a Granny square first to see if I like it at all.

Of course the technique of doing Granny Squares is explained in the pattern. Nevertheless, I was a bit hesitant because the work was turned after each round and I normally don’t like that. I always think that the stitches look much neater from the front side . That’s why I love mosaic crochet or working in the round without turning. So I wondered whether it is really necessary to turn the square after each round and searched the internet.

I was amazed by the result. I didn‘t know that there are so many variations of making a Granny Square! You really find a lot of different ways: starting with a chain and forming a ring or starting with a magic ring. Turning the square after each round or working in one direction only. Starting a round always in the same corner space or starting in different corner spaces Starting a round with a 3 dc group or starting in the middle of a 3 dc group. Working a ch2 in the corner spaces or working a ch3. Working a ch1 between the dc groups on the sides or not … and so on – phew!

So I had to try some of the different ways myself to see what works best for me. The results were astonishing.

Normally, when working in the round, I start each round with a standing stitch and end with an invisible join, regardless of what is written in the pattern. Surprisingly this doesn’t work for me in a Granny Square. So I start with a chain 3 and join with a slip stitch to the top of the ch3. Except for the last round, there my invisible join works perfect. Also a chain between the dc groups doesn’t work for me, neither does a ch3 in the corner spaces.
And the main point, turning the square after each round or not? Well … The reason for turning the work is to prevent the stitches from leaning to one side. And damaging the shape. This easily happens when you only work in one direction. I don’t think turning is necessary for a four round Granny or even the smaller ones. It might cause a problem with bigger ones tough – I haven’t tried it yet. Of course the look is different, depending on wether you turn your work or not. The left one in the photo below is made with turning the work after each round, the right one without.

And guess what? I never thought I would say this, but somehow I like the left one better.

So here is

My way to do a Granny Square

(US Terms)

Round 1:

  • In a Magic Ring: ch3 (as first dc), 2 dc, (ch2, 3 dc) 3 times, ch2 and sl to 3rd ch of the first ch3; cut yarn, turn

Round 2:

  • start in any ch2 corner space, ch3 (as first dc), 2dc in same corner space
  • (3 dc, ch2, 3 dc ) in next corner space, repeat 3 times omitting the last 3 dc
  • slip stitch to the top of the ch3, cut yarn, turn

Round 3:

  • Start in any ch2 corner space
    ch3 (as first dc), 2 dc in same corner space
  • *skip 3 dc, 3dc in the little space between the dc groups of previous round, skip 3 dc
  • 3 dc, ch2, 3 dc in next corner space*
  • repeat from * to * 3 times, omitting the last 3 dc, slip stitch to the top of the ch3, cut yarn, turn

Round 4 and ff.

  • Start in any ch2 corner space
    ch3 (as first dc), 2 dc in corner space,
  • *skip 3 dc, 3dc in the little space between the dc groups of previous round, skip 3 dc; repeat until next corner space
  • 3 dc, ch2, 3 dc in next corner space*
  • repeat from * to * 3 times, omitting the last 3 dc, slip stitch to the top of the ch3, cut yarn, turn

Repeat round 4 until you reach the desired size and finish the square with an invisible join. Bring all yarn tails to one side and work them away. Depending on the join you are going to use this should either be the right or the wrong side.

Be careful – it can be addictive!

When Summer turns into Fall Make along

Ana just started a new Make along (MAL) with her fabulous When Summer turns into Fall blanket.

I fell in love with this pattern the first time I saw it and knew immediately that I had to make it. I started it in January 2021 and no, it is not finished yet. Why?

Well, it all began with the photo above. I was writing a blog post about the projects I am working on besides testing. Mainly the Seashell Dudes by misssBerlin and When Summer turns into Fall. Since both of these projects were not very far along, I had the idea of using the cover photos of the patterns to show how they will look when finished. I therefore decided to contact the designers and ask for permission.
Having worked with Dana (misssBerlin) several times before, I was sure she would agree. But I had no idea how Ana would react. Nevertheless, I simply wrote her an email. And that’s how it began! Her answer was not long in coming and of course she agreed that I could use her photo. But she also asked me if I would like to test for her once. Guess what I answered! So I found myself testing her Gretchen, the Geometrics and many more …

It is an amazing journey and I have made a wonderful friend! Only my When Summer turns into Fall has slept peacefully in a bag so far. But I will now take the opportunity of the MAL to finally get on with it! It is such a relaxing pattern and fun to work on. Wish me luck!

Here my progress so far

Happy hooking 💕

Happy Granny Square Day

Sweet Marigold Square

Today is the international Granny Square Day!

For this day Ana Morais Soares from One Skein of Love has designed this lovely square: Sweet Marigold Square. The pattern is featured in Simply Crochet Magazine. This month they will have a supplement with 52 Granny Squares patterns that will be put together into a blanket. The blanket and their fees will be donated to Operation Orphan, a non profit organization.

I had the pleasure to test Ana’s pattern earlier this year. My version is made with Schachenmayr Catania – a Sport weight (#2)Cotton yarn (125 m / 50 g) – and a 2,5 mm hook. It turned out about 12 cm.

My colours are

Colour A – 427 Scampi
Colour B – 401 Apricot
Colour C and D – 269 Graublau

I am curious to see the other squares from the Simply Crochet Magazine supplement!

Have a lovely day 💕

Test No.3/2022 for Pam

Sweet Delusions Square

… another beautiful design by A Yarn of Serendipity – Pam Knighton-Haener and my test no. 3 out of 4 that I have completed for Pam this year. And still more to come … YAY!

The Sweet Delusions Square is featured in the BAMCAL 2022 – Crochet a Block-a-Month— on Ravelry. It’s the square for the month August.
The pattern is available as a free download on Pam’s website or as a paid pattern on Ravelry. The paid version has additional features like the very helpful round-by-roubd pictures and links that help you to navigate through the document.

For Sweet Delusions I stayed with my Hobbii Rainbow cotton 8/4 just as I had intended. I like the result and think the colours go very well together.
Although I can imagine it in different colours as well. Maybe different shades of green and a little bit of cream? Or shades of purple? There are so many possibilities!

Pattern

Sweet Delusions Square
available on Ravelry

Designer

Pam Knighton-Haener from A Yarn of Serendipity

finished

14. June 2022

Technique

regular crochet

Yarn

Hobbii Rainbow Cotton 8/4

Colours and Placement

28 Light Jeans Blue – colour A
69 Lilac – colour B
46 Old Rosa – colour C
29 Jeans Blue – colour D
97 Mist – colour E
following colour way 1

Hook

Clover Soft Touch, 2,5 mm

Finished Size

about 20 cm

If you like Pam’s designs just have a look at my other tests:

My test versions

I hope you get some inspiration!

Mellow Fellows – Cruciferous

Have you already seen the new pattern by misssBerlin? The Cruciferous are part of her new Mellow Fellow series. A yummy cauliflower and broccoli.

I had the pleasure to test this pattern during the last days. As always it was a lot of fun. Dana‘s cute Amigurumi are always very inspiring.

My veggies are made with Catania from Schachenmayr and a 2,5 mm hook (my Clover Soft Touch). For the cauliflower I used the colour 130 Cream throughout. The little broccoli is made with 392 Lime for the stalk and 212 Khaki for the florets.
Both are crocheted more or less in one piece, only the little arms are sewn on.

Everything is explained very well in the pattern. If you know how to do chains, single crochet and double crochet (US terms) you are able to do it! Although I think that the placement of the stitches in the florets is a bit tricky at times and needs patience!
The skill level is rated as adventurous beginner/ intermediate.

The pattern is available on Ravelry.

You also should have a look at the other fellows of this series!

I already wrote about the little mushroom and the trees in this post.

But there are also little Acorns and Cacti available. Unfortunately I was not able to test these but here two of Dana‘s photos. Aren‘t they cute? I will have to make them to complete my collection!

New page on my blog – Colour Boards

I have just added a new page to my blog: Colour Boards.

Some time ago I already told you about how I am trying to put together colours for a new project and how I try to compensate for the lack of a yarn shop nearby. (You can read about it here.)
I am still working with the digital yarn patches from the Stylecraft website and my „hardware“ colour swatches. But I also started to create something new. New for me at least!

I have been collecting mood boards and colour combinations that I like for a long time. I often use them when I’m putting together colours for a new project. For me they are always a great way to get started. But I have never tried to translate a certain atmosphere that I like in a picture into yarn colours myself. Until now!

I came to this when I was checking the files for Ana’s Costa Nova Cal. The first colours that spontaneously came to mind were what we call navy colours: dark blue, red and white. But then I asked myself which colours – apart from the navy colours – could also represent the summer? Summer, sun, beach, what do I associate with it? And I found myself looking for some photos that call to me. And voila, I created my first colour board based on a picture and a certain atmosphere.

If you follow my blog you have probably already seen some of them in my post about the Costa Nova Cal. But meanwhile I created some more and collected them on a separate page. I am sure new ones will follow.

I hope you like them and find them inspiring!

Costa Nova Cal – Some colour ideas

Have you already seen that Ana from One Skein of Love is launching a new Cal?
It will start on Thursday, 07. July 2022. The Intro file with all relevant information is now available on Ravelry. During the Cal there is a 30 % discount on the price and an extra 20% discount for members of Ana‘s Facebook group.

Although I am one of the testers I don’t hav a blanket to show you this time. And no own colour way, sorry!
After crocheting almost exclusively test projects since autumn of last year, I needed a break. I urgently want to finish my (hubby‘s) Midnight Snowflakes blanket and a shawl I started designing months ago.
So I “only“ checked the pattern by reading, counting stitches, checking colours, diagrams and everything and reading again … checking again…

But my fingers were itching! Ana designed lovely costal motifs to pay homage to her favourite beach: Costa Nova.

So I couldn‘t help. I had to think about colours that would suit the pattern and that I would use. I thought I would show you my favourite ideas, maybe you will like some of them?

(At this point once again many thanks to Stylecraft Yarns who allowed me to use the colour samples from their website.)

This one is my absolute favourite

and this one was my first idea

But I also love this one

Hard to decide, isn’t it?
If you take part in the Cal I wish you a lot of fun already now 💕

New tests for Pam

This year, Pam Knighton-Haener from A Yarn of Serendipity has created some new designs and so far I have already been able to test three of them. Two are already published, so I can show them. The third one is still in the testing phase and will be released in August.

As you may know I have been unsure all the time which yarn to use. Pam’s squares are designed to use a cotton yarn in Aran weight. Depending on hook size – 4,5 or 5 mm hook – the finished size will be 11 or 12 inch – that’s about 28 respectively 30,5 cm.

When I started testing for Pam in 2020 I made my first squares with Drops Paris and Love you 8 using a 4,5 mm hook. I love the colours of Drops as they are soft and subtle but somehow I don’t like to work with Aran weight. It’s probably a matter of practice, but I’m never satisfied with the look of my stitches when I use Aran. Especially since Pam often uses trebles and double trebles. Somehow it stresses me out and I have been looking for alternatives.
So, after a short excursion to Stylecraft Special DK (not as good stitch definition as cotton and harder to block), I came to Hobbii Rainbow Cotton 8/4. It is a fingering weight with 170 m / 50 g. Much thinner than Aran but I still think my squares are a good size at around 19 or 20 cm. I like the colours, I’m happy with the look of my stitches, I feel less stressed – I’m sticking with it.
Luckily Pam doesn’t mind me using it.

The first Square I tested this year was the

Simple Wonders Square

Pattern

Simple Wonders Square
available on Ravelry

Designer

Pam Knighton-Haener from A Yarn of Serendipity

finished

06. February 2022

Technique

regular crochet

Yarn

Hobbii Rainbow Cotton 8/4
170 m / 50 g

Colours and Placement

65 Apricot Colour A
97 Mist Colour B
13 Grayish Purple Colour C
Following colour way 1

Hook

Clover Soft Touch, 2,5 mm

Finished Size

app. 19 cm


And the second one was the lovely

Apart Together Square

Pattern

Apart Together Square
available on Ravelry

Designer

Pam Knighton-Haener from A Yarn of Serendipity

finished

06. April 2022

Technique

regular crochet

Yarn

Hobbii Rainbow Cotton 8/4
170 m / 50 g

Colours and Placement

69 Lilac Colour A
97 Mist Colour B
46 Old Rose Colour C
Following colour way 2

Hook

Clover Soft Touch, 2,5 mm

Finished Size

app. 19 cm

If you are interested in the other squares I tested for Pam, just have a look

From left to right:
Carter Jude Square, Brood of Angels, Margaret Square, all made with Drops yarn

… and Fancy Nancy, made with Stylecraft Special DK

Have a good time

Mellow Fellows

By now you probably know that Dana from misssBerlin is my favorite Amigurumi Designer. She has designed all the little Dudes you see here on this site. Unfortunately it’s been a while since I last tested for her, the Carnival Treat Dudes in April 2021.

Now she has created a brand new series, the Mellow Fellows and asked me at the end of April if I was able test them. Fortunately I could test at least two of the first four patterns that will be released over the next few weeks.

Mushrooms

First were the Mushrooms. Aren’t they cute?

The pattern includes the instructions to make these little mushrooms in two different sizes – about 8,5 and 10 cm tall. There is only little sewing as they are made more or less in one piece. As always Dana’s pattern is very detailed and easy to follow.

The pattern is written for a level 2 mercerized cotton yarn but I think you can also use any other yarn you like. I made my mushrooms with Schachenmayr Catania and a 2,5 mm hook. The colours I used are Natur and Red. I used the same colour to embroider the little dots on the Cap and a leftover of Black for the eyes.

They are really fun to make and I am absolutely happy how they turned out!

Trees

The trees pattern contains the instructions for an approx. 8.5 cm high Pine Tree and a Fruit Tree which is about 10 cm tall. Only the arms are sewn on for these two as well, the rest is crocheted in one piece.

I used Schachenmayr Catania in the colour Teddy for the bodies / trunks of both. The treetop of the Pine Tree is made with Khaki. The crown of the fruit tree can be varied depending on which fruit it is to bear. I made mine with Scheepjes Catona in the colour Forest Green, combined with Woll Butt Camilla (a German brand) in Hellgrün. It is an apple tree with green apples.

The pattern are available in Dana’s Ravelry Store.
Just have a look at the Mellow Fellows Mushrooms and
the Mellow Fellow Trees.

I hope you will enjoy making these little creatures as much as I did.