Category Archives: Crochet Adventures

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 💕

Midnight Snowflakes

Finally!

Finally I was able to start this pattern. I fell in love with it when Ana published the pattern about one year ago. Since then I have promised hubby to make him a blanket with it. When Ana lately announced her MAL I thought it was a good time to start with it.

The colours

It is always hard to choose the right colours for a blanket. At least it is for me. It is very rare that I see a pattern and immediately know which colours I want to make it in. For Midnight Snowflakes I instantly had white combined with a grey tone in mind. White for the background with grey snowflakes! But something made me hesitate. I probably knew instinctively that hubby wouldn’t like it. And so it was!

After he told me that this is much too bright (???) my idea was to switch the colours and do the snowflakes in classic white and the background in a dark grey. Looking for a yarn that might be a bit more special than my standard acrylic yarn I came across Cookie from Järbo. The colour Cloudy was exactly what I was looking for, off white changing to a soft, light grey – and on sale! From what I saw in the photos this would go great with Rotterdam from Scheepjes Colour Crafter. (Rotterdam is a dark grey, very similar to Graphite from Stylecraft Special DK.) So I placed my order.

My disappointment could not have been greater when the yarn arrived. Rotterdam was what I expected, but … You can already see it in my photos. Instead of white with a little bit of grey my Cookie is grey with a little bit of white. Much too dark in combination with Rotterdam – even hubby agreed.

I have to say, the yarn itself is great. Nice and soft with a great stitch definition. I didn’t send it back. It will be used in another project. It would certainly look good in a Winter Wonderland.

Since I did not want to order online again on suspicion I had to find another match with colours I had. Combinations with Stylecraft Special DK in A Hint of Silver or Parma Violet looked nice but were not what I had in mind. I liked the contrast with white, hubby didn’t. I even tried to create a gradient myself but either the contrast between my colours was too low or there was no gradation in between.

Finally I found Duck Egg in my stash. I like the combination of Duck Egg and dark grey and hubby agreed. This is how my choice of colour came about. To be honest, I still don’t know if hubby really likes it or if he was just so annoyed that he said yes.

The MAL runs util 28. February 2022. The pattern is available via Ravelry. Until the end of February there is a 50% discount (code on Ana’s Facebook group).

Midnight Snowflakes pattern by One Skein of Love, hooked by ELeni

Have a nice week!

When Summer turns into Fall

is one of the projects I am working on besides testing crochet patterns.

When Summer turns into Fall – Pattern

The pattern is by Ana Morais Soares from One Skein of Love and is done in Overlay Mosaic crochet. It was published in November 2020 and for me it was love at first sight. I already wrote about it in a previous post.

I really love Mosaic Crochet! Incredible that I only got to know about Overlay Mosaic crochet a year ago. Sometimes I still get scared when I see all the tails but I like the fact that it is only worked from the front. I think this way the stitches look so much neater. And an envelope or double border is such a great finish!

When Summer turns into Fall – Colours

As I said, I fell in love with When Summer turns into Fall at first sight. The warm, autumnal colours Ana has chosen go so well with the name of the blanket and they remind me on autumn leaves in the sunshine on one of the last warm days of the year.

So no doubt that I would make this blanket in the original colors:

Parchment, Walnut, Gold, Copper and Lime, all Stylecraft Special Dk.

The only change I planned was replacing Lime with Pistachio, one of my new favorite colors, that I bought but never used. 

Unfortunately that didn’t work at all!

In the original design Lime is combined with Parchment and the pattern comes into its own. If Pistachio is combined with Parchment there is no contrast at all, even in best daylight. Unfortunately I had crocheted almost the entire pattern 3 until I was really convinced that it wouldn’t work. So I had to redo this part of the pattern completely.

Instead of Lime I am now using Nijmegen from Scheepjes Colour Crafter. This shade is (nearly?) identical with SSDK, Lime. I chose Scheepjes as meanwhile I am able to order some of their yarns here in Germany –  that goes so much faster. Stylecraft is mostly shipped directly from UK and nowadays it takes nearly two weeks till it arrives.

Although my progress is VERY slow, I am happy how my blanket turns out! Originally I had planned to have it ready When Summer turns into Fall again. But I’m afraid it won’t work.
When I need a break from testing every now and then I crochet a few rows – it’s a very relaxing project.

By the way, my Pistachio now has also found its destination: I am just testing Ana’s new design and I am using Pistachio and Meadow. Don’t they look great together?

When Summer turns into Fall

 

 

 

Stardust Melodies

Stardust Melodies –

An almost forgotten project

April has gone, May has come and my days are still busy …

Although the weather is too chilly for this season, some of our perennials are starting to bloom. I did some gardening, pulled weeds, cut back and planted some lettuce and herbs in the cold frame.

And besides the usual housework I finished some crochet tests.

Pam Knighton-Haener from A Yarn of Serendipity designed another lovely 12inch square. Her tests are always run in different phases so I am afraid it still will take some time until the pattern will be released and I can show the results.

Also worked on a test for another blanket designed by BebaBlanket. The pattern will be released somewhere in August.

And I am still working on the last rows of a beautiful test for Moi-Raya. It‘s a square made in Carreaux Crochet and – as soon as I’ve finished it – I will tell more about it in another post.

When I had a deep dive in my craft corner to find a suitable Aran yarn for Pam‘s test I came across some squares made from a pattern I bought 5 years ago

Stardust Melodies – the pattern

Stardust Melodies (pattern by Polly Plum)

Stardust Melodies is a design by Polly Plum – 24 beautiful, textured afghan blocks.

All are named after famous old songs like Dream a Little Dream of Me, Fools Rush In or It Had to Be You, just to name a few of them.

Sometimes I like to listen to this old music, sung by Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Elvis, Cole Porter and all the others …

Stardust Melodies was released in 2017 as a Cal, consisting of 12 free squares and the option to buy an eBook with 12 additional squares. The skill levels vary between easy, intermediate and advanced.

I liked both, the designs as well as the idea of naming them after old songs. So I bought the eBook 5 years ago, not knowing that this will become one of my long-time-projects.

Stardust Melodies – my project

I always have some WIPs around me as I like to switch between different projects. I finish most of them in a reasonable time, but there are some that stay with me for longer. They sometimes disappear to live in a drawer but only to reappear when the time has come. And so it happened to Stardust Melodies.

I originally started this project in 2017 but put it aside after making a few squares. I wasn‘t happy with the color I had chosen and I also have to admit that I found some of squares quite difficult to make at that time. So I‘ve probably lost interest a little.

About two years later I stumbled across the pattern again and was fascinated again by the varied but matching designs. So I had a second start. I tried different yarns to see what works best. And the break also showed me, how much I had learned within the past two years – the squares weren’t difficult at all.

Stardust Melodies – my yarn

My yarn choice was King Cole Cottonsoft DK, more or less leftovers from another project. I still like the result very much.

I think now the time has come to finally end this project! I will have to sit down to work out how far I can get with my leftover yarns. As far as I have seen two of my colors are meanwhile discontinued and the other two are currently out of stock. Hm….. we will see…..

Stardust Melodies – some impressions

Here a selection of the squares I already made. I will have to take fresh photos when the weather and the light are better …

From left to right:

  • Begin the Beguine
  • Just One of Those Things
  • Don‘t Fence Me In
  • No Moon at All

From left to right:

  • Fools Rush In
  • Mack the Knife
  • Where or When
  • I‘m Beginning to See the Light

Spring Time

Spring time, old tests, new tests

In terms of calendar, we have had spring for over 3 weeks now. But the weather outside doesn’t feel like that yet. The nights are still cold and the days chilly. It’s real April weather – as we call it. Sometimes sunny, sometimes cloudy, sometimes rainy and we also had some tiny snowflakes.

Nevertheless nature awakens. The first bushes and fruit trees are blooming and the forest is also beginning to turn green. The sparrows are just preparing to breed under our roof again. And in the morning you are woken up by the chirping of the birds.

I love this time of the year, but I think I actually like every season. I just don’t like the super hot days in summer, when it is too hot for the slightest movement at 40 degrees Celsius.

I am just so exited about the little peach tree that we bought last year and that is blooming on our terrace. It is supposed to stay small so that it can grow in a bucket. We also bought a small cherry tree and some apples – all in buckets as our garden is not very big and most of the space is already occupied by an old pine tree and a little birch.

I am curious to see wether we will have some fruits this summer. We already had some very tasty apples last year but the peaches haven’t ripened properly.

„Old“ tests

I finally finished one of my tests for BebaBlanket. I think she is going to release the pattern on the coming weekend, so I prepared already my Ravelry page and a post about the lap blanket I made.

Besides misssBerlin is currently running a test. New caps for the Dudes.
I mentioned it before.Cuteness overload! I just finished the three new caps, there are only a few beads left that have to be sewn on. Two tiny arms also must be sewn on, as, besides the caps, I managed to make a new Dude as well.

Another reason why I am waiting for better weather. When the sun is shining it is easier to take photos as you don’t have to worry about decent lighting.

„New tests“

And there are two completely unexpected tests:

One is from Moi-Raya and is about Carreaux Crochet. This is a very special crochet technique where you create a dense and thick fabric. It is double sided but worked in one work step. The motif is shown on both sides, only the colors are switched. Perfect for a potholder, coaster or something like that. In 2019 I worked with her for the first time and tested the basics for this technique. Here one of my test patches – front and back side.

The current test is for different tiles, the motifs are inspired by french flor tiles.

This is really a demanding test that takes time. The technique is not difficult and neither are the stitches. But I have to concentrate a lot to make no mistakes.

And also Pam from A Yarn of Serendipity designed another lovely square. The test is run in different phases and my part will start at the end of April. I’m really looking forward to it!

I was able to test for Pam for the first time in September last year. To give you an imagination of her lovely work, this is my test version of the Carter Jude Square. 

It is part of a series of squares she designed as a legacy for her grandchildren.

 Well, enough for today. Tiny beads are waiting …


Easter Decoration

My brand new Easter decoration

As if i had nothing else to do I had to make a little decoration shortly before easter. I just couldn‘t resist when I saw this lovely animation of the Easter Dudes that Dana (misssBerlin) posted on Instagram. At nearly the same time I came across the easter eggs by Tatiana Saienko from Planet Piu and I thought both would go very well together. And voila!

 

The Easter Dudes

I had the chance to test the Easter Dudes back in 2019. I was – and still am – fascinated by the beautiful embroidery that Dana used to decorate the caps. I wish I could do that! Unfortunately, I never learned that and I have a really hard time doing it. So I am afraid, instead of pretty flowering branches, my embroidery will always be a bit more graphic and rustic.

The test for the Easter Dudes was about one Dude and one cap only.

I‘ve crocheted quite a few Dudes by now. And they all differ a bit. Although I – felt – always make them the same, they are always different. Smaller, bigger, thicker or thinner with different arms and / or noses. And there is Fred. 

Fred is my first Easter Dude and the only one (I hardly dare to say) that has a name. I made him as a part of the test and somehow he turned out very small. And with his cap on he seems tiny and shy to me. That‘s why I gave him a name. He only wears his Easter Cap and doesn‘t have to model for other caps.

However it was fun to dig out the pattern again and to crochet another Easter Cap. This time I tried a little embroidery and I think it worked out quite well. 

I used Camilla yarn from Woll Butt for the cap. That’s a German brand and I tried it for the first time. It‘s a cotton sports weight and has exactly the same yardage like Scheepjes Catona or Schachenmayr Catania. It‘s soft and easy to work with. For the embroidery I used Scheepjes Catona in the color Lavender. I just split the thread for it. 

I always find it surprising how fast some things can be crocheted if you are not currently testing the pattern. Maybe I should do a few more? Or do one every year, together with

The Easter Eggs

I discovered this pattern by chance on Instagram. It is a free pattern that you will also get on Ravelry. More precisely, there are two instructions, one for a small egg and one for a bigger one. Both are easy and quick to make and you can let your creativity run free.

I started with the small yellow egg. It is the same yarn and color like the cap for the Easter Dude. I wasn‘t sure if it was good to stuff the egg first and then to embroider it, but it worked out very well.

The other eggs are also made with cotton yarn but different brands. 

The big one is crocheted in one color as well and later embroidered. The blue yarn is from Wenco, also a German brand.

But at this point it was definitely enough embroidery for me! So I decided to crochet the other two small eggs in two colors.

The lavender egg has contrasting stripes in cream. (Lavender is Catona, Cream is Catania). The color changes are made in the rounds 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13. For the other one the main color is Cream and the green parts are done in rounds 5, 8-11 and 14.

I absolutely love the result!

 

Besides Testing

Besides Testing

Most of my crochet time is spent for testing. Right now I am working on three different tests for BebaBlanket. I have committed to make a small blanket for each of them. And misssBerlin will also soon have another test that I would like to take part in.

One of the tests for BebaBlanket has definitely to be finished in early April as the pattern probably will be released later that month. Luckily I am nearly finished with it. There are just two more repeats and a small border to do.

The pattern is a combination of mosaic and plain crochet. I started it last December but I first took some time to make a few color swatches. I am always unsure about the color combination, it is really so bad! Finally I decided to use Stylecraft Special DK in Graphite and Duck Egg and so far I love the result.

The other two tests have to be finished in early July respectively August.

It‘s such a shame that I can‘t show it all yet!

But what I can show are some kind of private projects that I definitely want to finish this year, besides all the testing, just for me. At least there are these two:

When Summer turns into Fall

A lovely blanket by Ana Morais Soares from One Skein Of Love. It is done in Overlay Mosaic technique.

I fell in love with this blanket the first time I saw it and had to get the pattern. I like these autumn colors she used and so I will make it in the original color scheme. But it also will look great in other colors. Meanwhile I have seen it in many different shades and another favorite of mine is a two colored version in pastel tones.

The blanket consists of three different patterns that are repeated several times. It is also easy to customize. I am most excited about the patterned border because I have never made something like this.

The Seashell Dudes

Another pattern by misssBerlin. This time not a test, but a lovely Christmas gift 💕.

The Conch, Sea Urchin and Ammonite are a super maritime decoration and they immediately reminded me of the Northern Sea, one of my favorite holiday places.

I started this project at the end of January. After finishing the three Dudes I began with the Conch but didn’t get further than a few rows. That was exactly when the test for the Succulent Dudes started….I am afraid that I will have to make new Dudes – once again – as the planned Seashell Dudes are now gathering on a sideboard in my living room wearing the Succulent caps.

A fate like this overtakes most of my Dudes!

At least my colors are set for this project! I will use Scheepjes Catona, in color 505 Linen, for the Dudes. The caps will be made in Catona, color 528 Silver Blue, and Schachenmayr Catania in 263 Soft Apricot and 257 Bast.

That‘s all?

Of course not! But it depends on what else has to be done this year – in testing and besides testing. Spring has just come in the northern hemisphere and there will be a lot of gardening and also home renovation is a never-ending topic for us.
But before I get bored …

… I already have yarn for the Meadow Embossed Crochet Bag by Natalia Kononova from Outstanding crochet. It’s Scheepjes Catona in the colors 387 Dark Olive and 395 Willow.


And there is another pattern for a blanket waiting. The Beach Walk Blanket by Marion Mitchell from Woolthreadpaint.I spotted it on Instagram and it also immediately reminded me of the Northern Sea.Honestly, I don’t think I will be able to do it this year. On the other hand, it is all done in Granny squares. So I suspect would be a nice summer project when it will actually be too hot to work on a big blanket. So maybe I could at least have a start…. I will keep you up to date!

Credits:
The photos shown on the tablet in my pictures are the cover photos from the patterns
The Seashell Dudes by misssBerlin and
When Summer turns into Fall by One Skein of Love

Many thanks to Dana (misssBerlin) and Ana (One Skein of Love) for the permission to use them.

Swirly Candy

My first attempt to Brioche crochet 🍭

Swirly Candy is the new pattern by BebaBlanket.

When I started this test last December I had no idea about Brioche crochet. Of course I had seen a lot of patterns using this technique but I had never made one.

I think that this is a very good qualification for testing a pattern as it really shows wether the instructions are written in an understandable way.

I have to admit, on my very first attempt I found it a bit tricky to get the correct start. More or less there are two colors worked in one magic ring, the second color in front of the first. That sounds complicated, but no need to be afraid, there are pictures to help … And in the first rounds I also wondered if my placement of stitches really is correct, but there are more pictures to help … After mastering the first seven rounds it‘s only fun to continue! It is only a two round repeat that is easy to memorize. So it really isn‘t difficult and there’s a great result!

To get used to this technique I tried some different color combinations with Sage andMocha, Cream and Pistachio, Clematis and Mocha.

For all my samples I used Stylecraft Special DK and a 4,5 mm hook. As recommended in the pattern I would advise to go up a hook size or two. The pattern consist of mostly front post double crochet and therefore it contracts a little and tends to bulge outwards.

According to the instructions you can either work smaller hexagons and join them to a blanket (or something else) or you can continue with one hexagon as big as you like. At first I thought of making the smaller hexagons with one main color and different contrasting colors. But – as parallel to this test I was still working on my Mix And Match Blanket – I didn‘t want to start another one.

So I decided to make something smaller with the combinations I liked most: Cream and Sage, and the combination of Clematis and Mocha.

My Swirly Candy in Cream and Sage

I turned my Swirly Candy in Cream and Sage into a table set as a decoration for my coffee table. But I rejected my fist thought of making some suitable coasters. (I think I would go crazy if someone really put a cup of coffee or a juice glas on it, hehe.) &

As written above it tended to bulge a bit, but blocking and doing a border helped. Nevertheless I will try a 5,00mm hook for my next one.

You can find some more details about my table set on my Ravelry Page

 

My Swirly Candy in Clematis and Mocha 

My Clematis-Mocha combination will become a cushion cover, one side Clematis / Mocha, the other side Mocha / Clematis. I am just trying different methods for joining to see which one I like best. Of course I will update this post when I am finished.

The pattern for Swirly Candy is available in Ravelry, here.

Update 2021-03-15:

YAY, my cushion is finished! I first tried different joining methods like 

  • single crochet with a color change in every stitch – looks to busy
  • single crochet with one strand of yarn – looks very thin and seems to vanish
  • Whip stitch with two strands of yarn – looks messy when I do it

Finally I joined the two plates of my cushion with simple single crochet stitches, using two strands of yarn in the color Clematis. And I really like the result!

I filled it with a kind of fiber fill from an old pillow that I no longer use due to its shape. 

I cannot say which side I like best …