Category Archives: Crochet Adventures

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 …

 

 

 

Temperature Blanket, Part 2.

My Temperature Blanket …

is – I am afraid – more a None-Temperature blanket!

As I already wrote in a previous post, at the end of last year BebaBlanket designed a Mosaic Temperature Blanket for 2021. It is run as a free cal and you can still join in. You’ll find the pattern here on Ravelry.

I was one of the testers and as it was only a quick, small test to check the pattern I just used some leftover yarns from my stash.

Not only do I have a lot of leftovers in my stash but also some balls of which I have only one per color. As I mostly order my yarn online I just bought them to see how the color looks like. In addition there are a few single balls that were once intended for a blanket that I never made. All in all this makes a pretty large one-ball-per-color-collection

When taking the photos for the test I fell completely in love with my little test swatch. So I decided to use up at least some of my single-ball yarn collection and follow the pattern for some months. Doing one row per day but not following any temperature curve, so I call it my None-Temperature Blanket.

The blanket is made in Overlay Mosaic technique.

I started with a foundation single crochet (fsc). Or in other words, this was the first time that I really mastered a fsc. I know, there are a lot of tutorials in the internet but somehow I never really got it.

And in retrospect I am not sure what I like better, the fsc or my normal start with a chain and a row of single crochet. 

Clearly, the advantage of the foundation single crochet is that it is easier to count, but it took me ages to get it neat and to make the stitches the same height. 

I am using DK yarn, mostly Stylecraft Special DK and Scheepjes Colour Crafter and a 4,00 mm hook.

With 159 stitches my blanket is about 92 cm in width. To get a nice size I am planning to make it about 120 cm long. That means that I will probably stop to follow the cal somewhere in August.

Because I urgently had to finish a blanket for another test I am a bit behind at the moment. I only got there until day 35 or February 4th.

The whole pattern will consist of four different designs which will be published gradually till the end of March. Design No1 and No2 are already released, design No3 will follow on February 27.

So far I only used design No1 and did 5 repeats in height. The photo below also shows my test swatch of design No2.

My main color is Parchment (Stylecraft Special DK). I used it every 2nd row and chose the other colors at random. I listed the colors on my Ravelry project page.

I should have a cup of coffee now and plan how to continue….. 

 

 

Temperature Blanket – Part 1

Have you ever made a Temperature Blanket?

I’ve never made one, but at the end of last year BebaBlanket came up with a test for her Mosaic Temperature Blanket.  It was launched as a free Cal (Crochet Along) in January and I was happy to test the four patterns she designed for it. Until then, I knew what a temperature blanket was, but I never really dealt with this subject. Through the discussions in her Facebook group I realized how diverse this topic actually can be.

Before I started this test and before I was able to observe the plans of others, my basic knowledge looked something like this:

A temperature blanket is a long-term project over a certain period of time, mostly a whole year. It is made to reflect the temperature curve at a particular location. Typically one row of the blanket stands for one day of the year and a certain color for a certain temperature.

Sounded a bit boring to me…..  I think  the temperatures in my place are not very interesting. It is not really cold in winter, it is mild in spring and autumn and in the last few years the summers have been just hot. And following one pattern for a whole year? That’s not mine …

Strangely enough, I never thought about the fact that it doesn‘t necessarily have to be my home that the blanket is about. It can just as well be the place of a family member, the place of a dear friend, a favorite holiday destination … just any place somewhere in the world …

And it is similar with the period of time that is considered. It may or may not be the current year. Basically you can use a temperature blanket to record all important times in your life. Or at least most. I searched the internet for the temperature on my day of birth and I didn’t manage to get any dates. Perhaps it’s too long ago. But it shouldn’t be a problem to go twenty or twenty-five years back. Just search for keywords like weather and history and you will get a lot of results.

Seen in this way, a temperature blanket can also be a very personal and unique gift. In one FB-group I read about a lady who was going to make a gift for her son’s 18th birthday.  She choose the temperatures form the day of his birth until his first birthday. That is such a lovely idea! Or you can mark a very special day in a special color or a special yarn!

I knew that the temperature curve can be based on the highest, lowest or average temperatures of a day. I also knew that it is recommended to use temperature steps between two and five degrees to assign the colors. But I never thought about combining for instance the highest and lowest temperature or adding details about the weather like sunny, rainy and so on.

Another essential thing I realized when I measured my test swatch and did some maths: for a temperature blanket it can be more important than usual to think about the yarn you want to use. A 365-day blanket, made with DK yarn, will become over 2 meters long. So, if you don’t want to make a queen size blanket you might want to choose a thinner quality.

And just to make the theme complete: The colors are, as always, a matter of taste. A lot of people choose rainbow colors, but meanwhile I’ve seen a lot of color schemes that deviate from it, using only blues, or only reds….. I think there is only one rule: the more colors you chose, the smaller the temperature steps and the more colorful the blanket will be. For a less colorful blanket, simply choose less colors and larger temperature steps.

So many possibilities I never thought about……

As I said, I never planned to make a temperature blanket – and I am still not going to make one. But I I fell in love with the little swatch I made when testing for BebaBlanket. And, as I also like the three other patterns she designed for the blanket,  I decided to use up my scrap yarn and follow the pattern for most of the year. I have a lot of yarn from which I have only one ball or even less, so this is a good project to finally use it up. I will show you the details and my progress in one of my next posts.

If I have piqued your interest, you find the pattern here in her Ravelry store.