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.


My first blog post

My first blog post

YAY, I did it …

… I wrote my first blog post!

I have been thinking about it for a long time. I‘ve been thinking about wether I should write a blog, wether I will have the time and, above all, wether I will have enough topics. I am still not 100% sure about that but I decided to give it a go.

I thought nowadays it would be easy to create a website or a blog. A lot of provider offer domains (free or paid) and modular systems to create websites. I had no idea were the differences were and what would be the best for my purposes. So I had no choice but to take a closer look at some of them and – hmm – I think I learned something for life.

There is an overwhelming deluge of pre-made templates out there for all sort of purposes – some are free, some are not. Some can be edited on the tablet, others work better on the pc, some can hardly be changed at all without programming knowledge.

I am a visual person and also a bit of a perfectionist. I know crochet terms in different languages but I don’t know any programming. And as I am not earning money with this blog I wanted to keep my costs low for the start. Therefore it was impossible to get the perfect looking website with the design, the fonts and the colors I wanted. So I decided to postpone my claims for now and started here, just to see how it goes.

Another thing I learned is: writing a blog post is more time consuming as I thought. It is not just about finding the right words to express your thoughts. I also still spend a lot of time with formatting and arranging. Well, I think I will get used to this. So,

Welcome to my blog, I am happy that you found me!

 I’d like to show you some of my work, mostly the results of my crochet tests.  I am testing usually patterns for blankets, home decor and shawls but also Amigurumi. But I am sure that there also will be some of my “Me”-projects to show.

At the moment my favorites are patterns in Mosaic crochet. So I just started a blanket by Ana Morais Soares (One skein of Love). Besides I am testing several patterns for BebaBlanket and some of them will be released during the next weeks so that I can show them afterwards. And there are still many more ideas……