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.
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.
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!
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.
I am probably a bit late with my review of the past year, but better late than never, as we say. I have been working on a new test since the middle of December and hardly have time for anything else. Due to various circumstances the time frame to finish this test is more than sporty. It is a beautiful blanket but that’s all what I can tell you for now – it is a still a BIG secret.
Scrolling through my photos and thinking about the past year there were definitely some highlights. Like every year I was surprised how many there were and tried to capture them here.
One of the biggest highlights in 2021 was that I started my blog, otherwise I would not be sitting here writing this post right now. It all started last February on blogspot with “This and That – made by ELeni“. Later I decided to rework the blog completely and switch to WordPress. A decision I do not regret to this day.
Through the blog I got in touch with Ana from One Skein of Love. Now I test for her and am one of the admins of her Facebook group. As life goes!
From a crochet point of view 2021 had started with several tests for Dana from misssBerlin. It is always so much fun to create her little Dudes. In 2021 we had the The Succulent Dudes, The Suga’ Dudes, and The Carnival Treat Dude s. Unfortunately I did not manage to finish my Seashell Dudes, just as I did not finish my When Summer turns into Fall blanket.
And in between, apart from some tests for BebaBlanket, I also worked with Pam from A Yarn of Serendipity again: The Margaret Square, Brood of Angels and Fancy Nancy, which I haven‘t shown here yet.
And, oh yes, I wrote down my own pattern, my first one, published on Ravelry. That was also quite an experience!
Quite a busy year!
And of course not forgetting the short holiday that we were able to take despite the pandemic. Something very precious in times like these. And the first peach from our little peach tree. Unfortunately we could only harvest one, the others fell from the tree before they were rally ripe. But the one was so sweet and delicious!
And, after one and a half socks have been hiding in my knitting basket since the beginning of 2020, they were finally finished for Christmas. Hubby has new socks and loves them.
I am curious to see what 2022 will bring! I wish you all the best for this year!
The Carnival Treat Dudes is the new pattern by misssBerlin. Candy Apple, Cotton Candy and Popcorn Dude. Another lovely Trio!
It was a great fun again to test this pattern! And this time it was also very educational to me. But that’s one thing I love with testing patterns. I not only get new ideas, but also learn a lot and improve my skills – not to mention the exchange with other crocheters.
The Candy Apple
I started with the Candy Apple. It was love at first sight! I like the round caps anyway, but this one is not only round, it really has the bulbous shape of an apple. Even the small pit, where the stem and leaf normally sit, is shown. And of course the Candy Apple has a Candy Cane and a little leaf for decoration.
And sometimes you are lucky enough to have exactly the right color in your stash. My Candy Apple is made with Scheepjes Catona, no. 516 – Candy Apple.
The Cotton Candy
The Dudes and their caps are mostly made with a Cotton sports weight yarn, but for the Cotton Candy it is recommended to use an Acrylic DK yarn. The instructions for the cap are specially written for slightly thicker yarn, using a slightly thinner hook. I used Stylecraft Special DK with a 3,5 mm hook. It worked pretty good and the cap fitted perfectly. But it was a personal drama to me in other ways: I wasn’t happy with the shape at all. In Dana’s (the person behind misssBerlin) photos the shaping was very smooth and soft and mine didn’t look like that at all. Dana tried to calm me down and told me that brushing will ease the shape …
… Well, she was so right! But I only got that after a series of tests of my own.
As I know that the look of a crochet piece depends a lot on tension, stitch height and so on I tried to make little changes to improve the shaping of my Cotton Candy cap … I ended up doing three caps, but wasn’t really satisfied with any of them. So I took the chance to make another test.:
To get the fluffy look the finished cap is brushed with a pet slicker brush or something similar. Until now I’ve always been very cautious with brushing, being afraid to damage the whole item. Now, having three (unloved) caps to choose from I could be a little braver. So I decided to try how hard the yarn can be brushed before it breaks completely. What shall I say … it withstands quite a lot! The result is even better if you are not too careful …
Now, look at my finished cap…. I am so happy with it! Oh, do I have to mention that this is the cap I did first and the one I liked the least? Well, quite a learning curve I guess! By the way, I used a small wire brush from the hardware store for “pre-brushing” and gave it a „finish“ with a hard clothes brush.
The Popcorn Dude
Making the Popcorn Dude needs a lot of concentration and some time. But it’s so worth it! As the popcorn box should fit snug I chose a smaller hook (2,25 mm) and went up to my regular 2,25 mm hook for the popcorn kernels. Doesn‘t it look yummy?
In the picture the cap is worn by my new Dude that I made during the test. I think so far he is my best one! What practice can do…
For the yarn, colors and hooks I used in detail please see my Ravelry Page. And you also should have a look at the Ravelry page of one of my fellow testers. She tested two of the caps using a 0,75 mm hook and size 40 thread. So cute!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 andWhen 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.
I am happy that I had the opportunity to test for misssBerlin again! Also at the risk of repeating myself: I LOVE her patterns and especially her little Dudes. Meanwhile they are spread all over my house.
Her request came at just the right time for me. It comforts me a little bit over the fact that our vacation, planed for mid-march, was canceled due to Corona. The test was about three new caps only. But of course the final pattern will also contain the instructions for the three cute little Dudes.
The recommended yarn for these little creatures and their different caps is mostly a level 2, or sport weight, cotton yarn. My favorite yarn is Scheepjes Catona, which is hardly available in Germany, or Schachenmmayr Catania. Due to the ongoing lockdown my choice of cotton yarn is slowly shrinking. And I noticed again that I seem to have only a small selection of red shades. But it always seems to me as if I don‘t have the right colors when starting a new project. Do you know this feeling?
I listed the colors that I used in detail on my Ravelry project page. My favorite color for the Dudes themselves is Catona, Linen No. 505, it is a bit lighter than Linen No. 248 from Catania. The Dudes on my photos below are made with Catona.
„… They are bald and shy, so they cover their heads and half of their faces with whatever they find in their surroundings….“
….. writes Dana, the person behind misssBerlin, about the Dudes in the intro of her patterns
This time you have to take care, that they don‘t hide on the coffee table. But that would probably not be a good idea. The Suga’ Dudes look so delicious that they definitely would fall out there.
They come along with some yummy decoration, like Ganache, Candy Sprinkles, Whipped Cream, and a topping of raspberries, strawberry and cherry.
Everything is explained very well in the pattern. But it‘s always advisable to read first, otherwise you will be like me.
The Cupcake Dude
…has a topping of Ganache, Candy Sprinkles and a little red cherry …
The Sundae Dude
… makes me drool with his fresh, velvety raspberries
The Waffle Dude
… comes with a topping of Whipped Cream and strawberry
and here the complete trio
Aren‘t they cute and yummy? I really love this pattern and enjoyed testing it!
Look at this sweet little Trio: Echeveria, Saguaro and Domino Cactus Dude. This is the latest pattern I was able to test for MissBerlin. Aren‘t they cute?
They are the newest members of her Dudes collection. All small, bald and just too cute. Only to differentiate at their different caps, which also give them their unmistakable characters.
I fell in love with this little creatures the first time I saw them 💕
That must have been the Pumpkin Dudes back then, sometime in 2019. Later I was able to test „my” first Dudes pattern – the Woodland Dudes. The Pine Cone Hat is one of my all-time favorites, although it has faced great competition over the years.
Here some more photos:
The pattern for these lovely Dudes is available via Ravelry.