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 …

 

 

 

Mix and Match

My latest test: Mix and Match

This is my preliminary result of the lastest test from BebaBlanket, Mix and Match. I still have to decide about the border, but so far I am very happy with the result.

Tiramisu Yarn

The yarn for this blanket was sponsored by Stenli yarns, a Bulgarian company. I am very glad about that! Thank you!

Tiramisu is a Cotton Merino Mix and comes in 450 g bobbles.
I already used it for my Greek Islands blanket and fell in love with it. It is soft and smooth to work with. (And I am NOT saying this because it was sponsored) It is considered to be a DK weight. Personally I think it is a bit thinner, so I used a 3,5 mm hook.

Both blankets I made with Tiramisu have a comfortable weight and a nice drape.

 

My Mix and Match Journey

The pattern alone makes Mix and Match a good match to my Greek Islands blanket. Therefore I wanted to use not only the same yarn but also similar colors. For my Greek Island blanket I used Denim (my favorite color) as main color. The second color (it had no name, sorry) was color changing from beige to brown. So for my Mix and Match I decided to go also with Denim combined with the color Sea Shore, a combination of brown, creme and light blue. 

Stenli yarns are not available in any shops here in Germany. You have to order online, directly from the web-shop located in Bulgaria. That means: orders always take some time … I really was happy when my yarn arrived in November.The disappointment couldn‘t have been greater when I started with the test. What I didn’t realize when placing the order online was the fact that the color Sea Shore has not only color changes from blue over beige to brown. A white thread runs through each of the colors and therefore the brown in particular becomes very “busy”. It distracted the geometrical shapes of the pattern completely.

I had no choice but to reorder yarn – this time a harmless, solid beige – and started again at beginning of December.

Like in my Greek Islands I wanted to use Denim as base color (color A), but then the next problem arose: especially with design 3 there was kind of an optical illusion for me that drove me mad. 

The upper stripe shows my first attempt with Denim as color A. Even triple-checking the pattern didn’t help, my eyes kept seeing mistakes. I had to switch the colors and to restart for the second time. Does this only happen to me? 

So, admittedly my start was not the best! But the tide has turned! And t was worth the whole effort for me!

Mix and Match crochet pattern

Mix and Match is done in Mosaic Crochet, the so called Inset Mosaic. I don’t know if this in an official name or just a creation by the Facebook group, where I first read about it. In contrast to the Overlay Mosaic technique two rows are always worked in one color. The work is turned after each row – so worked from front- and backside – and there is no need to cut the yarn.

The pattern includes 4 different designs (squares) with identical stitch counts, so you can combine them any way you want. Or just follow one of the 5 suggested layouts that are also part of the pattern.

I choose layout 4, consisting of 3 designs arranged in 3 different ways. The complete layout has 6 squares in width and 9 in height. 

My blanket turned out about 98×117 cm without border, and I used about 500 g Denim (color B) and 465 g Beige (color A) so far.

The pattern is easy to follow but challenging. You have to work very carefully, otherwise you might mix up the designs. I often had to go back two rows to correct a mistake.

But again: the result was worth the effort!  The pattern is available on Ravelry.

 

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….. 

 

 

The Succulent Dudes.

My little Succulent Dudes …

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 Echeveria Dude
The Saguaro Dude
The Domino Cactus Dude
My three Cactus Dudes Caps

The pattern for these lovely Dudes is available via Ravelry.

 

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.


Review 2020

My pattern tests in 2020

Today I searched for some photos and came across this one by chance. I put this together at the beginning of the year as a review of my tests in 2020. I was surprised how many there were. Every single one of them was great fun.

You can find all of these patterns on Ravelry.

Here a topdown list of the names and designer, just in case you want to get some details:

1st row from left to right

  • Fly with Me Shawl by BebaBlanket
  • The Squash Dudes by misssBerlin
  • The Spooky Dudes by misssBerlin
  • Tidelands Wrap by Suzanne Carlson

2nd row from left to right

  • Kate the Camel by YukiYarnDesigns
  • Chevron Apache Waves by BebaBlanket
  • Sunny Spring Cowl by Suzanne Carlson
  • The Yule Dudes by misssBerlin

3rd row from left to right

  • Bloom Forever by BebaBlanket
  • The Juicy Dudes by misssBerlin
  • Greek Islands Blanket by BebaBlanket

4th row from left to right

  • Carter Jude Square by Pam Knighton-Haener
  • Peacock Dance by BebaBlanket
  • Raspberry Juice the Bunny by misssBerlin

5th row from left to right

  • Mosaic Christmas by BebaBlanket
  • Coral Reef Garden by BebaBlanket
  • Dioon Pillow by MyCrochetory
  • Gantavi Bag by Noelia Rodriguez (Shamana Crochet)