Lilla Björn Sweater: Reveal

Let me introduce the newest Lilla Björn sweater design! (And me as a model again.) If you are following my blog you probably know what it’s all about. And if not – I have designed this off-shoulder sweater with Our Tribe yarn* by Scheepjes. You can check all information about this yarn HERE.
Lilla Bjorn off-shoulder sweater - free crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

Feels like this is my first ever “love it or hate it” design. Till end I was not sure if my idea would work. My husband (my always helper and adviser) was very skeptical as well. He had mixed feelings about the octagon shape which reminded him of a network (or a shooting target, haha). And he was even joking we should buy a pet-spider to accompany this design. But I was faithful to my idea and continued to work. And after finished piece was blocked it suddenly felt and looked much better!
Lilla Bjorn off-shoulder sweater - free crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

Earlier this week sneak peeks were posted and you were trying to guess what this design is about. There were lots of guesses: a skirt, a dress, a tunic, a poncho, a cardigan… but as you can see it’s neither of mentioned! :) I am not sure how to define this garment. It’s definitely a sweater… Maybe a “sleeveless off-shoulder sweater”? Is it a good enough description?
Lilla Bjorn off-shoulder sweater - free crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

Front and back of the sweater are made with octagons. Unfortunately I can’t take credit for this idea, as there are several poncho designs with the same shape. I honestly think that a person who used octagon in garment design for the first time is a genius! It’s just a ready shape, and you don’t need to make additional shaping for the neck, shoulders and armholes. Isn’t it great? Yes, the neck line is “boat” but I like it very much. And it’s not very tricky to change it if one wishes.






I used triangles to make the bottom line straight. And then the hem was added. Easy peasy! The sweater on me is S-M/L size (or EU 36-40). And it can be easily adjusted to any size. Because there are no sleeves it should be oversized, with lots of positive ease. The crochet stitch is very simple, too. So I might be safe to say this sweater pattern is aimed to Beginners (or maybe Advanced Beginners as some sewing is included).
Lilla Bjorn off-shoulder sweater - free crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

I crocheted two samples: one is a mix of two shades of Our Tribe yarn (Canadutch* and CypressTextiles*) and another one with my own shade Lilla Bjorn*. And here is where the name of the sweater comes from. It was designed to celebrate my own yarn, yay! Each sample uses under 3 skeins in total. I believe to make it slightly larger 3 skeins will be needed. And for larger sizes - XL-XXL - you will need 4 or 5 skeins accordingly (the numbers are not precise yet as I need to do some math).
Our Tribe yarn by Scheepjes

Our Tribe yarn is available in your local Scheepjes shops and via larger retailers - Wool Warehouse*, for example (UK, international shipping). 

If I had more time, I would try and make another one with several rose and ruby colorways. I believe it would look just great with all the color changes.
Lilla Bjorn off-shoulder sweater - free crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

Next week I will be making videos for this pattern. It will be FREE! Lots of math is waiting for me, so it will take a while before I can share it with you. Please, be patient… and see you soon!

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Our Tribe: a new garment design is on its way…

Seems like there is a new rule on my blog: if you see a brick wall – that might be a sign of a new garment design. My project with Our Tribe yarn* is finished and I even have ready pictures to share. But I thought I could tease you a little bit and let you guess what it will be.
Our Tribe yarn (Scheepjes) - free crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

Not sure what I mean by a “brick wall garment”? Here is the proof. I have two garments designs so far: Nori Dress and Whirl Mandala Cardigan (both free) And they both were pictured against a brick wall. So next time you see it, you will know what to expect. :)
Nori Dress and Whirl Mandala Cardigan

Are you curious what “Our Tribe” means? It’s a brand new yarn by Scheepjes released in the end of the year. Each colorway was hand-picked by members of Scheepjes Bloggers Team, and I got my own shade as well. It’s called “Lilla Bjorn” and because I used MY own yarn for a new design, it will also be named Lilla Bjorn. A simple and unassuming name, I think (haha).
Our Tribe yarn (Scheepjes) - free crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

I have told the story of Our Tribe yarn in THIS blog post. To choose colors was a bit painful and I couldn’t decide for a few hours in a row. Should those be the colors I like? Or the colors I would wear? Would it be a gradient yarn? Should the colors transit nicely or can they be random?... A question after a question. I should admit now I have lots of respect for those people who develop new shades for yarns. That’s lots of work, and every new shade should not look similar with others…

After approximately an hour of inner fights with myself I heard a voice behind my back, “Ah, Tatsiana, just relax. Don’t think too hard, just choose several colors you like and that’s it”. And so I finally chose…
Our Tribe yarn (Scheepjes) - free crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

Lilla Bjorn shade looks a little bit unexpected in a finished crochet fabric. The colors play differently than they look in a skein. And I love this play. I have finished two garments: one with my own shade and another one with mix of two colorways. But my friend Ksenia (who kindly helps me with taking pictures – we do it in her yard, the one with the brick wall ;) says my own colorway suits me better. But I still like both!
Our Tribe yarn (Scheepjes) - free crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

Our Tribe was released in the end of the year, and first projects and patterns have started to pop up. The latest released design is Our Tribe, My Tribe shawl by Nerissa of Miss Neriss. She crocheted two samples, and I am in love with this faded version. Can you believe it uses three different colorways?
Can you really say from the picture where one starts and another ends? The pattern is hot on Ravelry right now, and Nerissa is hosting an insta-CAL. So if you would like to have a closer look, you can find the pattern HERE.
Our Tribe, My Tribe Shawl by miss neriss

And now back to my garment… Can you guess from the pictures what is it? Don’t be shy and share your guesses in comments. And the project will be revealed later this week.

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Spirit Mandala: free crochet pattern

If you followed Spirits of Life CAL you were probably waiting for a bonus pattern to be released. There was a small metal hoop included in official Scheepjes kits, and you were all wondering what it was for. And today is the reveal day! And the free crochet pattern day as well.
Spirit Mandala wall hanging - FREE crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

This pattern was scheduled for an early January, but everyone was celebrating holidays (including translating teams). And I only started to receive translations now. Not all of them are ready yet. But missing files should be added very soon.






So what was the metal ring/hoop for? I know many of you were guessing it could be a dream catcher. But it’s not. :) It’s just a small mandala wall hanging. If you have lots of yarn left, you can add some crocheted feathers, and beads. And turn your mandala into a kind of a dream catcher. That’s absolutely up to you.
Spirit Mandala wall hanging - FREE crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

Add this pattern to your Ravelry Queue

Spirit Mandala is very simple and is worked up really fast. No intricate stitches were used here, but you have a chance to practice popcorns. I recommend to use 3.25mm Amour Clover crochet hook but you may want to use a smaller one (or crochet tight) to make your mandala match the size of the hoop.

I mixed both Spirit and Catona yarns for a faded effect. And I’ve completed all three mandalas. One of them found its place in my window.

Spirit Mandala wall hanging - FREE crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

 

COPYRIGHT


IMPORTANT: Please, be aware that all my patterns (free or paid) are protected by copyright. You are not allowed to copy, reproduce, redistribute (online or off-line), sell and edit them in part or as a whole. You are welcome to sell your finished items made by my patterns, but you cannot use my pictures to promote them. Please, always credit me as the designer of these patterns. You are not allowed to share pdf-files created from my posts with anyone. If you would like more people to join my CAL – please, share a link to my blog with them. You can check Copyright page for more information.

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Here is a video to help you with the written pattern:



Spirit Mandala wall hanging - FREE crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

Today, when release is launched, I can finally announce that Spirits of Life CAL is officially finished. YAY! It was a long and exciting journey, and I would like to use this opportunity to thank all wonderful people who were helping me along the way:

  • My wonderful testers Hilde Tindlund, Cindy Douglass, Lori Baran, Kathy Mant and Susan Cutler Cutrer, who spent lots of time searching for errors and helping to polish the pattern.
  • Massiel Lago and all amazing translating teams!! I can’t name everyone but I know that more than 40 people were working to bring translations of this CAL to life!
  • Nikki Willis and other admins of Official CCC Social group on Facebook who were always in touch trying to answer all the questions and help you out.
  • Esther Dijkstra of It’s All In A Nutshell whi inspired me to choose yarns for this CAL and who taught me how to create and upload video’s. Thanks to Esther I have my own YouTube channel now!
  • Scheepjes for sponsoring this CAL and putting together official kits (they are still available for purchase via Wool Warehouse* (UK, international shipping)
  • My Scheepjes bloggers friends (Our Tribe) for support and inspiration.
Spirit Mandala wall hanging - FREE crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

And of course I would like to thank all of you who joined me for this adventure. Who didn’t give up, managed to break through jungles of crochet techniques. And who finished their Spirit of Life wraps.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Spirit Mandala wall hanging - FREE crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

I hope you will enjoy the mandala pattern. And if you still have lots of yarn left you can probably make a matching pillow in C2C technique. Check my tutorial HERE.

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YARN book-a-zine: Dutch Masters

Here is something I should have shared with you long ago. If you are on Ravelry you might have spotted a new poncho design which has recently appeared on my page. It’s Winter Light Poncho, and it’s a part of a magically beautiful YARN book-a-zine* published by Scheepjes. The new edition is called Dutch Masters.
Winter Light Poncho_original design by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

I’ve been a part of this project for two years already, but every new issue amazes me more and more. If you haven’t even heard about YARN book-a-zine you might want to check it out. It’s something in the middle between a magazine and a book. Each issue contains around 15 knitting, crochet and sewing patterns accompanied with useful articles and insights into creative process of artists and designers.






Every new issue is themed. We already had Sea Issue, Midnight Garden Issue, Tropical Issue and here is a new one – devoted to Dutch Masters. I am a little bit addicted to printed books and magazines. And though my husband is an IT specialist reading everything on his mobile phone or on electronic book reader, I still find something magical and charming about holding a real paper book in hands.
Yarn book-a-zine by Scheepjes. Issue 4 - Dutch Masters

The quality of YARN book-a-zine is supreme. Thick matt paper, high quality pictures (all made according to themes and chapters, very moody and special), additional pages for your notes and flap to help you organize the projects. The book-a-zine is published in both English and Dutch.

As already mentioned, new edition is devoted to Dutch Master featuring Vermeer, Mondrian, Rembrandt and Van Gogh. And all projects were designed in color palette and with the “mood” of their paintings. The pictures were taken in amazing interiors and wonderfully translate the feel of each artist. Just amazing. And very stylish.

New Horizons Blanket - designed by Cypress Textiles
New Horizons Blanket by Cypress Textiles

I was asked to design a poncho for a new issue, and though I am still not confident in garment design, I decided to take the challenge. The poncho is one size (I believe it’s good for everyone – with a slight oversize look for smaller sizes and perfect fit for larger sizes), with a kind of “sleeves” and long knit-look tunnel neck.

Winter Light Poncho_original design by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

Add this pattern to your Ravelry Queue

Depending on how you want to wear the poncho, you can make a knit-look fabric on the right or wrong side. I prefer to have the neck as a tunnel without shaping (so that it’s draping itself), but for a magazine it was folded for a neater look. And so that photography perfectly matches the Vermeer chapter.

Knit-look tunnel neck - crochet poncho by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

The poncho uses approx. 22 skeins of Merino Soft Brush* yarn by Scheepjes. This yarn line was created as an addition to existing Merino Soft* range (reviewed HERE). So far it comes in 7 shades – each with a nice semi-colored effect. And all of them can be used in combination with regular Merino Soft yarn.

I am often asked if Winter Light Poncho is available for purchase as a single pattern, and the answer is no. It is only available in a book-a-zine. But believe me, it’s a must have and a must read. Dutch Masters issue is available in local Scheepjes shops and via larger retailers such as Wool Warehouse* (UK with international shipping).

Almond Blossom Scarf_crochet design with embroidery. By Miss Neriss
Almond Blossom Scarf by Miss Neriss

New issue of YARN boo-a-zine contains 16 other patterns, articles about different types of yarn (with some interesting facts about acrylic), about tatting technique. It also presents work by Mathijs Siemens and Anne-Claire Petit.

I would love to show you everything in this blog post but I don’t want to spoil your surprise. My personal favourites are New Horizons Blanket by Rachele of Cypress Textiles, Almond Blossom Scarf by Nerissa of Miss Neriss and the Bedroom Rug by Dedri of Look At What I Made.
The Bedroom Rug - original crochet design by Dedri Uys
The Bedroom Rug by Look At What I Made

Want to see more? Grab your own copy and Enjoy!

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* DISCLOSURE: This blog contains affiliate links (marked with *). I may be compensated with a tiny amount from each purchase made via these links, and it will not cost you a penny. By using affiliate links you support my blog. Thank you!

Geometric Mandala: will you join me for the CAL?

Geometric Mandala was designed exclusively for Happily Hooked Magazine. A month ago Emily Truman, an editor, asked me for a permission to run a mini-CAL for their subscribes. And here it is!!
Geometric Mandala - easy crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

Especially for this event Geometric mandala was remade with Cahlista yarn* by Scheepjes: I wanted to show you the samples in different colors. And Cahlista was just the perfect choice: 100% cotton in the right weight.
Geometric Mandala - easy crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

Add this pattern to your Ravelry Queue

Geometric Mandala is a project for beginners: very easy to follow and fast to make. It consists of two layers: lace mandala top and solid bottom, in contrasting colors. Four skeins of Cahlista (50g each) will be just perfectly enough to finish two hot pads in reversed colorway.

If you don’t feel like using these mandalas as hotpads or potholders (I would not dare myself), they can make nice trivets or wall hanging.





Geometric Mandala - easy crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

The CAL is run in Happily Hooked Magazine group on Facebook HERE (join it!) during the entire month January, 2018. So it’s definitely not late to jump in and join several thousands of fellow crocheters. The pattern is available both in my Ravelry shop HERE (it was discounted for January) or via Happily Hooked Magazine HERE.
Geometric Mandala - easy crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

Happily Hooked Magazine is a digital edition with new issues coming out every month. If you would like to receive fresh and exclusive patterns directly to your e-mail box, you can subscribe HERE (either for just a month or for the entire year).
Geometric Mandala - easy crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

This CAL was sponsored by Scheepjes. In the end of January one winner will receive a sample pack with Scheepjes yarns. And also a yearly subscription to Happily Hooked Magazine.

Will you join me for the CAL? :)

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My Year 2017 In Three Pictures

Every time in the end of the year I make a virtual quilt of my published designs. I do it to keep the nice memories, as life is running fast. Maybe one day, after 20 or 30 years of designing I will compose a giant digital blanket of these small quilts… Joking of course! But who knows on the other hand ;-)
Overlay crochet design by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

What can I say about my year 2017? It was fast! It was so fast that I cannot even believe it. At the same time last year we were sitting in a small house in the middle of mountains with my friends. We were skiing all days long, and we were celebrating New Year’s Eve together. And now… Another year has come already and I haven’t even noticed. Is it the matter of age? Or rather a lifestyle?

I have been observing the whole world from a window in my living room for 3 years already. Three years of “official designing status”. Not so much for someone. But for me it’s the whole life. Spending all days at home at my computer desk, with crochet and photo camera, surrounded by lots of virtual friends and followers might sound fun. And it’s fun, of course! But if I could wish something for a new coming year, I would ask for a change. I don’t know what this change can be. I don’t know… I will definitely continue to create, and to design. But I would also like to spend more time outside my creative box. What do you think? Is it workable? :)






Looking back at all the project I designed in 2017 makes my heart happy. You know that feeling, when you write something down (a story, or a poem, or just a short essay), or when you design something, and when you see it again after a year, or even later. You think: No way! You cannot create anything better. You have created all your best designs (written all your best stories, composed all your best songs) already. And you cannot create as good as this one again. This is exactly the feeling I have when I look back at my designs from year 2017. Not that I think they are perfect (though I am really happy with all of them). It's just my own, personal feeling. They all are my babies.

January:
Labyrinth Mandala
UFO pillow

February:
Labyrinth Border
Celtic Tiles Blanket

March:
Tree of Life Pillow
Whirl Mandala Cardigan

April:
Dandelion Garden Pillow
Lisa the Mouse

May:
Indian Start Basket
Nori Dress

June:
Tulip Potholder
Sunny Mandala (revised pattern)

July:
Nya Mosaic Blanket

August:
Brioche Waves Blanket

September:
A Different Granny Square

October:
Spirits of Life Wrap CAL

November:
Pastel Triangles Pillow
Wintery Octagon Mandala

And several comissioned patterns for magazines:  Winter Light Poncho and Tropical Flower Pouf

Can year 2018 be at least a little bit as creative as last year? I hope so!

There is one project among listed above which I am extremely proud of! This project took the whole year of my life. In good sense. And in many other senses, too… It’s Spirits of Life CAL. When I first thought about this idea, it didn’t sound very “massive” to me. And this was for the good, because otherwise I would never dare to “touch” it.
Spirits of Life CAL_ free crochet pattern by www.lillabjorncrochet.com

When half of the work was done and it was too late to give up I suddenly realized it was turning into something huge, and not simple at all. I had to write down the patterns in techniques I have never written any patterns before. And I had to create videos. What a Challenge!!! I am not the one who gives up easily, but now (when the CAL is over) I can tell you a secret. There were quite a few moments when I felt I would fall down, or hide under the rock where no one could find me. And now, when all patterns are released, and my YouTube channel is launched, and many people all over the world have finished their Spirit Wraps I feel nothing than being proud of myself! (And I don't have that feeling often...)
Our Tribe yarn by Scheepjes - shade "Lilla Bjorn". www.lillabjorncrochet.com

And there is one more thing I am extremely proud of! It’s the fact I have my own yarn now. My own shade of a brand new yarn Our Tribe by Scheepjes. I have been a member of Scheepjes Bloggers team for 2.5 years already. And this collaboration has brought me so much inspiration, and joy. I hope it will last for many more years.

Year 2017 was significant in many ways for me. It helped me to realize how far I moved forward in what I love, and what I believe in. I am so far that it’s also scary… It feels like the best moments are behind already. I am really afraid that one day my creative spirit will be gone, that all “muses” will hide. And I will stay alone in my living room, at my desk, with my computer and photo camera. But with no inspiration… It’s so difficult to put into words. It happened a few times already. And that's a scarry feeling... So I better stop thinking about it. And rather hope that year 2018 will be full of new adventures!
Happy New 2018 year!!!

I believe it will be a nice year. It’s a Dog's year. And I have a dog. Her name is Nejra. She is more red than yellow, but she is a dog anyway. A lovely, kind, openhearted, loving, happy friend. Once, many years ago, she saved me from feeling lonely. And today she is one of my best friends. Love her!

Happy New Year!!

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Rib Turban Headband: late Christmas gift

Being a crochet designer means that your family and all your friends will be involved into crochet. Sooner or later. Most of my friends don’t crochet. But from time to time I get messages from them with pictures of different crochet projects and notes like “You could probably make the same?” I think it’s fun! Crochet is connecting people.
Rib Turban Headband - free crochet pattern

A few days ago I received a message from my friend Lera. She lives in Amsterdam and has just returned from a long journey around Australia. It’s winter in the Netherlands, and it's pretty cold. And Lera asked me if by any chance I have designed something like a headband (saying her ears are freezing but she can’t wear hats for many reasons). I haven’t designed anything like this myself, and crochet hats or any head accessories is a nightmare for me because I am never good at sizing. But I thought I could make one for Lera. And it would be a nice late Christmas gift.
Rib Turban Headband - free crochet pattern

She wanted something very simple and elegant, in grey or black color. Together we browsed lots of pages on Pinterest and both agreed that Rib Turban Headband (FREE pattern) from Carmen of New Leaf Designs is something we were looking for. Lera wanted a wide enough band which could cover her ears, so I adapted the pattern a bit to make it wider. But otherwise no other changes were made.






I used two skeins of Merino Soft yarn* by Scheepjes in shade 603 (silver grey). A great choice for head accessory, in my opinion. As this yarn is very warm, soft, but not fluffy and not scratchy.

It took me several hours to finish the headband, mostly because I couldn’t figure the width in the very beginning and had to frog several times. Otherwise this project is very fast to make, and very satisfying. A nice way to practice front and back post stitches. And I just love clear graphic of the twist!
Rib Turban Headband - free crochet pattern

I began with ch31 and the height of both parts for the twist was approx. 5-6cm. After the piece was divided into two parts for the twist I made a little math to make sure both parts are the same (for example, that they both begin and end with back post stitch). That was needed for a symmetry.
Rib Turban Headband - free crochet pattern

I would like to share something else with you… If you are interested in food and in healthy life style, be sure to check Lera’s website. She is a professional nutritionist running her own company Terra e Luna in Amsterdam. She is helping people to deal with health problems via correcting their daily menu. She is creating individual custom programs. And she runs food workshops in her amazingly beautiful kitchen studio in the very center of old Amsterdam.

Lera is vegan. She has been creating her own recipes since I have known her (and I know her for almost 20 years now). Every time I come to Amsterdam I'm secretly hoping she will invite me to stay at her place for a couple days. And every time it’s a feast for my stomach. Not that her food is very tasty and animal friendly, it’s also so beautiful!
Vegan recipes by Terra e Luna

I have created a collage for you with the pictures of her original meals. Don’t they look fantastic? And all recipes are available for free on her blog HERE. In English, Dutch and Russian. Enjoy!

Lera has not seen the final project yet and I really hope she will love it. And will use it a lot during long winter months.
Rib Turban Headband - free crochet pattern

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