New year with a new project



Today I suddenly realized that I did not write any conclusions for the year 2021, and no resolutions for the year 2022… Last year I did not do lots of things I usually do. The covid era put a firm, transparent film around my life, and it felt like I was sitting inside my cell, just looking out and not interacting much. There was not much of travelling and not much change from a daily routine. Some exciting things also happened, though. 

One of the brightest achievements of the last year was the publishing of A Sea Story book, for sure. It brought lots of excitement, and the feeling of accomplishment. As, what can be better than a finished wip? We, crocheters and knitters, know this better than anyone else. 

Hundreds of copies found their new homes in different parts of the world. And the end of the year for my family was about packing, going to the post office, tracking, answering emails, packing again. A whole new dimension of the work of a crochet designer. And such a nice learning curve, and acquaintance with lots of new people. Virtually. 


When I was not sure about a certain address, or it looked incomplete to me, I was searching online in the 3D maps, virtually walking in many streets of many countries. Felt great! 

Now the life is coming back to its normal routine and the process of packing and shipping is kind of automated, I can finally come back to designing and crochet. By the way, if you do not own a copy of A Sea Story book, we still have them in stock, and you can order one for you or your friends via our website HERE

January has been a month of swatching. Honestly, I do not even know how many swatches I made. With no time for a big conceptually thought project, the swatching still felt like I have been designing something. I wish I could show you the whole basket of those yarny sketches, but they look ugly as I used leftovers of yarns in different colors. Not matching at all, very often. 

One of them has jumped onto my plate right away, and I am going to grow it into a blanket. I can’s wait to share progress with you, but first let me show you the yarn I picked. 

Have I even written about Scheepjes Metropolis yarn here on my blog? It was launched several years ago and has become one of my absolute favourites (together with Whirl and Whirlette). 

I used Metropolis for many projects already, including garments and home accessories. It feels equally great for sweaters and blankets. The quality and composition are very nice: 75% Extra fine merino wool and 25% Nylon. 

The yarn is very soft and comes in 80 yummy heathered shades. So each color carries three colors in it. It is quite difficult to catch those nuances with the camera, but I hope you can see those tiny color shades in the skein. 

You can find Metropolis yarn at your local Scheepjes shops and via online retailers: Wool Warehouse* (UK, international shipping), Caro’s Atelier* (NL, Europe), Taemombo* (US&Canada). 

So far, I have not decided which exactly color I will pick for my new projects, and if it will be solid or colorful. I guess I just continue swatching and play, and will see where it brings me. 

Stay safe,

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Winter Scandi MAL. Part 3. Overlay Mandala



Hello and welcome to the final part of the Winter Scandi make-a-long. I hope you enjoyed previous parts with an Embossed Mandala and Brioche Pillow. And today we will be making a small overlay crochet motif. 

Photo credit @evakobz

Overlay crochet is one of my beloved techniques. While looking intricate, it is not that difficult to master, as you only use one color per round. 

Photo credit @evakobz

In the classic way of doing an overlay mandala, you break the yarn and weave in ends after every round. But for the purpose of this make-a-long, I designed a small motif without cutting yarns. So, small floats of yarn are visible on the wrong side. 

Photo credit @evakobz

This mandala will make a colorful coaster or hanging ornament. You can also stop at some point and make your motifs smaller. You can also create several mandalas in different sizes, join couples of them (in same size) together and stuff. This way they will make a nice decoration for a Christmas tree, or a garland. 

Photo credit @evakobz

Small mandalas will also become perfect last-minute gifts, or special wrapping elements for gifts. 

I made a set of coasters for myself with Scheepjes Catona yarn and 3mm hook. As you can see, I could not stop, and made a few more motifs in three sizes. And joined them together into a garland, with wooden beads and a tassel. 

The gauge is not important for this pattern, as well as yardages. Just dive into your stash and choose leftovers in three colors. 

Hope you will have fun! If you have not joined the make-a-long yet, you can now purchase all three patterns HERE on Ravelry and HERE on Etsy.

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Winter Scandi MAL. Part 2. Brioche Pillow



Hello and welcome to the second week of the Scandi Winter mystery make-a-long. Today we will be making a brioche pillow. And if this project is too big for you (you might be very busy with making last minute gifts these days), you can still make a small sample with a few stitch pattern repeats. To try out the technique. And who knows, maybe you will fall in love with it as much as I. 

Photo credit: @evakobz

The Brioche Pillow pattern has been added to your Ravelry library. Please, refresh it and download the instructions. As always, you will see two files. One is full of progress pictures and another one is with text only. 

If you do not see anything in your library, that might be that you purchased Winter Scandi MAL listing without being logged into your Ravelry account. But no worries, please send me a message mentioning your email and Ravelry name and I will add the pattern manually. 

UPDATE: Winter Scandi MAL patterns are also available HERE on Etsy.

So, today we learn brioche crochet. I must admit that Brioche Pillow is not a beginner level. And probably not even an intermediate one. If you worked in brioche crochet before, today you will do something different, as we will work in the rows this time. 

Photo credit: @evakobz

As usually, you will use only one color for each row, without cutting. The yarn will be brought up to the next rows along the edge. You will work 2 rows on the right side, and two rows on the wrong side, so you will turn the work after every 2 rows (except for the very beginning). 

Changing/attaching new colors might be tricky at the first glance. To help you, I have included loads of progress pictures. As well as the link to a video tutorial explaining basics of brioche crochet. Please, watch this video, as it will surely answer all your questions, and will help you with understanding of the written pattern. 

You can also check a brioche masterclass here, on my blog.

Brioche crochet is all about front/back post stitches and chains, increases and decreases. Working on the wrong side might be a bit tricky, as you should work all back post stitches behind the chain spaces from the previous row. So, the basic rule is to work stitches around stitches of the same color from 2 rows below in such a way, so that chain spaces always stay on the wrong side. 

Photo credit: @evakobz

Again, a video tutorial should answer most of your questions (if not all of them). And if you are still not sure, you can post your progress picture in our Facebook group and ask questions there. 

As for my pillow, I used Scheepjes Chunky Monkey* yarn together with 5 mm hook. I made two squares in reversed colors and joined them together with single crochet stitches. 

I wish you good luck and can’t wait to all the finished pillows! Or smaller samples 😊 This brioche stitch pattern can be used for table runners, dishcloths, pot holders, and anything else you can think of. 

And see you next week for the last part of the Winter Scandi MAL! 

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Winter Scandi MAL. Part 1: Embossed Mandala



Welcome to the first part of the Winter Scandi make-a-long. As announced, each of three patterns will use a new crochet technique, and today we will be making an Embossed Mandala. Technically, this pattern is not entirely embossed, but uses some embossed elements together with regular crochet to give you a gentle introduction into the technique. 

Photo credit @evakobz

If this is the first time you hear about Winter Scandi MAL, please check THIS post from the last week. To participate, you need to order instructions via Ravelry HERE and Etsy HERE, and a new pattern will be added automatically to your library weekly. If you have already purchased the patterns, then just refresh your library, and instructions for Embossed Mandala should be sitting there and waiting for you. 

What is embossed crochet? It’s a technique that uses a combination or front post and back post stitches with shapes inspired by nature (usually, leaves). If you make a quick search about embossed crochet online, you will see lots of floral designs. My Embossed Mandala also uses curved lines, but no puffy leaves, though. And in my opinion, this technique can be much more than just vines and leaves. Front post and back post stitches can be used for great textured pieces. 

Photo credit @evakobz

After the announcement of the Winter Scandi MAL I have received many messages about the yarn amounts. My idea was that you use up your stash for these projects. The patterns you will receive during the MAL are versatile and can be used for a variety of projects. Depending on which type and weight of the yarn you choose, and which hook size you use. 

For example, today's Embossed Mandala can make a place mat, a wall hanging, a pillow and even an area rug. I have completed two projects to show you. 

Here is a place mat I made with Scheepjes Legacy 100% cotton yarn (Nr 8 and color 089) together with 3 mm hook. It turned out to be approx. 34cm/13½ in across after blocking. Just the perfect size for regular plates. 

Photo credit @evakobz

 You can even use yarns in a new color for each mandala, to make your table setting colorful and happy. My only recommendation here is to use yarn in solid colors (or gradient yarn with long color changes, such as Scheepjes Whirl). Texture is the main player here, and you do not want to draw attention away with too many colors or variegated yarn with short repeats. 

Photo credit @evakobz

And another project I would like to show you is a large pillow made with Scheepjes Chunky Monkey yarn (100% Premium Acrylic with anti pilling effect) and 5 mm hook. You will need 4 skeins for one mandala. I made two in different colors and joined them together with double crochet stitches. For e reversible look. 

Obviously, with finer yarn (like DK or Worsted) and smaller hook, your pillow will become smaller. And with bulky yarn you can create a nice area rug. 

Photo credit @evakobz
 

I hope all your questions have been answered now, and we can give a start to Winter Scandi MAL. For pattern support, please join our group on Facebook, where this make-a-long is officially hosted. 

Happy crocheting! And see you next week!

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Winter Scandi mystery make-a-long: Announcement



Following the success of last years Not a Christmas CAL, I have decided to design something exciting for you this year as well. The days are becoming cooler, we even had some snow a week ago (melted away already). The evenings are long. It’s time for lighting candles, snuggling into the blankets, time for hot tea or chocolate. 

Let me introduce a Winter Scandi make-a-long. It will start next week on December 7th, 2021 and will run for three weeks with a new project revealed on my blog every Tuesday. The make-a-long will be a mystery one, so you will not know what is coming. A little surprise. Like an unwrapping gift from a friend 😊 

As the last year, Scandi Winter make-a-long will again include projects in different techniques: overlay, embossed and brioche crochet. The designs are versatile, and can be used for a variety of projects, like coasters, placemats, pillows, rugs, table runners and even the blankets. Depending on which type and weight of yarn you will choose and which hook size. 

The projects for Winter Scandi make-a-long were inspired by the timeless Scandinavian design. And I picked soothing colors for mine. 

WHAT 

Three crochet patterns for winter home decorations in different crochet techniques: overlay, brioche and embossed crochet. A nice opportunity to learn something new and make last-minute gifts for your loved ones. 

The patterns are available in English only with US crochet terms.

WHEN 

Winter Scandy mystery make-a-long will begin next week, on December 7th, 2021. And then every new pattern will be released weekly. 

WHO 

Everyone who loves crochet, knows basic stitches and wants to learn something new. 


HOW 

This make-a-long is a paid one and will run on Ravelry only. I know many of you are used to Etsy, but unfortunately this platform doesn’t allow adding the files with automatic update. To participate in the MAL you will need to purchase instructions on Ravelry HERE. UPDATE: all three patterns are now available also on Etsy HERE.

The MAL has not started yet, and a pre-order is running right now. First pattern will be added to your Ravelry library next Tuesday, December 7th, 2021. The patterns will be offered at a reduced price during the time of the MAL through December 31, 2021 and then will be updated to a full price. 

Official support for this CAL will be offered in my Facebook group HERE where I will be happy to see all your pictures! Join now our friendly community with 29K members. Please, be aware that you will have to answer a simple question upon a sing up. Without answering it your request will not be approved. 

WHAT YOU NEED 

To participate in the Winter Scandi MAL you will need yarn of your choice, a crochet hook, and your happy mood :) 

TIMELINE:

Part 1 - Embossed Mandala

Part 2 - Brioche Pillow

Part 3 - Overlay Mandala

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