City Waistcoat: new crochet pattern



My journey in garment design continues, and here is a new addition to the modest collection of the patterns by Lilla Bjorn. Waistcoats are popular this season, whether fabric or knitted. So, I decided to design one by myself. And here it is – a City Waistcoat. 


Less is more. 

This works in all spheres of our lives. And although I am a little addicted to intricate crochet with lots of details, sometimes it feels relaxing to create something simple. 

The pattern is available on Ravelry HERE and Esty HERE and you will get an automated 20% discount through Monday, June 24th. You do not have to enter any codes, as the pattern is discounted right now and will be listed at a regular price after Monday. 

City Waistcoat is designed to have approx. 5-10cm/2-4in of positive ease in the smaller sizes and then gradually less positive ease in the larger sizes. Before beginning your project, measure yourself to determine which size will fit you the best. 

The pattern comes in 10 sizes to fit an actual bust of 75-150cm/29½-59in. It is worked from the top down. First, the back yoke is worked back and forth and shaped with short rows for the shoulders. Then, the shoulders/fronts are worked from stitches that are added along the top of the slanting parts of the back yoke. The body with buttonholes is worked back and forth. Then the edging is added. 

We have tested it in a variety of sizes, and I am happy to say the fit turned out great in every size. Because it is a top-down garment, you can easily adjust it as you go. The armholes can be made wider, the length can be adjusted as you need with more or fewer buttonholes. 

And you can also play with the width by adding more stitches for the lower body. 

The stitch pattern is basic with only single crochet and chain-spaces used (US terms), so even a crochet beginners can handle it. For additional help, I have recorded a few video tutorials explaining every step. 

For me, light cotton yarn worked the best for a City Waistcoat. 

I am in love with Scheepjes Organicon version. It is light and soft, perfect for hot days. And then I created two more waistcoats: one with Scheepjes Bamboo Soft and the other with Scheepjes Cotton 8. 

Bamboo soft is nice against the skin and creates a little thicker fabric. And Cotton 8 is great, too. It is on a stiffer side, but for sure will soften with wear. And it is a low budget version too with numerous color possibilities. 

Check Scheepjes yarns in your local Scheepjes store, or via online retailers: Wool Warehouse (UK, international shipping), Caro’s Atelier (NL, Europe), Taemombo (US&Canada). 

We had a fun time with a photographer taking pictures of all three City Waistcoats. We constructed several looks with jeans and a skirt, wearing waistcoats either on their own or with the shirts underneath. 

Our fantastic testers team has created beautiful pieces. Here are the pictures of some of them, with more inspiration for the summer looks. 

City Waistcoat by Sandra Veneman
City Waistcoat by Claire Shipton

City Waistcoat by Esther Schippers

City Waistcoat by Jenna Bowers modelled by her beautiful daughter

City Waistcoat by Laura Jackson

The pattern is available on Ravelry HERE and Esty HERE

Hope you enjoy!

 

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Kamala Blanket: new crochet-a-long



If you are a blanket person, then I have something exciting for you. A new crochet-a-long is here! 

Introduction 

Kamala Blanket was inspired by a single square designed several years ago. I have made a few pillowcases using this pattern, but the textured flower design was too beautiful not to turn it into a blanket. The flower with fragile petals reminded me of a Kamala flower, and this is where the blanket’s name comes from. 

Being a simple construction of squares and border, the Kamala Blanket offers lots of interest regarding stitching and texture. And no doubt you will not be bored making it. 

The blanket is big! It measures approx. 130 cm x 160 cm/ 51¼ in x 63 in, after blocking. 

 

Where to get the pattern 

Kamala Blanket consists of two patterns: A Different Granny Square and Kamala Border. You can grab a complete e-book with everything you need to make a blanket via our website HERE

 However, you can also purchase both patterns separately on Ravelry and Etsy (discover the links below). 

Of course, as a stand-alone pattern, Kamala Border can be used for any other project of your choice. You will just need to adjust the stitch counts to start the border (everything explained in instructions). 

 A Different Granny Square: Ravelry, Etsy 

Kamala Border: Ravelry, Etsy 

If you previously purchased A Different Granny Square, you should have received an updated version which was added to your library. And if you have the pattern from Etsy, please check an introduction file for how to put a blanket together, as there you will see yarn amounts and placement of the colors for every round of the square. 

Materials and yarn amounts 

The Kamala Blanket comes in three colorways: Stained Glass, Sand and Blossom

All three use Softfun yarn by Scheepjes which has been one of our absolute favourite. It is a cotton and acrylic blend, very soft. It also has just the right thickness for a medium size hook, which makes the crochet relatively fast and enjoyable. 

Not to mention, the Softfun yarn does not split at all and is easy to care for. I have made several cushions with this yarn, and after years of hard-wear and washing they still are the perfect shape and look. 

As for the previous CAL’s, this time we have also collaborated with Laura Jackson (aka @taemombo), who created her own colorway for the blanket and made one of the samples. 


 And Esther Schippers, who helped with testing, thought of a Blossom colorway for her blanket. 

You can either choose one of our ready colorways, or you can pick your own colors to match your taste the best. Luckily, Softfun yarn comes in 90+ gorgeous colors, and you can also combine regular solid shades with Denim and Aquarel lines. 

If you are in the USA or Canada, you can purchase a ready yarn kit from Laura’s shop HERE. You can also have a look at other colors and get yarn in your nearest Scheepjes shop or via online retailers: Wool Warehouse (UK, international shipping), Caro’s Atelier* (NL and Europe). 

What is CAL (crochet-a-long) and how to join 

As with the previous large projects, we have decided to host a Kamala Blanket as a CAL. 

Crochet-a-long means that crafters from different parts of the world are making the same project at the same time. Usually, the CALs are hosted on a weekly basis, with new portions of instructions released every week. 

However, with the Kamala Blanket we have decided to host a relaxed CAL allowing everyone to work at their own path. After purchasing the patterns, you will right away have all the instructions you need. You can begin at any time, and you can make as much progress every week as you wish. 

The CAL means that we will have a space in our Facebook group, where you can share your pictures, give advice, and ask for help. 

If you are not in a group yet, please join it, and do not forget to answer the simple question upon signing up. The approving process is automated, and without answering the question you will not be let in. 


 ***

We officially begin on May 24th, 2024 to allow enough time for getting all materials. But you can start right away, of course! 

Hope you will join us on this journey. 

 

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Seeds Clutch and Pillow



Spring is finally getting here, and in quite an unusual way. It’s been cold and windy for weeks, and then suddenly the sun came out with almost summer temperatures. Guess we will not have a chance to wear mid-season clothes and will need to jump into the summer dresses and shirts right away. And then, I thought, maybe it is time to create some new accessories. So, this is how the Seeds Clutch came to life. 


The crochet pattern is available on Ravelry HERE and Etsy HERE and you can enjoy a 20% introductory discount through Monday, April 8th, 2024. You do not have to enter any codes, as the pattern is discounted already. 

Or you can get an e-Book with two Seeds patterns with even a bigger saving on Ravelry HERE.

After walking in circles and making blankets, and pillows, and shawls, and sweaters, and blankets again, I suddenly felt an urge for a change. 

Being a crochet designer for almost 10 years now, I have probably tried everything (except of interlocking and Tunisian crochet, making lace doilies, and probably lots of other techniques and projects). But anyway, after 10 years of designing and almost 40 years of crocheting, it still does feel like I tried everything. And something new was needed to keep my creative spirit alive.

So, I thought about making a clutch. With metal closure and fabric lining. This idea sounded like a challenge, as I am not experienced with bag making and especially with lining sewing. But well, I just love to challenge myself! 

In my early designing days, I created a couple of crochet handbags with round shapes. I still think they are cute, and I am proud of these designs, but this time I was looking for a different shape. 

It all started with finding the right frame. There are lots of different types of bag frames on the market, but the metal tube one appealed the most to me. It does not require sewing skills, it is easy to install, and it looks effective and modern, too. 

I found my frames on Amazon, but you can also find them in your local craft shop, maybe. This type of the frame is sometimes called “a doctor bag frame”. 

It has a clean design without additional closure, and stays closed well. The curved aluminium parts have a silver color, but the bending mechanism on both sides can differ in color and be silver, golden, or even copper. So please have it in mind while searching for the right frame for yourself. 

But on the other hand, it is almost entirely hidden under fabric, so you can hardly see it. 

Next step was to find the right yarn, and I have chosen Scheepjes Mighty which is a natural jute blend yarn, a little stiff and I thought it would help the clutch keep its shape well. 

You can find Mighty yarn in your local Scheepjes store, and if you are in the US or Canada, you can order a complete kit for the Seeds Clutch in two sizes from Taemombo yarn shop. The kit includes yarn, bag frame and chain strap. 

The designing itself and creating the seeds stitch pattern was fun, and I knew from the very beginning how I wanted the clutch to look. I used the same ribbed technique, which you have probably seen (or tried) with Astrid Shawl. It is very simple and uses only single crochet stitches in back loops. 

Because creating Seeds Clutch was a designing challenge for me, I have recorded many short videos to guide you through every step. This pattern is the most supported with videos and I am safe to say that crochet beginners will handle it. For sure! 

More than that, I have also recorded a detailed video tutorial about how to sew the lining for a Seeds Clutch. All by hand. Without using a sewing machine. I am amazed myself how the lining looks (you will never guess it was sewn by hand), and I am very proud of myself. 

And you know what? If I could do it, then anyone else can do it as well. 

Because I liked the Seeds stitch pattern so much, I have decided to use it for another project, too. I have designed a pillow, but the same stitch pattern can be easily adjusted for a blanket, or a scarf, or any other project with a rectangular shape. And it is reversible too! 


The Seeds Pillow is available as a stand-alone pattern on Etsy HERE and Ravelry HERE. And if you would like to get both patterns from a Seeds collection, you can purchase an e-Book on Ravelry HERE with even bigger saving. 

Hope you enjoy! 

 

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Blomma Square, and something about my designing process…



I continue to explore brioche crochet technique, and today I am happy to share a new design with you. Good news for those who enjoyed the Archway Square, as the new pattern is also a large brioche square which can be turned into an infinity stitch pattern. I named it Blomma, as it reminds me of the flower. 

Blomma Square brioche crochet pattern is available on Ravelry HERE and Etsy HERE with an introductory discount of 20% which will expire on Tuesday, March 5th, 2024. The price you see now is a discounted one, and no codes are needed. 

Lately, every time I start working on a new project, I say to myself it should be a beginner-friendly one. Not in the way it looks or how it is constructed, but in a way how the stitch pattern flows, and how this is reflected in the written instructions.

It means that the crochet design which looks intricate would necessarily be difficult to make. I sometimes get messages from the beginning designers asking about my own designing process. Of course, everything (and always) starts with inspiration. In a burnt-out mode, it is not easy to design something unique and appealing. 

Basically, the easier the design process goes, the more chances are that the result will be great. And if you are stuck from the beginning, it often means something is wrong and creative spirit is blocked at some point. And then it is better to leave the idea aside and create something else. 

I never draw sketches beforehand. Usually there is a rough idea inside my head, but I prefer to draw with yarn right away. So, the beginning of every design of mine always starts with a ball of yarn and a hook, late in the evening, in front of the TV. 

Somehow the first rows or rounds with simple stitches bring in a certain mood, and slowly after each new round the idea becomes clearer. The designing process does involve lots of frogging and remaking. It would be ambitious to think that genius stitch patterns come to the world on the first try. 

And when I say genius, I mean the stitch patterns which are perfect regarding maths, with perfect stitch counts and repeats, which are easy to write down. And the last is probably the most important in the crochet design, for me at least. Which makes the pattern doable for crocheters with different skill levels.

Of course, not all my crochet designs are “genius” in that way, but with every new project I am trying to get closer to this ideal and make written instructions as easy to follow as possible. Brioche crochet is one of those techniques which look extremely intricate, and not even doable. 

But Archway Square proved that crafters with advanced beginner skills can handle the pattern. Basically, the required minimum level is to know how to do basic crochet stitches. And the rest is only about their placement, which is explained in the pattern. 

If you did Archway Square, then no doubts that Blomma Square is right for you. And if this is your first time with brioche crochet, an introductory video is waiting for you in the pattern explaining basics of technique and showing first rounds of the pattern to bring you into the right flow. And then the pattern also contains progress pictures for all the rounds. 

The Blomma Square consists of 49 rounds, and with Scheepjes Softfun yarn (DK weight) it will make a perfectly sized front decoration for a ready-made fabric pillowcase. And if you want to experiment with the infinity looks, stop the pattern after any even round, and join small squares with an invisible technique (explained in the pattern). 

For my pillow, I made four squares with 30 rounds, and the final joined large square is about 60cm. 

Esther Schippers, who helped me with testing, decided to make a smaller one and stopped after 24 rounds on her squares. And ta-da! Here is a totally different look. 

And Laura Jackson turned her Blomma Squares into a cute and stylish handbag. Check her Ravelry project page to learn more about the colors she used and how she assembled everything. 

Get your own copy of the Blomma Square pattern on Ravelry HERE and Etsy HERE and unlock your creativity. 

Hope you enjoy! 

   

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