A Very Rainbow Blanket: Reveal



And it’s here! My new blanket. Made with almost 80 colors. I named it A Very Rainbow Blanket, as it looks like this, doesn’t it? I am still adding final stitches to another, monochrome, version and hopefully pictures will come next week. But so far I could not wait any longer, and wanted to show you in all its glory. 

This blanket has quite a story. If you read my blog earlier this week, you know already that I needed to perform a crochet surgery to get rid of (annoying) massive yellow part. The surgery went very well, and now you can hardly see the seam on the wrong side. And on the right side nothing is visible at all. 

A Very Rainbow Blanket was inspired by a Scheepjes Metropolis yarn pack with 80 x 10g skeins. A full range of colors in one box. The packs are out of stock at the moment, but the good news is this blanket is a perfect stash buster. And you can use all leftovers lying around your house. You have plenty of them, right? At least I do have tons of them. And this new pattern is a perfect chance to gather them all in one nice project. 

It might be tricky to put the colors in needed order. First I arranged all mini skeins according to rainbow colors (red-orange-yellow-green-blue-violet). Pinks went to reds, neutrals and browns were close to green… It took me long to play with colors, until I was happy with the order. 

Then I divided the rainbow into 2 parts (40 mini skeins in each) for Yarn A and B. And started working with them making sure both shades – which were used at the same time – have enough contrast. 

I also needed to rearrange colors again as my blanket was growing. At some point I even swapped Yarn A and B for mosaic panel. 

The pattern will be released soon and I will give you exact order of the colors, so that you can create the same or very similar blanket. 

The pattern uses Mosaic crochet, it’s very easy and straightforward. And also fun with all the color changes. My initial plan was to make a graphical design with just stripes. A kind of false brioche. When I shared wip with Laura Jackson (who helped with testing), she pitched me an idea of a “classical” mosaic panel for the bottom, or anywhere else. 

By the way, Laura decided to use Stone Washed and River Washed pack for her own blanket in combination with black solid Stone Washed shade (x12 balls). She also played with striped and mosaic patterns, and her blanket looks completely different. Check all notes about placement of colors on her Ravelry page HERE. And if you are in US or Canada, you can also order yarn packs for your own blanket from her Taemombo yarn shop

Photo credit: Laura Jackson

As already mentioned, Scheepjes Metropolis packs are out of stock at the moment (let’s hope they will come back soon!!). You can either use leftovers from your stash, or Stone Washed and River Washed packs which are available in local Scheepjes stores, as well as via international online retailers. Remember you will need 12 x 50g balls in solid shade to accompany the pack!!

Wool Warehouse*, Black Sheep Wools (UK, international shipping) 

Caro’s Atelier* (NL and Europe) 

Taemombo (US and Canada) 

Photo credit: Laura Jackson

The pattern will follow soon! 

Subscribe to a newsletter not to miss a single post. You can also follow me on FacebookPinterest and Instagram.

 

To cut or Not to cut crochet. This is the question



After a short delay, here is my progress on a new project with Metropolis mini pack. I thought I would use all 80 colors (or maybe almost all of them), and design a rainbow blanket. In Mosaic crochet. Because mosaic crochet uses two colors at the same time, I needed to arrange colors into two parts. And figure out their order. That was the most difficult part, and unfortunately it didn’t work on the first try. So a small crochet surgery was needed. 

To cut or not to cut crochet. This is the question. 

When I was learning how to design crochet garments, I first studied all different kinds of knitting sweaters and cardigans. I wanted to learn how to shape the yoke in clothes worked from top down. Apparently, both sweaters and cardigans are worked in the same continuous way. And then knitting fabric is CUT on front for a cardigan. 

I was shocked! 

I mean cutting handmade fabric is always scary. There is always a chance that you miss something and fabric will be destroyed. But with my new blanket I had no other chance than an adventurous surgery. 

Well, as I’ve already said, before actual crochet I arranged all mini skeins according to rainbow palette, and then divided them into two parts. This is the “smartest” way I could think of how to use all colors at the same time. 

Metropolis line* has several yellow shades. And my blanket was started with black/brown and those yellows. It looked ok in the very beginning, but as the blanket was growing it became less and less balanced. And at some point I realized I didn’t like a massive yellow part at the bottom. 

I had two ways to fix that: to frog everything and begin from a scratch, or to cut yellow bottom, frog it, replace yellows with something else and then crochet the bottom again, but in the opposite direction. 

Luckily, a while ago I did a small crochet surgery already. And I even blogged about how to restore foundation chain in crochet. I was so happy to come back to this blog post again and to see all useful progress pictures there. 

Before actual destroying my new blanket, I reread instructions a few times, then practiced with a swatch, and only after that decided to try with the blanket. 

 

I chose cream neutral colors to replace yellows, so that the blanket is not unbalanced and less “shouting”. The first row of slip stitches was made with black (the closest shade to a color contrast to yellow in my case). 

And… it worked! Now you can hardly see the seam. How cool is that? 

Try this method now and it might save you one day. 

As for the blanket, I am still working on it and hope to finish by Friday (I’ll show you two versions: colorful and monochrome). 

Stay tuned! 


Subscribe to a newsletter not to miss a single post. You can also follow me on FacebookPinterest and Instagram.

 

New Adventure with Metropolis Cutie Pack



I have to say I am a bit addicted to yarn. Addicted to high quality, beautiful yarn. I have a few skeins in my stash which I will probably never use. Just because I love the feeling of owing them. And keep them behind glass doors for happy eyes. Scheepjes Metropolis yarn is one of my ever favorites. I have already used it for several designs, but surprisingly I have not written any review. Yet. The time has come I think.

Scheepjes Metropolis yarn in 10g mini skeins

A while ago I received a pack of Metropolis mini balls from Scheepjes. I had this yarn in my stash already, and I had a few design ideas for it. And I also had a handy shade card with all the colors. But I just could not resist having a box of those cute mini skeins. And I’ve also got an idea of designing something using all (or almost all) colors. 

Scheepjes Metropolis yarn pack

When the box arrived, it didn’t have a chance to stay unpacked even for a minute (though, secretly I was hoping to just keep it forever, haha). Ohhh, how cute those tiny balls are! And all those colors! I could hardly breathe looking at them. 

Metropolis cutie pack

Just to give you an idea of Scheepjes Metropolis yarn, it’s a fingering (very soft) weight wool blend. The composition is 75% Merino extra fine and 25% Nylon and it was first introduced to market as sock yarn with a pair of socks hand knit in all gorgeous colors. 

In my opinion, this yarn is too fine and too soft for socks, and I would rather use it for shawls and garments. With knit the fabric is light as a feather. And in crochet (especially after blocking) the fabric is very drapey as well.

First time I used Metropolis for my Metropolis Cardigan (yeah, I know… A very “creative” name for the pattern, haha). The next garment I designed with Metropolis yarn was Copenhagen Cardigan

Copenhagen Cardigan crochet pattern

And just a few weeks ago I also released a Helios Mandala pattern which uses Metropolis yarn in combination with Spirit (incredibly soft cotton acrylic blend with a gentle fluff). And Laura of @Taemombo took a challenge and completed a lap blanket with Helios mandalas, which I can’t stop to admire. 

Helios Blanket

When I think of Metropolis, it’s not only about high quality composition and softness, but also about amazing 80 colors! Each one is slightly heathered and carries three shades. 

After reading this you might think I am a big fan, and yep – I am. For a while I had this dream of using ALL Metropolis colors in one design. And I have started to put this idea to life already. I have made a good progress, and will make sure to share it with you next week. 

And in a meanwhile you can check Metropolis yarn in your local Scheepjes stores, or via online retailers: 

Wool Warehouse* and Black Sheep Wools* (UK, please check shipping guidelines before placing your order, as there might be limitations due to COVID situation)
Taemombo (US & Canada) 

Subscribe to a newsletter not to miss a single post. You can also follow me on FacebookPinterest and Instagram.

 

 

Helios Mandala - new pattern release



It feels like I haven’t been blogging for ages now. And that’s for the exciting reason. Last week I spent in Sweden with my friend taking pictures for a new (still top secret) project, which I cannot tell you anything about. Yet. Still, lots of work is waiting for me, but hopefully it will be ready soon. But in a meanwhile I was working on something else. Actually several wips are in the making right now, and one of them has been finished recently and is ready to meet the world today. It’s a mandala worked in brioche crochet – my new favorite technique. 

Please, note that this picture is a photo collage of two border versions. The pattern is written for each border separately!

Technically, brioche crochet is not a separate technique really (I am not a fan of creating new techniques out of nowhere and “inventing” new stitches and abbreviations). It uses common stitches and I would say it is a “brioche look” crochet, reminding famous knitting method. 

It is done with two colors (each for one row or round) and consists of front post stitches and chains. In fact, it is a mesh fabric with increases and decreases which create intricate stitch patterns. Intricate in the look but not in the way you make them. 


If you never tried brioche crochet before, you might want to try your hand with my tiny and free Brioche Heart pattern. It will give you an idea of how my other brioche patterns are written and what to expect. No videos are available, but instructions contains row-by-row explanations together with tons of helpful pictures. They will guide you through literally every stitch placement. 

Coral Story Blanket is another example of my brioche work. And this is also a very nice pattern to learn the technique. Medium hexagon motifs are worked quickly, and by the time you finish two or three, you should be confident with brioche already. 

Coral Story Blanket

 My new brioche design - Helios Mandala – was meant to become a perfect match for a Coral Story blanket. (Credit for the pattern name goes to Sandra Veneman!)

Please, note that this picture is a photo collage of two border versions. The pattern is written for each border separately!

 The pattern is available for purchase on Etsy and Ravelry with 25% discount through Monday, September 28th, 2020. The price has been already discounted and you don’t need any codes. 

To be honest, it gave me many sleepless nights. First I could not choose the correct yarn and was swatching and swatching with different colors. Brioche looks the best with either two solid colors, or with a mix of one solid and one semi-solid or gradient shade. My attempt of using Scheepjes Stone Washed together with Spirit failed. But Spirit and Metropolis looked together like a success. 

Find yarn in your local Scheepjes shop, or purchase it online via international retailers:

Wool Warehouse* and Black Sheep Wools* (UK, please check shipping guidelines before placing your order, as there might be limitations due to COVID situation)
Taemombo (US and Canada)

 

 

The central “whirling” mandala was designed in a few days, and then I wanted to add the border with a similar stitch pattern as for a Coral Story. That also didn’t take much time, but after it was finished I kept thinking I could do something else. 

When I was packing for a trip to Sweden, I threw two Colour Crafter* skeins into my suitcase (black and white). Just to crochet on the trains and planes and maybe to double-check the pattern which was already in test at that moment. 


And ta-dah! After the central mandala was finished, I suddenly got another idea and before I came back home, another border with zigzags was finished. And the pattern was written down on the train (a miracle!). 

My brave and supportive testers were almost done with their mandalas, but they were not afraid of taking something new on board and tested the second border as well. Sending many thanks to Faye Pike, Laura Jackson, Esther Schippers, Sarah Fabbri, Loele van den Bergh, Macarena Marskell, Jenna Bowers, Sheela Bijea and Ruth Bracey! You are the best! 


 As a result, the pattern comes with two borders! You can choose from either version with petals or zigzags. Both mandalas come out in the same size and with the same stitch count. And if you are thinking about making a pillow, you can use both mandalas for a reverse look, as I did with mine. 

As you can see from the pictures, I made five mandalas myself. I simply could not stop. I was trying different colors and if the release was not planned for today I would probably have made a bunch of new ones. 


For two mandalas I used Scheepjes Spirit and Metropolis yarns (amounts are given in the pattern). And for other samples I chose Scheepjes Colour Crafter. You will need slightly more than one ball in Yarn A for one mandala. So for two mandalas it will make 3 skeins of Yarn A and 3 skeins in Yarn B (or maybe you might want to add third color). 

My Metropolis and Spirit mandalas were turned into a pillow. And I am still thinking what to do with the rest, haha. 


By the way with worsted or aran yarn it will make a nice area rug. Look at Esther’s Schippers work. She used Scheepjes Mighty yarn to make a small rug for her van. 


 Faye Pike added Brioche Mandalas to her collection of minis made with Scheepjes Sugar Rush yarn. 


And Laura Jackson decided to go creative (as she always does!) and is currently working on her blanket. The plan is to turn mandalas into octagons and add small squares in between. I can’t wait to see it finished! And you can also follow the progress on her Ravelry page, where she will also post all notes. 


 After many doubts and struggles I can finally say I am very happy with my new Helios Mandala. And I hope you will like it as well. 

And just to remind you, the Helios Mandala pattern is available for purchase on Etsy and Ravelry with 25% discount through Monday, September 28th, 2020. The price has been already discounted and you don’t need any codes. 

Subscribe to a newsletter not to miss a single post. You can also follow me on FacebookPinterest and Instagram.

 

Fade To Light Jacket MAL: Part 5. Front bands and collar



Hello and welcome to the final Part 5 (yay!!) of the Fade to Light Jacket make-a-long. Today we will add front bands and collar, and you can choose between two options: with buttons or with clasps. If you missed previous parts, please check them here: reveal, sizing and gauge, short rows (Part 1), raglan increases (Part 2), sleeves (Part 3) and lower body with mosaic pattern (Part 4).

 
Complete Fade to Light Jacket pattern in one print-friendly pdf file is available for purchase HERE on Ravelry or HERE on Etsy (both in English with US terms, and Dutch). Please, note that these files only include written instructions and no progress pictures.
 
Front bands will frame your jacket nicely and collar will help to fix bumps at the neck opening left from the short rows. 
 
On one hand, adding bands to crochet garments is the easiest part, as instructions are very simple and straightforward. But on the other hand, sometimes it might be tricky to work along the edges evenly. 
 
You can either add too many stitches, and the bands will be wavy. Or if make fewer stitches than needed, the bands will pull and will not look neat. 
 
As always, I have recorded a very detailed video showing every step for both versions of the bands. I am explaining the system on putting stitches evenly along the edges. And I also show how you can adjust the size of the buttonholes in case you wish to add bigger or smaller buttons. Hope, this video will be helpful!

 
DUTCH translation is available HERE. Translated by Carmen Jorissen of New Leaf Designs
 

INSTRUCTIONS

  

Copyright! An original Lilla Björn Crochet Design (Tatsiana Kupryianchyk). Copyright 2014-2020. All rights reserved. This pattern is for personal use only. It cannot be sold, redistributed or edited in any way. Translations and video tutorials are not allowed. You can sell your finished products, but you cannot use my pictures to promote them. Please, always note me as a designer of this pattern. Thank you!

 

BANDS AND COLLAR

 

Option 1 (with button holes) 

Buttonhole band 

Turn work a quarter and continue on RS along the edge of right front. 

Row 1 – RS: Work with sc evenly along the front’s edge from bottom up to neck opening, turn. 


Row 2 – WS: Ch1, 1sc in each st to end, turn. 

On next row work buttonholes. Place one removable marker approximately 0.5 cm/ 0.25in from neck opening, place another removable marker approximately 3 cm/1.25in from lower edge, place 4 additional markers evenly spaced between them. 

Row 3 – RS (buttonhole row): Ch1, [1sc in each st to one st left to m, remove m, ch2, sk 2 sts] to last m, remove m, 1sc to each st to end, turn. 


Row 4 – WS: Ch1, 1sc in each st across making 2sc in each ch2-sp, turn. Row 5 – RS: Ch1, 1sc in each st across, fasten off. 

Button band 

Row 1 – RS: With RS facing you, attach Yarn B with ss in upper corner of left front, ch1 (not a st) and work with sc evenly on RS along the left front edge down to the bottom in the same way as for buttonhole band, turn. Make sure you have the same number of sts as on the buttonhole band. 

Row 2: Ch1, 1sc in each st across, turn. 

Repeat Row 2 – two more times, don’t fasten off and proceed to collar. 

Collar 

Row 1 – WS: Ch1, work with evenly spaced sc across the top of each band and neck opening, turn – stitch count should be an odd number. 

Row 2: Ch1, 1sc in first st, [ch1, sk 1 st, 1sc] to end, turn. 

Row 3: Ch1, 1sc in first st, [ch1, sk sp, 1sc] to end, turn. Repeat Row 3 until desired collar’s height, fasten off. 

*****************************

Option 2 (bands with clasps) 

TIP: The bands should not pull or be too loose. If anything like this happens, please, change to a smaller or bigger hook as required. 

Row 1 – RS: Turn a quarter and continue working on RS along the edge of right front. [ch1, sk next row, 1sc in next row] rep along front’s edge up to neck opening working (1sc, ch2, 1sc) in the corner, pm in last ch2-sp, turn a quarter and continue along neck opening: 

[ch1, sk next st, 1sc in next st] rep along neck opening making (1sc, ch2, 1sc) into the corner, pm in last ch2-sp, turn a quarter and continue along next front’s edge (make sure you work exactly the same number of sc and ch1-sps as for the other front): 

ch1, sk next row, 1sc in next row] rep along front’s edge down to the bottom, turn. 


Row 2 – WS: Ch1, 1sc in first st, *[ch1, sk sp, 1sc in next st] until marked ch2-sp, (1sc, ch2, 1sc) into ch2-sp, 1sc in next st; rep from * once more, [ch1, sk sp, 1sc in next st] to end, turn. 

Row 3 – RS: Ch1, 1sc in first st, *[ch1, sk sp, 1sc in next st] until one st before ch2-sp, ch1, sk 1 st, (1sc, ch2, 1sc) into ch2-sp, ch1, sk 1 st, 1sc in next st; rep from * once more, [ch1, sk sp, 1sc in next st] to end, turn. 

Repeat Rows 2-3 until desired width of the bands. Fasten off. Proceed to Collar if you would like to add height. 

Collar 

Row 1 – RS: With RS facing you, attach Yarn B with ss in corner ch2-sp of neck opening, ch1, 1sc in same sp, 1sc in next sc, [ch1, sk sp, 1sc] across neck opening until next corner ch2-sp, 1sc in this sp, turn. 

Row 2 – WS: Ch1, 1sc in first st, 1sc in next st, [ch1, sk sp, 1sc in next st] until last st, 1sc in last st, turn. 

Repeat Row 2 until desired collar’s height. Fasten off. 

 ***********

Congratulations!!! Your Fade to Light Jacket is now finished! I hope you learned something new during this make-a-long, that you are not afraid of crochet garments anymore and that many more sweaters and cardigans will appear in your creative life!

Complete Fade to Light Jacket pattern in one print-friendly pdf file is available for purchase HERE on Ravelry or HERE on Etsy (both in English with US terms, and Dutch).

Subscribe to a newsletter not to miss a single post. You can also follow me on FacebookPinterest and Instagram.

© LillaBjörn's Crochet World. Design by MangoBlogs.