Mosaic Craziness in Progress



Do you remember cute Scheepjes Softfun mini packs I showed you last week? I have been swatching with them nonstop and something started to take its shape. Still not much to see, but at least I can already share my idea with you. It will be a square. In mosaic crochet. In perfect size for a pillow. 

Mosaic crochet square

My initial idea was to create a patchwork style something. As always, I wanted to add a bit of challenge, so that this is not about simple rows of mosaic again. 

The pillow will begin with a central square (I have it done, and the size is approx. 20cm across), and then there will be two borders added, with eight short mosaic stripes. Each with two new colors. 

Mosaic crochet square

At the moment I am using colorway Rich. And I should say it is quite a challenge, as there are several reds and several greens. Clay and dusty purple colors were chosen for the center, and now I am trying to arrange the rest of the color nicely. 

We also have several blues and gorgeous mustard shade in this pack. So I am hoping for the unusual accents! 

Patchwork style in crochet

One of the challenges for designing with small packs of yarn with pre-picked colors is that: a) you can’t change colors or add new, and b) the balls are tiny and different styles of crochet and gauges should be taken into consideration. 

In other words, the yarn should be enough for everyone. After a few unlucky attempts, I am on a good track, I think. The colors look kind of crazy together right now, but the entire design is changing with every new stripe added. I love the colorful look and cannot wait to have it finished! 

Scheepjes Softfun mini pack

I guess I should go down to 3mm hook for the next pillow (colorway Cloud this time), just to make sure the yardages are enough, the stitches are neat, and the fabric is dense. 

Scheepjes Softfun mini pack
Scheepjes Softfun mini pack

 Exciting! 

Choose your own Softfun mini pack in your local Scheepjes shop, or via online retailers:

Woolwarehouse* (UK, international shipping)

Caro's Atelier* (NL, Europe)

Taemombo (Canada and US)

***

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

 

Softfun mini packs. Have you got yours already?



Happy New Year I hope the beginning of the year 2021 was smooth and nice for you. As most of the people in the world we celebrated with our family, isolated and not seeing friends. With two laptops on the table skyping and chatting with our parents in Belarus. Quite an unusual way to keep in touch and share, but like one of my dearest friends says: It is still better than nothing. So, thanks to online technologies helping people survive isolation in these weird times. 

My beginning of the year was slow. I literally put all designing and crochet work on pause. Not because of being sad or depressed. But because of the need to clear thoughts and slow down. You know those long slow winter evenings in between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. And then after-holiday “coma” with lazy attempts to put yourself together. 

But I am back on track now! We have snow. The days are becoming longer. More light in my living room. And lots of new creative ideas inside my head. Before I went to prolonged winter vacations, my friends from Scheepjes released cute mini packs with Softfun yarn.

I am not sure if I ever wrote about this yarn, but I did use it for a few designs. And I loved it. Check my
Pastel Triangles pillow, for example.

DK weight, cotton blend (60% cotton; 40% Acryl) in lots of gorgeous colors: brights, vibrants, pastels and nudes. Anything you like. And even more when used in different combinations. 

And what I personally love about Softfun is that it is hard-wear. No pilling. Easy washing. Perfect stitch definition. Looking like new after a year of intense use. What can be better for houseware projects? 


Have a look at all shades and choose yours at Scheepjes shops, or via online retailers:

Woolwarehouse* (UK, international shipping)

Caro's Atelier* (NL, Europe)

Taemombo (Canada and US)

I have not used Softfun for garments yet and I suspect it might be too bulky in crochet garments (perfect for knitting though). But blankets/pillows and Softfun were meant for each other. 

Regular Softfun yarn comes in 50g balls (and you can choose from a Denim and Aquarel lines for even more combinations). And now solid colors are also available in packs of 12 x 20g mini skeins in selected shades. 

I have got two boxes in Rich and Cloud colors. The first is very vibrant and bright, and the second is pastel skies. Apart from being very handy (tiny balls to use in mosaic or knitting colorwork), they are just too cute. Perfect gift for a crafty friend at a very reasonable price! 

One nice idea has planted in my head already. I will start swatching this weekend. And fingers crossed it will come out just like I imagine it. 

See you soon! 

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

 

Not a Christmas CAL. Week 4: Mug Wrap



Hello and welcome to part 4 of the Not a Christmas Mystery crochet-a-long. Todays week is the last one and I hope you had fun with this little adventure. Today we will be making a mug wrap in mosaic crochet. And the set of all four festive decorations will be completed. 

Maybe you have already heard about this technique, and it will be not something new to you. Recently there is much talking about mosaic crochet everywhere. You can see lots of self-published patterns and designs in magazines all over the world. 

My own mosaic adventure started three years ago when Nya Mosaic blanket was created. It’s a colorful fun pattern which gives perfect introduction into the basics of technique. You can find it HERE on my blog. And also, there is an infinity version HERE

Mug Wrap is a tiny mosaic sample with rhombus stitch. You can use just two or more colors, and you can also adjust the length as you need. The pattern includes a detailed formula on how to du that. So theoretically, you can use the same stitch pattern even for a blanket! 

For my gift set of wraps I used main color (one 10g skein of Catona yarn) in combination with leftovers in three contrast shades. I have noticed that ombre contrasting shades look the best in this design. But you can of course try and go crazy colorful! 

You can easily adjust the length of the wrap, but no its height. So please choose the mug at least 9cm/3 ½ in tall, or taller. 

And just because we are talking about the mugs, I must show you a new arrival to my modest collection. I was gifted a new mug from this year’s Scheepjes limited edition. Scheepjes turned 165 years! How lovely this mug it is? 

 It comes with a number. A pure joy for true collectors. 

If you purchased Not a Christmas CAL on Ravelry already, the last pattern has been added to your library. And if you don’t own the pattern yet, you can purchase it HERE. The price includes all four parts (brioche bauble, tapestry blanket coaster, overlay snowflake garland and todays mug wrap) and you will receive them at once. 

And because all parts have been published already, I have added this CAL to Etsy today! You can find the listing HERE. It's available with a special reduced price through December 31, 2020.

And if you are looking for the same yarn I used, Scheepjes Catona cutie packs as well as individual skeins (in 10g, 25g and 50g) are available in your local Scheepjes shops and via online retailers:

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

Caro's Atelier* (NL, Europe)

Taemombo (US and Canada)

I hope you had fun with this mini crochet-a-long and learned something new along the way! Wishing you Happy Holidays!
 
Subscribe to a newsletter not to miss a single post. You can also follow me on FacebookPinterest and Instagram.

 

 

 

A new book in the town: Schatreis. De Avonturen van Finny & Mac



I’ve always thought that I have the most talented, creative and just the best testers in the world! Sandra Veneman is one of the lovely ladies helping with my – sometimes – fiddly designs. We got acquainted almost two years ago, when she signed up to be a member of our testers team. And last autumn we met for real in the Netherlands at the KreaDoe craft show. We had a warm lunch together with other ladies. We chatted and laughed, told a little about ourselves and our dreams. And Sandra mentioned she was writing a book! 

What a coincidence! I was also thinking about creating a book myself (and yes, this is official announcement), so I was very curious to learn more about her idea and process. She shared some thoughts, and now, exactly after one year her book is out (ta-dah!). Let me introduce: "Schatreis. De Avonturen van Finny & Mac".

I interviewed Sandra for my blog to tell you more about her book. This read is mostly for Dutch speaking people, as her book is published in Dutch at the moment. But non-Dutch speaking people (and crocheters) will also love it, as it’s full of gorgeous pictures. I’ve got my copy just yesterday, and I am sure we will spend lovely hours with my son browsing through pages. 

Sandra wrote all texts and also made the pictures herself. And her creative husband John was helping her along the way. They are such a nice couple! We met John at KreaDoe as well. At that time, he was looking for a special kind of skeleton for amigurumies to make them “moveable”. John was fully involved into the process. 

 I hope you will enjoy the interview and pictures. And if you are looking for a Christmas present for your little ones, you can purchase Sandra’s book at: Bol.com, Boekenbestellen.nl, Standaard Boekhandel, Amazon

More information can be found on Sandra’s blog HERE

Hi Sandra! Huge congratulations! I am so excited about your book. Can you please tell us about how you came up with the idea? 

Writing, crochet and photography have been my favorite hobbies for a long time. In 2013 I thought that a great way to combine these three, was to start a blog. And so, the journey started! 

I was always on the lookout for topics that I could write about. I would like to keep it light-hearted, not too private. And not too serious; just a way to ventilate some creative energy. And then the idea was born to crochet a little creature that could look at the world on a whole other level. In a playful way. A creature that would sometimes be in awe of life's little treasures, that could make you laugh and look at things in a different way. After some trial and error ‘Finnegan’ a.k.a. ‘Finny’ was born and about one year after that (because I thought it would be nice to have some interaction) ‘MacFlannegan’ a.k.a. ‘Mac’ accompanied Finny. 

Can you tell something about the characters? 

 Finny is very curious. He can be a bit naughty, especially when it comes to food. You can’t bake a cake without Finny knowing. Finny is a dreamer; he dreams about big adventures, but he finds it hard to make that first step. Mac, on the other hand, is a mouse that acts first and thinks later and he is cheeky. Mac is also curious and fond of cake. And cheese of course! Lots of cheese! 

How did your blog stories become a book? 

On my blog I wrote stories about Finny & Mac for years. My writing evolved and a lot of my readers asked why I didn’t write a book. That planted a seed and slowly it became a dream to write a book about my mice. But I never seemed to have the time or energy to make my dream come true. Until... I lost my job in 2019. And now, about one year later, my first book ‘Schatreis, de avonturen van Finny & Mac’ is published! 

What is the book about? 

One day Finny & Mac receive special mail from their uncle; an envelope filled with mysterious papers. Are they treasure maps? Is it a joke of their uncle? Finny & Mac are going to investigate and experience the most exciting adventures! 

What is your audience you think? 

I wrote ‘Schatreis’ to read to children from about 4 years old. It’s also very suitable for reading together. The book has lots of beautiful pictures, which also help children to understand the story. From the age of 7 the book can be read independently. It’s a children’s book, but also fun for imaginative adults! I can guarantee that Finny & Mac will make you laugh! 

There are a lot of children’s books. What is special about yours? 

It’s a hardcover picture book with photos instead of drawings and unlike a lot of picture books, the story is quite long. It’s not a book for just one or two evenings. ‘Schatreis’ has 160 pages and 125 beautiful photos. It even has a little bit of poetry in it! It also is a joy to read for grown-ups, because some of the humour has an adult touch. 

You wrote your book in Dutch. Do you have plans to translate it? 

Well... That’s another dream of mine. I would love to have it translated into English and German. At the moment I don’t have the financial means, but who knows, some day? 

Will there be a sequel of ‘Schatreis’? 

If ‘Schatreis’ catches on, there definitely will be a sequel. I’ve got enough ideas to write a second and maybe even a third book, so... fingers crossed! Is there something else you would like to tell us? Something that I’m very grateful for, is my husband’s help. At first, he was very sceptical, but now he helps me with making photographs and he creates the special attributes like backpacks, shoes and furniture. Sometimes his ideas are even crazier than mine! 

Could you, please, translate a small part of the book for us? 

Gladly! I’ll summarize one chapter: 

Finny studies the papers for days, but he still hasn’t been able to find out what those weird signs mean. Is it a foreign language? Is it a puzzle? Was the envelope even meant for them? Maybe Uncle Cheesy put the wrong address on it? Cheesy always has been a bit of an absent-minded professor... 

Mac on the other hand has already packed his backpack. Every day he tries to convince Finny to just... go! He is convinced that the answers will come naturally, just by taking that first step.

After a while Mac’s patience comes to an end. He teases Finny with questions like: “I thought that you were the most curious mouse in the world?” Finally, Finny gives in. A mouse can’t learn anything new by sitting in a chair and think the whole day; that just causes a headache! And when Mac poses his question: “Are you going on adventure with me Finny?” Finny squeaks as loud as he can: “YesssPEEP” 

*** 

And just a remind that you can find the book Schatreis here: Bol.com, Boekenbestellen.nl, Standaard Boekhandel, Amazon.

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


Not a Christmas CAL. Week 3: Snowflake Garland



Welcome to Week 3 of Not a Christmas Mystery crochet-a-long. I hope you had lots of fun in previous two weeks. Blanket coaster gave some of you hard moments, but you did just great! And again, this CAL is not about making decorations, but also about learning something new. So… tapestry crochet has added to your crochet skills! 

This week is about overlay crochet. I should say I was eagerly waiting for Friday to share next project with you. I finished it just two days ago (stuffed all motifs and arranged them into a garland). Let me introduce – a Snowflake Garland! 

My garland consists of 10 stuffed motifs (I made 20 snowflakes), but you can of course make it shorter, or longer. Or even use snowflake motifs as single decorations. 

Today we will learn how to do overlay crochet. I should say this is not a classical overlay pattern, as we will not cut yarn after every round and weave in ends. For the needs of this CAL I modified instructions a little to make them easy to follow. And, as always, lots of progress pictures are waiting for you. 

If you follow my work for a while now, you might know that overlay crochet mandalas is something I started my designing life seven years ago. And I keep creating them as making mandalas give me needed sense of peace and safety. And I love watching them growing in my hands. 

As I continue working in overlay crochet for many years, I add some small tips and tricks to every new project trying to make patterns easier and more straightforward. 

 For one snowflake motif you will need yarn in 4 colors. Main color will use almost entire 10g ball of Catona, and you will need small leftovers in rest three colors (about 2-3g each). 

For assembling a garland, I used glass beads in different colors – just what I had at hand. The beads are optional, and you can add small pompoms or even tiny and simple crochet baubles. Or simply put only snowflakes on a string and add nothing else. 

Wondering where to find the pattern? It’s a part of my Not a Christmas CAL hosted on Ravelry right now. Purchase CAL listing HERE on Ravelry and HERE on Etsy with the first three parts, and the last pattern will be automatically added to your Ravelry library after it will be released next Friday. 

And if you are looking for the same yarn I used, Scheepjes Catona cutie packs as well as individual skeins (in 10g, 25g and 50g) are available in your local Scheepjes shops and via online retailers:

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

Caro's Atelier* (NL, Europe)

Taemombo (US and Canada)

See you next week!

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.