New year – New project

Happy New Year! Feels like I haven’t been in touch for a while, and holiday wishes are also missing here, on my blog. Just before Christmas me and my family took a short break and went for vacations. Last days of the year 2018 were very busy, sometimes too busy… And small distraction felt like a good decision. But I am back now, trying to get back into the crochet rhythm of my life. That’s not easy I should say, but I am getting there.
Crochet patterns 2018 by

Every year I make a photo collage with the projects designed in past 12 months. I usually write a separate blog post to share my year’s resolutions with you. I didn’t want to break this nice tradition and even though no blog posts happened I still wanted to show you my collage.

It doesn’t contain all designs, as there were a few smaller projects and commissioned patterns for magazines. But anyway it feels like a LOT has been done. And I can only wish (to you and myself) this year will be not less creative and inspiring.

I got back to my crochet hook right after New Year’s Eve and somehow managed to bring to life several crochet ideas at once. One of them was a chunky crochet shawl: slightly asymmetrical, with a combination of cables and open parts.
Namaste yarn by Scheepjes

The stitch pattern swatch is ready and I have a very clear vision of how this shawl should look. So hopefully it will not take long to actually crochet, and then write the pattern down.

Are you curious? I am!!

I will be using Namaste yarn by Scheepjes. This will be not my first time working with it. If you follow my work, you might remember a large knit Bakasana Scarf released last year. I liked the feel and texture of Namaste yarn and decided to try my hand in crochet as well.
Namaste yarn by Scheepjes

You can read my thoughts about this yarn HERE. And take a look at all available shades in local Scheepjes stores or online:

WoolWarehouse*, Deramores*, Black Sheep Wools* (all three in UK with international shipping)
Caro’sAtelier* (NL and Europe)
KnottyHouse* (Canada), Taemombo (US and Canada)

Namaste yarn by Scheepjes

Yarn label recommends 8mm hook and needles, but it feels like 7mm is even better. At least I will be using 7mm for my new design. And I hope to stay within 5 skeins to keep my shawl light.

Curious to see how Namaste yarn looks in crochet? I have collected several FREE patterns using this yarn. All of them were designed by my fellow blogger friends:
Scheepjes Namaste FREE patterns - round-up by

1. Bakasana Scarf – free knitting pattern by me
2. Olaf (the warm) Shrug – free crochet pattern by Miss Neriss
3. Asanas Blanket – free crochet pattern by Felted Button
4. Matchy Matchy hat – free crochet pattern by Miss Neriss
5. Shavasana Hexagon Motif – free crochet pattern by Cypress Textiles (wouldn’t it make a perfect squishy blanket?)

See you next week! And hopefully there will be a wip to show you!

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Sakura Cabled Mandala Pillow: new pattern!

It’s pompom season, isn’t it? Am I the only one seeing them everywhere? Hats, blankets, shawls… I am subscribed to quite a few interior blogs and pompoms are looking at me from everywhere. And I just LOVE pompom pillows. Why not to design one myself, I thought the other day? And… Here it is! My Sakura Cabled Mandala pillow.
Sakura Cabled Mandala Pillow_crochet pattern by

Add this pattern to your Ravelry Queue

It’s been long ago since I released a mandala pattern last time, and I felt a bit guilty. Recently I’ve taken another designing road and started to look more into crochet garments. And my mandala ideas seemed to be very sad, and stuck behind the closed door. No way I could leave them there alone. So I picked up one of the ideas waiting for quite long.

The idea was to crochet two cabled mandalas in one or several colors, simple but with lots of texture. And turn them into a round pillow, or poof, decorated with pompoms.

Sakura Mandala pattern is now available HERE on Ravelry and HERE on Etsy with 25% discount for pattern release. The price you see is final and no codes are needed. This offer is valid through Monday, December 17th, 2018. And then the pattern will be listed at a full price.
Sakura Cabled Mandala Pillow_crochet pattern by

To my great pleasure Sakura Mandala turned out exactly how I imagined it. I chose to make it with two shades of SoftFun yarn* by Scheepjes - colors 2510, 2625, 2622 and  2530 (check your local Scheepjes store). But I bet it will look wonderful just in one color.

SoftFun yarn is DK weight and with 3.5mm hook my mandala was approx. 52cm/20.5in large across. A nice size for a trivet, or doily. And with finer yarn and smaller hook it could make a wonderful seat pillow, or stool cover. Possibilities are endless.
Sakura Cabled Mandala Pillow_crochet pattern by

If you search for other ideas of how to use crochet mandalas, please check THIS blog post. Maria, one of the testers who helped me with the pattern, made a beautiful bag. You can see other finished projects HERE on Ravelry.
Sakura Cabled Mandala Pillow_crochet pattern by

Predicting your questions – no, Sakura pillow is not a very difficult pattern. It’s made in classical crochet cabling technique. The stitches are simple, but sometimes it’s a bit tricky to understand where to place them. Lots of pictures are to help you. And, as always, a print friendly version of the pattern without pictures (for experienced crocheters) is available for download.
Sakura Cabled Mandala Pillow_crochet pattern by

Sakura pillow can be put together in several ways. You can just crochet two mandalas together along the edge with slip stitches or single crochet stitches, and stuff it as-you-go.

However I prefer to insert zip so that pillow cover is easy to wash. I usually sew zip by hand using large yarn needle and the same yarn as for the last round of the mandala.

With Sakura Pillow I went even further – I lined it with fabric (and I am pretty proud of myself!). I had Christmas themed fabric from Ikea, which I bought back in 2015. And it looked like a nice match for Sakura pillow.
Sakura Cabled Mandala Pillow_crochet pattern by

To line my pillow case I simply cut two circles of fabric in approx. the same size as blocked crocheted mandala (well, a bit bigger with some ease for the seam). Then I joined my mandalas with flat “zip” method leaving approx. 40-45cm opening for zip. And then I sewed fabric circles with the same opening (fabric circles were facing each other with the right side). Then I inserted fabric cover into a crocheted one and sewed zip into the opening by hand, placing it between fabric and crochet.

That’s it!

I couldn’t find exactly matching pillow form, so I bought one from Ikea – 65cm large. I frogged one of the seams and took almost half stuffing out, as I didn’t want my pillow to be stuffed too hard. Then I sewed pillow’s side again, reducing its size to approx. 56cm. I pulled all 4 corners inside shaping the pillow into a kind of a round, and put it into my ready Sakura pillowcase.

By the way, using a square pillow as a form was not my idea but Esther’s who was helping me to test the pattern. Isn’t her own Sakura Pillow adorable?
Sakura Cabled Mandala Pillow_crochet pattern by

And here is a golden version of Sakura pillow made by Sandra.
Sakura Cabled Mandala Pillow_crochet pattern by

When the pillow cover was finished I decorated it with small pompoms along the seam. In total they are 24 pompoms! And they made all the difference :)
Sakura Cabled Mandala Pillow_crochet pattern by

I am very happy with my Sakura Pillow, and I think it makes a very modern a fresh accessory for my living room. Just need to buy a new sofa now, haha!
Sakura Cabled Mandala Pillow_crochet pattern by

Sakura Mandala pattern is now available HERE on Ravelry and HERE on Etsy with 25% discount for pattern release. The price you see is final and no codes are needed. This offer is valid through Monday, December 17th, 2018.

See you soon!

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Brioche Heart: FREE crochet pattern

Brioche crochet has become a huge crochet trend recently. I was amazed with a warm feedback on my latest Esja Sweater pattern. So many beautiful sweaters and original color combinations are popping up in my social media feed every day. Thank you for your support! To respond to all your brioche love I have decided to design something else in crochet brioche technique. A small and cute stuffed Brioche Heart. I believe it will make a nice Christmas decoration, or a garland. Or a last minute gift to your loved ones.
Brioche Heart_free crochet pattern by
Add this pattern to your Ravelry Queue

Brioche heart is an intermediate pattern but even if you are a beginner, please don’t hesitate and give a try. No tricky stitches were used here and the pattern contains lots of progress pictures to help you.
Brioche Heart_free crochet pattern by

Brioche Hearts can be made with any yarns. I chose 100% cotton yarn Catona by Scheepjes* for mine. You’ll need just 13-14g in each of two colors for one heart (these amounts are only valid for Catona), stuffing and a little bit of patience ;-)
Brioche Heart_free crochet pattern by

I believe that small hook and a tighter gauge will work best for this pattern, as we don’t want stuffing to be seen through stitches. And I would suggest picking a smaller hook than recommended by the yarn label. Or just crochet a bit tighter.
Brioche Heart_free crochet pattern by

Brioche Heart FREE crochet pattern can be found on my blog HERE. And a ready-to-print ad-free pdf version of this pattern is available for a small fee HERE on Ravelry and HERE on Etsy.

Norwegian version of this pattern is available HERE. (Norsk - Oversatt av Hilde Tindlund)

Enjoy and see you soon! :)

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Frida Shawl, and My Embroidery-on-knit Adventure

How often do you knit or crochet just for yourself? Not for your friends or relatives, not to make a gift to your school teacher. But just for yourself. I don’t do that often. The life of a crochet designer is too busy to make a break and just enjoy a slow making for yourself. But sometimes it’s nice to make a break, right? I am a very "shawl person", and the first minute I saw Frida Shawl I knew I should knit one for myself.
Frida Shawl_knitting pattern by Miss Neriss

Frida Shawl was designed by my friend Nerissa of Miss Neriss and it’s a part of the latest FOLK issue of YARN book-a-zine. You can read about Nerissa’s idea and how it came to life on her blog HERE. More designs from the same issue (including my Jingle Garland) can be found in my review HERE.

And today I would like to share my embroidery adventure with you.

Frida Shawl is a knitting design. The pattern is beginner friendly, it’s very easy to follow and quite straightforward. I haven’t followed many knitting patterns in English and I was a bit worried. But everything worked out just fine. I used the same Peru yarn by Scheepjes* (but in different color – shade 30) and my knit piece was finished in just several hours. 10mm needles, you know – you can fly with them.
Frida Shawl_knitting pattern by Miss Neriss
 Add this pattern to your Ravelry Queue

Though I was very quick with the knitting part, embroidery was too scary to start right away. So I left it aside for a few weeks and came back to it just now, when I felt completely ready.

Well, in the past I did lots of cross stitch embroidery. And it was easy – you have exact chart and you have canvas. Embroidery on knit is something totally different. It’s more like paining with yarn. And it involves your own drawing.

But you know what? If I managed to do it – you will be fine as well. I’ll share all steps with you and hopefully many more Frida Shawls will appear soon!

If you are experienced in embroidery you can probably do that directly on knit fabric. But because Frida Shawl is chunky and has quite big holes, for me it would be impossible to embroider on it. The pattern suggests using stabilizer for embroidery. And this is what I decided to choose, as well.
Stabilizer for embroidery

I got a set of different types of stabilizers from Scheepjes (you’ll not believe how many types they are!!) and picked just the same as in the pattern – Madeira Avalon ULTRA*. It looks just like a usual plastic bag. But instruction said it “washes away”. To me it felt skeptical (how can the plastic be washed away?), but I decided to follow the pattern.

Frida Shawl pattern guides you through every single step, so you don’t need to think or worry about anything.

First I draw flowers on the stabilizer. Normal pencils and pens didn’t work so I borrowed black marker from my son’s set. I tried to follow the chart for every flower and leave, and it turned out ok from the first time (but you might want to train on paper first).
How to embroider on knit and crochet

Next step is embroidery. I chose the same yarn as in the pattern – Cahlista*. Luckily I have a colour pack* at home with cute 15g mini skeins. So picking the colors was not a problem.

What I strongly recommend is following the order of embroidery as per pattern. I got very excited with lazy daisy stitches (had to search for a video tutorial first) and messed up the order. My stabilizer moved a bit and final embroidery became asymmetrical. So that might be a good idea to pin stabilizer to your knit fabric before you begin with the first flower.

And here is my first flower. I struggled with the yarn a bit, because 2 strands are used at the same time and it was tricky to keep them from twisting. But the result is lovely, isn’t it?
How to embroider on knit and crochet

And here is a little bit more progress on embroidery…
How to embroider on knit and crochet

You might ask how to secure yarn on the wrong side. That was my question as well… Maybe this is not professional, but here is what I did: I didn’t make any knots in the beginning and after each flower was finished I simply pulled tails to the wrong side, wove them around nearest stitches, secured with knot and cut not too close to the fabric surface.

TIP: you might want to take a really long yarn tail for each flower so that you don't have too many knots on the wrong side. I cut approx. 2m for each flower which gave me 1m of double stranded embroidery "thread".

This is how my wrong side looks:

How to embroider on knit and crochet

After embroidery was finished I needed to get rid of stabilizer. I carefully cut it around the embroidery and prepared a bowl with warm water (as per instructions). Aaaand… Magic happened!! Stabilizer was gone in three (3!) minutes!
How to embroider on knit and crochet

After that I carefully got rid of extra water and put my Frida Shawl to dry… At that very moment a “brilliant” idea came to my head. I thought I would add an extra flower to make my embroidery look balanced (since I messed up with its placement). So I pinned a small piece of stabilizer to a still wet fabric and tried to embroider onto it… And stabilizer was disappearing in my hands, lol. So please, don’t try and repeat it myself.
How to embroider on knit and crochet

It took my Frida Shawl two full days to dry, I even had to use a hair dryer. And I am so very pleased with the result! I still need to add a cute little buckle. But I couldn’t wait and wanted to share it with you right away.

As you can see, embroidery on the chunky knit is not scary at all. And again, if I managed it – then everyone can!
How to embroider on knit and crochet

My friend Carmen of New Leaf Designs  (who was another participating designer in FOLK book-a-zine) is now hosting a FOLK-a-long in the Ravelry group HERE. If you were inspired by any designs from this fantastic issue, please, don’t hesitate and join in! I’ll be there with my Frida Shawl as well. So see you there :)

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Black Friday 2018: discounts and giveaways!!

Unbelievable, but one year has flown so fast! And here it is again – our Annual Mega Sales Event. This year is fifth already, and I feel so excited about coming “saleabration”. As in previous years, this time I have teamed up with 19 brilliant crochet and knitting designs again to bring your lots of fun, giveaways, games, prizes – and quality patterns at the best prices! Read details below ;-)

From last years you probably remember coupon code ENABLER, and this time you can use it again in all 20 Ravelry shops for best ever discounts on patterns. Click the links below, and they will bring you directly to Ravelry. Make sure to visit all shops, maybe you'll discover new designers' names.

Coupon code ENABLER also works in my Ravelry store HERE. Try to put 2-3-4-6-10 or more patterns to your cart and see your savings growing! The code will be valid through Monday, November 26, 2018. After this date it will expire. So don't hesitate and hurry up :)

A Crocheted Simplicity
Ana D
Blackstone Designs
Crystalized Designs
Cypress Textiles 
Divine Debris
Felted Button
Just Be Happy
KMT Creations
KT and the Squid
Lilla Bjorn Crochet
Made by Mary
One & Two Company
Pattern Paradise
Sincerely, Pam
Sweet Potato Crochet Creations
The Purple Poncho

As already mentioned, except of sales event there are several giveaways running right now – both on Facebook.

~~ GAME #1: Facebook Page Hop!~~

To get a chance to win one pattern of choice from all 20 designers, read THIS post on Facebook, comment on it with an answer to my question and move forward to the next designer’s clue (a hint is hidden in the picture). You should visit all 20 Facebook pages and answer 20 questions.

All questions are very simple, so really nothing to worry about. It's just a game, and not an exam. But please, be aware that you should only comment on original posts on designers’ FB pages (and not in groups or on shares).

There will be three winners in this fun giveaway. The winners will be announced on Friday, November 23, 2018 by noon (PST).

UPDATE: an the winners are Susan Ecker-Sible, Heidi Higginbothm and Nicole Heuten!! Congratulations :)

~~ GAME #2: Simon Says and Huge Giveaway! ~~

This year we will again play a modified version of the classic game, Simon Says! It’s very easy  and everyone can join! From Wednesday till Monday me and other participating designers will be sharing graphics on our Facebook pages with very simple instructions on how to enter the game (to a chance to win awesome prizes).

You can enter daily by commenting on these posts. You can enter once by posting a link of your favourite design from a featured designer. Aaaand you can enter once again – but posting a picture of your finished project made with the pattern of this designer!

IMPORTANT: you should only comment on original designer's post, not on shares.

Let’s have a look at this example below.

This year’s prizes are AWESOME include the following:

 UPDATE: the winners have been chosen (see below the list of prizes with names). If you are the winner and has not claimed your prize yet, please contact Jeniffer at A Crocheted Simplicity (click HERE).

 ~This post contains affiliate links - marked with *

(4) Winners will each receive a $25 Etsy Gift Card – sponsored by all 20 designers (Renee K Crowder Baugh, Terri Lane Griffin, Tricia Parker Groves, Gill Clapham Boar)

(3) Winners will each receive 8 balls of their choice of the following 3 yarns: Lion Brand Wool Ease, Lion Brand Jeans Yarn, Lion Brand Touch of Alpaca – sponsored by Lion Brand Yarn – **Open to U.S. & Canada Residents Only** (Brandi Stevenson, Nicole Kliner, Brittney Burkhead)

(1) Winner will receive a Set of (10) Clover Amour Crochet Hooks* – sponsored by A Crocheted Simplicity – **Open Worldwide** (Pamela Emerson)

(1) Winner will receive a set of handmade stitch markers – sponsored by KMT Creations – **Open to U.S. Residents Only** (Kimberlee Dawson)

(1) Winner will receive 4 hanks of hand dyed yarn & handmade stitch markers – sponsored by KT and the Squid – **Open to U.S. Residents Only** (Jeanette Mervau)

(1) Winner will receive a set of handmade stitch markers & hook pouch – sponsored by Blackstone Designs – **Open to U.S. Residents Only** (Rachel Ballew)

(1) Winner will receive (8 balls) of Scheepjes Stardust Yarn & a Blanket Pattern – sponsored by Felted Button – **Open to U.S. & Canada Residents Only** (Rachel Cantrell)

(1) Winner will receive an AC Moore Yarn Prize – sponsored by CrocheTrend – **Open to U.S. Residents Only** (Theresa Schacht)

(1) Winner will receive a Hexagon Burst Blanket Kit in Spring Meadow color palette – sponsored by Cypress Textiles – **Open to U.S. Residents Only** (Amanda Musgrave Jowers)

(5) Winners will each receive 1 copy of YARN Bookazine, Issue 3 “Tropical”* – sponsored by Cypress Textiles – **Open Worldwide** (Britt Irene Hakensveen, Lorrianne Ritchue, Amanda Dancy, Renee K Crowder Baugh, Ann G)

(1) Winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card – sponsored by Pattern Paradise (Sandi Schultz)

(1) Winner will receive Malabrigo Yarn & a Crochet Hat Pattern – sponsored by Just Be Happy Crochet – **Open to U.S. Residents Only** (Kathy Overdorff)

(1) Winner will receive a Rosewood Yarn Bowl* – sponsored by Habbedash* – **Open Worldwide** (Debbie Cumberledge)

(2) Winners will each receive 1 copy of the book Snuggle & Play Crochet* – sponsored by One & Two Company – **Open Worldwide** (Lee Neudahl Smith, Sarah Scott Oswald)

I feel butterflies in my stomach - so excited I am! That will be lots of fun!

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