The last ones are done!

Of course the heart symbol shouldn't be forgotten!:)

Top left: the chart. It is made of Tunesian crochet with popcorn stitch. Every line is a stitch, the circles are popcorn. It starts with 3 stitches, after that increased as indicated. Decrease the top half as indicated. The pattern repeat starts at 7 stitches. Top right: the popcorn is made on the chosen loop by making chain 1 and 2 single crochets. Bottom left: take the hook out of the working loop, pick up the chain at the beginning, pick up the working loop, yarn over, pull through. This way you get a popcorn, which you can crochet as tunesian in the next round. Bottom right: hearts on a string:)

Sometimes i get so tired of my perfectionism...

i could fit the hearts-on-a-string in my cardigan, so ripped it. Photo left: the chart for those who are interested. Photo right: the heart revisited, i'm happy with it:)))

The sun has been a very important symbol in many cultures. My design is strongly inspired by the Incan culture.

Top left: a crocheted circle, starting with 6 sc in a magic ring, the next round in every sc  2 sc, nect round 1 sc and 2 sc in 1 alternating, next round 2 sc and 2 sc in 1, increasing every round the number of sc between the 2 in 1 sc's. This way the circle stays flat. Up until 42 sc (5 sc in between). Top right: pick up 42 stitches on the backloop with circulars. Next round increase every stitch in stockinette (82). Next round: stockinette.  Bottom left: cross the first 2 stitches to the left, the first purl, the next knit, knit 3, cross 2 stitches to the right, the first knit, the second purl. repeat througout the round. Next row, as the stitches appear. Next round: purl 1, cross 2 to the left, knit 1, cross 2 stitches to the right, purl 1, repeat. Next round: as the stitches appear. Next round: purl 2, make a new stitch, take off the next stitch, knit 2 stitches together, pull the first stitch over the next = top, make a new stitch, purl 2, repeat. Next round: purl. Next round purl and cast off, leave the last stitch and use it to start a round of sc in every casted stitch. Bottom right: the sun symbol all done:)

The last symbol... Ending with a rose is a good idea:) I found this picture on a new age site, but no explanation of the meaning. I think it looks like a rose, but it also resembles the drawing of an orange chakra.

Top left: the inspiration. Top right: the first leaves crocheted. Bottom left: the scrumble is crocheted. Now it still looks like a flat little thingy:) Bottom right: finished! made the lines stand out more with some surface chain stitche sand it came to life! Amazing what a few chain stitches can add!

The next step will be crocheting, knitting and/or sewing the symbols.

Three more to the pile

Revisited the peace symbol. I still wasn't satisfied, so i ripped it.

After a lot of trying, this one is the final symbol i'm at peace with:) Top left of the photo: the drawing. Top right: the parts of the symbol. The cross is crocheted up and down on a chain, embellished with picots. Bottom left: the outside circle is crocheted the same way, picking up the 'arms' on the way. Bottom right: the symbol is attached to the circle with surface single crochet.

The next one is a pentagram.

This is an ancient symbol, that means protection. This one was fairly easy to make, based on a 5 pointed star. Top left: the heart is a circle of 2 rounds of single crochet, the next rounds the shape is made by making 3 single crochets in the corners. In the middle of the sides i crocheted a chain of 6 chains, retuning on the other side with 5 slipstitches. Top left: the points crocheted in descending order: 2 double crochets, 1 half double crochet, 1 single crochet and 1 slipstitch in the top, making the same stitches in reversed order on the other side of the chain. Bottom left: the lines of the pentagram are crocheted with surface single crochets. Bottom right: the spaces between the point are filled with single crochets, after that a round of single crochets to make the circle.

The butterfly, symbol of transformation.

Top left: from scratch:) Top right: the body is a chain with single crochets on both sides, embellished (yet again:) with surface single crochet. The wings are crocheted separately with half a circle of half double crochet clusters, and Tunisian honeycomb stitch. Bottom left: on the outside a round of clusters and half double crochets. Bottom right: around the half-circle a little round of surface crochets, to enhance them. On the outside a round of single crochets, to shape the symbol, and make ground for attachments. The butterfly is ready for take off:)

More symbols...

The next couple of scrumbles.

I thought i'd make some spirals. I visited Newgrange in Ireland some years ago, and was blown away by the spirals carved in stone. Top left: the spiral of Newgrange. They are believed to be Celtic, but were already there 2500 years before the Celts came to Ireland! Top right: three separate spirals crocheted. Bottom left: the spirals connected with surface single crochet. Bottom right: the scrumble is finished.

Peace symbol. Top left: The symbol. Top right: the chart i designed in Illustrator for the knitting of the symbol, for those of you, who would like to try it. You can knit either in a single circle or in a larger knit project. Bottom left: the knitted scrumble. Bottom right: crocheted surface single crochet to enhance the outside. Not really satisfied with it.

Some alterations by means of yet more surface single crochet to outline the inner parts of the sign. Still not happy:( I hate the curling of stockinette stitch! I think i will frogg it.

And so i did, this the R.I.P.ped peace symbol turned into a peacock feather. The symbol stands for beauty, dignity, immortality and rebirth. Top left: the inspiration. Top right: the 'eye' is made of bullion stitches. Around that i build the shape with single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet and some triple crochet. Embellished with surface single crochet. Bottom left: The edge is all on the backloop crocheted single crochets. To get the curves i crocheted short rows, meaning 2 or 3 rounds starting at the same place. Bottom right: the feather all done. For a better profile some more surface single crochet.

The paisley symbol. It stands for fertility and good luck. Top left: the henna drawing. It is a very inspirational drawing, it almost looks like a crochet chart on its own. Top right: the parts that stand out the most crocheted with a variety of stitches, and embellishes with surface- chains, -single crochet and picots. Bottom left: the connection is crocheted with single crochet and clusters. Bottom right: all done. The 'eye' and outside are embellished with surface single crochet. I'm very happy with this result.

The back is done!!!

Pictures of the next phase.

Top Left: i wanted to create a 'blowing bubbles' effect, so i crocheted circles of various sizes and structure. Top right: The circles are crocheted together with surface chain stitches. Bottom left: i made a fleece template of a good fitted cardigan. I use this to lay out the scrumbles. If i want to make a connection between the scrumbles, i pin them down and crochet them together. Bottom right: The bubbles part is done. To create a playful effect i placed some single bubbles above and to the side. The stitches in the background are single crochet. With this kind of freeform you don't want to hate weaving ends:)

Assembling the rest of the back. Top left: an adapted version of Catharine's Wheel stitch, the special elevated effect is because i used backpost double crochet. Top right: a double seed stitch. Bottom left: umbrella shells. They can be found on: Bottom right: brick stitch. This stitch is from Vogue Knitting, page 123.

And the back all done! I must say the fleece template works really well. I am very happy with the result so far:)

New symbol scrumbles

I crocheted a Hamsa hand.

Top left: It usually starts with a drawing, thoughts put on paper. It doesn't always come out the way i have drawn it, but that's the beauty of freeform! Top right: leaves on the bottom. It is a basic leaf pattern, embellished with bobbles. The eye is a little leaf as well, with a circle of single crochet, crocheted onto the centre of the eye. Bottom left: The fingers are crocheted. Originally i wanted to knit them, but was afraid they would be too small in comparison to the crocheted leaves. The fingers are crocheted from right to left with 4 rounds of Tunisian honeycomb stitch, 5 rounds of single crochet, and 4 rounds of Tunisian honeycomb stitch. Bottom right: the scrumble all done. To make them stand out more, i embellished the fingers and the bottom with surface single crochet.

A lotus flower.

Top left: the worksheet. Top right: the leaves are knitted, the heart is crocheted. Bottom left: I crocheted the heart and leaves together with surface single crochet stitches. Bottom right: behind the 5 big leaves i knitted 3 little leaf tops peaking out of the back, and gave them a border of surface single crochet as well. The beauty of surface single crochet is, that leaves a border on the outside, which can be used to invisibly connect other scrumbles.

I wanted to knit an Ankh symbol with cables.

It took a week of blood, sweat and tears to get what i had in mind. Cabling around corners is very tricky! Top left: i started with i circle of single crochet and half double crochet, creating a square to attach the arms of the symbol. I picked up the stitches i needed for the cables with a crochet needle, using the front and back loops. I knitted the centre with increasing stitches, to get the shape. The top parts were knitted separately. The cables were darned together to close the circle. The middle and cables were sewn together. Bottom left: The arms of the symbol are knitted cables. To get a wider base the last turn of the cables were increased with 2 stitches. Bottom right: the scrumble finished. First i crocheted a round of single crochet around the scrumble, then i crocheted a line of surface single crochet between the knitted and crocheted section.

Unicolor under construction

A new plan to make a unicolor freeform cardigan for myself! The ideas keep popping into my head, but i'm not wasting my expensive yarn on frogging and retrying. For this purpose i use cheap yarn.

Years ago i visited Ireland, and was blown away by this beautiful country and it's rich history and symbolism, especially the Celtic knots. Since then i have been trying to incorporate them in my work, but unfortunately they don't translate into cables. I've tested out another method with good results.

The plan on how to work begins on paper:)

A photo of the result in the designated yarn. Here's how i did it.
1. Top left: i drew the motif on pattern paper and sewed it unto the scrumble. If you want to use this method, don't use a pen or marker, that can bleed unto your scrumble! If it's important to get the motif in the centre of the scrumble, use stitch markers in the scrumble, and draw lines on the pattern paper to match. This way you have references how to work.
2. Top right: the paper is pulled off and the motif emerges. Be careful pulling the paper, for it can distort and brake the sewing thread.
3. Bottom left: a close up of the surface single crochet, this stitch is made from the bottom to the top of the work. Pull up a loop, pull up another loop in the next stitch or direction you want to go, yarn over, and pull this loop through both loops (single crochet). With this stitch you follow the motif lines. In my case i had to cross over and under the motif lines, my solution for crossing under was to make an extra chain, pull this chain to the back side, chain 2 more, and pull the last loop to the front again.
4. Bottom right: this is how the scrumble turned out.

The next fase.
1. Top left: i knitted a splitted cable. This took some fiddling, because i had to invent some extra stitches. For the cable to stand out in the work, it needs to have 2 purl stitches to the sides. When you split them, there have to be 2 more purl stitches to the new sides, which can be made under the turning of the cables (invisible). It took me a day to think/frog it, but i'm happy with the result.
2. Top right: the cable is crocheted with a surface chain unto the scrumble.
3. Bottom left: the scrumble made me think of a tree, the next step then became logical, there had to be leaves. A fairly simple pattern, chain 11, make 1 single crochet in the 2nd chain, 1 half double crochet, 4 double crochet, 1 half double crochet, 3 single crochet in the next chains. chain 1 (top), crochet on the other side of the chain in reversed order (the stitches should correspond with each other). Close with a slipstitch, then make a round of crabstitch on the front loop of the stitches. Close with a slipstitch in the first crabstitch. Pull the loop over the edge to the bottom and up in the grain (= begin chain), make surface single crochet along the grain, at the end chain 1, pul this loop through to the bottom and fasten off.
4. The leaves are sewn to the scrumble. Because the crabstitch has been worked on the front loop, the back loop can be used for invisible sewing.

The scrumble has been made ready for new scrumbles to attach.
1. Top left: the scrumble finished.
2. Top right: a round of single crochet, decreasing in the corners with 1 single crochet over 2 stitches, to get a smooth border. Depending in how big the gaps to fill are, rather 2 decreases after each other, than decreasing 3 stitches at once. For increasing the rules are the same, to avoid curling or flaring.
To the sides of the cable i used slipstitches. It can be tricky to find the right places to use to keep the work flat. CHECK THIS BY LAYING DOWN FREQUENTLY! It's better to frog a little part, than regrets afterwards.
3. Bottom left: to the other side of the cable i made a couple of rounds 'double single crochet' stitch (i'm sorry, but i don't know the English term for this stitch). Along side the leaves i crocheted single crochet again, but this time only on the back loops.
4. Bottom right: at the bottom of the cable i filled the gap with Tunesian honeycomb stitch.
Note: across the scrumble in places, where the connections between stitches weren't that pretty, i crocheted surface single crochet.

The next scrumble. The idea was to make a yin yang sign. I know there is some rivalry between knitters and crocheters. The thought behind this yin yang sign is that crochet and knitting are equal and compliment each other.
1. Top left: the crocheted part of yin yang, i used Tunesian stitch.
2. Top right: the knitted part i used gartner stitch.
3. Bottom left: the motif printed out in real size to use as template. Like always, it's a matter of trying and frogging to get the right shape.
4. Bottom right: the finished scrumble. First i sewed the parts together, after that i crocheted surface single crochet along the sewing line and the outside of the scrumble. To give the motif some 'air' i crocheted 2 rounds of single crochet and a round of structured single crochet. This stitch is something i cooked up myself. The eyes of the yin yang consist of a round of 10 single crochet in a magic circle. They are sewn on the right places.

Being the neatfreak that i am, i frogged the yin yang sign, because i wasn't satified with the way it looked. To me it looked messy, and if anything, yin yang should be flowy. This version is more to my liking! I ditched the structured single crochet round, i will use it later to attach the scrumble.

Mystery freeform project

Dreaming about freeform again, i took a pile of pastel colored acrylic yarn, and started playing with it. I had no clue, what it was going to be. Inspired by the Russian motifs i have been making this summer, i wanted to try to make the motifs more 'solid', to be possibly used for something suited for the winter.

This motif was inspired by someone i follow on Pinterest, it was a crocheted border. Here is the link to the page, where the original motif can be found:

This motif is my own design, there is no written pattern of it.

This 'wing' motif can be found in Duplet 106. I just used the 'wing' part to create the circle.

This curly motif is from Duplet Especial, i changed the outside points of the star to just double crochet.

This is a motif from Duplet Especial again, i love the overlapping effect of it!

I have been waiting to try this braid from Duplet 108. It worked like a charm, following the photo tutorial.

To make some 'filling' motifs, i remade just the centre of the larger motifs.

I still needed some small 'fillers, so i made these little bobbles, it works like this: wrap the yarn 20x around a pencil, take the wraps off the pencil, insert the hook through the centre, and make a single crochet around the yarn. Repeat this till the circle is filled with single crochets.

Then it decided it wanted to be a shouderwarmer:) I pinned and sewed the motif on a template made of fleece. That is a wonderful material to work with, it's firm, yet flexible enough to work nicely! I intend to use fleece for my future templates for sure!

The template with motifs looked a little empty, i made some more little circles. These are crocheted as follows: 10 single crochet in a magic round, close with a slipstitch, another round of single crochet, making every second stitch a double single crochet in one stitch. Close with slipstitch. Change color. Push the hook from back to front under the two loops of a single crochet, then pick up a loop through the centre of the circle, pull it to the back and make a slipstitch. Continue this until every single crochet is filled. Close with a slipstitch and fasten off.

This is the final result, after removing the template and sewing threads.

And here is the final result... I'm so pleased with it!

Neckwarmers and stuff

Since i made the Eight Godmothers neckwarmer, designed by Linda Day Morehouse, a pattern which she graciously made available for free (thank you Linda!), i have knitted another one. I had some yarn laying around, it didn't have the right gauge, but i adapted the pattern. The colors are red and black, when it was finished, it looked like a Kozak military collar;). Hence the name: Kozak neckwarmer.

I crocheted some triangle shapes to fill the wedges, it makes the neckwarmer even more special.

Winter is coming, i thought a headband would be a good idea. I had just enough yarn to knit one.

And then there was the other one...
In the past i have tried to make a freeform hat, but that was a bust!

This is what i had thus far. I was so unhappy with the result, i took it apart and was stuck with a bunch of flowers and leaves. In my neckwarmer-spree it came to me, why not make a freeform neckwarmer?
It was one of my better lightbulb moments:)
Here are photos of the process of building it.

First i sewed the flowers and the leaves together in wedges, using the other neckwarmer as a model. In order to keep it in shape while working on it, i crocheted chains on the top and bottom of the piece.

The next step: i crocheted a collar and strips. The ribbing effect of the collar and strips is the result of rounds of single crochet, crocheted on the backloop. I had the idea to crochet the in-between spaces with various tight crochet stitches, like single crochet, but experimenting i found it took the shapes of the flowers and leaves away. I decided to do some netting in the spaces, so i sewed the piece on a blank canvas. This gave room to move and crochet without loosing the general shape.

I was pleasantly surprised by the result. The netting was kept fairly small, to keep the idea of a warm neck:) 

Some close up photos to show how it was done.

The final spread out.

And this is what it looks like on me. The headband was the finishing touch!