Happy receivers

My sweet granddaughter visited yesterday, and she was over the moon with her new hat and mittens. She wanted to wear them, even though it's still not cold outside:)

I customized the mint cardigan for my sister, and as you can she, she's very happy too:)

The tale of 2 cardigans...

In the beginning.....

My daughters are going to be hosting a stand on Flavourites, a fair for internetshops. My daughter Anke is a graphic designer, and will show her products at that fair, my other daughter will help her. Their booth is next to the entrance of the hall, and the event will take place at the end of november.
10 week ago i was crocheting a poncho for my granddaughter with a granny flower square, and my daughter asked me, if i could make a cardigan like that for them for the fair, to shield them from the cold, instead of wearing a coat. Of course, no problem, 2 cardigans coming up.....

On Pinterest i found this granny square coat, which they both liked very much. I found the designer, Oma Koppa on Facebook, and she is an amazing artist! Her Facebook link is: https://www.facebook.com/506706346027000/photos/a.766161623414803.1073741834.506706346027000/776258732405092/?type=3&theater - please check her work!

Being who i am, i didn't want to simply copy the pattern, but started looking for an alternative square. Soon enough i found a nice looking one, and crocheted it. (Unfortunately i deleted the source of this square, so i can't give a link to that pattern) After making a couple of squares, i didn't like it enough, but used the rejected squares to make a blanket for the doll's bed.

I started playing with the pattern, and designed a new one. I loved it, and we chose a color scheme in purples and blue. After making a bunch of squares, we didn't like the way it turned out. Again the rejected squares turned into a project, a baby blanket.

I bought some cheap yarn, and started designing the actual cardigan. It's always better to make try-outs with cheap yarn, since there's a lot of ripping involved:) This went smoothly, the result was a form fitted cardigan in my size.

The second try in order to see if the pattern was correct, made from a selfstriping yarn, turned out even more beautiful.

Finally we reached the point of choosing the designated yarn. The choices of yarn are limited, because my daughter is allergic to wool. We went for acrylic yarn, Alize Burcum Batik bought at yarnstreet.com in selfstriping pink-purple-white.

The yarn arrived a week later, it was really pretty! But.... the label said needle 4-5 mm, when i ordered it i presumed it would be the same as the ones i already used. Bummer! the yarn was totally different from the previous ones... I had to redesign the cardigan to the new yarn. Oh well, time well spent:)

The present day... the cardigans are crocheted, fitted to their specific wishes, and all done! I am so proud of the results! It was a long journey, but i learned a lot along the way. For me, that's the merit of designing, testing and learning new things.

A little extra: a flower clip to match the cardigan.

My other daughter has ordered such a cardigan as well, i still have to finish some ongoing projects, but this pattern for sure will return in my work!

An appriciated gift

A little peak from the babygirl, i made the pixie and socks for. Her parents loved it and gave me permission to post this photo on the blog.

So cute, the socks on her little feet!

Small projects are fun!

Playing around with my bubblewrap stitch, i made a little pixie and socks for a newborn girl for a friend. It's so much fun to make these little things, all it takes is 2 days to make. I hope the mom nd dad will like it!

The doll i bought a couple of years ago, still is fine with playing model:)

The socks have little strings, to prevent them from slipping off.

The both of them, with a high level of cuteness:)

Cherry Blossom Blanket

Due to the warm weather, i wasn't able to finish my Cherry Blossom Blanket, way too hot to work on having a fabric of 140cm by 180cm on my lap! Since a couple of days the temperature has fallen, so i took the blanket and finished it.

Here it is n all its glory:) The stitch i used was my Bubblewrap stitch, it took 22 skeins of 100 grams to make it. It's quite heavy... The finished size is 140cm by 200cm. It's going to my granddaughter for her new bed, she's very excited to get it.

In my experience the edges of crochet and knitted blankets are always difficult to finish. The sides are not straight and often flaired or curled. I have come up with an edge, that works quite nicely, at least for crochet. I haven't tried it yet in knitting. I made a phototutorial on how-to.

As always, the photos from top left to bottom right.

Photo 1: Make slipstitches on the right side across the blanket, chain 1 in the corners. Turn the work.
Photo 2: Make slipstitches on the wrong side in the SAME place as the other round of slipstitches, again chain 1 in the corners. Turn the work.
Photo 3. Single crochet across the blanket in the SAME place as the first slipstitches. In the corners: single crochet, chain 1, single crochet, chain 1, single crochet. 
Photo 4: This is how the back should look.

I hope you enjoy using this way of edging!

A Bag Story

This handbag has been floating around on Pinterest and Facebook crochet groups in Holland. It's a pattern called 'Mermoz Round Bag' from an Anny Blatt magazine, but there is no source to be found. However, there is a site, which has the pattern and diagram, you can find it here:


The original bag doesn't have the little leaves behind the flower. On Facebook some crocheters made a pattern of their own. I as well was smitten by this bag, so i gave it a try myself.

This is what i came up with. The flower in the original pattern has 6 leaves, the other pattern has 8 leaves. The flower is made like an Irish flower, where the petals are crocheted on a chain behind the previous petals. In my experience the chains usually are too long, they create a rather large gap, so i reduced the number of chains by 2.

The leaves are crocheted the same way, behind the petals.

Because the gaps in the flower always will be there, i sewed them together at the back. It doesn't show in the front, and it effectively closes the fabric.

Making the same kind of chain round for the start of the big circle. I introduced another thread of yarn, when i started the circle, crocheting single crochets over the second thread, like in tapestry crochet. The goal is to create a fabric, that doesn't need lining. If you do use a second thread, pull it regularly, preferably after 10 or 15 single crochets, because it tends to bulge a little in loops.

The original pattern is made of clusters and 2 chains, but again, too open to my liking. I changed to bubbles.
First round: 1 single crochet, 1 bubble of 5 double crochet, 2 single crochet, 1 bubble, 2 single crochet, ending with 2 single crochet.
Second round: (wrong side) single crochet in every single crochet and bubble.
Third round: 2 single crochet, 1 bubble, 2 single crochet, 1 bubble, ending with 1 single crochet.
Fourth round: single crochet across the round like the second round. In this part of the bag i used the second thread as well, simply crocheting the single crochets and bubbles over the thread. This gives a very tight and closed fabric. The same principal of tightning regularly!

The handles in the original pattern are tubes, which are filled after finishing. My fear was, they would be too heavy. I chose to make a simple handle of single crochet rounds, lenghtwise. Again crocheting over the second thread. This is a very good idea, because this will prevent the handles from stretching too long when the bag is used. I made a phototutorial on how to attach the handles to the bag.

This also can be used for other bags. The order of photos is from top left to bottom right.
Photo 1: The handle is sewed onto the bag, slightly lower then the edge, in order to spread the pulling force. Start at the place where the needle is placed.
Photo 2: The back, the handle is sewn only on the sides and bottom.
Photo 3: Crochet at the wrong side a surface chain under the 2 loops of the last round. This way you create 2 sides to crochet onto.
Photo 4: When you get to the handle, push the hook through both the handle and round.
Photo 5: This is how the chain on the back of the handle looks.
Photo 6: You have arrived at the left side, crochet crabstitch on the front round of the 2-in-1 round. It's a bit of a hussle, but it should work:)
Photo 7: At the end of the round, pull the working loop through the first loop of the round to the back, chain 1, crochet single crochet on the back of the 2-in-1 round. This is the front of the work, but it's crocheted behind the handle. Keep crocheting single crochet rounds over the second thread.
Photo 8: This is how the attachment of the handle on the back looks like.
Photo 9: And here's the front. There is a nice and almost invisible connection.

The original bag is closed with a zipper. I don't like to use zippers in knit- and crochetfabric, often they don't get sewn in as nicely as i want to. My solution for closing the bag is an 8-shaped figure. It is made like this:
Chain 20, slipstitch in the 9th chain from the hook, slipstitch 3 more chains, slipstitch in the 1st chain. Chain 1, crochet in the circle: 1 half double crochet, 6 double crochet, 1 chain, 6 double crochet, 1 half double crochet. Single crochet in the next 4 slipstitches, in the next circle 1 half double crochet, 6 double crochet, 1 chain, 6 double crochet, 1 half double crochet, 4 single crochet in the other side of the slipstitches. Close with slipstitch and fasten off. I embellished the 8 figure by crocheting a round of surface chain stitches around.

The buttons are crocheted as follows:
Start with a magic circle with a very long tail. You will need it for sewing the button on. Crochet 10 single crochet in this magic circle, close with slipstitch, crochet 13 single crochet OVER the first round, close with slipstitch and continue with a surface chain round under the 2 loops of the previous round. Slipstitch and fasten off.

Here is the end result. I'm quite proud of my bag!

Phototutorial Bubble Wrap Stitch

Got some feedback from Facebook about my stitch. Some people are having difficulties understanding the instructions. I made a phototutorial on how-to.

Top left: the 5 loops on the hook. Top middle: yo and pull through 4 loops. Top right: pick up a loop through the 1st sc on the working row and pull through 2 loops (2 loops on the hook). Bottom left: yo and pull through 2 loops = sc. Bottom middle: ready for next sc. Bottom right: Close up of the stitch.

Bubble Wrap Stitch

My cardi isn't going so well... Because i made a fatal error in my template, i had to rip both the front panels:( I was so angry at myself, and totally disappointed to throw away 3 weeks of work, i have put it aside for a while.

But in the meanwhile of course there are other things to be done, image not playing with yarn:) Some socks had to be knitted as a birthday gift for a friend,

In the process of making the cardi, i designed a new stitch, which i used to crochet a throw blanket. The name of the blanket is First Snow, because in this stitch it looks like fresh fallen snow.

A dear friend of Ravelry, Melba Vincent, was kind enough to test the stitch and edit my pattern to understandable English. The name of the stitch was invented by @thegirlofthelibrary, a friend from Instagram. Without further ado let me introduce you to the

Bubble Wrap Stitch

Pattern stitches:

Beginning Bubble stitch: ch 1, pull up loops in the following sts: in the 1st sc, 1 loop in the 1st sc one row below, 1 loop in the next sc one row below, one loop in the next sc in the working row, (5 loops on the hook), yo, pull through 4 loops, ch 1, 1 sc in the 1st sc of the working row (where the first loop was pulled) 1 sc in the 2nd sc of the working row (where the 4th loop was pulled).

Bubble stitch: Pull up loops in the following sts: in the next sc in the working row, 1 loop in the 1st sc one row below, 1 loop in the next sc one row below, one loop in the next sc in the working row, (5 loops on the hook), yo, pull through 4 loops, ch 1, 1 sc in the 1st sc of the working row (where the first loop was pulled) 1 sc in the 2nd sc of the working row (where the 4th loop was pulled).


Make a foundation chain of an even number plus 1. Turn

Row 1: (WS) sc across the row.
Row 2. Ch 1, make a beginning bubble stitch followed by bubble stitches across the row.
Row 3. Ch 1, and sc across the row.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 for however many rows you want in your motif.

*Note: This stitch takes a lot of yarn, because every row is worked twice.

Once you get the hang of it, it's a very easy stitch to make. I hope you have just a smuch fun with it as i did!

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: http://www.learntocrochetcalgary.ca/articles/CYCA-16-Crochet.htm. 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.