Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Tale of Five Blankets: Chapter 9

Hello there,

I'm back today with a new episode of my Tale of Five Blankets.


This is a special blanket, because it's the first baby blanket that I've designed myself. It's a star-stitch variation, so I thought "Starlight Baby Blanket" would be a nice name for it.


Before I started with this one, I had already posted a test-swatch on Facebook, that looked like this:


As you can see, I've made a few changes to the original idea: Some of the colors seemed a little bit too strong, so I changed to lighter, softer pastell colors. For the test-swatch I've also worked the star-stitch-rows with colors, and the dc-rows in between with cream. For the final blanket I did it the other way round, and worked the star-stitch-rows in cream and the dc-rows with colors, but basically you could do it either way :) Once again, I've used Stylecraft Special DK in Cream, Lemon, Apricot, Clematis, Sherbet, and Spring Green.


What I really like about this pattern (other than the fact, that it's easy to do), is that the two sides look slightly different, but both of them are beautiful :) The blanket is for sale now in my new Dawanda-Shop (shipping to Germany only).


Hope you like this new blanket as much as I do, if you're interested I could write down the pattern and share it here, just let me know! :)



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Yarnsicles

Hello World!

Hope you've all had a great Easter week-end with lots of time for family and crafting! I did. :)

What I want to show you today is a little something I had already posted on Facebook a while ago: Yarnsicles! :)


These are popsicle sticks wrapped in yarn, so the name yarnsicles seemed good to me. I had been wanting to make some samples of my Stylecraft Special DK yarn for a while, and I had seen something similar before on Lucy's Attic 24 and was also inspired by Sarah-Jayne's "Yarnspirations" on Bella Coco.


Both Lucy and Sarah-Jayne use wooden clothespins for their yarn-samples, so I wanted to do the same. But in a half-hearted search for some clothespins (already knowing that even if I found them, I wouldn't have enough for all the different colors in my stash), I found something that would do the job as well: popsicle sticks!


I had bought them a few years back for a craft project I've never even started, so I had plenty!


I've wrapped the yarn around one end of the stick in two tight layers and tied the ends to a knot. On the other end I've written the Stylecraft name for the according color. On the back (which is not shown) I've also written the color number.


Working on this fun little project made me realize two things: 1) I've gathered quite a lot of different colors over the years and 2) there are still so many colors missing in my collection, I need MORE yarn!!! (sounds familiar? *gg*)


Anyway, these yarnsicles work great when your trying to come up with a new color-combo for your next big project. And they're also nice to look at, aren't they? :)


And since I've also stocked up on my favorite cotton yarn (Catania by Schachenmayr), I thought about making some yarnsicles with Catania, too. Probably have to order some more colors first... :)



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A Tale of Five Blankets - Chapters 6-8

Hey there,

you're probably confused that the Tale of Five Blankets continues now, although we had already reached the last chapter with Chapter 5. But - just like in real life - sometimes the story continues, even when it seems that you've already written the final chapter, isn't that true?
So, enough with philosophy - meanwhile I've finished several more baby blankets, and instead of coming up with a new creative title every time, I just thought I'd continue this tale, so all my new baby blankets can be found under the same tag. And since I'm hyper-productive right now, I'm gonna show you three new blankets in one post today (with three more still waiting in line *gg*).
Let's start with my favorite one:


For this modern girlie-blanket I've used a great pattern that I had tried once before (click here). It's the Dot'n'Dashes pattern by Darla J. Fanton and it's available for free on Red Heart. The pattern is for three different colors, and since I had been quite pleased with the result of using four colors in my first blanket, I thought this time I'd go with five colors.


As usual, I was working with Stylecraft Special DK and used the following colors: Creme, Grey, Silver, Clematis, and Plum. I really do love this pattern, because it's so easy to do (actually a no-brainer that allows you to watch TV while the blanket is growing almost all by itself), but the result with the interesting structure is just amazing! Definitely under my personal Top 3 of my favorite blanket patterns!


Another favorite pattern - and you know that already if you're a regular reader of my blog - is the double ended crochet pattern (also by Darla J. Fanton) which I used for the next blanket:


The pattern actually creates a stunning two-sided effect, but in this blanket the effect is more subtle, because of the light colors I've worked with. (The effect is better when working with two high contrast colors).


For the front side I've worked with Calista Color by Schachenmayr, a beautiful color gradient yarn, and for the back side I've used white Rico Acryl Soft yarn.


And last but not least, I've made another traditional Granny Square blanket :)


As much a I like this pattern, it's also a sign that I had to frog another blanket, because that's what I usually do: if I have to frog another project that leaves me with bits and pieces, I end up using them for granny squares.


The yarn is Stylecraft again, and the colors are Silver, Cream, Clematis, Sherbet, Spring Green, and Apricot.


All these blankets are for sale now in my brand-new (german) Dawanda-Shop. Yes, that's right - I decided to tackle this adventure, with all the necessary inconveniences: registering an official business, filling out tax forms, setting up professional terms and conditions, getting a packaging license, and so on and so on. Since I'm just getting started, I'm only shipping to Germany right now.

And to make this post complete, let me also mention that I set up a new (german) Facebook-Page Babydecken made in k-town to accompany my shop and - mainly - to make my new business known in the area where I live. But any likes are welcome :) Of course my regular Facebook-Page that runs with this blog is still active, too!

I'll be back here soon with some more blankets, one of them with a free pattern for you! :)



Friday, March 31, 2017

Spring Bubbles Mandala



Pattern: Made in K-Town by Barbara

Please respect my rights as designer: do not sell, share, translate, or publish any parts of this pattern (including pictures) online or elsewhere without my permission.
Do not claim this pattern as your own.
Feel free to sell the finished items you’ve made from my pattern!
If you do, a link-back to my blog www.made-in-k-town.blogspot.de would be great. Thank you!


Material:
All you need for this Mandala are small amounts of your favorite yarn and the according hook. For this Tutorial I worked with 4 different colors of cotton yarn (Catania by Schachenmayr) and a 2.5mm hook. My Mandala measures 13,5 cm in diameter (5.3") but the size will vary depending on the yarn you use, so gauge is not important.

Pattern Notes and Special Stitches:
For this pattern I use US crochet terms. Starting with a magic ring, we’ll need the following stitches: chain stitch (ch), slip stitch (slst), single crochet (sc), double crochet (dc), treble crochet (tr) and some
Special Stitches:
Crossed Double Crochet (crossed dc):  yarn over (yo), and – working over the last dc you’ve just made – insert hook into the stitch before the dc you’ve just made and finish dc as usual. (Together with a dc and ch-1, the crossed dc form a kind of “crossed V-stitch”, you could say).
Surface Stitches: having a loop on your hook and holding the yarn behind your work, insert hook in between the next two dc’s, yo, pull loop through the gap and through the loop on your hook. Basically, it’s just working slip stitches around the body of the dc.
Double Single Crochet (dsc): insert your hook into the indicated stitch or space, yo, pull through space (2 loops on hook), yo, insert hook into the same space again, yo, pull through space (4 loops on hook), yo, pull through all 4 loops on your hook.
Some of the explanations in this pattern might sound a little bit difficult, but I promise you – with a hook in your hand, it’s all easy-peasy :) If you are an absolute beginner or don’t feel comfortable with the special stitches, I also give you some alternative (easier) solutions for the according rounds!
Please note:
I usually start all my rounds with a standing stitch (i.e. the recquired stitch right away) instead of starting with beginning chains. The written pattern however is with beginning chains, so don’t worry if the pictures don’t match your work exactly! It’s up to you, if you want to start a round with standing stitches or beginning chains.

Rnd 1
Start with a magic ring, ch-4 (counts as dc and ch-1), work (dc, ch-1) 15x into the ring, join with a slst to third ch of your beginning ch’s, fasten off. (16 dc, 16 ch-1 gaps)
Don’t pull the magic ring too tight yet!

Rnd 2
Attach another color with a slst to any ch-1 space, ch-1, sc in same space, ch-1, *sc in the next gap, ch-1*, repeat from * around and join with a slst to first sc, fasten off. (16 sc, 16 ch-1 gaps)
  
Rnd 3
Attach another color with a sl st to any ch-1 space, ch-4 (counts as dc and ch-1), crossed dc into the ch-1 gap before the gap where you’ve started, *dc into the next free gap, ch-1, crossed dc into the (already “taken”) gap before the stitch you’ve just made* repeat from * around and join with a slst to third ch of your beginning ch’s, fasten off. (16 crossed V-Stitches, 16 ch-1 gaps)
For the crossed dc see “Special Stitches” in the pattern notes above.
For the last dc/crossed dc repetition, place the dc into the space where you’ve already placed your first crossed dc at the beginning of the round – so actually this is not a “free” gap.
You should now have two dc’s (one regular, one crossed) coming out of each ch-1 gap of round 2, right?
You can now pull the magic ring tight, if you haven’t already.

Easy Alternative: just work regular V-Stitches (i.e. dc, ch-1, dc) in every ch-1 gap around.

Rnd 4
Attach another color with a slst to any ch-1 space, ch-3 (counts as dc) and 2 more dc into the same space, *3 dc into the next space*, repeat from * around and join with a slst to beginning ch-3, fasten off. (48 dc, no spaces)


Rnd 5
Holding the yarn at the back of your work, insert hook in between any two dc’s of the previous round, yo, pull loop through the gap and work surface stitches around. To finish the round, work the last surface stitch in the gap where you started, cut thread, and finish off. Use your hook or a needle to pull the loose end through to the back again, tie the two ends together and weave them in.
For the surface stitches see “Special Stitches” in the pattern notes above.
You can also add this round in the end when you're finished with the rest - this is a suggestion from my sister who tested this pattern for me. Danke Sabine! :) 

Easy Alternative: just skip this round, it’s just for decoration and won’t change the stitch count.

Rnd 6
Turn your work, so that the left side is facing you! Attach another color with a slst to any dc of rnd 4. Ch-1, sc in the same stitch, tr in the next stitch, *sc in the next stitch, tr in the next stitch* repeat from * around and join with a slst to first sc, fasten off and turn again. (24 sc/tr pairs)
Now you should see the “bubbles” (or bobbles, but I like bubbles better *gg*), that have formed by working the sc/tr combinations.
Make sure you don’t accidently grab the surfaces stitches of round 5 while working this round! (I mention that, because it happened to me before)
  
Rnd 7
With the right side facing you again, attach another color with a slst to any sc of the previous round (those are the smaller looking, tighter stitches of the two). Ch-1, sc in the same stitch, ch-3, skip the tr, *sc in the next sc, ch-3, skip the tr*, repeat from * around and join with a slst to first sc, fasten off. (24 sc, 24 ch-3 gaps)

Rnd 8
Attach another color with a slst to any ch-3 space, ch-3 (counts as dc) and 2 more dc into the same space, *3 dc into the next space*, repeat from * around and join with a slst to beginning ch-3, fasten off. (72 dc, no spaces)

Rnd 9
Attach another color with a slst to any dc, ch-4 (counts as dc and ch-1), crossed dc into the dc before the stitch where you’ve started, *skip the next free dc, dc into the next dc, ch-1, crossed dc into the skipped dc before the stitch you’ve just made* repeat from * around and join with a slst to third ch of your beginning ch’s, fasten off. (36 crossed V-Stitches, 36 ch-1 gaps)
For the crossed dc see “Special Stitches” in the pattern notes above. Notice the difference to round 3? This time you’ve only got one dc (regular or crossed) coming out of each stitch of the previous round. The crossed V-Stitches don’t “touch” at the base like in round 3.

Easy Alternative:  just work regular V-Stitches (i.e. dc, ch-1, dc) in every second dc around, i.e. skip one dc between the V-Stitches.

Rnd 10
Attach another color with a slst to any ch-1 gap of the previous round, ch-1, 2 double sc (dsc) in the same gap, ch-1, *2 dsc in the next gap, ch-1*, repeat from * around and join with a slst to first dsc, fasten off and weave in all the ends. (36x2 dsc, 36 ch-1 spaces)
For the double sc see “Special Stitches” in the pattern notes above.

Easy Alternative: instead of double sc’s use regular sc’s and work (2sc, ch-1) in every ch-1 gap around. But I really hope you try this fun and easy stitch, though – it makes for a nice, dense finish!

I hope you've enjoyed making this easy new Mandala. If you've got any questions or find errors in this pattern, please let me know!

edit: after I had taken all the pictures and written down the pattern, I noticed that crossed dc's are usually worked behind the first dc and not over the dc, like I did here. Maybe you want to try both version and see which alternative you like better! (I go with the behind-cross next time *gg*)



You can also share your Spring Bubbles Mandala in the Project Gallery on Ravelry!










Sunday, March 26, 2017

Pattern Preview: A New Mandala

Hello there!

I've only just realized, that my last post - the pattern for the Easter Bunny ornaments - was my 400th post on this blog! Wow... 
The most popular of all my posts - with almost 600.000 visits - is still my Little Spring Mandala. So, to celebrate 400 posts and the fact that you're still here with me, I thought I'd design another Mandala to share with you:


I thought about "Little Spring Mandala 2.0" for a name, but didn't really like it. So - because the one round in the middle is kind of "bubbly" and because it's spring again - I thought I'd call it "Spring Bubbles Mandala"


What you see in the pictures above and in the next one below was my prototype, and I have to say, I like the colors a lot :)


The next picture is the mandala I've made for the picture tutorial. I'll be posting the pattern at the end of this week, and I hope you all gonna like my Spring Bubbles Mandala as much as you liked the Little Spring Mandala!


Thank you all for hanging in there with me, and have a great week! :)


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