Category Archives: Tutorials

Get Squared – Meet Jenny King

Today I’m talking about a fun project that I completed just before Christmas, an innovative design which astounded me in its simplicity and speed, and you know how much I love speedy projects!  However, you also know that I like a long blog post, so perhaps go grab a cuppa quickly. It’s a big one!

Towards the end of 2017 the creative director at Scheepjes introduced me to fellow Australian designer Jenny King, and her magical garment making workshop Get Squared.  Essentially, we take a few very simple measurements, punch it into the formula Jenny has created, take any yarn, grab a 6mm hook and within a few hours – really, a few hours – you’ll have a garment.

Get Squared by Jenny King https://www.jennykingdesigns.com/

Image: Jenny King

I mean, of course I was skeptical.  A garment in a few hours?  Not a chance.  But then she pulled out her own example, after just two hours of work, and I was blown away.

Of course I had to try this for myself, so I ordered a pile of Scheepjes Cahlista, asked a friend for her measurements, and went to town.

Get Squared by Jenny King https://www.jennykingdesigns.com/

It was at about this point that I realised I had my measurements wrong.  I had noted the correct measurements of my friend, and I had the correct magic number from Jenny’s formula, but I hadn’t measured my work properly!

Usually it would be around this time that I would have screamed, screwed it up into a ball and thrown it across the room, but that bottom half in my pic was less than an hour’s work!  So I happily ripped it all back, measured correctly and merrily went on my way again.

Within a couple of short evenings in front of Netflix I was here:

Get Squared by Jenny King https://www.jennykingdesigns.com/

Only the sleeves and edging to go, which was done in a jiffy.  I’m not even kidding, I’ve never made a garment this quickly before.  I truly have at least three half done garments in a box somewhere that I just can’t face.  It’s too much work.  But this was a dream!

Get Squared by Jenny King https://www.jennykingdesigns.com/

When I gave it to my friend at Christmas, we discovered that the sleeves are too long, and I should have taken her inner arm measurement as well, but it’s easy to fold them back, and the cardigan looks great!

Jenny’s Get Squared is terrifically innovative.  Using her magic formula, anyone can make a garment, with just about any yarn, in basically any size, by grabbing a few simple measurements.  It’s a comprehensive video course, where you will learn to make 5 different garments.  I love a good long cardi, so I chose the Gossamer cardigan, but there is a basic sweater, a bolero and a couple of variations, including creating a round neck and a V, and a cross-over.  The course itself is $39.90 AUD (so that’s about 26 euros) and it’s adaptable, once you have the foundation down, you’ll be able to make any garment you can imagine.

Once I was done, I had to reach out to Jenny to share my cardi, and to tell her just how happy I was.  While I was at it, I also talked her into a little interview!

Here’s Jenny:

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Tell us about you, how you came to crochet, and how that evolved to designing and your own yarn!
I was 8 years old and I wanted a bun cover like ballerinas wore I their hair. So I nagged my aunt to show me how to crochet. I learnt how to chain and double crochet from her. Later my cousin from the other side of the family was making a granny square blanket and he showed me how to do that. I made it into a 4 square poncho and put a funnel neck on it. No one told me I couldn’t so I just did.

And what about Get Squared?  How did that evolve?  I’m  blown away by your formula and would love to hear how you came up with it.
Trial and error and a lot of experience. I owned a yarn store then and noticed that I could vary the sizes of many of the garments by changing the hook or the amount of rows if working from the top down. Many people who could Crochet only did granny square blankets because they only know how to go around and around. Many didn’t know what the stitch was called and liked the blankets because they were easy relaxing Crochet. I wondered if I could marry the 2 ideas and started playing. It was a bit of an epiphany with lots of hard work checking and rechecking the maths. I probably did my first top down published design in 1999 and quite a few in between so that is where the experience came from. Then I experimented with every yarn I had on hand from lace weight to chunky and it kept on working. It was like magic

I’ve made the Gossamer cardigan so far, and was astonished at how quickly it works up.  I had even gotten half way down the body and realised it much too big so had to rip it back, but what would usually have left me swearing and potentially abandoning the entire project wasn’t a problem because I knew that within a few hours I’d be almost finished.  Was the speed by design, or is a happy coincidence?
The beauty of the granny stitch is that it is quick, you work into the Big Holes as I call them so it is no effort. The J hook/6mm also helps. We are making fabric that drapes. Of course speed is important, if we want a new garment we want it now. I think that is why people churn out blanket after blanket until the family has had enough. So I wanted to put that ease if sticking into garments that people love. I used a lace weight yarn in my gossamer cardigan and you used a chunky cotton yarn and they both look wonderful. That is the beauty of Get Squared I think.

Kids Squared has just been released, and I’m so happy – I can’t wait to use your formula to create outfits for my daughter – tell us about how that came about?
It was in the back of my mind as the first top down garment I ever made was for my son who is now 33. But I had to put it on hold until Get Squared was done and I had explored every single design shape I could; I ended up with 90 Get Squared garments. I made my first Kids Squared garment 5 years ago at the same time but it is only this year that I teamed up with Scheepjes to finally get all the designs filmed and written

The Get Squared concept is based on the Granny (shell) stitch.  I think I’d love to use the V-stitch for my next garment.  How flexible is it to adapt to using other stitches, do you think?
It is very adaptable. I have devised about 8 stitch variations so far. And I that will be my next video. I have done quite a few designs already; it is very exciting. In saying that nothing is as speedy as the granny (shell)stitch. The V stitch will work either in the chain space or in the middle tr of the shell. Only the drape alters. It is all about making the fabric. I want people to make clothes quickly and easily and wear them out so I will do anything to get that to happen effortlessly and stylishly.

What can we look forward to seeing from you next?
Get Squared the New Stitches, or the “next generation” I may call it . I have started working on it. It will use the magic sizing of Get Squared so that it will fit up to 64 inch bust, and have the same simplicity without seaming but it will look so different. It is a whole other design journey. What fun!

Thanks so much for joining us today, is there anything else you’d like to share?  Tips or tricks?
If you ever have to seam up for Crochet designs can I recommend you explore the chain seaming technique which is shown isn’t the Kids Squared video or as a free PDF at my site. It may just change your world.

And finally, where can we find you online?
www.jennykingdesigns.com

Thanks Jenny! (I’ve already downloaded her seaming technique pdf, I’m excited to see it in practice.)

Jenny also sent me some of the images from the Kids Squared series to share with you, and here are a couple that I cannot wait to make for Raina!

Kids Squared by Jenny King https://www.jennykingdesigns.com/Kids Squared by Jenny King https://www.jennykingdesigns.com/

For my cardigan I used about 10 balls of Scheepjes Cahlista in 393 Charcoal which you can pick up at Wool Warehouse*, Caro’s Atelier* or any of the great Scheepjes stockists n the Benelux.

Full disclosure: I was gifted the Get Squared workshop by Jenny, but all the opinions are my own, and I have happily purchased the Kids Squared series as a result.

*Affiliate link

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Spring Motif – Photo Tutorial

It feels as though Spring has raced on by, and we’re hurtling headlong into an Australian style summer!  Although, that’s pretty optimistic, summer will likely only last this week, but I can never help myself.  I always get excited when the temperatures crack 20 degrees…

As promised, I’ve put together a little set of instructions to make the Spring Motif.  I decided to make this one a photo tutorial for you.

What You’ll Need

4 mini 25g skeins of Scheepjes Catona in colours:

  • 226 Light Orchid
  • 114 Shocking Pink
  • 385 Chrystalline
  • 280 Lemon

3mm hook
Scissors
Tapestry needle
Blocking mat(s) and pins

Note: I’m using US terms for this tutorial and the pattern is worked in rounds, slip stitching to join each round, and changing colours almost every round as well.  Try to weave in ends as you go, to save work at the end.

Round 1:

12 DC (double crochet) stitches into a MR (magic ring). SS (slip stitch) to join.

12 DC (double crochet) stitches into a MR (magic ring).  SS (slip stitch) to join.

Round 2:

Begin the round with a standing DC, DC into the same stitch, then work 2 DC into each stitch around, ending with 24 stitches.

Begin the round with a standing DC, DC into the same stitch, then work 2 DC into each stitch around, ending with 24 stitches.

Round 3:

Add the next colour with a standing DC, ch (chain) 1, DC in the same stitch. Miss 1 st, then V-stitch (DC, CH1, DC in the same stitch) in the next. Repeat the V-stitch around, with one stitch between each.

Add the next colour with a standing DC, ch (chain) 1, DC in the same stitch.  Miss 1 st, then V-stitch (DC, CH1, DC in the same stitch) in the next.  Repeat the V-stitch around, with one stitch between each.

Round 4:

Join the next colour with into the chain space of the V-stitch and work 2 DC clusters (YO, pull up a loop, YO, pull through 2 loops, insert hook into same stitch, pull up a loop, YO, pull through 2 loops, YO pull through all loops) into each V-Stitch with ch3 between each one.

Join the next colour with into the chain space of the V-stitch with half of a standing DC (ie. do not pull through all loops to complete the stitch, keep two loops on the hook.  Alternatively, chain 2) and work 2 DC clusters (YO [yarn over], pull up a loop, YO, pull through 2 loops, insert hook into same stitch, pull up a loop, YO, pull through 2 loops, YO pull through all loops) into each V-Stitch with ch3 between each one.

Round 5:

Join next colour to the middle loop of the cluster with a HDC (half double crochet). in the ch space, work a DC, Htr (half treble - YO twice, insert hook, pull up a loop, pull through two loops, YO, pull through all loops), a Tr (treble crochet), Htr and a DC. HDC into the top loop of the next cluster. Repeat this around in each ch space, slip stitch to join.

Join next colour to the middle loop of the cluster with a HDC (half double crochet). in the ch space, work a DC, Htr (half treble – YO twice, insert hook, pull up a loop, pull through two loops, YO, pull through all loops), a Tr (treble crochet), Htr and a DC.  HDC into the top loop of the next cluster.  Repeat this around in each ch space, slip stitch to join.

Round 6:

Join next colour to the top of any HDC with an SC (single crochet). CH3, sc into the Tr from the previous round. CH3, sc into the next HDC. Repeat this around, SS to join.

Join next colour to the top of any HDC with an SC (single crochet).  CH3, sc into the Tr from the previous round.  CH3, sc into the next HDC.  Repeat this around, SS to join.

From here we can go a few different ways. To make the coaster, don’t cut the yarn from finishing round 6.  Instead, change to a 3.5mm hook and continue by working 3 sc into each ch space, and an SC into the top of each SC from the previous round.  Instead of joining, make 2 continuous rounds of slip stitches, into the back loops only.  After the two rounds of slip stitches, join, cut the yarn and weave in the ends.

Another option is to create the doily that I shared pics of last week:

spring motif doily

I’ll share instructions with you later in the week on how to make that.

The last option is to go even further and join all the motifs to make a table runner or a throw, or even a shawl.  More on that coming soon too.  But for now I’ll leave you with the motif instructions,

Scheepjes has a huge list of suppliers throughout the Benelux, otherwise worldwide you can order from Wool Warehouse* and for North Americans don’t forget: Knotty House* in Canada is also now stocking Catona!

*Just a note: this post contains a couple of affiliate links which if you choose to use when feeding your yarn habit will earn me a small commission.  This helps me keep up the freebies and doesn’t cost you a thing. Thank you!

Free Pattern: Cherry Blossom Shawl(ette) – and the Winner is….

I’m so excited to be able to announce the winner of the three skeins of Scheepjes Wanderlust in your favourite colour to…..

— Jacomine Oosterhoff! —

Jacomine, you have mail!  Make sure you let me know where to send your three balls of Zanzibar.

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Thank you so much to everybody who took the time to enter and to tell me about your wanderlust.  I had the best time reading all of your comments.  And the wanderlust has kicked in here properly.  We’re discussing holidays, and I just can’t make up my mind where I want to go.  Well, I do know where – I want to go to North America and road trip in the west.

Also a massive thank you to Scheepjes for working with me on this giveaway.  The never-ending support from the team is just wonderful.  I love working with these guys!

Right.  Now.  Onto the pattern.  This is one of the simplest crochet designs, I assure you, once you get started, you can do it with only half an eye on it.  That means you get to actually watch Timothy Olyphant in Santa Clarita Diet instead of just listening to him.  Winners all round, here!

Cherry Blossom shawl, free crochet pattern

Materials

Measurements

180cm on the longest side – this is a scalene (asymmetrical) triangle shawl.

Tension

8 stitches = 5cm
7 rows = 5cm

Abbreviations

(US terms)
Ch chain
HDCInc half double crochet increase (two stitches in one stitch)
2HDCTog two half double crochet together (two stitches together)
rs right side
ws wrong side

Notes

At the end of each and every row, chain 2 and turn.  This does not count as a stitch.
Increase in every row: the first stitch on the right side, and increase in the last on the wrong side.
Decrease in every 4th row, in the last two stitches of the right side.
Save about 1 metre of both the starting and ending colours to make tassels.

Cherry Blossom Shawl(ette) free crochet pattern by missneriss

Instructions

  1. (ws) ch3.  2 hdc in the 3rd ch from the hook.  ch2, turn (in this and every row.  This instruction won’t be repeated from here on in).
  2. (rs) hdcInc in the 1st, hdc in the next (3)
  3.  (ws) hdc, hdc in the next, hdcInc in the last (4)
  4. (rs) hdcInc, hdc in the next, 2hdcTog (4)
  5. (ws) hdc in the next 3, hdcInc (5)
  6. (rs) hdcInc, hdc in the next 4 (6)
  7. (ws) hdc in the next 5, hdcInc (7)
  8. (rs) hdcInc, hdc in the next 4, 2hdcTog (7)

Continue in this four row pattern (repeat rows 5-8) until you run out of yarn.

Cherry Blossom Shawl(ette) free crochet pattern by missneriss

Tie off and weave in the ends.

Add more skeins to make the shawl bigger.  there’s no need to really block, but if you like, feel free.  Make sure that the colours match when adding new skeins.  There’s no need for wastage – you’ll be able to match what you pull out at the end of each skein.

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I hope you enjoy the pattern, it’s so quick and satisfying!

Edited to add: Here is how the shawl looks lying out flat on the ground.  You can see that the increase side curves ever so slightly.  Do try to keep those stitches loose to avoid any curling.Scalene shawl by MissNeriss

*Affiliate link

10 of the Best: Crochet Flower Motifs

10 of the best: Crochet Flower Motifs

Today I want to share with you some of my favourite flower motifs.  All of these are free online tutorials and you can head directly to each by clicking on the designers names or the images.

Enjoy!

Crochet Puff Flower Motif

I’m sure I’ve posted about this one before, I just love how delicate it is.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/crochet-puff-flower-motif

Crochet Flower Puff Stitch Pattern

By MyPicot

These puff stitch flowers are so satisfying and look great in a mercerised cotton.

http://mypicot.com/0035.html

Blanket in Bloom

By Alice by Day

It’s the way that these all come together to make a shawl that I love the most about this one.

http://alicebyday.blogspot.nl/2015/02/another-blanket-in-bloom.html

Taanvi’s Flower Crochet Motif

By Pink Mambo

You can easily make this with a chunky or lace yarn and it will be beautiful regardless.

http://i0.wp.com/pinkmambo.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Taanvis-Flower-main-photo.jpg?resize=700%2C700

Crochet Pointy Flower

By Cheri’s Creations

The texture is gorgeous.  I’d love a blanket made from this motif.

http://cherilicious-cherisblog.blogspot.nl/2013_07_21_archive.html

October Square

By Patricia Stuart

I love all of Patricia’s squares, but this one is my fave.

http://pukado.blogspot.nl/2014/10/crochet-mood-blanket-2014-october.html

Japanese Flower Motif

By Happy In Red

The Japanese Flower was one of my first ever motifs when I relearned to crochet.  I skipped the grannies and went straight to this.  Not very well, obviously!  Esther does a much better job.

http://happyinred.blogspot.nl/2016/03/crochet-japanese-flower-scarf-in-alpaca-rythm.html

Egyptian Star Flower

By MissNeriss

I made this tapestry motif, inspired by a trip to Egypt.

Egyptian Star Flower Stool by MissNeriss

Flower Power Mandala

By RedAgape

I love mandalas, but I especially love open lacy mandalas.  This one is a fantastic example.

http://redagapeblog.com/2015/11/22/crochet-flower-power-mandala/

Sophie’s Universe

By Dedri Uys

The Game Changer. If you haven’t made a Sophie you’re missing out on the Trans Siberian of crochet – glorious surprises with each leg of the journey.

http://www.lookatwhatimade.net/crafts/yarn/crochet/sophies-universe-cal-2015/sophies-universe-cal-2015-information/

And Dedri has worked tirelessly to turn Sophie into a book!  I’m getting my copy in a few weeks when I see Dedri in person (I must tell her), I can’t wait!  You can get your own copy at Wool Warehouse*.

http://www.lookatwhatimade.net/crafts/yarn/crochet/sophies-universe-cal-2015/sophies-universe-book/

*Affiliate link

Yarn Wrapped Christmas Bauble Lights – how to

I can’t help it.  The week leading up to Christmas is when I get all my inspiration.  Why can’t it come in November like everyone else?!

This one is really fun, and is a great craft to do with kids.  It’s how to make your very own yarn wrapped Christmas baubles.  You can hang them in the tree, or you can string them onto a set of lights, like I have (make sure you use LED lights which don’t heat up!).

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This took about an hour all up, and I left the baubles to dry overnight, although they were dry within a few hours.

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What you’ll need

  • Two balls of Scheepjes Maxi Bonbon in your chosen colours, available from Wool Warehouse*.  Hot pink and gold is my 2016 Christmas palette, but you can choose whichever colours you like.
  • White craft glue.  I used what I had on hand, which was Mod Podge.
  • Sponge or brush to apply the glue.
  • Water balloons.  If your summer was as good as hours, you’ll have plenty lying around unused.
  • Something to hang your baubles to dry – I used a coat hanger.
  • Battery operated LED fairy light string.

Instructions

  1. Take your balloons and blow them up to be about 6cm in diameter, and tie them off making sure they are as round as you can possibly make them.
  2. Take a little of the glue and dab it around the balloon.  This makes it a bit sticky so the yarn will stay put.
  3. Start wrapping the yarn.  Hold a long tail in your hand, and hold onto the knotted end of the balloon and slowly wind the yarn around the balloon as if you’re winding a skein of yarn.  Keep wrapping until you have good coverage, and still some space to allow light to shine through.  Two balls of Bonbon will make 10 baubles.
  4. Cut and tie the yarn off to the other end, leaving a long double stranded tail to hang up to dry later.
  5. Take the glue and start dabbing it all over the bauble, until the yarn is completely soaked.
  6. Hang them to dry overnight.
  7. When dry, pop the balloons and pull them out of the bauble – this can be a bit fiddly as water balloons are meant to break easily, remember.
  8. String them onto lights and hang as decoration.

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Alternative glue option: you can soak the yarn in the glue before you start winding onto the balloon, but this also causes more mess.  Which I don’t like.

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DIY Yarn wrapped Christmas bauble lights - last minute Christmas decoration ideas and tutorials from @missneriss #yarn #scheepjes #bonbon

DIY Christmas Bauble - a yarn wrapping tutorial by @MissNeriss

Merry Christmas!

*Affiliate link

 

#rusticlacesquare Blanket is Finished!

It has taken me months and months, but finally, it’s finished!

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It’s absolutely beautiful.  Spectacular even.  I really struggled to capture the beauty in photographs, to be honest.

#rusticlacesquare blanket with edging border tutorial on missneriss.com

I used the joining method that Marianne from MaRRose-CCC came up with, which is essentially genius.  The blanket just grew beautifully and the joins are virtually invisible which I just love.  Especially as I hate joining motifs.

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Once the blanket was done I had to come up with an border.  I searched the internet high and low for inspiration, but to be honest, there aren’t a lot of examples out there.  Cornel Strydom used a simple scalloped edging, which I loved, but wasn’t quite right for me.

In the end I went digging through my crochet stitch bibles, and found an edging that I liked, but wasn’t quite right either, so I decided to modify it slightly.

#rusticlacesquare blanket with edging border tutorial on missneriss.com

Here’s a close-up:

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So how did I do it?  It’s really very simple.

The pattern works on a 10 stitch repeat, so first of all, what you need to do is do a lap around the blanket in single crochet stitches, to get the edging into multiples of 10.  Each finished square has loose loops at the corners, I joined those with one SC around both loops.  I had to fudge it a little bit, because the squares themselves don’t have quite the right stitch count.  I crocheted into each stitch, and in the chain sections I crocheted one stitch less than the chain.  So when the last round of the square has a chain 3, I single crocheted 2 stitches into that space.  Make sense?  Otherwise the edging will become too ruffly.

On the second round, start at a corner, skip the next 4 stitches, Treble Crochet into the fifth.  Chain 1, and TC, Ch1, 4 more times.  Skip 4 stitches, SC into the next, skip 4 stitches, TC, CH1 5 times into the next.  Repeat that fan pattern all the way around.  there should be a SC at each corner, so there is a fan on each side of the corner.

The third and final round, start at a corner and Double Treble, CH2 8 times into the SC in the corner of the previous round.  SC into the middle TC from the previous round, CH2, DTC (Double Treble Crochet), CH2 4 times into the SC stitch between fans from the previous round. SC into the middle TC from the previous round.  Repeat this all the way round, making sure that you have the 8 DTC stitches in each corner.  If you take a look at the pic above, you’ll see what I mean.

I cobbled together a chart.  It’s not fabulous because I’m still getting my head around the Stitchworks software, but it will help you get the idea.

C:UsersNerissa MuijsDesktop2016-02-17_1145.png

I’m so happy with the results, I just love the blanket. I just want to wrap myself in it, with a cup of tea and enjoy the sunshine.  You know what?  I’m going to do just that. #enjoyeverymoment

 

#rusticlacesquare blanket with edging border tutorial on missneriss.com

For this project I used Scheepjes Linen Soft.  I used almost 5 balls of each colour, and just over two for the border.  I have enough yarn leftover to make at least one matching cushion, when I get the chance.

ETA:  If you haven’t seen or made the square for yourself already, here’s the chart:

wpid-4493016b2e75b00c4f3e080b2d64b3fc.jpg

If you don’t read charts, I’ve found a written description by Crochet Tea Party on Ravelry.

You can pick up the yarn at Scheepjes retailers all over the Benelux, or internationally from Wool Warehouse.

Chunky Crochet Brioche Cowl Reveal and How To

Chunky Crochet Brioche Cowl - free pattern available from missneriss.com.

It’s here!  Last week I was showing you the gorgeous Scheepjes Vinci yarn that I was working with, and this week here’s the result!  A beautiful crochet brioche cowl that has barely left my neck since it was completed.

Chunky Crochet Brioche Cowl - free pattern available from missneriss.com.

I even had to take a selfie or two at the top of a mountain!

Chunky Crochet Brioche Cowl - free pattern available from missneriss.com.

It was so cold up there, I needed that cowl let me tell you!

One of the cool things about this cowl, and what the photos don’t really show you (except that top one up there) is that the cowl is reversible!  So, if you prefer vertical colour stripes like I do, you wear it that way, but if you’re more into horizontal, just flip it over and you have a totally different accessory.

So, let’s get down to business.  I’ve created a pdf of the pattern for you.  The pattern also has a photo tutorial on how to do the crochet brioche stitch.  What would you think about possibly seeing a video tutorial?  Should I finally dip my toes in and make one?  Let me know in the comments.

As always, please do share your projects with me on social media.  You know I’m all over Instagram like a bad smell, so tag me @miss__neriss (that’s with two “_”) and also use the hashtag #obsessedwithcrochet.  This is a little community I’m going to build, with more info coming soon…

Click the heading below to be taken to the pattern, and I hope you enjoy!!

Chunky Crochet Brioche Cowl Pattern Free Download

Chunky Crochet Brioche Cowl - free pattern available from missneriss.com.

Don’t forget: you can pick up the yarn at Scheepjes retailers all over the Benelux, or internationally from Deramores, Wool Warehouse, and at Paradise Fibers in North America!

Show and Tell: New Yarn, New Crochet Brioche Design

Hello from Amazing Austria!
Alpbach forest by missneriss

Alpbach Forest by MissNeriss
I’m lucky enough to be on holiday in one of the most beautiful places on earth and because I’m really not a skier, I made sure I brought these beauties along with me!

Scheepjes Vinci in colours 9 and 21
Scheepjes Vinci in colours 9 and 21
This is the lovely Scheepjes Vinci, a 60/40% wool/acrylic blend that is just the softest bulky yarn ever. It has the warmth of wool and the softness of acrylic, which I love. Especially as I’m wool-sensitive and a bit of a Merino snob as you know!

The yarn calls for an 8mm hook (or needles), but for this project I’m going up a couple of sizes to a 10mm hook.  I’m also using colours 9 and 21 for this project.

So what am I making? Well from the title you already know that it’s crochet brioche, and you know I’m in the Alps and I’ve already made a Brioche Beanie, so because I need to keep warm I’m making a cowl!



I love the knit look and the reversible pattern of the crochet brioche, it’s just so versatile!

It won’t be long and I’ll have more photos of the finished cowl, and not to mention: the tutorial!

You can pick up the yarn at Scheepjes retailers all over the Benelux, or internationally from Deramores, Wool Warehouse, and at Paradise Fibers in North America!

Furls Odyssey Crochet Hook – A Review

So, I was sitting here, happily getting started on this week’s GREG Mystery CAL and thought that perhaps I could try using my new Furls Odyssey crochet hook which has been waiting patiently in my hook case.

I ordered the hook ages ago, and it had to be made and shipped. So it took quite a while in the end, and is it worth the wait? Let’s see, shall we?

When I first unpacked the hook I thought: wow! It’s beautiful and shiny and heavy

   

I ordered the 4mm, or G hook, but in the time I was waiting I had forgotten which size I had ordered. Strangely, there’s no stamp on my hook to tell me which size I have, so luckily it was in the packing list.

The hook is still taking me a bit of getting used to. It feels a-mazing in my hand, but the round tip is a bit different to my trusty Clover Amour’s tapered top. It makes getting into back loop stitches a bit more of a challenge, but that’s only because it’s what I’m used to.

  

I worked up two squares today for instalment three of GREG, the first with my Clover and the second with the Odyssey. The tension was pretty much exactly the same. 

   

You can see, the square I crocheted with the Odyssey just peeking out from behind.

I would say that my Clover square is a bit tidier though, but I’m putting that down to practice and getting used to the rounded tip.

   
  

Here’s the Odyssey next to my Clover. Quite a size difference!

Over all, I’m very happy with the Furls Odyssey. I’ve wanted a Furls hook for a long time, but the price tag has put them firmly out of reach, especially with shipping, and then customs charges on top. (Dutch customs love to charge VAT then “administration costs” which are usually double the VAT value.) The Odyssey is the perfect compromise. A great hook, affordable, and beautiful!

If you want one, they’re available from Furls directly for $24.95 USD (plus shipping of course).

Do you have an Odyssey? What do you think?

How-To: DIY Photography Backdrop

If you’re anything like me, you have backdrop envy.  You see photos all over Pinterest and ask yourself: How do they have such beautiful surfaces?  How come my yellow flowery tablecloth isn’t this nice?  Well, that’s because it’s magic.  Magic and lies I tell you!

My beautiful shabby chic

It had never occurred to me for one second that people were faking it, I honestly thought I was the only person in the entire world with an ugly table/floor that was totally unsuitable to use for photographing my projects. (I have a lovely floor, by the way.  My husband laid it himself which makes it all the better!)

Well, no more! I’ve just finished my own fabulous “Fakedrop” and I’m going to show you how I did it.  I spent weeks searching Etsy and other sites for perfect vinyl sheets to use as backdrops, but they’re fairly pricey and I couldn’t find anything local, meaning I’d likely be stung for import duty on top of the cost of the backdrop and then shipping.

So I decided that I could do this and I jumped on my bicycle and headed to the local hardware store to see what was on offer.  I went straight to the wallpaper aisle and found a great white worn timber print, along with a roll of seriously strong double sided tape and a sheet of the cheapest lightweight plywood I could find.  It was the sort of wood that you find in caravans, you know the stuff?

I then proved to the world how dutch I am by carrying a huge sheet of wood home under my bike under my arm.  I should have picked up a bunch of flowers on my way home, just for fun.

Here’s what you need:What you need to make your DIY Photography Backdrop: Sheet of lightweight plywood, wallpaper, double-sided tape and a Stanley KnifeA sheet of lightweight plywood, a roll of wallpaper that you love, a stanley knife to cut it all, plus some double sided tape.  You could also use wallpaper glue, but I didn’t want to wait around for it to dry, or clean up the mess.  You’ll also need some gaffer tape to hold it down on the back.

So what I did first was cut the length of ply in half, because it was about 1mx2m, so I really didn’t need something that large.  I just used the Stanley knife for that, so you don’t need a saw or anything, but watch your fingers!  Then I edged the ply with the double sided tape before cutting lengths of the wall paper (about 10cm overhang at each end).

stick the double sided tape down ready to apply the wallpaper

Then I carefully laid the wallpaper out so that it was square to the plywood then made sure it was pulled tight.  I folded it over the edges and taped it all down with gaffer tape.

the finished photography backdrop

I also used some clear tape at the corners to protect the paper a bit – it might not last too long kicking around my living room otherwise!

And all that was left was to start taking photos!

My beautiful shabby chic

And see how fake it is?

My beautiful shabby chic

You’re welcome!

All in all it cost me about 30 euros to make.  The wallpaper wasn’t cheap, but I’m sure you can find it cheaper at a large hardware store or online.  I wanted to make it while I was motivated, so didn’t mind the price tag.  And plus, if this one wears out I can make another.  Or I can use the wallpaper to cover something else!  I did use the leftover piece of timber to create a white reflector board too actually.  I just attached the wallpaper facedown instead.  Perfect!

Don’t forget to follow me on Social Media.  Instagram is where I hang out most, so I’d love to see you there!  Come share your Fakedrops if you have any, don’t forget to tag me: @miss__neriss

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