Announcement: Peacock Tail Bag CAL

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I am happy to announce a new crochet along starting this summer that I will be making video tutorials for. In August and September we will be making a beautiful bag with a peacock theme. The Peacock Tail Bag CAL is made using overlay crochet and is designed by the very talented Tatsiana from Lilla Bjorn Crochet.

Peacock-Feather_bag_yarn_4

Photo: Lilla Bjorn Crochet

Yarn

To make this bag you will need 6 balls of Scheepjes Linen Soft yarn in 5 colors; for the main color of the bag you will need 2 balls and of the other 4 colors you will need 1 ball of each. There are two kits available that contain everything you need to make your bag; one in a Peacock colorway and the other in a Pastel colorway as shown in the beautiful photo’s released by Tatsiana. Linen Soft is available from Wool Warehouse (UK/International), Paradise Fibers (US/CA) or your local Scheepjes stockist.

I am, as always, following my own color selection. I am using Linen Soft in the following colors: 2 balls of 614 as that is my main color, and 1 ball each of 622, 625, 626 and 627. These colors follow the general feel of the Peacock kit, but are lighter shades.

scheepjes linen soft

Other bits you need

If you have only the yarn you will come to the end of the crochet along and then not be able to use your bag. You need a few extra bits to complete it. You will need a bag handle, 2 30mm D-rings, an 18mm magnetic clasp, interfacing (not shown) and fabric for the lining. You can get all these bits from any supplier or make life easy for yourself and get the kit which includes everything you need. The kits go on sale July 21st from Wool Warehouse, be quick because I think they are going to be in high demand.

supplies

When do we start?

We start making our bag on Wednesday 17 August 2016 when the first part of the pattern of this six-week project is released. Each week there will be written instructions and full photo tutorials on Tatsiana’s blog as well as a video tutorial on my blog and YouTube channel.

linen soft yarn and peacock feather

Join & Show your work

To join the CAL, join the Official CCC Social Group on Facebook. Each week links to the written pattern and the video tutorials will be shared in the group. This is also THE place to show your beautiful work.

Hope to see you at the start of this amazing project!

With love,

Esther

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Last Dance on the Beach completed with all video tutorials & color list

The music is fading into the sunset as our Last Dance on the Beach comes to an end. It has been 14 beautiful weeks and the time has come to be proud of what we have made. It is with joy that I show you my two blankets; Last Dance in the Sea in Color Crafter (left) and Last Dance in the Sea in Merino Soft (right).

Looking back on 14 beautiful weeks

We started this special project by making 12 squares designed by 12 talented designers in loving memory of Wink; a young designer who could not find the light she was looking for and decided to leave this world for a better place.

Esther from Happy in Red started week 1 with a kelp square, Kirsten from Haak maar Raak continued in week 2 with a star stitch design, week 3 was designed by Tatsiana from Lilla Bjorn Crochet and had the sun setting in the waves, after which Atty from Atty’s Blog made even higher waves in week 4. Nerissa from Miss Neriss had the cutest seagull walking over our squares in week 5 and in week 6 we learned C2C from Carmen from Crafty Queens. Week 7 was all about drawing big hearts in the sand with Maria from 50 shades of 4-ply and week 8 we broke the water with big boulders designed by Jellina from Jellina’s Creations. We had more animals walking over our squares with Dedri from Look at What I Made as she had crabs walking in the sand in week 9 who we happily walking through the ripples from the faux knit stitch in week 10 designed by Sarah from Crafts from the Cwtch. The end was coming near with the squares from week 11 as Annelies from Vicarno designed stones stacked up high on the beach and week 12 designed by Tammy from CanaDutch were the waves washed up against the shore. We joined the squares in week 13 and in this final part we are making a border around our blanket.

Each week I collected images that reminded me of the squares. Looking at my mood board for Last Dance I see the sea in every aspect of this blanket. We will never look at the ocean in the same way again.

One more time, how it all began….

Last Dance on the Beach is a special project for many people for many reasons. Some see the blanket as a tribute to someone they have lost, others see it as a recognition for those struggling with mental health difficulties. Personally, I look at Last Dance on the Beach as coming full circle; I would not have started making crochet videos if it were not for Wink.

Almost two years ago I impulsively joined my very first CAL. I had only been crocheting for a few months and I saw lovely autumn colored Scheepjes ROMA yarn to accompany the Scheepjes CAL 2014. I bought it because I fell in love with the warm colors; I had never used Scheepjes yarn before so I had no idea that it would be such a delight to work with. With great excitement I looked forward to the release of a new square each week. I enjoyed making every square and I posted my completed squares in the Facebook group weekly. I noticed that there were women who were struggling with the squares and some were even giving up. Some blamed themselves for not being competent enough, others blamed Marinke for writing bad patterns. I thought to myself: “If only they could see how to do it, where to put the stitches, what to watch out for…”. The idea grew in my head to make video tutorials that would show how to actually make the squares and because the idea did not want to go away, I decided to act on it!

Scheepjes CAL 2014 worked with ROMA in autumn colors

I contacted Marinke and asked her permission to make videos that would support her designs and illustrate how to make them. To my amazement she said “yes”. Remember, at this point I was a total stranger to her, I had nothing on my crochet-CV and I had no references whatsoever. She trusted me with her designs and let me create my very first set of videos. And the rest as they say, is history. Looking back, Marinke started me on my journey of video tutorials. If she had said “no” I would not be here writing this to you now, not be a Scheepjes Blogger and I would not have made the videos for Sophie’s Universe, Flight of Fancy or Last Dance on the Beach.

I met Marinke only once, during a meet-and-greet of the CAL she designed for Scheepjes in 2014. Here are some photos from Marinke’s blog at the meet-and-greet sessions. If you look very closely, you will find me in one of them.

Photo: A Creative Being

Photos: Marinke Slump – A Creative Being

Video tutorials

Each week I made 4 video tutorials to show you how to work the squares, join them and make the border. The videos are available in English and Dutch and left and right handed. All videos are to be found on the dedicated Dutch and English video pages on my blog or my YouTube Channel.

Color list

I have made two blankets; a Dance in the Sea in Color Crafter and a Dance in the Sea in Merino Soft. Each week I played with color in my Merino Soft afghan, resulting in a lovely mix of 48 unique squares; no two squares are the same. Also my border I made using two colors for that finishing touch. All information regarding my colorway for each square as well as the hook size I used is given in my color distribution.

merino soft last dance on the beach sea kit

With my Dance in the Sea in Color Crafter blanket I followed the colors listed in the pattern. Also this blanket is just beautiful.

Yarn kits

We are at the end of this project, but maybe you are still at the beginning. If you have fallen in love with this blanket there are kits available in two yarns and in three color ways. You can choose a base kit with Color Crafter yarn or a luxury kit with Merino Soft yarn. The three color ways are Dance in the Sea, Dance in the Rain and Dancing under the stars. Both kits have yarn and a special edition label to add to your afghan. If you choose for the luxury kit you will also get lots of other goodies. Kits are available from Paradise Fibers (USA/CA), Wool Warehouse (UK/International), Deramores (UK/International), or your local Scheepjes stockist.

Finished but not the end

We have come to the end of this project, but I sincerely hope that this will not be the last project that we do together. I hope to see you again for a new project soon. And in the mean time, dance like no one is watching!

With love,

Esther

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Little Box of Crochet July 2016 – Peacock Feathers

The July 2016 box of Little Box of Crochet is already my third box and still I enjoy the anticipation of what will be in the box. This time I knew that the designer is Christa Veenstra, and knowing her I had a suspicion what yarn would be in the box and I was right.

little box of crochet

The box was jam packed with Scheepjes yarn and one of my favorite yarns to boot. I love cotton yarn because of the awesome stitch definition, it’s durability and in the case of Scheepjes Catona, it’s sheen. Catona comes in cute little 25g balls (like the 5 balls included in the box) and larger 50g balls. The small balls are just perfect for smaller projects where you just need a bit of yarn of a particular color; projects like amigurumi animals and peacock feathers.

little box of crochet july 2016

The box this month was so full that there wasn’t even room for tissue paper! The box contains no less than 5 balls of yarn (those cute little 25g balls of Catona), a booklet containing the pattern by Christa Veenstra from The Curio Craftsroom and fellow Scheepjes Blogger, a needle, a 2.5mm crochet hook, colorful pins, a Korutumi stitch marker and 5 labels for marking your empty LBC-boxes so that you know what is inside them. Very thoughtful of Amanda to send us these labels, I have already attached them to my boxes.

Gremlins in the pattern….

I was working on the pattern and noticed that there are a few gremlins in there. Just to help you out, here a few small tips and errata’s.

There are 5 balls of 25g Scheepjes Catona yarn in the box. According to the pattern one of the balls should be 400 Petrol Blue. I suspect that that color was all out, because I had 261 Capri Blue in my box. So my Color C is a different color to the pattern. But that’s ok, because the two shades are very close together.

We first make 5 small peacock feathers. These are just too cute for words, but the words got a little mixed up. I talked to Christa, and she send me the correct version of round 4 of the peacock feather. It should read:

“Rnd 4 (yarn D): There are 5dc of round 1 left that you haven’t worked in yet. Start with 1dc in the 1st of those 5dc, 1dc, (1dc, picot3, 1dc) in next st, 2dc, 1dc (this dc is worked into the same st you worked the 1st dc of rnd 2 in), 2dc (=in 1st dc of rnd 2), 2dc (=in 1st dc of rnd 3), 4dc, (1htr, 2tr, 1htr) in next st, 4dc, 2dc, 2dc (=in final dc of rnd 2), 1dc (=same dc you also worked the final dc of rnd 2 in). Close with an invisible join.”

The pattern didn’t say which color to use for the long stitches in round 5, I used color B and then everything works out wonderfully and you have 5 lovely feathers. The feather fob also had no color listed, so I used Color A for that.

little box of crochet peacock feathers

Peacock Pincushion

The pincushion is worked by closing each round with a slip stitch. I am too lazy for that so I worked my pincushion and fob amigurumi-style; so in a spiral. I closed the end with a very tight invisible join and then you really can’t tell that I cheated. Stuff both the pincushion and the fob like crazy for best results.

Little_Box_Crochet_Peacock_Feather_5

For the fob I changed the color for the join to Color E and the cord I changed to Color D because I thought that gave more definition.

No more looking for keys!

I am ALWAYS looking for my keys, at least once a day. I never seem to leave them in the same place twice. To make life a little easier for me and also more beautiful at the same time, I have decided to connect the fob to my keys. This way, at least in theory, I can find them more easily.

little box of crochet feather fob

There is a lot of yarn in this month’s box. If you want to you could make more than one pincushion or fob.

little box of crochet peacock pincushion

I am getting used to this little surprise every month. I am already looking forward to the August box, but I know that I will not be home when the mail man comes to bring it. I’m sure my neighbor will have it waiting for me when I return.

With love,

Esther

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Mandala Madness completed with all video tutorials, colors list and yardage

Mandala madness crochet along designed by Helen Shrimpton is completed. In a long journey over 18 weeks that took us through a few bumpy bits and sharp turns we all came out reasonably unscathed the other side. Time to show you my completed mandala.

mandala madness

Yarn

I used Scheepjes Sunkissed and Scheepjes Cotton 8 with a 3mm (D-3) hook to make my mandala. I had no plan for my list of colors or color distribution, I just took it week by week using leftovers from other projects and yarn from my stash. I ended up using 11 shades of Sunkissed and 8 shades of Cotton 8; that is a very bright total of 19 colors. No wonder my mandala is such a color explosion. I hadn’t realized that there were that many colors until I counted them. You can find all the details of which colors I used for each round in my color chart.

Mandala Madness completed - 2

I have done some calculation on how much yarn you need of each color to make a mandala similar to mine. Please realize that this is an estimate based on my personal tension and style of crochet. If your tension is much different to mine you may need more or less yarn than I needed. Both Sunkissed and Cotton 8 come in 50g balls and have a running length of 170m per ball. I have calculated the yarn amount I used per color and rounded it up to get the number of balls. Inevitably there will be some left-overs from certain colors. It turns out that there is a whopping 4km of yarn in my mandala. WOW!!!

Yarn & number  Color name  Yarn amount  Number of balls
Sunkissed – 04 poolside 240m 2
Sunkissed – 05 seaside 340m 2
Sunkissed – 10 lavender ice 290m 2
Sunkissed – 12 beach hut orange 170m 1
Sunkissed – 13 cherry ice 460m 3
Sunkissed – 14 spearmint green 235m 2
Sunkissed – 15 noonday sun 360m 3
Sunkissed – 17 summer rain 205m 2
Sunkissed – 19 candy floss 150m 1
Sunkissed – 20 beach hut pink 190m 2
Sunkissed – 21 ultra violet 170m 1
Cotton 8 – 508 soft yellow 105m 1
Cotton 8 – 652 grey-blue 365m 3
Cotton 8 – 661 purple 25m 1
Cotton 8 – 669 olive 210m 2
Cotton 8 – 716 orange 30m 1
Cotton 8 – 717 bordeaux 230m 2
Cotton 8 – 720 fuchsia 100m 1
Cotton 8 – 721 heath 135m 1

If you prefer, you can also use one of the yarn packs that are available for this CAL in Scheepjes Color CrafterScheepjes Stone Washed XL and Scheepjes Merino Soft, available from Deramores and Wool Warehouse.

Video tutorials

Each week I had a video tutorial for you to show you how to work the stitches. In the beginning I was miles ahead of you, but as time went by and our mandala grew in size my time seemed to shrink and at the end I even fell a little bit behind. The series of all video tutorials is now completed. You can find all the videos for Mandala Madness on my YouTube channel and on my blog grouped on this dedicated video page.

mandala madness

A few numbers

Just for fun I have tried to capture my mandala in a series of numbers, I am an engineer after all.

  • diameter: 150cm
  • weight: 1200g
  • yarn used: 4km
  • colors used: 19
  • size of crochet hook: 3mm
  • video playtime: 16 hours
  • recording & editing: 140 hours
  • days working on project: 180 days

Looking back

If you would like to look back at the road traveled with my mandala you can read all the bus stops along the way from the announcement to part 1; part 2; part 3; part 4; part 5; part 6; part 7; part 8; part 9; part 10; part 11; part 12; part 13; part 14; part 15; part 16 and last weeks part 17.

It has been a pleasant journey but all things come to an end. I hope to travel with you again on my next project.

With love,

Esther

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