About It's all in a Nutshell

I am crazy about so many things! Crocheting is a big hobby, but also being outside in my garden or my vegetable garden. I help out at my local animal shelter and I have a job and family to run. But luckily it all fits in my nutty life.

Sophie’s Universe: THE BOOK!

When I heard that Dedri was publishing her fabulous Sophie’s Universe as a book, my mind went to The Lord of the Rings were one purpose brought Elves, Dwarfs, Men and Hobbits together and united them despite their differences. Somehow Sophie’s Universe has done the same. I wouldn’t be surprised if more than a million people have and still are making a Sophie; a million people from ten thousands of families, thousands of nations and hundreds of countries. How wonderful that one blanket can bring us all together.

sophie's universe the book

My journey with Sophie

It has been almost two years to the day that I asked Dedri if I could make video tutorials for her Sophie’s Garden. I asked Dedri for permission for Sophie’s Garden, NOT Sophie’s Universe. At this point I had only done video tutorials for Marinke’s CAL in 2014 and I had little on my Crochet CV. Dedri took an enormous leap of faith when she said “yes” to my request. To this day I think Dedri didn’t quite read my email properly, because she replied saying that she would love for me to make video tutorials for Sophie’s Universe. I thought to myself “ok…, that was more than I bargained for!”

Sophie’s Universe put me on the crochet map, after Sophie I have done more fabulous projects and worked with many talented designers. Dedri blessed me when she gave me permission to make the video tutorials for her, and I believe that my tutorials have blessed her in return. I will always treasure my signed copy with a personal note from Dedri.

sophie's universe book

My Sophie’s

My first Sophie is currently living with her creator; Dedri has the Sophie I made in rainbow colors with Scheepjes Cotton 8 yarn.

sophie's universe in rainbow colors

I am currently working on a second Sophie in pure white, my Snow White Sophie. My second Sophie is a summer holiday project because I only work on her during the summer holiday. Inevitably this means that it is going to take me a few years to finish her. She is currently in storage till the next summer holiday, but for somethings as special as Sophie The Book she is allowed out of her winter hibernation.

Sophie and book

Where to get your copy

I know that many of you are wanting to have a copy of Sophie’s Universe The Book. The book is available from Wool Warehouse, Deramores, Bol.com (NL) and many other bookshops and yarn retailers. The first print was sold out in record time, but happily a new print is now available.

Win a copy of Sophie’s Book

I have two copies of Sophie’s Universe The Book to give away to two lucky people. Go to my Facebook page, and below the post about this book share a photo of your Sophie’s Universe or if you don’t have a Sophie of your own then share a Sophie that you love. I will randomly choose two lucky people in the comments and announce the winner on March 30th, 2017.

Sophie's Universe Book

With love,

Esther

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This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure and copyright policy. All opinions are my own and I only link to products I use or would use. Thank you for using the links on my blog and supporting my work.

© COPYRIGHT IT’S ALL IN A NUTSHELL. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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My love for lace shawls

Many of you may not know this because I don’t really talk about it, but I LOVE lace shawls and wraps. I don’t make them nearly as much I as I would like to, but now I have the perfect excuse. I treated myself to luxury yarn when I was at Unravel a few weeks ago and I am going to make a lovely lace shawl with it.

I bought many goodies at the fair, more on the other goodies later, for now I show you this rightly named Scrumptious 4ply yarn by Fyberspates. It is a 4-ply/sport superwash merino/silk blend yarn and I have it in the colors Charcoal, Gold, and Oyster. This is the kind of yarn that you just want to pet, it’s SO soft and pretty. I’ll be honest, it did put me back a bit, this yarn does not come cheap. But on the other hand, I only visit yarn fairs once or twice a year and there is no fun going to a fair if you can’t buy yarn! Unless of course you go with other people and help them to buy yarn 😀

So what am I going to make with it? I have bought myself a fabulous pattern by a lady I really admire for her lace shawls, Bernadette Ambergen. She makes the most delicate designs with great eye for detail; her designs are exquisite. She has both crochet and knit designs, showing her limitless skills. I can’t even knit socks, so a knitted lace shawl is out of my league at the moment, but I still had a hard time choosing which of the crochet designs I would choose. I love Mila, Misitu, Wisteria, and Ilvy too. What a problem, I love ALL of them!

I finally chose Sammy because the design consists of 3 parts that I can use with the 3 colors of yarn I have. Once color for the solid section, one for the first lace edge and one for the second lace edge. Now comes the next hard decision, which to use where….

Sammy lace shawl by Berniolie (Bernadette Ambergen)

I will work in the background on this shawl and will show you when I have it finished. But first, Nuts about Squares!

With love,

Esther

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This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure and copyright policy. All opinions are my own and I only link to products I use or would use. Thank you for using the links on my blog and supporting my work.

© COPYRIGHT IT’S ALL IN A NUTSHELL. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

“Ice Waves” Argyle Color Pooling Blanket – Free Crochet Pattern

Look at that! My argyle color pooling blanket is all done. It was a cold day when I photographed this blanket with my boys skating on a frozen pond, we had SO much fun! The blue colors of the blanket together with the wave pattern and the icy day inspired me to name my blanket “Ice Waves“. In this post all the information, pattern and resources you need to make your own Ice Waves argyle blanket.

argyle color pooling blanket

Resources

Materials & size

You can easily vary the length of your blanket by using more or less yarn to make a longer or shorter blanket. Here are the amounts I used to make a blanket of 115cm wide and 150cm long.

scheepjes sock yarn

Abbreviations

This pattern uses US crochet terms. If you are more familiar with UK crochet terms, please see this conversion table for the most common terms.

  • ch – chain
  • dc – double crochet
  • fhdc – foundation half double crochet
  • ss – slip stitch
  • st – stitch

Important note

When you make an argyle color pooling blanket using my pattern, please note that this type of project is VERY dependent on tension. Because we all have our own tension and way of working, your blanket will be similar to mine but will not be exactly the same. Your blanket may be wider or longer or the argyle pattern can cross faster or slower. This is the beauty of color pooling, we all make something unique.

argyle color pooling blanket


“Ice Waves” Argyle Color Pooling Blanket – Free Crochet Pattern

© Esther Dijkstra 2017. All rights reserved.

The pattern purposefully does not give a specific number of stitches, but rather a way of working. This is because color pooling is tension specific. I have a detailed post about (argyle) color pooling, what it is, how it works and what the requirements are for the yarn and how to join a new ball to your work. THE most important thing however is consistency, keep your tension as steady as possible to ensure an even gradient in the argyle pattern.

Argyle Center

With Scheepjes Invicta Matterhorn and a 3mm hook do the following:

  1. Investigate your yarn and find the color sequence.
  2. Make a slip knot on your hook at the start of a color sequence. Choose a point that is easy to identify, something that is impossible to miss.
  3. Work a row of foundation hdc stitches using 2 full color sequences. Stop with the foundation stitches when you have the same color yarn on your hook as you started with in step 2.
  4. ch2 (counts as 1dc), turn and work 1dc in each stitch until you have the same color yarn on your hook as you started with in step 2.
  5. Undo 1 stitch.
  6. ch2, turn and and work 1dc in each stitch till you get to the end of the row.
  7. Repeat step 6. After about 10 rows you will start to see a pattern emerge.
  8. KEEP YOUR TENSION STEADY!
  9. Attach new yarn at the correct point
  10. Continue till your project is the size you want it to be. Then tie off and work away your yarn tails.
  11. There will be foundation stitches left unworked. Cut the stitches off at about 5cm from your work. Undo the stitches till you get to the start of your fabric. Work away the starting yarn tail you just created.

I also have a video showing how to work my method for argyle color pooling. I hope this video can help to take away any final doubts or questions you may have.

Border

When your blanket is large enough work a border around the blanket as a finishing touch. There are 3 border rounds on the long side of the blanket and 6 on the short side.

  1. Attach yarn to the top of the blanket where you finished the argyle pattern, * ch2 (counts as 1dc), and work 1dc in every stitch along the short side of the blanket *. Turn and repeat from * two more times to work 3 rows of dc in total.
  2. Repeat step 1 at the other side of the blanket. This will mean that you will work in the bottom of the fhdc stitches.
  3. Work ss along the two other edges of the blanket in preparation of the final border rounds. Work 5 ss for every 3dc’s. The process is not an exact science, see this video for more details.
  4. Attach yarn in any stitch, ch2 (counts as 1dc), and work 1dc in each stitch. When you get to a corner, work 3dc in the corner stitch. Mark the 2nd of the 3 corner stitches. Continue all the way round and close with a ss on the first st. DO NOT turn your work.
  5. ch2, (counts as 1dc), and * work 1dc in each stitch till the marked stitch, 5dc in the marked stitch, mark 3rd of these 5dc stitches. * Repeat from * on the other 3 edges. Close with a ss on first st.
  6. Repeat step 5
  7. Work away all yarn tails.
  8. You can wash your blanket in the washing machine if you like, the Matterhorn yarn is a sock yarn and easy to maintain.

When you have added the border, the blanket will look something like this.

argyle blanket


The photo’s in this post were taken at a local water mill close to my home. It was a cold day in January and I was SO COLD, but it was just magic with my boys.

The ice was thick enough to skate and walk on. I am soooo wobbly on the ice because I don’t trust my balance. My boys held my hand to walk over the ice to take this photo.

color pooling blanket

It was a magic time with my family. Feel free to share your magic crochet moments on my Facebook page or tag me in one of your post on Instagram. You can also use #itsallinanutshell to help me find it.

With love,

Esther

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This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure and copyright policy. All opinions are my own and I only link to products I use or would use. Thank you for using the links on my blog and supporting my work.

© COPYRIGHT IT’S ALL IN A NUTSHELL. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS PATTERN IS AVAILABLE FOR UNLIMITED PERSONAL USE. YOU MAY PRINT A COPY OF THE PATTERN OR KEEP A DIGITAL COPY FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. DO NOT REPRODUCE OR SELL MY PATTERNS (EITHER DIGITALLY OR IN PRINT). DO NOT POST MY PATTERNS ONLINE, EITHER AS A COMPLETE DOCUMENT OR IN PART. PLEASE REFER BACK TO THIS PATTERN BY LINKING TO IT FROM YOUR BLOG OR WEBSITE. YOU MAY SELL ITEMS THAT YOU MAKE WITH MY PATTERN AS LONG AS YOU CREDIT ME AS THE DESIGNER. TO SHOP OWNERS AND YARN SELLERS : IT IS NOT ALLOWED TO MAKE KITS WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. PLEASE DO NOT PRINT COPIES TO DISTRIBUTE WITH YARN SALES AS THIS IS AN INFRINGEMENT OF COPYRIGHT. THE COPYRIGHT OF THIS FREE CROCHET PATTERN IS PROTECTED BY SCHEEPJES.COM.

Nuts about Squares CAL – Meet the testers!

Nuts about Squares CAL will start soon, but before we do I would like to take a moment to look back on the road that has brought the project to where it is today. In the past year I have selected squares, yarn, colors, determined yarn amounts, etc. etc. etc. A CAL is a whole process that takes time and needs to be done with care. I have not done it all alone, and today I would like to take a moment to share my appreciation for the lovely ladies that were involved.

Lynn & Laurene

When I first thought of doing my own CAL I ran the idea past Lynn and Laurene. They were enthusiastic and urged me to continue. We selected squares, contacted designers, thought about yarns and colors. Laurene inspired some of the colors for Nuts about the Earth blanket. Lynn inspired the colors for Nuts about the Sky and she also made the sample blanket. The Nuts about the Sky sample blanket will go to live with Lynn when Nuts about Squares CAL is finished.

ChiChi and Betty

ChiChi and Betty helped me to determine and confirm yarn amounts for the different colorways. ChiChi used her own colors of Scheepjes Color Crafter and Betty used Scheepjes Cocktail.

Here are ChiChi’s squares, still a WIP at this point, but it is going to be awesome when done! She used Scheepjes Color Crafter in the following combination for Colors A to F: Weert (1001), Heerenveen (1203), Dokkum (1302), Texel (1019), Wolvega (1099), and Rotterdam (1063).

Foto courtesy of ChiChi

In addition to making crochet squares, Betty is also helping me to check all the Dutch translations that I am making for all you Dutch ladies. I am SO grateful for the help because Dutch is not my native language.


Åza & Minno

Åza and Minno only became involved towards the end of the preparations for Nuts about Squares CAL. They had the almost impossible task of making the Nuts about the Earth sample blanket in only 5 weeks. They worked so hard and they did it! When Nuts about Squares is finished the Nuts about the Earth sample blanket will belong to Åza.

The girls loved the blanket so much that they decided to make a second blanket between the two of them, this time for Minno. Minno selected slightly different colors to the Earth blanket to give it more of an island feeling. She used the following Scheepjes Stone Washed Colors A to F: Brown Agate (822), Boulder Opal (804), Garnet (810), Rose Quartz (820), Corundum Ruby (808), and Moon Stone (801). Just look at how lovely the squares look in pink colors.

Foto courtesy of Minno


I want to thank all these wonderful ladies from the bottom of my heart. Your contributions have been invaluable to me.

With love,

Esther

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This post contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosure and copyright policy. All opinions are my own and I only link to products I use or would use. Thank you for using the links on my blog and supporting my work.

© COPYRIGHT IT’S ALL IN A NUTSHELL. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The copyright of Nuts about Squares is protected by Scheepjes.com