21.7.16

Shiny Happy Cotton Bag

This bag. Oh dear...

I'm not sure if you can say this about your own designs, but I  l o v e  it. And the combination of mint and hot pink doesn't hurt either. ;-)

byHaafner, crochet, bag, Wool and the Gang, Shiny Happy Cotton









Let me first elaborate a bit about this yarn... A while back I was gifted  g o r g e o u s  Shiny Happy Cotton by Wool and the Gang. I've been wanting to try this yarn for ages and oh man, I did NOT disappoint.

byHaafner, crochet,  Wool and the Gang, Shiny Happy Cotton
Firstly: I simply adore these colours. And the other colours for this range look every bit as yummy. Secondly, the yarn worked up like a dream, it really did, very soft yet very strong (ideal for this bag!). Really loved it. I will definitely be using it more often as there are not many 100% cotton yarns out there suitable for 5 mm hook or up, don't you think? Have you worked with this particular yarn before?

Back to the bag! In case you like it: I'm working on a pattern for it (and pondering about a name for it). So stay tuned. :-)

I'd looove to hear what's currently on your hook! 

Thanks for your lovely visit - much appreciated. Have a good day.

xHaafner




You can find the UK edition of my book below:

10.6.16

My book! Mandalas to Crochet

Hello dear reader,

I'm back with some happy news.
Or, news...? If you are on Instagram, chances are you've seen it popping up here and there already over the past months...

byHaafner, crochet, crochet book, mandalas, Haafner, Mandalas to Crochet




Anyway! My first crochet book is out! The title is Mandalas to Crochet and there's a UK and a US edition. (Plus a South African edition titled Hooked on Mandalas!).
So, the result of many hours of crocheting, designing, drawing and writing is now available - or rather, already since a couple of months... I really SHOULD update my blog more often...

byHaafner, crochet, mandala, mandalas to crochet, book, rugI'm happy to say that the book is absolutely packed with patterns for mandalas, borders and projects you can make with mandalas. Like the rug pictured above. All patterns come both in a written version an as a chart. Browse through the book with me if you like...



video


Later this year Mandalas to Crochet will also appear in translated editions in quite a few other countries, among which The Netherlands, Hungary, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia, France and - early 2017 - in Finland and Italy. I'm working on a dedicated page on this blog for a full overview.

'YES! I NEED YOUR BOOK IN MY LIFE.'
Hooray for that! Please note: The US and UK edition are both called Mandalas to Crochet and have practically identical covers. They have exactly the same contents BUT of course the US version (published by St. Martin's Griffin) uses American crochet terminology where as the UK version (published by Search Press) uses British terminology. The UK edition sold out very quickly, but is back in stock now after a reprint. :-)
Please bear this difference in mind if you're considering to buy.

Buy the US edition on Amazon.com! (American crochet terminology)




Buy the UK edition on Bol.com! (Bestel the Engelse editie op Bol.com)

Buy the US edition on Bol.com! (Bestel de Amerikaanse versie op Bol.com.)

Here's another sneak peek: the Leaves & Lace Blanket... I LOVED making this blanket. I used the gorgeous South African Vinnis Nikkim cotton yarn for it, kindly sponsored by Scaapi.

byHaafner, crochet, mandala, mandalas to crochet, book, blanket, plaid
Well, dear reader, I really hope you've enjoyed this little peek in my book...

Thanks for your lovely visit. I wish you all the best for the weekend & don't forget to crochet. :-)

2.3.16

My most favourite WiP!

Hi everyone,

I know, I know, it's been a long time... But I'm back and full of plans and inspiration for new blog posts! Later this week I have a lovely announcement to make (not a career move, not getting married, not getting divorced either, not relocating to a tropical island), but if you follow me on instagram, you probably know already what I'm talking about. ;-)

Meanwhile I really would like to share my favourite work in progress of this moment. And quite possibly my favourite work in progress EVER.

byHaafner, crochet, flower, pastel, bamboo yarn


In short the story behind it. I love sourcing new yarn, yes I do! And a while back I had the luck of revisiting my favourite yarn store: The Craft Company in Cascais, Portugal. (Here's their facebook and here the website.) If you're ever near, it's well worth a detour. Actually, I have a picture of (a small part of) the shop! Isn't this just pure eye candy...

byHaafner, Craft Company Cascais, knitting supplies, yarn
































So I came back with  lovely new yarns, among which BioBamboo of the Portuguese brand Rosários4. Incredibly soft, and the colours... Oh my word, they seemed to be made just for me. ;-)

byHaafner, yarn, bamboo yarn, BioBamboo, Rosários4


But as I had no idea what to make yet, I just purchased one ball of each desired colour. I thought this would be a brilliant yarn for a pattern of one my Japanese crochet books. (We all LOVE those, don't we?) After some pondering the subject and browsing through the books I choose a lovely pattern from a book of which the English subtitle reads Crochet motif of 27 items. I thought it would make a wonderful scarf.

byHaafner, crochet, pastel, bamboo yarn, Japanese crochet book

So I started crocheting. Soon however I fell head over heels in love EVEN MORE with both yarn and pattern, and most of all the wonderful combination of the two. Really, they work magic together.

It seemed pity to stick to the scarf idea. I mean, a scarf is okay and nice enough, but a BLANKET, well a blanket, that's just all comfort and snuggliness caught in yarn.

byHaafner, crochet, pastel, bamboo yarn, Japanese crochet book
































Luckily enough  for me I could order more of this lovely yarn at the Craft Company (thank you!) and soon I can continue crocheting the blanket. I can't wait to finish this one.

Anyway! I guess that's it for now. Hopefully we'll catch up later this week. :-)

Have a good day & thank you so much for your lovely visit.

3.11.15

A Darling Doily...

... Or a Mega Mandala... Not sure which name is more apt.

byHaafner, crochet, doily, mandala, pastel


I used a pattern from a Portuguese crochet magazine called Croché de Filé, nr. 32. I'm sorry, that's all the information I can find in it. I can't remember when I bought it exactly, but the year of publication is either 2013 or 2014.

byHaafner, crochet, mandala, doily, pastel



I made this piece recently as my contribution to Kathryn Vercillo's project Mandalas for Marinke: Kathryn's important and touching depression awareness project in memory of crochet blogger Wink from A Creative Being. It's great to see how many crocheters from around the world contributed to it.

byHaafner, crochet, doily, mandala, pastel














Thanks for your visit! So lovely to meet you here!
I wish you a happy day.

21.10.15

The Tale of the Dainty Dots Blanket #3 - Pattern and a Mini-Tutorial

First of all, THANK you for the kind words about my Dainty Dots Blanket. It’s lovely to read them all! Secondly, yes, I know, it took me a while to finally post the pattern for the squares… But hey, here it is: written and as a - sliiiightly wonky ;-) - chart! And with good news too, because I found a free online pattern that is very similar to the pattern for this border.

byHaafner, crochet, pattern, blanket, Dainty Dots

When I started to work on this blanket I took a fair amount of time to work out a pattern for circle-turned-into-a-solid-square. I wanted the circle stay round, but in most patterns the circles becomes square-ish when turned into a solid square. That’s because you’ll most often have to work three corner stitches in one stitch of the circle, giving the circle a bit of a corner. The problem is less visible when you’re making a square with chain stitches in the corner. Okay, I hope I didn’t loose you at this point? ;-)

Anyway! I'm quite pleased with my solution. And that is: you will work only ONE stitch in the circle to make the corner of the square, the other two corner stitches are worked in the base of that first corner stitch. (Hopefully the pictures and the chart will explain.) Eureka! Here's a mini-tutorial...

byHaafner, crochet, pattern, blanket, Dainty Dots, tutorial

byHaafner, crochet, pattern, blanket, Dainty Dots, tutorial

byHaafner, crochet, pattern, blanket, Dainty Dots, tutorial
byHaafner, crochet, pattern, blanket, Dainty Dots, tutorial




















So that’s my little trick. I was actually quite excited about it. :-) As I mentioned in my previous post, this particular blanket is so darn heavy the effect is a bit lessened. This has also to do with the fact that the white yarn is thicker and heavier than the blue and grey yarns used for the circles.

And now for the disclaimer... I am sure other crocheters might have come up with the same solution before me. Because once I thought of it, it seemed a pretty obvious thing to do, but I haven’t seen it before.

byHaafner, crochet, pattern, blanket, Dainty Dots



















Pattern Dainty Dots Square


byHaafner, crochet, pattern, blanket, Dainty Dots

Remarks beforehand
♦ You can either start a new round by chaining 2 (as one substitute dc) or – my favourite – by making a standing double crochet. With the latter you really can’t tell afterwards where you started the round. If you google it, you’ll find that there are several great tutorials online for this technique.
 The pattern calls for a join at the end of each round. My preferred method is to make a seamless join using a darning needle. (Again, you’ll find great tutorials for this online.) Alternatively you can make a slipstitch in the first st of the round.
 BLdc is a BackLoop double crochet: a regular dc, but worked in the backloop only.
 I used a brandless Thai cotton for the circles and Rico Creative Cotton for the square part and border. If I would have to recommend a yarn though: I think this pattern would work wonderful in the organic cotton yarn Vinnis Nikkim. If I would make another one, it would probably be my choice because I expect it to give the blanket a wonderful drape. (I used it for the mini-tutorial.)
 I used a 4 mm crochet hook, but you can basically use any hooksize that matches your choice of yarn. My motifs measure appr. 15 x 15 cm (6 x 6 inch) each,

Chart
Please don't copy or share or pin the chart elsewhere, but link to this page instead - thank you for linking with love! 

byHaafner, crochet, pattern, blanket, Dainty Dots
























Written pattern
To start
Magic circle, or, chain 4 and close with a slipstitch

Round 1
12 dc in ring, join

Round 2
2 BLdc in each dc (24 BLdc in total), join

Round 3
*1 BLdc, 2 BLdc*, repeat between * * along round (36 BLdc in total), join

Round 4
*1 BLdc, 1 BLdc, 2 BLdc*, repeat between * * along round (48 BLdc in total), join

Round 5
This is the round where the circle is worked into a square.
Change to second colour here.
You can start this round in any stitch.
*1 sc, 1 sc, 1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 hdc, 1 dc, 1 dc. Then make a corner: 1 dc, 1 dc made in the dc you’ve just made in the same round (so do not work this stitch in the previous round), 1 dc in first corner dc (so the 2nd and 3rd dc are both made in the 1st corner stitch). Then continue: 1 dc, 1 dc, 1 hdc, 1 hdc*, repeat between * * 3 times, join

Round 6
In this round the corners is made as follows: 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc. The treble ensures a sharp corner. If you like a more rounded corner, work a dc instead of a tr.
*1 dc in 13 consecutive stitches, in nxt st: 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc (corner made)*, repeat between * * 3 times, join

Round 7
* 1 dc in 15 consecutive stitches, in nxt st: 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc (corner made)*, repeat between * * 3 times, join.
Weave in ends.

Joining
Of course you can choose your preferred method. I joined  the motifs by single crocheting them together, right sides facing eachother, through both (front and back) loops of both squares.

Border
Okay, as I explained in my previous post I based the lacy part of the border loosely on a Japanese pattern. BUT, I’m happy to say that since then I discovered a VERY similar, free pattern on MyPicot.com. (A great source for all kinds of lovely patterns by the way.) Click here for the link. Although it’s actually for a blanket, you could fairly easily adapt the pattern as a border by just crocheting two lacy segments.
Before I crocheted the lacy segments of the border I made the solid part: five simple rounds of double crochet, with 3 dc in de corner stitch. Of course you could omit the solid part, but personally I always think it gives a clean look.

And then... Your blanket is ready!

byHaafner, crochet, pattern, blanket, Dainty Dots

byHaafner, crochet, pattern, blanket, Dainty Dots

byHaafner, crochet, pattern, blanket, Dainty Dots

byHaafner, crochet, pattern, blanket, Dainty Dots









So dear people, that’s it. I hope you like it. If you’re making a #daintydotsblanket yourself I’d LOVE to see it! Also, do comment below if something is not clear. I really try to respond asap, but life is rather hectic so I apologize in advance if it takes a while...

Many thanks for your lovely visit. Wishing you a happy day!


27.9.15

The Tale of the Dainty Dots Blanket #2 - The Big Reveal

Dear readers of this blog, dear accidental passersby, I hereby proudly present to you…
The Dainty Dots Blanket!

byHaafner, crochet, ganchillo, blanket, Dainty Dots,

Did you know…

- It took me one and a half year to complete? (Although to be fair I didn’t touch it for most part of last year.)
- It weighs almost four kilograms/8.8 lbs?
- Its measurements are appr. 2 x 2.1 m (appr. 6.6 x 6.9 feet)
- I’m really happy with my trick for turning a circle into a solid square?
- That I’m going to share this trick with you in my next post?
- The blues and greys are from a brandless cotton I bought at a Thai market?
- I sticked to only two rules while arranging the colours? (Namely: don’t join two squares which have the same colour and don’t join two dark colours.)
- I love big borders?


byHaafner, crochet, ganchillo, blanket, Dainty Dots,

Regarding the latter: As you can see I decided on a big border for this blanket. It consist of three parts: the solid one and then two parts lacy fans. It was a last minute choice, but I couldn't be happier with it. Though the border does somewhat outshine the rest of the blanket. ;-) I based the lacy part loosely on a pattern from a Japanese crochet book. Sorry I do not have more information about it. But basically you could adapt any pattern for a multiple row of fans, and use it as a border.


byHaafner, crochet, ganchillo, blanket, Dainty Dots,


















The basis for this blanket were the big blue and grey cotton yarn cakes. This yarn wasn't available in white at the time, so for that I used Rico Creative Cotton. Which is quite a bit heavier than the Thai cotton, but it worked.

byHaafner, crochet, ganchillo, blanket, Dainty Dots,

At the start I took a fair amount of time to work out a pattern for circle-turned-into-a-solid-square. I wanted the circle stay round, but in most patterns the circle becomes fairly square-ish when turned into a solid square. I'm quite pleased with my solution. Although the effect is a bit lessened here because the white is heavier than the coloured yarn. Ah well, can't have it all.

The funny (or stupid) thing is, when I unearthed it from its huge basket I was surpised how near-to-finishing it was. I was already halfway joining the motifs. With a big project like this I like to work for some hours in a row. I can't just steal thirty minutes here or there, like with a less substantial project. So, in the end it did all boil down to lack of time. But I enjoyed the finishing process thoroughly.

byHaafner, crochet, ganchillo, blanket, Dainty Dots,

Anyway, I hope you like it! Don't forget, next up on this blog is the pattern for the Dainty Dots Squares. (The squares, not the border, sorry!)

Thank you so much for visiting & have a lovely day.

15.9.15

The Tale of the Dainty Dots Blanket #1 - The Making Of

Number one? Yes, that’s right, this is going to be a mini-series about my recently finished blanket. Starting here and now with the making of…

 byHaafner, crochet, work in progress, blanket, circles,


At the basis for this blanket were these big blue and grey cotton yarn cakes I got in Thailand last year. I knew right away I wanted to use them for a blanket. (At first I also used the powder pink - pictured above, but I decided to throw it out.)

byHaafner, crochet, work in progress, blanket, circles,

Funnily enough, in the end I’ve only used a small part of it (the white yarn is cotton I bought here at home), so I've 
still got a HUGE basket filled to the brim with this lovely yarn (in other colours as well).

byHaafner, crochet, work in progress, blanket, circles,
Next up: the Dainty Dots Blanket Reveal (#2) and the Dainty Dots Pattern (#3), where I will also give suggestions for an alternative yarn. I’m rather pleased with something I’ve worked out for the pattern, my personal Eureka-moment crochet-wise, so stay tuned. :-)

For now I'd like to thank you for your lovely visit. Wishing you a happy day.