October Mystery Pattern

There’s one week left in October. I don’t have a new pattern ready for this month. I haven’t published a new pattern since October 11, when I published all 6 patterns in the eBook More in the Ocean. It feels really weird to have so many days go by between publishing.

Since I started designing patterns 570 days ago, I have published 249 designs to Ravelry which averages to 1 new pattern every 2.3 days. I don’t know if Ravelry includes eBooks in that number (I have 15 eBooks listed). I only have 109 active listings on Etsy – I’ve bundled things when possible to keep fees down and some of the small squares just aren’t available on that platform yet. I’ll keep working on that.

Each pattern includes written line-by-line instructions for both techniques (interlocking and overlay mosaic) and a chart for each technique as well. The mosaic charts have X’s (there are still a few patterns that I haven’t updated yet; I’ll keep working on that too).

I haven’t had to rely on games or gimmicks to keep engagement up in my Facebook group or on my Instagram feed because I just have new content to share all the time. I am learning as I go and I am trying to be a full-time marketer as well as pattern designer as well as website creator as well as pattern support as well as teacher for newbies as well as…. you get the point.

So, when I realized I would have a big gap between new patterns I decided to create a game for my Facebook group! There’s still time for you to join!

I created a quick mystery pattern and posted it in my Facebook group for free. Thank you to the 100+ comments that have kept it bumped up for everyone to see! Tonight I will create a new post asking to see everyone’s creations. It is a very small piece and doesn’t take long to work up. One self-proclaimed “slow-crocheter” said it only took her 2.5 hours. I think it took me about 45 minutes – but I also had the benefit of knowing what I was making.

This mystery pattern is ONLY mosaic crochet this time. I was hoping it would encourage some of you to try something new and it is the more popular technique in the group. Plus, I really liked the solid look for this pattern so I didn’t want the interlocking mesh dots over the whole piece. Maybe next time I will get the group to learn solid interlocking sections!

If you share your photo in the thread that I haven’t created yet (wait about 12 hours for it to be October 24 here) then you will be entered to win a free pattern of your choice!

I hope you enjoy these little games while you wait for the next pattern. I have a few really awesome ones on the way!

Yarn and Crochet Projects

One thing I’ve learned over the past year or so of designing is that designers have names. I seriously hadn’t really thought about the person behind the pattern before. I was not the type to buy a pattern because there’s so many free patterns out there, why bother?

I also didn’t buy yarn.

I have bought so much yarn in the past year and a half! It’s a almost embarrassing 😅 but I have learned a lot about yarn weight and material and yardage. And I have decided I do have yarn preferences!

Last night I made my first order from Lion Brand Yarn online. They gave me a bunch of points and a code to share. I don’t know how many loyalty programs I am part of now. This code is supposed to get you $5 off, and I think it gives me a coupon as well. If I had known there were codes I might have asked for someone to give me their code before I ordered.

When my grandma taught me to crochet around age 8, we went to Walmart and she let me pick out a pretty skein of yarn and the appropriate hook. In the next 20+ years I would buy approximately 4 skeins of yarn. That’s it.

I was given scrap yarn from my grandma and her friends. My mom told people she knew that I liked to craft with yarn so they would give me their scraps too. I had quite a stash by the time I met my husband.

A bag I made in high school. No pattern. Pockets on outside and inside. Button closure. All double crochet.

He also knows how to crochet (learned at a young age) so he also had a few bags of yarn when we met. Our yarn stashes mixed together but since we were both in university we didn’t really find time to use the stash. There was no point in buying new yarn.

People still kept giving us yarn – scrap balls, tightly rolled or random skeins of “new” yarn that had been out of production for many years. At one of the houses we rented, the previous tenants bailed on a few months rent and left all their stuff; 2 or 3 giant bags of yarn was added to our growing collection.

I made a pair of mittens one year. My husband crocheted me a bookmark when we were dating. The craft was always there in the background but never really a focus for us.

Then, after a few babies, I picked up my crochet hook again. I needed something to help me focus on more than motherhood. Maybe you don’t understand that concept. That’s ok. I love my children; I was drowning in motherhood.

I challenged myself to learn some new stitches. I learned how to read written patterns. I learned how to use those charts made up of weird symbols. I learned how to properly weave in my ends. I learned how to change colors. I made my first sweater. And then freehanded another. I learned from YouTube and a few magazines. It was a lot of self-determination that I could meet a challenge and succeed and grow.

I learned c2c (corner to corner) and made this blanket for my daughter. I used a random picture/chart I found online. I mostly planned on using up some of the yarn I already had but I did not have any colors suitable for daddy pig. I think this project opened the floodgates for me to start buying yarn.

Mug for size reference

After I finished a blanket for my firsborn I needed to make one for my son. I liked the c2c but wanted to learn another technique, so this one is a single crochet graphgan. When I began this project I was pregnant with my 3rd and I really thought I could get it done before she came. I was wrong.

This patient boy had to wait nearly a year for this blanket to be his! He was pretty excited to see it finished but, just like the Peppa Pig blanket, neither child actually wants to use the blanket I made them.

Also, copyright laws didn’t even occur to me. I have learned a lot about that topic but I still feel unsure and confused about the details and nuances. “Personal use” might apply, I am not sure.

I have not created a blanket specifically for my 3rd child yet. She is 2 already and I have crocheted more in the last year and a half than the last 10 years combined!

Seriously, these photos below are things I have personally made in the last 18 months. They are not in chronological order. Some are things I made with my cool new knitting machine. And although most of my projecs have been of my own patterns there are a few pieces I made from someone else’s pattern. I am kind of astounded seeing it all together like this. No wonder I’ve started buying yarn!

If I hadn’t started designing patterns I think I still would have crocheted a few things but probably not THIS many things! And I can even think of a few things that didn’t make it into these pictures (like Remi’s Buzz Lightyear Sweater and a scarf that will be released soon but I can’t show you quite yet.

You can find a list of my patterns here on my website or you can purchase from Ravelry or Etsy. I appreciate every single purchase and I am in awe that I have repeat customers!

Anyway, what’s the point of all this? Basically I wanted to compile a photo collage for myself and then decided it might be something you are all interested in seeing too. Apparently it is good marketing to show you all that I am a real person. 🤷‍♀️🤣 I promise, I am real.

And that code from Lion Brand made me debate on whether I should share it or not. I decided I needed a long blog entry if I was going to share a code that might get me a discount on yarn. So here it is, my long entry to prove I love yarn and always need more! Hahaha and also I give you permission to buy more too! 😉

Seahorse Dance

I used to think seahorses were mythical creatures like unicorns. They amaze me! They are so tiny and delicate looking. These seahorses are dancing a love-dance. Maybe the father will carry some babies soon (see, another reason they sound like mythical creatures!).

I often wished I could make my husband do the pregnant part of having our children. I love my babies but I hated pregnancy. I started feeling sick before I knew I was pregnant and it only ended when the baby came out.

My first baby come a month early. I couldn’t sleep one night and suddenly my water broke. It’s common in movies because it’s exciting and dramatic but in real life less than 10% of births begin with the Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM). Preterm PROM (when your waters break before 37 weeks) is even rarer and most statistics say it occurs in 1-2% of births. I was definitely not ready for my baby at 36 weeks but that’s life.

I wrote a bit more about Alice in a post last year:

When I was nearing the end of my 2nd pregnancy I truly had no idea when I would go into labor since I had been so blindsided the first time. I was thankful when I made it past the mark of having an early baby and he came at exactly 39 weeks. Remington was a nice, healthy baby boy: 9 lbs, 3 oz / 4167.38 g.

My third child delayed her entrance. Eleven days after her due date I was induced with Melody. She was inside me for almost 6 weeks longer Alice had been and she had the weight to prove it! Alice was born 6 lbs 13 oz / 3090 g and Melody was 9 lbs 11 oz / 4394.18 g when she was born.

Here’s a way-too-personal photo of my giant pregnant self. I was ready, but Melody wasn’t born for another full month after this photo!

My 3rd pregnancy – Melody stayed in there for another month after this picture!

Anyway, back to the crochet…

I originally drew this pattern to be included in my eBook, “More in the Ocean” but when I was finished I realized I had started with the wrong chart size! All the patterns in that eBook have a chart size of 121 x 121 and this pattern is 161 x 161.

I still wanted six patterns in that eBook so I was forced to try again on the merman pattern. I had pretty much given up on getting him right and was going to put seahorses in the eBook instead. This mistake redeemed itself and now we have “Trident” in the eBook AND this larger baby blanket pattern with seahorses!

Some people have different ideas on what size a baby blanket is anyway. So they may be more pleased with this larger size. Other people are joining the squares together to create an adult-sized blanket and may find it difficult to add this pattern into the mix.

I can’t wait to see your beautiful creations with yarn. My tester, cyncitycrochets, used some pretty neat ombre yarn in this sample. White is used as the Main Color (you can tell because those outside border lines are white). The Wrong Side (WS) looks pretty awesome when you use the interlocking technique – if you use the overlay mosaic technique the WS will be striped.

This pattern, like all of my patterns, comes complete with written instructions and a chart for two techniques: interlocking crochet and overlay mosaic crochet. Choose your favorite technique or challenge yourself and learn a new one! I have a few tutorials on YouTube: www.YouTube.com/c/AshleeBrotzellDesigns

The chart that comes with the mosaic method has X’s to show where the dropped double crochets go.

I hope you enjoyed my little stories and I hope you really love this new pattern! The links to Etsy and Ravelry are both here; if you don’t have a preference I think Ravelry is better (less fees for me, easier to update patterns when needed, nice library to keep things organized, photos of everyone’s projects) but I offer both platforms so you can make your own choice!

Get the Pattern

Chart size 161 x 161

When you meet gauge, this finishes to 40″ x 40″.

Use code “DANCE” to get 30% off this pattern until October 21, 2021. Valid on Etsy and Ravelry.

Electric Shock

You may recognize this as the image I used for the background of the eBook cover page. It was probably the easiest pattern to draw in this set. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t still awesome!

I created this design as the background for my Trident square. And then I liked how it looked on its own as well. Happy accidents, right!?

Whether you use the mosaic technique or the interlocking technique, the Right Side looks the same.

Angela Kermack used white as the Main Color in her overlay mosaic sample.

I used white as the second color (accent color, contrasting color) in my interlocking crochet sample. I love how the Wrong Side is a different image when you use the interlocking technique.

This pattern works up quickly because the repeating section is easy to memorize. I use my phone to read the patterns when I am crocheting and my screen always dims before I get to the end of the row. With this pattern that didn’t interrupt my crocheting, I was able to just keep going because I knew that it just kept repeating.

However, the “easy” level of this pattern actually caused me to feel bored many times. I prefer something that requires more focus and attention otherwise my mind wanders.

Do you like the repetitive patterns?

Get the Pattern

The eBook contains 6 patterns and saves you more than 30% compared to buying them individually.

  • One Octopus
  • To Sail Away
  • Trident
  • Four Lobsters
  • All the Waves
  • Electric Shock

These baby blankets are all 30″ square when you meet gauge. Each pattern has a chart size of 121 x 121 and you begin with 60 windows when you do the interlocking crochet technique.

All the Waves

This pattern, like all the patterns in this eBook, has a chart size of 121 x 121. This works up to 30″ square when you meet gauge so I call it a baby blanket but you can also think of it as an extra-large panel in a blanket. If you join 4 or 6 of these together you will get a full-size blanket.

If you like these waves you can also get a different size! I use a very small section of wave in my tutorial on YouTube: Wave 10, Locked Filet Mesh Crochet-A-Long Tutorial. You can crochet the small 5″ square with me using the interlocking crochet method (also called Locked Filet Mesh or LFM).

You can also download the PDF of the tiny wave square for FREE on Ravelry! Wave 10 on Ravelry

Interlocking Wave 10 crocheted for YouTube tutorial

The same pattern is used in my video tutorial on how to Read Mosaic Crochet Chart Without X’s. This is a very handy skill to have but if you are used to having X’s on the chart, have no fear: my patterns are all being updated to include a chart with X’s now. It is taking me awhile because I have so many patterns, but I am nearly finished getting them all updated!

I also used these waves in a scarf which was part of my 2020 Father’s Day CAL: Waves Scarf on Ravelry

Waves Scarf crocheted by Claudia

And I made this design available as a shawl as well; you can begin with the long edge or short end to get a different effect with your self-striping yarn! Waves Shawl on Ravelry

Waves Shawl crocheted by Dawn Haynes

My “Into The Ocean” blanket pattern uses these waves as a border around some swirling waves.

Crocheted by Christine Schneider

So, I guess it’s fair to say I like water-themed patterns!

Get the Pattern

The eBook contains 6 patterns and saves you more than 30% compared to buying them individually.

  • One Octopus
  • To Sail Away
  • Trident
  • Four Lobsters
  • All the Waves
  • Electric Shock

These baby blankets are all 30″ square when you meet gauge. Each pattern has a chart size of 121 x 121 and you begin with 60 windows when you do the interlocking crochet technique.

Mosaic Crochet, by Angela Kermack

Four Lobsters

My mom grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada. The east coast of Canada does a lot of fishing and trapping of lobsters and crabs.

She had a tiny wooden (pretend) lobster trap that my sister and I liked to play with. We grew up in Saskatchewan which is all prairie, so there were no local lobster traps.

I always thought the nets looked cool and the traps were very clever – the lobsters can get in but they can’t get out.

https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Old-fashioned_lobster_trap,_Fishermen’s_Museum_at_Pemaquid,_Bristol,_Maine_-_20130917.JPG

Surprisingly, I was quite old before I finally learned that lobsters are generally black in the ocean and not bright red like cartoons would have me believe.

My son’s t-shirt; a smiling, red lobster, with the quote “feelin’ snappy”

This pattern, “Four Lobsters”, was originally going to be part of my Baby Ocean & Others eBook. But I knew some of you wouldn’t like the design as a “baby” blanket because it isn’t that “cute”. But I also know that some of you are not a fan of the “cutesy, cartoon” designs so I created a new eBook instead!

My tester has been waiting a few months for me to finally publish this! Nessa Miller used red as the Main Color and white as the Accent Color.

If you use the interlocking crochet technique then the Wrong Side is an inverted opposite type image (but not exactly opposite). If you use the overlay mosaic technique it will just be striped.

Get the Pattern

The eBook contains 6 patterns and saves you more than 30% compared to buying them individually.

  • One Octopus
  • To Sail Away
  • Trident
  • Four Lobsters
  • All the Waves
  • Electric Shock

These baby blankets are all 30″ square when you meet gauge. Each pattern has a chart size of 121 x 121 and you begin with 60 windows when you do the interlocking crochet technique.

Trident

I almost didn’t publish this pattern. My first few drafts were just dreadful. And then when I thought I managed to get it right I’d show someone and they would point out this or that and no matter how kind they were it was starting to really wear me down.

I have other drafts of patterns that have discouraged me and will never see the light of day. I am glad I decided to free this guy. My husband said the merman’s face reminds him of a Lego figurine.

I don’t know a lot about mythology but this guy was definitely based on King Triton from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. This king has a big shaggy beard, sexy biceps, and a lightning stick (a trident).

My tester, cyncitycrochets picked the perfect colors, in my opinion! If you use the interlocking crochet technique then the Wrong Side is an inverted opposite type image (but not exactly opposite). If you use the overlay mosaic technique it will just be striped.

Get the Pattern

The eBook contains 6 patterns and saves you more than 30% compared to buying them individually.

  • One Octopus
  • To Sail Away
  • Trident
  • Four Lobsters
  • All the Waves
  • Electric Shock

These baby blankets are all 30″ square when you meet gauge. Each pattern has a chart size of 121 x 121 and you begin with 60 windows when you do the interlocking crochet technique.

To Sail Away

I don’t do a lot of boating here in Saskatchewan. We mostly have wheat fields. There are a few bodies of water that people use for recreation but it has never been a top interest of mine.

I don’t think this sailboat is going very fast because the water looks quite calm.

This black and blue interlocking crochet sample by cyncitycrochets shows the Wrong Side in the image above (the Right Side can be seen at the top of this post or scroll down to see her instagram post). I like how she equated it to the night sky in her instagram post. If you use the mosaic technique like Angela Kermack did then the back will just be striped.

Get the Pattern

The eBook contains 6 patterns and saves you more than 30% compared to buying them individually.

  • One Octopus
  • To Sail Away
  • Trident
  • Four Lobsters
  • All the Waves
  • Electric Shock

These baby blankets are all 30″ square when you meet gauge. Each pattern has a chart size of 121 x 121 and you begin with 60 windows when you do the interlocking crochet technique.

One Octopus

Yesterday I published a new eBook: More in the Ocean. This pattern, One Octopus, is probably my favorite one of the bunch!

I drew this while I was working on my previous eBook, Baby Ocean & Others. But this octopus doesn’t have the right cartoon quality to be considered a “baby” design, in my opinion.

After I double-checked that my octopus had eight legs I asked my 4-year-old son what he thought of my picture. He is our resident creature expert, especially ocean creatures, so I thought he would like my octopus drawing. He looked at it, seemed impressed, stated it’s a “colossal squid”, and walked away! So, I guess you can interpret it as a squid if you like.

My testers did a great job: Angela Kermack did the mosaic sample and Nessa Miller did the interlocking one. I love the red and cream one because it looks like what I was imagining in my head. For the interlocking crochet blanket Nessa used light blue as the Main Color for her piece. You can see on the wrong side that the bubbles become plus signs and the colors are mostly inverted.

Get the Pattern

The eBook contains 6 patterns and saves you more than 30% compared to buying them individually.

  • One Octopus
  • To Sail Away
  • Trident
  • Four Lobsters
  • All the Waves
  • Electric Shock

These baby blankets are all 30″ square when you meet gauge. Each pattern has a chart size of 121 x 121 and you begin with 60 windows when you do the interlocking crochet technique.

More in the Ocean eBook

A few weeks ago I published an eBook called Baby Ocean & Others to Ravelry and Etsy. I really enjoyed drawing those ocean-themed baby blanket patterns. In fact, I couldn’t stop at just six so I’ve created another eBook called More in the Ocean!

This new eBook contains 6 more ocean-themed designs. I am calling it More in the Ocean! It is available on Ravelry and Etsy. You can easily mix and match the patterns from both eBooks because they are all the same chart size 121 x 121). I think these new patterns have a more grown-up feel than the previous eBook. Which one is your favorite?

I am very thankful to my group of testers for this bundle: Angela Kermack, cyncitycrochets, & Nessa Miller!

To refresh your memory, the Baby Ocean & Others eBook can be found on Ravelry and Etsy and it contains these patterns: Baby Ocean, Baby Dolphin, Baby Crab, Baby Sea Turtle, Baby Whale, Baby Fish.

Each pattern is listed individually on Ravelry and Esty as well as being contained in the eBook on both platforms. You can also search by “category: baby” on Etsy and you will see these in my Ravelry bundle: Baby Blankets.

More In The Ocean eBook

This full eBook is available on Etsy or Ravelry now. The individual patterns contained within are published separately as well. In the next few days you will see a new blog post to go along with each of the individual patterns.

More in the Ocean eBook contains these six patterns:

The eBook is a 30% savings compared to buying each pattern individually.

Each pattern is also listed individually on Etsy and Ravelry!