April 10-16, 2022: Squares Bundles

We have reached week 2 of my 2nd year Designaversary! Congratulations, again, to the winner of my giveaway on instagram! This week you’ll want to pay attention to my Facebook page! 😉

Contest details for this week.

Last week my Crochet-A-Long patterns were featured; this week it’s all about squares!

Some of my blanket patterns are technically squares, but I am referring specifically to the squares that were designed to be joined to other squares. Blankets and baby blankets will be featured in the final week of April.

Small Squares / Mini Squares / Free Squares

The smallest square I have has a chart size of 21 x 21 and those are my tutorial squares. LFM PDF Tutorial square, Wave 10 & Tutorial Hearts 10 for Interlocking & Tutorial Hearts 10 for Mosaic all have YouTube videos to help you learn! These tiny squares are all free downloads and are not included in the bundle promotion.

My small squares (all free tutorials)

I have been working on a new tutorial pattern for both interlocking crochet and overlay mosaic crochet: center-out!
I hope to have that ready for you by the beginning of next month.

Medium Squares

The next size up has a chart size of 41 x 41. These patterns begin with 20 windows when you use the interlocking technique, so you will notice that they have the number “20” after their title. I have 73 squares of this size listed on Ravelry. I don’t have many of these listed on Etsy (because the listing fee on small items makes it not worth it). The ones I do have on Etsy are all in eBooks (like my Monogrammed Alphabet).

All of my patterns are listed on my website: ashleeslint.com/patterns#medium and you’ll notice they are in the “medium” category because I reserved “small” for those tiny tutorial squares. For details on getting ALL of these medium-sized squares in a bundle at an 80% discount, keep scrolling or click here.

Small selection of my medium-sized squares

Large Squares

My first crochet-a-long (CAL) was actually a series of large squares. They had flowers and leaves and butterflies and the intention was that you join the squares together and create a blanket. At that time I only did interlocking crochet but the Mother’s Day CAL has since been updated to include mosaic crochet as well (having both techniques is kind of my “thing”). These squares have a chart size of 81 x 81 and the titles end with “40” because that’s how many windows you have in the foundation row when you do interlocking crochet.

I have 94 squares of this size listed on Ravelry! I have listed 25 of these large squares on Ravelry individually and some of them are only available in eBook sets on Etsy (such as the Sophisticated Alphabet). You can see the entire list and where to find the patterns on my website: ashleeslint.com/patterns#large or keep scrolling down to find a bundle deal that includes ALL of them at an 80% discount!

A selection of Large Squares

And Larger Squares?

I also have larger squares with a chart size of 101 x 101, 121 x 121, and 161 x 161 all the way up to 241 x 241 (that’s a 60″ / 152cm blanket). These square are not included in this week’s bundle deals; wait for the final week of April.

Bundles at 80% off!? <EXPIRED>

Yes, it’s true! This is the largest discount I have ever offered!

I have quite a few square patterns, so I’ve created TWO BUNDLE DEALS. One for the medium-sized squares and one for the large squares. Each bundle contains ALL of my patterns of that size (for interlocking crochet AND overlay mosaic crochet, of course)!

Now, because a lot of these squares are also included in eBooks (that are usually quite heavily discounted already), I was left with a decision to make: calculate the discount off of the individual price of the squares? Or calculate the discount based on how much a person could save if they tried to add all the patterns to their cart (and obviously that person would choose the eBooks when available).

To be clear, these bundles are 80% off the cost if you added the eBooks to your cart. If you did the math on adding ONLY the individual squares to your cart, you’d actually be saving 88% on the Large Squares Bundle and 85% off the Medium Squares Bundle!

And, to add to the value of the Large Squares bundle: we are in the midst of an ongoing series (2022: A Year of Cats) and this Bundle includes the eBook listing so you will also get the next 8 months of cat squares! If you’ve already got that eBook you may find this bundle is still worth the value with a 78% discount on the rest of the squares. Check the bundles out!

No Bundles for Me, Thanks

There’s many reasons why someone might pass on the super amazing bundle deal; that’s ok! You can still take 40% off any individually listed medium or large square from April 10-16, 2022. The eBooks are not included in this sale but it is valid on both Etsy and Ravelry. And you don’t even need a coupon code! I have organized the listings a bit so you can see what’s available:

And that is this week’s sales and bundles! I hope you guys can feel the love – I am so thankful that these past two years have given me an outlet for my art and helped keep me sane (or at least somewhat sane).

I really appreciate the way this craft has allowed me to help support my family and make new friends and make pretty things!

Don’t forget, you have all month to enter into my big Grand Prize! Check out the video on YouTube!

Grand Prize includes these physical prizes as well as an all-access pass to my patterns for a year!

April 3-9, 2022: Crochet-A-Long (CAL) Bundle 60% OFF

If you read yesterday’s post, you’ll know that April 2022 marks my 2nd year designing anniversary and I want to celebrate! I will have sales and prizes all month long! Check out my original post about the designaversary sales.

We are starting my celebration month with a focus on the Crochet-A-Longs (CALs) I’ve done over the last two years. I don’t have my next CAL ready yet – but I have at least two different projects that are going to be CALs at some point.

There is something a bit magical about joining a CAL. People from all over the world are working on the same project at the same time and the accountability means that people are more likely to finish their project.

I usually offer a free version and a paid version of the pattern. The formats have been slightly different from my first CAL to my latest CAL because I have been learning and growing and changing. I am always blown away by the support from everyone, I have the best customers and fans and friends!

I have a page here on my website that lists my Crochet-A-Longs:

For this first week of my anniversary celebration you can buy a bundle on Ravelry (sorry, Etsy doesn’t have the same promotions available) of ALL my CAL patterns with a steep 60% discount!

Mother’s Day CAL crocheted by Erie Krol / zus, Father’s Day CAL crocheted by Claudia, Abstract Queen CAL crocheted by Emily Harmon, MusicCAL and Summer Direction CAL by myself, Winter 2021 CAL crocheted by NotSoBorenCrochet.

Or, if you don’t want all of these patterns, you can take an automatic 35% your purchase of any of the patterns that were originally published as Crochet-A-Longs (CALs), no code needed. This is valid on Ravelry only. Etsy is silly about percentages I am allowed to offer you, so the automatic discount on the CAL patterns there is only 30%.

These links below go to these patterns on Etsy (Ravelry let me section them off for you, but Etsy is different):

Next week I will have a different set of patterns on sale for you! I will get a YouTube video up soon where I babble about the sales this month and tell you how to enter into the first contest!

Celebrating Two Years of Designing

Woohoo! April 1st, 2022 marks my 2nd anniversary since publishing my first pattern. I am so proud of all I have accomplished and I am so thankful for everyone who has supported me along the way!

I know people say it a lot, but I could not have done this without you! Yes, you! Whether you’ve purchased every pattern or liked every post I have ever posted or only just discovered me – I am thankful to have you as part of my journey! A special thank you goes to my testers: I appreciate each of you so much and I am thankful to have you on my team!

I am hoping to take you on a journey this month; through some sales and prizes and games I hope to introduce myself to all the newcomers and refresh the memories of everyone who has watched me grow.

Update: enter my Grand Prize giveaway on YouTube! Expired

So, Hi! I’m Ashlee Brotzell! I am a Canadian stay-at-home mom to three adorable little kids. I met my husband at the University of Saskatchewan; he is a mechanical engineer and I have a child psychology degree (and I am a law-school-dropout).

My eldest daughter (Alice), my baby girl (Melody), and my son (Remington) posing with me (my head is peeking out at the top) and my Monstera Leaf blanket.

I learned to crochet when I was 8; it was my on-again-off-again hobby throughout the years. I picked it up again after the traumatic birth of my son in a self-therapy attempt. Regular crochet wasn’t giving my brain the challenge I needed so I started learning new things like how to read those intricate crochet charts with all the symbols, how to do crazy stitches, how to change colors, and eventually I stumbled upon interlocking crochet. It wasn’t long after learning how to do it that I thought, “hey, I could apply my art skills to my crochet skills!” (I also dropped out of art class in university – but I had a lot of previous art experience and it has always been another on-again-off-again hobby through my life).

I wasn’t sure if people would actually buy my patterns, but I was willing to give it a try.

From April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 (my first year of designing) I published 200 patterns to Ravelry. Not all of my Doctor Who patterns made it there and I even did a couple custom pieces. On Etsy I have published the larger patterns, but most of my small squares are still not available on there. I also created a YouTube channel in May of 2020 and published 32 videos by March 31, 2021. Some of those were quick snippets, some were tutorials. My family also moved twice during that period after my husband lost his job unexpectedly. To say I was feeling a bit overwhelmed is an understatement. I do not recommend pushing yourself that hard, and I am glad it is over now.

During my second year of designing my family only moved once (woohoo!) and I was able to refine how I want to present my patterns a bit more. When I started I was just doing interlocking crochet, then I added overlay mosaic crochet, and then I had to update all 200+ patterns again when I introduced mosaic charts marked with X’s! So, I *only* (nervous laugh) published 82 patterns and another 26 YouTube videos from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. Plus, I was published in Crochet Now! magazine!

My goal this year is to slow down just a little bit more. *This is where you can imagine my awkward grin which tells you I am probably not going to be slowing down very much*

Here’s the celebration plan:

  • each week in April I will have different bundle of patterns on sale
  • if you don’t want the bundle you can also get a smaller discount on the featured patterns individually
  • each week I will do a pattern giveaway on a different platform (Instagram, Facebook, email newsletter, YouTube)

To enter week 1’s Instagram giveaway (closes April 9, 2022): https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cb-40OAjZPY/?utm_medium=copy_link

April 3-9, 2022: Crochet-A-Long (CAL) Bundle

To enter week two’s giveaway on my Facebook page, click here (closes April 16, 2022): https://www.facebook.com/113673156993126/posts/524391452587959/

April 10-16, 2022: Squares Bundles

April 17-23, 2022: Wall Hangings Bundle

April 24-30, 2022: Blanket Bundles

And while all of this is going on I will be working in the background trying to get my tutorials and a few patterns ready for the center-out technique! I am excited that I’ve learned something new and I am eager to share it with you.

Update: tutorials are live! Check it out

End of the Year Sale and Summary

Everyone seems to be having an end of the year sale, so I am jumping in as well!

Everything is 30% off! 🥳 (Offer expired)

No code needed, valid on Etsy and Ravelry.

The first pattern I published in 2021 was Gnomesflake. And the final one was Cupcake 20.

I published 140 new patterns and 8 eBooks this year. 😶😯 There were two sets of alphabet squares so that takes care of more than 50 patterns right there; I don’t find the letters very interesting actually, but they are there.

Top left corner, Cupcake, was my final pattern of 2021
8 eBooks
Overall, I am proud of my work!
Over 50 of my patterns this year were just alphabet blocks; not that exciting in my opinion
Bottom right corner, Gnomesflake, was my first pattern in 2021.

The most exciting pattern to publish was probably my magazine debut: Eiffel Tower Wall Hanging.

I hosted 3 Crochet-A-Longs and participated in 1 multi-designer group CAL.

Thank you for making this a great year! I have many good things planned for next year! 🤩

Some of this year’s patterns 🤩

12 Days of Christmas Crochet Patterns Blog Hop

I am so excited to tell you all that I am participating in a “12 Days of Christmas Crochet Patterns” blog hop, sponsored by WeCrochet. The most simple explanation is this: lots of designers, lots of patterns, hop from blog to blog daily to download each pattern free, OR purchase the bundle of patterns (and get a few bonuses!).

Blog Hop?

Each day, for the next 12 days (that is October 27 through to November 7, 2021), you will have the opportunity to download some free Christmas-themed crochet patterns. There are quite a few designers participating and if you collect every pattern you will have 47 new patterns at the end of these 12 Days! You will need to “hop” from blog to blog to collect everything. Each pattern is only free for 24 hours.

Here’s a sneak peak of just a few of the designs:

My contribution to this bundle is my brand new Braided Chain Mosaic Scarf pattern. This pattern hasn’t been published yet. And it will not be available for purchase until November 1st (but you can get it a few days early by buying the bundle). Most of my patterns have written instructions and charts for two techniques (interlocking crochet and overlay mosaic crochet) but this pattern is only for overlay mosaic crochet. WeCrochet sponsored this event so they sent me this gorgeous yarn: KnitPicks Twill, in Graphite Heather and Gold Rush. It is 100% soft merino wool and I loved working with it!

Explain this event again?

Each day of the event you will need to go to the main round up post to find that day’s code and see which patterns are available (each day will have have a minimum of 2 patterns, some days have up to 6!). To get a reminder email from me you can subscribe to my blog (see the side bar) or subscribe to my newsletter by entering your email below.

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Bonus

If you’re like me and know that you’d inevitably forget to download your favorite patterns on their specified days you might want to just grab the full PDF Pattern bundle now. Fosbas (our host, and an amazing designer) has thrown in 2 bonus PDF patterns for everyone who purchases the “12 Days Of Christmas Crochet Patterns” bundle – which means you’ll be receiving nearly 50 patterns at an amazing discount! You will also have the opportunity to grab her “winter bundle” at the same time; that’s the optional switch you’ll see.

How much better can it get? Well, when you purchase the bundle using my affiliate link I will send you an email after the return period has passed with a code to add Braided Chain Mosaic Scarf to your Ravelry library. This allows you to receive any updates that may become available down the road. And, I’ll throw in a code that allows you to download a FREE blanket pattern: your choice of Oh Tannenbaum or Warm Wishes (Gingerbread).

The “12 Days Of Christmas Crochet Patterns” bundle is only available for purchase during the event – when the event is over, the bundle deal goes away too. Also, note the purchase price is USD (not CAD like my patterns).

Click the image above to buy the bundle or click the image below to check out the round up post. You’ll need to refresh the round up post every day to see the new code for the day and the list of participating patterns.

The tag for this event is: #FallBlogHopWeC (this is the tag I was told to use, don’t ask me why it says “fall”). I’ll be posting nearly daily on my Instagram feed as well – to help remind you to grab those free downloads each day!

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! 😉

Summer Direction CAL & August Summary

This post is going to be a mix of personal stuff, a monthly summary, and instructions for how to continue the Summer Direction CAL. You can skip to whatever part you find most interesting.

Personal

Twelve years ago, under a hot summer sun, I said “I do”. Mitch and I got married on his parents’ acreage and most of the guests took home sunburns. We were young and crazy. Now we’re just crazy. 😉

We have had good times and bad times and three babies and many moves and we have grown and changed through it all. I am not going to give you my life’s story today. I’m too busy making crochet patterns! Here’s to many more years! *grab a cup of something and celebrate with me, eh?*

Also, my Anniversary could have been a good excuse to have a sale, but I already had a sale to celebrate my family’s August birthdays and I’m going to have another sale for my birthday in a few days anyway! 😀

August Summary

This month, August 2021, marks 16 months since I began designing. I love it and I wish I had started sooner!

Like every month this year, my first pattern of the month was a gnome. “August Gnome” was the one with all the cherries. There are only a few more months to go until we have a complete blanket! “A Year of Gnomes” has been one of my best sellers. Thank you for the love!

Crocheted by CarolinevdB, overlay mosaic technique

Then I published “Baby Fish“. This pattern was the 6th extra large square (otherwise known as a baby blanket) in my “Baby Ocean & Others” eBook. I am excited to get my next Ocean eBook started! I will have 6 more patterns of this size for you all! They aren’t *baby* designs this time, although some of them are definitely still good as baby gifts. Most of them are designed for the super cool grown-ups, like me, who enjoy ocean art that can be made into a big blanket.

Mosaic crochet version of “Baby Fish”. Made with Retro Stripes from Red Heart.

Next I came out with another big blanket pattern, “Sunflowers and Butterflies”. This is a summer design that I know you all loved – you visited my ravelry page so many times that I got listed in their top 10 list! Thank you!

Interlocking Crochet sample by Semicci. This pattern made it into Ravelry’s top 10!

You may notice in the image above that the pattern listed right above mine was “The Wave 2” by Svetlana Rogatykh. That pattern was part of the Ocean-themed Crochet-Along hosted by CAL-Crochet-Along blog. I contributed two patterns to that CAL. My “Mosaic Coral Strip” was first, and my “Mosaic Sunglasses Strip” was the final part of that blanket! They have 2 more blankets as part of their Friends Around the World 6th Anniversary CAL – check out the details here: https://calcrochetalong.com/2021-friends-around-the-world-cal/

After publishing the FREE “Mosaic Sunglasses Strip” to Ravelry on August 19, 2021 I also put a FREE file in my Facebook Group for the interlocking crochet version of my sunglasses strip!

And then the very next day we started my Summer Direction CAL!

This pattern has YouTube videos for each section for both of the techniques (interlocking and overlay mosaic crochet). And each section’s written line-by-line instructions will be FREE on my website here as well.

We are about 25% of the way through this pattern so far.

You can still get the full pattern and charts on Ravelry or Etsy for 50% off until the end of September by using code “SUMMER2021“.

My 6th published pattern this month was originally published in Crochet Now magazine in issue 68 which came out in the spring. I am very proud to be published like a “real designer”! It feels very validating and a little bit surreal. 😅

Now that I can publish my “Eiffel Tower Wall Hanging” to Ravelry and Etsy I have used my normal template (that is: US terminology, written for both overlay mosaic crochet and interlocking crochet).

You can still get 20% off your purchase of the Eiffel Tower or the Parisian Wall Hangings eBook (which includes three patterns) until 11:59pm CST August 30, 2021 by using code “PARIS20“.

Summer Direction CAL

We began this Crochet-A-Long on August 20, 2021. We created the foundation rows in whichever technique you preferred (interlocking or mosaic) and you also had to decide at that point how wide your project was going to be. You may find it easier to navigate through each section from the landing page for your chosen technique.

I made a single-width sample in both techniques and then a full blanket using the mosaic technique (I used Red Heart Super Saver Stripes, colorway “Retro Stripes” for my Contrasting Color).

We have completed two sections of Chevron A and the first Dark Arrow section so far.

The next section in the Summer Direction CAL is a repeat of Chevron A again. We are now at row 49 but the video and written instructions are going to start with row 5. You may need to put a stitch marker at row 49 to remind you that it counts as row 5.

If you’re using the interlocking technique it’s important to note that you will be starting this section with the Wrong Side (WS) facing you.

Make sure you only do Chevron A once after the Dark Arrows.

Magazine Dream Come True: Eiffel Tower in Crochet Now

Did you see my post on instagram? I am going to be in a magazine! Hello, dreams-come-true! 🤩😍

Photos courtesy of Practical Publishing

I designed this Eiffel Tower Wall Hanging for their Paris theme – this is what they wrote on their blog: “Welcome that Parisian feeling into your décor with what is possibly the most amazing crochet wall-hanging I’ve ever seen! The Eiffel Tower hanging on the back of my door would certainly make me smile every day!

Crochet Now 68 is on sale from 22nd April in shops across the UK. To find your nearest stockist, visit http://www.seymour.co.uk – or order online from http://www.craftstash.co.uk

You can also purchase a digital edition of the magazine via the PocketMags app.

Me, here in Canada, I am hoping Michael’s will have the magazine 🤷‍♀️

I did also find this link that looks promising: https://www.crochetnow.co.uk/where-to-buy/

This magazine is based in the UK which means they require patterns to be written using UK terms. In a few months, when the rights revert back to me, I will publish this pattern to Ravelry and Etsy in the form that is familiar to me: interlocking crochet and mosaic crochet; in US terminology.

The magazine version has a link to a chart with x’s! Some of you may be really excited for that, I will also be offering the non-x’ed-chart for my interlocking crocheters.

I used Scheepjes Organicon in my magazine sample. The colors are for spring time 🤩 and the softness of the yarn makes me think people will start hugging their wall! I used a 3 mm hook but you may need to adjust that based on your tension.

What do you think about the simple wooden dowel at the top for hanging? I haven’t made many wall hangings before but I think the simplicity of it is really nice.

I am going to crochet it again, using the interlocking crochet technique and bulky weight yarn! I just need to pick colors… 🤔 it should end up being a good size for a single-person blanket.

Anyway, this has been a pretty exciting month for me with my one-year Designaversary, the big giveaway and sale, and then this big magazine announcement! I was also really hoping to announce my next CAL (Crochet-A-Long) but I am still ironing out some details.

Here is a teaser:

MusicCAL: coming soon!

On a personal note, I also *finally* got my 10 year anniversary ring 💍 🤩 This summer will be our 12th anniversary! When we had our 10th we were still renovating the house (that is now sold) and I had literally just had my 3rd baby (making it 3 kids under 5 years old) so a pretty ring wasn’t really a priority.

The MusicCAL is dedicated to my husband. I am so thankful for him. Words are kind of insufficient. He is an amazing man, a loving husband, the best dad, and a super cool musician. 😎

Impromptu family photo

My one-year designer anniversary!

This post should start with a bunch of pictures of my face making surprised, confused, ecstatic, and bewildered looks! HOW did I manage to become a crochet designer and spend an entire year doing this already!?

How come I didn’t do this sooner? How long can I keep doing this? How did I get so many followers and supporters on all my various social media sites? And, why do I have so many social media sites? 😆

At this time last year I was trying to wrap my head around how to create an interlocking crochet pattern. I managed to publish my first pattern to ravelry on April 1, 2020.

I now have 200 patterns published to Ravelry! Quite a few are also on Etsy. Almost all of my patterns are written for interlocking and overlay mosaic; I did try my hand at “regular” crochet patterns too but I don’t find it as enjoyable.

I have met (online) so many kind and creative people this past year. There are over 3000 members in my Facebook group. I have over 1400 followers on Instagram, over 1800 subscribers on my YouTube channel, and I actually don’t know how to check how many of you are subscribed to these blog posts. And I am failing at being regular with the Mailchimp newsletter 😬 but I really appreciate everyone who has shown their support there too!

Honestly, I am so thankful to everyone who has supported me through this first year. I can’t believe how validating and rewarding it has been. So many little dreams-come-true. 🤩

I need to give a special shout-out to David Q. Orth. His pattern, Doctor’s Orders, is what got me hooked. His kindness through this first year has been a breath of fresh air.

My brown and yellow, “Doctor’s Orders” blanket; designed by David Q. Orth

Plus, his designs are amazing and that inspires me to do the best artwork I can. He started designing only a few months before I did and it has been nice to grow beside each other.

I am also very thankful for Kate Dudman! She has been a source of emotional support, an encyclopedia of knowledge and experience, and a fun friend to chat with. She puts a lot of time and effort into her facebook group, Interlocking Crochet World, and it is a great resource for everyone!

I also put my new friend, Neetsey, to work shortly after becoming acquainted. She has helped me with ravelry and other “business” things but is also a good shoulder to cry on. It is really too bad the shoulder is only online, the internet is still lacking the human touch. We will meet someday! And, her little dog too! 😉😆

I credit my new friend, Kimberly Windsor-Johnson, as the kind push that has helped me keep moving forward. Her encouragement and creativity have buoyed me a few times. And, of course, I needed another virtual shoulder for my many moments.

There have been others through the past year who have shown me how to believe in myself, even when it’s just a single comment. I appreciate the constructive criticism as well as the compliments and I am thankful that not everyone has given up on me.

I have made mistakes this year. That’s to be expected when learning so many new things and filling my schedule to the brim (ok, it was definitely overflowing: started designing, sold our house, hubby lost his job, moved twice, homeschooling my eldest, and a global pandemic? Ya, it was a stressful year lol). I am sorry for the disappointments and I guarantee I will not be perfect in the future either.

I have disappointed myself a few times as well. But I have also grown.

It’s hard to have a plan for the future of “Ashlee Brotzell Designs” when I really don’t know what I expected or what I can expect from myself when a hobby blows up into a job.

First and foremost, I am a mom. I am a wife. My family is, and has to remain, a priority.

Secondly, my own mental health is a balancing act between pushing myself to grow without pushing myself off the edge. 😅 I want to keep working at designing but I don’t want it to be “work”. This is therapy. This is me-time. This is supplemental income.

In short, my goals for the next year are to keep designing, keep trying new things, but with a stronger focus on balance.

I still have a lot of things on my to-do list. Even more on my wishlist. And a lifetime supply of inspiration.

Tune in tomorrow, when I will tell you how we are going to celebrate this momentous occasion!

September Summary

August was pretty busy, September didn’t slow down.

September 1st started my 3rd CAL (Crochet-A-Long)! The Abstract Queen is a beautiful, big queen-size blanket that uses motifs from my small abstract squares. This was my first CAL to be offered in both techniques: LFM and Mosaic.

You can find the Abstract Queen on Ravelry and Etsy and also for free, here on the blog.

Don’t forget to create your project on ravelry (with at least one picture) to enter the weekly draw!

Quite a few people have asked about making the Abstract Queen smaller – and there’s no easy way to do that. Many mosaic patterns out there are just repeats of 8 or 12 or some small number like that but this was drawn up more like a single image (like the Speedy Train). You can cut the end off if you want, but it wasn’t designed for that.

I did draw up a smaller blanket using the same abstract themes and I call it the Abstract Princess. You can get that pattern on Ravelry and Etsy.

My 33rd birthday meant a sale for you: for a few days everything was 33% off and a lot of you grabbed some new patterns! I can’t wait to see all your new projects!

Speaking of new projects… I really meant to just focus on getting the mosaic instructions for the patterns I already have. I really didn’t plan on creating new patterns. But, then my husband lost his job and I wanted the instant gratification that comes from a new pattern (or two). 🤣

All of my new patterns come with interlocking and mosaic instructions. And I publish them to Ravelry and Etsy. These are the new ones this month:

I did also manage to update these patterns to include the mosaic instructions (the interlocking patterns are still there, don’t worry!). This is the Ravelry list and these were added to my MOSAIC BUNDLE:

Then I updated these patterns on Etsy and I learned that there is no easy way to get updated patterns to my customers on Etsy! 😱 So, that really disappoints me and I don’t know what to do to fix that.

If you have purchased on Etsy and you want an update please send me a message asking for the pattern, including your email address!

October is sure to be just as busy! We have moved into a small apartment temporarily while my husband looks for a job. Depending on where he gets a job, we may be doing another big move right away here. I am sure the second move will go smoother because of all the packing and unpacking practice we have now lol. Thanks for sticking with me through this big transition!