Double Wedding Rings Center-Out Update

I know you have been waiting SO LONG for this update!

I am so excited to announce that my most popular pattern ever has now received an update that makes it even more amazing!

Double Wedding Rings was published in February 2022. It broke so many of my personal records (most sales in a day, most sales in a month, most shares on Facebook, etc). And each time someone shares their progress online I get another burst of sales and love. Thank you so much for all the love!

See my original post about this pattern: https://ashleeslint.com/2022/02/25/double-wedding-rings-crochet-square-or-blanket-pattern/

Regarding the original patterns: there are two files, one for the interlocking crochet technique and one for the overlay mosaic crochet technique. All of my patterns are like this.

But this one was also created with the ability to make it any size you want! The base square is the same size as my 40-window squares / 81 x 81 chart size. Instead of crocheting many squares and then sewing them together, this pattern has been written in a way that allows you to repeat it as you go.

My mosaic sample here is 2 repeats wide and 3 repeats tall.

The center-out technique is going to be very popular with those who prefer the mosaic crochet option because you no longer have to worry about those tails! No envelope border needed.

The interlocking crocheters will be happy to create a blanket that keeps getting larger and you can just go until your yarn runs out, you don’t need to pre-plan how wide to make it.

Both options can be really stunning with a self-striping yarn.

My photo shows my center-out interlocking sample, a single square (using the interlocking technique), my original grey and white mosaic sample, and a center-out mosaic sample!

I am not entirely sure how large I will make these center-out pieces. I’ve already started adding some extra yarn that I had leftover from other projects so the colors are going to be very bright and bold for my two center-out samples!

I have video tutorials on all the techniques. But I also have a complete step-by-step walk-thru of the first dozen rows of each center-out sample.

Find all my tutorials on YouTube and don’t forget to like and subscribe and click that little bell!

Get the Pattern

If you’ve previously purchased this pattern on Ravelry you will already have access to the updated files.

If you purchased on Etsy you will need to email me with your order number and I will send you the updated files.

Dark Arrows Mosaic Crochet Pouch from YouTube

As promised on my last YouTube video (https://youtu.be/7j6bTj76qZA) I am putting up the stitch counts for the tube/pouch we created. We started this project on May 28, 2022 on a 2-hour YouTube live (https://youtu.be/tQOeL4EbFU8).

This live video was an experiment for me! I had never done a tube before. I have a lot of experience with various projects and techniques though, so I used my skills to create it as I went. It is not a perfect project tutorial video.

For this mosaic pouch I adjusted the “Dark Arrows” chart section from my Summer Direction CAL. My Summer Direction CAL is free on my website (the written pattern for both techniques: interlocking crochet and overlay mosaic crochet), but the charts are only included in the paid download.

For this pouch, neither the free written part nor the charts are actually entirely helpful because I adjusted the chart as I crocheted for the YouTube live. I removed the interlocking mesh dots and the border lines.

My post here will include the stitch counts for each round that we did on the video, but for proper instruction on the technique please see the YouTube videos.

I used a small amount of worsted weight yarn and a 4.5 mm hook. I meant to use a 5 mm hook but the live had already started and that hook was not at my desk. Your hook size does affect the size and drape of your finished project. One of the crocheters who watched the live and commented a lot said they were using a thinner yarn and a 3.5 mm hook. As long as your hook and yarn weight are good for each other you can truly use any yarn you’d like.

The repeatable portion of the chart is 18 stitches wide. I skipped the first 3 border lines and the last 3 border lines. I also skipped a 4th stitch at the left side of the chart because it is a balancing stitch and is a duplicate of the 4th stitch at the right of the chart. This information is helpful if you’d like to make your pouch larger by using more of the Summer Direction CAL.

I planned on doing two repeats of the chart (one for the front of the bag and one for the back) but I decided that was too small so I stuck a third repeat in there.

We are creating a tube and we join at the end of each round and simply carry the yarn up, there’s no need to cut your yarn. For the first video I was using a joining method that involved locking my yarn in (just like I do when I do a center-out piece), but I found it was a bit bulky so I changed the joining method in the second video. When I do center-out crochet you can’t tell where the join was, so I was quite surprised to see that with the tube the join was noticeable.

I created a project on Ravelry and linked it to my Summer Direction Pattern. I wonder if I should be creating a new pattern listing instead?

Finished pouch!
I did not line my pouch. This will just be for the kids to play with. But someday I will learn how to do that step as well and really make my bags look professional!
Bag in use lol

Follow the Pattern

Quick KEY

CC = Contrasting Color (red in the video)
dc = double crochet; for overlay mosaic crochet all the double crochets go in the front loop, two rows below
fsc = foundation single crochet; see video
MC = Main Color (black/grey variegated in the video)
sc = single crochet; for overlay mosaic crochet all the single crochets go in the back loop only

Joining Technique

At the end of each round we must pick up the other yarn. Watch how I do it in the 2nd video (I think it looks better than the method I used in the first video). Basically, when you get to the end of the round, insert your hook into the back loop and pick up the other color, pull through both loops on your hook (do a slip stitch). Chain 1 and our next sc goes into the same spot. If you’re doing a dc you don’t need to chain 1.

Use a stitch marker to make sure you know where to join at the end of the next round.

Stitch counts

Foundation row (row 0), using MC; I was looking at row 25 on the chart: repeats of 18 fsc

Row 1 / 26 on the chart, using CC: sc18

Row 2 / 27 MC: sc18

Row 3 / 28 CC: sc8, dc1, sc1, dc1, sc7

Row 4 / 29 MC: sc9, dc1, sc8

Row 5 / 30 CC: sc8, dc1, sc3, dc1, sc5

Row 6 / 31 MC: sc9, dc3, sc6

Row 7 / 32 CC: dc1, sc13, dc1, sc3

Row 8 / 33 MC: sc1, dc13, sc4

Row 9 / 34 CC: dc1, sc15, dc1, sc1

Row 10 / 35 MC: sc1, dc13, sc3, dc1

Row 11 / 36 CC: dc1, sc13, dc1, sc3

Row 12 / 37 MC: sc9, dc3, sc3, dc3

Row 13 / 38 CC: sc8, dc1, sc3, dc1, sc5

Row 14 / 39 MC: dc8, sc1, dc1, sc3, dc5

Part 2 video starts here

Row 15 / 40 CC: sc8, dc1, sc1, dc1, sc7

Row 16 / 41 MC: dc8, sc5, dc6

Row 17 / 42 CC: sc8, dc1, sc3, dc1, sc5

Row 18 / 43 MC: sc15, dc3

Row 19 / 44 CC: dc1, sc13, dc1, sc3

Row 20 / 45 MC: sc17, dc1

Row 21 / 46 CC: dc1, sc15, dc1, sc1

Row 22 / 47 MC: sc18

Repeat from row 1 if you’d like to make your pouch taller. Or use another pattern that has an 18 stitch count.

You now have a tube!

To create a purse / pouch you’ll need to sew the bottom of the tube together. I kept my joining seam at one side to hide it better and then did a mattress stitch join but you can do any kind of join you like. To do a mattress stitch join you flatten your tube, pick up one loop from the top and then one loop from the bottom and then pull the loop through. Then you pick up one loop from the top and pull it through. Then pull one loop from the bottom through. And repeat until you get to the end. This technique does take away some of the stretch but doesn’t use any extra yarn (until you want to fasten it off). To fasten it off you’ll need a tiny amount of yarn to make a knot through the last live loop on your hook AND make sure you tie it through another stitch as well.

I am adding a strap to my bag. I am using the Tunisian Simple Stitch. Watch that part of the video here: https://youtu.be/7j6bTj76qZA?t=4820

I hope you enjoyed this live project! It is full of mistakes and candid Ashlee. I did notice that the quality is less that stellar so I may go back to an edited video for my next crochet pattern on YouTube. Let me know what you prefer.

Show me your projects in my Facebook group: Ashlee Brotzell Designs or tag me on Instagram @AshleesLint

2022 June Cat

June is such a lovely month, don’t you agree? Here in Saskatchewan, Canada 🇨🇦 we are finally getting warm weather (it literally snowed multiple times last month) and summer is on the horizon.

When I picked the colors for my cat square this month I was trying to use something that might appeal to others… because these colors don’t really appeal to me… at all. 😬

I have been using Premier Yarns Home Cotton in various shades for all of my squares and this month I chose to use Citrus. It has yellow and orange and lime green in it. I thought it would feel tropical and warm but it just looks like mud to me. What do you think?

I try to use a variety of colors because I know that what catches my eye might not be the same thing that catches your eye. My husband likes these colors but my favorites are pinks and purples and maybe a little peacock blue or teal if I am feeling adventurous.

You probably remember that there will be a total of 12 cat squares by the end of the year (one for each month) and you may remember that the squares for March, June, September, and December create a mini series.

Now that we have reached June I can show you March and June together. They are the “L” and “o” for “love”! (yup, I crocheted this square again in prettier colors)

March was the “L”, June is the “o”. We will have to wait until September and December for the rest.

You can purchase each square separately, but your best deal is grabbing the eBook. It gets updated each month with the new cat square (you just pay once) and it will also include a bonus all-in-one blanket pattern at the end of the yarn. The blanket pattern will have all 12 squares arranged in a 3 x 4 grid with January Cat at the top left and each month in order. You won’t need to join squares.

This is most handy for the overlay mosaic crochet technique because you don’t have to worry about dealing with the ends /tails/fringe between each cat square.

Overlay Mosaic Crochet sample by CarolinevdB

My cats have decided they don’t want to model for me anymore, but Maja Serec convinced her kitties to take a nap with her square.

And it’s always interesting to see what the wrong side looks like when you use the interlocking crochet technique. That’s actually one of my favorite things about this technique! (My other favorite thing is not having cut tails to deal with).

Cyncitycrochets used white as the MC, so you can see the cat is in white on the right side of the square and when you flip it over the colors get inversed. The details change a bit (like the straight border lines) because each stitch is opposite, but it does look almost as good as the front!

Get the Pattern

Interlocking Crochet Details

  • Chart is 81 x 81
  • Finished measurements approximately 20” x 20” / 51cm x 51cm
  • 4.5 mm hook (US7)
  • Worsted weight yarn (460 – 485 yards total)
    • Main color (MC) – 230 yards plus 25 for optional border
    • Accent color (AC) – 230 yards
  • Gauge: 16 DC x 8 rows = 4”

Overlay Mosaic Crochet Details

  • Chart is 77 x 77
  • Finished measurements approximately 20” x 22” / 52cm x 56cm
  • 5 mm hook (H-8)
  • Worsted weight yarn (600-850 yards)
    • Main color (blue on chart) – 300 yards
    • Contrasting color (white on chart) – 300 yards
    • Optional Envelope Border – 250 yards
  • Gauge: 14 stitches x 15 rows = 4”

Repeatable GoldieLux Pattern

I originally created this pattern in May of 2021.

A year has gone by, and I recently used the overlay mosaic version in a YouTube tutorial on how to read a chart with X’s (see here). While filming that video I realized that although I had originally designed this pattern to be the same size as my other 40-window squares (chart size of 81 x 81), the design could be extracted in an easily repeatable form and then you could make it any size you wanted!

So, that’s what I have finally checked off my list! The pattern now comes with four files:

  • Written pattern and chart for original 40-window square, interlocking crochet
  • Updated repeatable pattern and chart, interlocking crochet
  • Written pattern and chart for original square (chart 81 x 81), overlay mosaic crochet
  • Updated repeatable pattern and chart, overlay mosaic crochet

This pattern has now been featured in three of my YouTube videos:

Get the Pattern

The pattern has been updated on Ravelry and all four files are available to those who previously purchased.

This pattern was not previously available on Etsy. All 4 files are included in one listing.

Namaste Mandala

This design began as a custom pattern for a yoga instructor. The meditative pose shown on this blanket is what I think of as a basic yoga pose but I have learned that there are a lot of nuances in yoga. I read a bit about chakras and mudras and spirituality and culture and although I find it slightly interesting I don’t think I’ll become a yoga master anytime soon.

“At the base level, namasté is a salutation of respect and reverence. A traditional Indian greeting, it literally translates to “I bow to you” (namah or namas, meaning bow, te meaning you).”

https://chopra.com/articles/learn-the-meaning-of-namaste

“Mudras are sacred hand movements that are used in yoga and meditation to deepen the practice”

https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/beginners/the-meaning-of-namaste/

~*~

Fun side note: the floral design behind the person will become it’s own pattern in a few weeks.

With permission, I inverted and adjusted the colors on Heather Passmore’s interlocking crochet sample just to show off some more color options for you.

I have heard a few requests/suggestions to create an entire series of yoga designs. There is so much symbolism in all of it and a lot of the imagery is quite beautiful. However, as of now I do not have plans to draw other poses.

When I drew this pattern I used black and white, and the person was drawn using the black. This is also how the charts appear, the dark grey (on the interlocking chart) and the blue (on the mosaic chart) correspond with the Main Color on the written instructions. Heather Passmore was the first tester to show me her project and it confused me at first because I expected the person to be the darker color! But she is not the only tester who chose to use white as the Main Color and I love seeing all the options!

While this pattern was in testing I saw so many patterns of this theme pop up, like knitted blankets and crocheted potholders. Another designer also contacted me because she has just started the testing phase of a similar design and she wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to be upset that our blankets were so similar. She wouldn’t have known they were similar except one of my testers also tests for her and alerted her about it. There’s been a lot more drama behind the scenes than either of us expected from crochet and she wanted to make sure we weren’t going to create more drama.

It sure was a breath of fresh air to hear kindness from Anke Wintermans and I am sure you are going to love her blanket when it comes out! It is definitely of the same theme, but not a copy and it was just luck that mine happens to be published first.

Thank you to my testers: CarolinevdB, Chantal Lariviere, Heather Passmore, Darquis Bushey of Just Duckie Crochet, and Nessa Miller.

This blanket is one of my larger patterns. If you feel the size is too large you can always use a smaller hook and thinner yarn but this won’t change how many stitches you make. A personal gauge swatch is the most accurate way to know how large your blanket will be.

If you use worsted weight (4 – medium) and meet gauge your blanket should be about 65″ square when you do the interlocking crochet method. Because overlay mosaic crochet is a different technique it creates a different gauge; your blanket should be about 69″ wide and 75″ tall if you meet the mosaic crochet gauge listed in the pattern.

The nice thing about blankets is that gauge is not extremely important. Just be aware that you may need more yarn if you use a looser tension than mine.

Get the Pattern

Use code “MAY2022” to get 30% off your purchase of my new pattern, Namaste Mandala, until 11:59 pm May 24, 2022. (Expired)

Code applicable on Etsy and Ravelry. On ravelry, this code will apply to your entire cart! (but you must include the “Namaste Mandala” pattern for it to apply)

**Check out my Facebook group for a chance to win a free copy! Draw to take place May 20** (expired)

Interlocking Crochet Details

  • Chart is 261 x 261
  • Gauge: 16 DC x 8 rows = 4”
  • 65” x 65” / 166cm x 166cm
  • 4.5 mm hook (US7)
  • Worsted weight yarn (4800 – 5000 yards total)
    • Main color (MC) (the person) – 2400 yards plus 200 for optional border
    • Accent color (AC) – 2400 yards

Overlay Mosaic Crochet Details

  • Chart is 257 x 257
  • Gauge: 14 sc blo stitches x 15 rows = 4”
  • 69” x 73” / 174cm x 187cm
  • 5 mm hook (H-8)
  • Worsted weight yarn (6500 – 7300 yards)
    • Main color (black) – 3500 yards
    • Contrasting color (purple) – 3000 yards
    • Plus, optional envelope border – 800 yards

To choose colors, be aware that the person is the Main Color.

An image where the left half has dots showing the interlocking chart and the right side is solid like the mosaic chart is. The interlocking crochet and mosaic crochet patterns have slight differences in the patterns to account for the natural mesh dots.
The interlocking crochet and mosaic crochet patterns have slight differences in the patterns to account for the natural mesh dots.

Dream A Dream: Center-Out Crochet Square

Have you had a chance to bump up your crochet skills yet? My tutorial on crocheting from the Center-Out has been live for 2 weeks now. I have seen a few of the Tutorial Squares and I am eager to see what everyone plans to do with a square so small. I think I will have to design more of that size!

The tutorial and this pattern (and all my other patterns) come with written line-by-line instructions and charts for two techniques. Overlay Mosaic Crochet seems to be the most popular. Interlocking Crochet is fun too (and sometimes goes by other names, such as Locked Filet Mesh / LFM)!

This pattern here (called “Dream a Dream”) is a little bit larger than the tutorial square. But it is not an overwhelming size. Plus, to make it more accessible I have created a full video walk-thru for each technique!

9 squares makes a perfect toddler-sized blanket

You don’t NEED to buy the pattern in order to follow along with the video. You can view the Key for the Interlocking Crochet method or the Overlay Mosaic Crochet method here and each row is written on the screen on the video; the charts are only available in the paid PDF. I truly do appreciate each purchase of the PDF pattern!

This square is not a size that easily mixes and matches with my other patterns, but I am sure you will still love it! There are so many things you can do with a square!

The first thing I think of is blankets. You can crochet as many squares as you like and then join them together to make a blanket.

The beauty of this technique and these squares is that you can use any weight yarn (as long as the yarns used are similar to each other in weight) and then an appropriately sized hook.

Just make sure you always have good contrast between the Main Color yarn and the second yarn you use.

If one of your yarns is self-striping you need to make sure the contrast color contrasts well with ALL the colors in the striping yarn.

Pillows (or throw cushions) go well with blankets, especially when you can have a matching set!

Then there are always so many bag options. A simple, small bag with just two squares and a strap is quick to make. Or, using multiple squares, you can create a larger bag.

I’m attempting to create a cardigan from my squares. My toddler really liked it when I had the back panel done – she used it as a blanket for a day!

Get the Pattern

Grab the ad-free printable PDF (with charts) with a 30% discount until May 10, 2022! No code needed, valid on Ravelry and Etsy.

Interlocking Crochet Details

Overlay Mosaic Crochet Details

My Copyright Statement

KEY FOR INTERLOCKING / LOCKED FILET MESH / LFM CROCHET

AC = accent color (pink on chart / even-numbered rounds)

MC = main color (green on chart / odd-numbered rounds)

Back = the wrong side of your work

Front = the right side of your work (you never turn your work, so the right side is always facing you)

AC/MC to Back indicates you need to place the AC/MCyarn towards the BACK of your project

AC/MC to Front indicates you need to bring the AC/MC yarn towards the FRONT of your project

CROCHET STITCHES USED (US terminology)

BLO = use the back loop only

ch = chain: pull a loop of yarn through the loop on your hook

dc = double crochet: yarn over, insert hook, yarn over, pull up loop, *yarn over, pull through two loops* twice

hdc = half double crochet: yarn over, insert hook, yarn over, pull up loop, yarn over, pull through all three loops

MR = magic ring: lay yarn across front of index and middle fingers, loose end hanging down; wrap yarn over and behind fingers then back up the front of your hand; cross yarn over yarn towards your wrist and hold working end of yarn with pinkie finger; insert hook under yarn closest to fingertips, grab the other loop of yarn and pull a loop up (with a slight clockwise twist); chain 1 to hold it together. You will crochet over the side that has 2 strings and when you are done you can tighten the loose end. See my video tutorial or my photo tutorial at ashleeslint.com/magicring

sk = skip a stitch

SS = slip stitch: insert hook, pull a loop through everything on your hook

SPECIAL TERMS USED

Ch3 in Back/Front counts as your first dc and chain

C = Corner: chain 2 (when added to previous stitch that makes 3 chains between the double crochets in each corner)

B = double crochet (dc) behind the previous row, and chain 1

F = double crochet (dc) in front of the previous row, and chain 1

Join = SS to finish the round. This stitch goes into the 2nd chain of the first ch3 of the round, or it can be made into the first window space

INTERLOCKING CROCHET TECHNIQUE

You are creating two layers of mesh that happen to be worked around each other. Each color of yarn gets stitched into itself only. Each double crochet goes into the previous row’s double crochet. There is a chain space between each double crochet that doesn’t get worked into. You alternate using each color of yarn and thus can do the double crochet in front or behind the opposite color’s chain space (never yarn over in a way that it encloses that chain space on both sides). Do not cut your yarn at the end of each round, just use a stitch marker to keep the live loop waiting. Detailed tutorial on this technique in PDF and YouTube video format can be found at https://ashleeslint.com/interlocking-crochet-tutorial-center-out/.

KEY FOR OVERLAY MOSAIC CROCHET

MC = Main Color: blue in chart

CC = Contrasting Color: white in chart

ch = chain: pull a loop through

SC = single crochet: insert hook, pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through both loops on hook

DC = double crochet: yarn over, insert hook, pull up a loop, *yarn over, pull through two loops* twice

MR = magic ring: place yarn across the front of your fingers with the tail hanging down, wrap yarn over and behind your fingers, cross yarn at the top of your hand towards your wrist, insert hook under first loop on the back of your hand and grab the second loop, pull the loop up and chain to keep it in place. View my video tutorial or photo tutorial online: AshleesLint.com/magicring

SPECIAL STITCHES (TAKE NOTE OF THE LOWER CASE VERSUS UPPER CASE WAY OF USING THESE):

sc = SC into Back Loop only

dc = dropped double crochet: DC into Front Loop of stitch in the round below, skip the sc stitch that gets hidden behind this dropped stitch

scC = single crochet corner: SC into Back Loop Only of previous round’s corner chain, chain 1, SC into the same Back Loop again

dcC = double crochet corner: do a dropped DC into front loop of previous round’s corner chain, chain 1, do another dropped DC into same front loop again. The next stitch, if it is a dc, will use this same front loop as well.

Remember to skip the same number of stitch(es) behind your dc(s) before doing your next sc

Mosaic Technique when working from the CENTER-OUT

Technique tutorials: https://ashleeslint.com/overlay-mosaic-crochet-tutorial-center-out/

  • The front of your work is always facing you (this is the right side, the side showing the design)
  • Yarn colors can be anything you like
    • They need to contrast well (try a black and white photo to see if they are too similar)
    • They need to be the same weight (size/thickness)
  • Foundation round counts as round 0 – it is a magic ring with 8 single crochets in it; uses the MC
  • Do not cut your yarn at the end of each round, carry it up through the corner stitch
  • Even-numbered rounds use MC; odd-numbered rounds use CC

2022 May Cat

Thank you for such a wonderful April! It was so much fun celebrating my 2nd Year Designaversary and remembering all the progress I’ve made. I was also able to give away a bunch of patterns and I will be doing a live giveaway for my Grand Prize on YouTube tomorrow (it’s almost midnight on the 30th of April for me as I post this)! (Expired)


Welcome to May!

There are four cats on this month’s square! No matter which way you turn it, someone is staring at you.

This square was based on a quilt block. I have a few quilting-inspired designs now: Bonnet Girl Blanket, Double Wedding Rings, and now this May Cat!

If you’ve purchased the eBook (2022: A Year of Cats) on Ravelry, Etsy, or by direct purchase from my website, then you should have received your update. Please check all your email folders and make sure you’re looking in the email account associated with the purchase. Let me know if you still can’t find it.

Wrong side of the interlocking square

Thank you to my bundle of testers! You all did a great job and it helps me more than you know to have the peace of mind that I have such a trustworthy team! I am using black yarn for the Main Color in all my squares but I love to give my testers free range on color choice and you can see in these photos below that both Maja Serec and cyncitycrochets have used grey/black as their second color instead. Which colors would you use?

I have been trying to get my kittens to pose with each square monthly. Sometimes they don’t really want to pose for my photos. I managed to get a little video with Flippers the orange cat walking across my square. His meow is the weirdest sound. We thought he’d grow out of it, but he’s about 6 months old now and still sounds weird. Maybe it’s normal and I just haven’t been around enough cats.

Thank you, Flippers, for making my cat square authentic

Get the Pattern

Interlocking Crochet Details

  • Chart is 81 x 81
  • Finished measurements approximately 20” x 20” / 51cm x 51cm
  • 4.5 mm hook (US7)
  • Worsted weight yarn (460 – 485 yards total)
    • Main color (MC) – 230 yards plus 25 for optional border
    • Accent color (AC) – 230 yards
  • Gauge: 16 DC x 8 rows = 4”

Overlay Mosaic Crochet Details

  • Chart is 77 x 77
  • Finished measurements approximately 20” x 22” / 52cm x 56cm
  • 5 mm hook (H-8)
  • Worsted weight yarn (600-850 yards)
    • Main color (blue on chart) – 275 yards
    • Contrasting color (white on chart) – 325 yards
    • Optional Envelope Border – 250 yards
  • Gauge: 14 stitches x 15 rows = 4”

April 24-30, 2022: Blanket Bundles

It is the final week of my Designaversary Celebration! Thank you so much for celebrating 2 years with me!

I gave away some free patterns on Instragram in the first week, on my Facebook Page in the 2nd week, and for the 3rd week I picked a random winner from my mailchimp email subscribers list! This is the final week to enter the Grand Prize Giveaway on my YouTube channel!

Giveaway CLOSED NOW – congratulations to RescueBooks Bookkeeping!

For this final week of my Designavery Celebration we are going to focus on my blanket patterns! I have blankets of various sizes. They start at baby blankets (chart size of 121 x 121) and go up to my biggest blanket (Brotzell Tiger King: chart size of 203 x 307).

Update: I have added the Cruise patterns to the sale (they have a chart size of 101 x 101) because they were already on the list I created earlier.

On Etsy and Ravelry you will get an automatic 30% discount on my blanket patterns. No code needed, discount shows up in cart, offer ends April 30, 2022.

Or, you can create your own bundle of any 10 blanket patterns and get 60% off! This bundle deal is only available on Ravelry, offer expires April 30, 2022. Use code 2022BUNDLE.

There are 72 patterns that are part of this week’s promotion.

If you’re looking at my Etsy shop on a desktop browser you can see a list of categories on the left-hand side; there is a section called “on sale” and that will be all the baby blankets and larger blankets.

If you’re shopping on Ravelry, go to my designer page: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/ashlee-brotzell and scroll past my introduction. The first pictures of patterns are organized sections (Ravelry calls them bundles). You can view all the blankets or all the 60-window squares (aka. baby blankets) and those are the patterns you can choose from for this week’s sale. I show a printed screenshot around minute 14 in this video linked below:

Remember, you can’t use eBooks to get the 60% off. I couldn’t think of an example in the live video that is embedded just above, but a perfect example is my eBook “Baby Ocean & Others“. It has 6 baby blanket patterns in it. Individually, these patterns are $5.50 CAD; the eBook of all 6 patterns is $20 CAD, so that’s a 27% savings already. To get 60% off you’d need to add each baby blanket to your cart individually and then add 4 more blanket patterns.

To be thorough, here’s a list of this week’s promotional patterns and their links to either Ravelry or Etsy:

2020 Father’s Day Throw (one-piece blanket) (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Make a Wish -includes left-handed instructions- (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Birthday Cupcake -includes left-handed instructions- (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Cupcake Sparkle (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Wild and Free -includes left-handed instructions- (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Wild and Free Moose -includes left-handed instructions- (Ravelry) (Etsy)
But First, Coffee -includes left-handed instructions- (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Many Hearts Throw (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Oh Canada Throw -includes left-handed instructions- (Ravelry) (Etsy LFM) (Etsy Mosaic)
Moon Fairy (Etsy) (Direct Purchase)
Rocking Horse (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Abstract Queen (Ravelry) (Etsy) (FREE on blog)
Speedy Train (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Abstract Princess (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Warm Wishes (Gingerbread) (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Oh Tannenbaum (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Moose on Plaid (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Dinosaur Stomp (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Bonnet Girl Blanket (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Pins and Needles (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Gnomesflake (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Live Laugh Love Paws -includes left-handed instructions- (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Evelyn’s Expression (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Evelyn’s Favorite Guitar (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Common Unicorn (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Into the Ocean (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Mesmur Avenue (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Lucky Stars Throw (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Chained Ponds (Ravelry) (Etsy bundle)
Brotzell Tiger King (Ravelry) (Etsy)
MusicCAL (Ravelry) (Etsy) (Free on Blog)
Goodnight, Unicorn (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Magic Decanter (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Monstera Leaf (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Hobby Stencil Blanket (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Sunflowers and Butterflies (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Summer Direction CAL (Ravelry) (Etsy) (FREE on Blog)
Pumpkin Trio Throw (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Evelyn’s Repeat (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Seahorse Dance (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Long Hauler (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Glacial Warmth (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Tinsel Tangle (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Soaring Dreams (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Winter 2021 (Ravelry) (Etsy) (FREE on Blog)
Forever Be My Always (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Nordic Squares Blanket (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Medical Staff (Ravelry) (Etsy)
My Heart is Full of Love (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Bubbles the Sea Turtle (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Double Wedding Rings (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Dress to Impress Yourself (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Come a-Llama (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Cruise Lighthouse (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Cruise Whales {XL Square and Single Whale} (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Cruise Waves (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Preemie Love Blanket -includes left-handed instructions- (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Feline the Deer (Alice’s debut design) (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Many Hugs -includes left-handed- (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Baby Ocean (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Baby Dolphin (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Baby Crab (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Baby Sea Turtle (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Baby Whale (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Baby Fish (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Many Hearts Baby Throw (Ravelry) (Etsy)
One Octopus (Ravelry) (Etsy)
To Sail Away (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Trident (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Four Lobsters (Ravelry) (Etsy)
All the Waves (Ravelry) (Etsy)
Electric Shock (Ravelry) (Etsy)

A small sample of patterns:

I am so thankful for everyone who allows me to share pictures of their finished works! The photo I’m using as the title of this blog entry has quite a few patterns on it: Summer Direction, Bubbles the Sea Turtle, Many Hearts Baby Blanket, Nordic Squares Blanket, My Heart is Full of Love, Seahorse Dance, Preemie Love Blanket, Monstera Leaf, Glacial Warmth, But First Coffee, Baby Sea Turtle, Long Hauler, Brotzell Tiger King, Into the Ocean, Sunflowers and Butterflies, Common Unicorn, Speedy Train, Make A Wish. Crocheted by myself, cyncitycrochets, Angela Kermack, Esperanza, Jackie Lindsey, Eileen, Christine Schneider, Semicci, Anneke de Groot, Sherry Shaffer & Monique.

A final note, for those who may not know: all of my patterns come with written line-by-line instructions and charts for two techniques. If you’re not familiar with interlocking crochet or overlay mosaic crochet you should check out my tutorials on YouTube!

Commentary on the Etsy Strike

I have an opinion. I don’t usually like to offer my opinion but this conversation is overwhelming my Facebook and Instagram feed. I’ve debated on commenting about the Etsy strike happening right now and decided it might be helpful for my customers to see how it affects me. For more information on the strike: https://etsystrike.org/

The main issues seem to be high cost of fees, poor “star seller” program, lack of support/customer service for sellers, and the problem of this “handmade” website being filled with mass-production items (like you’d find on Wish or Alibaba).

I’m sure you can all see that my Etsy shop is not on holiday. However, if you’ve followed me for awhile you’ll know that Etsy is not my favorite platform 😕

I don’t like that Etsy claims to be for handmade sellers but allows resellers of mass-produced cheap items. I am extremely frustrated at their lack of support (there is no phone number or specialized help section for sellers). And I despise this “star seller” program that is run by AI, leaves no room for dispute, and hurts good sellers.

Personal Problems with Etsy

For example, this month Etsy’s platform glitched on one of my listings. Suddenly it was a physical product that needed shipping even though I only sell PDFs. I also have auto-renew set on all my listings so that when one person buys a PDF I don’t have to manually add that listing again before someone else can buy the PDF; this listing deactivated itself after being sold as a physical product which was what alerted me to the problem. The PDF also was no longer attached to this listing.

It took me forever to find out how I could contact Etsy about this problem. I think I ended up contacting the wrong place a few times before someone finally agreed that they could try.

It took 45 minutes for me to even get them to understand what the problem was. They just kept telling me that I’ve got to enter the tracking information now and ship the product and that, in the future, I should click the box that says this item is a digital product (duh, I’ve only listed and sold how many products? I know how to check that box. This listing in particular has already been sold digitally a few times).

Then when I thought they understood the problem they asked me to try changing the listing to a digital download and suggested I upload the PDF file to see if it was working. I did. Then they said they don’t see any problems on their end, yes this is a digital product, could I send them a screenshot of the listing I’m having problems with. *cue internal screaming*

We ended up getting cut off when I accidentally closed my chat browser to try and take a screenshot of the sale and since I had absolutely no idea how I even got in contact with them in the first place that was pretty much the end of it.

I emailed the customer directly and sent them their PDF. Then I realized I hadn’t solved the shipping problem. I don’t have any tracking information (which you can only get when you purchase a tracking label through Etsy). If I don’t add tracking information I will lose my star seller status. I tried refunding the item that was a problem (I figured I’d rather take the $5 cut and give them a free pattern versus lose my star status which allows me to be seen in searches).

Turns out, refunding that item did not remove the required shipping stuff. So, now I’m out $5 and I’m going to lose my star seller status. At least my customer didn’t seem upset that only part of her order was received on Etsy and part was emailed to her. Plus, she got a $5 discount.

Etsy would not be a “star seller” in my books.

Fees Problem

I am going to compare fees on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/ca/legal/fees/) to fees on Ravelry (https://www.ravelry.com/groups/ravelry-shopkeepers) because those are the two main places I sell my patterns. PayPal also has fees (https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/ua/legalhub-full) that affect my business.

Take note, my numbers are affected by my volume of sales and my Canadian home base (online fees can be higher or lower depending on where you live). A lot of the fees are listed in USD on the official pages and our current exchange rate is 1 CAD = 0.79 USD (which means I pay $0.25 CAD for a $0.20 USD fee).

In my first year of selling patterns I was extremely surprised to learn (while doing up my taxes and final numbers, etc) that Etsy was taking 50% of my sales. Ravelry took 7%; Ravelry’s number was slightly higher than the 3.5% they advertise because I chose to try out some paid advertising on there. Since Etsy forces you into paying for advertising I figured it was fair to include fees and advertising in both numbers. PayPal fees added up to another 8%.

This year 86% of my sales came from Ravelry. Only 12% of my sales were on Etsy. I introduced a few patterns as direct purchases on my website and posted a handful to LoveCrafts and that accounts for the other 2% of my sales this year.

This year, Etsy has only taken 29% and Ravelry took 5%. My PayPal fees (which get charged on Ravelry purchases and direct purchases) amounted to 6% of my total sales volume in those two places.

General breakdown of fees:

Ravelry: No fees if you sell less than $30 USD / month. Transaction fee of 3.5% for the first $1500 USD in sales each month. If you reach $1500 USD (about $1890 CAD) then you only pay 3% on any additional sales that come from the EU. PayPal is the only payment option; PayPal charges 2.9% + $0.30 CAD per transaction.

Esty: listing fee ($0.20 USD / $0.25 CAD), processing fee (3% + $0.25 CAD), transaction fee (6.5%), off-site ads* (15%)

Examples

Selling one $10.50 CAD item on Ravelry:

  • no cost to list the item
  • customer pays $10.50
  • that gets deposited to PayPal where they take 2.9% + $0.30 (total of $0.69), leaving me with $9.81
  • at the end of the month, assuming I’ve sold more than $30 USD and less than $1500 USD, Ravelry charges me 3.5% ($0.37), so I’ve made $9.44 CAD

Selling one $10.50 CAD item on Etsy:

  • list the item for $0.25 CAD
  • customer pays $10.50
  • processing fee: 3% + $0.25 ($0.57)
  • transaction fee: 6.5% ($0.68)
  • Etsy off-site ads*: 15% ($1.58)
  • Leaving me with $7.42 CAD

*Etsy off-site ads are non-optional if you made more than $10,000 USD in the last 365 days (calculated monthly). When they introduced this “feature” I had no idea it was coming, did not know I could opt-out, and even when I learned I could opt-out it was very difficult for me to find that switch. You get charged this fee if the customer has clicked on an ad in the last 30 days.

Etsy on-site ads are non-optional; minimum charge is $1 per day, you may choose to increase that number. I have chosen the minimum, so I pay $30/month for advertising. I have chosen to use ads on Ravelry as well, at a fee of $5 per month.

But wait, there’s more!

Selling ten $1 items on Ravelry to one customer results in the same fees as if I sold just one $10 item (like the example above). On Etsy, it is much better for me to sell higher-priced items.

  • list each item for $0.25 CAD (10 x 0.25 = 2.50)
  • customer pays $10
  • processing fee: 3% + $0.25 ($0.55)
  • transaction fee: 6.5% ($0.65)
  • Etsy off-site ads*: 15% ($1.50)
  • Leaving me with $4.80 CAD

Other issues with Etsy include the inability to download your digital product using their app (you must use a browser) which results in shop sellers getting angry customers and we continually have to be Etsy’s tech support and explain to customers how to get their product.

There is also no ability to update a digital product like Ravelry has.

Etsy also limits how many files you can add to one listing and does not have the same bundle-sale abilities like Ravelry has (which is why many of my cool sales are on Ravelry only).

It does leave a sour taste in your mouth when Etsy declares, “we’ve made record profits so we are going to increase the fees to sellers!” and then claims it is because they offer the sellers so much value when clearly many, many sellers disagree.

My Conclusion

After my big complaint, and my fees breakdown, you may be wondering why I haven’t put my shop on holiday-mode like the other sellers who are part of the #etsystrike movement? Well, I’m not on strike.

I fully support those who are choosing to go on strike. They are doing what they think is best and they are putting their business at risk to do so (going on “holiday-mode” affects your shop’s ability to show in the listings for months afterwards! Another thing that I think is pretty unfair).

I have not chosen holiday mode because as much as I dislike the fees Etsy is taking from me and other sellers, ultimately I have received enough feedback from customers that say they want more than just a Ravelry purchase option. I don’t have the time/resources to set up my own shop on my website just yet so Etsy is that option for my customers. My issues with Etsy affect my business income but, in my opinion, that should not affect how my customers are able to interact with me.

Personally, my family relies heavily on my income and I am not willing to risk the income I do get from Etsy. I have raised my prices there (which felt horrible) and I promote my Ravelry store more than my Etsy shop. Someday I will probably set up my website for direct sales but for now I’m going to let things continue as they are.

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. (Expired)

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!