Chained Ponds Blanket and Pillow Set

A few weeks ago I published a blanket pattern called “Chained Ponds“. I also created a challenge: finish the blanket in 6 weeks and receive the pillow pattern for free! Three members of my Facebook group were able to complete the blanket in time and win their bonus pattern! Congratulations!

“Chained Ponds” blanket crocheted by danabouch

I planned on the pillow pattern retiring after the promotion. But, I am nothing if not flexible. Due to some suggestions and questions and feedback I have decided to list the pillow pattern after all.

On Ravelry: if you previously purchased the blanket pattern you will receive an automatic $1.50 CAD discount on this pillow pattern. Or, you can add them both to your cart now to receive the $1.50 discount. This discount doesn’t expire (ok, Ravelry requires that I put an expiry date, so I chose Dec 31, 2030, but when the time comes I will just extend that).

For my Etsy users, the pillow pattern will be added to the same listing as the blanket. The price will go up slightly.

Sew together two panels for a big pillow!

The pillow is really a 40-window square and can easily be added to other squares to create a blanket instead. See my list of other squares this size:

Tropical Tree: Colorful Square in both techniques

I crocheted this palm tree square with a colorful background in both of my favorite techniques: interlocking crochet and overlay mosaic crochet.

One of the things I love about interlocking crochet is that you get a fabulous image without using bobbins or tying and weaving in ends. I did a single crochet graphgan once (see it here), and although it is definitely beautiful to look at, the amount of work involved made it stressful at times.

The simplicity of a two-toned image without tangled yarn balls and 10 more hours of work after you’re “done” is one of the main benefits of my Locked Filet Mesh patterns (LFM = interlocking crochet).

But, I also love how colorful the mosaic patterns can be! Since you are cutting the yarn at the end and joining at the beginning of each row it is really easy to simply grab another color.

The biggest challenge is just to make sure the main color and accent color (or contrasting color) are not too similar. If the colors blend together too much you won’t see the image your yarn is trying to create.

All that being said, this pattern includes instructions on changing colors every few rows. It creates the beachy feel and I think it is worth the effort of weaving in tails (with interlocking crochet). The mosaic version can just use a nice envelope border like usual.

You can grab Tropical Tree on Ravelry. It is just a 20-window square and will join nicely with other 10-inch squares, like my flamingo! See my list of other patterns of this size here:

As usual, the back looks striped when done with the overlay mosaic technique and has an almost reverse image when done using interlocking.

I don’t usually change colors with my interlocking patterns so I included a short explanation in the pattern.

I cut and tied off the first color and then joined my new color with a slip knot. More specifically, I put a slip knot on my hook, put it into the stitch I was just working with and pulled a loop up and through the slip knot to make its own slip stitch.

I kept my instagram feed up to date with my progress while crocheting ๐Ÿ˜‰ check it out:

Flamingo Pattern and Locking-in Mosaic Crochet Stitches

I hope you can feel the tropical vibes when you look at this pattern!

I think the colors I used in my overlay mosaic version are a bit more tropical than my interlocking crochet sample.

I was using up scrap yarn when I did the mosaic square so it isn’t exactly how I originally imagined it to be but I am pleased nonetheless. And I used some leftover bulky yarn for the Locked Filet Mesh (LFM / interlocking) sample but without another item for size reference you can’t actually tell in the photos above.

I did submit this pattern to a magazine but I didn’t even get a rejection letter ๐Ÿ™ƒ I guess they had enough patterns from other amazing designers. It was supposed to be done using fingering weight (8/4, 2 – fine, 4-ply, etc) and be a coaster.

You can get your copy of my Flamingo on ravelry! I may put together a bundle of squares for Etsy later.

The chart is 41 x 41, which means this is a 20-window square when done using the interlocking crochet technique. You can find other squares of this size here and join them together for a custom blanket!

~Interlocking crochet, wrong side~

I used grey as my Main Color (MC) for the interlocking sample because I wanted the pink to be more visible. If youโ€™d rather see a pink flamingo then you need to start with pink!

You may also notice, when comparing the two techniques, that the mosaic flamingo is solid (unlike the background which has “dots” all over the place). I have only attached one chart to this pattern, it has a solid flamingo; when you read the chart for interlocking crochet you skip every other square so your finished flamingo will look like my sample.

The “dots” are created naturally when doing interlocking crochet and I like that they lock in the stitches and use less yarn when doing mosaic crochet. My solid flamingo creates small flaps on the wrong side.

~Upside down, and wrong side, to show the flaps~

I don’t particularly like the small flaps.

I have included the following instructions in the mosaic pattern:

Optional โ€œLocked Double Crochetโ€

To prevent the small flaps on the back of your work, consider locking-in your stitch.

Begin like a dropped double crochet: skip the next stitch, and work into the Front Loop of the stitch in the row below; yarn over, insert hook into front loop below (see first image below), pull up a loop, yarn over, pull through two loops, insert hook into back loop of skipped stitch (see second image below), yarn over and pull through all three loops on your hook.

~After completing first half of the double crochet (US), insert hook into back loop of stitch usually skipped, yarn over and pull through all 3 loops.~

This extra step is optional but I like how the back stays smooth. You can lock in every other stitch if you prefer.

I can’t wait to see your color combinations! I have included the color for each row in the mosaic version but you, of course, can treat that information as a suggestion and not a hard-and-fast rule.

Mesmur Avenue

I don’t think anyone enjoys the process of moving. The only thing I like is that it means we are no longer living in that apartment! (And I can get back to pattern making; new pattern details at the end of this post!)

We were very thankful to have a warm place to live these last 5 months but I really did not enjoy that place.

I like people who are real and honest without being overly dramatic. So, that is about all I want to say about that tiny apartment, with a terrible kitchen, loud and scary upstairs neighbors, moody and rude administration, with a cockroaches and bed bugs scare (thankfully, we found neither in our apartment).

We are now renting my brother-in-law’s house! They built a new one and we are happy to be in their old place.

My 3 kids, enjoying our first meal in the new place: pizza!

My kids are amazing, as always, and they are handling the chaos well. Plus, they really like the ability to get some space away from each other. Three floors to explore compared to the tiny basement suite!

I have definitely missed my yarn and hooks. I went at least 4 days without touching my crafts! The other night I grabbed my tunisian hooks and some cotton yarn and started making a washcloth. A new house needs a new cloth set.

The tunisian cable is about 10 times too long but a normal hook is about 2 inches too short lol

And a new house needs a new pattern! I present to you, Mesmur Avenue.

I drew this pattern up right before we moved and finished the pattern-writing in the new house.

As usual, grab it on Etsy or Ravelry. Get an automatic 30% discount until 11:59 pm, February 27, 2021.

I prefer Ravelry (thank you to those who have asked!) but I publish on Etsy too because I have a wide customer base and I want it to be accessible to everyone.

And, to answer another frequently asked question: my patterns include written instructions for both the interlocking and overlay mosaic crochet techniques, plus a chart that can be used for both techniques. The charts do not have x’s to denote the dropped stitches for the mosaic, but ai do have a tutorial on YouTube that explains how to read my charts.

These tutorials, and more, are available on YouTube:

Thank you for allowing me to share my art with you all!

A Year of Gnomes

A few weeks ago, you may remember, I published a pattern called, “Gnomesflake” on Ravelry and Etsy.

If you already bought that pattern on Ravelry, or if you buy it now with my new eBook (“A Year of Gnomes”) you will see an exciting discounted price in your cart until February 17, 2021 11:59 pm!

Gnomes seem to be very popular right now. And, yes, I agree, they are cute! I like it when they can’t see past their giant hats.

My earlier, “Gnomesflake” pattern

When I was drawing that pattern (Gnomesflake) I played around with a few different gnome designs. I thought it would be pretty cute to do a monthly gnome. Does it count as an impromptu, year-long CAL (Crochet-A-Long) then?

I also really like these oversized afghan squares (chart 81 x 81). I feel like it’s a manageable size (instead of a big, overwhelming blanket). And I like that it makes it easy to use lots of colors in one blanket.

I definitely prefer to use the interlocking technique when making these squares. It is quicker for me and there are no tails to worry about.

I do like the way the envelope border looks around a mosaic project. And you can easily join two bordered squares. But it seems like a lot of extra work, in my opinion.

These squares also work well as pillows, and if I was to use the overlay mosaic crochet technique for a pillow I would just tuck the tails inside. No border, no weaving in ends.

I was a little slow in getting January’s Gnome published. I’ve just published both January and February tonight. I will publish a new gnome each month this year.

The eBook on Ravelry will be updated each month. Etsy doesn’t have a system for updating listings so I will have to email you each month’s new pattern as it comes out.

I have a few promotions on Ravelry for these new squares:

*buy January Gnome, get February Gnome free (you must add both to your cart)

*buy the ebook, “A Year of Gnomes” and the earlier pattern, “Gnomesflake” and get a discounted price (past purchases count! If you already bought Gnomesflake just add the new eBook to your cart and you should see a discount!)

Both of these promotions end February 17, 2021 11:59 pm.

If you’re an Etsy-only shopper, these are 30% off until February 17, 2021 11:59 pm:

January Gnome
February Gnome
The eBook: “A Year of Gnomes”. So far, only 2 gnomes are available.

Master List of Gnomes Patterns

  • Gnomesflake (winter blanket)
  • A Year of Gnomes (eBook of monthly squares)
  • January Gnome
  • February Gnome
  • March Gnome
  • April Gnome
  • May Gnome
  • June Gnome
  • July Gnome (not yet released)
    • Etsy
    • Ravelry
  • August Gnome (not yet released)
    • Etsy
    • Ravelry
  • September Gnome (not yet released)
    • Etsy
    • Ravelry
  • October Gnome (not yet released)
    • Etsy
    • Ravelry
  • November Gnome (not yet released)
    • Etsy
    • Ravelry
  • December Gnome (not yet released)
    • Etsy
    • Ravelry

3000 FB members = free pattern!

I am blown away by how fast my Facebook group has grown! I created the group in April, 2020 after deciding to publish my first crochet pattern to Ravelry.

I wanted it to be a place where people could “meet” me, get help with the patterns (interlocking crochet is a new technique for a lot of people), and crochet together as a group!

I have hosted 3 CALs (Crochet-A-Longs) since I began. And I learned a lot each time. The 3rd CAL was also offered in mosaic crochet and I think that really brought in a lot of new members.

There are now more than 3000 members in Ashlee’s Interlocking and Mosaic Crochet Facebook group!

I like to celebrate milestones ๐Ÿ™‚

I should have prepared sooner. It took my surprise.

I went into my half-finished files to see which pattern I could quickly finish to offer as a free celebratory pattern. The first one I picked was not nearly close enough to finished. I spent about twenty minutes on that drawing before I said, wait, the group is already at 3000 members, I need something NOW!

The next chart I opened was ready for publishing. I exported it and started to work on the written instructions. After an hour I realized these written instructions were just too busy for a quick free pattern. I will finish both of those projects eventually, but I really need to find something in my files that is ready NOW! Lol

Then it was bedtime for my kids so I had to walk away from my work. Brushing teeth, changing, stalling, crying, snuggling, etc. It takes a long time, and last night was one of the exta long adventures.

Eventually I did get back to my computer. But I got distracted with drawing something else that’s been in my mental to-do list. It is ready, by the way: a valentine’s day surprise!

But, I still had no pattern to give away in celebration. Then I remembered the blanket my 6-year-old daughter wanted me to make for her.

A few finishing touches on the drawing and it was ready for me to work some magic with typing. The instructions did take me longer than I anticipated (like, all day).

But, I was tired of switching my projects so I stuck with it.

It is probably not something that EVERYONE will like. I can’t please everyone. But I am pretty sure that at least some of you will like it. And, hey, it’s free!

Now presenting: Common Unicorn

Unicorns are not rare in my house. Sparkles and rainbows and pastel colors are our favorites. Especially in shades of pink.

It is written up for both my favorite techniques: interlocking and overlay mosaic crochet. And of course, there is a chart.

Check out my YouTube channel if you need a tutorial on either of those techniques or how to use the chart.

I am putting the pattern in the files section of my Facebook group (that is free!). I will also publish it to Etsy and Ravelry for those who don’t use Facebook or for strangers to stumble upon in later days.

It is a throw-sized blanket: the chart is 229 x 237 which should work up to 57″ x 60″ with worsted weight yarn.

When I eventually get around to crocheting this one I think I will do it in mosaic crochet and I will use a rainbow of scrap yarn for my CC (contrasting color). I will probably stick with black or a dark purple or blue for the MC (main color).

I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with. I love seeing the various color choices!

Common Unicorn: Free celebratory pattern in my Facebook Group

Monogrammed Alphabet – Small Afghan Squares

When I was drawing up my “Sophisticated Alphabet“, I also fooled around with some smaller squares. I decided I liked the bigger squares better and published them, but then decided that these smaller squares weren’t so horrible and should be published too.

Thus, the “Monogrammed Alphabet“! 26 letters of the alphabet, an ampersand, and some cute little hearts and stars!

I am now feeling like 52+ new listings on Ravelry in the last 2 weeks is just too much! (Each letter gets their own listing, plus the ebooks, plus the bonus squares! Yikes! hahaha) The alphabet is BORING! I can’t wait to draw something a bit more fun. But I am glad this set is done now.

This “Monogrammed Alphabet” is also available in a one-piece blanket: “Monogrammed Alphabet Sampler Blanket” (chart 205 x 245) <on Etsy too!>

Update Feb 11: one-piece blanket is available on Ravelry in the eBook only. Still on Etsy as well.

Update 10 am Feb 10: ravelry has rejected the one-piece blanket as being a duplicate. I am working on getting it back up. It is available on etsy and it is still in the ebook for now. Will update as I know more.

The chart for each letter is 41 x 41, which works up to about 10″ /25cm with worsted weight yarn.

They are designed to be afghan panels. You can join them with other squares of the same size and create a personalized blanket!

You can get the entire “Monogrammed Alphabet” set on Etsy or Ravelry. The bundle represents an 80% discount versus buying each square individually!

You can, of course, also buy the letters individually on Ravelry. They will be 30% off until February 18, 2021 (11:59 pm CST).

The ampersand is not found in the blanket pattern but I thought you all would really like to use it with the single letters!

The Heart and Star motif include a mirrored pattern as well, because I flipped them in the blanket and figured you might like that too.

Sophisticated Alphabet – Oversized Afghan Squares

Creating a series for the alphabet has been on my list since pretty much the beginning. In my mind it was going to be something like a cross stitch sampler, where you could spell out anything you wanted.

This set of “Sophisticated” letters isn’t really like a sampler at all. They are each individual patterns. And they are large!

The chart for each letter is 81 x 81, which works up to about 20″ /50cm with worsted weight yarn.

They are designed to be afghan panels. You can join them with my other large squares and create a personalized blanket! They would also work well as pillows or wall hangings.

BONUS: The set now includes a “Sophisticated Ampersand

One of the reasons I decided to go with 26 individual letters instead of a sampler was because the ability to use a sampler requires you to work from the charts.

I have learned over the past few months that there’s a large majority of people who can’t follow the charts. Even after watching my super handy lessons on YouTube!

Tutorial on Using my Mosaic Crochet Charts
Tutorial on Crocheting the Interlocking Technique from the Chart

So, if people need the instructions written out it is pretty hard to create something that they can customize. I have small squares in the works (individual capital letters, chart size 41 x 41, easy to mix and match with these medium-sized squares). But they are also not quite a sampler, they are still individual squares.

Someday I will work on a sampler alphabet for all you chart readers. And then you can customize words for your projects.

You can get the entire “Sophisticated Alphabet” set on Etsy or Ravelry. The bundle represents a 65-70% discount versus buying each square individually!

You can, of course, also buy the letters individually on Ravelry. They will be 30% off until February 18, 2021 (11:59 pm CST).

I had some fun in my Facebook group asking ‘which letter of the alphabet is your favorite?’ It seems most people prefer the first letter of their first name. The first letter of their last name is a close second place. And the first letter of their children’s names was a top contender as well!

Malik the Malign: Crochet Placemat Pattern

You might have noticed, I am not great at naming my patterns. I am trying to get better at that.

This pattern has a strange name. When I was drawing it, my kids were listening to a kids show and I decided the bad guy had a pretty neat name: Malik. And he is bad, so bad! He is so bad, he is Malik the Malign.

I pronounce “malign” like this: mษ™-lฤซn’

Merriam-Webster has a long entry that even includes a podcast! So interesting, right?

Back to the yarn!

The back side of this pattern, when done in interlocking creates a pattern that doesn’t connect at certain intersections. And I thought it almost looks like a bad drawing lol so I figured the ‘bad-guy’ name fit with that.

The wrong side, using interlocking crochet, by semicci

This is a pattern for a placemat. You will likely make at least 2. Some people need 4 or 6 or more for their full table set.

A beautiful table setting, crocheted using the overlay mosaic technique by CarolinevdB

If you have the skills, you can repeat the pattern and create a table runner. I wasn’t sure if there would be many interested in such a thing, so I didn’t write up a pattern. Should I?

It is written up for interlocking and overlay mosaic crochet of course. And I had a few people test it out for me before publishing.

Crocheted by Miloslava. Red is mosaic crochet, blue is interlocking.

I know the brackets can be hard for some of you. I have written about brackets here. Just take it slow, there’s no race!

The chart that comes with the pattern shows the section you are repeating. I know some of you are skilled enough to create lots from that! I can’t wait to see your creativity.

Crocheted using interlocking by Divya Tellakula

I have written the pattern to use worsted weight yarn. You could use a thinner yarn if you want a lower profile placemat. Just do more repeats to get the placemat the size you need.

You can grab this pattern on Ravelry or Etsy. And, if you’re quick, you’ll get it on sale too! Get an automatic 30% discount until January 31, 2021. No code needed, just add it to your cart to see the discount applied.

Hope you enjoy this pattern!

‘Evelyn Series’ of Interlocking and Mosaic Crochet Patterns

Sometimes I feel unsure about whether people will actually like my pattern. But, since this is a set, I feel like there must be something for everyone! Or, maybe just *nearly* everyone. ๐Ÿ˜…

The “Evelyn” set has 3 patterns: 2 small blankets and a large square.

Ravelry Links (my preferred choice)

Etsy Links

The eBook is your best value: it is worth over $20 CAD and you save 25% versus buying the patterns individually. Plus, as per usual, you will save an additional 30% when you buy these new patterns in the first 36 hours after publishing! There are no codes needed, just “add to cart” to see your new total. This discount applies to the Bundle and each individual listing.

Evelyn’s Bundle

“Evelyn’s Motif” is a 40-window square (when done with interlocking crochet) so it can easily be mixed and matched with my other squares of the same size. You can find a list here:

I crocheted my sample using the interlocking technique because I love seeing how the back will turn out! With mosaic crochet your wrong side will just be stripes. With interlocking crochet you get an inverse of the stitches which can sometimes look just as neat as the original design! What do you think of this one?

I doubt I will remember to shorten the titles of these blankets, but I did make a little bit of word fun: “EE” and “EFG” for “Evelyn’s Expression” and “Evelyn’s Favorite Guitar”. I tried to think of a way to name the square that would line up with the alphabet too, but I drew a blank. Although, it did make me think that I should be calling myself “Ashlee Brotzell’s Crochet Designs” or “ABCD”. My 6-year old daughter is all about the rhyming and same-first-letters lately.

“Evelyn’s Expression” uses “Evelyn’s Motif” and also 2 other motifs. Besides being darker or lighter than each other there is also a very slight difference in the middle motif versus the edge motifs because of symmetry. Honestly, it was a mistake at first but then I liked it.

Remember, my patterns come with written instructions for two techniques: interlocking and overlay mosaic crochet. If you choose mosaic your back will show stripes; if you choose interlocking it should look something like this image below.

It does remind me of my “Pins and Needles” pattern a bit (which you can get on Ravelry or Etsy).

Pins and Needles Crochet Pattern

And, the third pattern in this set is a bit more whimsical. My husband wants me to crochet him something for him to wear with this on it. A poncho? A cape?

And of course, the back looks pretty neat with interlocking again. To me, it does definitely look like the “wrong” side, but still a pretty nice wrong.

He plays a lot of instruments. But classical guitar is one of his favorites. I will see if I can convince him to play something and I’ll post it on YouTube for you all to see!

Speaking of YouTube, please watch some of my tutorials and subscribe to my channel. It is one of the ways you can support small businesses for free!

Sharing your wips (works in progress) and telling others about my designs is also super duper nice and helps me get my name out there. Thank you to everyone who has helped me gain so many followers on Instagram and Facebook and such. I am really overwhelmed and happy about how far things have gone already. Soon I will be reaching my 1-year anniversary of designing and I will have to get something big planned!