Seahorse Dance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway, back to the crochet…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get the Pattern

Chart size 161 x 161

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

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

Electric Shock

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you like the repetitive patterns?

Get the Pattern

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

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

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

All the Waves

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

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

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

Interlocking Wave 10 crocheted for YouTube tutorial

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

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

Waves Scarf crocheted by Claudia

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

Waves Shawl crocheted by Dawn Haynes

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

Crocheted by Christine Schneider

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

Get the Pattern

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

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

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

Mosaic Crochet, by Angela Kermack

Four Lobsters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Get the Pattern

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

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

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

Trident

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

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

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

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

Get the Pattern

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

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

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

To Sail Away

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

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

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

Get the Pattern

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

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

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

One Octopus

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

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

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

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

Get the Pattern

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

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

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

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.

Baby Fish: Final Pattern in the Baby Ocean and Others eBook

This is the final pattern in my eBook: Baby Ocean & Others. The list of patterns in this eBook is: Baby Ocean, Baby Dolphin, Baby Crab, Baby Sea Turtle, Baby Whale, and Baby Fish. These links all go to Ravelry but you can also get these patterns on Etsy.

I wanted at least 4 patterns in this series so you could create a 60″ x 60″ blanket by joining them together. Six patterns gives you options to pick your favorites or create a long blanket (like for a twin size bed at 60″ by 90″). Or, of course, just use them as a standalone baby blanket.

I have already drawn up some other patterns of this size and with an ocean theme but they don’t fit into the “baby animal” theme. I will create another eBook later for those patterns! And I had hoped to complete this eBook by the end of July – and since it’s now August you can see that I missed that self-imposed deadline!

So this is the final pattern; and it is a beautiful piece (if I do say so myself). I based it off a gorgeous painting my six-year-old daughter, Alice, did a few weeks ago. I believe it was from a lesson on watercolors from Nana B. Yes, we have a family of artists!

A few months ago Alice drew Feline the Deer on her chalkboard and told me I could use it for a pattern. This time I created the pattern as a surprise. Her painting has some wonderful color-blocking but that doesn’t translate well into my patterns so I added some line designs to separate the areas. There are designers that do fancy color work – but I have been so busy creating new patterns that I just haven’t gotten that far in my journey yet. Maybe someday. And, if you’d like, you can definitely add some color changes to your project and show off your skills and creativity!

But, I wanted to crochet it as it is written. Two colors. One Main Color and one Accent Color / Contrasting Color. I used Scheepjes Color Crafter (Polare) as my Main Color and Red Heart Super Saver Stripes (Retro Stripes) as the Contrasting Color. These are technically not the same weight. It was definitely noticeable as I was crocheting. The Scheepjes yarn is a 3 – light worsted and the Super Saver yarn is a 4 – medium worsted. But I wanted to use this pretty rainbow stuff and I wanted to find a good contrasting color here from my stash to go with it. I still used my favorite 4.5 mm hook.

One of these days I may get over my aversion to buying new yarn for a special project. I just love yarn sales! And then I feel like I should use what I have, you know? I did buy some fancy yarn for a giveaway in my Facebook group! We are celebrating reaching 5000 members!

My sample was made using the overlay mosaic technique; I usually prefer to do interlocking but I have been doing that a lot lately and I knew my friend, CynCityCrochets, was going to use the interlocking technique. I don’t really like how long it takes me to crochet using the mosaic method. Plus those darn tails need to be dealt with. I spent at least an hour and a half just seaming the envelope border together!

Sample by CynCityCrochets – interlocking crochet technique. White as MC.

You must know by now that all of my patterns are written for two techniques: interlocking crochet and overlay mosaic crochet. For the “Baby Fish” pattern you get one file with written line-by-line instructions for locked filet mesh (that’s what I call interlocking crochet) and a one-page chart and another file with written line-by-line instructions for the overlay mosaic crochet technique and a multi-page chart with X’s showing where to do the drop-down double crochets. I don’t yet have a tutorial on how to use the X-marked charts but if you’re familiar with other designers you might already know what to do. I hope to update this soon with a note saying I have a tutorial now!

I hope you’re enjoying the size of these patterns in my Baby Blankets section on Etsy and Ravelry.

As I said earlier, this completes my eBook on Ravelry called “Baby Ocean & Others“. I have now also added the entire eBook to Etsy. I didn’t add it earlier because Etsy doesn’t update customers like Ravelry does so it creates more work for me – I did list the Year of Gnomes eBook on Etsy without having it finished first because a year is much too long to wait!

If you don’t want the whole eBook (and the automatic savings you get with that) then you can just grab the individual blanket pattern. Get “Baby Fish” on Etsy or Ravelry. Use code, “BABY21” on Ravelry (which has been extended!) or “BABY21MORE” on Etsy (Etsy wouldn’t let me extend) to get 20% off* all my baby blanket patterns!

*20% discount is valid in my Etsy Shop on Preemie Love Blanket, Feline the Deer, Many Hugs, Baby Ocean, Baby Dolphin, Baby Crab, Baby Sea Turtle, Baby Whale, Baby Fish, and Baby Ocean & Others eBook; use code “BABY21MORE”.

And in my Ravely store on Preemie Love Blanket, Feline the Deer, Many Hugs, Baby Ocean, Baby Dolphin, Baby Crab, Baby Sea Turtle, Baby Whale, Baby Fish, and Baby Ocean & Others eBook. Code “BABY21” must be used at the time of purchase, and is not retroactive. Offer ends 11:59 pm CST July 31, 2021. OFFER EXTENDED TO AUGUST 10, 2021.

Baby Whale: 5 of 6 patterns in the Baby Ocean and Others eBook

These ocean-themed baby blankets have been fun to design! I have finally decided upon six baby ocean patterns for the eBook on Ravelry. Would you like me to put the eBook on Etsy too once it’s complete?

This adorable whale started his life looking quite different but I am happy with the final outcome. My art leads me most of the time. At least this time it is still a whale! I gotta go with the flow, you know?

Sometimes I ask my husband for his opinion. Sometimes I ask a friend online. And sometimes I ignore everything they say.

I get a little defensive, “this is MY art, stop telling me what to do!”

But sometimes I listen when my husband says the eye needs to go back farther and maybe change the curve of his back? And, wouldn’t you know it, my artsy husband can even be right! (some of the time)

Sample crocheted by CynCityCrochets using the interlocking crochet technique. Her fun purple ombre yarn really adds to this design!

As always, my pattern is written for two techniques: interlocking crochet and overlay mosaic crochet. You get one file with written line-by-line instructions for locked filet mesh (that’s what I call interlocking crochet) and a one-page chart. The single-page chart is good for viewing on a screen because you can easily zoom in on the section you’re working on.

The other file has written line-by-line instructions for the overlay mosaic crochet technique and a multi-page chart with X’s showing where to do the drop-down double crochets. These charts are best used printed off and taped together. It can be confusing to scroll between the pages when you’re not sure which row to look at next.

This pattern, along with the others in my Baby Blankets section on Etsy and Ravelry all begin with 60 windows when you use the Locked Filet Mesh technique or 121 foundation single crochets for the overlay mosaic method.

These extra-large squares have been designed with the thought that if you join four together you could get a full 60″ blanket. I have a tutorial on YouTube for joining squares but this is only one of many ways you could do it.

Since this is not the first pattern in my Baby Ocean series, you should already know about the eBook on Ravelry called “Baby Ocean & Others“. It will be updated to include each of these ocean-themed baby blanket patterns as I publish them. And I have finally concluded that there will be a total of six (6) patterns in this eBook.

I have more than six Ocean-themed blankets but I have decided to create a new eBook next month with the designs that don’t really fit into the “baby” theme.

Get “Baby Whale” on Etsy or Ravelry. Use code, “BABY21” to get 20% off* all my baby blanket patterns!

*20% discount is valid in my Etsy Shop on Preemie Love Blanket, Feline the Deer, Many Hugs, Baby Ocean, Baby Dolphin, Baby Crab, Baby Sea Turtle, Baby Whale, Baby Fish, and Baby Ocean & Others eBook; use code “BABY21MORE”.

And in my Ravely store on Preemie Love Blanket, Feline the Deer, Many Hugs, Baby Ocean, Baby Dolphin, Baby Crab, Baby Sea Turtle, Baby Whale, Baby Fish, and Baby Ocean & Others eBook. Code “BABY21” must be used at the time of purchase, and is not retroactive. Offer ends 11:59 pm CST July 31, 2021. OFFER EXTENDED TO AUGUST 10, 2021.

This offer will be extended to August 10, 2021 because I didn’t create the patterns fast enough! I have a 6th pattern to publish in this eBook. The final pattern has a special place in my heart – you’re going to love it! It should be ready for you in one week!