September Gnome, Harvest Basket, And a Birthday SALE

August was the big birthday month in my household (my husband and both our daughters) but September is MY birthday month!

From September 1 – 14, 2021 you can get 40% off everything in my Etsy shop and Ravelry store by using code “YARNFUND” (expires 11:59 pm CST September 14, 2021). Happy birthday to me!

Now, before anyone starts thinking I’m doing 40% off because I’m 40 – I am only 34! I was going to do 30% off but it just didn’t seem like a good enough gift to you all. You are all my new friends and I have LOVED having each of you in my life (in whatever small capacity it might be) so this is my birthday gift to you!

Anyway, I have always loved the back-to-school season: the cooler weather, the excitement of seeing my friends again after summer break, getting new pencils and notebooks and squeaky sneakers. And then it’s my birthday with all this fresh excitement in the air!

Here in Canada school usually starts up in the last week of August or the first week of September. Farmers are trying to get their crops brought in from the fields before the snow comes and I think that might affect the timing of school. Historically, farm kids are workers. Family farms need everyone to pitch in and do their part. I was very old before I learned that schools start at different times in other places – like, only this year I learned that some places start school in June! Seems very strange to me.

So, I tried to draw a back-to-school gnome. It did not go well. I will not show the disaster.

This harvest gnome is much better! He has his shiny apple and his hat has a leaf instead of a fluffy pom-pom. The background is sort of like the cross hatching on a woven basket in my mind, but perhaps it doesn’t need to look like anything to be a nice background.

Mosaic Crochet by CarolinevdB

And, I am not sure if you noticed, but the monthly gnomes are moving from the left side, to the middle, to the right side, then back to the middle. It looks pretty good when you put all the gnomes together. We only have a few more months to go before I will create that all-in-one blanket pattern!

I also made a pattern with just the background design because I think it would work nicely for a lot of things. Color choice could make this simple design match a lot of things. I crocheted it twice; once in wicker-basket-colors and once with a bit of POP! I call it “Harvest Basket 40” (the “40” refers to how many windows you begin with when you use the interlocking crochet technique; it is the same size as these gnome squares).

When using the interlocking crochet method, the wrong side produces a new design! This fun box design makes this square reversible! Mosaic crochet will produce stripes on the back side.

Like always, both of these new squares (Harvest Basket and September Gnome) include written line-by-line instructions for both the interlocking crochet technique and the overlay mosaic crochet technique. Each file includes a chart as well. Simple black and white boxes for interlocking; X’s to mark the dropped double crochets for mosaic.

If you have already bought the eBook “A Year of Gnomes” on Ravelry then you will see “September Gnome” has been added and the eBook has been updated. As a surprise bonus, you can download my new “Harvest Basket” square for FREE – just add it to your cart and Ravelry will automatically detect if you’ve purchased the eBook! Offer ends December 31, 2021, valid on Ravelry only.

The eBook is a great value! Ravelry has a great system for updating patterns; Etsy requires that I email you each month with the updated pattern.

And, of course, our master list of gnomes that keeps getting updated:

Thank you for reading this far! I hope you have a wonderful September! We are nearly at the half-way mark of the Summer Direction CAL and I have a fun shawl pattern that is nearly ready for release as well as ANOTHER ocean-themed eBook of baby blankets. These blankets will be the same size as the ones in the “Baby Ocean and Others” eBook but they have less of a baby style. They are a bit more grown-up in their styling. I hope you’ll love them, they’ll be ready soon!

Baby Sea Turtle: the 4th pattern but there will be more!

My four-year-old son LOVES sea turtles. He really like all ocean-things but there’s something special about a baby sea turtle.

For months, every time we took the (chicken) egg carton out of the fridge he would want to come play with the baby sea turtles (tv shows always show baby sea turtles hatching from their eggs). It was a bit hard to bake with him during that phase. Usually we like to make cookies and cake but it was hard for me to keep the eggs safe from his quick, but not-so-nimble hands.

This little blanket will be for him. I used my preferred technique, interlocking crochet (also called Locked Filet Mesh or LFM) because I can crochet it much quicker than when I do mosaic crochet. This blanket took me a week – I am sure some of you will be much quicker and many of you will take much longer for a blanket of this size. That’s ok!

I used a discontinued yarn for my sample. It was on clearance and I love a good bargain. The fluffy yarn I used (Premiere Pixie Dust) is considered a worsted weight yarn but the labels suggests you use a 5.5 mm hook. I really like the stitches to be quite small with interlocking crochet because it keeps those chain-gap-squares small and then the other color doesn’t show through too much, so I used a 5 mm hook.

Because it is so fluffy it does make the details of the design a bit less defined. And even though I used a 5 mm hook instead of my favorite 4.5 mm hook, I still used less than 500 yards per color. My finished square, including the simple single crochet border, is 33″ square.

You can use any weight yarn for my blankets, just make sure you use an appropriately-sized hook.

I titled this pattern “Baby Sea Turtle”, singular, but then I drew it with 3 little turtles swimming in the sea. 😬🤷‍♀️ I did the same with the dolphin pattern. The title is singular but the image shows more than one animal. One of my weird quirks, I guess.

My interlocking crochet version of “Baby Sea Turtle”

And, as always, the pattern is written up for interlocking crochet and overlay mosaic crochet. The two files each include written instructions and an appropriate chart.

The chart that is attached to the mosaic instructions has X’s where you need to do your dropped double crochets. I hope to make my own tutorial video for using the chart with X’s soon. But for now it is mostly useful for people who are already familiar with that style.

Natalie Caruso has been amazingly helpful in creating these charts with X’s for you guys. Thank you, Natalie!

If you’ve seen the previous patterns in this series, then you already know I created an eBook on Ravelry called “Baby Ocean & Others“. All of the patterns in this eBook have a chart size of 121 x 121 and have an ocean theme.

These blankets – when matching the gauge stated in the pattern – will be about 30″ square. My sample with the fluffy yarn and large hook came out to about 33″ square.

All of the patterns in my Baby Blankets section on Etsy and Ravelry are the same size.

You can get “Baby Sea Turtle” 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.

And, sorry for the delay in adding Baby Crab to the list of sale patterns – I forgot it doesn’t happen automatically!

The wrong side, using interlocking crochet. If you use the mosaic technique it will be striped on the back instead.

FATW6 CAL: Adventures in Mosaic Crochet – Ocean Theme

Good morning, Monday!

It has been so great seeing all the new projects getting started since Thursday when my Mosaic Coral Strip was released as the first section in the Friends Around the World 6th Anniversary CAL (FATW6)!

Mondays and Thursdays will be the release days of a new section – and today is Monday! Remember, all the pieces in this Crochet-A-Long have been designed by different people. The common theme is mosaic crochet and then 3 blankets were compiled from the submissions!

Each section is FREE. Some designers, like me, have included videos. I believe all the sections include a chart and written instructions, but I guess we will have to wait and see if that’s true.

This blog post of mine is going to be where I keep a list of all the sections as they are released. You can bookmark it if you like! You can also sign up for updates from the host: CAL Crochet A Long Facebook group

Also, please feel free to share your progress on this CAL in my Ashlee Brotzell Designs Facebook group. Normally, I don’t allow work by other designers but since this is a group collaboration I am making an exception – I want to see your progress! 🙂

I will link to the official CAL blog entry and you will have to scroll through their post to find the link to that section’s pattern (some are Ravelry downloads, some are on websites; different designers have different ways of doing things).

Friends Around The World: Adventures in Mosaic Crochet – Ocean theme

July 8, 2021: Mosaic Coral Strip by Ashlee Brotzell

Since this is my section I will also link to my blog entry about it and the ravelry download. Plus, my handy-dandy video walk-thru: Coral Strip on YouTube

July 12: Sally Starfish by Lynette Kosar of Lavender Cup Cottage

Look for the link to the ravelry download near the end of the article I linked to above.

July 15: Mosaic Crab by Suzanne Lively Boren

This one also has a link to ravelry near the end of the article.

July 19: Dancing Octopus by Suzanne Lively Boren

Find the ravelry link at the end of the blog article!

July 22: Mosaic Squid by Suzanne Lively Boren of Not So Boren Crochet

Suzanne was busy! This is another section she did!

July 26: The Goldfish 1 by Svetlana Rogatykh

This goldfish section also includes a tiny border design you can use at any point in your design! And the goldfish is pretty awesome! The link the to ravelry download is at the end of the article I have linked to above.

July 29: The Goldfish 2 by Svetlana Rogatykh

Svetlana’s second pattern in this Crochet-A-Long is swimming the other direction! Her Ravelry link is going at the end of the post linked to above.

August 2: Wave 1 by Svetlana Rogatykh

Another beautiful section from Svetlana!

August 5: Dolphin by Suzanne Boren of Not so Boren Crochet

You must be familiar with this designer by now! The official blog post from CAL has a direct link to her download, no Ravelry this time.

August 8: Wave 2 by Svetlana Rogatykh

Svetlana contributed so many designs to this CAL that you could actually create a full blanket with just her designs! You can get all of them in one file now.

August 12: My Anchors by Lana Ignjatovic of Loving Stitches Designs

In this CAL so far we have seen some repeated designers, but here’s a new one! This designer isn’t new to designing though; if you participated in the FATW5 CAL you may recognize her name. You can grab this anchor strip right from the official CAL blog linked above.

August 16: Dragorad’s Regatta designed by Lana Ignjatovic of Loving Stitches Designs

Another design from Lana here! It is hosted on the CAL blog so all you need to do is scroll to the end of their blog post and find the link to her pattern!

August 18, 2021: Sunglasses by Ashlee Brotzell

I have the privilege of being the final piece in this ocean-themed blanket! You can view the pattern on my blog or grab the free Ravelry download. And there’s a full walk-thru on YouTube!

After you finish crocheting these cool sunglasses, head back to the host blog and find instructions on finishing!

July Gnome: Beach Time

Here in Saskatchewan, Canada we are going through a heat wave. A week of temperatures over 30° Celsius (86° Fahrenheit), sometimes getting as high as 38°C! (100°F) Maybe you are in a place that is warm all the time and you just laugh at us but I feel like it is too hot to even go to the beach.

July Gnome lives on the beach. Surf, sand, and sun! Sun’s out, buns out! Flip flops and sunglasses! He is having a great time!

I want YOU to have a great time too! To start the 2nd half of 2021 off right, everything on Etsy and Ravelry will be 25% off until July 5th. No codes needed.

Rainbow-colored knitted background, text says, "Ashlee Brotzell Designs. 25% off Etsy and Ravelry. Linktr.ee/LFMandMosaic @AshleesLint

I know the background of that graphic is knitted, not crocheted. I just finished this tube blanket on my Sentro 48 and the colors are just so amazing! I do have a YouTube video with some tips if you have a circular knitting machine and want to try making a blanket too!

Anyway, back to the crochet. And specifically, back to our monthly gnome! I particularly like the nose on this one.

Sample crocheted by CarolinevdB using the overlay mosaic technique

Like all my patterns, this is written for both of my favorite techniques: interlocking crochet and overlay mosaic crochet.

The eBook, “A Year of Gnomes” is half-finished now. I will also be adding a bonus all-in-one pattern once all the Gnomes are drawn and published. It will follow the same format as all my patterns: line-by-line instructions for interlocking crochet, a chart, and then the line-by-line instructions for overlay mosaic crochet. It will have all the gnomes in monthly order starting at the top right corner.

If I wanted to crochet all the Gnomes into a blanket, especially when using the mosaic technique, I would prefer an all-in-one pattern. Keeps those tails to a minimum when doing mosaic crochet. However, it is easier to change colors for each square by doing them one by one. And, if I was doing them one at a time I’d probably use the interlocking method because I find it easier to join the squares.

Here’s our master list of Gnomes so far:

I guess this monthly gnome series is sort of like a CAL (Crochet-A-Long). Our MusicCAL just ended and I love seeing all your projects. 🤩

There’s another CAL for you to eagerly anticipate!

The Friends Around the World 6th Anniversary CAL: Adventure in Mosaic Crochet begins on July 8th! This is a group-effort CAL. There were so many designers that they actually have 3 different blankets for you to make!

I can’t spoil the surprise of which part is mine or when my part will be released. But the first blanket begins on Thursday, July 8th and has an ocean theme!

Sample of Ocean FATW6

Some cool details:

  • FREE
  • Mosaic Crochet
  • Many designers
  • My section includes written instructions, a chart with x’s, and a YouTube tutorial walk-thru!
  • New section released every Monday and Thursday, beginning on Thursday, July 8, 2021
  • Ocean-themed blanket first
  • Geometric blanket begins August 30, 2021
  • Garden Party begins October 25th
  • This is the 6th Friends Around the World (FATW6) CAL

Make sure you join the Facebook group and event for this one! https://www.facebook.com/calcrochetalong

June Gnome: Gone Fishin’

I don’t really have a master plan on creating all these gnomes. I have a few ideas written down for each month and then when it’s time for me to sit down and draw I let the art guide me.

For June, I tried drawing a kite. I tried doing a bee theme. I had flowers written down but I used flowers last month. I tried swimming. The water led me to a fish. The fish didn’t work either. But it led me to this fishing scene.

Big thanks to CarolinevdB for crocheting this pretty sample 🤩

Do you think the Gnomes change costumes each month or is he permanently wearing a fishing hook on his hat? Is his identity “fishing” or is it just his current activity?

While we ponder these deep questions, grab your copy of the pattern!

I have been asked before, so I will tell you: I prefer you to buy on Ravelry. The fees are better for me. And the ability to update the eBook for everyone all at once is better too. But I use Etsy as well because I want everyone to have access. Use what’s best for you.

If you’ve previously bought a pattern (any of my patterns) on Etsy and would like me to add it to your Ravelry account please send me a message! You can email me, use the contact me page on my website here, and me a message on Ravelry or Facebook or through Etsy. So many options! I try to check everything regularly.

The eBook, “A Year of Gnomes” is half-finished now. I will also be adding a bonus all-in-one pattern once all the Gnomes are drawn and published. It will follow the same format as all my patterns: line-by-line instructions for interlocking crochet, a chart, and then the line-by-line instructions for overlay mosaic crochet. It will have all the gnomes in monthly order starting at the top right corner.

If I wanted to crochet all the Gnomes into a blanket, especially when using the mosaic technique, I would prefer an all-in-one pattern. Keeps those tails to a minimum when doing mosaic crochet. However, it is easier to change colors for each square by doing them one by one. And, if I was doing them one at a time I’d probably use the interlocking method because I find it easier to join the squares.

Here’s our master list of Gnomes so far:

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!