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The story behind the Book

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Beatrix-sê_RaakHEKELslim_voorblad_low-res

The story is born out of pages and pages of printed class manuals.

  • How to choose yarn for a project.
  • What are the characteristics of different fibres and how does it influence my final product.
  • What are stitches made up from; it has an anatomy?
  • Are there better ways to do the basic techniques to make my project appear better or make the crochet experience easier, faster, or more interesting?

These are some of the things that I approach during my many, many years of crochet classes.  All this information I compiled into fully illustrated, text heavy manuals.

These manuals found their fame and popularity among crocheters all over the country and even abroad, and the request to get hold of these informative guides streamed in.  I became a primitive printing business and soon it smothered all my crochet-, design and class teaching time.  I stopped it just as fast as it started.  And then the pressure came…

“B, you should publish your manuals!”

“B, why don’t you write a crochet book with your manual content.”

“B, we want a book!”

And like all of us will feel (I know everyone will feel modest and not have an ego boost thinking of your own book appearing on the shelves of book stores and in every home of every single crocheter…wink-wink) I felt doubtful if any publisher would even consider helping me.  I had no idea what it involves to write a book!

I decided to take up the challenge.

What publishers will I approach?  How do I contact them?  What will I tell them?

But I made the move and contacted a few.

A “Specific Publisher” (I will refer to them in this way as I don’t want to mention their name to prevent any “naming and shaming”) was very keen on my proposal, but they preferred a single compiled book for beginners.

“What?”  “Reeeally?”  “That was not my idea!”

I wanted to publish the manuals as separate booklets that can be used as learning material for the crocheter that wants to learn on her own time or for the crocheter that wants to teach classes.  Now they want ONE book!

Oh well, then I give them ONE book, but NO WAY I AM GOING TO GIVE THEM JUST ANOTHER BEGINNERS CROCHET BOOK!!!
I am of the opinion that there are waaay too many beginner books on the market and nothing that can challenge the intermediate and more advance crocheter.  And that is the need I wanted to fill.

Many of my “students” referred to these manuals they received during classes as their “Crochet Bibles”, as that was the one thing they used to refer back to when they needed information.

That was what I wanted to achieve from this book.  Your number one reference guide.

In a few months time I compiled text, took photos, designed projects, write patterns and submit it in time so the publisher could start doing their part.  We were well in the process getting the book ready; me doing proofreading of the publisher’s editing work then I got the NEWS:

“Dear Mrs Snyman,

I don’t know if your are aware that Leisure Books are closing down and we mainly rely on them for our marketing purposes.  For that reason we have to withdraw some of our leisure publications for this year and we regretfully have to inform you that your book is one of them!”

Do you really want to know how I felt???

Can you imagine?

weeping-smiley
Devastation in over gear!

Months, days, nights without sleep’s work all for nothing!!!  And it is not only all the time wasted, but expenses were involved in preparation, dearly beloved crochet friends that gave their time and support to help me with this project.  All for nothing!!  I felt totally and utterly devastated!

During the time I received this news, I was in the middle of a big move from city to city that took up all my time.  My husband worked overseas and wasn’t even around to give a hug and say that everything is fine and it will all go away and that it is only a dream and that i will wake up any minute….

I didn’t want to make immediate decisions regarding this book.  I wanted to give it all up.  I thought of the lost time I could’ve spend with my little girls instead of sitting in front of the laptop, thinking up words to write down, taking photos and editing it, making projects and writing the patterns and re-read and re-consider information over and over again.  I could rather spend that time with them!  I could’ve rather have sleep, instead of having nights that I worked right through to get everything done in time for the due date that was set.   This motivated me to try again…

I wrote an email to Tania from LAPA publishers.  Explaining this whole story you just read.

lapa logo

I got immediate feedback.  You see, when I first approached publishers, LAPA was one of them and knew about me and the book, but unfortunately at that stage they already had their planning done for the year and then the “Specific Publisher” responded with interest instead.

And that is where my relationship with LAPA started.

Today I can announce that my tears of sadness turned into tears of joy!  With the dedicated help and assistance of such skillful people, LAPA have this book available from mid July!!

So keep your eyes open for:

Beatrix-sê_RaakHEKELslim_voorblad_low-res

And you can start ordering yours at LAPA

Because the LAPA is mainly an Afikaans publisher, the book will be published in Afrikaans, but if you prefer English, please send them an email at EMAIL LAPA or phone them, so that they can record the interest in an English version!!

Happy Crochet Fellow Hookies!!

Lots of Love

Beatrix Naam

xxx

Fancy Dye: What’s in the Name?

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I am a very bad blogger.  This is something that I just can’t keep up in doing on a regular base.  There are too many things taking up my time in a day….
Yes I knoooowww!!  Plannnn!!  Do a little bit at a time!
I am one of those people that have to focus on one thing at a time.  The minute I get distracted I just can’t get my focus back and then I move on.  With 2 six year old young ladies, distractions happen every 5 seconds….like just now! “Mamma, I want prestic!”  And that sentence was not even finish then it was: “Mamma, can I have one of your stickers?”  And then, 2 seconds, “Mamma, can I go to my friend next door?”  Sigh…..

And that is what life is all about, isn’t it??  Our families!
The Fancy Dye yarns are exactly what this is all about.  Family and life events.

Fancy Dyed Yarns page 1

The Self striping yarn.  We just started with Grade 1 and we are homeschooling!  I know, crazy!!  But I’m a very determined person and it is something that I decided to do even before I had children.  It is a personal conviction and hey! we survived our first few weeks!!  So, with all the craziness of sounds, words, writing and reading, I thought of bringing some of the fun into my yarns.  The names for the self striping yarns are mainly homophones that I use with the “wrong” meaning like: Lazy Daze instead of Lazy Days and Sow Easy instead of So Easy.
Isn’t that fun?

Lazy Daze - Selfstriping

The Variegated yarn.  This is all about family and life.  I chose important life events to name these yarns like: Mom’s Birthday….which is obvious!! (wink-wink), Road Trip….which is always a good idea to have as a family, Make Me Proud…for those moments when you feel proud of a child’s accomplishment or your husband’s promotion (don’t we all???) or when you yourself mastered that pattern that was written for the Bachelors Degree student.

 

Click on the photos to see more Fancy Dyed yarns!

 

Variegated_Grandmas Wisdom Variegated_Me Time Variegated_Road Trip Variegated_Her First Word

 

Life is short!  Enjoy it!

But enjoy it with the ones you love!!

B

xxx

Btrix Yarns: Emanating Happiness!

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Oh my!   I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so nervous and excited all at the same time!

I’ve been working under the radar for almost two years now.  I was busy writing the book last year (of which I will post about soon as well), we were moving from city to city, hubby working overseas with a few challenges during the year with that as well, and then….Then something amazing, Inspiring and Delightful came across my path of creativity.

Colour!! And lots and lots of it!!

Crochet Class #7 Colour Wheel_2.1

I love colour!  I love playing with colour! I love putting colours together!  I love analyzing people’s colour palette (I did that for many years when I was a dress designer), I love the psychology of colour, the symbolism of colour, I purely just love colour!

So, my dear friend, Carlé from Nurturing Fibres introduced me to the art of hand dyeing yarn!

I was hooked immediately!  I considered natural dyeing for a long time now, but I never thought that I would ever get the opportunity to play around with this fabulous art as I do now.  Deep inside I admired it and wished for it! Then Carlé partook in making this dream come true!

And today, I can announce the release of my own yarn label, Btrix Yarns!

btrix-yarns

Okay, let’s get to the obvious matters.  Btrix Yarns???  Why the name?  Isn’t that just too obvious?

Well, I thought so too when I just started to think about a name for the yarn.  I wanted the name to mean something inspiring, get people excited, joyous, happy, ecstatic!  These are the feelings I want to spread!  I tried a few names, but nothing quite did it for me.  Then, it hit me!  Whether I liked it or not, my own name was the perfect denotation for what I wanted to accomplish.

The name “Beatrix” in Latin, means “she who brings happiness”.  Isn’t that just amazing?!  So, with the variation I use for writing my name for my business, I use the same way to name the yarn.  And with that, I hope to emanate the happiness I want to bring, every time you see, hold, feel, work with Btrix Yarns!

merino_mended-jeans     merino_cosmos

merino_sable-brown     merino_oyster-shell

Peach Basket_100% Alpaca     Tree Moss_100% Alpaca

Ruby Cabernet_100% Alpaca

 

Currently, I play with two animal fibers and blends thereof; alpaca (which is my main focus) and merino. And to extend that feel of inspiration and delight, I respectively call the two fiber ranges INSPIRED by Alpaca and DELIGHTED with Merino.

inspired-by-alpaca   delighted-with-merino

The yarn will be available in my online shop, but first, I will have the privilege of showing it to you at the local HobbyX that takes place this coming weekend, 7-9 October 2016 at the Cape Town ICC.  The yarns will be available at Nurturing Fibres’ stand on Saturday and Sunday and if you are around, come and get Inspired and Delighted with all the yarns and colours!

launch-2

 

After this creative event, the yarn will be available in my online shop, for you to indulge yourself in.

I hope to have it in your LYS (local yarn shop) soon as well, so if you are interested in stocking Btrix Yarns, please feel free to contact me.

Do you understand my nervousness and excitement all at the same time, now?  Nervous, because I hope that you will find happiness, inspiration and delight in the product I give to you and excited, because this is the start of a new beginning for me, emanating happiness!!

Keep your eye on this space for much more colour inspirations and yarn delight!!

Blessings

B

xx

Pattern: Granny Style Boots

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I haven’t been here for quite a while, I know, but it has been a busy few months between classes and workshops, yarn sales, getting patterns in order to get them published for you, and then there’s the girlies and hubby been either overseas or on courses.  Mentioning the latter, I am very proud to announce that hubby got a promotion at work.  I’m so proud of him as he really works hard.

But, between all the “hecticness” of a busy household and keeping a small business going, I managed to get my Granny Style Boot pattern in order!

I make these boots for quite a few years now, and many of my customers asked for the pattern.  My reply?  It’s in my head!!! or scribbled down in my short hand (that only I would understand of course) in one of my many note books lying all over the place.

Belinda Erasmus_3

These pair of boots was my first hit.  I used Elle Pure Gold – DK back then.  That was before I became a Natural Yarn Snob!!

One of my husband’s colleagues is a photographer, and when her eldest was a newborn, she took this photo for me.

In the mean time, I made many pairs, in mono colours, multi colours, as sets with beanies or ear flap hats…

Granny Style Beanie & Boots

These are one of my latest sets.  Yes, it is my Granny Style Beanie, with a matching set of the Granny Style Boots.

Both will be available in my website shop and on ravelry.

Granny Style Boot

The pattern I wrote for Vinnis Colours Bambi, using 2-strands together with a size 4.5mm/7(US).

I found that I can use the Vinnis Colours Nikkim as well, in the same manner, and the sizing works out the same.

In the above photo, I used Vinnis Colours Nikkim, but the Bambi is just sooo much softer.

The pattern is for the intermediate hooker, so be warned.  To crochet shoes in general is not a good start for beginners.  The stitch count is very important in this pattern, as well as the placement of your joining slip stitch after each round the the sole, sides and top.  The cuffs are worked in rows and you can either end of each colour or carry it along the side until you have to use it in another row.  Easy to do with unequal amount of colours.

Here are some simplified variations I made before.  I didn’t use the granny cluster in the cuff, but just made plain hdc rows.

Granny Style Boot Variation 1 Granny Style Boot Variation 2 Granny Style Boot Variation 3

Hope you enjoy the pattern when you try it!

B

xxx

Colour Combinations: Colours of Grace

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COLOUR!!

I just Love It!

Shades and Tints of all the Hues that God created; it just fascinates me!

As I became a yarn distributor, I wanted a new way of introducing the possibilities of colour to the creative community; especially the crochet gals…

So I started playing around with photos, adding some yarns that compliment the colours of the photos and very soon this became one of the most inspiring methods of putting together colour combinations for that special crochet project we all want to start, but just can’t decide on the colours to use!

These are previously published combinations, so I’m sorry for those who knows these photos already.  New ones will come in the future, but for now, refresh your possibilities!

page 1.2 page 2.2

page 3.2 page 4.2

page 5.1 page 6.2

page 7.2 page 8.2

page 9.2 page 10.2

page 11.2 page 12.2

page 13.2 page 14.2

page 15.2 page 1.2

page 2.2 page 3.2

page 4.2 page 5.2

page 6.2 page 7.2

page 8.2 page 9.2

page 10.2 page 11.2

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Please let me know how these colour combinations helped you in making colour choices!

Hope you enjoyed feasting your eyes 😉

B

xxx

Free Pattern: My Doll Slippers

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Since my little girls were babies, I fell in love with Mary Jane shoes as one as my most favorite items to make, either by sewing or crochet.

So every now and then, when I’m getting the chance, I’m playing around with shoes.

Nevertheless, when my girls got their first dolls, one of the first items in the dolls’ wardrobe was crochet shoes.

Last week for their birthday, we gave them baby dolls as birthday presents.

Yesterday the one girl came to me, asking to make shoes for her “baby” as her feet gets cold (as it is winter this time of year in the Southern Hemisphere).

I grabbed some yarn and started putting something together.

And wha-la!!

I wanted to call them “The 5-minute Doll Slippers” as it is really so quick to make them.

But I decided to stick to a simple “My Doll Slippers”.

 

My Doll Slippers

IMG_4339

Skill Level

02-easy

 

Materials
  •  50g Colours of Grace Magdalene (100% Cotton) 10-ply 4-medium
  • 4.5mm crochet hook

 

Gauge

7sc x 8rows = 5cm x 5cm

 

Approximate Finished Dimensions

Heel to Toe = 5.5cm

 

Abbreviations

ch – chain

beg – beginning

blo – back loop only

dc – double crochet

hdc – half double crochet

prev – previous

sc – single crochet

sl st – slip stitch

st(s) – stitch(es)

yo – yarn over

 

Special Stitches Used

Dc2tog:

Yo hook, insert hook into indicated st, yo, pull up a loop through st (you should have 3 loops on hook), yo and pull through 1st 2 loops (1st dc done halfway), insert hook into next st, yo, pull up a loop through st (you should have 4 loops on hook), yo and pull through 1st 2 loops on hook (2nd dc done halfway). Now you should have THREE loops on hook.  Yo and pull through ALL THREE loops on hook.

Hdc2tog:

Yo hook, insert hook into indicated st, yo, pull up a loop up through st (you should have 3 loops on hook), insert hook into next st, yo, pull up a loop through st (you should have 4 loops on hook), yo, pull yarn through all 4 loops on hook.

Sc5tog:

Insert hook into indicated st, yo, pull up a loop, (insert hook into next st, yo, pull up a loop) x4 (you should have 6 loops on hook), yo and pull through all 6 loops.

 

Pattern Notes
  • This pattern in written in American English terminology.
  • Although I used the Colours of Grace 10-ply yarn, this pattern also works perfectly when I use 2 strands of the Vinnis Colours’ Nikkim which is a 7-ply yarn.

IMG_4322_2

Instructions

Sole

Round 1: ch 6, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in next 2 chs, hdc 1, dc 5 in last ch, (now you will work in the opposite side of the chain, causing you to work in the round) hdc 1, sc 2, 2sc in last st, join with sl st  in ch-1  – 14sts

Round 2: ch 1, 2sc in same st and next 4, 2sc in next 4 stitches, sc 4, 2sc in next 2 stitches, join with sl st in 1st sc – 22sts

 Sides

Round 3: ch1, sc in blo of each st around, join with sl st in ch-1 – 21sc

 Top

Round 4: ch1, sc 3, hdc2tog, (dc2tog) x2, hdc2tog, sc10, join with sl st in ch-1 – 17sts

Round 5: ch1, sc 2, sc5tog, ch1, sc in next 10, join with sl st in ch-1.

Fasten off.

To download the pattern in PDF format, click here!

 

Blessings!

B

xxx

A 4th Birthday Party

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Wednesday was my girls’ 4th birthday, and when I had to decide on a venue to host the party, the choice was easy;

Shelanti Restaurant & Tea Garden.

This is where I host my Crochet Classes & Workshops.

We had a Princess Birthday Party, and as always, mommy loved the dress-up and decorating part!

Beforehand, I made hand-out invites in the shape of a party dress.  The previous years I did electronic invitations, but decided this year that a princess should hand out proper invitations to her guests.

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I made party dresses for the girls, did cake decorating, princess themed snacks, and my favorite…the crowns I made from felt.

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We had some fun activities…

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And each princess had to decorate her own cupcake!

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And here are my two beautiful little princesses!

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Congratulations on your 4th Birthday, my precious little angels!

I pray God’s blessings over your life and may you always be aware of His Love and Presence in your life!

Design your own Beanie

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NOTE:

THIS IS ONLY A GUIDE AND MAY DIFFER FROM STITCH TO STITCH, PATTERN TO PATTERN, TO YARN USED, TO HOOK SIZE.

I get weekly inquiries from ladies asking for help to crochet beanies.

Well, here I have a few guidelines made up ​​and at the end, you can find a Free Newborn Beanie and the link to my Granny style beanie available in my Ravelry online shop.
To design your own beanie sounds very challenging, but once you get the basic concept on how to crochet a flat circle, and you have the basic head measurements, it is very simple.

But first I’m going to give you a few rules for the use of specific stitches. The stitch you are using will determine how accurate your measurements for different sizes will be.

Let’s start with measurements:

 

MEASUREMENTS

Head circumference:

Measurements are taken with a measuring tape horizontally around the forehead.

Make sure the tape measure is horizontally parallel to take correct measurements.

Beanie length:

The length of the beanie is measured from the crown to the bottom of the earlobe.

I’ve seen beanie patterns on the web that are simply to short. It looks ridiculous when a beanie stops just above the ear. Make your beanie rather too long than too short. It is more practical, especially for children who are still growing.

Next is the flat circle or crown of the beanie:

 

THE CROWN

How many times did you crochet a circles that simply refuses to lie flat?

It all depends on the kind of stitch you’re using and the amount of stitches worked into the foundation circle plus how you increase in each round.

What to remember?

  1. The number of stitches needed depends upon the height of the stitch. The taller the stitch the more stitches required.
  2. When you use the same stitch throughout your motif, the number of stitches to be added on subsequent rounds is the same for every round. That number is the same number of stitches used in round one.
  3. Increases should be made one by one and spaced evenly as possible around.

See fig.1.1 below

Table 1.1 Type of stitch versus amount of stitches versus increase for each round.

SAMPLE ROUND 1 ROUND 2
Increase
EachStitch
ROUND 3
Increase
Each2nd Stitch
ROUND 4
Increase
Each3rd Stitch
ROUND 5
Increase
Each4th Stitch
ROUND 6 Increase
Each5th Stitch
EACH ROUND
sc 6 = 12 = 18 = 24 = 30 = 36 + 6
hdc 8 = 16 = 24 = 32 = 40 = 48 + 8
dc 12 = 24 = 36 = 48 = 60 = 72 12 +
tr 18 = 36 = 54 = 72 = 90 = 108 18 +
dtr 24 = 48 = 72 = 96 = 120 = 144 24 +

The most effective stitch that I found for successive size increase for beanies is the hdc (half double crochet).

The dc (double crochet) can be very variable in increasing, but I adjust my increase in the last round by skipping every 2nd increasing stitch pair, so instead of 12 increased stitches in that round, I will have only 6.

Figure 1.1 Equal increase in Double Crochet.

Circle Diagram 1.4 clear

 

The measurements for the CROWN will be as follows:

Head circumference minus 5cm = perimeter of flat circle.

Now for the sides:

 

SIDES

To keep it simple, keep the stitch type you use for the crown. Once pattern stitches are incorporated, the size of the beanie around the head will be influenced. Some stitch patterns gives a tighter tension on the item, others give a looser tension.

For the sides; stop increasing, and just keep up with the number of stitches that you ended with in the last increasing round of the crown.

Continue until you reached the required length.

Here is a table with basic measurements of head circumference, crown length and circumference of beanie.

Table 1.2 Beanie measurements guide in centimeters

Size Head Circumference Hat Circumference Beanie Perimeter Length (crown to base of ear)
Newborn 34 31 29 13
3 Months 41 39 36 15
6 Months 43 40 38 16
12 Months 46 43 41 17
2 Years 48 45 43 18
3-5 years 51 48 46 19
6-10 years 53 50 48 20
Teen to Adult 56-61 51-56 51-56 21-22

Remember as I said at the beginning, this is just a guideline. You have to play with the yarn, hook size, type of stitch and stitch pattern, if you want to use it this way.

Play around, do not be afraid!

Here is a FREE PATTERN Newborn Beanie!

Here is my STYLE Granny Beanie in sizes Newborn to Adult !

I trust that this information is of value to you and that you will design your own beanie very soon.

Good luck and enjoy!

B

xxx

Tri-Celebration

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April is ‘n baie belangrike maand in die Snyman huis.
Dan word daar ‘n huweliksherdenking en 2 verjaardae sommer 3 dae in ‘n ry gevier.
Die 7de het ons, ons 7de huweliksherdenking gevier.
Die 8e was manlief se verjaardag en die 9e was dit my voorreg om nog ‘n lewensjaar te vier.
En ek kon dit weer saam met baie spesiale vriendinne doen.
En almal van hulle hekel natuurlik.
Maar wat vir my so spesiaal is, is die geskenkies wat hulle aan dra!
Alles handgemaak!!!

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Ek het my eie eerste gehekelde waslappie gekry!! Want jy hekel die mos vir almal behalwe jouself.
Ekt my eerste “teapot cozy” gekry, want die word ook altyd as geskenke vir ander gemaak, en jou eie teepot staan en koud kry.
En die mooiste mosaic harte! Want die liefde vir handewerk vier hooggety!
En dan, om dit af te rond…die mooiste blikkie (met ietsie wat lekker ruik daarbinne vir die waslappie), want ek hou van houertjies. As ek iets binne in iets kan pak, is my hart gelukkig.
En moenie van al die lekker eetgoed vergeet wat ons geniet het nie!!!

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Dankie vir almal wat die dag saam met my gedeel het, vir die sms’e, die whatsapp boodskappe, die facebook posts, die facebook boodskappe, eposse, en oproepe. Ek het baie spesiaal gevoel, want my lewe is gevul met spesiale mense soos julle!!
Liefde
B

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