The Early Spring Mandala

The pattern

Before we start I’d like to refer to the previous post for all the information for the pattern.

I’ll be adding the colours I’ve used for every round, but that’s just in case you want to make the same colour combination as I did. Feel free to use your own colours!

To start with, you’ll make a MR (colour A)

Do that by holding the end of your yarn between your thumb and your index finger. Wrap the yarn twice around 2 fingers, making sure it forms an X on top of your fingers. Take your hook and put it (coming from below) through the centre of the loops. Grab the loop in front of the hook (the one coming from the ball) and pull it from underneath the loop at the back of the hook.


Rnd1 (colour A)

ch 4 this counts as your first tr and ch 1, (tr, ch 1) x 11 FO with an invisible chain.

Do this by cutting your yarn and pull it through the stitch and darn it to a needle. Now you want to make a false stitch on top of the first stitch you made. Do this by putting the needle under both loops of the second stitch and then put it back through the middle of the v from the last stitch you made.


Rnd 2 (colour B)

(Puff, ch 2) in every ch sp FO with inv ch

Puff stitch: YO, insert hook in stitch and pull up a loop. Do this 4 times. (you should have 9 loops on your hook) YO and pull through all 9 loops, ch 1. (this ch is part of the stitch and does not count as a stitch of its own)


Rnd 3 (colour C)

(pop, ch 1, pop, ch 1) in every ch sp (here the ch 1 does count as a stitch) FO with inv ch

After this part your work can curl up a bit, this will sort itself out later on.

Popcorn: make 5 dc in the same stitch, drop the loop from your hook, insert your hook from front to back in the first dc, grab the dropped loop with your hook and pull it through the stitch.


Rnd 4 (colour B)

Make this round in the same colour as rnd 2

fptr around the puff from rnd 2 (make sure that with the last pull through, you grab the ch 1 from previous rnd to secure the stitch), ch 4. Repeat until end, FO with inv ch

A fptr is a tr made around a stitch. Do this by YO twice, insert your hook around the stitch from the front of your work to the back and to the front again. So the stitch you will be crocheting around will be sitting in front of your hook. Now just finish off your tr.


Rnd 5 (colour D)

(hdc, 5 dc, hdc) in every ch sp, fpsc around every fptr, FO with inv ch


Rnd 6 (colour A)

bpsc around hdc and 3 dc, pic2, bpsc around 2 dc and hdc, fpsc around fpsc of previous rnd. Repeat until end FO with inv ch

bpsc is the same as a front post but this time you insert your hook around the stitch from the back of your work to the front and to the back again. The stitch you’ll be crocheting around will be sitting at the back of your hook.

pic2: chain 2 and slip stitch en the 2 loops at the bottom of the chain.


Rnd 7 (colour E)

This rnd is a bit tricky. You have to make a tr inbetween the 2 pop made in the same ch from rnd 3. Do this by folding the petals to the front and crochet at the back of your work.

(tr, ch 5) until end, sl st in the first stitch and do not cut your yarn.


Rnd 8 (colour E)

In every ch sp (sc, hdc, 2dc, tr, 2 dc, hdc, sc) FO with inv ch.


Rnd 9 (coulour F)

bpsc around fptr from rnd 7, ch 4. Repeat until end, sl st in the first stitch and do not cut yarn.


Rnd 10 (coulor F)

In every ch sp (hdc, 2 dc, 3 tr, 2 dc, hdc), fpsc until end FO with inv ch.


Rnd 11 (colour G)

In this round we’ll be crocheting 2 rnds together. You can use stitch markers if you’re not sure in what stitch to crochet.

Make a bpsc around any hdc after a fpsc, bpsc around the next 3 stitches, (sc, ch 2, sc) in the tr of rnd 8 and 9 together, bpsc around the next 4 stitches, sc in the pic2 from rnd 6 and fpsc from rnd 10. (When you insert your hook in the pic2, make sure you have 2 loops on your hook. That will make it sturdy)

bpsc around 4 stitches, (sc, ch 2, sc) in tr of rnd 8 and 9, bpsc around the next 4 stitches, sc in the pic2 and fpsc from rnd 10, repeat until end, FO with a inv ch.


Rnd 12 (colour B)

Start in any ch 2 sp.

(2dcCl, ch 1, 2dcCl, ch1, 2dcCl), ch 4. until end, FO with inv ch

2dcCl: YO, insert around ch 2, YO, pull through 2 loops, YO, insert around ch 2 again, YO, pull through 2 loops, YO, pull through 3 loops.


Rnd 13 (colour C)

Start in the first cluster of any 3 cluster group.

(fpsc around Cl, sc in ch 1) x2, fpsc around 3rd Cl, ch 1

In ch sp (2dcCl, ch 1) x 2, 2trCl, ch 1, (2dcCl, ch 1) x2 until end, FO with inv ch.


rnd 14 (colour A)

In this round we’ll be working around and inbetween the clusters and we’ll be skipping the fpsc an sc.

Start in any ch1 sp before the cluster.

(hdc, fphdc) x5, hdc in the last ch1 sp, ch 3. until end, FO with inv ch.


Rnd 15 (colour E)

Start in the 1st hdc after a ch 3.(This one can be a bit tricky to find)

sc in the next 5 stitches, (sc, ch 2, sc) in the 6st stitch (that’s the fpdc around the 2trCl), sc in the next 5 stitches, pop in the 3rd stitch from rnd 13 ( that’s the fpsc around the middle CL)

making sure the ch 3 is on the back of the pop.

5 sc, (sc, ch 2, sc), 5 sc, pop. until end, FO with inv ch.


Rnd 16 (colour D)

In this round we’re going to make puff stitches in every ch 3 sp from round 14 and in every ch sp from the previous rnd.

You can start wherever you like and please remember that the ch 1 to close the puff does not count as a stitch.

(puff, ch 2, puff, ch 2) in every ch sp. FO with inv ch.


Rnd 17 (colour G)

Start in any ch sp and make 1 dc, then make a dc3tg before, around and after the puff.

(dc, dc3tog) until end, FO with inv ch.

dc3tog: YO, insert hook around ch sp befor the puff, pull up loop, YO, pull through 2 loops, YO, insert around puff, pull up loop, YO, pull through 2 loops, YO, insert around ch sp after puff, pull up loop, YO; pull through 2 loops, YO, pull through all 4 remaining loops.


Rnd 18 (colour F)

(hdc, ch 1) in every stitch until end, FO with inv ch.


Rnd 19 (colour B)

(sc, ch2, sc)in every ch cp until end, FO with inv ch.


And you’re done!!!

I hope you enjoyed making this mandala.

I would love to see them, so please let me @mycroshed and use #earlyspringmandala and #mycroched in your pictures if you post them on social media.

Also, if something isn’t clear or you find a mistake, don’t hesitate to let me know.

This is a free pattern so please do not sell it! You can however sell your finished mandala.


Almost ready.

Tomorrow is the big day!

The release of my first design!

The Early Spring Mandala!

I’m so excited and scared at the same time.

I’ve had really positive feedback on Instagram, from my family and friends and from my testers. And that’s what gives me the courage to go on. They have giving me the thumbs up.

But still I’m finding it scary. Will people like it, do they want to make it,…

I’m not going to think about that anymore, I’m going to enjoy this special moment in my crochet adventure!

So, if you want to make my mandala, here are some things you need to know.

I rate the pattern as an advanced beginner. However, with some help from YouTube a beginner will be able to do it too.

I’ve used yarn and colors must have for mine, but any other coton will do.

I’ve used a bit more than 50 grams of coton devided over 7 colours.

For those of you that want to use my colours, here they are:

A: green ice

B: deep cerise

C: papaya

D: lemon

E: cottoncandy

F: pearl

G: turquoise

But feel free to choose your own colour combination. I really like how different it looks using other colours.

You also need a 3,5 mm crochet hook, a pair of scissors, a darning needle and some stitch markers.

Other information:

  • The pattern is worked in rounds.
  • I changed colours every round except for rounds 7 and 9.
  • I start every round with a standing stitch and close it with an invisible chain.
  • Standing stitches can be replaced with a chain start and the invisible chain with a slip stitch.
  • Darn in your ends after every round so you don’t end up with lots of ends when you’re done. For some rounds it’s not easy to do that, then it’s best to wait until you finished the next round.
  • You can block your mandala, but it’s not a must.
  • The finished mandala measures approximately 23 cm.

Abbreviations (US terminology)

MR – magic ring

ch – chain

inv ch – invisible chain

sl st – slip stitch

ch sp – chain space

sc – single crochet

hdc – half double crochet

dc – double crochet

tr – treble crochet

puff – puff stitch

pop – popcorn

fpsc -front post single crochet

fpdc – front post double crochet

fptr – front post treble crochet

bpsc – back post single crochet

dc3tog – 3 double crochet together

2dcCl – 2 double crochet cluster

pic2 – picot 2

FO – finish of

YO – yarn over

The pattern will include step by step pictures and I will explain the special stitches there too.

So, I guess that’s it for now.

Hope you come back tomorrow for the pattern!

Until then,

Love Ilse

What is happening?

So much is happened since my last post.

Let’s start with my shed.

Walls have come up, windows been finished and I have heating!

It’s getting so close to be finished, that it’s harder and harder to be patient.

I also had a couple of fun workshops! I love teaching kids how to crochet. I wasn’t sure if they would be interested but I’m so happy they are. I think kids need something creative to do instead of staring at screens all the time.

I hope to give workshops on a more regular basis. But I’m taking it one step at a time. You know what they say, things will happen when the time is right. Or when you least expect it. And that brings me to my exciting news!

In my last workshop I had only one participant, a teenage girl. It was a 3 day course where I teach the basics. She was doing fantastic and on the second day she’d done everything I planned for the 3 days. So I started thinking about what I would teach her on day 3. I wanted to challenge her, so I created a little circle with different special stitches.


I loved doing that! Thinking what stitch I would use next, what colours I would use,…( I was use leftovers) I had so much inspiration and made round after round and before I knew it, I created a decent mandala.

Feeling proud of myself, I posted some pictures on Instagram. And then things started to happen!

I got lots of likes and lovely comments, it was overwhelming! It got referred to as a lovely pattern, great design,…

I hadn’t even thought about that. It was just something I was making for my next workshop. I didn’t realise that I was designing a pattern. I was just having some fun.

Than someone asked me if she could test the pattern!? And the next day a second request came in!? I couldn’t believe what was happening!

So with the encouragement of my family and the lovely crocheters in my phone, I started writing the pattern!

Can you believe that was only 2 weeks ago?

Now the pattern is tested by 3 lovely ladies: Ashton @artemis.36 in England, Jill @gumleaf_crochet in Australia and Sandra @dimequesitejidas in Argentina!

They did an amazing job! They really motivated me to go through with it.

So, tomorrow I’ll be releasing my first design here on my blog. The Early Spring Mandala!

How exciting it that!!!

Slowly but steady

I think it’s about time that I give you all an update on my shed.

Lots of work has been done already.

It all started with a wooden frame.

Then it got wrapt like a present.

Next step was the outside wood en the rooftop.

The last piece of wood, yeah!

It suddenly looked like a house!


Now on to the inside, isolating the floor, walls and ceiling.

And this is were we are now.

We put in some furniture to figure out where to put the electric sockets.

It’s all coming along nicely and looking more and more like my cro-shed.

And don’t you just love the view I have from my window.

Oh, although it’s not finished yet, I like to sit there, drink some coffee and crochet. It already feels great sitting there, dreaming of how I’m going to decorate it. Even the cats like to drop by for a visit.


That’s it for now. I hope I haven’t bored you too much with all that building stuff.

‘Till next time.

Love Ilse

The new cro-shed

As I mentioned before, I have new plans for my cro-shed.

The storage room we originally wanted to convert, turned out to have more problems than we could handle.

So we came up with a new plan. My husband moved all his tools from the gardenshed into the one that was supposed to be my cro-shed. Than he demolished the gardenshed so we can build a new, slightly bigger one.

It’s already looking so great in my head!

The plan is to do it all ourselfs and with recycled matetials and furniture.

We already poured the concrete foundation. In spring when the weather is a bit better, we plan to build the wooden walls.

In the mean time, my husband is looking through secondhand sites for things we can use. It’s his new hobby by now.

He allready found a door and window, rooftiles, 3 cupboards and a table. One of the cupboards and the table are now in our livingroom, I made my temporary crochet room.

Slowly but steady, my cro-shed dream comes alive!

To be continued …

Love Ilse


A new beginning!

Hey, remember me? Yes, I’m the one who started this blog last year. I had so many good intentions, plans and ideas, but it turned out to be too much, so I decided to take a break from the blog.

I also had to say goodbye to our plans of turning over the storage room into my cro-shed. There were to many structural problems.

And to top it all off, I had a burn-out at the end of last year. I’ve been home from work for about 2 months.

As you can see, last year wasn’t great and I know it all sounds negative. But don’t worry, this all had to happen for me to stand where I am now. I didn’t realised this straight away though. To deal with my burn-out I had to think about the way I am, how I live my life, and it turned out I was doing it wrong. I had plenty of talks with my husband and mum, friends who are going through the same thing, a psychologist and read a book about it.

I learned how to listen to my body, not to feel guilty when I can’t do the things the way I want to. I’ve started to live differently. I’m thinking carefully about the things I want or have to do. Knowing I can’t do or have it all at the same time.

That’s been the greatest leasson of all. Not doing this for way to many years resolted in my burn-out and took away my energy.

So that’s me now, slowly building up my daily life, taking it one stap at a time. And yes, I still catch myself on going too fast again, but I’m getting better in reading the signs.


Phew, if you’re still reading, thanks! I know it has notting to do with crochet, but I just wanted to get this off my chest.

Ok, time for some crochet stuff.

After taking a break from my blog, I gave my full attention to my Instagram account. And that was a good idea. I just love being on Insta. I got to know lots of crocheters from all over the world, learned an discovered new things, joined instachallenges,… it’s so much fun! And I love being part of this lovely crochet community!

I also have new plans for the cro-shed and I’m planning to give crochet workshops for kids.

Again everything at my own pace.

So check out my blog every now and then, becouse I promise to post more often. Even if it’s just a little post.

‘Till later,

Love Ilse

I’m still here! 

Hello, I’m still here! I’m sorry it took me so long to write a new blog, I think I underestimated it. I know there is no pressure, but somehow I feel obligated to write something.

I’m crocheting for several years now, and everyone was saying I’m good at it and have to do something more with it. At the start of 2017 my new year’s resolution was to start this blog, give workshops to children, have a little online shop and make my own crochetroom.

The plan was to use this blog as a diary of how we would build this room from scratch.

It was a simple plan, it all looked great in our heads. Maybe we where a bit naive to think it was gonna go smoothly.

Once we began to break down the walls and sealing we stumbled on the first problems. It turned out to be more expensive and more work than we had planned. So we had to rethink everything.

And we came up with a new plan. I’m keeping it a secret for now because this time we’re not rushing in to things. We’re going to think this true and take the time to realise it.

I’m not getting carried away with it again. That was the mistake I made last time. I let people mess with my head. I know they all meant well and wanted to encourage me to do something I love. But because of all that motivation, I got carried away with it and crocheting became something I had to do instead of something I love to do.

So, I’m going to take my time. I still have the same resolutions, but I don’t have to realise them all at once. As soon as I figured that out, I started to relax and enjoy crocheting again. I’m not gonna pressure myself and take it day by day. And for now I’m still comfortable crocheting in the living room.

In the mean time you can still follow me on Instagram.

Love Ilse

Easter Holidays

I love Easter holidays. The weather is getting better, the garden is coming alive, the kids are home for 2 weeks and I had a few days off.

The first week my little girl turned 12. She’s growing so fast. For her birthday we had a Frenglish breakfast. That’s something we invented, it’s a combinatiom of a French and English breakfast. She really loved it (and so did we)


A big breakfast was necessary because we went on a trip to the Ardennes. In Nismes, near Couvin, we visited the rocks of Fondry des Chiens. It was lots of fun, climbing the rocks and discovering caves,.. It was the best birthday ever, she said.



At one point we had to get out of the valley to go back to our car at the main road. Instead of taking the easy way, we decided to push our boundaries and climbe a tall rockwall. It was pure climbing, no help from banisters or rope, just relying on yourself and the rock. It was great and I’m so proud of all of us for doing it. The picture below is one of the wall, pretty tall don’t you think?


I also started a new project. Yes I know,  another one. But guess what… I actually finished this one!!! Thumbs up for me 😉 I made the bag from Attic24. I always loved that bag and it was on my to do list for quite a while. Some time ago, when Lucy talked about her bag on her blog again, I thought it was time for me to make it. And I’m so glad I did, It turned out to be so beautiful and I’m totally in love with it. You can find the pattern here.


As you can tell, I really enjoyed my holiday. I hope you have to!

Love Ilse

Easter workshop

When I was a kid, we had knitting, crochet, embroidery,… lessons at school. Now that’s all gone to make place for computer and that sort of stuff. Ok, I know times have changed and they gonna need the computer more than a crochethook, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I think kids should learn to knit and crochet and… So, 2 schoolyears ago, I went to the principals office and we had a nice chat about it. She loves knitting, so she completely understood and agreed with what I had to say. We came up with the idea of a crochetclass. I worked out some easy patterns over the summerholiday and last schoolyear I had my own crochetclass, one day a week during lunchbreak and kids could volunteer to come. I expected/hoped maybe 5 – 10 kids would come, but to my surprise it was near 20 girls and boys! Not everyone stayed, they found it wasn’t they’re cup of tea and quitted, others came to have a look and then joined. It wasn’t easy, but lots of fun and by the end of the year they knew the basics.

Unfortunatly, this year, due to my work, I wasn’t able to do the class. I missed it and so did the kids, so I decided to do a workshop at home for them. This is the result.

I’m so proud off them!

They all asked if I could do this again, so it’s to be continued…

Love Ilse

Taking a step back

After demolishing the old isolation of the floor, ceiling and walls, the time to rebuild my craftroom has started.

My husband has made a new wooden frame to support the new ceiling, and added some isolation.

It was all looking good, until my husband made a hole in the wall to check the floorlevel with the terrace level. He discovered that the outside wall was wet and crumbling. So he had to take it down. Then he saw that the beam on top of that wall (that supports the roof) is rotten too. This means that we have to replace the roof and outside wall. It’s gonna take me a big step back, but in the long-run it’s going to look so much better.

I just have to be patient I guess.

Love Ilse