Knitted Indigo Cowl

My most important project these days was a knitted cowl (Or a neck warmer? I honestly don’t know what the difference is. If you do, please comment.) for a friend. Some time ago, she fell in love with the color of the handspun yarn that was hand-dyed with indigo.

Handspun, naturally dyed yarn by Matylda's Barn

I wanted to be extra careful with how I use this yarn, which is precious for me for many reasons. So I knitted a gauge swatch first. I knitted a piece that was approximately 10 by 10 cm (4” by 4”) and I counted the stitches and rows. Then I measured how long I want the cowl to be, which came to around 57 cm (22.4”). Thanks to the swatch I could calculate how many stitches I need to cast on.

I decided that moss stitch would be perfect for this simple design. At first I wanted to crochet the cowl, but that would require a lot more of the yarn which I didn’t want to waste away like that. I also needed to make sure I had enough of it.

The gauge swatch
The gauge swatch

When I reached the middle of the future cowl, I started to decrease evenly. My friend wanted the cowl to be more fitted, but also to have a nice layered “drapery effect”, which is what I tried to achieve by decreasing every few rounds when knitting the top half.

The knitted cowl
The knitted cowl

I tried the cowl on and I was very tempted to keep it. After all, it matches my coat 🙂

Knitted Indigo Cowl by Matylda's Barn
Knitted Indigo Cowl



Louise Fingerless Cable Gloves and My Creative Process

I’ve been designing quite a bit lately, because I want to re-stock my shop. I prefer to do that with completely original products rather than just using other people’s patterns. That leads to a very time consuming process.

I usually start with yarn – I pick something from my yarn stash and then I think of different ways I could use it. What is the weight sufficient for a pair of gloves, a sweater or just a hat? I also notice the quality of the yarn and what kind of fiber it is. Is the yarn chunky? That’s probably not gonna work for smaller projects. Chunky yarn has a very defining quality, it usually stands out more when you do simple stitches or you have to adjust the size of them substantially. For example a chunky yarn blanket with big cables looks just wonderful. When you do a chunky yarn neck warmer, a garter stitch will do. Another thing to consider is the character of the fiber – is it shiny, furry or is it speckled, contains more than one color? As much as I like yarn with multiply colors, it’s not the best if you want to create for example a delicate lace.

Louise Fingerless Gloves by Matylda's Barn

I usually go for sport-weight one-color-only yarn. But it is a question of taste. For my fingerless gloves project I chose Drops Baby Alpaca Silk. It was lying in my yarn stash for a long time, waiting for a suitable project. I think the silk shine looks pretty, but the cable stitch might have stood out more with a standard wool or alpaca yarn. This yarn is very very soft and looks kind of glamorous, but also romantic. I also love the “old pink” color.

After I chose the yarn, I drew a simple design with the cable stitch on top. Because of the character of the fiber, I decided I should use the knit stitch for most of the glove. It also makes the other stitches stand out more. I have re-done some parts of the glove several times before I was completely satisfied with the result.

Louise Fingerless Gloves by Matylda's Barn

So, what do you think? Would you do something differently? What is your creative process if / when you design?

You can find the pattern on Etsy

…and on Ravelry

You can also let me know if you would like to test the pattern for me. I would really welcome that. Any sport-weight yarn would do.

Louise Fingerless Gloves by Matylda's Barn


My #KalevalaCAL progress

So, I think I’ve reached maybe a 1/4th of the Kalevala blanket. I consider that a success 😀 I’m not usually the person with big projects, I prefer smaller ones that I can complete faster. They say there are two types of crafters – or crocheters, in this case – one that really enjoys the process and then there’s the type that focuses more on the results. I think most crocheters are both types mixed in together, but maybe gravitate to one side more than the other. I definitely enjoy finishing the products, that’s one of my favourite things. Don’t get me wrong, I love the process as well, but I don’t usually leave my projects unfinished.

My mom is actually more the first type, she just loves to create for the sake of creating. Let me tell you, I can’t even count all the projects she has going on, some of which I doubt will ever be finished. But the important thing is – she has fun.

Now back to the Kalevala project – I can’t say it’s an easy one! Some of the granny squares were definitely a little bit more challenging for me. But it’s also the great thing about it – you get to learn new stitches! In my case, there were some stitches, that I never did before, like the X and Y stitch. I also never used that much back post- front post stitches before. I use the written instructions, but there were some cases, when I had to look at the video tutorial to perform a specific step. I do like how the project is done, the instructions are carefully written and include details that are sometimes skipped over in other patterns. I would welcome a graphic chart as that’s my favourite type of instructions, but hey – you can’t have everything, right?!

Kalevala CAL - The Bluebill's Nest.
The Bluebill’s Nest.
Kalevala CAL - The fertile fields of Vainola.
The fertile fields of Vainola.
Kalevala CAL - Forging the Sampo
Forging the Sampo.
Iso Tammi - the big oak tree
Iso Tammi – the big oak tree
Kalevala CAL blanket
Kalevala CAL blanket by Matylda’s Barn


Gingerbread Man – Free Crochet Pattern

A week ago somebody suggested that I should make some Christmas decorations. I thought it might be too early, but then again you also need time to make the stuff before the holidays are here. So I started designing 🙂

The crochet Gingerbread man is a versatile Christmas decoration: you can put it on plates or hang it on the tree – it’s really up to you and your imagination. You can dress him up with a hat or a scarf, embroider a nice coat or even some funny hair.

The pattern is worked in rounds, because this way you make two layers at once and the Gingerbread man is nice and thick almost like the real thing! Plus it holds the shape much better than one layer would. There’s no need for blocking (yay!).

Free Crochet Gingerbread Pattern

Here’s my first free crochet Christmas pattern:

Crochet Gingerbread Man

Download PDF: Crochet Gingerbread Man by Matyldas Barn with pictures

(updated 17th December 2017) – added pictures, stitch count, more descriptions

What You’ll Need:

  • Beige/ brown cotton yarn for the body – yarn group C, 50g / 75 m (1.8 oz / 82 yds) – I used Drops Paris Colour 43
  • More cotton yarn for embroidery – red, yellow, green, black… – same yarn weight or preferably lighter – I used Drops Loves You n. 7 and 8
  • Crochet hook size 4
  • Bigger tapestry or embroidery needle


sc       single crochet

st       stitch

sl st       slip stitch

rnd       round

sc2       2 single crochet in a row (in two separate stitches)

*xy*      Repeat xy as many times as indicated.

(number)      The number of stitches in the round.

Free Crochet Gingerbread Pattern
You can make each gingerbread man unique when you get to play around with the embroidery.

General Instructions:

Keep working in rounds.


Rnd 1: 8sc in adjustable ring


Rnd 2: Ch1, *2sc in 1 st, sc* repeat 4 times in total, sl st into the first sc of the rnd. (12)


Rnd 3: Ch1, *sc2, 2sc in 1 st* repeat 4 times in total, sl st. (16)

Rnd 4: Ch1, sc the whole rnd, end the rnd with sl st. (16)

Repeat Rnd 4 three more times. (5th,6th and 7th rnd)


Rnd 8: Ch1, *sc2, skip 1 st* repeat 4 times in total, sc2, skip 1 st, sc, sl st. (11)

Rnd 9: Ch1, *sc2, skip 1 st* repeat 3 times in total, sc2, sl st. (8) (the end of body, don’t bind off)


Rnd 10: Ch1, *sc, 2 sc in 1 st* repeat 4 times in total, sl st. (12)

Rnd 11: Ch 1, *sc, 2sc in 1 st* repeat 6 times in total, sl st. (18)

Rnd 12: Ch1, *sc3, skip 1 st* repeat 4 times in total, sc2, sl st. (14)

Rnd 13: Ch1, *sc 2, skip 1 st* repeat 4 times in total, sc2, sl st. (10)

Rnd 14: Ch1, *sc, skip 1 st* repeat 6 times in total, sl st. (5)


Now you have the body and the head. Fasten off, make it flat so that the beginnings of the rnds are on the side and carefully sew the front and back together with the ends.


Rnd 1: (Ch1, 5sc) in adjustable ring, sl st.

Rnd 2: Ch1, sc5, sl st. (5)

Rnd 3: Ch1, *sc, 2sc in 1 st* repeat 2 times in total, sc, sl st. (7)

Fasten off, make it flat and sew it to the body – so that the top part is touching sts from rnd 8 of the body. Start from rnd 1 to make another hand.



Rnd 1: (Ch1, 6sc) in adjustable ring, sl st. (6)

Rnd 2: Ch1, *sc, 2sc in 1 st* repeat 3 times in total, sl st. (9)

Rnd 3: Ch1, *sc 2, skip 1 st* repeat 3 times in total, sl st. (6)

Rnd 4: Ch1, *2sc in 1 st, sc2* repeat 2 times in total, sl st. (8)

Fasten off, make it flat and sew it to the body. Start from rnd 1 to make another leg.


After you’re done with the crochet body, you can play around with the embroidery. If you want the gingerbread man to be a tree decoration, you can also add the part for hanging which is a chain of 24.

If you want to shape the little man a bit more, you can wash it and block it.

I’ll be very happy if you show me your results and share your thoughts, you can tag your projects #matyldasbarn on Instagram or share the project on Ravelry. As this is an original pattern, please credit me as the designer. Thank you 😉

You are not allowed to sell this pattern or modify it in any way and sell it. If you decide to sell the finished product, please credit me as the designer. You can only sell individual items or per custom order, further commercial use is not allowed.

DO NOT COPY THIS PATTERN and post it on your page. You can certainly link to it, but you should definitely not copy it.

Hand-Dyeing Wool with Indigo

Two days ago me and my mom decided to have a “dye day” and use the grown up indigo plants we had in our glasshouse. It was cold and windy, but we had a mission 🙂

First we took the leaves of the plant and tore them into smaller pieces. We put them into a bucket of water with a little bit of vinegar. After that, we used an old blender to mix them up.

Mixing of indigo leaves
Mixing of indigo leaves

According to my mom (who did most of the work), the foam is the part which colors the most.

Natural dyeing by indigo
Natural dyeing by indigo
Indigo cold dye
Cold dyeing of wool by indigo

The wool came out looking green at first, but the color was gradually changing.

Natural dyeing of wool
Natural dyeing of wool

Then the wool was drying. It was a long wait! I was very impatiant to handspin this one.

Naturally dyed merino wool
Naturally dyed merino wool – came out beautifully!
Naturally dyed merino wool – detail

Finally, the next day I could spin the colored merino. I love the pastel blue color and it looks even better when it’s spun.

Naturally dyed handspun merino yarn
Naturally dyed handspun merino yarn
Naturally dyed handspun merino yarn
Naturally dyed handspun merino yarn in pastel blue

The yarn pictured is straight from the spinning wheel. It was fixed afterwards and now it’s drying again.

What do you think? Do you like it? 🙂

Naturally dyed handspun merino yarn

I joined the Kalevala CAL! And it’s beautiful…

…It really is 🙂 Apparently, Finland is celebrating 100 years of the country’s existence. The Kalevala crochet along is a gift to tribute Finland’s centenary. Many talented crochet designers joined together to create a blanket project, that crocheters from all around the world can enjoy. New granny squares are published on a weekly basis. There’s an Instagram and several Facebook pages dedicated to this.

I personally always adored scandinavian design and art. I even attended some university classes that were about painters and other artists inspired by the Kalevala epic. I have a Finnish language textbook in my library as well as a very old treasured print of Kalevala, that my grandma gave me. So naturally, I was very excited to read about the Kalevala CAL on the blogosphere.

So far I only did one granny square and I chose to start with the Ahto (n.8), which is supposed to represent an infinite ocean. I didn’t block it yet, so what you see is not the end result. I fell in love with this design the first time I saw it. This blanket will definitely be a keeper! 🙂

I started working on another granny square and had it almost done, when I realized I made a mistake in the very beginning. Man, I was mad! Back to square one, haha.

I’m using my own handspun merino yarn. I’m afraid the game of yarn chicken will be played later on.

You can read about the project and find the free pattern here:

What do you think of this project? Will you join? 🙂

Kalevala CAL by Matylda's Barn
Kalevala CAL crocheted by Matylda’s Barn
Kalevala CAL crocheted by Matylda's Barn
Ahto granny square – Kalevala CAL crocheted by Matylda’s Barn


Starry Eyed Owl Crochet Pattern

Lately I’ve been jumping from one craft activity to another. I have way too many projects going on at once plus I’m going to work every day as well. Still doesn’t stop me from adding more projects to my basket(s), arrggh 🙂

This owl was one of those spur of the moment projects, when I suddenly wanted to design another amigurumi toy and decided to try to make an owl. The first draft was quite a bit different, there was no starry eyes. The eyes just resulted from trying out 8 different eyes and comparing them together. I think the star shape makes the owl quite unique 🙂

The pattern is now available on Ravelry, but I would welcome any pattern testers. As a tester you would obviously receive the pattern for free under few conditions. Don’t hesitate to contact me for details!

Amigurumi owl by Matylda's Barn
The starry eyed crochet owl with some fall leaves I found during yesterday’s walk in the forest.
This is my official description for the pattern:

Enjoy creating this cute little owl in pastel colors! I would call this a sort of “hygge project” as it requires some patience sewing on the parts and adding some playful embroidery. But it doesn’t take a long time to make, because the owl is small in size. Working with pretty scandinavian colors can bring you relaxation and wash your worries away.
The crochet and embroidery is basic and requires some experience.
The starry eyes and some stylization make this owl unique and interesting. It could be a very nice birthday or Christmas gift to a friend or children.
The toy is safe for babies as it doesn’t have any parts that are dangerous.

Size: 14,5cm tall, 13cm wide, 9cm long.

You ARE ALLOWED to sell items based on Matylda’s Barn patterns as long as they are sold as single items or per order.


  • 1 ball of yarn (50g) of each: Drops ♥You 7 Uni Colour (Colors 04, 03, 13), Drops ♥You 6 Recycled Cotton (Color 103) NOTE: You’re gonna use only a little bit of each ball of yarn
  • Crochet hook 3 or 2,75 mm
  • Embroidery or bigger tapestry needle
  • Stuffed animal filling

Stitches you need to know:

  • single crochet
  • slip stitch
  • chain stitch
  • increase and decrease
  • adjustable ring / magic ring

The Drops yarn could be obviously substituted for another type of cotton yarn. Just look for yarn that’s meant for crochet hook size 2,75 or 3 mm.

Anyway, what do you think of the owl? Would you do something differently? Do you like the color scheme? …

Amigurumi owl


Amigurumi owl