Priestess Coat

Today I am excited to debut my third Tunisian crochet coat design – the Priestess Coat! To be honest, I did not think that I would ever publish a written pattern for this design, the first draft of which appeared in my blog 3 years ago.

It was originally an attempt at a fuller, more feminine coat, based off of my already-existing Shaman Coat written pattern. Deciding that I needed to start from the ground up to get what I really wanted, the redesign eventually led to the Elf Coat, which is totally different in appearance and construction.

First draft of the Priestess Coat pictured, in Lion Brand “Amazing” and Lion Brand “Pelt” yarns

I had posted some pictures of this original draft (above), and linked to them when I talked about the process of dreaming up the Elf Coat, and do you know what? Lots of people actually followed that link, and read the original post, and still wanted a pattern for the first attempt! So many people asked over the years that I decided to go ahead and just finally write a full pattern for that coat as well!

What can I say? I’m a people-pleaser at heart πŸ˜€

With the help of a stellar team of pattern testers, the Priestess Coat design has been written for SIX sizes and includes all the usual bells and whistles – read on for more details or get the pattern directly from my Etsy Shop or Ravelry Pattern Store. Scroll all the way to the bottom to hear about the BIG SALE!

Priestess Coat Tunisian Crochet Pattern

Create a prismatic rainbow robe or a shimmering mantle dark as a raven’s feather with the imaginative Priestess Coat, a full-length Tunisian Crochet pattern written for six sizes (XS-2XL). Expanding on the ideas of my simpler Shaman Coat design, this all-new pattern combines the ease of construction with flattering flair using corset lacing and graceful pointed panels.

You’ll want to find any reason to wear this glorious garment – the monkishly wide, lightly flared sleeves are great for tucking in nippy hands while the hood keeps the neck and head toasty. Easy corset lacing in the back creates structure and adds interest, leading down to the stars of the show – the diamond panels, stitched individually into openings left in the pattern of the main coat!

Though it looks complex, the Priestess Coat is crocheted with just Tunisian Simple Stitch and a few other basic techniques. The pattern includes written instructions for sizes XS-2XL, detailed tutorial photographs, schematics, and how-to’s for all the special stitches needed to create this magical mantle.

The PDF files also include a Tunisian Primer for those that have never worked Tunisian crochet before, and links to my video resources made specifically for my Tunisian coat patterns!

Materials Needed:

Main Hook: 6.50 mm Tunisian hook (or size needed to obtain gauge) – straight Tunisian single ended hook or single-ended Tunisian cabled hook is fine
Border & Laces : 5.50 mm regular crochet hook
Fur Trim: 11.5 mm regular crochet hook
or sizes needed to obtain gauge

Main Yarn: Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball (#4 weight, 150 g / 481 yds, Cotton/Acrylic): 4 (4, 5, 5, 6, 6) skeins, 1900 – 2900 yds total
Accent Yarn: Lion Brand Go for Faux Thick & Quick (#7 weight, 120 g / 24 yd, Polyester): 2-3 skeins (48-72 yds total)
Yarn needle, Tapestry needle, Scissors
Length of Ribbon / Yarn / Fabric (for back lacing)
Buttons or lacing for the front (optional)

Written in English using US crochet terminology.

All my life I’ve loved mythology, history, and fantasy – so of course it comes out in my art, as I express whatever spirit I’m trying to capture in fabric. Whether it’s priestesses and valkyries or shamans and tricksters – I hope it’s a story that empowers people. People tell stories and stories change people; I want to tell the right ones so I can help change the world, even if it’s only a tiny part of it.

So the release of this pattern I’m offering a rare BOGO deal through my Ravelry Pattern Store only – buy the Priestess Coat pattern, get the Shaman Coat pattern for free with the code “STORIES” for the first full WEEK of the new pattern debut (through the end of 10/22). Just put them both in your cart and enter the code during checkout! Since I consider the Shaman Coat the simpler, beginner sister to the Priestess Coat, I wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to access both patterns in case they wanted to practice with the easier one first!


You can also get the 2-pattern Priestess Coat / Shaman Coat bundle in my Etsy Shop and save $2, or save $3 with the 3-pattern bundle which includes the Elf Coat PDF as well. These bundles are everyday deals and aren’t going anywhere! Also, don’t forget about my multi-pattern discount codes – listed in the header of my Etsy Shop and in every paid pattern description in my Ravelry Store:

Pattern Store Discount Codes:
15% off of 2: MF15OFF
20% off of 3-4: MF20OFF
25% off of 5-6: MF25OFF
30% off of 7: MF30OFF

I say this a lot but I could never do my art without those that buy from me and support me, so THANK YOU!! From the bottom of my heart – and stay tuned because my gratitude is alchemically turned into more patterns for you! πŸ˜‰ ❀

-MF

Some costume credits go to two of my favorite shops! The comfy stretch knit dark blue dress I’m wearing is the Fit & Flair dress from Elven Forest Creations on Etsy.

The gorgeous Luna Moth hair clip is from The Forest Fae, find their Etsy shop here.

I highly recommend both shops!

P.S – My brother once asked (in actual curiosity) what I did for my business besides twirl around in fields. πŸ˜€ The answer is A LOT of different stuff – geometry and math and accounting and graphic design and writing and editing and troubleshooting – the twirling is only about 5% of it. But MAN it is the best 5%!

Ushanka and Muff Set

I loooooooove faux fur (and real fur when I can get it thrifted) so I happily bought a lot of Lion Brand’s new Go For Faux yarn when it hit my local hobby store shelves, and have already used it in some of my new fall designs.

The Thick ‘n’ Quick version is so bulky that just one row of it makes a beautiful trim on garments and accessories…. But I mean, I bought lots. So doing a few all-fur pieces was in order. And the best part is, this yarn is JUMBO so you can make this a two-piece set in about half a day!

Here is a totally free pattern for one of my favorite hat styles: the Ushanka. Literally translating to “earflap hat” the ushanka is a classic garment in Russia and other cold northern regions of the globe – because it’s sooooo warm to wear! Additionally I designed a vintage-style muff out of the same faux fur yarn, because who doesn’t love a big fluffy arm sock?

I’m going to ramble a little about my costume here for Discworld nerds but if you’re just here for the free pattern, keep scrolling or save this project on Ravelry for later!

In another recent costume hat pattern, I designed the photo shoot as my favorite witch from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld fantasy books, just for fun. At that point I’d already designed this free pattern too, and wanted to make it a set – two of my favorite Disc heroines for two crochet patterns. The ushanka was, after all, so appropriate for Sergeant (later Captain) Delphine Angua von Uberwald.

Angua’s family’s propensity for cruelty and violence drove her out of her home in Uberwald (the cold northern Disc country run by noble Vampire and Werewolf families), so she migrated to the biggest city and was hired into the city watch; her ability to transform into a natural hunting machine made her a formidable detective. She’s a bit haunted by her past, and her character is a vessel for the struggle between nature and nurture, and the balance of laws and chaos – as many of the best Pratchett characters are.

I gave her the warm fuzzy hat but also a look of wariness and mistrust, a vintage military-style buttoned coat, and a pouch around her neck with her essentials (the only thing that stays on when she transforms).If you’ve never read the Discworld books, but like sci-fi or fantasy – I highly recommend them πŸ™‚ Obviously! Ok, now for the pattern πŸ˜‰

Instructions:

Materials:

Lion Brand Go For Faux Thick and Quick (#7, 120 g / 24 yd, 100% polyester) – 3 skeins (2 for the Ushanka, 1 for the muff). There are several types of Go For Faux – be sure you are getting the Thick and Quick!
11.5 mm crochet hook – or size needed to obtain gauge
Length of ribbon (2 yards)
Scissors, yarn needle (large eyed, for the jumbo yarn)

Gauge: 3 sts and 3 rows = 2″ in dc

Finished Measurements (approximate):
Ushanka Hat: 22″ brim, 7″ tall from brim to crown, 6″ long earflaps
Arm Muff: 7″ x 11″ for the finished tube

Ushanka:

The hat is crocheted in the round, the first 2 chain stitches do not count as the first st. Earflaps are added on after.

With 11.5 mm hook and main yarn, make magic ring.

Leave the tail of the ring long, longer than the normal 6″ for weaving in. Since this yarn is jumbo, we need to leave a bit more so that it’s easier to weave.

Round 1: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), 12 dc into the ring. Join with a sl st in the first dc of the round. – 12 dc

Rnd 2: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), 2 dc in the same st. 2 dc in ea of the next 11 sts. Join with a sl st in the first dc of the rnd. – 24 dc

Rnd 3: Ch 2 (does not count), 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 23 sts. Join with a sl st in the first dc of the rnd. – 24 dc

Rnds 4-6: Rpt Rnd 3.

For and more stiff and structured hat, I like to slip stitch around the entire brim after Rnd 6.

Cut yarn and tie off, leaving long tail.

Ushanka pictured on the right above, before adding earflaps. it makes a really excellent simple fur cap too, if you want to skip the flap part! (but it’s not an Ushanka without the flaps)

Earflaps:

Join yarn at the side of the hat, leaving long tail. I like to try on the hat and use stitch markers to mark off a 6-stitch long section on each side where they should go over my ears before starting this portion of the pattern.

Row 1: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc). 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 5 sts. – 6 dc

Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count), turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 5 sts. – 6 dc

Row 3: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. (Dc2tog in the next pair of stitches) twice. 1 dc in the last st. – 4 dc

Row 4: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. Dc2tog in the next pair of stitches. 1 dc in the last st. – 3 dc

Cut yarn and tie off, leaving long tail for weaving in.

Repeat Earflaps instructions on the other side, making sure to align placement properly for your ears.

See “Finishing” under the Muff section for further instructions.

One completed earflap just before tie off

Muff

The muff is constructed by crocheting a flat rectangle, then folding over and seaming down the open edge to form a tube.

With 11.5 mm hook and main yarn, chain 17 sts.

Row 1: In the 3rd ch from the hook, work 1 dc (first 2 chains do not count as first st). 1 dc in ea of the next 14 chain stitches.

Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 14 sts.

Rows 3-5: Rpt Row 2.

Cut yarn and tie off, leaving an extra long tail for sewing.

Fold the piece in half width-wise (so that the halves are fatter, not skinner). Using the large eyed yarn needle, thread the long tail and seam the sides of the piece together so that it forms a tube.

If you prefer a larger/wider muff you can always add more rows on to the rectangle, or make extra rounds on the ends.

Finishing

With large eyed yarn needle, thread all remaining ends and weave in. The Jumbo yarn is a little tricky to weave in, just stick to going through the bottoms of the stitches and make sure to turn a few times when weaving . I have found this yarn loves to pop out because it’s so thick so you may have to test the finished piece by stretching, and trim a little if your ends start peeking out!

See the little yarn tail peeking out after a bit of stretching? Snip snip.

Now for the ribbon: You’ll need three ribbon lengths. I used a lightweight specialty ribbon yarn (the ruffling kind) but any soft ribbon will work – cut the lengths long, about 21-24 inches, as they will be doubled up (and you can then trim to preference).

Take two lengths and double them up, looping one through the center bottom of each earflap (working through a space between stitches) to tie on.

This decorates the hat and enables you to tie the earflaps up on top of the head in true ushanka fashion.

Next, take the third length of ribbon and cut in half. String each half in and out of the spaces between stitches on the edges of the muff, leaving the ribbon tails poking out in the same space like a drawstring. Tie & bow the ribbons – now you can adjust the openings of the muff to make sure your paws hands are toasty!

That’s it! Now you’re ready to face any chilly northern winds that may blow your way this winter ❀ Or maybe you’re ready to see Captain Carrot πŸ˜‰

-MF

Novella Shawl Pattern

The following is a ramble-y lead-up to my new FREE crochet pattern design, a super simple and warm triangular shawl with a touch of adventure – keep scrolling for the free Novella Shawl pattern or get the downloadable, printable, ad-free PDF in my Ravelry Store or Etsy Shop now!

Backstory: Or, How Designing an Easy Shawl Pattern Led Me to Purchase a Bow and Arrow

Drama was one of my many extra-curriculars when I was in high school, although I can’t claim to have ever been any good at it. I got assigned chorus and background roles, which was fine because I had a significant amount of stage fright and I was really only there because my friends were there too.

And because I loved the costumes. Hands down my favorite part of any dramatic endeavor, and a lifelong interest since I was old enough to carry the massive Renaissance Art tome down from the bookshelf.

When I grew up and minored in Art History, I discovered 18th century actress Emma Hamilton and her “Attitudes,” ; the European celebrity would dress in costume and assume various charade poses depicting classical myths as a form of party entertainment for her esteemed friends.

This must be the Mother of Cosplay!

I have an enduring love of dress-up, responsible in no small part for the designs I publish as Morale Fiber as well as the costumes I pair them with. When creating these ensembles, I am also feeling around for a character to portray.

Sort of like an “Attitudes” style character depiction ; as I craft and plan my crochet design and the coordinating outfit, I let that Attitude take shape.

So while the shawl I had started for this was very simple and humble, the Attitude grabbed it, and demanded I make it more dramatic. At first she was just a quiet woman on a forest walk, seeking the perfect tree under which to read her book of short stories, an escape from her daily life at the shop in town.

But she turned and twisted, like the plot of a short story – upon returning, the town she remembered didn’t exist anymore. Its people wiped away from the world from a terrible sickness, and danger lurking now under every seemingly friendly face she passes on the road away from the tragedy. She needed a hood on her carefully woven covering, to shelter from unfriendly eyes, and fur trim to protect from the chill ashy winds starting to blow.

And as the ends of her neat stitching started to unravel, to become frayed and wild, so did the woman, searching for life in the twisted forest. Armed now with more strength and experience, she sets out, to find whatever good people are still left.

Im know I’m not holding the bow and arrow right, but hey, give the gal a break. She used to work at a book store, pre-apocolypse πŸ˜‰

Novella Shawl Crochet Pattern

The Novella Shawl is an easy crochet pattern designed to showcase the unique texture of linked double crochet. This thick, interwoven crochet stitch calls to mind the cozy look of loom weaving while the dramatic point and slight ruffle create a tailored look that flatters. Crochet just the shawl or choose to top it off with a deep hood and fur trim for a really special piece to show off on all your woodland wanderings…

Materials

5.00 mm hook (or size needed to obtain gauge), 11.50 mm hook (for jumbo yarn fur trim, if using)

Lion Brand Ferris Wheel (#4 weight, 85 g / 270 yd, 100% Acrylic) 6 skeins  β€“ Color shown is Imaginary Garden
Lion Brand Thick & Quick Go for Faux (#7 weight, 120 g / 24 yd, 100% Polyester) 1 skein – Color shown is Husky – optional
Scissors, tapestry needles – 1 regular, on large-eyed (for the jumbo yarn, if you are using it)
Large button (optional)

Gauge: 6 sts & 4 rows = 2” in LDC

Finished Measurements:  ~ 65 inches along top edge, ~ 35 inches from collar to tip.
Hood: ~ 16 inches deep, ~ 16 inches tall – can be a bit smaller or larger depending on how you finish & seam it.

Stitches & Abbreviations

Chain (ch)
Double Crochet (dc)
Linked Double Crochet (LDC): A special type of double crochet that links each stitch with the last stitch made. A full written tutorial on this technique can be found on my blog here. A video tutorial can be found on my YouTube channel here.
Half-Double Crochet (hdc)
St/sts – stitch /stitches

Notes:
Ch-2 at the beginning of each row does not count as the first st.
Shawl can be made to desired length by adding more or fewer rows maintaining the established increasing pattern. Ruffle edge can also be made longer or shorter by adding non-increase rows. Fur trim & hood optional.

Instructions

To begin, Ch 3.

Row 1: 9 dc in the 3rd ch from the hook.

Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 LDC in the same stitch. 1 LDC in ea of the next 3 sts. 5 LDC in the next st. 1 LDC in the next 3 sts. 2 LDC in the last st. – 15 sts

Row 3: Ch 2 (does not count), turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 LDC in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 6 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 6 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 21 sts

Row 4: Ch 2 (does not count), turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 9 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 9 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 27 sts

Row 5: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 12 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 12 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 33 sts

Row 6: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 15 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 15 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 39 sts

Row 7: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 18 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 18 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 45 sts

Row 8: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 21 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 21 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 51 sts

Row 9: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 24 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 24 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 57 sts

Row 10: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 27 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 27 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 63 sts

Row 11: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 30 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 30 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 69 sts

Row 12: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 33 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 33 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 75 sts

Row 13: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 36 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 36 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 81 sts

Row 14: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 39 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 39 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 87 sts

Row 15: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 42 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 41 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 93 sts

Row 16: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 45 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 45 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 99 sts

Row 17: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 48 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 48 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 105 sts

Row 18: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 51 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 51 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 111 sts

Row 19: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 54 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 54 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 117 sts

Row 20: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 57 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 57 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 123 sts

Row 21: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 60 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 60 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 129 sts

Row 22: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 63 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 63 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 135 sts

Row 23: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 66 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 66 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 141 sts

Row 24: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 69 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 69 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 147 sts

Row 25: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 72 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 72 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 153 sts

Row 26: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 75 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 75 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 159 sts

Row 27: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 78 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 78 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 165 sts

Row 28: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 81 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 81 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 171 sts

Row 29: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 84 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 84 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 177 sts

Row 30: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 87 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 87 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 183 sts

Row 31: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 90 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 90 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 189 sts

Row 32: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 93 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 93 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 195 sts

Row 33: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 96 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 96 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 201 sts

Row 34: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 99 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 99 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 207 sts

Row 35: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 102 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 102 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 213 sts

Row 36: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 105 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 105 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 219 sts

Row 37: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 108 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 108 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 225 sts

Row 38: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 111 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 111 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 231 sts

Row 39: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 114 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 87 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 283 sts

Row 40: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 117 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 117 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 289 sts

Row 41: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 120 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 120 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 295 sts

Row 42: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 123 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 123 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 301 sts

Row 43: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 126 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 126 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 307 sts

Row 44: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 129 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 129 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 313 sts

Row 45: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 132 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 132 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 319 sts

RUFFLE:

Row 1: Ch 3 (does not count as first dc). 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in the next st, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in the next 2 sts, 2 dc in the next st) 105 times, or all the way across the long (pointed) bottom edge of the shawl. 2 dc in the last st. – 426 sts

Row 2: Ch 3 (does not count as first dc). 1 dc in the same st. 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in the next st, 2 dc in the next st) 212 times, or all the way across the long edge of the shawl. – 639 sts

Rows 3-4 : Ch 3, turn. 1 dc in ea st across. – 639 sts

Cut yarn and tie off.

Hood

Ch 17 (15 sts + 2 for turn).

Row 1: 1 dc in the 3rd ch from the hook. 1 ldc in the next 13 sts, 3 ldc in the last st. Rotate to begin working down the opposite side of the foundation chain. 1 ldc in the next 14 sts. – 31 sts

Row 2: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 13 sts. 2 ldc in ea of the next 3 sts. 1 ldc in the next 14 sts. – 34 sts

Row 3: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 14 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next st, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 14 sts. – 37 sts

Row 4: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 14 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 2 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 15 sts. – 40 sts

Row 5: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 15 sts. 2 ldc in the next st.  (1 ldc in the next 3 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 15 sts. – 43 sts

Row 6: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 15 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 4 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 16 sts. – 46 sts

Row 7: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 16 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 5 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 16 sts. – 49 sts

Row 8: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 16 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 6 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 17 sts. – 52 sts

Row 9: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 17 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 7 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 17 sts. – 55 sts

Row 10: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 17 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 8 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 18 sts. – 58 sts

Row 11: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 18 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 9 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 18 sts. – 61 sts

Row 12: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 18 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 10 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 19 sts. – 64 sts

Row 13: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 19 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 11 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 19 sts. – 67 sts

Row 14: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 19 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 12 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 20 sts. – 70 sts

Row 15: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 20 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 13 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 20 sts. – 73 sts

Row 16: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 20 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 14 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 21 sts. – 76 sts

Row 17: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 21 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 15 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 21 sts. – 79 sts

Row 18: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 21 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 16 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 22 sts. – 82 sts

Row 19: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 22 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 17 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 22 sts. – 85 sts

Row 20: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 22 sts, 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 18 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 23 sts. – 88 sts

Row 21: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 23 sts, 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 19 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 23 sts. – 91 sts

Row 22: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 23 sts, 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 20 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 24 sts. – 94 sts

Row 23: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in each stitch across.

Rows 24-25: Rpt Row 23

If adding fur trim, follow Rnds 26 – 27. If not, add 2 more rows of 1 dc in ea st.

Row 26: Ch 2, turn. 1 hdc in the same st, ch 1, sk next st. (1 hdc in the next st, ch 1, sk next st) across. 1 hdc in the last st of the row.

Attach Faux Fur with 11.5 mm hook.

Row 27: Ch 2, 1 dc in the next space. 1 dc in each ch-1 space across.

Once the hood and shawl are complete, you may seam hood to the top of the shawl. This can be done before or after adding the fur.

To seam the hood, use locking stitch markers to align the center of the hood (the foundation chain line) with the center of the shawl (Central stitch of Row 1). Place the markers so that the hood is evenly held against the fabric.

Using a length of your main yarn and a tapestry needle, sew the edge of the hood to the edge of the shawl.

Once the hood is seamed and the fur trim is added, use a large-eyed yarn needle to thread the faux fur yarn. Weave in the ends, securing the top of Row 27 to the edges of the shawl so that it transitions smoothly.

Weave in any remaining ends, and add a button to fasten at the collar if you prefer! The holes in row  26 make excellent natural buttonholes or tie-holes – or you could add a chain-loop closure instead. Once this is finished, you’re all done and ready for adventure!

Whatever the character, one thing remains true throughout all photoshoots – I’m either pretending to be freezing in scorching weather, or pretending to be scorching in freezing weather πŸ˜‰

And then there’s the cliff-perching.

-MF

Alpaca Handspun Wrap

Forgive me, fiber darlings, as the golden falling walnut leaves and the true approach of autumn sends me into paroxysms of nostalgia – you see, I’ve completed a very long personal fiber art project, and will not hesitate to use it as an excuse to wax sentimental πŸ˜‰

Translation: This is a long personal reflection post and a project with no patterns. πŸ˜‰

It was almost 4 years ago exactly that I decided to give my still new (to me) Ashford Traveler Double Drive spinning wheel a good workout by ordering several pounds (!!) of Alpaca fiber that I got on sale.

I had already been working with drop spindles at this point, but I was excited to take advantage of the larger, faster batches one could produce with the wheel. I dug into the first pound with vigor, producing a tight and even dark brown set of yarns… but like lots of large projects, the initial momentum got lost and it took me several years to finish spinning the rest of the fiber.

In the mean time I learned and experimented with lots of other things, and even added more alpaca fiber to the hoard, including a raw fleece gifted to me by a friend (not much of that one went into the final product – hand carding is a workout!!)

The fleeces followed me, like a little herd of alpacas themselves, though many phases of life in the past four years. I spun and played with them, dreamed with them. They reminded me all the time of the farms and ranches I worked at when I was younger and traveling the United States, work-trading as a farm hand at communes and eco-villages. Every fiber of them passed through my hands eventually, to twist together on the wheel or spindle – how many thoughts are in these fibers? How many dreams?

At once point I got exuberantly experimental about natural dyeing again (my first forays consisted of tea, coffee, turmeric, and a failed pokeberry batch way back in 2009-10 or so), so I started collecting the vegetable waste from my day job in the produce department and brewing up a big batch of avocado dye from the pits and skins. Raw material, collected and transmuted again. How many hands picked the fruit? How many dreams did they dream?

When I dive, I deep dive. I want to know the parts of a process like I know the breathing of my lungs, intrinsically, so that my fingers can read the dreams. To me, that is the way to respect – respect what, I don’t know. The energies it took to create everything around me? Maybe. It is gratitude, definitely.

When the fibers were carded and dyed and spun and plied and washed and dried, I took them to my fatter knitting needles: the 9.00 mm circulars from my interchangeable set. (I remember the super long knitted scarf from a decade ago, and how I tried to cram so many stitches of recycled cotton onto a cheap plastic yard sale needle and snapped it into oblivion, losing hundreds of tiny knit stitches to my cold-sweating terror…)

Good thing my tools have evolved with me.
I knit and knit and knit, practicing my speed-purling, practicing my yarn overs, dropping stitches and switching to garter occasionally. I never got the bug for delicate knit patterns, I like my knits huge and stupid and chunky and easy.

I knew it was going to be a big folded rectangle essentially, with two arm holes. Simple. A large serape-like shell could be worn over other winter layers, since not all of the yarn I used is next-to-skin soft – but holy heck is it warm! Alpaca fiber is also naturally water-resistant, enhancing this wrap’s qualities as outerwear.

I played up the textural aspects of this piece, letting my big dumb rectangle be the blank canvas for every nuanced lump in the fiber. It was handspun; it was messy, chunky, uneven, perfectly imperfect. I did not want it to look sleek, cosmopolitan, curated. It was my glorious mess. So I did what I learned to do best in the grueling hours of the windowless rooms in studio art at Indiana University – turn imperfections into advantages.

(Mostly) planned dropped stitches provided visual breaks vertically, and lines of garter stitches complemented and accented the color changes horizontally, creating a weathered and distressed texture that plays up the lumpy, bumpy, mismatched yarnscape. The large needles allowed plenty of looseness in the stitches to give the otherwise square shell garment a flattering bit of drape. The rough visual style belies the incredibly squishy loft of the bulky alpaca yarns.

I can’t believe I spun 100% of this garment – it is my first large project to be entirely handspun. Some parts are a little scratchy, I’ll admit, and it certainly needs a second wash (it’s fragrant in a strongly camelid sort of way at the moment) – but this piece will warm me now in a special way, because so much of my story is now shared with it.

I get really excited when I finish a piece that’s taken me years, to me they feel like a victory! Previously, the Stump had been my longest-held project (3 years), but now the Alpaca Wrap (4 years) is the record holder πŸ˜‰

And here’s my advice to every artist who may have had the tough moments, like me, that make dreams feel like impossibilities: Patience, patience, patience.

-MF

Witch Hat Pattern

Fandoms come and go for me. If you’ve been reading this blog for long enough, you’ll remember projects, photos and posts inspired by popular media and geek cultures – GOT and Harry Potter and Krampus to name a few! I’ve made Video Game Guys and Coralines and Pikachus for friends that may or may not ever make it on to the blog, and I’ve become fixated on and then subsequently grown out of a number of fandoms myself.

One though, I’ll never grow out of, and that’s Discworld.

If you know, you know. If you don’t, it’s hard to explain! With 40+ Discworld novels spanning a lifetime writing career, British fantasy author Terry Pratchett first appeared on my bookshelf when I was an adolescent. His combination of comedic fantasy and humanitarian social commentary hooked me immediately and I’ve been reading and re-reading his books ever since.

The graphic novels are great too, I have most of them! Pictured here in the free pattern for the Teddy Bear Onesie ❀

So when I had a couple crochet hat pattern ideas for the blog, I thought it would be fun to match them to two of my favorite characters from the Disc: Part 1 is Tiffany Aching, Witch of the Chalk!

Read on for more info, or save this project by favoriting the Ravelry Project page!

Tiffany is a young heroine from Pratchett’s YA Discworld series who runs the dairy on her shepherding family’s farm, which she is driven to defend (with a frying pan) when the Queen of the Otherworld crosses over and steals her little brother. Tiffany’s ambitions to become a witch are helped by her tiny, drunk, warlike pictsie friends the Nac Mac Feegle, and her adventures are chronicled through the 5 book series which Pratchett completed just before he died in 2015.

This pattern was started just from a love of making witch hats – I happen to have another similar hat pattern for free, the Hedge Witch Hat, available on my blog on in PDF format! This time, though, I wanted something taller and pointier, something really traditionally witchy, with a structured brim and a severe point.

Since this is in a traditional style, I’m keeping it simple and calling it the Witch Hat πŸ™‚

Witch Hat

This traditionally shaped witch hat uses tight single crochet and gradual increases to create a tapering point perfect for any aspiring magic wielder. The pattern includes instructions for wiring the brim of the hat as well!

Materials:

3.25 mm hook (or size needed to obtain gauge)
#4 Worsted Weight Yarn – Caron Simply Soft is pictured here (300 yards)
~46″ of flexible craft wire + wire cutters (optional, for brim)
Scissors, tapestry needle, stitch markers

Gauge: 5 sts + 5 rows = 1″

Notes: Ch – 1 at the beginning of the round to start. Beginning Ch-1 does not count as first sc.

Instructions:

Make Magic Ring.

Row 1: 6 sc into the ring. Sl st in the 1st sc of the round to join. – 6 sts

Round 2: 1 sc in the next 5 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the round to join. – 7 sts

Round 3: 1 sc in the next 6 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the round to join. – 8 sts

Round 4: 1 sc in the next 7 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the rnd to join. – 9 sts

Round 5: 1 sc in the next 8 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the rnd to join. – 10 sts

Round 6: 1 sc in the next 9 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the rnd to join. – 11 sts

Round 7: 1 sc in the next 10 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the rnd to join. – 12 sts

Round 8: 1 sc in the next 11 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the rnd to join. – 13 sts.

Rnd 9: 1 sc in the next 12 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the rnd to join. – 14 sts

Rnd 10: 1 sc in the next 13 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the rnd to join. – 15 sts

Rnd 11: 1 sc in the next 14 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the rnd to join. – 16 sts

Rnd 12: 1 sc in the next 15 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the rnd to join. – 17 sts

Rnd 13: 1 sc in the next 16 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the rnd to join. – 18 sts

Rnd 14: (1 sc in the next 8 sts, 2 sc in the next st) rpt the parentheses 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 20 sts

Rnd 15: (1 sc in the next 9 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 22 sts

Rnd 16: (1 sc in the next 10 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 24 sts

Rnd 17: (1 sc in the next 11 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 26

Rnd 18: (1 sc in the next 12 sts. 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 28 sts

Rnd 19: (1 sc in the next 13 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 30 sts

Rnd 20: (1 sc in the next 14 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 32 sts

Rnd 21: (1 sc in the next 15 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 34 sts

Rnd 22: (1 sc in the next 16 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 36 sts

Rnd 23: (1 sc in the next 17 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join witha sl st. – 38 sts

Rnd 24: (1 sc in the next 18 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 40 sts

Rnd 25: (1 sc in the next 19 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 42 sts

Rnd 26: (1 sc in the next 20 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 44 sts

Rnd 27: (1 sc in the next 21 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join witha sl st. – 46 sts

Rnd 28: (1 sc in the next 22 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 48 sts

Rnd 29: (1 sc in the next 15 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 51

Rnd 30: (1 sc in the next 16 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 54

Rnd 31: (1 sc in the next 17 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 57

Rnd 32: (1 sc in the next 18 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 60

Rnd 33: (1 sc in the next 19 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 63 sts

Rnd 34: (1 sc in the next 20 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 66 sts

Rnd 35: (1 sc in the next 21 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 69 sts

Rnd 36: (1 sc in the next 22 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 72 sts

Rnd 37: (1 sc in the next 23 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 75 sts

Rnd 38: (1 sc in the next 24 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 78 sts

Rnd 39: (1 sc in the next 25 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 81 sts

Rnd 40: (1 sc in the next 26 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 84 sts

Rnd 41: (1 sc in the next 27 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 87

Rnd 42: (1 sc in the next 28 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 90 sts

Rnd 43: (1 sc in the next 29 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 93 sts

Rnd 44: (1 sc in the next 30 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 96 sts

Rnd 45: (1 sc in the next 31 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 99 sts

Rnd 46: (1 sc in the next 32 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 102 sts

Rnd 47: (1 sc in the next 33 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 105 sts

Rnd 48: (1 sc in the next 34 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 108 sts

Rnd 49 – 55: 1 sc in ea st around. – 108 sts

Rnd 56: (1 sc in the next 17 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 114 sts

Rnd 57: (1 sc in the next 18 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 120 sts

Rnd 58: (1 sc in the next 19 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 126 sts

Rnd 59: (1 sc in the next 20 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 132 sts

Rnd 60: (1 sc in the next 21 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 138 sts

Rnd 61: (1 sc in the next 22 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 144 sts

Rnd 62: (1 sc in the next 23 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 150 sts

Rnd 63: (1 sc in the next 24 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 156 sts

Rnd 64: (1 sc in the next 25 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 162 sts

Rnd 65: (1 sc in the next 26 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 168 sts

Rnd 66: (1 sc in the next 27 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 174 sts

Rnd 67: (1 sc in the next 28 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 180 sts

Rnd 68: (1 sc in the next 29 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 186 sts

Rnd 69: (1 sc in the next 30 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 192 sts

Rnd 70: (1 sc in the next 31 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 198 sts

Rnd 71: (1 sc in the next 32 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 204 sts

For a structured brim: Make a ring about the side of the brim of your hat from the craft wire. Fold the excess over at both ends, hooking the wire together, matching the diameter of the brim (get close but doesn’t have to be exact). In the next round, hold the wire on top of the piece, inserting your hook under the stitch and the wire to draw up loops, then yarn over on top of the wire and complete the stitch to trap the wire inside your stitches. Work this method around the entire brim for the following round:

Rnd 72: 1 sc in ea stitch around. – 204 sts

You may have to unhook and adjust your wire for more or less length toward the end of the round. Once finished, re-fold and hook the wire together, flatten the folded ends to close them off around each other, and clip off any excess. Then crochet as best you can over the wire join.

Cut yarn and tie off. Weave in ends – I wove my yarn end from the brim around the wire join lump, to give it some extra security! πŸ™‚


As weapons go, I really identify with the choice of cast-iron pan, my favorite cooking implement πŸ˜‰

-MF

Elf Coat FAQ

I’m back with another FAQ page!

I am in love with the fact that my Elf Coat pattern has been so popular since I released it over a year ago! I’ve seen many wonderful creations and talked to tons of great people and it’s just….. so gratifying. And humbling.

Anyway, before I get too schmaltzy, I also get a lot of questions and so I created this resource to help answer those more readily πŸ™‚

Where Can I Find the Elf Coat Pattern?

This crochet pattern can be found for free on my blog at the following links:
Elf Coat Size Small
Elf Coat Size Medium
Elf Coat Size Large
Elf Coat Corset Lacing (for all sizes)

This pattern can also be purchased as a downloadable, ad-free PDF document (all 3 sizes included) through my Ravelry Store or Etsy Shop.

How Do I Size Up?

Currently this pattern is only written for Adult sizes S,M,L. However, many people ask how to go about making a pattern for XL + or other sizes. Although I do intend to write more size options for this design eventually, for now the only sizing advice I can offer is already written into the pattern πŸ™‚ Check the notes that occur before many sections of the design to see what kind of math I used and/or how to alter the size of the coat by changing the gauge.

Though the math in the pattern doesn’t cover every obstacle you may face when trying to create different sizes for this coat, it’ll have to do until I can sit down and write more exact instructions for different sizes (which is high on my list at this point but takes a lot of time and testing)!

Do You Offer This Pattern in Children’s Sizes?

Exact same answer as for “How Do I Size Up”

Can I Make This in Regular Crochet / Knit ?

The Elf Coat is made with Tunisian Crochet, specifically Tunisian Knit stitch. Since many people do not know how to do Tunisian, I’ve had a lot of asks about working it in either a regular crochet stitch or a regular knit stitch. Since the Elf Coat relies solely on 1 type of stitch, made in rows with only increases and decreases for shaping, it is easy to translate into regular stitches using a 1:1 exact translation (as long as you match the gauge).

For crochet, it’s proven difficult (from what I’ve heard) to match the gauge EXACTLY to the one given for the pattern, but with some engineering I’ve seen folks turn out Elf coats in regular single crochet that look great! I do go over the general guidelines for how to do this in the Notes section of the original pattern.

I’ve also seen several great examples in regular knitting, which produces a slightly flowier, looser and thinner garment. Again, a 1:1 translation (stitch for stitch, inc for inc, dec for dec) can be followed.

I have to say, though, that it’s really worth learning Tunisian Crochet to make this piece! I personally think there’s nothing quite like it πŸ™‚ Which leads to the next FAQ:

Do You Have a Video Tutorial for This Pattern?

No, I don’t currently have a video for the Elf Coat Pattern – although I AM rolling out a series of video tutorials for all of the Tunisian Crochet techniques used in this pattern on my YouTube Channel right now!

Many people have asked about a full video Elf Coat pattern, and I understand that there are a lot of people out there who really don’t like reading written patterns. And though I never say never, I’m pretty sure I won’t be making a full video tutorial for this pattern. I’d really love to – but I do not plan on it. I’m a one-woman business and I just can’t make the time to create all options for everything ❀ Even though I wish I could. Thanks for understanding!

Can I use β€œX” yarn with this pattern / What hook should I use?

The answer to this question always begins with β€œcheck your gauge.” Technically you can make any pattern with any size hook and yarn if your gauge matches the gauge given in the pattern. Now, gauge can be tricky and there are other things that contribute to the general look, feel, and function of a handmade garment, but the simplest place to start when asking β€œcan I make it with this yarn and hook?” is to test your gauge.

This pattern works best with DK / #3 weight yarn, or with lighter #4 weight yarns (One ply yarns like Unforgettable work best for this weight category – picture below). I don’t recommend it in something like a #4 weight multi-ply acrylic (think RHSS) because it’s so hard to get the right gauge with those yarns, but some people have achieved it!

If you need yarn ideas, you can search the yarn recommended in the pattern through the yarnsub.com database and it will give you yarn with similar weight and characteristics as options for substitutes. It’s one of my favorite yarn resources.

Is This Pattern Available in Other Languages?

Currently some sizes are available for FREE in Dutch via the awesome Een Mooi Gebaar , along with a couple other popular patterns of mine!

Dutch is currently the only other language, bu I would like to offer more language options for this pattern in the future so be sure to check back.

Do You Know That Someone is Stealing Your Photos and Pretending to Sell Your Design?!

I do. It’s not awesome, but I am aware of it. Around this time last year, a foreign scam/knockoff website started advertising heavily to my fanbase pretending to sell my Elf Coat (using an image they stole from me). A LOT of people messaged me about it, thank you so much!! I can’t believe so many people recognized my work and cared enough to rush to my defense!

That being said, there’s not much I can do, so I just ignore it. Many people have suggested that I watermark my images, but for various reasons I prefer not to.

Do You Offer the Real Elf Coat for Sale?

I don’t, unfortunately! But I highly encourage you to shop around on Etsy or among friends to find someone to make it for you if you don’t crochet. I’m so busy designing patterns anymore that I’ve stopped taking any kind of actual crochet commission work. It’s possible that I may end up making one or two for pattern testing or for fun in the future, and if that happens I will probably offer them directly for sale via my Facebook page – so if you would like the chance to buy one, make sure you follow me for updates!

Thank you so much to everyone who has shown interest in this design and in my other pieces – this elf gal is charged up and ready to create some more new designs for you guys, and it’s all thanks to the amazing people who support my art ❀ We are in this together ❀

-MF

This isn’t the Elf Coat, I just love this picture. (Click so see the Feather & Scale Halter Top design)

Mori Beret

It all started in fall of 2015 when I searched around the internet for a good, simple crochet beret pattern, one with a classic shape good for regular ol’ worsted yarns.

Finding nothing that appealed to my particular idea of what I wanted, I sat down and crocheted it myself and debuted the pattern for free as the Sweetheart Beret, in an ancient long-buried blog post with an atrocious lack of photography skills :/ In 2018, I revamped that pattern and offered a cute deer antler version, again for free, on a slightly better photographed blog post as the Forest Girl Beret.

The Forest Girl Beret continues to be offered for free via the link above, but perhaps I can interest you in a re- re- RE- vamped pattern, now with even more cute extras?

Get the Mori Beret in my Ravelry Store or Etsy Shop now or read on for more details!

Because I just can’t leave well enough alone, when I decided to create a paid PDF option for the Forest Girl Beret I also rewrote the pattern just slightly, fixed a few wonky spots, and created full written instructions for new features like ears, spots, and leaves!

I’m calling it the Mori Beret, true to it’s original inspiration from the Japanese style subculture ❀ And I made FIVE versions of this cute hat because I couldn’t resist a multi-creature photoshoot πŸ˜‰

The Mori Beret starts with a basic, easy pattern the utilizes worsted weight yarn and half-double crochet to create a beret or tam style hat with a timeless silhouette. The main hat pattern includes tips for custom sizing and bright tutorial photos to show the details of the pattern.

Stick with the classic, sleek beret style and make one for every outfit or create a cute and whimsical wardrobe staple by adding one (or several!) of the 5 Extra Feature options: Mini Antlers, Ears (Small or Large), Leaves, or Mushroom Speckles!

The perfect classic and classy beret hat for any style ❀

Materials:

5.00 mm hook (main hat) 3.50 mm hook (optional, for extra features) – or sizes needed to obtain gauge

#4 weight yarn (Main Hat) – 175-200 yards

#4 accent yarn, 25-50 yds (optional, for Extra Features)

Tapestry needle Scissors

Finished Measurements (for standard hat, approximate): 22” brim, 11” diameter across the top when laid flat, 9” depth

Oh, and those fingerless gloves I’m wearing are the Rambler’s Mitts, a free pattern from my blog, worked in Bernat Velvet ❀

-MF

Foundation Tunisian Stitch

Let’s jump right in today because it’s going to be a quick one! If you’re a human who crochets, odds are good that you don’t LOVE working into the bothersome stitches of a foundation chain. I know I don’t.

So when I needed a technique that would allow me to add length to the end of a forward pass row in Tunisian crochet, I fiddled until I got what I wanted: A Tunisian version of foundation crochet, which works the bottom stitches and the first row of stitches simultaneously.

No long twisty strands. No chaining and rejoining. AND it helps keep the bottom from curling!

Here is my video of this technique, the first of what I hope is many Tunisian tutorial videos – use the Foundation Tunisian Stitch as the base for your Tunisian crochet pieces by working FTS instead of the base chain and first row, or use it to add length on Tunisian pieces easily ❀

For more Tunisian tutorials, peep the links below the video!

Tunisian Simple Stitch Tutorial

Tunisian Knit Stitch Tutorial

Tunisian Simple Stitch – Increases and decreases

Thanks for visiting! ❀

-MF

Kismet Poncho

Sometimes I think I’m a really slow designer compared to other crochet artists out there! When I dream up an idea, and hone it down, it may still be months before I perfect it and apply it to a project satisfactorily, and then more time still to sculpt the pattern and create the materials to teach it.

The Kismet Square was originally created for an entirely different design, one that I still have my eye on for the future – but that pattern was taking way too long!

So I settled on creating a simpler garment featuring the Kismet Square, and doing a full-length crochet pattern tutorial video for both the squares and for assembling & completing a poncho from them!

The entire Kismet Poncho pattern can be accessed for FREE exclusively on my YouTube channel videos (with written captions) or get the written pattern with tutorial photos as a downloadable, printable, ad-free PDF in my Etsy Shop or Ravelry Store! ❀ Keep scrolling for the free video ❀

It’s not the project I originally intended, but it’s the perfect project for the upcoming autumn weather and the perfect addition to my YouTube free pattern offerings – so the Kismet Poncho was born, and it was… well… fate πŸ˜‰

The Kismet Poncho features a 12-round crochet square with a floral circular focal point that expands outward into easy repeat rows of stitches, clusters and shells. The alternating solid and openwork stitches create a boldly textured appeal inspired by the rich layered patterning of Middle Eastern decorative traditions.

Worked in various colors of sleek #4 worsted weight yarn, this one-size-fits-all poncho uses 4 squares to create a gorgeous statement piece with or without fringe. The pattern itself is easy to adapt with different yarn and hook sizes, and the rounds of varied stitching showcases any range of color combinations you can dream!

Finished Measurements:

Length – 30” collar to tip, not including fringe, 20” collar to short edge, not including fringe
Width – 45” across from short edge to short edge

Materials:

5.5 mm hook
#4 weight Acrylic Yarn (I used a blend of yarns, all acrylics such as Caron Simply Soft and Lion Brand Heartland) – ~ 800-900 yds
Scissors
Tapestry Needle
6” book or length of cardboard for cutting fringe

Now on to the videos! Find Gauge, stitches, and pattern notes below the first video ❀

Kismet Poncho Part 1

Keep scrolling for Parts 2 & 3!

Gauge: 3 sts & 1 row = 1” in dc

Stitches & Abbreviations:
Chain (ch)
Double Crochet (dc)
Slip Stitch (sl st)
Half Double Crochet (hdc)
Treble Crochet (tr)

Special Stitches:
Magic Ring: An adjustable ring made by wrapping the yarn around the hand or fingers, and using the loop to crochet the first round of a circular crochet piece. Ring is closed by pulling the loose tail tightly after completing the round.
Shell: A set of 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc in the same space.
Petal: A series of hdc, dc, tr, arranged in a mirrored shape within a single stitch or space.
Cluster: Several stitches worked in the same st or space, leaving the last loops on the hook. When all stitches are worked, YO and pull through all loops on the hook.
Dc3tog: A decrease where 1 dc is worked in each of the next 3 indicated stitches, leaving the last loop on the hook for each dc stitch. The complete the stitch, YO and draw through all remaining loops on the hook. 1 dc3tog made.

Abbreviations
Skip (sk)
Next (nxt)
Each (ea)
Space (sp)
Stitch (st)
Beginning (beg)

Kismet Poncho Part 2

Kismet Poncho Part 3

I hope this design inspires you to create something you or your friends & family will love! And if you have any questions whatsoever, please don’t hesitate to contact me here or via any of my social media channels πŸ™‚

Peace!

-MF

Freeform #1

For years now I’ve had my eye on creating a piece in the classic Freeform style, a method of crochet that rejects the use of pattern or pre-planned formations and uses highly textural and varied crochet stitches to create odd, asymmetric pieces called “scrumbles.”

Though any crocheting without a pattern could technically be called freeform or freestyle, I differentiate the classic Freeform technique as having a few key characteristics: lack of pattern or overall plan, emphasis on chaotic form and texture over cohesive visual harmony, and reliance on several iconic motifs common in modern freeform (such as spirals, bullions, puffs, and other textural stitches).

Freeform scrumbles are finished bits of crochet that are then arranged and connected to form the final piece – anything from a freestanding “painting” of forms to a highly ornate coat to furniture covers (I dream of freeforming over an entire couch one day…).

Sometimes sewn together, sometimes connected via an openwork web of chains as in traditional Irish lace – the scumbles are like a puzzle you get to create AND solve!

After looking to such Freeform crochet geniuses as Prudence Mapstone and Hannah Martin of Of Mars, perusing some playlists for Freeform shapes on Youtube, and endlessly scrolling the Freeform Crochet World Group on Facebook, I finally collected a bunch of yarn and started scumbling.

And scrumbling.

And scrumbling.

After 8 months of slow progress, and lots of learning curves, I finally put the finishing touches on Freeform #1!

I knew it would be a shawl from the start, but the rest of the journey of this project was a complete and utter mystery until it was finally finished.

I must have arranged and rearranged the pieces so many times, in so many combinations! There are even a few eyeballs stuck in there, left over from practicing bullion eyes for the Forest Guide Hat.

The colors were chosen to be an earthy rainbow, with lots of gem tones (my favorite). Plenty of odd bits of hand-dyed and hand-spun yarn were included that I also created – which adds to the unique and personal “process” art touch.

At some point along the way, I started becoming (more) obsessed with moths, and I couldn’t stop picturing this piece as moth wings, or at least some winged bug-eyed thing – so the prism goggles came out to play πŸ˜‰

I’m overall thrilled with how this piece turned out – better than my expectations, to be sure! My first full-size freeform will be staying in my closet as I don’t think I could bear to part with it.

It’s great to create something that is impossible to write a pattern from! These days it’s hard to crochet anything that I don’t start to consider writing a pattern for (cue the incessant note-taking), but with freeform, that’s obviously not an option…

Although I may do some tutorial videos for the techniques I used at some point!

If you want to try out freeform but don’t want to commit to a huge project, my Pixie Pocket Belt Tutorial series uses freeform techniques to create cute, quick costume projects.

This shawl really pushed my boundaries and challenged me, and I value it all the more because of that.

-MF