Welcome to Morale Fiber Blog!

From here you can navigate to all my offerings for Morale Fiber – independent fiber artist and crochet pattern designer πŸ™‚ (For more on who I am, see my About Page!) I created this post to make finding what you’re looking for easier. Let’s start with everyone’s favorite:

Free Patterns

The Free Patterns page is a running list of all the free crochet patterns, and they are all available published here for easy viewing- No extra downloads, sign-ups, or anything πŸ˜‰
I also have a page for my Crochet Tutorials!

Some of my most popular free patterns right now are the Novella Shawl (pictured top/left), the Basic Bralette (bottom/left), the Lotus Mandala Duster, and the Elf Coat (pictured below left and below right).

As a self-publishing artist I make most of my income from sales of my PDF crochet patterns through Ravelry and Etsy. If you really want to support what I do, check out my running list of crochet designs available as downloadable, printable, ad-free PDFs!

Paid Patterns

Some of my personal favorites are only available as PDF’s so it’s worth a look πŸ˜‰ Like the Flower Child Pullover (pictured top/right) or the Embla Vest (below left) and Cobweb Wrap (below right).

Questions?

If you have questions about any of the patterns I offer, I respond to messages regularly and would love to help! You can contact me here easily by leaving a comment on the page linked below, or contact me directly via any of my social media channels.

Pattern Help

Social Media Links

Finally, if you’re here to just peruse through my ramblings on all things crafty, you can go back to the Home Page (or keep scrolling) to view all my blog posts starting with the latest!

~* Thank you for visiting*~ MF
If you appreciate all my free content, consider leaving a tip in the Tip Jar ❀

Yggdrasil Poncho

“Long before any numerals or mathematics, when human language was first naming the world, trees offered their measures – of distance, of height, of diameter, of space. They were taller than anything else alive, their roots went deeper than any creature; they grazed the sky and sounded the underworld. From them was born the idea of the pillar, the column. Trees offered man the measure of his upright space, and in this offer… there is the discreetest assurance in the world, that we have never been utterly alone.”

– John Berger, And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos

This quote struck me strongly when I read it scrolling through Tumblr one day and I immediately saved it for the introduction to this particular post. You see, though I’ve waxed sentimental about trees on this blog, I’ve never found words eloquent enough to describe the enormity of their impact on the human psyche… but that quote is close!

And reading that summation of one of Earth’s most successful organisms, it is easy to see why some ancient mythologies use the image of the tree to symbolise the entire world. I came across the concept of the world tree at a young age reading Norse mythology stories, and they named their cosmic tree Yggdrasil which held all nine worlds within it, from the branches of heaven to the roots of hell. Indeed, anyone who has visited an old growth forest can clearly see the divinity and awe there – and not wonder why these majestic entities were man’s first cathedral.

The newest design I have to bring to you today is named Yggdrasil (pronounced eeg-drah-sill) after the world tree, and I hope it inspires in us that same wonder at the natural world – and the need to take care of our forests and appreciate what we still have left.

You can get the Yggdrasil Poncho design in my Etsy Shop or Ravelry Store now, or keep reading for more details!

Yggdrasil Poncho

The Yggdrasil Poncho shows off a central tree of life motif ringed all around by rich and varied stitch detail on both the back and the front, making this sacred circular design the perfect canvas on which to paint your favorite seasonal yarn colors!

Pictured above: Size Large in varied Worsted weight acrylics

The unique double circle structure of this piece creates a garment with a flattering drape off of the shoulders, into a graceful rounded bottom that can wrap the body and extend with the arms. Top this impressive work of art with a cozy cowl neck collar for warmth (optional) or trim with fringe for a retro look.

Pictured above: Size Small in Lion Brand Mandala “Dragon”

This written crochet pattern includes two sizes – Small and Large – as well as detailed, step by step instructions and over 150+ bright, numbered tutorial photos. Size Small is worked in DK weight yarn with a 4.50 mm hook, while size Large is worked in Worsted weight with a 5.5 mm hook. A free video tutorial resource for the joining seam is also linked in the pattern πŸ™‚

Materials:

4.50 mm hook or size needed to obtain gauge (for size Small)
5.50 mm hook or size needed to obtain gauge (for size Large)

Yarn for Small: Lion Brand Mandala – 2 skeins (#3 weight, 590 yds/150 g, 100% Acrylic). Color shown is “Dragon”

Yarn for Large: RhSS Ombre – 3 skeins (#4 weight, 482 yds / 283 g, 100% Acrylic). Color shown is “Cocoa”

Scissors, stitch markers, tapestry needle

Finished Measurements:

Dk weight – 28″ wide opening at elbows (56″ total circumference), 30″ circumference collar, 7″ tall cowl neck, 26″ length from collar to bottom of poncho

Worsted weight – 34″ wide opening at elbows (68″ total circumference), 30″ circumference collar, 9″ tall cowl neck, 32″ length from collar to bottom of poncho

Language: English, with US crochet terminology

I honestly had to stop myself from making a BUNCH of these all at once! They are so addictive and absolutely lovely for working through partial skeins of Worsted weight acrylic. But of course, I need to save some tree mojo for the future as I’d really like to do a full video tutorial for this design someday! 😚

– MF

P.S – My computer straight up CRASHED last month and though I fortunately didn’t lose much, I had to do almost everything involved with publishing the Yggdrasil pattern from my phone! It was not easy, yall. Fortunately I am getting some new supporters via Patreon and it’s making a big difference already. Would you consider joining up as a general supporter of Morale Fiber? It would help me so much in bringing out more patterns, tutorials, and especially video content (mama needs a new laptop!)

Patreon & Ko-Fi


Happy September! One of the best months of the year (IMHO) and it’s bringing lots of reorganization and preparation for yours truly πŸ˜‰

I’m here today to bring you a vlog that talks a little bit about how I run my business and make money publishing crochet patterns online. This overview introduces two new platforms for Morale Fiber, Patreon and Ko-Fi, which will allow me to take subscriptions from the kind followers who want to support what I do!

Patreon and Ko-Fi are social media channels designed to help artists get paid for their work. If you like to see my work and want to make a huge difference in my ability to produce content, please subscribe, donate or follow me on either of these platforms! πŸ™‚ If those channels are too much commitment, you can drop a safe, one-time payment in my Tip Jar on this page (or read more there about how I manage MF and provide free content).

In my YouTube Channel video I go over why I am opening these new revenue options, what I do in the day to day running of Morale Fiber, and how I juggle all the tasks of a one-woman independent art business.

There’s also some sneak peeks of upcoming designs currently in development and examples of some of the great FREE content I offer πŸ™‚ All projects mentioned in the video are linked below πŸ˜€

One more thing – I apologize for the choppiness of this video! I mentioned recently that I was having issues with my laptop (main computer) being really slow πŸ™ƒ and shortly after I filmed this video on my phone, my computer crashed and is now totally dead. So I had to video edit on my phone. One more great reason to subscribe, donate and tip if you like my art! Mama needs a new laptop πŸ˜‰

View the video on my YouTube Channel

Link List

Patreon

Ko-Fi

Lotus Mandala Duster

Everything You Need to Know to start Recycling Sweater Yarn

Forest Girl Beret

Twisted Fringe Tutorial Video

Tree of Life Mandala

Mandala Top

All Free Patterns

If you want to get caught up on all the Morale Fiber social media, check out my handy LinkTree!

Thanks for visiting with me! ❀

– MF

Lion Brand Yarn Unboxing

Hi fiber fans! This blog post is just a quick one featuring my newest YouTube video, which is a long and ramble-y unboxing of my latest yarn order from one of my absolute favorite supply companies, Lion Brand. As usual, the opinions and products featured in this review are 100% my own – I didn’t receive any money, affiliations, or products in return for this feature, I just really like their yarn πŸ™‚

With this review I’ve continued my search for soft, comfortable #4 weight cotton yarn for use in my halter top and bikini top patterns and I finally find my coveted substitute for I Love This Cotton…

I also re-supply myself on Ferris Wheel, an excellent colorful acrylic cake yarn with a lightweight one-ply structure. This yarn is somewhat melancholy as I’m using it to finish the Sundogs Throw blanket my friend was making right before she passed away.

So here’s the video – come hang with me as I laugh, cry, and ogle totes in my little woodland corner (and check below the video for links to all the patterns I mention)…

Lion Brand Unboxing & Yarn Review

Thanks for joining me! Here are the links to the patterns I mention in the video:

The Sundogs Throw Blanket – FREE on my blog ❀

The Shaman Coat pattern – click the link for the blog post with all the info and links to the pattern in my shops!

Novella Shawl – FREE pattern on my blog, also available in portable, printable, ad-free PDF format in my stores!

The Yearling Headband – FREE design in video tutorial format! click the link for the post πŸ™‚

Hope you enjoyed this little review and round-up πŸ™‚ If you like my newer videos, please leave me some feedback and let me know what you’d like to see more of ❀ Thanks for tuning in!

-MF

Fur Hats & Summer Stats

This summer is flying by, fueled by the need to commune and see my loved ones after the isolation and uncertainty of 2020. I keep in mind I’m lucky enough to have access to the vaccine, as there are many places that struggled to get their populations vaccinated and still so many people in danger of getting Covid 19 or the variant strains. As usual, gratitude is the name of the game.

Pictured above: the Yearling Headband spotted in natural habitat

So it’s been a busy season, and in addition to the full dance card I’ve managed a number of new designs and projects. This will be one of my “wrap-up and reflect” posts sharing my latest patterns, some new spins on old designs, and anything else that comes to mind πŸ™‚

Faux Fur Hats

Having stashed plenty of the Lion Brand Go for Faux Thick & Quick yarn last winter, I decided to make some room on my yarn shelf by busting out two new Ushanka hats from my totally free Ushanka Hat & Muff pattern. I’ve been getting ideas from the interestingly styled images on my vintage fashion & mori kei Pinterest board, in which mountain girls sport colorful accessorized layers paired with fur hats and boots. It was a bit hot out for that sort of thing, but I did get creative with my styling and layers in order to show off these two new Ushankas!

The first is a traditional Ushanka, with the earflaps attaching to the sides of the hat with buttons instead of ties on top as with the original one I made. The big Jumbo yarn and the huge hook make these hats doable in just a fraction of a day!

The second faux fur hat I made, I modified the original crochet pattern just a little by adding an extra round of stitches on top (following the formula of increases to continue with the flat circle). I wanted a slightly bigger profile on this one, and a more rigid “turn” from the top of the hat to the sides. To accomplish this sharp top edge, I worked the first non-increase round in Back Post Double Crochet instead of regular double crochet, which helped the stitches turn inward more sharply.

I also left the earflaps off of this one to give it a more “military” and less of a “trapper” look.

Of course, I had to include some more layered accessories so this outfit included my Cottage Vest design which was published this year and my Ramblers’ Mitts too! Those super neat bug tights are from MyTightsShop on Etsy.

Velvet Bralettes

As you can see with the Ramblers’ Mitts above, I’ve really been enjoying the variety of “velvet” or chenille type yarns this year, and I knew I had to make the Basic Bralette design in that ultra-cushy soft texture too. It came out as luxe as I imagined in Bernat Baby Velvet, the smaller (#4 weight) yarn version of their popular #5 weight yarn.

I got some more of the same Baby Velvet to make another! I also used the regular Bernat Velvet in black to make a super special Basic Bralette – I wanted to test the capacity of the Basic Bralette (and it’s modifier, the Curvey Bralette) design to go up to bigger cup sizes and it worked out beautifully! My friend wears an H cup size bra and with some modifications (which have now been added into the written portion of the main pattern) it was no problem to make the design fit.

Unfortunately, due to the aforementioned busy-ness, I haven’t gotten to take pictures of her in it yet. Hopefully those are coming soon. I am so pleased with how it looks, especially since I get questions about making the Basic Bralette in larger sizes a lot and now I can answer them more thoroughly, having done it myself πŸ™‚

Shown with this bralette, of course, is the Snapdragon Pixie Belt, which you can read more about by following the link πŸ™‚

Cottagecore Girlfriend Dress

I’ve loved taking short breaks with bits of sewing, particularly when it means I get to clean out some leftovers and fabric-stash bust a little. I made this light, floaty and sweet patchwork dress using my favorite patchwork skirt pattern, melded with a bodice that I freehanded. A criss-cross back tie and adjustable waistband made this really comfortable, and I also added eyelet lace cotton trim in gathered ruffles on the hem and a vintage embroidered tea towel pocket!

I called it my “Cottagecore Girlfriend” dress πŸ™‚ I learned a lot making it and hopefully will be able to recreate the bodice part for later versions – meanwhile this one has been added to my costume closet and already made an appearance in my “Moth Wizard” photoshoot for the Wizard Hat crochet pattern, which was just released!

Elf Coat Updates

On of the most major projects I concluded this summer was getting the Elf Coat pattern expanded and updated. I created a major update for the regular sizes Small-Large which included some rewriting and some additional extras like belt and pockets, but the long awaited Plus Sizes option didn’t get released until recently in June! Good timing for that, as it gives people plenty of time to get started on their coats so that they can wear them this winter πŸ™‚

You can find the directory to all the sizes and options for the Elf Coat through the page linked in the paragraph above – right now this includes sizes Small-2XL/3XL, corset back lacing, belt tie, and THREE types of pockets, all for FREE here on my blog (but you can also buy the full written patterns in my Etsy shop πŸ˜‰ and there might be a sale if you read a little further! )

New Growth & Designs

Pictured here is as much as I’m willing to reveal about the new pattern I have in the works! I try not to give too much away usually, as I just like to keep things a surprise and also because I’m terrible at committing πŸ˜€ But after 4 total reworks to this piece, I’m confident to say it’s mostly finalized and so I’m moving into the fine-tuning stage of development.

As you can see, this next one will be based on my Tree of Life motif, which has proved to be a great little free design – I have just enjoyed it SO MUCH, seeing people’s little happy trees pop up on my Instagram feed! You can get the free pattern for the Tree of Life Mandala wall hanging by following the link above. This motif also appears in my Embla Vest, a premium pattern in sizes XS-XL ❀

10K Sale!

Last but not least, my Etsy shop is ALMOST to 10,000 sales! Holy wow, I can’t believe it! We’ve got a few more to go though, so to incentivize I’ve created my “10K or Bust” sale which is running now through the end of next month – get ANY crochet pattern from my Etsy Shop 20% off, no coupon code needed!

I’m really excited to see that number roll over – I can still remember 10K sales on Etsy being some crazy, far-away dream of mine πŸ˜‰ The sale is schedule to last until August 28, 2021 – although I may extend it depending on how close to 10K we get!

As always, thank you for all your likes, comments, purchases, reviews, and encouragement!

-MF

Wizard Hat Pattern

You’d think that with two different magical pointy hat crochet patterns already written, I wouldn’t feel the urge to create another. At least, that’s what I thought when I added the Classic Witch Hat to my portfolio a year after I came out with the Hedge Witch Hat.

But of course, I was wrong – I saw a beautiful image of an even larger, taller pointed magical hat in irresistible autumn colors, made of solid wool and sporting pretty felted forest mushrooms, and I had the urge to create a hat with a similar silhouette on which to meld extravagant woodland features – and the Wizard Hat was conceived.

You can get the portable, ad-free PDF crochet pattern for the Wizard Hat in my Ravelry Store or Etsy Shop now! Click the links in the text to head there directly or keep reading for more info on this newest design πŸ™‚

I knew I needed a tight stitch to keep the tall crown of this hat upright, as well as provide a smooth surface texture, so I went with the extremely neat and handy Waistcoat Stitch for this design (click the link for the free tutorial). Worked in bulky wool blend yarn and a relatively small hook, the Wizard Hat took shape in no time and I’m very happy to be releasing this pattern today! More details on this pattern – plus info on the special sale – can be found below.

Wizard Hat

Don’t be caught at the wizard’s duel without an impressive hat! This extra-tall wizard or witch hat is the perfect headwear for serious magicians, wandering wise men, or your friendly village potion-maker. A plainly stitched hat makes a warm and fantastical accessory but is also a great canvas for extras such as hat bands, patches, and other fiber art embellishments.

The tall crown of the Wizard Hat is achieved with bulky weight yarn worked in the beautifully smooth and firm Waistcoat Stitch, an easy-to-learn technique that tweaks the placement of simple single crochet stitches to form a tight and unique fabric with a surface texture that looks like knit stitches. A full tutorial for Waistcoat stitch is available in the resources for this pattern, which also includes step by step written instructions and detailed photos.

Materials

5.50 mm hook (or size needed to obtain gauge)
Lion Brand Lion’s Pride Woolspun (#5 Bulky weight, 3.5 oz / 100 g, 127 yds, 80% Acrylic 20% wool) – color shown is Clay – 3 skeins
Stitch Marker
Tapestry Needle
Scissors

Finished Measurements: 13” tall from tip to crown, 23″ crown circumference, 46” brim circumference, brim width 3-3.5”

Language: English. Written in US crochet terminology

I’m offering a special BOGO deal for this hat pattern for one week only to celebrate the debut – you can get this brand new exclusive PDF for FREE when you buy any other crochet pattern from my Ravelry pattern store! This deal is only available through Ravelry through 7-29-21 – and you must use the code “WIZZARD” to get the discount ❀ If you miss this deal, be sure to check out my multi-pattern discount codes which are ALWAYS available and offer a substantial bulk-buying markdown!

Morale Fiber Pattern Store Discount Codes
Valid for both Etsy and Ravelry!
15% off of 2: MF15OFF
20% off of 3-4: MF20OFF
25% off of 5-6: MF25OFF
30% off of 7+: MF30OFF

These femme wizard photos also include a few other things made by me! The shawl is a version of my Cobweb Wrap crochet pattern, which I altered in length (following the mathematical formula for altering provided in the pattern instructions) and did in rows instead of rounds (don’t have notes for that part, sorry!)

I’m loving the patchwork dress I made from scrap quilting cotton and some vintage linens and laces gifted to me by a friend πŸ™‚ I periodically do sewing projects and am getting marginally better at them, and sometimes even meld them with crochet – I hope to be doing more of that in the future.

I haven’t had time to add my desired crocheted mushroom and forest-y felted embellishments to this hat design yet, so in the meantime I adorned my official wizard garb with one of my ethereal handmade moth clips from The Forest Fae.

As always, thank you for visiting and checking out my newest offerings! If you’d like to see ALL the Morale Fiber content, check out my handy Linktree!

❀
MF

Waistcoat Stitch Tutorial

Today I’m sharing a tutorial for the Waistcoat Stitch, aka the Knit Stitch! Despite the name, this stitch is a crochet stitch that’s actually very simple – it’s basically just single crochet – but creates a distinctive structure that’s perfect for tightly formed fabric with a smooth surface texture. Plus, it looks a bit like knitting πŸ™‚

Waistcoat Stitch (abbreviated to “WS” or “ws”) is worked in the round to achieve the smooth knit-look texture. You can work this stitch back and forth, but because the WS relies on the Right Side to create the effect, back-and-forth WS will not look smooth and pretty like in-the-round will. The firm texture, the neat look of the surface, and the reliance on working in rounds makes this a perfect stitch for hats!

In fact, I already have one hat pattern written in the Waistcoat Stitch, available both for free on my blog and purchasable as a portable, ad-free PDF – that’s the Vintage Derby Hat, shown above & below.

And I have yet another pointy hat being developed right this very minute, ready to be published soon, which also utilizes this awesome technique – so I’m doing a tutorial here today in preparation which includes a video demo – keep scrolling for the free instructions! ❀

Waistcoat Stitch Tutorial

So how do we work this amazing little stitch? As I mentioned, the WS is basically a single crochet, so you don’t have to learn any fancy yarnwork to create it. The secret to this stitch is all in where you insert your hook to draw up the first loop for your crochet stitch.

In the first round, you’ll be working traditional single crochet stitches into your ring or your round of chains (remember, we don’t work this back and forth but in rounds instead).

Once you have established a round in single crochet, the next round will work single crochet stitches but through the vertical bars of the stitch below, not through the top two loops as normal.

Highlighted here are the top two loops (first image above) where you would normally insert your hook to draw up the first loop for your stitch. In the second image above, I have highlighted the vertical bars of the crochet stitch below, which form a bit of a “V”. You’ll be inserting your hook in between these two bars from the front and emerging through the body of the stitch to the back of the work.

Pictured Above: Inserting the hook through the middle of the highlighted vertical bars of the stitch below

At the back of the work, the vertical bars of a single crochet stitch form an upside-down “V” shape. Your hook will emerge between these vertical bars, at the point indicated by the white dot.

Pictured Above: The hook emerging at the back of the work, between the vertical bars. The stitch beside it is highlighted to show the configuration of the bars when viewed from the back, with the white dot indicating where the hook should emerge.

From there, draw up a loop. YO and draw through two loops as normal to complete one Waistcoat Stitch. Your stitch will now emerge from the center of the stitch below, coming out from the vertical V shape.

Insert your hook again through the V of the next stitch, then draw up a loop and complete the single crochet as normal. Voila! You are working waistcoat stitch!

After a few rounds of this stitch, the texture starts to become very smooth and even, with the v-shapes mimicking the loops of knitting but with a firmer, thicker fabric perfect for structured projects.

Increasing and decreasing in Waistcoat Stitch are handled the exact same way as with single crochet, but again – inserting that hook in between the vertical bars instead of the top loops. So to increase, simply work two Waistcoat stitches in the next vertical-bar “V”, so that you have an extra stitch in the same place. To decrease, work a single crochet 2 together (sc2tog) but draw up your first two loops from between the vertical-bar “V”s πŸ™‚

I’ve created this video tutorial to help you navigate the basics of this stitch – I didn’t get quite the video quality I wanted for this, but I’m working on upgrading some of my technologies for doing better videos (and dealing with some malfunctions) so stay tuned and thanks for your patience πŸ™‚

Waistcoat Stitch Video Tutorial

As I mentioned (a lot) just love this stitch because it’s particular qualities are so good for hats! Firm fabric and a neatly smooth textured surface – it’s just perfect ❀ You can also substitute this stitch for regular single crochet in many simple hat patterns – I might try it on my Mori Girl Beret pattern next!

Thanks for visiting and stay tuned for my newest hat pattern, to be released in just a few days!
-MF

Mermaid Mitts & Sandals Update

I have some good news and some bad news! Let’s start with the good news:

The Mermaid Mitts & Sandals crochet pattern has been given a major update, which includes fixing some errors in the written pattern but also adding a bunch of bright, fresh new tutorial photography πŸ™‚ As a pattern designer, I’m constantly backtracking to check that my paid patterns are up to my current standard – I started publishing my designs in 2015 and I’m always learning as I go, so sometimes the older patterns just look flimsy compared to what I can do now. The Mermaid Mitts & Sandals pattern is the latest PDF crochet pattern to get a nice makeover.

Keep reading for all the details on this design or go directly to my Etsy Shop or Ravelry Store to purchase this premium crochet pattern (But you might want to keep reading because I’m offering a SALE on Ravelry, discussed below)!

So that’s the good news, here’s the bad news: This design was supposed to debut today as both a paid PDF pattern file update AND a FREE pattern re-release including a new video tutorial. Another thing I like to do with my older paid patterns as I update them is consider whether they would be good choices for offering a free version here on my blog – just like I did with the Rhiannon Cowl, the Mandala Tam, the Winter Poncho, and the Mandala Top. Free versions of patterns help both me and you, since I get more site traffic which leads to more sales, and people who can’t afford a ton of paid patterns get access to quality content they can enjoy and recommend to others πŸ™‚

But this is the bad news part, because I can’t offer the pattern on the blog or as a video today. For about two weeks now, my laptop computer has been inexplicably slow. It took me days to format the pattern update, and my computer has been so laggy and malfunctioning that it’s been very difficult to get any work done at all. I had scheduled the re-release of the Mermaid Mitts in updated PDF form, free blog pattern form, and free YouTube tutorial video form… but I’m nowhere near completing those last two items because my computer is SO FREAKING SLOW right now. 😦

SOOOOO here’s my temporary solution – A SALE! Buy any other crochet pattern from my Ravelry Store, get the Mermaid Mitts & Sandals PDF pattern file for free! You don’t need a coupon code, just drop the Mermaid pattern in your cart with any other pattern and go to checkout where the discount will be taken πŸ™‚ I’ll still be uploading this pattern for free and with a video tutorial in the future, once I fix whatever ailment is afflicting my technology. In the meantime, PDF pattern purchases are my main source of income and it would really help me out with the new technology costs if you took advantage of this deal – or, if you don’t need any more PDF patterns but still want to support my business, consider leaving a Tip in the Tip Jar! You can enter any amount of $1 increments to leave a tip in my secure, WordPress-backed payment system there. Any amount will be extra appreciated right now as technology is expensive but I can’t provide patterns without it ❀

Anyway, here’s all the details about the Mermaid Mitts & Sandals pattern, which is one I’m very proud of and I think you’ll love! ❀

Mermaid Mitts & Sandals

This fanciful beaded crochet accessory set is suitable for any mermaids, undines, or sirens that might journey onto land in search of a mortal to ensnare.
This is a two-in-one pattern that makes one pair of scaly armwarmers (wrist OR elbow length) and one pair of beaded barefoot sandals!

I love the unique design of the mitts, which feature the crocodile stitches only on the back of the hand, not surrounding the palm, for more practical wear. The barefoot sandals are a mystical twist on traditional crochet foot accessories! Includes tutorial photography to accompany the written instructions and separate tutorials for crocodile stitches and the beading technique used in this pattern.

Suitable not only for mermaids, undines, and naiads, but also dryads, nymphs, sylphs, and all other manner of fae and little folk!

Materials:
3.50 hook (or size needed to obtain gauge)
Lion Brand Coboo (#3 weight, 100 g / 232 yd, 50% cotton 50% Bamboo rayon) – about Β½ skein (this is the recommended yarn but this pattern looks GREAT with lots of different yarns, including many #4 weight and #3 weight substitutes such as Lion Brand Mandala or Red Heart Unforgettable)
32 6/0 seed beads (optional)
beading needle (optional)
tapestry needle
Gauge: 1 croc stitch scale = 1.5” measured across top

Pattern written in US crochet terminology.
Language: ENGLISH

I drew inspiration from a lot of places for this design but one that always stuck with me was a faerie-like croc stitch barefoot sandal that had bells at the tip of each croc scale – I adored them and I still plan on doing a bell version of the sandals soon ❀

As always, and despite the sometimes struggle-y nature of being a one-woman art business, I’m so full of gratitude. The online crochet community has been my home for over a decade now and it just gets better and better. It takes all of us to make it that way, sharing our creativity, ideas, inspiration, and encouragement to keep the passion of our tradition alive ❀ Thank you!

-MF

Kismet Halter Top

My little Kismet Square motif has had an eventful life so far! I designed this circle-to-square motif a couple years ago, planning on using it for an ambitious new design which STILL hasn’t seen the light of day. Okay so, I’m still working on that one and it will eventually become something really great, but it is like… taking forever. Which I’ve learned simply happens sometimes, so you just have to roll with it.

In the meantime, I’ve found the main Kismet motif really useful for inspiring other patterns – including my newest FREE halter top design which premiers right here, right now!

The Kismet Halter Top is here on this blog post for anyone who wants to enjoy it, but is also available in my Ravelry Store and Etsy Shop as a downloadable, printable, ad-free PDF πŸ™‚ Read all the details of this latest design below or keep scrolling for the FREE crochet pattern instructions!

Oh, and the other project that features the Kismet motif is the Kismet Poncho, shown below, also free or purchasable as a premium pattern – OH and a FULL video tutorial version exists, too! ❀ Yay!

Kismet Halter Top

The Kismet Halter top draws aspects from many of my other favorite halter top designs – a sturdy, wide construction around the ribcage for good coverage and good support, criss-cross lacing ties that don’t pressure the neck, and an eye-catching central mandala that looks perfect layered under tanks and low-cut tees. The optional Mehndi Border across the bottom can add extra coverage and turn up the festival fanciness factor!

The instructions for this top are in good written detail for the stitches and construction, while also being flexible enough to customize size to get the perfect fit. Cup sizes are written for A cup through DD cup and size suggestions for customizing the band portion go from X-Small – to 2X-Large πŸ™‚ 75+ tutorial photos are included with detailed references and clear steps connected to the written instructions.

The top is made with #4 weight 100% cotton for a quick project that will keep you cool and comfortable all summer – taken to the beach, to festivals, out dancing, or anywhere you are following your kismet ❀

The following free pattern appears here exactly as in the PDF version, if you like it consider supporting my art by buying the PDF version or sampling my other patterns in the Ravelry Store and Etsy Shop! If you don’t need or want the PDF file, consider leaving a tip in my Tip Jar? Thank you for your support and please let me know what you think πŸ™‚

Materials:

#4 weight cotton yarn (I used I Love This Cotton! – 3.5 oz/ 100 g, 180 yds, 100% cotton)
1 skein main color for Small-Med/A-C, 2 skeins main color for Lg-XL/D-DD , ~100 yds each for 2 accent colors
3.50 mm hook (or size needed to obtain gauge)
Stitch markers, scissors, tapestry needle.

Gauge: 4 sts & 3 rows = 1” in hdc
4 sts & 5 rows = 1” in sc
4 sts & 2.5 rows = 1” in dc

Sizes:
A – DD Cup sizes. Sizing for band (circumference around the ribcage) is written flexibly for customizable sizes.
Finished Measurements For Individual Cups (approximate, taken with cup flattened):
Cup Size A:  5.5” length from top to bottom (shown below), 4” width across bottom
Size B: 6.5” length, 5” width
Size C: 7” length, 6.5” width
Size D: 7” length, 7.5” width
Size DD: 7.5” length, 8.5” width

Stitches & Abbreviations:
Chain (ch)
Double crochet (dc)
Slip stitch (sl st)
Half Double Crochet (hdc)
Single Crochet (sc)
Treble (tr)

Skip (sk)
Round (rnd)
Space (sp)
Figure (fig)
Yarn Over (YO)

Special Techniques

Magic Ring – An adjustable loop for starting circular pieces – you can see a full video demo on my YouTube Channel here or view the step-by-step written tutorial here.
Chain and Stitch Join – special way of closing an openwork round by using a stitch to substitute the last few chain stitches. Explained in pattern but for a full tutorial see my blog post here.
Half Double Crochet 2 Together (hdc2tog) – a half double crochet decrease. Steps explained in pattern.
PomPom Stitch (for optional bottom border) – a special cluster of stitches that form a little ball or pompom. Full tutorial is available in written form here
Additionally, I have a PomPom Stitch tutorial video on my YouTube channel here
Double Crochet 3 Together (dc3tog) – part of a cluster stitch that forms the pompom. Steps detailed in PomPom Stitch tutorial.

Notes:
Beginning chain stitches do not count as the first st of the row.
Beginning chain sts are given as 1 chain stitch for sc, 1 chain st for hdc, 2 ch sts for dc – these are one less than the typical amount because they work better for my gauge for this project, however, if those are too tight please feel free to add an extra chain to the beginning chain as needed.

Instructions

Center Motif:

With first accent color, make magic ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 3 (does not count as first dc – fig 1), 12 dc into the ring – fig 2. Pull loose yarn end to tighten the ring, slip stitch in the first dc to join – fig 3. – 12 dc

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

Rnd 2: Ch 5 (counts as first dc + ch 2). (1 dc in the next st, ch 2) 11 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beginning ch-5 – fig 4. – 12 dc, 12 ch-2 spaces

Fig. 4

Rnd 3: In the next ch space work 1 hdc, 1 dc, ch 2, 1 dc, 1 hdc – fig 5. Sl st in the next dc – fig 6. (In the next ch sp work 1 hdc, 1 dc, ch 2, 1 dc, 1 hdc. Sl st in the next dc) 11 times. Cut yarn and tie off if changing colors. – fig 7. – 12 shells

Fig. 5

Fig. 6

Fig. 7 – your motif may ruffle some at the end of this round. To help it lie flat, pull out the ends of the shells and press the motif. Don’t worry if it’s still a little curly, it will straighten out in the following rounds.

Rnd 4: Join 2nd accent color at the top of any ch space of the previous round (if not changing colors, simply slip stitch to the next ch sp). 1 sc in the same sp – fig 8. Ch 3, sc in the same space, ch 3. (1 sc in the next ch-1 space, ch 3, 1 sc in the same space, ch 3) 10 times – fig 9. 1 sc in the next ch-1 space, ch 3, 1 sc in the same space. Ch 1, work 1 hdc in the first sc of the round. This closes the last chain space by using a half-double crochet stitch instead of chain stitches so that your hook is positioned in the middle of a ch-3 sized space to begin the next round – figs 10-11. – 24 ch-3 spaces, 24 sc.

Fig. 8

Fig. 9

Fig. 10

Fig. 11 – the final chain space is closed by working a hdc which leaves your hook positioned in a ch-3 sized space to begin the next round.

Rnd 5: Ch 3 (does not count as first dc) – fig 12. 2 dc in the side of the last hdc worked at the close of Rnd 4, working underneath the side of the stitch as if it were a chain space – fig 13. Ch 1, sc in the next ch-3 space, ch 1 – fig 14. (2 dc in the next ch-3 space, ch 2. 2 dc in the same space, ch 1. 1 sc in the next ch-3 space, ch 1) 11 times – fig 15. 2 dc in the last ch-3 space, working next to the initial 2 dc. Ch 2, join with a sl st in the first dc of the round – fig 16. – 12 shells

Cut yarn and tie off – center motif should measure about 5.5” in diameter – fig 17. If motif is still curly, stretch out the points of the shells again and press flat. Some curl or ruffle will likely remain, this will also get stretched out later in the pattern. In some cases, 100% cotton yarn will be very thick and you may have extreme ruffling problems – in this case, you can skip the ch-1 in between the dc shells and the single crochets in Rnd 5 to reduce bulk.

Proceed to Cups instructions.

Fig. 12

Fig. 13

Fig. 14

Fig. 15

Fig. 16

 Fig. 17 – Motif should measure about 5.5” in diameter.

Once finished, make 2 bikini cups according to your cup size:

Cups: Size A

Finished measurements: 5.5” from top to bottom (show above), 4.5” width across flat side.

Ch 16 (counts as first 15 chain stitches  + 1 to turn, final ch st does not count as first st)

Foundation Row: Turn, work 1 sc in each of the next 15 ch sts. – 15 sc

Row 1: Ch 1 (does not count as first sc, see Notes), turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 14 sts. In the side of the sc on the end, work (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc). Rotate to work down the other side of the foundation row, inserting hook into the bottom loop of the chain stitches. 1 sc in ea of the next 15 sts. – 32 sc, 16 on ea side of the ch-1 space (ch-1 space not included in the end-of-row stitch counts)

Row 2: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 15 sts. (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 sc in ea of the next 16 sc. – 34 sc, 17 on ea side of ch-1 space.

Row 3: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 16 sts. (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 sc in ea of the next 17 sc. – 36 sc, 18 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 4: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 17 sts. (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 sc in ea of the next 18 sc. – 38 sc, 19 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 5: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 18 sts. (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 sc in ea of the next 19 sc. – 40 sc, 20 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 6:  Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 19 sts. (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 sc in ea of the next 20 sc. – 42 sc, 21 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 7: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 20 sts. (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 sc in ea of the next 21 sc. – 44 sc, 22 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 8: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 21 sts. (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 sc in ea of the next 22 sc. – 46 sc, 23 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Cut yarn and tie off. Repeat for 2nd cup, leaving main color yarn attached after 2nd cup is complete. Proceed to β€œConstruction”

Cups: Size B

Finished measurements: 6.5” from top to bottom (shown above), 5” width across flat side (shown below)

Ch 16 (counts as first 15 ch stitches + 1 to turn, final ch does not count as first st).

Foundation Row: Turn, 1 sc in ea of the next 15 ch sts. – 15 sc

Row 1: Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 14 sts. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the side of the ch 1 on the end. Rotate to work down the other side of the row, inserting hook into the bottom loop of the foundation chain stitches. 1 hdc in ea of the next 15 sts. – 34 hdc, 17 hdc on ea side of the ch-1 space (Ch-1 space not included in the end-of-row stitch counts)

Row 2: Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 16 sts. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 hdc in ea of the next 17 sts. – 38 hdc, 19 hdc on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 3: Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in the same st, 1 hdc in ea of the next 18 sts. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 hdc in ea of the next 19 sts. – 42 hdc, 21 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 4: Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in the same st.  1 hdc in ea of the next 20 sts. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 hdc in ea of the next 21 sts. – 46 hdc, 23 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 5: Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 22 sts. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 hdc in ea of the next 23 sts. – 50 hdc, 25 on ea side of the next ch-1 sp.

Row 6: Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 24 sts. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 hdc in ea of the next 25 sts. – 54 hdc, 27 on ea side of the next ch-1 sp.

Cut yarn and tie off. Repeat for 2nd cup, leaving main color yarn attached after 2nd cup is complete. Proceed to β€œConstruction”

Cups: Size C

Finished measurements: 7” from top to bottom (above), 6.5” width across flat side (below)

Ch 16 (counts as first 15 chain stitches  + 1 to turn, final 2 ch sts do not count as first st)

Foundation Row: Turn, work 1 hdc in each of the next 15 ch sts. – 15 hdc

Row 1: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc, see Notes), turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 14 sts. In the side of the hdc on the end, work (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc). Rotate to work down the other side of the foundation row, inserting hook into the bottom loop of the chain stitches. 1 dc in ea of the next 15 sts. – 34 dc, 17 on ea side of the ch-1 space (ch-1 space not included in the end-of-row stitch counts)

Row 2: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 16 sts. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 17 sts. – 38 dc, 19 on ea side of the ch-1 space.

Row 3: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 18 sts. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 19 sts. – 42 dc, 21 on ea side of the ch-1 sp

Row 4: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 20 sts. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 21 sts. – 46 dc, 23 on ea side of the ch-1 sp

Row 5: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 22 sts. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 23 sts. – 50 dc, 25 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 6: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 24 sts. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 25 sts. – 54 dc, 27 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Cut yarn and tie off. Repeat for 2nd cup, leaving main color yarn attached after 2nd cup is complete. Proceed to β€œConstruction”

Cups: Sizes D-DD

D-DD cups follow the same instructions given below, with DD sizes adding extra rows at the end.

Finished measurements, D Cup: 7” from top to bottom (above), 7.5” width across flat side

Finished Measurements, DD cup: 7.5” from top to bottom, 8.5” width across flat side

Ch 19 (counts as first 18 chain stitches  + 1 to turn, final ch sts do not count as first st)

Foundation Row: Turn, work 1 sc in each of the next 18 ch sts. – 18 sc

Row 1: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc, see Notes), turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 17 sts. In the side of the ch st on the end, work (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc). Rotate to work down the other side of the foundation row, inserting hook into the bottom loop of the chain stitches. 1 dc in ea of the next 18 sts. – 38 dc, 19 on ea side of the ch-1 space (ch-1 space not included in the end-of-row stitch counts)

Row 2: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 18 sts. (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 dc in ea of the next 19 sts. – 40 dc, 20 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 3: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 19 sts. (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 20 sts. – 42 dc, 21 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 4: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 20 sts. (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 21 sts. – 44 dc, 22 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 5: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 21 sts. (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 22 sts. – 46 dc, 23 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 6: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 22 sts. (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 23 sts. – 48 dc, 24 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 7: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 23 sts. (1 dc, ch 1 1 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 24 sts. – 50 dc, 25 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 8: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 24 sts. (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 25 sts. – 52 dc, 26 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Cut yarn and tie off for D cup sizes. Repeat for 2nd cup, leaving main color yarn attached after 2nd cup is complete.

For DD sizes, continue for following rows:

Row 9: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 25 sts. (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 26 sts. – 54 dc, 27 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 10: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 26 sts. (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 27 sts. – 56 dc, 28 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Cut yarn and tie off. Repeat for 2nd cup, leaving main color yarn attached after 2nd cup is complete. Proceed to β€œConstruction”

Construction:

Completed pieces so far.

Connecting the Motif & Cups:

With the two cups complete, position the 2nd cup (with the yarn still attached), so that the attached yarn is between the motif and the cup on the side of your crocheting hand – as shown in fig. 18, below-

 Fig. 18 -This configuration allows you to work back and forth between the cups and the motif to connect them.

Chain 3. Sc in any ch-2 space of the shells of the motif – fig 19. Ch 2. Skip 5 stitches on the last row of the cup, sc in the next st – fig 20.

Fig. 19

Fig. 20

*Ch 2. 1 sc in the next ch-2 space on the motif. Ch 2, skip 5 sts on the edge of the cup, 1 sc in the next st on the cup – fig 21. Repeat from * once more.

There should now be 3 shell spaces attached along the cup side, with 5 stitches between each sc attachment on the cup, and gap of remaining stitches left at the end of the cup side before the central ch-1 space of the cup peak.

How many sts you have left on the cup before the ch-1 space depends on size – 4 for A, 8 for B, 8 for C, 7 for D, 9 for DD.

Fig. 21

The connection now continues onto the second cup:

Ch 2, 1 sc in the next ch-2 space on the motif – fig 22. Count an equal amount of stitches away from the ch-1 central space on the opposite cup as you had left on the first cup (4 for A, 8 for B, 8 for C, 7 for D, 9 for DD) , mark the next stitch. Ch 2 and work 1 sc into the marked stitch. Ch 2, 1 sc in the next shell.

Fig. 22

*Ch 2, skip 5 stitches on the cup, 1 sc in the next st. Ch 2, 1 sc in the next shell of the motif.

Repeat from * once more.

Ch 2, skip 5 stitches on the cup, sc in the next st (the final stitch on the row of the cup side) – fig 23.

Fig. 23

Now the entire piece will be rotated to add chains across the rest of the central motif – fig 24.

(Ch 6 – fig 24, 1 sc in the next shell) 5 times. Ch 6, 1 sc in the side of the outermost stitch of the side of the cup – figs 25-26.

Fig. 24

Fig. 25

Fig. 26

Edges

To continue, a sc edging will be worked into the side of the cup.

In single crochet down the side of the rows on this edge of the cup, work 1 sc per row side for Cup Size A (total 17), 2 sc per row side for cup sizes B-C (total 26 for B, 26 for C), and 2-3 sc per row side for sizes D-DD (total 34 sc for D at 2 per side, 42 for DD at 2 per side) – fig 27.

Depending on gauge, you may want to work 3 sc per row side for cups worked in dc – you can experiment and decide which looks best as the rest of the instructions will be flexible for this area of the design.

Fig. 27

At the edge of the cup, ch 1 and rotate the piece to work along what is now the β€œbottom” portion of the halter top – fig 28. 1 sc in each stitch until reaching the ch-1 space at the peak of the cup. 1 sc in the ch-1 space. 1 sc in the next st – fig 29.

Fig. 28

Fig. 29

Ch 1 for A-C sizes. Ch 2 for D-DD sizes. Skip to next cup, 1 sc in the st right before the ch-1 space. 1 sc in the next ch-1 space. Continue along the bottom edge of the next cup by working 1 sc in each st until the edge – fig 30.

Fig. 30

Ch 1, rotate to begin working along the edge of the cup – fig 31. 1-3 sc in the side of each row according to your size the same way as you worked with the other cup edge, until reaching the top corner – fig 32. Slip stitch in the top corner stitch to join, cut yarn and tie off.

Fig. 31

Fig. 32

Fig. 33

Reattach main yarn at the bottom corner of the halter top so that you are ready to work across the length of the bottom again.

Bottom:

Row 1: Ch 1 (does not count as first sc), 1 sc in each st until 3 stitches from the chain that runs across the middle of the two cups – fig 34.

Fig. 34

Ch 4 – 5 (4 for smaller sizes, 5 for larger), skip the next 3 stitches, the chains, and the 3 sts on the opposite side – fig 35. 1 sc in the next st and in ea remaining stitch across the bottom length.

Fig. 35

Row 2: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in the same st and in each stitch across the bottom of the first half, working 4-5 sc in the chain space, then working 1 sc in each st across the bottom of the second half – fig 36.

Fig. 36

Row 3: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in ea st across.

Row 4: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in ea st across – fig 37.

Fig. 37

Now there should be 3 rows total of single crochet after the 2nd chain space between the cups (not counting the row containing the chain space). To finish the bottom edge, you can add as much hdc as you like by working the following:

Row 5: Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc), 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea stitch across – fig 38.  

Work an amount of rows repeating Row 5 so that the top is the length you like. I suggest the following amounts just to get started, then add more or less if you like:
XS: 3 rows, Small: 4 rows, Med-Large: 5 rows, XL-2XL: 6 rows. Do not tie off. Proceed to Side Panel instructions.

Fig. 38

Side Panels

Rotate the piece so that you are preparing to work up the side of the halter toward the motif – fig 39.

Row 1: Ch 1, 1 hdc in the side of ea row just worked along the bottom of the halter for all rows worked. For example, a total of bottom rows equaling 7 (4 sc rows, 3 hdc rows) would be 7 sc.

Fig. 39

Row 1 Ct’d: Working in the sc stitches up the side of the cup, 1 hdc in ea st until this portion covers 5 total rows of the cup – fig. 40. This will be approximately 5 more stitches for A cups, 10 more stitches for B and C cups, and 10-15 more stitches for D and DD cups (depending on how many sc’s per row end you worked).

This will extend the side panel to cover about 1/3rd of the cup length. Smaller sizes may go up to almost Β½ the cup length if more coverage is needed.

The total width of these side panels can also be modified here to suit taste or desired fit – just add or remove stitches to alter the width of the side panel.

Fig. 40

Row 2: Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in the same st, 1 hdc in ea st across.

Repeat for as many rows as you like to get enough length to reach around your ribcage.

Use the following as a guide & customize number of rows to suit your personal fit:
X-Small: 10 rows, Small: 12 rows, Med: 15, Lg: 18, XL: 21, 2XL: 23

These amounts are just a starting point, as you can do as many or as few rows as you need here.

 Cut yarn and tie off.

Attach yarn to the opposite corner and work the same amount of stitches up the side to start the second side panel. Repeat the same amount of rows as you did before to complete second side panel. Proceed to Trim & Straps Instructions.

Trim & Straps

Reattach yarn at the top corner of the panel on the side of your hook hand, Right Side of the piece facing (as shown below). Depending on how many rows on your side panel, you may finish in this spot, in which case you wouldn’t have to cut & rejoin the yarn.

Rejoined yarn at the top corner of the side panel on my hook hand side (the right side). Right Side facing.

Step 1: Ch 1, 1 sc in each st of the sides of the side panel rows. As before, you can add more or less to loosen or tighten the stitching depending on tension and preference – fig 41

Step 2: Now working in the side of the cup, 1 Sc in ea stitch up the side of the cup – fig 42 – until reaching the ch-6 space that connects the motif to the top.

Fig. 41

Fig. 42

Step 3: (6 sc in the next ch-6 space, 1 sc in the next sc) 2 times – fig 43.

Fig. 43

Step 4 (First strap) Here we add the straps that cross in the back and then weave back and forth through the eyelets. We’ll need plenty of length to weave back and forth – I use 200 for a smalls-mediums.  200-250 is usually enough, but it also depends on how long your side panels are. If you’re not sure, err on the side of extra length as you can always wrap the ties more to get the out of the way. If they are too short, you either have to frog and try again or attach yarn at the end and lengthen by chaining and slip stitching back down the extra length. πŸ˜‰

Ch 200-250 – fig 44.

Slip stitch in each ch stitch all the way back down the chain. Sc in the same stitch as last sc fig 45.

Fig. 44

Fig. 45

Step 5: (6 sc in the next ch-6 space, 1 sc in the next sc) 2 times.

Step 6 (Second strap) Ch 200-250 – fig 46. Slip stitch back down, 1 sc in the same stitch as last sc.

Fig. 46

Step 7: (6 sc in the next ch-6 space, 1 sc in the next sc) 2 times – fig 47.

Fig. 47

Step 8: 1 sc in ea st down the side of the next cup.

Step 9: 1 sc in ea st on the side of the panel rows – matching the number you got for the other side – fig 48.

Fig. 48

Step 10: Ch 3, rotate to work down the edge of the panel. Sk next st, 1 hdc in the next st. 1 hdc in each of the next 4-5 sts*.

(Ch 1, sk next st, 1 hdc in ea of the next 4-5 sts) rpt across the end of the side panel – fig 49. This creates the eyelets necessary to weave the straps back and forth.

*Depending on the exact number of stitches in your side panel, your eyelet number might be different. Just create as many repeats so that the skipped stitches are even across the panel. You can vary the number of stitches between eyelets to help balance the spacing.

Fig. 49

Step 11: At the end of the row, rotate to work across the bottom of the halter top. Ch 3, 1 sc in each row end stitch across the bottom of the side panel, in each stitch across the bottom of the halter, and in each row end across the other side panel. – fig 50.

Fig. 50

Step 12: Ch 3, 1 hdc in the same st. Working across the top row of the side panel, create the (4-5 hdc, ch 1, sk next st) repeats from the other side to create a matching eyelet row. At the final stitch, ch 3 and slip stitch in the first stitch of the strap edging round – fig 51.

Cute yarn and tie off.

Fig. 51

Mehndi Border (Optional)

The Mehndi Border creates a cute textural decoration of petals and pompoms across the bottom of the halter. This is a great option if you are wearing your halter alone as a crop top and want a little more coverage – it does make it a bit bulky for layering though.

This feature originally appeared in another halter design of mine, the Mehndi Halter Top!

Finished Mehndi Border (shown above)

Row 1: With RS facing, join coordinating color yarn into the bottom edge – fig 52 – and ch 3. The first ch 3 counts as the first dc. (Ch 1, sk the next st, dc in the next st) across to the other edge of the bottom – figs 53-54.

Fig. 52

Fig. 53

Fig. 54

Row 2: Ch 6, turn – fig 55, sk next 4 sts, sl st in the next st – fig 56. (Ch 6, sk next 4 sts, sl st in the next st) across – figs 57-58.

Fig. 55

Fig. 56

Fig. 57

Fig. 58

Row 3: Turn without chaining. 2 hdc in the last ch-6 loop of the previous row – figs 59-60. Work 2 dc, 3 tr, 2 dc in the same loop. 1 hdc in the same space – fig 61. YO, draw up a loop in the same ch-6 space. YO, draw up a loop in the next ch-6 space – fig 62. YO and draw through all 5 lps on the hook – 1 hdc2tog over 2 ch-6 spaces – fig 63. (1 hdc, 2 dc, 3 tr, 2 dc, 1 hdc, 1 hdc2tog over the next 2 spaces) in ea ch-6 space across, forming the β€œpetals” of the border design. 1 hdc, 2 dc, 3 tr, 2 dc, 2 hdc in the last ch-6 space – fig 64. Sl  st in the side of the last dc of the first row.

Fig. 59

Fig. 60

Fig. 61

Fig. 62

Fig. 63

Fig. 64

Cut yarn and tie off if changing to 2nd accent color. If not, then turn without chaining to begin Row 4.

The petals will likely be slanted or curly from working – take the middle tr stitch and stretch them until evenly placed on the spaces and straightened – fig 65.

Fig. 65

Row 4: Turn, join new color at the middle tr st of the first petal. If using same color, sl st to that stitch. Ch 7 ( counts as ch-5 + first 2 ch of pompom st) – fig 66. *Dc3tog  in the 2nd ch from the hook. Ch 2, Dc3tog in the top of the previous cluster. Slip stitch in the base of the FIRST cluster, bringing the two dc clusters together to form two halves of a ball* – from * to * is your pompom stitch (see tutorial, Pg. 22). Ch 5, sl st in the 2nd treble of the next petal – fig 67.  (Ch 7, pom pom stitch, ch 5, sl st in the 2nd tr of the next petal) repeat across – fig 68.

Fig. 66

Fig. 67

Fig. 68

Cut yarn and tie off. Weave in all ends.

To Wear

Weave in all remaining ends. The two long ties at the top of the motif cross and/or tie at the neck, then cross over again to lace down the eyelets of the side panels.

I hope you have as much fun making & wearing this top as I did designing it! I love the flattering way the border flares out from the natural waist, which makes it so versatile as a crop top for higher waisted skirts and pants – while you can also leave off the border entirely for a perfect layering bralette πŸ™‚

-MF

Pom Pom Stitch Tutorial

The Pom Pom Stitch is one of the first crochet textural details I learned, and I was so excited to discover it – easy, cute, and almost perfectly round, the pom pom bobble is made of two double crochet clusters stacked together and can be inserted into projects for beautiful accents and trims.

Crochet really is a magic art in my opinion – a never-ending world of things to learn and try and endless combinations of techniques makes this hobby perfect for the obsessively curious and tactile artist in me.

I first put the Pom Pom stitch into a project long ago in an ancient free post about making a bikini out of cotton recycled sweater yarn. That was when I came up with the border design which would eventually trim the Mehndi Halter Top and Plus Size Mehndi patterns, and now again in my latest halter top as well!

Anyway, it’s time I published the Pom Pom Stitch Tutorial here on the blog for everyone to try, and I’ve got a brand new demo video to go along with it – you can watch at the bottom of the post after the written and photo tutorial which starts now!

Pom Pom Stitch

The pompom stitch uses two clusters of double crochet stitches stacked on top of each other to form a round ball which makes a fun border decoration. For this example I’m placing them on chain spaces, but you can place them anywhere as long as you work the chain 2 to start as indicated in Step 1. Here’s how to work it:

Step 1: Work the amount of stitches desired until reaching the point to place the pompom. Ch 2 to count as the beginning of the pompom stitch. *Yarn over and insert hook in the 2nd ch from the hook. Draw up a loop, YO, pull through 2 lps on the hook. Repeat twice more into the same stitch, leaving the last lp of each dc on the hook for each stitch.  You should have 4 lps on the hook.

YO once more and pull through all 4 lps on the hook. One dc3tog made.

Step 2: Ch 2, to gain height for the second cluster.

Step 3: Working into the TOP of the last cluster, make another dc3tog.

Step 4: Insert hook into the same stitch that you worked your FIRST cluster and make a slip stitch, bringing the two clusters together to form two halves of a ball – fig 74.

Step 5: Finish the repeat by chaining enough to get to the next pom pom (or as indicated in pattern). Here it’s shown worked into the Mehndi Border!

Tip: Keeping your clusters tight and wet blocking the border when you are finished helps the pompoms look nice and round!

Pom Pom Stitch Video Demo

The demo for the video goes over the Pom Pom stitch as it occurs on the Mehndi Border, but remember you can place them anywhere you like by starting with just the 2 chain stitches and then working the pompom on those πŸ™‚

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned something new, and as always if you have any questions or feedback please leave them in the comments! ❀ Thanks for visiting πŸ™‚

-MF

Magic Ring Tutorial

Given how many crochet patterns I have that start with the notoriously useful Magic Ring technique, you’d think I’d have written a full, freestanding tutorial for it by now! Mostly because so many tutorials already exist for the Magic Ring, I hadn’t bothered to do my own – but now I am remedying that thanks to some encouraging words from a friend to whom I recently taught my method πŸ™‚

Above: The center of the Ida Shawl

If you’ve never heard of it before, the Magic Ring (abbreviated to MR) is simply an adjustable string loop onto which the first round of a circular crochet project is worked. The loop is a substitute for the other method of starting circular crochet, which is to chain a certain number and then join the length chain stitches into a circle shape by slip stitching in the first chain.

The advantages of the Magic Ring are many – that’s why it’s called magic! Instead of guessing how many chain stitches will give you the adequate room to work your first round, the MR closes AFTER you make your stitches, so you can close the round as tightly as you wish. Sometimes starting chain rings are too bulky even when made to the right length, resulting in a rather nippular bump :/ No so with the Magic Ring! Although it still tends to look like a cat’s booty, but whaddyagonnado. πŸ˜‰

Above: The Tree of Life motif

Anyway, here’s a written and photo tutorial for how to work the Magic Ring, followed by a video demonstration at the bottom of the blog post ❀ Hope it’s helpful to you!

Magic Ring

Step 1: Take the end of the yarn strand and lay it over the fingers, the end placed on the pinkie side.

Bring the strand under the fingers and back up over the index finger, using your bottom fingers to secure the loose end and your thumb to hold the yarn strand in place.

Slip your hook under the bottom-most strand and wrap the top strand around the hook as for a yarn over.

Draw up your loop through the strand under which your hook was inserted. Now you have one loop drawn up through the beginning of the ring.

Yarn over again…

… And draw through the loop on the hook.

Tighten the stitch you just made. Now you have a yarn ring and a loose tail of yarn coming off of this initial stitch. For taller stitches like dc and tr, this first stitch counts as the first chain in the starting chain. For single crochet, I usually don’t count this as the first stitch as it is very tight to try to work into.

You can now start to work stitches into the ring you have just secured by tightening the first chain. There will be a ring and a loose tail end, you can crochet over both but don’t lose track of the loose end because you’ll need it in a minute. Here’s a ring with some single crochet worked into it:

Once your first round is worked into the ring, take the yarn tail end and pull it tightly, sliding the stitches on the yarn ring together until the central hole is closed.

Either close your round with a slip stitch, if working non-continuous circles, or mark your first stitch of the next round if you are working continuously πŸ™‚

That’s it! Now you can easily make circular crochet projects that have a neat, clean center with no pokey flappy bits. You can even leave the central space a little open if you have enough stitches on the ring to support it. Below is an example from my Pixie Pocket Belt freeform tutorial series.

Useful, eh? Here’s a quick video demo where I start and work the Magic Ring! We went straight from phone camera to video for this one, as I’m trying to be quicker about producing my video content πŸ˜›

Magic Ring Video Demo

That’s it for today – thanks for visiting πŸ™‚ And be sure to check out my huge collection of TOTALLY FREE crochet patterns right here on the blog ❀

-MF

Above: Spiral Sweater