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 ❀

Holidaze

I’m so grateful for the gorgeous autumn we’ve had here this year, and the abundant opportunities to go play outside before the weather got truly chilling.

Now unfortunately my toes are icicles when I go out to exercise in the morning and the slush season appears imminent, but why bemoan that when I have a huge yarn stash to disappear under for the winter? πŸ˜‰

Yep, my busiest time of the year for Morale Fiber has passed and now I have the busiest time of the year for family upcoming, with all the coziest home bakes and warm blankets. This fall has been especially hectic because I’ve operated everything having to do with the digital side of running Morale Fiber from my phone, having lost my laptop to a hardware crash this past summer.

Combined with a bunch of other fun personal life happenings, I’ve really had a juggling act on my hands. Thats why I’ve decided to take a little digital vacation this season!

Pictured above: playing with my Yearling Headband in the studio last year

Beginning November 25, I’ll be taking a digital vacation from posting on the Morale Fiber blog & social media. Don’t worry, I’ll still be answering all my emails & messages – so as always don’t hesitate to contact me with pattern questions πŸ™‚ But I’ll be using the extra time to focus on family, friends, and being present in the moment instead of on my phone ❀ I’ll be back on my social media game (and hopefully on a new laptop) in the New Year!

Pictured above: Flower Child Pullover

But of course, it’s just a *digital* vacation – I have lots of real life projects heaped on my desk. Wanna see?

First up is what I’ve been working on the past few days – a batch run of my Flower Child Pullover design, linked above. This is to get my brain reacquainted with this crochet pattern so I can record some video tutorials for it:)

I gathered a pile of colors inspired by succulent plants πŸͺ΄ for this batch! In #4 weight acrylics, this design is really great as a scrapbuster and color therapy project 🌈

I’ve gotten a bunch of questions on this design recently so I thought it was time for a good overview! My dearest ambition is to get this pattern expanded for larger sizes, but I need to actually figure out how how do that first! Haha πŸ˜‰

I’ve also got a fistful of BIG new designs in the works, but most of then are a good while from being completed – I only just finished the main draft of the shawl design I mention in my latest business video, after a significant stay in the Misbehaving Project Time-Out Corner…

I haven’t been doing any custom crochet work for a while now, because the digital side of Morale Fiber takes so much time these days, but it’s definitely Gift Crafting season and it’s got me thinking about all the quick, easy and FREE patterns I have available on this blog – so I’d like to end this little journal entry with a collection of crochet patterns for gift ideas! 🎁 follow the links below to go to the free pattern πŸ§šβ€β™€οΈ

Amanita Muscaria secret pouch
Big Dumb Cowl
Basic Armwarmers Tutorial
Post Stitch Pixie Bonnet
Simple Market Bag

That’s just my personal gift project faves this year, there are plenty more FREE crochet patterns listed on my Free Patterns Page – if you enjoy all the free content please consider becoming a Patreon supporter for Morale Fiber! πŸ’ŸπŸ™Œ

Thanks and please have yourself a happy, safe, healthy holiday season! 😊

-MF

Morel Mushroom Video

I’m very pleased to bring you all another a full length, real-time crochet tutorial video today!

This one demonstrates the making of my Morel Mushroom secret pouch, a cute fungus shaped pocket on a chain loop with an adjustable mushroom cap topper. The written pattern for this handy project is available for free on my blog here, but a crocheter recently commented on my YouTube Channel requesting a video demonstration since the method is very free-form.

While I can’t respond to every request I get for different resources for my patterns, occasionally a suggestion just really works for me or strikes inspiration and this was one of those times πŸ™‚ I love making these mushroom pockets for my Pixie Belt designs and I had been working up to another new belt, one that would be lovely with a little morel…

So I recorded the making of my Morel Pouch and put together this video tutorial along with a bonus tour of my newest Pixie Pocket Belt, “Queen Anne’s Lace.”

Check out the video and all the relevant links below!

Morel Mushroom Video

I have made lots of variations on mushroom pouches over the years, including all these free resources on my blog:

Morel Mushroom Pouch pattern
Jack O Lantern Mushroom Pouch pattern
Amanita Muscaria Mushroom Pouch pattern & video

Last but not least, the full range of links for my extensive Pixie Pocket Belt tutorial series can be found here!

Examples of Pixie Belts I’ve made, many with mushroom pockets

The newest belt, Queen Anne’s Lace, utilizes lots of vintage crochet scraps, scrap lace fabric and cotton weave, upcycled wool yarns, and handspun yarns. I’ve been dreaming of this particular pixie theme for years as it’s one of my favorite plants to see out on the roadside ❀

That about wraps it up for now – let me know what you’d like to see in the future! I hope to do some more full-length videos where I work and talk in real time but only if they are helpful for people! πŸ˜‰ If you’re looking for more Morale Fiber videos please subscribe to my YouTube Channel and consider becoming a Patreon supporter ❀

-MF

October Reflecting

I’ve stayed pretty busy since the last big pattern release, so when 2/3rds of October sped by in a blink, I wasn’t surprised.

I’m so grateful for all the support my latest design the Yggdrasil Poncho received! I love creating and it’s just so fun to share my love of crochet with others who know that same joy.

Of course, I also am seeing lots of fun costume projects this time of year made from my free patterns like the Hedge Witch Hat, the Classic Witch Hat, and the Krampus Hat… Thank you all for tagging me πŸ™‚

I also reminisce this time of year on some of my other favorites from my designs, like the versatile Pixie Pocket Belt tutorial (I’m working on one of these right now actually) and the one of a kind Costume Mega Tail tutorial.

Autumn is really an amazing time, so happy and sad all at once. I’ve been tending to the living spaces, cleaning and buckling down for winter. The weather has been quite fine so I took some hiking time in my favorite source of inspiration, nature!

I usually like slow-burn projects to come to the fore this time of year, like spinning (so cozy) and my long term knitting voyage…

I just recently completed my 100th hexipuff for this project above: here’s Mister 100!

Yes, I’ve been happy and sad this season, as it is the time of year for remembrance of those we’ve lost. I lost friends this time two years ago, and this year have lost some older relatives, also. Time passes and we do the best we can to mark it as there is only so much to be had – and that’s why fiber arts directly represent love to me. We spend time spinning the threads or drawing the loops, precious time, dedicating it to another or perhaps just to ourselves. We leave our love in those fibers in the form of moments of thought, weaving a spell.

Wizard Hat design

I hope this season has brought the best memories to you and of course lots and lots of hours of happy stitching ❀

-MF

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