Woodsman’s Wife Ruana Update – with Pockets!

This classic pattern of mine from 2015 looked like the perfect project for my consistently-freezing self to whip up a few weekends ago, using a small stash of inherited yarn…

believe it or not, I meant to make that face

And as I am wont to do, I thought of some things this design needed – like pockets! And a little sprucing up of the PDF couldn’t hurt, and the written specs really weren’t up to scratch. Long story short, my “quick weekend project” turned into a total refurbishing of the Woodsman’s Wife Ruana, and I’m so happy I did because it’s a much-loved oldie but goodie and it deserved a makeover ❀

You can get the brand-new updated PDF pattern now in my Etsy Shop or Ravelry Store! Thank you for your support ❀ ❀

My “pocket shawl” version of this ruana / scarf / hood / blanket / thing hybrid was actually made with Lion Brand Homespun (#5 weight) held double, as a substitute for the Lion Brand Homespun Thick & Quick (#6 weight) called for in the pattern. Unfortunately I don’t know the colors used, because I got them from a destash, but I do know it took 11 skeins, and I switched the colors out individually by strand instead of at the same time, to get the faded effect πŸ™‚

I love the new version, especially the cozy pockets! Keep reading to find the details on the new PDF pattern:

This big cushy crocheted version of the traditional ruana features crochet ribbing, a pixie pointed hood, and alternate sizing instructions to make anything from a slim belted wrap to an extra-wide cape-style coverup, and now has instructions for pockets as well!

The main body is worked flat in one whole piece, while the hood is worked separately in one piece and then seamed together. Made with a super bulky yarn and a 11.50 mm hook, this wrap works up quickly and feels super cozy. Wear it belted, over-the-shoulder, or add buttons or ties for a closed vest style.

The pattern for this versatile, convertible wrap includes alternate sizing instructions, construction charts, and detailed written instructions. The Woodsman’s Wife Ruana is a great Easy level pattern for crocheters ready to move on from hats and scarves and includes all the instructions you need to make this fantasy piece for autumn!

Materials:
Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun Thick & Quick, #6 Super Bulky, 160 yds / 6 oz, 170 g – 88% Acrylic 12% Polyester)– 5 skeins (7 – 9 skeins for expanded sizes)
Alternative: Regular Lion Brand Homespun held double (#5 Bulky, 185 yds / 6 oz, 170g – 98% Acrylic, 2% other) – 11 skeins
Please note that you may need more yarn if you customize the size by adding rows, given optionally in the notes.
11.5 mm (P) hook
Yarn needle, scissors
Button & yarn in coordinating color, 5.00 mm hook and/or ribbon (all optional, if adding fastenings)

Finished Measurements:
Main Body: 72” Long unfolded, 36” long when hanging from body. Width is optional.
Hood: about 13” x 13” after folding and seaming, laid flat.

As you can see I’ve made a few of these over the years and even made a closed robe style once – I took notes on how I did it, even though they’re really rough and don’t have accompanying photos, and you can find that on this old blog post here.

I’ve done a lot of remodeling with my older designs lately, and I do have more on my list – I make a point to keep my designs updated as I grow and learn from my business and as styles and demands change ❀ It’s one of the many benefits of buying from independent crochet designers, and I thank you all for making it possible!

-MF

P.S- the faux fur hat I am wearing in some of the newer photos is my free crochet pattern for the Ushanka Hat ❀ Check it out!

The Only Constant

One of my favorite sayings goes “The only constant is change.”

It reminds me that the live happily in life, you always need to acknowledge the shifting nature of it. If you go along expecting everything to be the same, always resisting when forced to take paths that you didn’t intend, life and it’s transformative progress will seem to be a battle.

One of my other favorite sayings goes “Man plans, god laughs” πŸ˜‰

I’ll be reflecting in this post about what I’ve been doing with Morale Fiber over the past year – it’s more of a diary entry really, collecting my thoughts and tipping you off for what’s on the horizon for my designs!

2020 – Plague Year

It’s obviously been a weird one. In addition to switching my business from part-time to full-time in 2020, just a few months into the year Corona Virus struck and my proximity to at-risk loved ones made self-employment more imperative than usual. Still luckily things are going well, and I created & maintained my schedule for the year which included 6 written patterns, 4 tutorials, 2 brand new free hat patterns, 3 remodeled patterns, and lots more crochet morale boosting!

I’ve got a couple projects/designs in the works to finish off the year’s production list, and I’m now into my normal “holidays” phase of the year, despite the lack of holiday events upcoming (stupid plague).

YouTube Channel (& SALE!!)

One of the biggest efforts I made this year was reaching my goal of monetizing my YouTube Channel, which I’ve been developing as quickly as my creaky, video-hating old bones can manage. But I did make that goal also, thanks to all the watchers & subscribers, so I’m holding a special pattern sale as a thank-you!

All PDF versions of the full-length patterns available on my YouTube Channel (and a few that are all written PDF but have video component tutorials) are ON SALE for 50% off now through November 15 on Ravelry ❀ ❀ Here’s a list of the patterns on sale, linked to Ravelry – use the code “YOUTUBE” at checkout to get the discount!

Patterns on Sale:
Lotus Duster
Gnome Toboggan
Kismet Poncho
Tree of Life
Forest Guide Hat
Feather & Scale Halter
Cobweb Wrap
Elf Coat

Monetizing my YouTube channel will help me continue to bring out free content available to everyone while also giving me the financial support to keep publishing great quality, full-scale written PDF crochet patterns. Another great way to support my art: The Tip Jar!

20th Pixie Belt: Lotus

I realized at some point that the next Pixie Pocket Belt I made would be my 20th, and so I determined to make a really special one. I have been making these unique crocheted utility belts freehand, doing them completely different each time, for a few years now.

I used hand-dyed yarn to create a partial, semi-circular Lotus Mandala – don’t ask me how I did that specifically because I won’t be posting a pattern, sorry! These guys are FrEeFoRm, but I did create a series of tutorial guides for helping people get started making Pixie Pocket Belts of their own, check it out if you like πŸ™‚

After that, I got out my special hand-dyed upcycled fabric given to me by my friend Kate, who had it left over from a studio art project – and it happened to match so well! What I ended up with is a watery, soft, draping train of prismatic lace and tatters, topped with a shimmery white lotus flower circular pocket and soft drawstring bag and toadstool pouch accents.

I put it over another hand-dyed upcycled project of mine, an in-progress rag gown, fit for a water sprite dredged from the bottom of a flowery pond. No mud, no lotus ❀

Elf Coat Expansion

Pretty much as soon as I put down the last touches on the Elf Coat design, I knew I was going to have to pick it up again eventually! One part of the sleeve design always nagged at me, and I did intend to give it pockets eventually – and lo, the flood of requests for Plus Sizes ❀ ❀

As much as I wanted to fulfill these fixes, I needed a break from the Elf Coat, so I took a couple years off to think about things πŸ˜‰ And now I’m back, tackling the first part of the Elf Coat redesign and expansion! The first task is to fix the sleeve bit and to get a pocket option figured out, then update those changes to the already-existing sizes (S-M-L).

Afterward, I design & test the plus sizes! This is exciting and if you’d like to be a part of any of the testing for the new updates, join the Morale Fiber Facebook Group – The MFCA – and keep an eye out for the testing call!

Other Projects & Updates

I’ve got a number of bigger new designs on the horizon, which I’m also going to need help testing πŸ˜‰ None are solid enough yet to list here, but I’ve got a hoard of updatable old patterns and things to occupy myself until things coalesce, of course.

I’m also thinking that this website, moralefiber.blog, really needs a few changes – it’s remained virtually the exact same since I opened it five years ago. Which makes sense, because I’m much more concerned with producing crochet content than updating the way the site looks – but eventually one must try to stay efficient. Hopefully I don’t wreck the way it works in the process!

Meanwhile…

Until Morale Improves, the Crocheting Will Continue ❀

-MF

Simple Market Bag

The latest of my older collection to get a remodel, the Simple Market Bag is ready for the big reveal! New photos and sizes and a great new PDF option: I’ll try to keep the rambling short πŸ˜‰

When this design first debuted on my blog as the Simple Stylish Market Bag, it was one of my first free offerings as I was getting started here. I loved making them from the recycled yarn I pulled out of thrifted cotton sweaters, a technique I describe in this tutorial which was also a keystone post in the Early Days.

I loved revisiting this design and thinking about all the threads of my passion weaving in and out of my life – things come and go as they will. Sometimes I feel like all I can do is be here for it.

You can get the portable, printable, ad-free PDF of this crochet pattern with all the great updates included in my Etsy Shop or Ravelry Store now! ❀ Thank you ❀ Keep scrolling for the free pattern πŸ™‚

Materials

3.75 crochet hook (or size needed for gauge)
200-500 yards cotton yarn, #2 or #3 weights work best (A good commercial yarn would be Hobbii Azalea, pictured Above Middle: #2 weight, 52% cotton 48% acrylic, 200 g / 874 yds, Color: 10)  I made most of these with recycled cotton yarn, see notes for details.
Scissors and tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Gauge: 3 inches in diameter after Rnd 3 – however, gauge is not critical, see notes section.

Rnd 3 pictured, with measuring tape held across diameter of the first three rounds.

Stitches:

Chain (ch)
Double Crochet (dc)
Slip Stitch (sl st)
Single Crochet (sc)
Half-Double Crochet (hdc) – in this pattern, hdc are used to complete the final chain space of each round of the mesh portion of this design. They are substituted for the final 2 chain stitches – please refer to this free tutorial for the Chain & Stitch Join if you are unfamiliar with this technique.

Double Chain (DCh): A technique that makes loose and flexible foundation chain stitches that are easy to work into. You may substitute normal chaining if you prefer. Full tutorial for the Double Chain free here.

Notes:

This bag is a great project for leftover yarns the follows the reduce, reuse, recycle philosophy! I originally designed this market bag for using recycled yarn from thrifted sweaters: if you are interested in learning to do that, see my full-length tutorial on Morale Fiber Blog.

For a video tutorial on making the twisted fringe into the surface of your bag, see my YouTube Channel video:

This pattern works great with any hook and yarn, so gauge is not critical if you would like to experiment with different yarns and hook sizes to make different sized bags. I have offered a slightly larger option to this pattern to give extra size options! Instructions for large occur in bold, where different from the small.

The chain lengths at the beginning of rounds DO NOT count as the first stitch of the round.

Instructions

Rnd 1: Ch 4. Dc 12 into the 4th ch from the hook, join with a sl st in the first dc. – 12 sts made

Rnd 2: Ch 3. 2 dc in the same stitch. 2 dc in ea of the next 11 sts. Join with a sl stitch to first dc. – 24 sts made

Rnd 3: Ch  3. 1 dc in the same stitch, 2 dc in the next stitch. (1 dc in the next st, 2 dc in the next st) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl st to first dc. – 36 sts made.

Rnd 4: Ch 3. 1 dc in the same stitch, 1 dc in the next stitch, 2 dc in the next stitch. (1 dc in each of the next 2 stitches, 2 dc in the next stitch) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 48 sts made

Rnd 5: Ch 3, 1 dc in the same stitch. 1 dc in each of the next 2 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in each of the next 3 sts, 2 dc in the next stitch) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 60 sts made

Rnd 6: Ch 3, 1 dc in the same stitch. 1 dc in each of the next 3 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in each of the next 4 sts, 2 dc in the next stitch) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 72 sts made.

Rnd 7: Ch 3, 1 dc in the same stitch. 1 dc in each of the next 4 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in each of the next 5 sts, 2 dc in the next stitch) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 84 sts made.

Rnd 8 (larges only): Ch 3, 1 dc in the same stitch. 1 dc in each of the next 5 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in each of the next 6 sts, 2 dc in the next st) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 96 sts made.

Rnd 9 (larges only): Ch 3, 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in each of the next 6 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in each of the next 7 sts, 2 dc in the next st) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 108 sts made.

That finishes the solid bottom of the bag. Next the pattern works a round of chain loops to start the mesh portion.

Rnd 8 (10): Sc in the same st as sl stitch join.Β  (Ch 4, skip 2 sts. Sc in the next st) rpt around. Ch 2, hdc in the first sc of the round. This positions your hook in the middle of a ch-4 sized space (see Stitches section under hdc for explanation of this type of join). – 28 (36) ch spaces

Close-up of the hdc stitch worked to close the final loop of the round.

Rnd 9 (11): Sc in the same space, working under the hdc made in the previous round as if it were a part of a chain loop.. (Ch 4, sc in the next ch-4 space) rpt around. Ch 2, hdc in the first sc of the round.

Close up of the first sc of the round, worked directly underneath the hdc just made as if it were a chain space.

Finish the round with the same method, using hdc to substitute the final 2 ch stitches.

Rnds 10-23 (12-25): Rpt Rnd 9 (11)

Add as many extra rounds of (ch 4, sc) mesh here as you would like to get the desired bag dimensions – the next part completes the bag with a single crochet brim and handles.

Rnd 24 (26): Ch 1, 2 Sc in the same ch-4 sized space. 3 sc in ea of the next 27 (35) ch-4 spaces. 1 sc in the next ch-4 space, join with a sl st to the first sc of the round.

Rnds 25-26 (27-28): Ch 1. Sc in the same st as sl st join. 1 sc in each sc around, join with a slip stitch in the 1stΒ sc of the round – 84 (108) sts

You can add extra rounds here for a wider brim if needed.

Rnd 27 (29): Ch 2 to begin a double chain. Double chain 50 (or ch 50 normally if you prefer). Skip Β 22 (28) sts of previous round, sc in the next stitch (this creates a gap between the last round and the double chain of this round, which will become your handle). 1 sc in each of the next 19 (26) sts. Ch 2 to begin a double chain, make 50 double chain stitches (or ch 50 normally if you prefer). Skip 22 (28) stitches of previous round, sc in the next stitch. 1 sc in each of the next 18 (25) sts. Sl st into the base of the handle chain (your first double chain).

You should have 2 evenly placed 50-stitch long chain arcs.

Rnds 28 – 30 (30-32): Ch 1, 1 sc in each st around. Join with a sl st to the first sc of the round.

You may want to add extra rows here for wider handles or add rows to the inner gap of the handles – I like to have fun and experiment with different ways to adorn this part of the bag, with tassels or beads, embroidery, etc!

Cut yarn and weave in the ends using a tapestry needle.

Left: Bag finished with embroidery, Right: Bag finished with twisted fringe (click for link to video tutorial!)

Hope you found this little pattern useful – I love these for gifts especially because I just can’t seem to have enough reusable bags on hand!

I couldn’t resist going full grandmacore in a totally uneccessary dress-up sesh for this pattern makeover – this is the bit at the end where I stick all the extra pictures πŸ™‚

-MF

Gnome Toboggan Video

Just going to keep it short and sweet today, because I’m releasing a brand new full-length video pattern and I’m excited to get to the point!

I wanted to do a video for my free Gnome Toboggan crochet pattern to help provide guidance through some of the trickier parts (like increasing in alternating fpdc/bpdc) and because it’s one of my favorite winter projects πŸ™‚

Find Part 1 and Part 2 below, and be sure to check out the other videos available on my YouTube Channel!

Part 1

Part 2

Hope you enjoy!

-MF

Gnome Toboggan Free Pattern

For years now, the Gnome Toboggan has been my favorite everyday handmade winter hat. I’ve made tons of these squishy babies and I pop them on to keep my ears warm (or my bedhead hidden) for every activity from jogging to errand running to working outdoors.

I originally designed this hat in 2016 but it’s never been a best-seller for me despite it’s versatility and adorable quirkiness. So because I love this hat so much and I want others to love it too, I’m making it a TOTALLY FREE pattern available all right here on this blog page πŸ™‚

The paid PDF version of this pattern has also been redesigned, and now includes all the expanded tutorial photographs, written instructions and how-to’s shown/linked here on this page.

You can get the portable, printable, ad-free version of this crochet pattern in my Etsy Shop and Ravelry Store! Or keep scrolling for more details as well as the free pattern instructions πŸ™‚

Oh, and one more thing before we get on to the free hat pattern – Every time I photograph in this green crochet vest I get a bunch of questions as to whether there is a pattern available for it! (I love you guys!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ ) The answer for now is “Sort of” – It was originally a very early draft of the Embla Vest, but it’s so structurally different that I’m working on creating another pattern for this one specifically. Stay tuned on that!

Materials

1 Skein Lion Brand Scarfie (#5 312yd 150g)
5.50 mm hook (or size needed to obtain gauge)
Scissors & tapestry needle

Gauge: 7 sts and 5 rows = 2” in alternating fpdc/bpdc

5 rows = 2″
7 sts = 2″

Sizes: Adult Small (stretches to fit 20-22” head) Adult Large (stretches to fit 22-24” head) – Pointed or Rounded options included

Notes:

The Ch-2 at the beginning of each round does not count as the first stitch. Sl st joins should be made to the first dc of each round, not the beginning chain. Instructions for small are given in regular type. Instructions for Large are given in bold, where differing.

This hat is easy to modify in several ways. For a more rounded top, follow the alternate instructions in the pattern which skip Round 2. Add or subtract length by adding more or less repeats of the final rows of the pattern. Fun bulky yarns like Bernat Velvet make a great hat too, but watch your tension as those yarns don’t have the same amount of elasticity. Here’s several I’ve made, side by side for comparison (Lion Brand Scarfie on the left with a pointed top, LB Scarfie middle with a rounded top, Bernat Velvet on the right)

Shown above is the pointed top Gnome Toboggan. Shown below is the rounded top Gnome Toboggan.

Stitches:

Magic Ring: An adjustable loop made by creating a special slipknot and then crocheting into it before tightening. Can be replaced by an initial chain stitch +ch-3 to start

Double Crochet (dc)
Front Post Double Crochet / Back Post Double Crochet (fpdc / bpdc):

For a photo tutorial on post stitches, see my full length tutorial blog post here!

Abbreviations:
ch – chain
dc – double crochet
sl st – slip stitch
st/sts – stitch / stitches
rnd – round
rpt – repeat
fpdc – front post double crochet
bpdc – back post double crochet
inc – increase (1 fpdc & 1 bpdc in same stitch)

Instructions

Make Magic Ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 2, 12 dc in to the ring. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round – 12 sts

(If you prefer a more traditional rounded beanie top, skip Rnd 2 entirely.)

Rnd 2: Ch 2,fpdc into the same st as join. (1 bpdc into the next st, 1 fpdc into the next st) 5 times. 1 bpdc into the last st. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round – 12 sts.

Photo tutorial example skips this round.

Rnd 3: Ch 2, fpdc into the same st as join.  (Work 1 bpdc AND 1 fpdc into next st, 1 bpdc into the next st, 1 fpdc AND one bpdc into the next st,* 1 fpdc in the next st) 3 times, ending third repeat at *. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round – 18 sts.

First fpdc/bpdc in the same stitch – increase made.
Inserting hook for next fpdc
Several increases in, Rnd 3 looks a little messy – that’s normal!
Rnd 3 completed

Rnd 4: Ch 2, fpdc into the same st as join. 1 bpdc in the next st. In the next st, work a fpdc AND a bpdc in the same st – inc made. (1 fpdc in the next st, 1 bpdc in the next st, 1fpdc AND 1 bpdc in the next st) 5 times. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round – 24 sts.

First increase of Rnd 4 made
Rnd 4 finished

Rnd 5: Ch 2, fpdc into the same st as join. 1 bpdc into the same st. (1 fpdc AND bpdc into the next st) 23 times. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round – 48 sts.

Rnd 5 works increases in every stitch
Rnd 5 completed

Rnd 6: Ch 2, fpdc into the same st as join. 1 bpdc into the next st. (1 fpdc into the next st, 1 bpdc into the next st) 23 times.  Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round – 48 sts.

Rnd 6 works 1 fpdc in every fpdc and 1 bpdc in every bpdc.

Rnd 7-8: Rpt Rnd 6.

After completing Rnd 8.

Rnd 9: Ch 2, fpdc into the same st as join. 1 bpdc in the next st, 1 fpdc into the next st. In the next st, work a bpdc AND a fpdc in the same st. (1 bpdc in the next st, 1 fpdc into the next st, 1 bpdc into the next st. In the next st work 1 fpdc AND 1 bpdc in the same st.* 1 fpdc in the next st, 1 bpdc into the next st, 1 fpdc into the next st. In the next st, work 1 bpdc AND 1 fpdc in the same st) 6 times, ending last repeat at *. Join with a sl st to the first fpdc of the round. – 60 sts

Beginning Rnd 9. Rnd 9 works an increase into every 4th stitch. These increases reverse the established fp/bp dc pattern, so you will sometimes work the post stitch opposite of the one below (fp into bp, for example). This is normal.
Rnd 9 working, some stitches reversed shown
Rnd 9 completed

Rnd 10: Ch 2, fpdc into the same st as join. 1 bpdc into the next st. (1 fpdc into the next st, 1 bpdc into the next st) 29 times. Join with a sl st to the first fpdc of the round.

Rnd 11-12: Rpt Rnd 10.

Gnome Toboggan completed through Rnd 12.

If your hat is not big enough at this point to stretch over your head, proceed with Rnd 13 written in bold below to create a Large size.

Rnd 13: Ch 2, fpdc into the same st as join, 1 bpdc into the next st. 1 fpdc into the next st, 1 bpdc into the next st. In the next st, work 1 fpdc AND 1 bpdc. ( [1 fpdc in the next st, 1 bpdc in the next st] 2 times, work 1 fpdc AND 1 bpdc in the next st) 11 times. – 72 sts

If your hat is still not big enough due to gauge differences, add another row of increases, increasing every 6th stitch, before proceeding.

Rnd 13 places increases every 5th stitch.

Rnds 13-22 (14-23): Ch 2, fpdc into the same st as join. 1 bpdc into the next st. (1 fpdc into the next st, 1 bpdc into the next st) rpt around. Join with a sl st to the first fpdc of the round.

Completed to Rnd 23 – I then added 3 extra rows of non-increasing fp/bp double crochet. You can add as many extra rows here as you like to get the length you want.

Cut yarn and weave in ends.

Now, back to plotting to steal underpants.

-MF

Priestess Coat

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

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

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

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

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

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

Priestess Coat Tunisian Crochet Pattern

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

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

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

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

Materials Needed:

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

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

Written in English using US crochet terminology.

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

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


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

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

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

-MF

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

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

I highly recommend both shops!

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

Ushanka and Muff Set

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instructions:

Materials:

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

Gauge: 3 sts and 3 rows = 2″ in dc

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

Ushanka:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rnds 4-6: Rpt Rnd 3.

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

Cut yarn and tie off, leaving long tail.

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

Earflaps:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One completed earflap just before tie off

Muff

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

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

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

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

Rows 3-5: Rpt Row 2.

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

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

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

Finishing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-MF

Novella Shawl Pattern

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

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

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

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

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

This must be the Mother of Cosplay!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Novella Shawl Crochet Pattern

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

Materials

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

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

Gauge: 6 sts & 4 rows = 2” in LDC

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

Stitches & Abbreviations

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

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

Instructions

To begin, Ch 3.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Row 39: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 114 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 114 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 237 sts

Row 40: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 117 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 117 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 243 sts

Row 41: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 120 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 120 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 249 sts

Row 42: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 123 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 123 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 255 sts

Row 43: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 126 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 126 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 261 sts

Row 44: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 129 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 129 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 267 sts

Row 45: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 132 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 132 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 273 sts

RUFFLE:

Row 1: Ch 3 (does not count as first dc). 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in the next st, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in the next 2 sts, 2 dc in the next st) 90 times, or all the way across the long (pointed) bottom edge of the shawl, working 2 dc in the last st. – 364 sts

Row 2: Ch 3 (does not count as first dc). 1 dc in the same st. 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in the next st, 2 dc in the next st) 181 times, or all the way across the long edge of the shawl. – 546 sts

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

Cut yarn and tie off.

Hood

Ch 17 (15 sts + 2 for turn).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rows 24-25: Rpt Row 23

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

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

Attach Faux Fur with 11.5 mm hook.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And then there’s the cliff-perching.

-MF

Alpaca Handspun Wrap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-MF

Witch Hat Pattern

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Witch Hat

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

Materials:

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

Gauge: 5 sts + 5 rows = 1″

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

Instructions:

Make Magic Ring.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

-MF