Where did September go?

Hmmm… I seem to be missing almost a whole month! Yikes. But that means we’re that much closer to October, which is my favorite (but don’t tell September). Luckily I have been holding out on some projects from earlier in the semester when I wasn’t as busy, so that I’d at least have something to post ๐Ÿ˜›

First though, how about a li’l sale? I’ve got $1 off my Boho Fringe Poncho pattern through Ravelry until the end of the month with the coupon code “CHUNKY”! This pattern uses 800-900 yards of Super Bulky yarn and you get a nice fat statement piece at the end – looks awesome paired with ripped jeans, flannel shirts, your favorite fall boots, or layered over heavier winter coats.

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Next up is a project that I worked on all summer that is based off of my Shaman Coatย Tunisian crochet pattern. Though it mostly turned out the way that I envisioned, I had to do some inventive wrangling to get it there – such as adding the slip stitch “boning” up the back and then threading in corset style ties.

Shamaness1

I wanted to take the basic Shaman coat and create a fuller A-line silhouette by leaving spaces between the rows so that I could go back in and create diamond shaped panels using Tunisian decreases to add OOMPH. Unfortunately the paneling portion fell just a bit too far below the waist on my first try, which is why I added that slip stitch faux boning (fauxning?)

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I also lengthened the sleeves so that they were full length instead of 3/4, and added Lion Brand Pelt faux fur yarn all around the trim.

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Finally, I put in horn-shaped toggle fasteners on so the garment could be buttoned down the length of the front. I ALMOST added pockets but I decided that could wait until my next try.

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I’m pretty sure I want to explore this design more, and I have several potential tweaks in mind, but it might be a while because this glorious thing took 18 skeins of Lion Brand Amazing and 6 skeins of LB Pelt and goodness knows how many hours of stitching ๐Ÿ˜› So I will let my ideas percolate away on the back burner for now – but I am pretty happy with this attempt at any rate!

-MF

 

 

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Sylphie Dragon Hat Pattern Update

Sooooo I’ve been a huge fantasy nerd pretty much my whole life – ย its no surprise that I joined in on the hysteria and got involved watching Game of Thrones a few years ago. Having recently made it through the 7th season without having a major coronary, I decided to celebrate by making some more dragons hats from myย Sylphie Crocodile Stitch Hat pattern.

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While making the hats, I realized that the pattern file could use a little update, and the ears for the adult size could use one more row… and why not take a new round a pictures, with a little more zazz!

The updated PDF file is now available on Etsy and Ravelry for the ol’ usual 5.50 USD ๐Ÿ™‚ If you’ve already bought it, you should be able to access the new file through your purchase/download history.

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DragonCollage1

DEETS:

5.00 mm Hook, 3.75 mm Hook (optional, for horns)
#5 weight yarn (For Adult Sizes)
#4 weight yarn (For Child & Baby Sizes)
Scissors & tapestry needle
Small bit of polyester fiberfill (optional, for horns)
Written in US crochet terminology

The whimsical crocodile stitch โ€“ with its 3-D look akin to scales, petals, leaves, or even berries โ€“ easily captures peopleโ€™s hearts and imaginations. The Sylphie Crocodile Stitch Hat is as versatile as it is charming, so stitch one up and get transported into the realm of the flower-bedecked wee folk or impish and troublesome swamp dragons!

Even if youโ€™ve never worked crocodile stitch, this pattern is easy to follow with detailed instructions including photo tutorials, charts, and step-by-step written directions. 3 sizes and directions for earflaps, braids, and dragon horns are all included!

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Had fun using my backdrops for this – the leaves kind of look like flames.ย Dracarys!

– MF

Summer Wrap Up!

Woah – tomorrow is already the start of the new fall semester, so I’m squeaking this year’s end-of-summer post in tonight so I can talk about a few projects I hadn’t mentioned/photographed/finished previous to now.

First, probably one of my favorite things I’ve ever made:

OurLady4.1OurLady5.1OurLady9

That’s an ultra-floral retro fringed keyhole collar poncho of awesomeness right there in case you were wondering I started by making a longer version of the Freewheelin’ Poncho, a paid pattern I designed last fall. My goal started as just using up odds and ends yarn, but I’ve been wanting to make a floral poncho and the scarlet reds seemed so pretty next to the navy blue I couldn’t resist! The retro roses are stitched directly onto the mesh using post stitch and slip stitching techniques.

Plus, that keyhole collar doubles as a shoulder cut-out if you wear the poncho lengthwise.

Also: This amazing patchwork skirt patternย from Wendy Kay on Etsy. I bought an assortment of cotton lawn, a lightweight fabric perfect for summer skirts, in paisley prints and floral (are you noticing a pattern here)..

Patchskirt7Patchskirt8

That one was fun to make (and spin around in). ย In fact, it was so fun to make that I immediately started another patchwork project, using a modified version of the patchwork template from Wendy’s pattern.

A little background here – One fiber art fashion hero of mine is the lady behind Majik Horse & the 7 Magicians Clothing Company.ย Although it looks as though she doesn’t make those crazy awesome coats anymore, I always fall in love with any picture I see of her amazing work. I’ve been dying to create a coat in that style, and I’ve had a sweet little jacket tucked away waiting, and happened to have some fabrics that would match… and some GIANT vintage fur cuffs and collar that I rescued from an otherwise ugly coat.

So this was born.

Frankencoat1

I’ve been calling it the Frankencoat but I think it needs a better name ๐Ÿ˜‰ These photos are sorta blurry, but they’ll have to do for now. I added my favorite GIANT belt and a 25-yd skirt underneath. Kind of calls for a tophat and goggles, I think.

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And some without the skirt underneath – it’s still pretty full!
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I like to squeeze in “unscripted” projects periodically – things that I hadn’t planned for or decided exactly what I wanted them to be. This Starry sweater was originally just stashbusting, but then I was inspired by the floral poncho to try another crochet applique piece.

Starry1Starry2

My favorite free-form, unplanned exercise of course is the pixie pocket belts with the tattered skirts – this one I finished up recently using handdyed handspun wool/silk blend yarn, knit into a sash then crocheted at the edges.

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You’ll have to forgive the photo quality for this post – I was mid organizational spree so I only had time for this little blurb! ๐Ÿ™‚ As always, more to come.

-MF

Fiber Review: Polworth Tussah!

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about spinning here, but not because there’s been a lack of spinning – most of it has been powering through giant piles of alpacaย because, after I finished the first batch I had ordered from Alpaca Direct, I ordered more ๐Ÿ˜›

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I plan on coloring the copious amounts of natural white handspun with some liquid natural dye extracts at some point – but it’s been a busy busy summer. More on that later.

At any rate, the fiber I’m talking about today is the Polworth Tussah 60/40 blend that I dyed last year – the other half of the braid I worked with PLUS a big booty 6.75 oz braid of the same colourway are both available (separately) in my Etsy shop.

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The braid I split to spin half – “Celtic Teatime” Polwarth Tussah 60/40

Polwarth is a breed with wool that has a long staple length and a fine fiber around 23 microns. Combined with Tussah, or wild silk, which is also fine, soft, and lengthy in the staple department, what struck me about spinning this fiber was how EASY it was.

As I’ve mentioned before, the long staple length of 100% Tussah silk is balanced by how slippery the fiber is, making it easy to spin but also very easy to lose control of, resulting in lots of rejoining. The combination with Polwarth, which like all wools has more “traction”, totally solves this problem.

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The 2.25 oz skein set on a backdrop of way too much alpaca yarn

I opted to spin this fiber as a 1-ply thick & thin slubby style. Silk always makes dyes look just amazing, retaining vibrant color and sheen, so I wanted to keep the focus on the colors by not plying them against another strand and possibly muddying their appearance.

This was where the fibers’ shared virtues came in handy – I don’t think I had to rejoin that single ply once the entire length! Very handy, and since I was aiming for primitive looking, I spun it at top speeds. Done in under an hour – awesome.

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The silk gives this yarn strength and definition and the wool makes it pillowy soft with a slight fuzzy halo. I plan on using this yarn for another crazy pixie belt – prepare for cuteness!

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Here’s some of the elements of said pixie belt so far – both the mushroom pouch and the shamrock pouch also have handspun in them – you just can’t beat it for giving your projects a totally unique look.

-MF

Lotus Duster 2.0

Finally! I have been working on rewriting, restyling, tweaking, and expanding this design for ages, and I am so excited it’s time to premier the new version for free here on the blog! (or for purchase in PDF – read on for more info).

LargeDuster3

Special thanks to my beautiful BFF Danielle for modeling for me ๐Ÿ˜€

You can get this pattern in downloadable, printable format from my Ravelry Pattern Store or my Etsy shop for 5.50 USD. The PDF version also includes a TON (100+) of bonus tutorial photos in the regular version as well as a printer-friendly file with just text!

The old version is still available on the blog for those that were in the middle of working one and want to continue with the same version. The NEW version is right here!

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Some of the tweaks I have made to the design include reworking the neckline to make the collar more manageable (read- less ruffled), adding detailed instructions as to how to work the half rounds, rewriting the sleeve tutorial to be more precise, adding stitch counts for all the rounds on the main body, writing instructions on attaching ties, and generally cleaning up the writing style. OH, and I almost forgot – in response to many requests, there is now A LARGE SIZE! YAY! Check out the FREE pattern below!

LargeDuster1

 

Lotus Mandala Duster

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Sizes Small (Left) and Large (Right)

Notes:
Reading the pattern: Pattern is written for Small with the changes for Large listed afterward – when there are no changes, directions apply to all sizes. Rows marked “Extra” with a decimal number are for Larges only (Example: “Extra Round 13.1”)

Joining the Rounds: This pattern frequently uses hdc and dc to join the rounds in the openwork portions. If you are having trouble with the round-end joins, please see my Chain & Stitch Join Tutorial at
https://moralefiber.blog/2017/07/24/chain-stitch-join-tutorial/

Color Changes: This pattern leaves you free to plan your own color changes. To change colors, cut old color and tie off, then join new color in the last stitch of the round (for solid rounds) or last chain space of the round (for openwork/lace rounds).

Yarns Used: The Small size Duster (pictured above on the left) is made with yarns recycled from sweaters. You can find a tutorial for how to reclaim yarn on my blog at:
http://wp.me/p5Dj8T-3d
The Large duster (pictured on the right) is made with the yarn listed in the Materials section.

Materials
5.5 mm hook (I always use an in-line hook for these)
Premier Cotton Fair (#2, 3.5 oz, 317 yds) โ€“ 6 skeins
Scissors & Tapestry Needle

Gauge: 3โ€ณ measured across the diameter after Rnd 3.

Final Dimensions:
SMALL: 22.5โ€ณ radius (measured from center of motif to bottom edge)
50โ€ณ diameter (measured from collar to bottom edge)
Up to 36โ€ bust
LARGE: 26.5โ€ radius
53โ€ diameter
Up to 42โ€ bust

Some terms:

Dc with last loop on the hook: YO once, insert hk into next st/sp, draw up a loop. YO and pull through 2 lps on the hook. 2 lps remain on the hook (1 original and 1 left unworked from the dc stitch).

4-DC Cluster โ€“ Work 4 dc stitches, keeping the last loop on the hook for each. YO and draw through all 5 loops on the hook.

3-dc cluster โ€“ Work 3 dc stitches leaving the last loop on the hook for each. YO and draw through all 4 loops on the hook.

Shell โ€“ 2 hdc, 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc, 2 hdc

Main Body

  1. Make magic ring. 8 sc into the ring, tighten. Join with a slip stitch in first sc of the round. โ€“ 8 sc

 

  1. Ch 4 โ€“ counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next sc, ch 1) 7 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rdch of beg ch-4. โ€“ 8 dc + 8 spaces

 

  1. Sl st into the next ch-1 space, ch 2 โ€“ counts as first dc with last loop on the hook. Dc into the same space 3 more times, keeping last loops on the hook. YO, draw through all four loops on the hook. Ch 3. (Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-1 sp, ch 3) 6 times. Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-1 sp, ch 1. Hdc in the top of the first cluster to join. This positions your hook in the middle of a ch-3 sized space to begin your next round. โ€“ 8 clusters + 8 spaces

 

  1. Ch 2 โ€“ counts as first dc with last lp on hk, dc into the same space 3 more times, keeping last loops on the hook. YO, draw through all four loops on the hook โ€“ first 4-dc cluster made. Ch 2. (Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-3 sp, ch 2, 4-dc cluster in the same sp, ch 2) 7 times. Ch 2, work 1 4-dc cluster in next ch-3 space, work 1 hdc in the top of the first cluster to join. 16 clusters + 16 spaces

 

  1. Ch 2 โ€“ counts as first dc with last lp on the hk. Dc into the same space 3 more times keeping last lps on hk. YO, draw through all four lps. Ch 3. (Work 1 4-dc cluster into the next ch-2 space, ch 3) 14 times. Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-2 sp, dc in the top of the first cluster to join. โ€“ 16 clusters + 16 spaces

 

  1. Ch 3 โ€“ counts as first dc, 2 more dc in same space, Ch 3. (3 dc in the next ch-3 sp, ch 3) 15 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rdch of beg ch-3. โ€“ 16 sets of 3 dc + 16 spaces

 

  1. Sl st in the top of the next dc. (Sk next dc. In the next ch-3 space work 2 hdc, 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc, 2 hdc โ€“ shell made. Sk next dc, sl st in the next dc) 16 times. Join with a sl st in first sl st. โ€“ 16 shells

 

  1. Ch 6 โ€“ counts as first dc + ch 3, sc in the top of next tr stitch in the middle of the shell, ch 3. (Dc in the next sl st between shells, ch 3, sc in next treble, ch 3) 15 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rdch of beg ch-3. โ€“ 32 spaces

 

  1. Ch 3. Yarn over twice, insert hook into next sc and draw up a lp, (YO and draw through 2 lps on the hk) twice โ€“ one treble stitch leaving last lp on the hk made. Treble in next dc, leaving last lp on the hk โ€“ 3 lps remain on the hk. YO, draw through all 3 lps, ch 7. (In the last st worked the previous tr3tog, work 1 treble crochet leaving last lp on hk. Work 1 treble in next sc leaving last lp on hk. Work 1 treble in next dc leaving last lp on hk โ€“ 4 lps on the hk. YO, draw through all four lps on hk โ€“ tr3tog made, ch 7.) 15 times. Join with a sl st in top of first tr3tog. โ€“ 16 tr3tog + 16 spaces

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  1. Ch 4 โ€“ counts as first dc + ch 1. (Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch 7 space, ch 2, 4-dc cluster in the same space, ch 2. 4 dc cluster in the same sp, ch 1. Work 1dc in the top of the next tr3tog st, ch 1) 15 times. Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch 7 space, ch 2, 4-dc cluster in the same space, ch 2. 4 dc cluster in the same sp, ch 1. Sl st into 3rdch of beg ch-4. ย – 48 clusters + 16 dc

 

  1. (Ch 3. Sk next space and next cluster, work 1 4-dc cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 2. Skip next cluster, work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-2 space, ch 3. Sk next cluster and space, sl st in next dc.) 15 times. Ch 3. Sk next space and next cluster, work 1 4-dc cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 2. Sk next cluster, work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-2 space. Sk next cluster and space, dc in same st as the sl st join of the previous round. โ€“ 32 clusters
  2. Ch 3 โ€“ counts as first tr with last loop on the hk. Work 1 tr with the last lp on the hk in the next cluster. YO and draw through both lps on the hook โ€“ first tr2tog made. Ch 4, work 1 4-dc cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 4. (Work 1 tr with the last lp on the hk in the top of the next cluster. Sk next 2 chain-3 spaces, work 1 tr with the last lp on the hk in the next cluster. YO and pull through all 3 lps. Ch 4, work 1 4-dc cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 4) 15 times. Join with a sl st in the first tr2tog. โ€“ 16 clusters + 16 tr2tog + 32 chain spaces
    DSC_1164.jpg
  3. Sl st in the next ch-4 space, ch 3 โ€“ counts as first dc. Work 4 dc in the same space. (1 dc in top of the next cluster, 5 dc in next ch-4 space, 1 dc in top of the next tr2tog, 5 dc in next ch-4 space) 15 times. Work 1 dc in top of next cluster, 5 dc in next ch-5 space, 1 dc in top of tr2tog. Join with a slip stitch to the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. โ€“ 192 dc sts

Extra Rnd 13.1: Ch 3 โ€“ counts as first dc. Dc in ea of the next 22 sts. 2 dc in the next st. (Dc in ea of the next 23 sts, 2 dc in the next st) 7 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. โ€“ 200 dc sts

 

Extra Rnd 13.2: Ch 3 โ€“ counts as first dc. Dc in ea of the next 23 sts. 2 dc in the next st. (Dc in ea of the next 24 sts, 2 dc in the next st) 7 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. โ€“ 208 dc sts

 

  1. Ch 4 โ€“ counts as first dc + ch-1. Sk next dc. (Dc in next dc, ch 1, sk next dc) 95, 103 Join with a sl stitch to the 3rdch of beg ch-4. โ€“ 96 dc + 96 ch-1 spaces, 104 dc + 104 ch-1 spaces.

 

  1. (Sk next ch-1 space. Work 1 hdc in the next dc. In the same st work 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc, 1 hdc โ€“ scallop made. Skip next ch-1 space, sl stitch in next dc) 48, 52 Join with a sl st in the same st as join from the previous rnd. โ€“ 48 scallops, 52 scallops

 

When working with multiple colors, I always change colors after Rnd 15 โ€“ otherwise, the pretty scallops become hard to see after the next rnd.

  1. Ch 3 โ€“counts as first dc. Sk next st, 1 hdc in next st, 1 sc in next st (1 hdc in the next st, sk next st, 1 dc in the next st, sk next st, 1 hdc in the next st, 1 sc in the next st) 47, 51 Hdc in next stitch, sk next st, join with a sl st to the 3rdch of beg ch-3. โ€“ 192, 208 sts

 

  1. Ch 5 โ€“ counts as first dc + ch 2. (Sk next st, dc in next stitch, ch 2) 94, 102 Sk next st,dc in the next stitch. Hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-5. โ€“ 96, 104 ch spaces

 

Extra Rnd 17.1 โ€“ Ch 5 โ€“ counts as first dc + ch 2. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 2) 102 times. Dc in the next space, hdc in the 3rd ch of the beg ch-5 to join. โ€“ 104 ch spaces

ย 

  1. Sc in the space formed by the hdc join of the previous rnd. Ch 3. (Sc in the next ch space, ch 3) 94, 102 Sc in the next ch space, ch 1, hdc in the first sc of the round. โ€“ 96, 104 ch spaces

Rnds 19-20. Rpt rnd 18.

Extra Round 20.1: Rpt Rnd 18 once more

Sleeve Yoke round:

21. Ch 3. (1 dc in the next ch-3 space, ch 1, 1 dc in the same space) 10 times. Ch 30, 33, sk the next 6, 7 ch-3 spaces, (1 dc in the next ch space, ch 1, 1 dc in the same space) 10,14 times. Ch 30, 33, sk the next 6, 7 ch-3 spaces, (1 dc in the next ch space, ch 1, 1 dc in the same space) 63, 65 times. 1 dc in the next ch space, ch 1, sl st in the 3rdย ch of beg ch-3.- 84, 90 ch-1 spaces and 2 long chain loops that form the upper halves of the sleeve yokes

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22. Ch 3 โ€“ counts as first dc. 1 dc in the next dc (3 dc in the next ch-1 space, 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc) 9 times. 3 dc in the next ch-3 sp, 1 dc in the next dc. 1 dc in ea of the next 30, 33 ch sts. 1 dc in the next dc (1 dc in the next ch sp, 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc) 9, 13 times**. 1 dc in the next ch sp, 1 dc in the next dc. 1 dc in ea of the next 30, 33 ch sts. 1 dc in the next dc (3 dc in the next ch-1 space, 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc) 63, 65 times. 3 dc in the next ch-3 sp, join with a sl st to the 3rdย ch of beg ch-3. โ€“ 460, 488 sts

** Moving the armholes further apart or closer together to adjust the garment to your measurements will change this count. Just remember that any V-stitch in between the shoulder yokes should have 1 dc per space, not 3 as with the rest of the round.

23. Ch 3 โ€“ counts as first dc. (Sk next three sts, 1 dc in the next st. Ch 3, 1 dc in the same st) 114, 121 times. Sk next three sts, dc in the next st, ch 1. Hdc in the 3rdย ch of beg ch-4 to join. โ€“ 115, 122 V-stitches

24. Ch 3 โ€“ counts as first dc. (1 dc in the next ch sp, ch 3, dc in the same space) 114, 121 times. 1 dc in the next ch space, ch 1, hdc in the 3rdย ch of beg ch-3. โ€“ 115, 122 V-stitches

25. Sc in space formed by the hdc join of the previous round, ch 4. (Sc in next ch-1 space, ch 4) 113, 120 times. ย Sc in the next ch-1 sp, ch 1, dc in the first sc of the round. โ€“ 115, 122 ch spaces

26. Sc in the space formed by the dc join of the previous rnd, ch 4. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 4) 113, 120 times. Sc in the next ch sp, ch 1, dc in the first sc of the round. โ€“ 115, 122 ch spaces

27.Sc in the same sp, ch 5. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 5) 113, 120 times. Sc in the next space, ch 2, dc in the first sc of the round. โ€“ 115, 122 ch spaces

28-30. Rpt rnd 27.

Extra Rnd 30.1-30.2: Rpt rnd 27 two more times

31. Sc in the same sp, ch 6. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 6) 113, 120times. Sc in the next space, ch 3, dc in the first sc of the round. โ€“ 115, 122 ch spaces

Extra Rnd 31.1: Rpt Rnd 31

32. Sc in the same sp, 6 dc in next sc โ€“ one fan made. (1 sc in next ch-6 sp, 6 dc in next sc) 114, 121 times, join with a sl st in first sc of the round. โ€“ 115, 122 fans

33. Ch 5 โ€“ counts as first dc + ch 2. Sk next 2 sts, sc in the next st (the third dc of the fan), ch 1, sc in the next dc, ch 2. (sk 2 sts, dc in next sc, ch 2. Sk next 2 sts, sc in the 3rdย dc of next fan, ch 1, sc in the next dc, ch 2) 113,120 times. Sk next 2 sts, dc in the next sc, ch 2, sk next 2 sts, sc in the 3rdย dc of next fan. Ch 1, sc in the next dc, work 1 hdc in the 3rdย ch of beg ch-5 to join. โ€“ 345, 366 chain spaces

34. Ch 4 โ€“ counts as first hdc + ch 2. (Hdc in the next ch-2 space, ch 2, hdc in the next ch-1 sp, ch 2, hdc in the next ch-2 sp, ch 2) 114, 121 times. Hdc in the next ch-2 sp, ch 2, hdc in the next ch-1 sp, hdc in the 2ndย ch of beg ch-2 to join. โ€“ 345, 366 ch spaces made

Working the following rounds on the top half only:

35. Ch 3. (Dc in the next ch-2 space, ch 1, dc in the same sp) 171, 191 times. Ch 3, Sl st in the next ch-2 space. Ch 3, turn. โ€“ 171, 191 dc V-stitches

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36. Sk first ch-3 space. Work 1 dc, leaving last lp on the hook in the next ch-1 space. Work 2 more dc with the last lp on the hook in the same space. YO and draw through all 4 lps on the hook – 1 3-dc cluster made. Ch 2. (3 dc cluster in the next ch-1 sp, ch 2) 169, 189 times. 3 dc cluster in the next ch-1 space, ch 3. Sk next ch space, sl st in the next hdc. Ch 3, turn. โ€“ 171, 191 dc clusters

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Work next round over entire circle.

37. 3 dc in the first ch-3 space. (3 dc in the next ch-2 space) 171, 191 times. 3 dc in the next ch-3 space. (3 dc in the next ch-2 space) 172, 173 times. 3 dc in the next chain space. Join with a sl st to the 3rdย ch of beg ch-3. โ€“ 1036, 1101 dc

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Cut yarn and tie off.

Sleeves:

Step 1. Attach yarn on the inside of the armhole, in the side of the last dc before the armhole on Rnd 21. Ch 3 โ€“ counts as first dc. 1, 2 dc more in the side of the dc. 2, 3 dc in each of the 8, 9 chain spaces โ€“ including the spaces that the v-stitches from Rnd 21 are worked into. 2, 3 dc into the side of the other Rnd 21 dc on the opposite end of the armhole. 1 dc into the base of all 30, 33 ch sts. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round. โ€“ 50, 66 ย dc

ย DSC_1393

Step 2. Ch 4 โ€“ counts as first dc + ch 1. Sk next st. (Dc in the next st, ch 1, sk next st) 23, 31 times. Dc in the next st, hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4 to join. โ€“ 25, 33 ch-1 spaces

ย DSC_1397

Step 3. Ch 4 โ€“ counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next sp, ch 1) 23, 31 times. Dc in the next st, hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4 to join. โ€“ 25, 33 ch-1 spaces

After a couple rows of this, size down to a smaller hook if desired. I sized down to 4.5 to make the sleeve snug on my upper arm.

Rpt Step 3 until your total reaches 23 rows, or until the length reaches just below your elbow.

Locate the ch space that is centered at the back of the elbow and mark it. (14thย space from the join for me, 17th on the large) This will now be the increase center.

Step 4. Ch 4 โ€“ counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) until you reach the increase center. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the increase center. The middle chain space made in this repeat is now the increase center. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) the rest of the way around, ending with a hdc join in the 3rd ch of the beg ch-4.

Repeat Step 4 until short side of sleeve is about mid-forearm (11 rounds for me)

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Step 5. Ch 4 โ€“ counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) until you reach the space before the increase center. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the next space โ€“ increase made. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the increase center โ€“ increase made. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the space after the increase center- increase made. The middle chain space made in the middle increase is now the increase center. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) the rest of the way around, ending on a hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4 to join.

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Shown above is the three adjacent increases made after Step 5, each with the center space of the increase marked.

Step 6. Ch 4โ€“ counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) until you reach the middle of one increase before the increase center. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the middle space of the next increase, work dc + ch 1 in between middle spaces. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the middle space of the next increase, work dc + ch 1 in between middle spaces. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the middle space of the third increase. The middle chain space in the middle increase made in this repeat is now the increase center. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) the rest of the way around, ending with a hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4 to join.

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(Basically, put a 3-space increase in the center of each increase, dc + ch 1 in every other space.)

Step 7. Ch 4 โ€“ counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the sp, ch 1) rpt the rest of the way around, ending with a hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4 to join.

Rpt Step 7 until the length reaches your wrist, or as many times as desired.

Step 8. Ch 3, 1 dc in the same space. 1 dc in the next dc. (2 dc in next ch-1 space, 1 dc in next dc) rpt around. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.

-To add even more ruffle, increase the amount of dc sts per chain space.
– For extra length or added detailing, Rpt Step 8 then follow Steps 9 – 11

Step 9. ย Ch 3 โ€“ counts as first dc. 1 dc in ea st around. Join with a sl st in top of beg chain

Step 10: Ch 4 โ€“ counts as first dc + ch-1. Sk next st. (Dc in the next st, ch 1, sk next st) rpt around. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4.

Step 11: Ch 1 โ€“ counts as first sc. Sc in the next space. (Sc in the next dc, sc in the next space) rpt around. Join with a sl st to the beg ch.

Cut yarn and tie off. Repeat sleeve on the other side. Remember that if you start your second sleeve in the same place as the first, you will need to re-measure to find the space at the elbow before Step 4 – it may not be the same as you will be working in the opposite direction.

Weave in all ends.

Ties:

Beginning with the shell below the last cluster on the end of Rnd 36, place marker. Repeat on the other side. WS facing (or on the โ€œinsideโ€ of the duster), attach yarn to the edge of the marked shell. Sl st in each stitch of the shells around, ending at the shell with the other marker. Be sure to keep your gauge fairly loose. Cut yarn and tie off, weave in ends.

Note: For larger sizes, you may want to move the row of slip stitching for the ties out to the very last round of the garment so that it can tie across the full front of the torso. Test your tie placement with the jacket on before deciding!

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Shown above is the slip stitching that reinforces the shells in preparation for attaching ties, worked in a contrasting color so you can see โ€“ I actually did the ties in the same white color as the rest of the garment.

Locate the shell in the middle of the two previously marked shells and mark it. This shell should fall in the center of your back when you try the coat on โ€“ if not, adjust placement so that it does.

With the coat on, decide where you want your ties to be and mark those shells with stitch markers. Take the coat off and make sure that your placement is even, using the middle marked shell as a guide. I like to do 3-4 ties on each side, 2-3 shells apart, beginning just above the apex of the bust.

Cut 5-6 yard long strands of yarn. Fold into a loop and pull through the middle slip stitch of the first shell on either side. Draw tail ends through the loop and tighten โ€“ separate into 3 bundles of four strands and braid to the end. Tie off. Cut 6 more strands, repeat the process of attaching to your next marked shell and braid. Repeat on one side, then switch to the other side and repeat process for as many ties as you like.

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Weave in all ends and block if desired. Congratulations on your new Lotus Mandala Duster!

(Individual artisans may feel free to sell finished items made from this pattern – just please link back to me!)

Time for more pictures!

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And I FINALLY made one just for me, as an early birthday present to myself:

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If you liked this pattern please consider sharing on Ravelry! I love seeing everyone’s awesome projects!

-MF

 

Ida Shawl Circular Poncho

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I’ve been dying to design an asymmetrical circular poncho for a long time – in fact, it was over a year ago that I started on the first prototype for this new pattern. After much testing, tweaking, and perfecting, the Ida Shawl is finally ready for debut! You can get it in my Ravelry Pattern Store or Etsy Shop now for 5.50 USD โค

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The central mandala is based on a five-pointed star pattern inspired by the formation of seeds you can see when you cut an apple in half. To me it is representative of the beauty of natural geometry (FUN FACT the “geo” part of “geometry” means “earth” which is inherently natural making the phrase I just used sort of redundant. Moving on.)

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That dress has pockets!

An asymmetrical poncho worked in soft DK weight yarn keeps you cozy AND stylish! The short front hem of the wrap compliments all figures while the back falls in gentle ripples away from an eye-catching central lace mandala pattern.

A stretchy ribbed collar formed using crochet post stitches keeps the Ida Shawl on your shoulders without pins or ties for a practical yet feminine look. This lovely spring or autumn pieces keeps you warm while enhancing any outfit!

Pattern includes detailed written instructions and a ton of step-by-step tutorial photos as well as a print-friendly version!

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Materials:
5.50 mm Hook or size needed to obtain gauge
Cleckheaton Australian Superfine Merino (65 g, 130 meters) OR Rico Essentials Merino DK (50 g, 120 meters) 7 skeins in the following scheme:
Color A โ€“ 1 skein
Color B โ€“ 1 skein
Color C โ€“ 1 skein
Color D โ€“ 2 skeins
Color E โ€“ 2 skeins
Scissors & Tapestry Needle for weaving in ends

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Yarn Substitutions:
For ease of care, wool allergies, or affordability you may consider an acrylic substitute for this project โ€“ I recommend Caron Simply Soft Light as shown above (#3, 85 g / 330 yards, 100% Acrylic โ€“ 3 skeins) which produces a slightly different but equally lovely look. Color shown ย is Taupe.

 

That superfine merino is really warm and soft as butter, but the acrylic version is so light and lacy! I really can’t decide which one I like better.

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It was VERY sunny that day

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Whichever is your favorite, I think we can all agree that dresses with pockets are the bomb.

-MF

Chain & Stitch Join Tutorial

The chain & stitch combination join is probably the most-used technique in my yarny bag of tricks; it’s also the subject of many of the questions I get about my patterns!

I use this end-of-the-round joining technique in the majority of my designs, since it is ideal for openwork circular crochet (my favorite) in which you want to begin the next round in the middle of a chain space.

 

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Say we are creating several rounds of ch-4 mesh loops, like in my free market bag pattern. Since the sc “anchor” of these loops is worked into the middle of the chain space, we have to begin and end the rounds in the middle. If we finish the last ch-4 loop and connect it to the first sc of the round, we join with a slip stitch and end the round with our hook positioned on the sc, not in the middle of the loop. In this scenario, it would be necessary to “travel” forward to the middle of the next loop to begin. Usually this is done by slip stitching.

Which totally works – but for personal preference, I like to replace the slip stitch travel with the chain & stitch combo join. It lets me avoid adding bulk or changing the tension of the lace design. Also, working into individual chain stitches can sometimes be tedious ๐Ÿ˜› As I’m sure we all know.

Here’s how to replace those slip stitch travels!

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Since each crochet stitch has an equivalent number of chain stitches, chain and stitch joins just replace a certain number of chain stitches in a loop with a crochet stitch of equivalent length worked into the stitch in which you would normally join. (Some people typically equate one chain length for a hdc. More on that later)

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In a chain 5 loop where we wanted to start the next round in the middle of a space, we’d replace the last 3 chains in the loop with a dc (equivalent of 3 chains) worked into the beginning of the round to join. This lands your hook in the middle of an equivalent sized space, ready to start the next round without traveling anywhere. The side of the dc stitch is now treated as the second half of the loop, with any new stitches of the next round worked under the side of the stitch.

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You can replace any number of chain stitches in a row-end join with a stitch, depending on where you want your hook to be positioned for the next round. If your next round works several stitches into the chain spaces, you can begin further back on the loop to make room by replacing more chains.

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The ch-1 and treble combo pictured above (forming a ch-5 sized loop) leaves some space ahead in the loop for working several stitches. ย Also, depending on your gauge and tension, you may find that some stitch join combos work better than others.

For instance, I often work stitch joins that are a little over half because I find that it ends up looking more centered. Using ch-1 and a double (3 chains long) to end in the middle of a ch-4 sized space works better for me than a combination of 2 chains and a hdc. The image below is an example that from the Lotus Mandala Duster pattern, which uses a ton of joins like this:

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Rather than work a ch-2 and hdc stitch join combo, which would ideally replace 2 of the chain stitches, I use a ch-1 and dc combo. One of the reasons for that is the pesky HDC is easily shortened by tension/gauge differences – which, actually, makes it good for replacing BOTH lengths of 2 chains and lengths of one chain.

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In the example above, a hdc is replacing the entirety of a ch-2 length space before chaining for the next round. I keep the tension loose so it’s more like 2 ch stitches long. In the example below, I use the hdc to replace a ch-1 size space by keeping the tension tight to shorten it.

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PS this is DEFINITELY not a sneak peek of a brand new AWESOME pattern I am working on finishing up ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am NOT EXCITED ABOUT IT AT ALL

When it comes to ch-1 length spaces, I dither back and forth between chain & stitch joins and slip stitch travels. Sometimes substituting a stitch isn’t really necessary or is disadvantageous depending on where you want to land for your next round.

One way the choice between the two methods makes a difference is that it changes the way your join “seams” lean. For slip stitch traveling, each round is going to be offset FORWARD in your pattern, meaning that you will begin slightly further along in the circle in whichever direction you crochet (to the left for righties, to the right for lefties).

With chain & stitch join combos, your joins will lean BACKWARD in your pattern because each new round will be offset in the opposite direction you crochet (to the right for righties, to the left for lefties). Here’s an example of a part of the Lotus Duster that has several rounds of openwork crochet that use the chain & stitch join combo. The joins are highlighted.

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Because of this difference in direction, it’s important to use whichever join strategy the pattern indicates unless you are positive that it won’t matter later.

That’s it! If you have any questions about the chain & stitch join combo, ask away in the comments below! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

A few of my patterns that use the chain & stitch join combo: (clockwise left to right) Blossom Vest, Flower Child Pullover, Sol Halter Top, Mini Mandala Tam, Lotus Vest, Lotus Duster…

And of course, more to come ๐Ÿ˜‰

-MF