Mermaid Mitts + Sandals Crochet Pattern

After a short spell of warmer temperatures, I was finally able to get the pictures I wanted to finish up this pattern, and all in a weekend when the homework wasn’t too pressing.

Tah-dah!
It’s the Mermaid Mitts + Sandals crochet pattern, which is really 2 patterns in one! Find it in my Etsy Shop or my Ravelry Store for 5.50 USD.

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Frequent readers of this blog may recognize the style of the mitts, which I had been doing  knit/crochet hybrid variations of last fall. However these Mermaid Mitts are more elegant in shape and are 100% crochet stitching.

The scaly barefoot sandals are a fun land-bound adaptation of the ever-popular crochet mermaid tail blanket. My sweet enabling friends must have shown me one picture or another of that blanket at least ten times last year! No wonder I had mermaids on the brain.

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Mermaid Mitts + Sandals

Fanciful beaded crochet accessory set suitable for any mermaids, undines, or sirens that might journey onto land in search of a mortal to ensnare…

This pattern makes one pair of scaly elbow-length or half-length armwarmers and one pair of beaded barefoot sandals. Includes tutorials for crocodile stitches and beaded crochet.

Materials:
3.75 hook
1 skein Vicki Howell Sheepish
26 6/0 seed beads
beading needle
tapestry needle

Written in U.S Terminology

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Suitable not only for mermaids, undines, and naiads, but also dryads, nymphs, sylphs, and all other manner of fae and little folk! To see tons more pictures, visit the Ravelry project page.

After some recent experience trying to read my own patterns off of my smartphone, I decided to try and make my patterns more mobile-friendly. This pattern got a new two-column layout as a result – Let me know what you think!

-MF

 

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Bernie Beanies, etc…

Right, so, this is the type of post where I picture-dump some of the projects I have been working on lately but haven’t had time to talk about individually. I’ve been creakily trying to finish up some of the colder-weather projects that had remained in limbo before I switch gears and everything turns all bright and cotton and mandala-y!

So here’s the third Bohemian Fringe Poncho, worked with an alternative yarn to Bernat Roving, to great success…

This one, like the other two ponchos I made while designing the pattern, are for sale in my Etsy shop!

Next up is a rare thing on this blog… a finished knitting project. I love knitting, but I am woefully neglectful of my knitting projects since I am always so busy with crochet / spinning / dyeing. But since this one was a commission, I was obliged to finish it in a timely manner.

I was stoked on this project when it was requested, because I support Bernie for President, because I am pretty obviously a liberal hippie feminist pinko commie.

Whew, okay. I also made this blanket over Winter Break.

My notes can be found on the Ravelry project page for this! I used 8 different colorways of variegated yarn, 15 skeins total. It was mega fun.

The weather here was great today, continuing the tradition of a mid-January Indiana warm-up to really mess with our sunshine-starved heads before it dumps more snow out of the sky. I took advantage of the mild temps to do a photoshoot for my upcoming pattern.

But you’ll just have to wait and see!

-MF

First Anniversary Blog Sale

Hey, it’s been a year for Morale Fiber Blog! I will definitely get to the part where I talk about how much I’ve learned and how grateful I am, but first – the sale info!

To celebrate this blog existing for a whole year, I am offering 15% off ANYTHING in my Etsy shop, patterns included! This sale is exclusively for you blog readers as a thank you for all the kind comments and support I’ve received – just use the code MFBLOG1 to get 15% off until January 30th!

For those of you interested in spinning, this is a great opportunity to snag one of my hand-dyed rovings, including my two new braids, Bramble and Nebula:

I’ve also got my brand new pattern, the Boho Fringe Poncho, available for UNDER 5 BUCKS using the coupon code…

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… or save $12 on the finished product!

I couldn’t be more grateful for all the great feedback and support I’ve received through this blog, including but not limited to those who have followed me from the very beginning, everyone who has clicked and commented on the patterns and tutorials I’ve entered into the link parties, and all the crafty individuals who have purchased patterns & supplies from me – providing me with the monetary resources to continue funding my little business.

Back in 2011, when I set up my first vendor stand at a local festival, I knew making and sharing my art was going to be my passion – because I saw the things I had made people happy – in small ways, maybe, but those count too. Through the next 4 years I continued crafting and crocheting, occasionally selling my pieces within my friend group and festival family who went out of their way to share their kindness and enthusiasm with me.

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A picture of me in 2011…. back when all of my stuff fit in one tiny vintage suitcase.

Selling my designs as patterns had been my goal for years, and I will never forget the excitement I felt when I sold my first pattern. I guess the point of all this schmaltzy rambling is that everyone involved – friends, family, readers, customers – has made me keep believing in myself.

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Morale Fiber, 2011

Truly it is my morale that has been lifted. But fear not! The crocheting will continue.

-MF

 

 

Boho Fringe Poncho Pattern

I am stoked to present my TENTH paid pattern, one I’ve been wanting to tackle for almost a year. This one is another knit-look piece like my Gnome Toboggan, but uses even bulkier roving yarn and I think technically qualifies as a big booty Judy.

It’s the Boho Fringe Poncho, and it’s available in my Etsy Shop and among my Ravelry Designs!

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Inspired by a funky oversize scarf I found at a vintage shop in New Mexico, this versatile wrap is all about the lush, thick texture and the bold bohemian fringe. The Boho Fringe Poncho uses bulky wool blend roving yarn and knit-look crochet stitches to create a warm cover-up for evenings on the beach, at festivals, or late night walks on the high desert.

Pattern includes photo tutorials and written directions for both post stitches and the double chain technique created especially for this pattern – so even if you don’t know how to work those stitches yet, you can learn!

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Fun fact – My wee skinny townhouse apartment has zero good sources of natural light, and so I prefer to take my photos outside when I can. Even when I probably shouldn’t. This photoshoot, for instance, was taken when it was 6 degrees (F) outside. My partner and photographer Chaston puts  up with an impressive amount of insanity from me for the sake of my little obsession.

I did another hasty photoshoot inside, where the warm is, using my new friend Mona the Paisley Torso.

I love the natural tones of my main model piece, but the beautiful seafoam blue-green one is quite charming also – and I’m working on finishing up the third, in deep olive tones. Solid colors are so much fun to experiment with in bold, striking textural pieces like this one – I’m not sure I’ll be able to stop!

Update 1/30/16 – I’ve finished up and photographed the third Boho Fringe poncho, this one used an alternative to the recommended yarn listed in the pattern, and it worked out great! This one uses Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky in Willow, 5 skeins.

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-MF

P.S – that gorgeous adjustable macrame shell necklace in the main photos is from SelinofosArt on Etsy!

Fiber Review: Targhee

Thanks to a combination of schoolwork and holiday traveling, I haven’t written very many substantial posts for the past few weeks, but I’ve been eagerly awaiting a chance to sit and write some fiber reviews.

A while back I became very interested in spinning Targhee wool: Targhee is a breed of sheep developed in the U.S in the 20th century, with Rambouillet, Corriedale, and Lincoln ancestors. I had spun a sample earlier in my spinning career and loved the cushy quality this wool has.

So of course I ordered more from Corgi Hill Farm. I split the roving into quarters and spun two batches of end-to-end 2-ply. (Each quarter of the split roving spun as a single length of ply, then each pair plied together… mostly. But we’ll get to that)

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Here’s what I learned:

First, I was WAAAAY off when I split one half of this roving into two strips. My bobbins came out so uneven that I had to do some frantic fiber rearranging in order to make the two batches come out with similar color progression once plied and stitched. That doesn’t have anything to do with the specific fiber, but it’s good advice – if color length and progression matters to you, weigh your roving fractions so you can pair the most similar weights together to get the most closely matching lengths of singles for plying.

The fiber itself was just as soft and squishy as I remember. With a 21-25 micron count, Targhee wool has the friction and grabby nature that makes pure wool rovings fun to spin, but the Targhee I worked with was exceptionally dense and springy. One might say marshmallow-esque.

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In fact, it was so dense and marshmallowy that I had trouble spinning at first, even though I split and fluffed (i.e- jerked it around like a whip to make the factory-and-storage compacted fibers open up and loosen). I don’t always predraft, but predrafting was a must with this fiber.

Knitty, my primary source for amazing spinning advice, has a good article about treating roving before spinning.

Once I predrafted, spinning this yarn was pretty easy. Not as easy as Merino, but easy enough that I sat through a shameful amount of Vikings episodes continuously spinning. Like you seriously don’t want to know how many episodes I watched in one go while doing this. Don’t ask.

As I mentioned the first time I spun Targhee, much of the pillowy nature of this fiber is lost in a one-ply, so plying was had, on a drop spindle for my larger skein and on the wheel for my two smaller skeins. Once plied, the Targhee’s true nature was revealed to me – soft, warm, with enough resistance to shout “I’m Wool!” but also fine enough for hats, gloves, and other next-to-skin garments.

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I think this will be a lovely pair of woodland style armwarmers, my all-time favorite (so far) thing to make with handspun yarns!

~*Mf*~

 

Gnome Toboggan Crochet Pattern

Historically, January has not been my favorite month – which is why I am happy to debut a new design to brighten up your midwinter blues! Because as you know by now, the crocheting will continue until morale improves.

The Gnome Toboggan is available in my Etsy Shop as well as my Ravelry Pattern Store. Don’t forget that I have a special deal going on until January 13th, just follow the link for details.

This hat is ultra squishy and stretchy, and works up quick enough to finish in one afternoon of binge-watching Xena: Warrior Princess. Not that I know anyone who has done that.

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A “knit-look” ribbed crochet beanie worked in bulky weight yarn with a soft stretchy fit and subtle gnomish point.

This ultra squishy cozy toboggan is topped with a faux fur pompom and can be made with only 1 skein of Lion Brand Scarfie yarn!

Alternate instructions for a more traditional rounded beanie top are also included, as well as a photo tutorial on how to work the front and back post double crochet.

Sizes included:
Adult Medium – 23″

Adult Large – 25″

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Above: Adult Medium, Below: Adult Large

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Trust me, you’ll never want to take this hat off!

~*Mf*~