After Another Week in the Woods

Holy moly! The good vibes were abound in my latest festival adventure – it’s been a few years since I truly vended (as in I had my own fully stocked booth and manned it). Months of dedicated stitching really paid off as I got to make new friends, trade for treasures, and talk about art with so many beautiful people. I am so thankful for all the appreciation of my work and grateful that I came away with the capital to keep growing my business and spreading yarny love.

Even with the time it took to work the booth I still was able to catch up with friends old and new, enjoy the tunes of the circling musical caravan and other impromptu jam sessions, see one of my favorite bands the always-amazingย Keshvar Project.

As usual after a gathering with so many talented and amazing folks, I am bursting with ideas for new projects and designs! I guess it’s a blessing that after camping for a week I am more than ready to get my fingers around some fiber again.

Hope you all also had a fun and sunny Memorial Day weekend!

-MF

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Prepping for Festival

I’ve been super busy lately preparing for vending at the annual festival at my home base community – it’s a cross between a spiritual celebration and a week long exercise in eating way too much food.

I’ll be gone from May 25th through the 30th, and during that time all my physical Etsy Shop listings will be on hold. All patterns will remain available through both Etsy and Ravelry, but any pattern questions sent to me will not be answered until I get back! Thanks in advance for your patience ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been crocheting nonstop in preparation for vending – mostly my own designs but for variety I picked up this cute little rainbow halter top pattern from DiceKnits on Etsy and had some fun with it!

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There’s tons more crochet goodies to come – look for them on my Instagram soon!

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-MF

Post Stitch Pixie Hat

 

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I think every yarn twisting mama (or papa) has a few tricks in their repertoire that they favor over others. One of my personal favorite crochet techniques is the post stitch.

While this stitch may be daunting at first because you aren’t working into the top loops like with most stitches, the results are fantastic, especially if you’re designing something you want to be stretchy (like my big booty Boho Poncho).

Alternating front and back post stitches creates a moderately stretchy fabric with the added bonus of an interesting, ribbed texture. Working it in bulky yarns enhances these characteristics for a big, cushy, warm garment. Here’s a little pattern I worked up recently to hone down my stash – a simple but fun pointed bonnet in small (child) and large (adult) sizes!

 

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Stitches used: Chain (ch), double crochet (dc), front post double crochet (FPDC ), back post double crochet (BPDC), slip stitch (sl st). Here’s my tutorial on post stitch ribbing.

Post Stitch Pixie Hat

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Hook: 5.00 mm (for small), 6.00 mm (large)

Yarn:
Small – bulky weight #5, about 200-250 yards
Large – any super bulky #6, 250 yds. Yarn pictured on me is Yarn Bee Soft Illusions (#6, 4 oz / 87 yds “Naturals”) –ย I recommend a 100% acrylic super bulky weight. Wool blends will make the hat a little heavy.

Gauge: with 5.00 mm hook, 7 sts & 4 rows = 2″ in alternating front post / back post double crochet
with 6.00 mm hook, 5 sts & 3 rows = 2″ in fpdc/bpdc

Notes: Ch-2 counts as the first st.

Leaving about a foot of yarn as a tail, make a slip knot loop. Ch 56.

Row 1: Working in the back of the ch sts, dc in the 3rd ch from the hk and in ea of the next 53 sts. – 54 sts

Row 2: Ch 2, turn. (FPDC in the next st, BPDC in the next st) 26 times. FPDC in the next st. Dc in the last stitch (the 2nd chain of the previous row’s turning chain). – 54 sts

Row 3: Ch 2, turn. (BPDC in the next st, FPDC in the next st) 26 times. BPDC in the next st. Dc in the last st (the 2nd ch of the previous row’s turning chain)

Rows 4-15: Repeat rows 2 & 3 six times.

Row 16: Rpt row 2.

Cut yarn and tie off.

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Turn and fold the square of crocheted fabric in half, matching up the sides of the foundation chain. Using the long yarn tail from the beginning, thread a tapestry needle and stitch through both layers at once to make the seam (the seam is now the back of the bonnet). Whip stitch all the way to the corner of the fold.

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I like to do the next part with a contrasting yarn, which makes it easier to tell which side is the bottom ๐Ÿ˜‰

With new yarn, ch 30. Yo and insert hook into the corner of the bonnet, into the side of the last dc or turning chain. Draw up a loop. Complete 1 dc. 1 dc in the side ofย each of the dc’s or turning chains along the bottom of the bonnet, including both sides. Chain another 30 to make the second tie.

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Weave in all ends. I like to attach tassels to the ends of my ties – pompoms would look cute too!

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-MF

A Guide to Crochet Cordage

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If you like to stitch up a variety of different items, chances are you’ll eventually run into a design where you need a string, cord, or strap. Knitters have the perfect solution to this in the form of the I-cord, a really neat and smooth looking cord that you can make by knitting a few stitches back and forth without turning. While you can crochet an I-cord, I find this technique a little finicky for my taste – I always end up dropping the stitches!

Meanwhile, crochet designs usually opt for the simple crochet chain st, the row of single crochet stitches, or the foundation single crochet. I also like to utilize the less common but extremely handy Double Chain technique.

However, there’s another option, one so simple and obvious I really can’t believe I haven’t used it until now.

Chain a length of stitches. Slip stitch in ea ch stitch!

This forms a thin but sturdy cord that is much more rounded and neatly shaped than the other crochet cord options – perfect for straps on a crochet bikini or halter top (which is what I was working on when I made this simple revelation) or for really any place where a design requires pliable lengths of stand-alone stitching.

Here’s a quick comparison of 5 different ways to form a cord for crochet projects:

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1.ย Chain stitch: The simple chain stitch forms a thin, pliable cord that is fairly stretchy. Because it’s worked in one row, it places your hook on the opposite end of the cord from where you started, making it convenient for attaching one part of an item to another. However, it’s also very thin, making it less suitable for certain types of garment straps.

2. Foundation Single Crochet: The fsc is a method of combining the chain foundation and the first row of single crochet into one row. It’s a little tricky to learn at first, but you can find a good video tutorial here. An FSC cord is bulkier, but it retains the elasticity of the chain stitch or double chain cord. Worked in one row , this cord is also good for attaching parts of an item but its weight is more suitable for garment straps than the chain stitch cord.

3. The Double Chain: This stitch is the middle ground between the simple chain stitch and the foundation single crochet. I wrote a step-by-step photo tutorial for it hereย because I love this one so much! The double chain cord is a one-row cord with a little more substance than the single chain, but is as stretchy (if not more so) than the simple chain stitch. It also lies flat, making it one of my favorite options for garment straps.

4. The Chain & Single Crochet : This is a cord worked in two rows by stitching a row of chain stitches and then working a single crochet into each chain stitch. This method creates a thick cord with relatively little elasticity, which may be an advantage depending on the garment. I liked to use this cord for bikini and halter top straps because you do not have to cut the yarn and rejoin since you are working two rows and therefore your hook ends up back where you started. However, this cord is a bit lumpy compared to…

5. The Chain & Slip Stitch: This is a cord worked in two rows by stitching a row of chain stitches and then working a slip stitch into each chain. If done with care, the resulting cord is just slightly elastic with a nice, rounded shape and a tidy visual appearance. But because it is so easy to work slip stitches too tightly, you have to take care that your slip stitch gauge is loose enough to match the chain stitch gauge, or else your cord may end up curly and uneven! ย Once you get the hang of it, this cord is perfect for crocheted bikinis and halter tops!

 

With all the strappy styles in fashion this summer, why not try them all? ย (Insert shameless plugs here and here)

-MF

Mehndi Halter Top Pattern BOGO Sale

Merry May Day friends! I have a new pattern for you today. Some of you may remember the Bindu Recycled Sweater bikini pattern “recipe” I published on the blog last summer – this new pattern is something of a mash-up between the Sol Halter Top and the Bindu design.

I altered the bindu border to fit the yarn weight and overall look of the halter top, and the main body has more in the way of coverage and comfort. This paid pattern comes with all the great features of my other buyable patterns – detailed instructions, tutorial photos, charts, and stitch counts included!

You can get the PDF for this crochet pattern in my Ravelry Pattern Store or Etsy Shop for 5.50 USD ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

Enough talking, lets see some pictures…

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The Mehndi Halter Top pattern draws inspiration from the thick lotus petal motifs, linework, and dot borders in traditional henna design. Made in bright #4 weight cotton yarn, this pom-pom fringed top makes a unique addition to dance costumes, festival wear, or your next beach adventure!

Size Small fits A to lower B cup sizes, Medium fits upper B to C cups. The band size is 20โ€ at the bottom of the halter plus 12โ€ for each tie, adding up to 44โ€.

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Model: Lainy Clayton

I’m so excited for summer – I’ve got patterns out the wazoo planned for you guys!

Happy yarning,

-MF