Big Dumb Cowl

I’ve noticed some industrious crafters in the Facebook crochet groups I follow have begun their holiday gift crocheting already – props to you guys because I usually don’t think about that until about November, and consequently never finish things in time!

Fortunately I picked up some super bulky yarn on clearance recently, which is great for whipping up a project at lightning speed, especially when you are working with a big booty hook and a simple design. Working with these parameters, I designed the Big Dumb Cowl as a free crochet pattern made with gifters in mind – and here it is!

It’s not actually dumb, I promise. It’s also not really that big. Maybe I should rename it.

Big Dumb Cowl

A simple chunky cowl worked short or tall and topped at both ends with picot stitches. Features sc, hdc, and dc worked in the round to eliminate icky row join seams. Instructions for the tall version appear in italics where differing.

cowl5

Short version, finished

Materials:

Bernat Wool-Up Bulky (#6 Super Bulky, 170 g, 121 yds) – 1,2 skeins

OR

120-240 yds any Super Bulky yarn

11.5 hook

Stitch markers

Tapestry Needle

2-Ch-Picot Foundation Chain: (Ch 4, sl st in the back of the 3rd ch from the hook) 20 times. – 40 ch sts with 20 picots. Join with a sl st to make a ring, making sure not to twist your chain. You will work the next round into the back of the chain stitches.

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Rnd 1: Sc in the same st as sl st join. 1 sc in ea of the next 4 sts. 1 hdc in ea of the next 40 sts. Insert stitch marker in the last hdc made – this marked stitch is now considered the end of your round. Make sure to move it every time you finish a round so you don’t lose your place! The first 5 sc sts are there so that you can start working in continuous rounds without an abrupt height change.

Cowl7

After the completion of Rnd 1 (shown here without picots for clarity)

Rnd 2: 1 dc in ea of the next 40 sts.

Short Cowl: Rnds 3-7: Rpt Rnd 2.

Tall Cowl: Rnds 3-12: Rpt Rnd 2.

Rnd 8/13: 1 hdc in ea of the next 35 sts. 1 sc in ea of the next 5 (10) sts. Place marker in last sc made.

Rnd 9/14: (1 sc in the next st, 1 sc with 2-ch picot in the next st) 20 times. Join with a sl st to the first sc of the rnd.

picot1

Above is an illustration of my ch-2 picot method, which finishes the picot by inserting hook into the FLO and the side loop of the sc st, and then working a sl stitch. I think it looks neater than the traditional picot technique.

Cut yarn and tie off, weave in ends.

Here’s what the tall version looks like (scrunched down of course).

Cowl3

Ahhhh! Somebody stop me!

Cowl4

I made all of those yesterday! Speaking of working up quickly, I have more bulky & super bulky patterns for the lover of all things cozy:
Boho6.2

Boho Fringe Poncho 

Toboggan3

Gnome Toboggan

Ruana9

Woodsman’s Wife Ruana

What with all these great-looking fall patterns, perhaps you’d like to follow me on Facebook to stay up-to-date on new designs and deals? There might even be a sale going on right now, you know…

-MF

 

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Plus Size Sol Halter Top Pattern

Woohoo! After a long ride on the struggle bus, I have finalized the design for the Plus Size version of the Sol Halter Top and made the PDF available for purchase. I’m pretty pleased with the end result, and even more stoked on these beautiful photos I got of one of my best friends modeling it. She’s a badass 🙂

You can get it in my Etsy Shop or my Ravelry Pattern Store for 5.50 USD.

DaniSol3.jpg

This hot little halter top goes anywhere from beach to festivals to yoga class! The top is designed for coverage and comfort while still feeling free to be your awesome, sexy self.

The Sol Halter top is designed for a comfortable, supportive fit that still looks fashionable with any outfit. Looks awesome layered with flowing see-through blouses, denim shorts, or long tiered skirts for a cool bohemian style.

This is the Plus Size version of the original pattern, designed to fit cup sizes D to DD, with an adjustable band length of 48-50 inches total length but adjusts down as low as 34-35″ (also easy to make longer!).

Pattern includes detailed, step-by-step directions with stitch counts and tutorial photos.

DaniSol2

Model: Danielle West

-MF

Pearl Ruffled Circular Vest

Just a quick collection of photos and notes from a project I recently finished, while I wait for everything to open this lovely Saturday morning (how come nothing is open before 9:00? I’m awake NOW, dangit)

“Pearl” Ruffled Circular Vest

I impulse bought 6 skeins of Patons Silk Bamboo, a smooth-as-butter DK weight yarn that has amazing drape, not knowing what I was going to do with it. Well, sometimes I get stuck on a design and simply need to do it over and over again in different ways, which is what is happening currently with my Lotus Circular Vest and Lotus Mandala Duster.

This small version of the Lotus Vest used up barely 5 skeins of the Silk Bamboo, plus some nameless but pretty ribbon yarn I still have a ton of. Here are my notes on how I modified the original pattern:

Pearl2

Follow Rnds 1-14 as directed in the original pattern.

Armhole Round: 15. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch-1. Sk next dc. (Dc in next dc, ch 1, sk next dc) 9 times. Dc in the next dc, ch 30. Sk next 24 dc sts. (Dc in the next dc, ch 1, sk next st) 19 times. Dc in the next dc, ch 30. Sk next 24 dc sts. (Dc in the next dc, ch 1, sk next st) 42 times. Join with a sl stitch to the 3rd ch of beg ch-4.

16. Ch 3 – counts as first dc. Dc in ea dc and ch st around. – 204 sts.

17. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. Sk next st. (Dc in the next st, ch 1, sk next st) around. Join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. – 102 ch-1 spaces.

18. (Sc in the next dc, ch 3, sk next st) 101 times. Sc in the next ch space, ch 1, hdc in the first sc of the round.

19. Sc in the same ch space, ch 3. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 3) 100 times. Sc in the next ch space, ch 1, hdc in the first sc of the round.

20. Rpt rnd 19

21. Ch 3 – counts as first dc in V-stitch pattern. (1 dc in the next ch space, ch 3, 1 dc in the same space) 101 times. 1 dc in the next ch space, ch 1, hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.

22. Sc in the same space, ch 4. (Sc in next ch-1 space, ch 4) 100 times. Sc in the next ch-1 sp, ch 1, dc in the first sc of the round.

23. Sc in the same space, ch 4. (Sc in the next ch-4 sp, ch 4) 100 times. Sc in the next ch sp, ch 1, dc in the first sc of the round.

24. Sc in the same sp, ch 5. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 5) 100 times. Sc in the next space, ch 2, dc in the first sc of the round.

25. Rpt Rnd 24

26. Sc in the same sp, ch 6. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 6) 100 times. Sc in the next space, ch 3, dc in the first sc of the round.

27. Sc in the same sp, ch 6 (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 6) 100 times. Sc in the next space, ch 3, dc in the first sc of the round.

On the next round, catch the tab of the ribbon yarn on the last YO of every other st, starting with the first dc.

28. Sc in the same sp, 6 dc in next sc – one fan made. (1 sc in next ch-6 sp, 6 dc in next sc) 101 times, join with a sl st in first sc of the round.

 

Alright, it’s 9 am now. Time to head out to the uhh… not the yarn store. *shifty eyes*

-MF

Quirky Crochet Leaf

I’m hunkered down through yet another day of downpour and thunder, which I don’t mind at all because it’s generally preferable to a drought and rain helps everything stay nice and green. Such as leaves.

And speaking of leaves (as if I didn’t purposefully steer the first paragraph to this subject), I’ve been tinkering with versions of crochet leaf motifs around the internet in search of something simple and fuss-free that would also let me crochet said motifs into long chains.

What I eventually came up with was this slightly off-kilter little leaf which combines double crochet and half doubles with a picot working into a single chain. I like it because a) it’s quick and dirty and b) it has potential as more than just a leaf – but more on that later.

Here’s how to work it, with any yarn and hook combo you prefer:

1.Ch 5 or more – the last 2 ch sts count as the beg chain. 4 dc into the 3rd ch from the hook.

QuirkyLeaf1

2. Work a ch-2 picot. 3 hdc into the same ch st as the first 4 dc.

QuirkyLeaf2

3. Rotate your leaf. You will now work the remaining stitches into the same ch stitch, but on the other side of the beginning stitches.

QuirkyLeaf3

4. 2 hdc into the space indicated.

QuirkyLeaf4

5. Sl st into the 2nd ch of beg ch-2.

QuirkyLeaf5

6. Sl st into the 2nd ch st from the motif on your original chain, anchoring the back of your leaf.

QuirkyLeaf6

6. Repeat! You can make these little guys as close together or far apart as you like, as long as you have a minimum of 5 ch sts on which to work them.

QuirkyLeaf7

I like how they lean a little, a bit like a paisley. The first time I worked these it was on a leafy halter top:

LeafyBralette1

But soon I realized they also had potential to be little raindrops, which is entirely appropriate for a rainy day like today:

RainbowBralette1

Or how about a nice free hat pattern using these little guys?

 

-MF

Art Yarn Overload

Thanks to a pro tip from a fellow Instagram spinner, I bought a jumbo bobbin and flyer kit for my Ashford Traveler wheel a few months ago and I have been loving it! Rather than get a whole new wheel for spinning bulky yarns, the jumbo bobbin kit allows me to spin all kinds of yarns on my regular wheel without taking up extra space.

That doesn’t mean I have quit drooling over the Country Spinner or the Majacraft Aura, but it does mean I have been experimenting a lot with art yarns. My most recent foray was with some BFL that I dyed and corespun in a gradient.

FireMtn1

First, I had to split and fluff the roving (factory processing in addition to the dyeing process compacts the fibers – easily fixed by whipping the roving around a bit)..

FireMtn2

Then I separated my colors so that I could spin them into a loooooong, bright gradient.

FireMtn6.jpg

Corespinning, or spinning fiber onto a core of pre-spun commercial yarn or thread, is one of my favorite techniques, because the resulting yarn has the smoothness and color-centric-ness (word? I don’t think so) of one-ply yarns, but you can still achieve soft, cushy yarns without worrying about your fibers pulling apart easily. This one is called “Fire in the Mountain” and is available in my Etsy shop, along with a bunch of other art yarns I’ve been hoarding!

Fire In the Mountain was spun from roving dyed in my most recent dye batch a couple of weeks ago, in which these three Merino Bamboo blends also got some color:

The rovings are also for sale in the shop! Basically this post is just a glorified shop update. But I’m okay with that if you are. To compensate, here’s more pictures of yarn I spun (this time from my personal use stash):

The jumbo bobbin also helps with spinning regular sized yarns, as I can fill two bobbins to the brim with singles and then ply them together uninterrupted (like I did with that 4 oz of lovely emerald green pictured above). I think these two yarns are about to find a home in another Lotus Duster

Happy spinning!

-MF