Mandatory Summer Wrap-Up

This summer has been super busy but hugely rewarding, filled with family, friends, and outdoor adventurings. Like at Clifty Falls!

And playing with yarn… tons of that.

It’s been a little quiet on the blog the past few weeks as I’ve focused my attention on wrapping up in-progress projects, some old and some new, in preparation for starting my fall semester at IU. Allow me to make this up to you with pretty pictures! Here are some of the things I’ve been working on and dreaming up over the summer break.

Be prepared for vaguely categorized rambling.

Lotus Mandala Duster:

I was just insanely gratified to see the response this design got! I love being a part of the online crafting community, and seeing others create versions of my designs is one of my very favorite things about designing. Check out the project gallery on Ravelry to see some of the pretties being made from this pattern!

Though the pattern isn’t as proofed as I’d like, I am going to continue improving it as long as I keep making the dusters themselves. Next one I promise I will figure out an estimate of how much yarn it actually takes :/

The free pattern can be found here.

All three of these are also for sale in my Etsy Shop!

I’ve been fretting over the closure of this garment design, because I really didn’t think that buttons had the right aesthetic and I don’t personally enjoy using shawl pins (they’re pretty, I just end up losing things that aren’t attached to me). But with the Janis duster I cooked up a pretty good solution: four braided string ties on each side, mounted from the inside on a length of reinforcing slip stitching somewhere around Rnd 32.

If it managed to keep this large size duster on my shoulders, it will surely work for a size that actually fits my body! And, speaking of large sizes, I am still toying with figuring out a good strategy for increasing the size of the duster. I think a good guideline is to move the armholes further inward the larger you make it, but if you’re interested please see the full discussion in the comments section of the original post.

Handspun Art Yarns:

Since I got a jumbo bobbin kit for my Ashford Traveler, spinning art yarns has proven to be incredibly addictive, and I find myself dreaming up yarn weirdness and scrolling through pictures of art yarn on Pinterest endlessly. Here’s a few weird ones I’ve done recently:

Check out this great weaving from the Etsy shop Loom and Thistle, featuring one of my art yarns:


As far as stitching goes, I normally see art yarns being utilized by knitters. I’m not sure exactly why I don’t see crocheters use them as much, but I think part of the issue is that art yarns are usually lumpy and easier to utilize in a knit stitch than a crochet stitch. Since crochet is my main squeeze, I’m working on a pattern for crocheters that utilizes art yarn! Who knows, I may even come up with a few ๐Ÿ˜‰

Pattern Updates & New Patterns

I admit that I had entered the summer with a laundry list of patterns to complete, and only about half of them got done. One or two of them were scrapped – perhaps to appear at a later date, perhaps to appear never, who knows? I try not to force anything and only work on what is really inspiring me.

You know what inspires me? Amazing women of all types feeling confident and beautiful.

Which is why putting out the Sol Halter top in a larger size was really important to me, and why I spent so much time trying to make it the best it could be. Hopefully I accomplished that! My friend Danielle, show modeling above, seemed to enjoy it anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

I also spent some time updating older patterns, including the Woodsman’s Wife Ruana and the Filigree Lace Cap.

Lainy Clayton modeling in the new Filigree Lace Cap pattern

After getting some better equipment and taking a wild ride on the learning curve, I decided some of my older patterns needed makeovers. Perfectionism is a cruel mistress. I squeezed as many makeovers in as I could, but there are still a few more to go… in between cooking up new stuff, like the Freewheelin’ Poncho…


… which I hadn’t even planned for but just sort of came out anyway.

Pixie Pocket Skirts

Amidst all the pre-planning and pattern writing, it’s really nice to pause and make something off the top of your head. These Pixie Pocket costume belts are my take on a funky festival-centric crochet item that I’d been planning to try for, I dunno, years. ย The awesome thing about these is that they are so whimsical and fantastical that they really lend to using freeform techniques and making it up as you go along.

More info on these can be found in my Etsy Shop where they are for sale, including a bit about the materials I’ve been using – I especially love the look of the ones that include the tattered fabric skirt fringe. Also with those I get to rip stuff,which is hugely satisfying.

Even though these are freeform-ish, I’ve been toying the the idea of doing a sort of tutorial-style guide with mix-and-match options. At some point. Maybe. What do you think?

I messed about with the fun effects for this photo of me modeling the “Titania” belt. Am I slightly embarrassed to post this? Absolutely. Am I going to show you anyway? Yep.


Mandala Top Sweater

After the Lotus Duster, adding sleeves to stuff has sort of been my jam. One of the last things I’ve been finishing up recently has been these experimental Mandala Pullovers, using the Mandala Top pattern as a base. It’s looking pretty likely that this will end up as a paid pattern eventually, but I think I’ll change it up a little bit more first. A different mandala in the center, maybe? We’ll see!

Being the sneaky sneak that I am, I haven’t really touched on the big fall design that is definitely, without a doubt on its way to being completed for release. Earth, Air, Fire, and Water are great, but I prefer the element of Surprise.

For the record, I would like to say that the crochet/knit/fiber creative community is fabulous, and thank you everyone who has supported my stuff and commented and shared my work (or just lurked!). I freaking love you guys.


6 thoughts on “Mandatory Summer Wrap-Up

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  1. Ok, how exactly did you do the ties on the front of the duster. I was wanting to do the same for the one
    I made.

    1. Here’s how I did it: I turned the whole duster so that the wrong side was facing, and then joined a ball of yarn matching the yarn I used on Rnd 32. Using the same size hook as for the main body, I slip stitched into each dc of the fans on one side, then reattached and did the same on the other side so I had two long strips of slip stitching on each side. Then, I took the same color yarn and wrapped it around a 14-inch length (I use my upper arm and shoulder) 6 times, then cut one end so I have a bundle of 6 28-inch strands. I double these over and loop them through one slip stitch. Repeat 3 more times on the same side, then do 4 bundles on the opposite side as well, making sure to line them up evenly.

      After you have all 8 strand bundles, braid them tightly and secure them at the bottom. ๐Ÿ™‚

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