Fur Hats & Summer Stats

This summer is flying by, fueled by the need to commune and see my loved ones after the isolation and uncertainty of 2020. I keep in mind I’m lucky enough to have access to the vaccine, as there are many places that struggled to get their populations vaccinated and still so many people in danger of getting Covid 19 or the variant strains. As usual, gratitude is the name of the game.

Pictured above: the Yearling Headband spotted in natural habitat

So it’s been a busy season, and in addition to the full dance card I’ve managed a number of new designs and projects. This will be one of my “wrap-up and reflect” posts sharing my latest patterns, some new spins on old designs, and anything else that comes to mind πŸ™‚

Faux Fur Hats

Having stashed plenty of the Lion Brand Go for Faux Thick & Quick yarn last winter, I decided to make some room on my yarn shelf by busting out two new Ushanka hats from my totally free Ushanka Hat & Muff pattern. I’ve been getting ideas from the interestingly styled images on my vintage fashion & mori kei Pinterest board, in which mountain girls sport colorful accessorized layers paired with fur hats and boots. It was a bit hot out for that sort of thing, but I did get creative with my styling and layers in order to show off these two new Ushankas!

The first is a traditional Ushanka, with the earflaps attaching to the sides of the hat with buttons instead of ties on top as with the original one I made. The big Jumbo yarn and the huge hook make these hats doable in just a fraction of a day!

The second faux fur hat I made, I modified the original crochet pattern just a little by adding an extra round of stitches on top (following the formula of increases to continue with the flat circle). I wanted a slightly bigger profile on this one, and a more rigid “turn” from the top of the hat to the sides. To accomplish this sharp top edge, I worked the first non-increase round in Back Post Double Crochet instead of regular double crochet, which helped the stitches turn inward more sharply.

I also left the earflaps off of this one to give it a more “military” and less of a “trapper” look.

Of course, I had to include some more layered accessories so this outfit included my Cottage Vest design which was published this year and my Ramblers’ Mitts too! Those super neat bug tights are from MyTightsShop on Etsy.

Velvet Bralettes

As you can see with the Ramblers’ Mitts above, I’ve really been enjoying the variety of “velvet” or chenille type yarns this year, and I knew I had to make the Basic Bralette design in that ultra-cushy soft texture too. It came out as luxe as I imagined in Bernat Baby Velvet, the smaller (#4 weight) yarn version of their popular #5 weight yarn.

I got some more of the same Baby Velvet to make another! I also used the regular Bernat Velvet in black to make a super special Basic Bralette – I wanted to test the capacity of the Basic Bralette (and it’s modifier, the Curvey Bralette) design to go up to bigger cup sizes and it worked out beautifully! My friend wears an H cup size bra and with some modifications (which have now been added into the written portion of the main pattern) it was no problem to make the design fit.

Unfortunately, due to the aforementioned busy-ness, I haven’t gotten to take pictures of her in it yet. Hopefully those are coming soon. I am so pleased with how it looks, especially since I get questions about making the Basic Bralette in larger sizes a lot and now I can answer them more thoroughly, having done it myself πŸ™‚

Shown with this bralette, of course, is the Snapdragon Pixie Belt, which you can read more about by following the link πŸ™‚

Cottagecore Girlfriend Dress

I’ve loved taking short breaks with bits of sewing, particularly when it means I get to clean out some leftovers and fabric-stash bust a little. I made this light, floaty and sweet patchwork dress using my favorite patchwork skirt pattern, melded with a bodice that I freehanded. A criss-cross back tie and adjustable waistband made this really comfortable, and I also added eyelet lace cotton trim in gathered ruffles on the hem and a vintage embroidered tea towel pocket!

I called it my “Cottagecore Girlfriend” dress πŸ™‚ I learned a lot making it and hopefully will be able to recreate the bodice part for later versions – meanwhile this one has been added to my costume closet and already made an appearance in my “Moth Wizard” photoshoot for the Wizard Hat crochet pattern, which was just released!

Elf Coat Updates

On of the most major projects I concluded this summer was getting the Elf Coat pattern expanded and updated. I created a major update for the regular sizes Small-Large which included some rewriting and some additional extras like belt and pockets, but the long awaited Plus Sizes option didn’t get released until recently in June! Good timing for that, as it gives people plenty of time to get started on their coats so that they can wear them this winter πŸ™‚

You can find the directory to all the sizes and options for the Elf Coat through the page linked in the paragraph above – right now this includes sizes Small-2XL/3XL, corset back lacing, belt tie, and THREE types of pockets, all for FREE here on my blog (but you can also buy the full written patterns in my Etsy shop πŸ˜‰ and there might be a sale if you read a little further! )

New Growth & Designs

Pictured here is as much as I’m willing to reveal about the new pattern I have in the works! I try not to give too much away usually, as I just like to keep things a surprise and also because I’m terrible at committing πŸ˜€ But after 4 total reworks to this piece, I’m confident to say it’s mostly finalized and so I’m moving into the fine-tuning stage of development.

As you can see, this next one will be based on my Tree of Life motif, which has proved to be a great little free design – I have just enjoyed it SO MUCH, seeing people’s little happy trees pop up on my Instagram feed! You can get the free pattern for the Tree of Life Mandala wall hanging by following the link above. This motif also appears in my Embla Vest, a premium pattern in sizes XS-XL ❀

10K Sale!

Last but not least, my Etsy shop is ALMOST to 10,000 sales! Holy wow, I can’t believe it! We’ve got a few more to go though, so to incentivize I’ve created my “10K or Bust” sale which is running now through the end of next month – get ANY crochet pattern from my Etsy Shop 20% off, no coupon code needed!

I’m really excited to see that number roll over – I can still remember 10K sales on Etsy being some crazy, far-away dream of mine πŸ˜‰ The sale is schedule to last until August 28, 2021 – although I may extend it depending on how close to 10K we get!

As always, thank you for all your likes, comments, purchases, reviews, and encouragement!

-MF

Wizard Hat Pattern

You’d think that with two different magical pointy hat crochet patterns already written, I wouldn’t feel the urge to create another. At least, that’s what I thought when I added the Classic Witch Hat to my portfolio a year after I came out with the Hedge Witch Hat.

But of course, I was wrong – I saw a beautiful image of an even larger, taller pointed magical hat in irresistible autumn colors, made of solid wool and sporting pretty felted forest mushrooms, and I had the urge to create a hat with a similar silhouette on which to meld extravagant woodland features – and the Wizard Hat was conceived.

You can get the portable, ad-free PDF crochet pattern for the Wizard Hat in my Ravelry Store or Etsy Shop now! Click the links in the text to head there directly or keep reading for more info on this newest design πŸ™‚

I knew I needed a tight stitch to keep the tall crown of this hat upright, as well as provide a smooth surface texture, so I went with the extremely neat and handy Waistcoat Stitch for this design (click the link for the free tutorial). Worked in bulky wool blend yarn and a relatively small hook, the Wizard Hat took shape in no time and I’m very happy to be releasing this pattern today! More details on this pattern – plus info on the special sale – can be found below.

Wizard Hat

Don’t be caught at the wizard’s duel without an impressive hat! This extra-tall wizard or witch hat is the perfect headwear for serious magicians, wandering wise men, or your friendly village potion-maker. A plainly stitched hat makes a warm and fantastical accessory but is also a great canvas for extras such as hat bands, patches, and other fiber art embellishments.

The tall crown of the Wizard Hat is achieved with bulky weight yarn worked in the beautifully smooth and firm Waistcoat Stitch, an easy-to-learn technique that tweaks the placement of simple single crochet stitches to form a tight and unique fabric with a surface texture that looks like knit stitches. A full tutorial for Waistcoat stitch is available in the resources for this pattern, which also includes step by step written instructions and detailed photos.

Materials

5.50 mm hook (or size needed to obtain gauge)
Lion Brand Lion’s Pride Woolspun (#5 Bulky weight, 3.5 oz / 100 g, 127 yds, 80% Acrylic 20% wool) – color shown is Clay – 3 skeins
Stitch Marker
Tapestry Needle
Scissors

Finished Measurements: 13” tall from tip to crown, 23″ crown circumference, 46” brim circumference, brim width 3-3.5”

Language: English. Written in US crochet terminology

I’m offering a special BOGO deal for this hat pattern for one week only to celebrate the debut – you can get this brand new exclusive PDF for FREE when you buy any other crochet pattern from my Ravelry pattern store! This deal is only available through Ravelry through 7-29-21 – and you must use the code “WIZZARD” to get the discount ❀ If you miss this deal, be sure to check out my multi-pattern discount codes which are ALWAYS available and offer a substantial bulk-buying markdown!

Morale Fiber Pattern Store Discount Codes
Valid for both Etsy and Ravelry!
15% off of 2: MF15OFF
20% off of 3-4: MF20OFF
25% off of 5-6: MF25OFF
30% off of 7+: MF30OFF

These femme wizard photos also include a few other things made by me! The shawl is a version of my Cobweb Wrap crochet pattern, which I altered in length (following the mathematical formula for altering provided in the pattern instructions) and did in rows instead of rounds (don’t have notes for that part, sorry!)

I’m loving the patchwork dress I made from scrap quilting cotton and some vintage linens and laces gifted to me by a friend πŸ™‚ I periodically do sewing projects and am getting marginally better at them, and sometimes even meld them with crochet – I hope to be doing more of that in the future.

I haven’t had time to add my desired crocheted mushroom and forest-y felted embellishments to this hat design yet, so in the meantime I adorned my official wizard garb with one of my ethereal handmade moth clips from The Forest Fae.

As always, thank you for visiting and checking out my newest offerings! If you’d like to see ALL the Morale Fiber content, check out my handy Linktree!

❀
MF

Waistcoat Stitch Tutorial

Today I’m sharing a tutorial for the Waistcoat Stitch, aka the Knit Stitch! Despite the name, this stitch is a crochet stitch that’s actually very simple – it’s basically just single crochet – but creates a distinctive structure that’s perfect for tightly formed fabric with a smooth surface texture. Plus, it looks a bit like knitting πŸ™‚

Waistcoat Stitch (abbreviated to “WS” or “ws”) is worked in the round to achieve the smooth knit-look texture. You can work this stitch back and forth, but because the WS relies on the Right Side to create the effect, back-and-forth WS will not look smooth and pretty like in-the-round will. The firm texture, the neat look of the surface, and the reliance on working in rounds makes this a perfect stitch for hats!

In fact, I already have one hat pattern written in the Waistcoat Stitch, available both for free on my blog and purchasable as a portable, ad-free PDF – that’s the Vintage Derby Hat, shown above & below.

And I have yet another pointy hat being developed right this very minute, ready to be published soon, which also utilizes this awesome technique – so I’m doing a tutorial here today in preparation which includes a video demo – keep scrolling for the free instructions! ❀

Waistcoat Stitch Tutorial

So how do we work this amazing little stitch? As I mentioned, the WS is basically a single crochet, so you don’t have to learn any fancy yarnwork to create it. The secret to this stitch is all in where you insert your hook to draw up the first loop for your crochet stitch.

In the first round, you’ll be working traditional single crochet stitches into your ring or your round of chains (remember, we don’t work this back and forth but in rounds instead).

Once you have established a round in single crochet, the next round will work single crochet stitches but through the vertical bars of the stitch below, not through the top two loops as normal.

Highlighted here are the top two loops (first image above) where you would normally insert your hook to draw up the first loop for your stitch. In the second image above, I have highlighted the vertical bars of the crochet stitch below, which form a bit of a “V”. You’ll be inserting your hook in between these two bars from the front and emerging through the body of the stitch to the back of the work.

Pictured Above: Inserting the hook through the middle of the highlighted vertical bars of the stitch below

At the back of the work, the vertical bars of a single crochet stitch form an upside-down “V” shape. Your hook will emerge between these vertical bars, at the point indicated by the white dot.

Pictured Above: The hook emerging at the back of the work, between the vertical bars. The stitch beside it is highlighted to show the configuration of the bars when viewed from the back, with the white dot indicating where the hook should emerge.

From there, draw up a loop. YO and draw through two loops as normal to complete one Waistcoat Stitch. Your stitch will now emerge from the center of the stitch below, coming out from the vertical V shape.

Insert your hook again through the V of the next stitch, then draw up a loop and complete the single crochet as normal. Voila! You are working waistcoat stitch!

After a few rounds of this stitch, the texture starts to become very smooth and even, with the v-shapes mimicking the loops of knitting but with a firmer, thicker fabric perfect for structured projects.

Increasing and decreasing in Waistcoat Stitch are handled the exact same way as with single crochet, but again – inserting that hook in between the vertical bars instead of the top loops. So to increase, simply work two Waistcoat stitches in the next vertical-bar “V”, so that you have an extra stitch in the same place. To decrease, work a single crochet 2 together (sc2tog) but draw up your first two loops from between the vertical-bar “V”s πŸ™‚

I’ve created this video tutorial to help you navigate the basics of this stitch – I didn’t get quite the video quality I wanted for this, but I’m working on upgrading some of my technologies for doing better videos (and dealing with some malfunctions) so stay tuned and thanks for your patience πŸ™‚

Waistcoat Stitch Video Tutorial

As I mentioned (a lot) just love this stitch because it’s particular qualities are so good for hats! Firm fabric and a neatly smooth textured surface – it’s just perfect ❀ You can also substitute this stitch for regular single crochet in many simple hat patterns – I might try it on my Mori Girl Beret pattern next!

Thanks for visiting and stay tuned for my newest hat pattern, to be released in just a few days!
-MF

Mermaid Mitts & Sandals Update

I have some good news and some bad news! Let’s start with the good news:

The Mermaid Mitts & Sandals crochet pattern has been given a major update, which includes fixing some errors in the written pattern but also adding a bunch of bright, fresh new tutorial photography πŸ™‚ As a pattern designer, I’m constantly backtracking to check that my paid patterns are up to my current standard – I started publishing my designs in 2015 and I’m always learning as I go, so sometimes the older patterns just look flimsy compared to what I can do now. The Mermaid Mitts & Sandals pattern is the latest PDF crochet pattern to get a nice makeover.

Keep reading for all the details on this design or go directly to my Etsy Shop or Ravelry Store to purchase this premium crochet pattern (But you might want to keep reading because I’m offering a SALE on Ravelry, discussed below)!

So that’s the good news, here’s the bad news: This design was supposed to debut today as both a paid PDF pattern file update AND a FREE pattern re-release including a new video tutorial. Another thing I like to do with my older paid patterns as I update them is consider whether they would be good choices for offering a free version here on my blog – just like I did with the Rhiannon Cowl, the Mandala Tam, the Winter Poncho, and the Mandala Top. Free versions of patterns help both me and you, since I get more site traffic which leads to more sales, and people who can’t afford a ton of paid patterns get access to quality content they can enjoy and recommend to others πŸ™‚

But this is the bad news part, because I can’t offer the pattern on the blog or as a video today. For about two weeks now, my laptop computer has been inexplicably slow. It took me days to format the pattern update, and my computer has been so laggy and malfunctioning that it’s been very difficult to get any work done at all. I had scheduled the re-release of the Mermaid Mitts in updated PDF form, free blog pattern form, and free YouTube tutorial video form… but I’m nowhere near completing those last two items because my computer is SO FREAKING SLOW right now. 😦

SOOOOO here’s my temporary solution – A SALE! Buy any other crochet pattern from my Ravelry Store, get the Mermaid Mitts & Sandals PDF pattern file for free! You don’t need a coupon code, just drop the Mermaid pattern in your cart with any other pattern and go to checkout where the discount will be taken πŸ™‚ I’ll still be uploading this pattern for free and with a video tutorial in the future, once I fix whatever ailment is afflicting my technology. In the meantime, PDF pattern purchases are my main source of income and it would really help me out with the new technology costs if you took advantage of this deal – or, if you don’t need any more PDF patterns but still want to support my business, consider leaving a Tip in the Tip Jar! You can enter any amount of $1 increments to leave a tip in my secure, WordPress-backed payment system there. Any amount will be extra appreciated right now as technology is expensive but I can’t provide patterns without it ❀

Anyway, here’s all the details about the Mermaid Mitts & Sandals pattern, which is one I’m very proud of and I think you’ll love! ❀

Mermaid Mitts & Sandals

This fanciful beaded crochet accessory set is suitable for any mermaids, undines, or sirens that might journey onto land in search of a mortal to ensnare.
This is a two-in-one pattern that makes one pair of scaly armwarmers (wrist OR elbow length) and one pair of beaded barefoot sandals!

I love the unique design of the mitts, which feature the crocodile stitches only on the back of the hand, not surrounding the palm, for more practical wear. The barefoot sandals are a mystical twist on traditional crochet foot accessories! Includes tutorial photography to accompany the written instructions and separate tutorials for crocodile stitches and the beading technique used in this pattern.

Suitable not only for mermaids, undines, and naiads, but also dryads, nymphs, sylphs, and all other manner of fae and little folk!

Materials:
3.50 hook (or size needed to obtain gauge)
Lion Brand Coboo (#3 weight, 100 g / 232 yd, 50% cotton 50% Bamboo rayon) – about Β½ skein (this is the recommended yarn but this pattern looks GREAT with lots of different yarns, including many #4 weight and #3 weight substitutes such as Lion Brand Mandala or Red Heart Unforgettable)
32 6/0 seed beads (optional)
beading needle (optional)
tapestry needle
Gauge: 1 croc stitch scale = 1.5” measured across top

Pattern written in US crochet terminology.
Language: ENGLISH

I drew inspiration from a lot of places for this design but one that always stuck with me was a faerie-like croc stitch barefoot sandal that had bells at the tip of each croc scale – I adored them and I still plan on doing a bell version of the sandals soon ❀

As always, and despite the sometimes struggle-y nature of being a one-woman art business, I’m so full of gratitude. The online crochet community has been my home for over a decade now and it just gets better and better. It takes all of us to make it that way, sharing our creativity, ideas, inspiration, and encouragement to keep the passion of our tradition alive ❀ Thank you!

-MF