Rhiannon Cowl Crochet Pattern

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Eons ago (it seems) I designed a hooded cowl that was both simply constructed and could be worn several different ways. It started as just a scrap-buster, and I made a couple with random yarns and colors. The result was a fun project that was easy enough for beginner crocheters but was more interesting than just a plain old scarf. I dubbed it the Rhiannon Cowl after one of my favorite mythological deities.

HarvestSpirit3

And yeah, after the song too. Although I’m enough of a fantasy nerd that I knew about the goddess before I knew about the pop song.  But I digress.

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That was 2015. It didn’t take long before my pattern writing style changed, and I started rebooting some of my older files – the Rhiannon Cowl has been on the makeover list for a LONG time, partly because I have intended to make it available for free.

Today I’m excited to finally be both making over the pattern file AND releasing this crochet pattern here for free on my blog! Keep reading for the FULL pattern PLUS tutorial photos, or get the spiffy new downloadable, ad-free file now available in my Etsy Shop and Ravelry Store πŸ™‚ 

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I’ve made a couple changes to the pattern itself – I eliminated the #5 bulky weight instructions in favor of adding a new size: Large. This size is easier to wear doubled up (the Small can be a little tight that way) and will be wearable as a vest for a wider range of bodies.

I also got rid of the specific yarn requirements. I’ve always thought this pattern looks best as a scrap-buster and so I’ve left the yarn requirements general to reflect that – I used *mostly* worsted weight but some bulky weight sneaked in too and I think it looks great that way πŸ™‚

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I hope you like this fun, quick, fantasy inspired project as much as I do (now that its been gussied up) ❀

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Materials:
5.00 mm hook
500-800 yds worsted weight yarn – spare yarns work great for this piece!
Scissors
Tapestry Needle

Gauge: 6 sts and 3 rows = 2”

Finished Measurements:
Small- Approx. 72” circumference at the front
                ~ 40” circumference at the back
                ~ 15” wide
Large- Approx. 90” circumference at the front
                ~ 50” circumference at the back
                ~15” wide

DSC_0079

Stitches and Abbreviations:

st / sts: stitch/stitches

DCh: double chain – see my tutorial here:
                http://bit.ly/33nFcYe

If preferred, a regular chain stitch may be substituted for the double chain

ch: chain.

sl st: slip stitch

sc: single crochet

dc: double crochet

tr: treble crochet

sk: skip

rpt: repeat

rnd: round

ea: each

(parentheses): instructions inside parentheses are to be repeated the number of times indicated just outside the parentheses. When parentheses are followed by β€œaround” it means repeat the instructions until you finish the entire round.

beg: beginning. Refers to the first stitch or set of stitches made for the current row or round, i.e – β€œbeg ch-4” refers to the 4 chain stitches made at the beginning of the round you are working.

counts as / does not count as… : The first chain stitches at the beginning of the round are to gain height to start your round. Because this chain sequence is the same height as the stitches, it occasionally counts as the first stitch of the round and will be the stitch to which you join the end of your round.  If this chain does not count as the first stitch, you will skip it completely and join the end of your round to the next stitch after the chain stitches.

Size Changes: This pattern is written for two sizes: Small and Large. The instructions are written so that whenever there are two different instructions (a size change) those changes appear concurrently separated by a comma. Smalls follow the first number given, Larges follow the second number. So in β€œ(1 dc into each of the next 9 sts, 2 dc into the next st) 15, 19 times.”  Smalls will repeat within parentheses 15 times, Larges will repeat 18 times.

Instructions:

Foundation:  DCh 160, 200. Join with a slip stitch to the first DCh stitch to form a loop. Be careful not to twist.

Rnd 1: Ch 3 – does not count as first dc, dc in the same st as join. 1 dc  in ea of the next 159, 199 sts. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round.  – 160, 200 sts

Rnd 2: Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1, (sk 1 st, dc in the next st, ch 1) 79, 99 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4.

Rnd 3: Ch 3 – does not count as first dc, dc into the same st as join. 1 dc into each of the next 159, 199 Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round.

Rnd 4: Rpt Rnd 2.

Rnd 5: Ch 3 – does not count as first dc , dc into the same st as join. 1 Dc into each of the next 8 stitches, 2 dc into the next st. (1 dc into each of the next 9 sts, 2 dc into the next st) 15, 19 times. Join with a slip st in the first dc of the round. – 176, 220 sts

Rnd 6: Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1, (sk 1 st, dc in the next st, ch 1) 87, 109 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4.

Rnd 7: Ch 3 – does not count as first dc, dc into the same st as join. 1 dc into each of the next 175, 219 sts. Join with a slip stitch in the first dc of the round. –  176, 220 sts

Rnd 8: Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1, (sk 1 st, dc in the next st, ch 1) 87, 109 times.  Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4.

Rnd 9: Ch 3 – does not count as first dc, dc in the same st as join. 1 dc into ea of the next 9 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc into ea of the next 10 sts, 2 dc in the next st) 15, 19 times. Join with a slip stitch in the first dc of the round. – 192, 240 sts

Rnd 10: Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1, (sk 1 st, dc in the next st, ch 1) 95, 119 times.  Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4.

Rnd 11: Ch 3 – does not count as first dc, dc in the same st. 1 dc in each of the next 191, 239 sts. Join with a slip stitch in the first dc of the round. – 192, 240 sts

Rnd  12: Rpt Rnd 10.

Rnd 13: Ch 3 – does not count as first dc, dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 10 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc into ea of the next 11 sts, 2 dc in the next st) 15, 19 times. – 208, 260 sts

Rnd 14: Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1, (sk 1 st, dc in the next st, ch 1) 103, 129 times.  Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4.

Rnd 15: Ch 3 – does not count as first dc, dc in the same st. Work 1 dc in ea of the next 207, 259 sts. Join with a slip stitch in the first dc of the round.

Rnd 16: Rpt Rnd 14. Cut yarn and tie off.

Seaming the Hood

Fold in the piece in half, aligning the fold along the joining seam. Join new yarn at this corner – you will be crocheting into two layers of the scarf at once. MAKE SURE you are crocheting into the foundation round, NOT round 16. 

Rnd 17: (Work 1 sl st into the next st, working into both layers) 25 times. Ch 3.

Now working in only ONE layer and inserting hook into the bottom of each foundation chain stitch, (sk next st, dc in the next st, ch 1) 52, 72 times. Sk next st, 1 dc in the next st, ch 1. Join with the first ch-1 of the round.

The circle of stitches worked through one layer only will form the base of the next round – you will no longer be working into the 26 stitch seam that forms the back of the hood.

Rnd 18: Ch 3, dc in the same st and in ea st around.  sts

Cut yarn and tie off.

Leaf Motif Tie

1st Leaf: Ch 5. Join with a sl st to form a ring. Ch 3 – counts as first dc, 6 dc, 2 tr, ch 1, 2 tr, 7 dc into the ring. Join with a sl stitch to the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.

To begin the double chain, insert hook into one loop of the stitch below the slip stitch join and work one sc. Insert hook into the side bar of the single crochet. Draw up a loop (2 lps on hook). Yarn over and draw through two loops on the hook (one DCh stitch completed).  Double chain 160, 200.

2nd Leaf. – At the end of the double chain, Ch 5. Join with a sl stitch to the 5th ch from the hook to form a ring. Ch 3 – counts as first dc. 6 dc, 2 tr, ch 1, 2 tr, 7 dc into the ring. Join with a sl st to the first dc, then secure the top of the leaf onto the DCh cord with another slip stitch. Cut yarn and tie off.

Weave in all yarn ends!

Starting at the base of the hood, weave half of the tie in and out of the spaces between the dc stitches of Rnd 17. Weave the other half through the spaces of the opposite side. Ta-da! Your brand new cowl awaits your woodland adventures!

Wear it as a hood with the drawstring tied to form a warm capelet scarf – hood down, it becomes a shawl! Place the hood on from the back and place arms through the back opening to wear as a scarf vest, or double up the scarf loop around the neck for extra toastiness.

My style might change, but I still make all the same faces when I photograph myself πŸ˜› Cheers!

-MF

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Hedge Witch Hat Pattern

Sounds trendy to talk about how much you love Halloween these days, but like, I really love Halloween guys. No trend shame here. That’s why despite the myriad and awesome crochet witch hat patterns out there, I had to design my own. I wanted a certain look and after a few tries, I really like what I came up with!

This free crochet pattern works with worsted weight yarn in half double stitches, and utilizes the Switchback Join technique to keep the seam straight, which you can find in this free tutorial on my blog!

Please excuse the fact that I had way too much fun creating a vintage witch photoshoot πŸ˜‰

Hedge Witch Hat

Alternating forward leaning and backward leaning rounds, as per the Switchback Join technique.

Materials:
3.75 mm hk
#4 weight yarn – 1 skein

Gauge: 4 sts & 3 rows – 1” in hdc

Finished measurements: ~ 25″ on the inside, 36″ brim on the outside, 10″ height

Instructions:

Rnd 1 (back): hdc 8 into magic ring. Join with a sl st

Rnd 2 (forward): 1 hdc in ea st. Join with a slip st to first hdc of the rnd. – 8 sts

Rnd 3 (back):  Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in the same st. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in the next st, 2 hdc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st.  β€“ 12 sts

Rnd 4 (forward): Ch1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in the same st, 1 hdc in the next st. 2 hdc in the next st.  (1 hdc in ea of the next 2 sts, 2 hdc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st.  β€“ 16 sts

Rnd 5 (backward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in the same st, 1 hdc in ea of the next 2 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 3 sts, 2 hdc in the next st) 3 times.  Join with a sl st.  β€“ 20 sts

Rnd 6 (forward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in the same st and in ea of the next 3 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 4 sts, 2 hdc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st.  β€“ 24 sts

Rnd 7 (backward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in ea st around. Join with a sl st. – 24 sts

Rnd 8 (forward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in ea st around. Join with a sl st. – 24 sts

Rnd 9 (backward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 2 hdc in the same st. (2 hdc in the next st) 5 times. 1 hdc in ea of the next 12 sts. (2 hdc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st.  β€“ 36 sts

The first 6 increases
Hdc in the next 12 sts
Increase in the last 6 sts

Rnd 10 (forward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in ea st around. Join with a sl st. – 36 sts

Rnd 11 (backward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in ea st around. Join with a sl st. – 36 sts

Rnd 12 (forward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 2 hdc in the same st. (2 hdc in the next st) 8 times. 1 hdc in ea of the next 18 sts. (2 hdc in the next st) 9 times. Join with a sl st.  β€“ 54 sts

The curve of the hat will be offset from concentrating the increases on one side

Rnd 13 (backward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in ea st around. Join with a sl st. – 54 sts

Rnd 14 (forward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in the same st, 1 hdc in ea of the next 7 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 8 sts, 2 hdc in the next st) 5 times. Join with a sl st. – 60 sts

Rnd 15 (backward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in ea st around. Join with a sl st. – 60 sts

Rnd 16 (forward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 8 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 9 sts, 2 hdc in the next st) 5 times. Join with a sl st. – 66 sts

Rnd 17 (backward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in ea st around. Join with a sl st. – 66 sts

Rnd 18 (forward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 9 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 10 sts, 2 hdc in the next st) 5 times. Join with a sl st. – 72 sts

Rnd 19 (backward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in ea st around. Join with a sl st. – 72 sts

Rnd 20 (forward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 10 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 11 sts, 2 hdc in the next st) 5 times. Join with a sl st. – 78 sts

Rnd 21 (backward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in ea st around. Join with a sl st. – 78 sts

Rnd 22 (forward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 11 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 12 sts, 2 hdc in the next st) 5 times. Join with a sl st. – 84 sts

Rnd 23 (backward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in ea st around. Join with a sl st. – 84 sts

Rnd 24 (forward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 12 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 13 sts, 2 hdc in the next st) 5 times. Join with a sl st. – 90 sts

Rnd 25 (backward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in ea st around. Join with a sl st. – 90 sts

Rnd 26 (forward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in ea st around. Join with a sl st. – 90 sts

Rnd 27 (backward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in ea st around. Join with a sl st. – 90 sts

Rnd 28 (forward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in ea st around. Join with a sl st.  – 90 sts

Rnd 29 (backward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in the next 3 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 4 sts, 2 hdc in the next st) 5 times. 1 hdc in ea of the next 30 sts. (1 hdc in ea of the next 4 sts, 2 hdc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st.  β€“ 102 sts

The curve of the hat is offset again by concentrating the increases on 2/3rds of the hat

Rnd 30 (forward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1  hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 15 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 16 sts, 2 hdc in the next st) 5 times. Join with a sl st. – 108 sts

Rnd 31 (backward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1  hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 16 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 17 sts, 2 hdc in the next st) 5 times. Join with a sl st. – 114 sts

The following round offsets the increases to keep the brim from forming points.

Rnd 32 (forward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1  hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 8 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 18 sts, 2 hdc in the next st) 5 times. 1 hdc in ea of the next 9 sts. Join with a sl st. – 120 sts

Rnd 33 (backward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1  hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 13 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 14 sts, 2 hdc in the next st) 7 times. Join with a sl st. – 128 sts

Rnd 34 (forward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1  hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 14 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 15 sts, 2 hdc in the next st) 7 times. Join with a sl st. – 136 sts

Rnd 35 (backward): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc). 1 hdc in ea st around. Join with a sl st. – 136 sts

Rnd 36: Sl st around.

Weave in all ends to finish. I used some spare chenille yarn and a larger hook to double chain a thin hat band. These hats would be really cute with extras like felted leaves or buttons – I may have to make some more!

For more Halloween themed crochet patterns and tutorials, check out these:

Crochet Pumpkin tutorial
Jack-O-Lantern Mushroom crochet pattern
Candy Corn Baby Hat

And of course, I have tons more free patterns available – if you would like to check them out, visit my Free Pattern page!

❀ MF

Switchback Join Tutorial

In not one but TWO of my recent projects I’ve come up against that ubiquitous trait of circular crochet: The Lean.

Crochet stitches, for the most part, tend to lean in the direction of the dominant hand – so if you’re a right-handed crocheter, your stitches will lean right, and if you are a lefty, they will lean left. When working back and forth in rows, this balances itself out… but when working circularly (and therefore not turning) the lean gets compounded and you end up with a spiral pinwheel of joins and increases.

Which can be quite pretty, but not if you are trying to keep the seam in one place, or use your first stitch as a marker for the center of a circle.

I was trying to do both! Turns out, there are a few interesting fixes for this problem. The best technique I found was from the very talented Wilma Westenberg, which uses a method of skipping the first stitch every second round – check out her awesome tutorial here.

I like this method, but I wanted something more tailored to working in flat circles. So I did some experimenting and came out with the following method, which I call the Switchback Join. Like Wilma’s method, it alternates rounds in the following way:

Rnd A: Create a normal hdc join by working a slip stitch in the first st, ch 1 (or 2 if you prefer – I did 1 for this type of join to reduce bulk) and hdc in the same stitch to begin next round. – This round will lean BACK (or toward the dominant hand)
Rnd B: Join with a slip stitch, then skip one more stitch and add an extra at the end of the round to make up for it.

By alternating Rnd A (forward) and Rnd B (back), you create a switchback seam that balances itself and stays mostly centered.

The difference in my method is the way in which the first stitch of the round is skipped, and which stitch replaces that skipped one at the end. If you are interested, read on for the full photo tutorial for this method!

P.S- I also came across this very interesting method of “self-correcting” your crochet stitches in this brilliant tutorial series from Ira Rott. Mind blown! It doesn’t fully correct the slant of hdc seams, but it’s a seriously handy trick!

Switchback Join Tutorial

This tutorial works a flat circle in half double crochet, working non-continuously (meaning that we join at the end of every round). I will assume knowledge of how to make a flat circle – so I won’t be explaining the increases, etc. πŸ™‚ If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Rnd 1: You can and probably should count this as the first round, meaning it will be an A or backward leaning round, although I have to admit that I didn’t – oops. That will set me off-center slightly but it won’t matter much. Make Ring, 8 hdc into the ring. Join with a slip stitch to the first hdc of the round.

Pull up a loop
Draw through to create a slip stitch join.

Rnd 2: (A – backward leaning round) Ch 1 to begin the rnd (does not count as first hdc). 2 hdc in each st around. Join with a loose slip stitch. Remove your hook from the loop and insert into the Back Loop Only of the next crochet stitch. Draw the free loop through this back loop to complete the join.

Here’s the step-by-step:

Ch 1 to begin the round
2 hdc in the same stitch and in ea stitch around
Rnd 2 completed before the join
Leaving the loop on your hook loose, insert hook into the first hdc of the round
Make a slip stitch…
Then remove your hook and insert into the back loop of the next hdc stitch…
Then catch the loose loop with your hook and draw it through the back loop of the stitch. From this stitch you will begin the next round, with the slip stitch loop (highlighted in teal) open to act as the last stitch of the round.

Rnd 3 (B – Forward Rnd): Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc) to begin the next FORWARD leaning round. Now you have started the round off one stitch forward than you would have with a regular join. This offsets the backward balance of the stitches of the round below. The stitch we have skipped is replaced by the loops of the loose slip stitch join later. 1 hdc in the same stitch. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in the next st, 2 hdc in the next st) around. Work the last increase in the slip stitch of the previous round’s join. Join with a regular slip stitch join.

Once again, let’s take that step by step:

Ch 1 to begin the next round (A – Forward)
Insert hook into BOTH loops of the same stitch. The front loop may be tight, since you have already pulled on the back loop some.
Hdc in the same stitch
Work around, placing your last increase in the slip stitch of the previous join (highlighted in teal)
Join with a regular slip stitch join.

Rnd 4 (A – Backward Rnd): Ch 1 to begin the round (does not count as first st). 1 hdc in the same stitch, 1 hdc in the next st, 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 2 sts, 2 hdc in the next st) around. Join with a loose slip stitch, drop your loop and insert hook into the back loop of the next st. Pull dropped loop through to begin next round.

Here’s Rnd 4 step by step through to the forward join for the next round:

Ch 1 to start
Work around as normal
Work a loose slip stitch…
Insert loopless hook into the back loop of next stitch….
Catch the dropped loop and pull through.

Rnd 5 (B – Forward Rnd): Ch 1 to begin (does not count as first hdc). Hdc in the same stitch and in ea of the next 2 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in the next 3 sts, 2 hdc in the next st) around. Place final increase in the slip stitch of previous join. Slip stitch normally to join.

Getting the swing of it yet? πŸ™‚

Hdc in same stitch
Place final increase in slip stitch of previous join

Continue to alternate rounds as A/Backward and B/Foward to keep your seam balanced throughout the circle!

This method has the effect of also offsetting your increases a little, which will disrupt their slant and keep them from spiraling too!

If you’re working increases for every round, you can easily tell whether you are on a forward round or a backward round by where the increases are placed – if they are centered on the last round’s increase, you are working a Backward round. If they are placed just to the left or right of the previous round’s increase, you’re working a forward round.

I hope this little joining trick helps and inspires you – and if you have no idea what to use it on, fear not- I have a couple patterns in the works that will be utilizing the Switchback Join ❀ Thanks for visiting and stay tuned!

-MF

P.S – for more crochet joining trickery, check out my Chain and Stitch Join Tutorial!

Scrappy Knit Duster

A few years ago I espied some beautiful images of knit ruana-style shawls and ponchos that used striking color striping in a simple stitch pattern. The knit stitches were loosely made, giving the garment a pretty drape, and the simple tie-offs from color changing formed a natural fringe with a western look. The artist using this beautiful style, I found out later, was the Kristen Hoke of Posh By Gosh on Etsy.

I was enamored, for many reasons: its beauty came from its simplicity and versatility. It featured only knit stitches, so I could easily wrap my head around it. Plus, ample opportunity to play with color and use up spare bits of yarn! I rushed to gather all of my spare skeins and yarn bits, and started a massive upcycling project inspired by her knits – that was my first try, which became a blanket because as it turns out I was not very good at estimating knit sizes at the time.

No worries, though – I tried again, this time turning my inspiration into a project with a crochet twist! The knit ruana, featuring crocheted granny square edges, became the Wayfarer Ruana tutorial, available for free here on my blog!

By then, I was pretty satisfied but I also found myself addicted. These projects were so easy to pick up and put down (because of the endless mindless knitting, it was definitely stitch therapy) and they were so perfect for using up very small bits of yarn. I wanted to design another garment in this style! This time, with even less weaving in of ends. And how about wearable anywhere?

And more SASSY FRINGE?

So I got to work knitting up this Scrap Knit Duster, and put together a little tutorial for it along the way. The two front panels are great for using up very small balls of leftover yarn, especially singe there isn’t any weaving in ends (or at least, very little)!

And that’s not even a fraction of the yarn gumballs I have stowed away.

Since the garment is just made of rectangles folded and seamed, adventurous souls could easily translate this into a crochet piece (just keep your gauge loose so that the fabric drapes well).

Hope you love making it as much as I do ❀ If you do, why not give this project a fave on Ravelry?

Materials:

US Size 11 (8.00 mm) Knitting Needles, 1 set 24” circular (long straight needles are fine in substitute for this), 1 set 40” circular (necessary)

A lot of random scrap yarn ❀ I chose one neutral toned yarn to kind of become the β€œbackground” for the colored yarns, as well as a trim color.

Tape Measure

Scissors

Tapestry Needle

6” book, cardboard, or fringe making tool

Gauge: About 6 sts & 8 rows = 2” in garter stitch
Stitches Required: Cast On, Knit, Purl, Bind Off

Finished measurements: 38” long, bust and waist measurements variable

Instructions:

Begin by taking your measurements. You want the total circumference of the garment to be about as wide as the widest part of your frame (whether that’s your bust, your hips, or your belly) so that it will just be able to wrap you up. I used 34” as my circumference. It’s a little under my actual measurements, but I wanted my duster to be fitted to me, and I know this knit fabric stretches accommodatingly.

The main part of the duster is made with three panels. The two front panels, which are made to equal almost 1/4th  the circumference each, so half my measurement when added together. The one back panel is made to equal the other half, and is added after the first two panels are finished (this part is the same basic process as the Wayfarer Ruana, just not as wide).

However, I know I’m going to be adding a trim to the front, so my two front panels will be made a little shorter. 1/4th of 34” is 8.5”, but I’ll plan on adding almost 2” in border, so 6.5” or so. I decide that my front panels are going to be 20 stitches long each, which when plugged into my gauge, will land me at about 6.5” for each front panel width.

If you want a less fitted piece, just stick with the simple math – Each Front Panel is ΒΌ your circumference, and don’t worry about the trim length for now.

  1. Cast On 20 (or whatever number you land on)
  2. Rows 1-150: Knit each stitch. Change color at the end of the row when necessary or desired….

BUT….

ONLY change colors on one side of the piece. Either side is fine, but stick with one side. This is the side that will face β€œout” later, and form the fringe hem at the sides, saving you from having to weave in a bunch of ends.

Make 150 rows of garter stitch for the first front panel, DO NOT BIND OFF.

  • Stick your first panel on a holding needle and repeat this process for the second panel.
  • Once both of your panels are complete,  arrange your panels so that the tie-off fringe sides are facing away from each other. Using yarn and your long needles (circular or otherwise), begin to knit across the top of the first panel, starting on the fringe side. Once you knit across the first panel, CO 10 stitches for the collar of the garment. Then, continue knitting across the second panel, ending on the second fringed side.

These 50 stitches (20 for the first panel + 10 for the collar + 20 for the second panel) come out to about 16.5”. 16.5 + (6.5 + 6.5) = 29.5”. Add the (2” + 2”) on either side for the front color trim, and I will have my 34” circumference achieved.

But first…

  • Knit 150 rows for the back panel. Change colors at the end of the row whenever necessary or desired. Colors can be tied off on either side of the back panel.

Once you’ve finished the front and back panels, Cast off your piece. I like to use Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off (JSSBO), a video tutorial for which can be found here.

Sleeves

Fold your piece in half. Using your tape measure, measure from the top of your shoulder to the lowest part of your armpit. Double this number is how wide you need your sleeve to be – I got about 9”.

We will form the sleeve by picking up one flat row, centered on the same row as the collar is made. Picking up knit stitches from the side of garter stitch is tricky because we are only picking up ONE stitch per each TWO rows. So to get a 9” measurement, I need 28 stitches. (28 sts / 6 stitches per 2 inches = 4.6, or  9.3” inches.)

So beginning from the bottom of each panel, I count up from the hem 122 rows and place a stitch marker. This leaves 28 rows left on the front panel. Repeat count up 122 rows on the back panel (same side) and place a stitch marker.  Pick up 28 knit stitches in the side of these 56 rows that land in between your marked stitches, using your needles.

  • Knit 70 rows, changing color at the end of the row when necessary or desired.
  • Using your preferred border color, switch to working a 4 x 4 rib. Knit 4, Purl 4 and in in subsequent round, knit the knits and purl the purls. Work 5 rounds.

You can change your rib width based on what number your sleeve stitch count is divisible by – for instance, 28 is divisible by 4 so my ribs will be even. If you have 35, you can work a 5 x 5 rib instead, etc.

  • BO, preferably with a stretchy bind-off method as mentioned above.
  • Repeat same sleeve process on the opposite side.

Fold the entire garment along the middle line that runs through the center of the sleeves and the collar. It helps to lay it flat on the floor, so you can brush the fringe out flat. In this next part, we will use a tapestry needle and a length of yarn to seam the duster.

  1. Grab a long-ish length of yarn and thread through the tapestry needle. A simple whip stitch through both layers of edges is all that is needed to seam the garment up the side. Keep seaming from the bottom all the way to the sleeve end, starting a new seam if you run out of yarn.  Repeat for the opposite side.

To keep your tension even, pull the seam thread tight by stretching the garment out as you sew. Be careful to keep the tie-off fringe out of your seam.

Front Border

Once you have seamed up the side of the duster and through to the end of the sleeves on both sides, clip your thread and tie the ends off to blend them into the fringe (some you may want to weave in, such as the ends at the hem of the sleeves). Now it’s time to create the ribbed border around the front opening and collar.

  1. Using your 40” circular needles and your border colored yarn, Pick up 1 knit stitch from every 2 garter stitch rows along the inside border of the garment. If your panels are 150 rows long, you’ll work 75 stitches up one side, 10 into the collar, and 75 down the other side. 
  2. K 4, P 4 to create a 4×4 rib. Work 9 rows of rib by knitting the knits and purling the purls. BO using the JSSBO.

Almost there! Are you excited yet?

Extra Fringe

Now we’ve got a really rockin’ fringey thing going on, but the tie-offs look a little scraggly in my opinion, so I use my 6” book to create some fringe lengths by wrapping the yarn around then cutting through the bundle. You’ll have to lay out your piece flat again, and comb all the tie-off fringe out flat to prepare for the next step.

  1. Using a crochet hook, loop one strand of fringe in the side of every fringe-less row up the side of the body and sleeves. Repeat for the other side.
  2. Finally, weave in any stray ends that aren’t part of the fringe. Odds are you will have a few across the shoulders where the sleeve attaches – I wove those down into the seam for the most part.

Once you have all the extra fringe attached, arrange your duster so that the sleeve and the side of the body are laying long the same line, parallel. Comb all the fringe, including the tie off, so that it is laying mostly flat. Using a sharp scissors, give your baby a haircut – I went down to about 4″ for the fringe.

If you have any stray yarn ends that need woven in (such as scraps that ran out in the middle of a row, or border yarns from adding the trim), take care of those. Once you have, you are done!

Voila! Now you have a scrappy bohemian rock’n’roll knit duster that is warm and wearable, looks great with anything, and that you MADE YOURSELF πŸ˜€ !!!

Thanks for visiting my blog and making art with me – I think this may be one of my favorite things I’ve ever made! I say that a lot though πŸ˜›

It was certainly fun to photograph. I hiked up a VERY steep hill, camera gear in tow, in order to prance around in heels on the edge of a cliff. Who says knitting isn’t extreme??

-MF

Vintage Derby PDF & Hat Sale!

I’m excited to announce that I’ve put together the downloadable, printable, ad-free PDF for the Vintage Derby crochet hat pattern, which is also available for free on my blog here πŸ™‚

You can get it now in my Ravelry Store or Etsy Shop! But, there’s a sale going on now too – read on for more info!

I loved making this little hat and I’m getting inspired to make more styles of hats now the the brisker weather is visiting, if not setting in (it’ll be in the 90’s next week πŸ˜› ).

I mean, you know I’m a total hat fiend!

Anyway, I’m having a little sale through my Ravelry pattern store to celebrate – 50% off ANY hat pattern in my store, no maximum order and no coupon code needed! This sale is running through September 30 – so go grab some sweet hat patterns now! Here’s a peek at what I’ve got:

Filigree Lace Cap – based on my Lotus Mandala design!
Trickster Hood – a Tunisian crochet classic
A cute ribbed beanie design with a sweet little point at the top!
The Krampus – turn yourself into a yuletide demon!
Doe! A deer!
The Rhiannon Hooded Cowl – a hat AND a scarf!

Perhaps I shall go forge more hats now? I think yes.

-MF

Seasons Change and So Do I

Avocado Dream Catcher, made from handspun wool and alpaca fiber hand-dyed with avocado skins. I created the natural dye with vegetable waste from my job at the co-op grocery!

It used to be my practice to write a summer wrap-up post for Morale Fiber Blog, and though I haven’t always done so, I fall back into my old habit today! I won’t be going over summer projects so much as talking a bit about my life situation, my business, and where I hope to go in the future. It’s a bit more of an intimate look into how I, as a person, manage Morale Fiber.

That’s me, un-wigged and un-filtered and un-photoshopped. But with great lighting, of course. πŸ˜‰

I have loved fiber arts since the minute I was handed my first sewing kit as a child – when my mom taught me my first crochet stitches when I was 10 years old, that interest was cemented into a lifelong habit. In time I expanded into knitting, spinning, dyeing, and any other fiber craft I could get my hands on as well as my first love, crochet.

Fast forward A LOT – last December I finally graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Arts and Humanities. In addition to working full-time at the co-op grocery, since January I have been concentrating almost solely on completing and releasing all three adult sizes of the Elf Coat crochet pattern for free on my blog and as a purchasable PDF pattern. I poured so much energy and love into this design, and over TWO YEARS worth of experimenting and tweaking the pattern. Now the Elf Coat is currently competing for top popularity on my blog with my Lotus Mandala Duster. πŸ™‚

I’ve said it so many times : the BEST part about designing is connecting with other fiber artists and seeing what all the amazing, clever, resourceful people create with my patterns. I love seeing everyone’s projects and sharing them for inspiration, and this spurred me to accomplish another goal this summer – to start a Facebook group for my business based around boho, magical, and fantasy crochet designs, the Magic Fantastic Crochet Atelier.

The response has been, yes, fantastic πŸ™‚ I hope if you have your own designs to share that you will join us too! I love having this group as a way to connect more personally with those who follow my page and love the same craft that I do ❀

I’ve been amazed at the level of support my art has received, because really I’m just a silly fantasy nerd who decided years ago that I needed to put my stuff on the internet for some reason. When I look at where I am now, I know the Regina of eight years ago would not believe it. It’s a gratifying feeling πŸ˜€

Fast forward again – to just a few days ago, when a number of people contacted me to let me know a sham clothing company, using multiple web fronts, was using my Elf Coat images to sell what they claimed were my designs.

Unfortunately, as soon as I contacted one of the e-mail addresses provided for a website doing this, about 20 other false web fronts doing the exact same thing popped up, all under different names and all advertising to my followers on Facebook. Frustrating? Absolutely.

Getting ripped off sucks, and I’ve seen it happen to a number of my favorite indie artisans and designers. In fact, I’ve seen it happen to so many of my favorite designers, that being included in the same category as them is a tiny little bit gratifying actually, ha ha!

I am grateful that so many people rushed to my defense. I couldn’t ask to know better people through this business ❀ Yes, I had my image stolen, but ultimately the people who want to support me are those that want to make something for themselves, not buy cheap crap that may or may not be just a credit card number fishing scam.

That’s the real plus side to building my business on making patterns. Not only do I get to help create art all around the world, but I get to know and be supported by people who value the effort and time and satisfaction that goes into creating something with your own two hands. That’s love. That’s the love you wrap your family members and friends in when you make something for them. That’s the love you wrap yourself in when you enter the calming meditation of stitching. No one can mass manufacture that. No one can create that except for all of us, together ❀ ❀

Friends and beautiful models Arika Harris and Daisey Denson wearing my Feather & Scale Halter Top design

I’m tearing up, over here πŸ˜‰

So, that about concludes the ramble-y, emotional portion of this post. Now I’d like to talk for a minute about how I manage Morale Fiber. My revenue comes from two main sources: paid pattern sales and selling ad space on my blog.

As I mention on my Master List of Paid Patterns, selling pattern PDF files are my main source of business income. If you want to support me, buying my patterns through my Etsy Shop or Ravelry store is a great way to do so and get something awesome you can make in return!

Selling ad space on my blog also provide revenue, but it’s less than 5% of my overall take. And, let’s face it – it’s kind of ugly. I avoided doing it for a while because it was so ugly, but over several years of blogging I had too many images for my free blog plan to host and so I had to move to a paid plan. Ad space revenue helps me pay for the yearly subscription to keep my blog going so you can get all the latest updates and all those sweet freebies! Every time you view my blog page, I make a slight fraction of a penny.

The Hooded Lotus Duster, for which the full written patterns are available on Morale Fiber Blog.

A pretty good portion of my free time outside of my day job is spent managing Morale Fiber by making social media posts and responding to questions and e-mails for both my paid and my free patterns. I love to talk shop which is great because I end up doing it A LOT ❀

I also spend plenty of time designing. I fill my computer files and notebooks with jotted down ideas, test yarns and gauge, make drafts, make more drafts, make MORE DRAFTS, and hopefully finally come up with something I can write down as a pattern (but only after making this one more draft). πŸ˜‰

The Ida Shawl takes the win for most maddening amount of drafts.

It’s a labor of love, and I hope you love what I come up with. After the illegal theft of my images, I had the opportunity to see with new eyes that many people did love making my designs, and it helped me enormously. Today I wanted to humbly offer this third way to support my art – a donation button.

You don’t have to donate, and I am certainly grateful for the support no matter what amount of patronage you have or will give Morale Fiber. But if you do love my designs and want to show your support, as well as contribute to the creation of more patterns and designs by me, you now have this option!

Donation

Patronage Donation for Morale Fiber Designs

$1.00

I’m very excited about what I have in the works right now, including the long-promised Lotus Duster video tutorial, a new circular vest design with a ton of customizing options, a new scrap knit garment tutorial.. and that’s just the beginning.

As always, thank you so very much for visiting and thank you for creating art with me ❀

-MF

Daydreamer Poncho Revamp

Last summer I started working on the Daydreamer Poncho design, which I imagined as a fun lightweight accessory which would be good for using up spare bits of yarn and playing with color. The final product, or at least semi-final, came out great and I enjoyed the actual crocheting of the design as well, but I didn’t use scraps because I wanted to create a more streamlined product.

Mistake.

Okay, well, not mistake. I like the original, but I still felt it the design wanted to be more colorful and less structured. So I did another version recently, using a bunch of little scrap yarn balls and allowing myself to really play with color.

As I was making this piece, it occurred to me that it would also make a pretty cute bohemian skirt! Since it has a drawstring at the collar (or in this case, the waist) it was so easy to convert πŸ˜€ I left off the fringe for this one, and once I finished I just couldn’t wait to get it pictured.

So, I have updated the pattern with this new style! The pattern update isn’t much more than new pictures (I altered two other little rounds, to make it looser at the shoulders/hips) but I do think it’s a little more creatively inspiring. I hope that either way you love making it! ❀

Get the PDF for the Daydreamer Poncho in my Ravelry Store or Etsy Shop, or read the original info on this design on my blog.

This design uses a lot of Chain and Stitch joins, which are a great crochet trick to have in your skill box – you can find a FREE tutorial for that technique right here on my blog as well!

As always ,thank you for visiting my blog and supporting my art! ❀ Much love,

MF