Wayfarer Ruana

ruanapin

When I began drafting this post over a year ago, it was to take notes on my first attempt at some of the beautiful and colorful knit ruanas I had seen floating around online. Unfortunately for me, that first attempt (which took over a year for me to finish!) just didn’t turn out. It happens. The final product was pretty, but just too big to conceivably wear, even after several attempts at damage control. It makes an incredible blanket, however.Β  And since the point was to use up small scraps of leftover yarn, it was indeed effective.

DSCN7890

DSCN7891

And yet somehow that bag of scrap yarn remained full for the entirety of the two years I’ve been developing this πŸ˜›

Maybe it wasn’t so unfortunate. After all, I had an incentive to try to do it again, and this time I had a few additional touches I was excited about trying. So, I started the NEXT one. Good thing too, because if there is one thing I love to have around, it’s a big colorful knitting project that requires zero brainpower.

ruana5

My favorite projects do tend to involve recycling and reusing stuff, and this thing has supreme scrapbusting capabilities. Especially on the two skinnier front panels, you can really use up fairly small lengths of leftover yarn with ease, because you don’t have to weave in those ends! At least, not as many ends as you’d think, as long as you change yarns at the end of the row. I mostly hit the mark on this, usually with just a yard or two to spare on whatever tiny yarn ball I was using. Occasionally I gambled on a small length and lost, and had to change mid-row.

ruana4

Since the yarn ends on the outside edges of the ruana are left knotted and then blended in with the added fringe, you save a ton of time doing that much-maligned finishing work. But you still have to weave in the ends for the grannies πŸ˜›

ruanacover8

I hope you enjoy the free tutorial I whipped up for this project – it’s more of a guide than a pattern, since the dimensions/materials/yardages are left somewhat variable and a lot of it is open for (and it fact demands) personal interpretation and creativity! Of course, if you have any questions about how I did mine, don’t hesitate to ask πŸ™‚ And, if you like it, throw me a favorite on the Ravelry project page.

ruanacover7

Oh, and this thing is COZY. Basically this wrap cocoons you in soothing waves of color and texture and mind-melds you with the universe. Basically.

ruanacover2

ruanacover9

Wayfarer Ruana

ruanacover11

Final dimensions: Roughly 65″ x 65″ when laid flat.

Materials:

Part 1 (Knit):

8 mm (US size 11) knitting needles (24″ circular and 40″ circular)
A whole buncha yarn – I used mostly #4 and #5 weight from leftovers. If you’ve got thinner yarn you want to use up, remember you can always double it up with another strand! I used 4 skeins of a silver bulky weight (I Love This Chunky from Hobby Lobby) as my “base” yarn, using a little in the main body and 3 skeins for the trims and collar.

Part 2 (Crochet):
4.50 mm crochet hook
DK weight yarn – I used a variety of colors (20 skeins) from Drops Lima, a wool/alpaca blend, and had plenty left over.

Tapestry Needle
Scissors

Techniques:

Part 1 (Knit):
Cast on (CO)
K (knit)
P (purl)
Stretchy bind off (tutorial video here)
Standard bind off
Picking up stitches from the edge of the row (tutorial video here)
Not absolutely necessary but I found to beΒ extremely helpful: this tutorial on speed knitting by RJ Knits.

Part 2 (Crochet):
Magic Ring (MR)
Double crochet (dc)
Chain (ch)
Slip stitch (sl st)
Granny square join-as-you-go (great tutorial here)

Part 1 Instructions: The Main Body

Using spare balls of scrap yarn / orphan skeins / leftover yarns

1.CO 50 sts to the 24″ circular knitting needles
2. Turn, K every stitch across
3. Rpt Step 2, changing yarn at the end of the row whenever you think you don’t have enough for another full row (or whenever you feel like it). Tie the old yarn tail and the new yarn tail into a knot. Work until you have 130 rows. Transfer your piece to a stitch holder – this completes the first front panel, one of the two skinny halves of the front.

4. For the second front panel, repeat Steps 1-3 until you have another full 50 st x 130 row piece.

5. Switch to your 40″ circulars and knit your first rectangle onto the new circulars. Cast on 10 extra stitches, then knit your second rectangle on. You now have both of your front panels, plus 10 new stitches in between for the collar, on the 40″ circular needles.

ruana3

Close-up of the collar area

6. Turn, knit every stitch across, continuing to change & knot yarn as before. Work 130 total rows.

ruana2

5. Bind off. My favorite is the stretchy bind-off, directions for which are in this great video from Knitting with Cheryl Brunette.

Trim:

1. Using the the 40″ circular, pick up sts along the edge of the piece – I used myΒ  bulky “base” yarn and got about 180 stitches (1 stitch per 2 rows). Here’s a great videoΒ from the indomitable Purl Soho on picking up stitches from the side of garter stitch rows.

ruana11

Picking up stitches from the side of the rows, front side

ruana12

Picking up stitches from the side of the rows – view from the back. Notice the ridge formed by the side of the rows on this side – this is where we will attach the extra fringe later.

2. K for 10 rows. Bind off using the standard method – to make the Part 2 joining easier, I would not recommend stretchy bind-off here.

3. Repeat trim on the other side, making sure that you work the second edge with the same side facing, positioning all ends to the back of your work (so that the fringe will be all on the same side).

Collar:

ruana13

1.Β  With 40″ circular needles, pick up stitches on the side of the rows beginning on the inside of the front panel up to the collar, then around and down the inside of the of the opposite panel (remember only 1 stitch per 2 rows)

From this row of picked up stitches we’ll work a 4×4 rib. If you are picky about not ending up with partial ribs, you could go to the trouble to make sure the amount of stitches you pick up is divisible by four, but I didn’t – and was divisible by four anyway! Lucky me.

ruana14

2. For the 4 x 4 rib, *K 4, P 4* across the entire row. Work 8 total rows in the rib by knitting the knit stitches and purling the purl stitches in every row. Cut yarn and tie off. Weave in any ends from the main body left on this inside edge.

ruana15

PART 2 Instructions: Granny Square Trim

4.50 mm crochet hook
Assorted DK weight yarns
Gauge: 1 square = 6″

Next we’ll make TWO separate strips of 11 granny squares (about 6 inches in length each). You can definitely use scrap yarn here too, but I used a set of colors from Drops Lima yarn for a more uniform appearance.

ruana7

To begin the granny square, make a magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2 dc into the ring, ch 3. (3 dc into the ring, ch 3) 3 times. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round. Cut yarn and tie off.

ruanagranny1ruanagranny2

Rnd 2: Join new yarn to any ch-3 space. Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2 dc in the same sp, ch 3. 3 dc in the same space, ch 1. (3 dc in the next ch-3 space, ch 3, 3 dc in the same sp, ch 1) 3 times. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round. Cut yarn and tie off.

ruanagranny3ruanagranny4ruanagranny5

Rnd 3: Join new yarn in any ch-3 space. Ch 3 (counts as first dc) 2 dc in the same sp, Ch 3, 3 dc in the same space, ch 1. 3 dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1. (3 dc in the next ch-3 space, ch 3, 3 dc in the same space, ch 1. 3 dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) 3 times. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round.. Cut yarn and tie off.

ruanagranny6ruanagranny7

Round 4: Join new yarn in any ch-3 space. Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2 dc in the same space, ch 3. 3 dc in the same space, ch 1. (3 dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) twice. [3 dc in the next ch-3 space, ch 3, 3 dc in the same space, ch 1. (3 dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) twice] 3 times. Join with a slip stitch to the first dc of the round. Do not cut yarn.

ruanagranny8ruanagranny9

Rnd 5:

If this is your first square for the strip, work as normal. If this is not your first square, connect ONE of the sides to the previous square on the strip by beginning with any chain-3 corner and ending with the next, using this join-as-you-go methodΒ from Attic 24. If you prefer, you could also make all squares individually and seam them later πŸ™‚

Sl st in the next 2 dc and in the next ch st so your hook is positioned to begin the next round at the ch-3 corner. Ch 3 (counts as first dc)Β 2 dc in the same space, ch 3. 3 dc in the same space, ch 1. (3 dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) 3 times. [3 dc in the next ch-3 space, ch 3, 3 dc in the same space, ch 1. (3 dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) 3 times] Repeat [bracketed] instructions 3 times total. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round. Cut yarn and tie off.

ruanagranny10ruanagranny11ruanagranny12

Joining Seam

Once you have your 2 strips of grannies, check to see if they are roughly the length of the sides of the ruana by laying the strip against the edge of the trim. Ballpark is fine here, you just want to make sure neither piece is overly stretched or scrunched to match. You may end up needing one more or less granny, depending on your gauge and yarn choices.

Weave in all your ends and block if desired. Lay out the main body of the ruana and settle your granny strip up against the trim, the RS of the granny facing the same side as your ridge (where the fringe will be). Thread a tapestry needle with some spare DK weight yarn and use a simple whip stitch to attach the granny squares to the trim of the ruana all the way down across. Repeat on the other side.

ruana10

Clean up any ends remaining from your joining seam.

Fringe:

Using a 6″ piece of cardboard, book, or other object to wrap yarn around, cut a bunch of lengths of yarn for your fringe. Fold each length in half, then loop through the ridges made from picking up the stitches along the edge of the main body.

ruana8

Catch the leftover ends of knotted yarn in your fringe as you go, repeating across the edges on either side of the ruana. Once you have finished, cut the fringe down to just a little longer than the garter edge trim (you don’t want it covering your pretty grannies too much).

ruana9

Hunt down any stray ends that may need weaving in, then sink into the cozy rainbow bliss.

ruanacover6

 

ruanacover10

Kudos to model Daisey Denson for keeping that hat on her head like a champ despite the very GUSTY winds coming off the lake!

ruanacover1

-MF

Advertisements

Rambler’s Mitts

I’ve got a quick free pattern for some basic fingerless gloves today, using just one skein of bulky weight yarn! Fingerless mitts are some of my favorite projects for spare yarn skeins, and a great beginner crochet project too.

Mitts3

A recent spell of pretty weather has had me thinking of the Charles Dickens quote: “It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” It’s not quite March yet, but I’m already looking forward to wandering in the woods to find the first treasures of spring!

Mitts5

These quick & easy mitts are just perfect for woodland ramblings. They feature an alternating front post / back post hdc at the wrist and trim – you can find a tutorial linked below! These are also great fun to customize with extras – I added little embroidered fawn spots to mine.

Mitts8

Rambler’s Mitts Free Pattern

Mitts4

Materials:
5.50 mm hook
1 skein Bamboospun (#5 weight 3 oz/112 yds)
Tapestry needle & scissors

Techniques: Post Stitch RibbingΒ – this tutorial is for post stitches using double crochet, but the same theory can be applied for the half-double crochet post stitches which are used in this pattern.

Stitches: Ch, hdc, fphdc, bphdc, sc, sl st

To begin, Ch 24. Join with a sl st to form a ring, being careful not to twist.

Rnds 1: Ch 2 (does not count as first st), 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 23 sts. Join with a sl st to the first hdc of the rnd. – 24 hdc.

Rnd 2: Ch 2, 1 fphdc in the same st. 1 bphdc in the next st. (1 fphdc, 1 bphdc) around. Join with a sl st to first hdc of the rnd. – 24 fp/bp hdc

Rnds 3-7: Rpt rnd 2.

Rnd 8: Ch 1 (does not count as first st), sc in same st. Sc in ea of the next 23 sts. Join with a sl st to first sc of the rnd. – 24 sc

Rnds 9 -13: Rpt Rnd 8

Rnd 14: Ch 2, 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 9 sts. Ch 5, sk next 5 sts. 1 sc in ea of the next 9 sts. Join with a sl st to the first sc of the rnd. – 19 sc, 5 ch sts

Rnd 15: Ch 2, 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 9 sts, 1 sc in ea of the next 5 ch sts, 1 sc in ea of the next 9 sts. Join with a sl st to first sc of the rnd. – 24 sc

Rnds 16: Rpt Rnd 15

Rnd 17: Ch 2 (does not count) 1 hdc in same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 23 sts. Join with a sl st to first hdc of the rnd. – 24 hdc

Rnds 18 – 19: Rpt Rnd 2

Mitts6

Thumbs

Rnd 1: Reattach yarn to one of the skipped stitches from Rnd 14. Ch 2 (does not count as first st). Hdc in the same st and in ea of the skipped stitches and in the bottom of the chain stitches. Join with a sl st in first hdc of the rnd – 10 hdc

Rnd 2: Ch 2 (does not count), hdc in the same st. Hdc in ea hdc around – join with a sl st. Cut yarn and tie off.

Mitts7

Weave in all ends and enjoy!

Mitts2

If fingerless mitts are REALLY your thing, you might like my Basic Armwarmers Tutorial – also a free pattern πŸ™‚

-MF

Spiral Sweater Pattern

During the winter I often turn to comforting, simple stitch patterns that don’t require a ton of mental fortitude (something I frequently lack during the semester). When I decided I wanted to crochet a pattern with a simple spiral design, I quickly settled on the subtle, hypnotizing rings of a continuous round worked through only the back loop. So meditative! Much Om!

Spiral6

The rest of the design elements of this pattern seemed to fall into place, leaving just the math for me to figure out. Well, math, and how to get pictures of it in the middle of an alternately sloppy and freezing month. Luckily we had one or two days that weren’t too cold!

Spiral2

I hope you find this pattern as soothing to make as I did (and as fun to wear afterward). This PDF pattern is exclusively available for 5.50 USD in my Ravelry Store or Etsy shop – Read on for more info!

Spiral16

 

SpiralCover2

The Spiral Sweater is all about the simple, elegant details – a pretty picot trim at the cuffs, some fringe for drape and movement, and an optional set of sweet half-moon pockets compliment this round-and-round circular wrap cardigan.

SpiralCover1

The circular body of the sweater is capped by shawl collar and straight sleeves, with chain cords that thread through the stitches of the fabric for a figure-flattering wrap at the waist. Simple construction makes this project suitable for Easy level crocheters, but it also features a few fun techniques including the double chain and the linked double crochet, both offered as free tutorials on my blog!

Linked Double Crochet
Double Chain

Spiral10

The Spiral Sweater is written for four sizes – X-small (shown in Soft & Sleek “Brownie), Small (Not pictured), Medium (Soft & Sleek “Navy”), and Large (Rustic Romantic “Window Ivy”, below). And, as usual, lots of tutorial picture references and detailed, step by step instructions are included in the PDF!

SpiralCover3

Materials

6.00 mm hk

Yarn Bee Rustic Romantic (#4, 3.5 oz / 228 yds) – 5 (6, 7, 8) skeins
-OR-
Yarn Bee Soft & Sleek (#4, 5 oz / 257 yds) – 4 (5, 6, -) skeins (Soft & Sleek not recommended for size LG)
3 stitch markers (at least 2 locking)

Tapestry needle & Scissors
6″ width cardboard or book for making fringe

Finished Measurements (Approx.):
XS: Cross Back 14”, Bust 34”, Sleeve Length 18”, Sleeve Circumference 11″
SM: Cross Back 15”, Bust 36”, Sleeve Length 19”, Sleeve Circumference 12″
MD: Cross Back 16.5”, Bust 38”, Sleeve Length 20”, Sleeve Circumference 13″
LG: Cross Back 17.5”, Bust 40”, Sleeve Length 21”, Sleeve Circumference 14″

Total Length (excluding fringe): 25” (29”, 34”, 38”)

Pattern Written in US terminology.

Congratulations, you have reached the end of the text portion of this post… how about some more pictures? πŸ˜€

Spiral17

Spiral7

Spiral13

Spiral25

Spiral11

-MF

Linked Double Crochet Tutorial

Years ago, I was crocheting a mysterious pineapple stitch market bag (I can’t seem to locate the pattern now) when I ran up against a stitch I hadn’t yet heard of: the linked treble crochet. After a few wonky stitches representing my first learning attempts, I had a band of prettily textured, smooth treble crochet stitchesΒ without holes in between them. This seemed like a tiny miracle to me, since as we know the taller stitches in this lovely craft of ours are pretty hole-y. Which is sometimes great. But sometimes not.

That pretty linked stitch stuck in my mind long after I finished off the project, so I came back for more – and found that you could link any tall stitch, which I consider one of the handiest little bits of hook wizardry to know!

ldctutecover.jpg

Today I want to share the Linked Double Crochet tutorial, which I think is a good introduction to linked stitches and ALSO happens to be a featured stitch in my upcoming new pattern πŸ˜‰Β  As you’ll see, linked double crochets are a neat, nice looking and easy way to eliminate gaps between stitches, which is great tool for garments that can’t be see-through or to reinforce areas of crochet for durability.

DaniSol4

Here is a shameless plug for the Plus Size Sol halter top pattern, in which I used linked double crochet (ldc), seen above! I also find ldc does a very nice job at creating borders for Tunisian crochet fabric like in my Shaman Coat pattern– the texture and density of the two stitch styles work well together.

ldcshaman

Neat, huh? So let’s do this!

Linked Double Crochet (ldc)

LDCtute9

Linked double crochet (ldc) uses the middle (horizontal) bar of the previous dc stitch to draw up a loop, instead of using a yarn over wrap as for a normal dc. This loop is then crocheted into the stitch as the yarn over would be, and the resulting stitches are linked by their horizontal bars.

Step 1:Β 

LDCtute1

Beginning with the first dc of your linked double crochet section, locate the “bar” of the stitch which runs diagonally across the middle, shown here highlighted in blue. Insert your hook, from top to bottom through this one strand.

If you are beginning a new row and not starting in the middle of a row of regular stitches, you can insert through the front half of the second chain of the turning chain, or make a regular dc to start.

LDCtute2

Step 2:

LDCtute3

Yarn over and draw up a loop through this strand. The loop just made stands in for the YO wrap that would normally begin a double crochet stitch.

Step 3:

LDCtute4

LDCtute5

Insert hook into the next stitch and draw up a loop – three loops on the hook.

Step 4:Β 

LDCtute6

Yarn over and draw through 2 loops.

LDCtute7

Yarn over and draw through two loops again to complete the stitch. The new stitch now has a middle bar (bright blue) that is linked to the middle bar of the previous stitch (faded blue).

To continue,Β keep inserting your hook into the middle bar of the previous ldc and drawing up a loop to replace the yarn over. The result is a line of sturdy but flexible stitching with a pleasing lined texture.

LDCtute9
Aww, it’s like they’re holding hands.

 

And about those linked treble crochets I mentioned at the beginning of the post – since they’ve got TWO middle bars, you can just draw up two loops – which stand in for the TWO yarn overs you would do for a regular treble. Pretty slick, eh? I think so.

-MF

 

Forest Girl Beret Free Crochet Pattern

As I mentioned in a recent post, I’ve been geeking out about Mori Kei (“forest style”), one of many fascinating Japanese street styles. I mean… combining forest themed accessories, layered skirts, and crochet/knitwear? Plus crazy socks?? Sign me up.

 

And of course, my proclivity for putting horns on things fits right in. So when I saw this adorable antlered beret on Pinterest, I was inspired to create my own version. Paired with a Mori-inspired outfit of course.

ForestGirl4

The hat pattern itself is a slight modification of the Sweetheart Beret, a free pattern I made two years ago. The antlers are new, done more simply than the bigger antlers I make for my Deer Hat pattern.Β  Hope you like this new little project, and be sure to share on Ravelry if you do!

beretcover1

Forest Girl Beret

ForestGirl1

Materials:
5.00 mm hook, 3.50 mm hook
1 skein Buttercream Mohair Metallic (#5 Bulky, 3.5 oz, 188 yds)
30-40 yds brown DK weight yarn for antlers (Worsted weight is fine, too)
Tapestry needle
Size 5 knitting DPNs (optional)
Gauge: 7 sts & 5 rows = 2” in hdc

Notes:

The Ch 2 at the beginning of each round DOES NOT COUNT as the first st of the round.

Instructions:

To begin, make a 6 row I-Cord using either the knit technique or the crochet I-cord technique (Planet June has an excellent tutorial on the crochet version)

On the sixth row, transfer all three loops (if knitting) onto your 5.00 mm crochet hook.

DSC_2667

Grab the loop closest to your hook end and draw it through the other two loops on the hook, leaving you with one loop on the hook.

DSC_2669

Rnd 1 : Ch 3. Join with a slip stitch to the first chain to form a ring. This gives you a ring attached to the base of the I-cord. With the I-cord at the back, Ch 2 and work 8 hdc into the ring, then join with a slip stitch to the first hdc, (remember this is NOT the beginning ch-2). You will have a circle of 8 hdc stitches with the I-cord off center from the beginning ring on the wrong side of your stitching, which is where it will stay until we center it later.

DSC_2671

I-cord with ch-3 ring made

DSC_2672

8 hdc into the ring

Rnd 2: Ch 2. 2 hdc into the same st. (2 hdc in the next st) 7 times. Join with a sl st. – 16 sts

Rnd 3: Ch 2, hdc into the same st. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in the next st, 2 hdc into the next st) 7 times. Join with a sl st – 24 sts.

Rnd 4: Ch 2, 1 hdc in the same st and 1 hdc in the next st. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc into ea of the next 2 sts, 2 hdc into the next st) 7 times. Join with a sl st – 32 sts

Rnd 5: Ch 2, hdc in the same st and in ea of the next 2 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc into ea of the next 3 sts, 2 hdc into the next st.) 7 times. Join with a sl st – 40 sts.

Rnd 6: Ch 2, 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 into the next st.) 7 times. Join with a sl st – 48 sts.

Rnd 7: Ch 2, hdc in the same st and in ea of the next 4 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 5 sts, 2 hdc into the next st.) 7 times. Join with a sl st – 56 sts.

beret2

At this point, my circular pattern is starting to form telltale points at the increases. To keep the work nice and rounded, the next round offsets the increases – although the total number of increases remains the same.

Rnd 8: Ch 2, hdc in the same st and in ea of the next 2 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 6 sts, 2 hdc into the next st.) 7 times. Hdc in ea of the next 3 sts. Join with a sl st – 64 sts.

 

Rnd 9: Ch 2, 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 7 sts, 2 hdc in the next st.) 7 times.Β  Hdc in ea of the next 3 sts. Join with a sl st – 72 sts.

DSC_2675

A few stitches before the end of Rnd 9

Rnd 10: Ch 2, hdc in the same st and in ea of the next 4 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 8 sts, 2 hdc in the next st.) 7 times. Hdc in ea of the next 3 sts. Join with a sl st – 80 sts.

In the next round, we will offset the increases again.

Rnd 11: Ch 2, hdc in the same st and 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.) 7 times. Join with a sl st – 88 sts.

Rnd 12: Ch 2, hdc in the same st and 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.) 7 times. Join with a sl st – 96 sts.

Rnds 13-16: Ch 2, hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 95 sts. Join with a sl st – 96 sts.

Rnd 17: Ch 2, hdc in the same st and in ea of the next 9 sts. Hdc2tog over the next 2 sts. (1 hdc in ea of the next 10 sts, hdc2tog over the next 2 sts.) – 88 sts.

Rnd 18-20: Ch 2, 1 hdc in the same st. Hdc in ea of the next 87 sts. – 88 sts

Rnd 21: Ch 2, 1 hdc in the same st and in ea of the next 3 sts. Hdc2tog over the next 2 sts. (1 hdc in ea of the next 3 sts, hdc2tog over the next 2 sts. 1 hdc in ea of the next 4 sts, hdc2tog over the next 2 sts) 7 times. 1 hdc in ea of the next 3 sts, hdc2tog over the next 2 sts. Join with a sl st. – 72 sts.

Rnd 22: Ch 2, 1 hdc in the same st and in ea of the next 6 sts. Hdc2tog over the next 2 sts. (1 hdc in ea of the next 7 sts, hdc2tog over the next 2 sts) around – 64 sts

The next round begins with a turn so that we are working with the WS facing. The rest of the hat will be worked from this side.

Rnd 23: Ch 1, turn. Sc in the same st and in ea of the next 71 sts. Join with a sl st – 72 sts.

Rnds 24 – 25: Ch 1, sc in the same st and in ea of the next 71 sts. Join with a sl st – 72 sts.

Rnd 26: Sl st loosely in the next st and in ea of the remaining 71 sts. Try on the hat to test for size. If the slip stitching makes your brim too tight, skip this round. Cut yarn and tie off.

DSC_2676

This hat uses the wrong side of the piece as the outside surface, so make sure that the wrong side is facing out before weaving in all your ends!

DSC_2677

Thread your yarn needle with the yarn end from the i-cord.

beret1

Slip the needle end down through the i-cord and through the opposite side of the beginning ring to center the cord over the middle of the beginning ring. Straighten out your yarn tension so that the i-cord can stretch out fully and look natural. Weave in the rest of the yarn end, and all other yarn ends.

DSC_2688

Antlers:

beret4

Using 3.50 hook and DK weight yarn

Make 2 of each tine. Worked continuously in the round. Use a stitch marker to keep track of rounds. Gauge is amigurumi-style, aka as tight as possible πŸ˜‰

Main Tine:

Rnd 1: Make Magic Ring. 6 sc into the ring. Pull the ring closed tightly.

Rnd 2: 1 sc in ea sc around. – 6 sts

Rnd 3: *1 sc in the next sc, 2 sc in the next sc. Rpt from * around. – 9 sts

Rnds 4-13: 1 sc in ea st around. – 9 sts

Rnd 14: *1 sc in ea of the next 2 sc, 2 sc in the next sc. Rpt fromΒ  * around. – 12 sts

Sl st in the next 2-3 sts, cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

2nd Tine

Rnd 1: Make Magic Ring. 6 sc into the ring. Pull the ring closed tightly.

Rnd 2: 1 sc in ea sc around. – 6 sts

Rnd 3: *1 sc in the next sc, 2 sc in the next sc. Rpt from * around. – 9 sts

Rnds 4-8: 1 sc in ea st around. – 9 sts

Sl st in the next 2-3 sts. Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Assembly:

Thread the long tail of the 2nd tine onto a tapestry needle and sew around the base onto the main tine. Weave in the end. Rpt for other antler.

Thread the long tail of the main tine onto a tapestry needle and position your antlers on the beret. I tried to place mine roughly equally spaced around the 6th-7th round of the beret. I liked this for a subtle look, where the antlers can mostly be seen from the back. But, it would be fun to position them further forward too!

If your stitching isn’t tight enough to keep the antlers stiff on their own, you can stuff a tiny bit of fiberfill in the base of the main tine to help stabilize things.

beret5

Sew around the base of the antler, attaching it to the beret. Weave in any remaining ends.

beret6

ForestGirl3

Quick AND cute, I’ll definitely be making a few more of these for springtime! I also unearthed the toadstool beret I had from the making of the originalΒ  tam pattern and got some new photos. I used a tapestry needle threaded with fluffy white bulky weight yarn to add the characteristic speckles by embroidering french knots.

Ama1

I particularly enjoy the background view of my freaky forest friends staring me down πŸ˜€

-MF

beretcover2

Winter Projects and Rambling

While I was pretty darn productive over my holiday break, most of my projects are long-term/unfinished pieces as of right now, or future patterns ineligible for viewing until the pattern is released. Therefore, I don’t have many things to share in this little update post – d’oh!

I’m not totally without content though, since I hadn’t mentioned my Ida Shawl project on here on the blog yet:

wida2

I included an update on the Ida Shawl pattern during this project, so that there are specific instructions on working the piece in one color:Β  alternative starting/joining instructions are now given where different from the multicolored instructions.

I posted about this one a few weeks ago on my Facebook page hadn’t done it here. I don’t always post on the blog for every pattern update/sale/coupon code, so if you like my offerings you should definitely follow me on FacebookΒ to get the most up-to-date info πŸ™‚ Plus, silly memes sometimes!

wida7

Don’t you love it with fringe? I sure as heck do. I wanted to do more of a witchy woman vibe with this one, or… as my sister put it… wiggy woman. ‘Cause I’m wearing a wig, get it? πŸ˜‰ We are a pun-loving people, the Weisses.

I’ve also been experimenting with darker colors on the Cecilia Skirt Belt, my little ragamuffin crochet accessory that I released last summer.

Skirtbelt1.jpg

While organizing my work space I needed to clear out some of my silk scraps, so I made a quick version of the Cecilia belt that skipped the bell loops and opted for a contrasting trim on the crocodile stitch scales instead. Ripping silk is extremely satisfying, ditto the cotton and gauze I use for my lighter colored belts. Using the more brightly colored silks makes these look more similar to my freeform pixie pocket belts.

Titania1

I’d like to do a few quick tutorials for pockets on the blog sometime in the future! Hopefully I can find time this semester πŸ™‚ Until then, the Cecilia Belt pdf pattern is a great start if you’re interested in doing something similar.

Ehhhh… lets see, what else? How about a sneak peek at my UPCOMING SWEATER PATTERN?

20170830_082045

That’s it! Just a hint. Nothing else to see here.

I’ve also done a lot of sewing over break, making more big dance-y patchwork hippie skirts from the no-gathers skirt pattern by Wendy Kay on Etsy.

There’s a fine cotton crochet top I made to coordinate in the middle photo. In all of the photos, there is a lady who is addicted to wigs.

-MF

 

Hairpin Lace Refashion

When it comes to hobbies, I push myself to try new things. I’m not sure if this is due to my hyperactive Pinterest-ing disorder, an excess of caffeine, or possibly some sort of mania. Fast forward to the point: something I’ve been experimenting with recently is hairpin lace.

Ellie13Hairpin lace is a technique that wraps and crochets long loops around a tool and then uses those loops to make decorative stitches and weaves. Traditionally one used a literal hair pin, I’m assuming, but nowadays they make specialty craft tools that look like you could low-key use it to torture somebody.

DSC_2616

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

I took a pretty freeform approach to learning this technique – the first strip of hairpin lace I made was for attaching two pieces of upcycled clothing together, using reclaimed sweater yarn for the strip. A list of things I learned from this:

  1. Do not try to learn this technique with a yarn that splits like crazy.
  2. That trick with threading the spare yarn through a finished strip to keep the loops together? It’s way more trouble than it is worth unless you are storing the strips together for later.
  3. Even with the aforementioned splitting yarn, hairpin lace is WAY LESS complex and intimidating than I thought. After the first few shaky loops, I got comfortable with it very quickly.

I learned from this excellent video from Stitch Diva Studios (who also sell great hairpin lace crochet patterns) and this video from Knitting Daily to supplement my technique.Β  Now for the refashion part!

DSC_2603

I’ve been ogling pretty fiber artsy styles like mori kei and shabby/chic, clothes that maximize texture and variety and emphasize the handmade look. The ragamuffin style is especially attractive to me because it lends itself well to experimentation in short bursts, which is about as much as I have time for during the semester.

DSC_2602

The two fabric pieces that went into this forest girl dress were a soft green top that I liked but didn’t wear (too short), and an earthy colored skirt that I picked up thrifting. Both are 100% rayon, and oh man, I really love rayon. It’s so so soft. Hard to believe it is manufactured from wood pulp.

Ellie12

Long story short, I chopped the bottom off of the top and the top off of the skirt, then serged the cut edge on both pieces. Using #10 mercerized cotton crochet thread, I embroidered a blanket stitch over the serged hem.

DSC_2605

I then counted the blanket stitches. My hairpin lace strip would need as many loops as the largest amount of stitches (which is on the skirt’s hem). Having done this part late at night months ago, I now have no idea what that number was. Lets say it’s 150. It was actually way more than that, but just pretend. And for the sake of clean math, lets say the smaller numberΒ  (the amount of blanket stitches on the top hem) was 125.

So I need a hairpin lace strip with at least 150 loops. ONE LOOP of the strip will get crocheted to one blanket stitch on the hem of the skirt. Since the top hem has a smaller number, 25 sts less than the larger number, I would need to double up on some of the stitches on the top hem. 125 / 25 = 5. This means when I was attaching the hairpin lace strip to the hem on the top (in fictional pretty-math world) I attached TWO loops every 5th stitch.

DSC_2606

Using that strategy and a small hook, I worked a single crochet around the garment, inserting the hook through the top of the blanket stitch and through the hairpin loops simultaneously to attach the fabric pieces. Don’t forget to weave in the ends through both of the middle seams of the hairpin lace strip where the two ends of the strip meet!

Time for the patchy part. With the same upcycled sweater yarn, I made two big doilies using one of the many graphs on my Pinterest crochet board, as well as another hairpin strip for the collar. I sewed these in place with a sewing machine and threaded the loops in the doily with velvet cord to create an adjustable criss-cross tie in the back.

Ellie14

Velvet leggings, thrifted cowgirl boots, ridiculously large hat? Yes please.

ellie15

I loved melding pretty fabrics with crochet, and using all reclaimed/upcycled materials was a big bonus. I have a feeling I’ll be doing more of this in the future!

-MF