Snapdragon Pixie Belt

Spring and summer always makes me eager to craft up cute festival items, despite the fact that I haven’t gone to any events for over a year now. In the course of cleaning out my room while moving last month I happened upon a stash of teal upcycled sari ribbon and had to bust out one of my favorite projects with it: the Pixie Pocket skirt belt.

I make these useful crocheted belts out of scrap yarn, ripped scrap fabric, beads, bells, lace – you name it, I’ll cram it on a pixie belt. They are one of my top selling items (my friends tend to grab them up before they can even get to the a festival vending booth) and just supremely fun to make & wear.

You can get the absolutely FREE pattern tutorial series for this project on my blog, or help support me more directly by buying the PDF version (includes everything found in all of the tutorial posts) in my Etsy Shop or Ravelry Store!

Here are just a few others I’ve made πŸ˜‰

Each of these 100% unique creations gets its own personality, and I name them after plants every time, to embody the nature spirit pixies I imagine wearing them! This one is called “Snapdragon” after the flowers that I remember obsessing over in my childhood – I would run over to the flower gardens that lined the church grotto, eager to pinch the blossoms to make them “snap” like my mom showed me.

Snapdragon features a circular pocket made with a bright applique, the center formed by the “bullion eye” motif I use in my free Forest Guide Hat pattern, with a cute eyeball charm I imagined to look like a dragon’s eye.

The rectangular pouch is made from super bulky yarn that I hand spun on my wheel, hand dyed by me and spun onto a mohair core. A super ruffle-y drawstring pouch imitates the expansion of flower petals, and a little extra sassinesss is added by the crochet net that swings on the hip over the fringe skirt.

All this is mounted on a teal belt with subtly variegated dragon scales (of course!) from crocodile stitch, a favorite textural technique of mine. The belt itself is a bit oversized on me so I wrapped it around, using the ties on the end to weave it in and out of the belt itself to secure it.

I had to pair it with that lush velvet bralette that I made recently, as it happened to match! The bralette is Bernat Baby Velvet made from my (also FREE) Basic Bralette design, with the Curvy Bralette modifications added in. I made this super soft top while drafting up some modifications to the design – those updates are now reflected in the original pattern and in the PDF version that I sell as well πŸ™‚

Thanks for visiting to check out my latest work and be sure to subscribe and follow me on my social media channels so you don’t miss anything! I’ve got some great designs in the works and I try to always be updating and improving things too πŸ™‚

For the love of fiber<3 ❀

-MF

Rambler’s Mitts & Armwarmers Pattern

Despite the absolute buttload of snow that just got dumped upon my Midwestern home, I’ve already turned my mind to thinking about the magic of spring in the forest, getting excited for hikes on the not-yet-overgrown woodland trails to search for harbingers-of-spring, bones, feathers and other treasures waiting for the wild-minded.

This means it’s fingerless gloves time! I love fingerless mitts because I need to touch absolutely everything when I’m adventuring, from swaths of soft moss to frosty crags in the tree bark. That’s why I’ve designed several free patterns on this blog in years past for just such a thing – easy fast crochet projects that are practical to me and also useful for using up spare skeins of pretty yarn! I thought this year I’d spruce up these posts a bit, adding new bright photography, more tutorial photos, and checking to make sure my instructions are of sound quality.

In the process I also wanted to offer a PDF file option for both the Rambler’s Mitts and Basic Armwarmers designs, so I combined the two into one awesome PDF crochet pattern document – read on for more details about what’s in this new downloadable, printable, ad-free offering, or go directly to my Etsy Shop or Ravelry Store to purchase! You can also still access the free versions by following the links on the design names at the beginning of this paragraph πŸ™‚

Rambler’s Mitts & Armwarmers

The Rambler’s Mitts and Armwarmers pattern combines some of my classic fingerless gloves designs all in one convenient PDF file!

The Basic Armwarmers are almost-elbow length straight fingerless gloves which include instructions for two styles, one made with #4 worsted weight yarn and one made with #5 bulky weight yarn, each with it’s own specific written instructions, and stitch counts. The Armwarmers design also includes a photo guide and written tutorial for customizing your own gauge and sizing if you wish to alter the fit of your pair. My favorite features of this design are the continuous round construction that eliminates the visible joining seam and the unique thumb opening, which creates a more contoured fit at the base of the thumb.

The second design included in this bundle is the Rambler’s Mitts, a wrist-length pair of fingerless cuffs featuring post stitches and single crochet worked in #5 bulky weight yarn with a cozy thumb covering. These quick and easy mitts are perfect for woodland ramblings, and my pairs have been an instant go-to in my closet for years!

Clear tutorial photos and detailed written instructions are included as well as links to the FREE tutorial post stitching – making this design bundle a perfect way to start crocheting your own stash of these popular and colorful winter accessories!

Materials (ARMWARMERS)
200-300 yds #4 or #5 weight yarn (1 pair of the Rainbow warmers shown are made with Yarn Bee Glowing, #4 weight – 198 yards, 1 skein. The Copper/Olive/Turquoise pair is made with Lion Brand Landscapes, #4 weight, 147 yds – 2 skeins) Yarn amounts are variable depending on weight and size made.
5.00 mm hook
Scissors, tapestry needle
2 Stitch Markers

Materials (MITTS)
Materials:
5.00 mm hook
Bernat Velvet (#5 Bulky, 10.5 oz / 300 g, 315 yds, 100% polyester) – 1 skein
Tapestry needle & scissors

Stitches / Abbreviations
Chain (ch)
Single Crochet (sc)
Half Double Crochet (hdc)
Double Crochet (dc)
Slip stitch (sl st)
Skip (sk)
Each (ea)
Round (rnd)
Front post half double crochet (fphdc)
Back post half double crochet (bphdc)

Language: English
All instructions are in US crochet terminology.

Thanks so much for checking out this new publishing – as an independent fiber artist and crochet designer, sales of purchasable PDF patterns make up the bulk of my income – you can find tons more premium crochet patterns all in one spot by visiting my Paid Patterns page here.

I also make a small amount from website visits, so if you’re not in the market for paid patterns please do check out my Free Pattern offerings! A lot of my paid patterns are also available for free – This is because I really value accessibility and love to share my craft, so offering for free on my website helps both you & me! If you don’t want or need to get paid patterns, I also have a Tip Jar available where you can securely donate any amount to go toward the maintenance of my website & business πŸ™‚ ❀

-MF

Yearling Headband

I’ve always had a natural love of animals and being raised in the country meant I had a lot of exposure to all sorts of them – in particular I loved the white-tailed deer that would sometimes appear on the edges of the yard, majestic and graceful but powerful as well. Anyone raised around their natural habitat knows that deer, even peaceful-seeming and retiring does, are not to be trifled with.

So, certainly not for the first time on this blog, today’s crochet project is deer themed! I already have a number of horn and antler patterns available and thought it would be fun to put together a free video tutorial for the Yearling Headband that shows how to crochet this super elastic, comfortable, useful and above all ADORBS self-care accessory using some of my favorite crochet tricks!

Keep scrolling for the FREE crochet pattern & video!

Or save this pattern for later by favoriting on the Ravelry project page!

The antlers in this headband are a two-tine version of the “Forest Guide” rack, made with smaller yarn and hook than the original – you can use the recommended materials in this post, the video, or choose your own, just make sure your gauge is tight so there isn’t a lot of space between stitches (aka amigurumi style).

The headband with the pink petals features what I call my “Twig Horns” which are a cute, more cartoon-y set of nubby antlers featured in my Mori Beret. They are quicker and not as cumbersome if you want a more low-key headband – directions for those appear in written form under the original antler video below!

Introduction to Yearling Headband

Live-action introduction to this project : sorry for my obvious awkwardness, I’m not used to doing face videos yet πŸ˜‰

Materials

Yarn: Various, good project for scrap yarns 50-100 yards each-
I used a thick #6 weight yarn for the headband
#2 yarn for the beige antlers
#3 yarn for the brown antlers
#5 yarn for the leaves

5.50 mm hook (headband)
3.25 hook for beige antlers
3.50 mm hook for brown antlers
5.00 mm hook for leaves

20″ circular elastic – I bought mine in a pack from the hair accessories section of the pharmacy, you could also use regular craft elastic sewn in a circle or knotted.
2 12″ craft pipe cleaners (for large horns)
Small amount of polyester fiberfill or cotton batting (to stuff antlers)
Tapestry needle, yarn needle, scissors

Headband Base

To create the base for the headband, I used my 5.50 mm hook and chunky yarn to crochet around the elastic band, working in a full circle one direction then turning and working in between the stitches in the opposite direction:

Yearling Antlers

As I mentioned earlier, the antlers on the brown headband are a version of the Forest Guide antlers that only use the first 2 tines, and work in #2 yarn and a 3.25 hook. The first two videos cover these antlers, with the same written instructions appearing below the videos. For the smaller antlers, keep scrolling for the written pattern!

The first video demonstrates the first tine, which is the biggest and longest. To make any other length of tine, follow the instructions of the First Tine for only the rounds indicated in the video, or below in the written version of this antler pattern! The second video covers how to construct the antlers.

Written instructions: Main Tine (Make 2:

Worked continuously in the round, place marker in the first stitch of every round to keep track.

With 3.75 hook and #4 accent color beige, make magic ring.
Rnd 1: 3 sc into the ring. Pull the ring closed tightly. – 3 sts
Rnd 2: 1 sc in the next st, 2 sc in the next st, 1 sc in the next st. – 4 sts
Rnd 3: 1 sc in ea st. – 4 sts
Rnd 4: Rpt rnd 3
Rnd 5: 1 sc in the next 2 sts, 2 sc in the next st. 1 sc in the next st. – 5 sts
Rnd 6: 1 sc in ea st. – 5 sts
Rnd 7: Rpt rnd 6
Rnd 8: 1 sc in ea of the next 2 sts, 2 sc in the next st. 1 sc in ea of the next 2 sts. – 6 sts
Rnd 9: 1 sc in ea st. – 6 sts
Rnds 10-11: Rpt Rnd 9.
Rnd 12: *2 sc in the next st. 1 sc in ea of the next 2 sts. Rpt from * once more. – 8 sts.
Rnd 13: 1 sc in ea st. – 8 sts
Rnds 14-15: Rpt Rnd 13
Rnd 16: 1 sc in ea of the next 4 sts, 2 sc in the next st. 1 sc in ea of the next 3 sts. – 9 sts
Rnd 17: 1 sc in ea st. – 9 sts
Rnds 18 – 19: Rpt Rnd 17
Rnd 20: 1 sc in ea of the next 4 sts, 2 sc in the next st. 1 sc in ea of the next 4 sts. – 10 sts
Rnd 21: 1 sc in ea  st. – 10 sts
Rnds 22 – 30: Rpt Rnd 21
Rnd 31: 1 sc in ea of the next 4 sts, 2 sc in the next st. 1 sc in ea of the next 4 sts, 2 sc in the next st. – 12 sts
Rnd 32: 1 sc in ea st. – 12 sts.
Slip stitch in the next few stitches to finish. Cut yarn and tie off leaving a long tail for sewing.

2nd Tine (Make 2):

Work Rounds 1 – 14 of the Main Tine. Sl st in the next few sts to finish after Rnd 14, cut yarn and tie off leaving a long tail for sewing.

3rd Tine (Make 2):
Work Rounds 1 – 12 of the Main Tine. Sl st in the next few sts to finish after Rnd 12, cut yarn and tie off leaving a long tail for sewing.

4th Tine (Make 2):

Work Rounds 1 – 10 of the Main Tine. Sl st in the next few sts to finish after Rnd 10, cut yarn and tie off leaving a long tail for sewing.

Antler Construction:

Follow the video for a tutorial on stuffing and constructing the antlers – this video shows the full antler with all tines, but you can do as many as you wish and position them as you like.

With polyester fiberfill and stick, stuff a tiny bit of filling in the tip of the Main Tine. Take one 12” 6mm pipe cleaner and fold in half, twisting loose ends together to form a flat loop. Insert twisted end into the Main tine, leaving a small bit of loop sticking out of the opening. Gently fill the bottom part of the Main Tine around the wire armature with poly fill. Roll and massage the piece to even out the filling – do not overstuff! It should still be flexible and posable on the armature.

Gently stuff the 2nd tine with a small amount of fiberfill. With tapestry needle, thread long yarn tail of the 2nd Tine. Position about halfway up the Main Tine and sew around the base of the 2nd tine.

You can also follow the written pattern for the Twig Horns below, if you want low-key fawn vibes!

Twig Antlers:

Using 3.50 hook and #3 or #4 weight accent yarn:

Make 2 of each tine. Worked continuously in the round. Use a stitch marker to keep track of rounds.

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 from  * 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 ends. Rpt for other antler.

Leaf Motif

I originally designed this little leaf/petal pattern years ago, looking for a quick and easy leaf that could be worked into long chains. It’s now in several of my designs and a favorite go-to when adding decoration and texture to a piece. Follow this video demo for how to work this leaf in clusters of three or four. Written instructions below the video!

Leaf Motif:

For a more detailed photo breakdown, see the original blog post here.
With 5.00 mm hook and #5 bulky or #4 worsted yarn:

* Ch 5 – last 2 ch counts as the beg ch-2 in the leaf motif. In the 3rd ch from the hook, work 4 dc, ch-2 length picot in the last dc made, 3 hdc in the same stitch. Rotate, working in the same st on the other side of the beg chain, 2 hdc. Join motif in the round with a sl st in the 2nd ch of beg ch-2. Sl st in the 2nd ch st from the motif.* Rpt * to * 4 times total. Sl st in the bottom of the first motif to join the 4 leaves in a circle. Cut yarn and tie off  –  4 leaves

Final Assembly

Try your headband on and mark all the spots where you want your antlers, leaves, or other decorations to go…

With tapestry needle, use the long yarn tails to stitch the elements onto the headband. Thread yarn through the wire loops underneath the yearling antlers if you’ve got them, and pull the loops through the stitching so they are fully embedded in the yarn headband. Stitch tightly around the yarn base of the antler. Repeat for other antler.

Using yarn or tapestry needle, sew the leaf rings into the headband (I like them on the sides under the antlers) and pin down the tips of the leaves if you want them to lie flat.

Weave in all remaining ends – voila! A fawn is born!

Quarantine has made me feral and I am unlikely to return.

I could go on and on with other ideas for this kind of design, from woodland creature ear variations to radical colorful freeform pieces, and I hope some of those neat variations get made and I get to see them! As always I love seeing what you make from my designs – please tag @moralefiber on Instagram for your projects or share them in our wonderful Facebook community, the Magic Fantastic Crochet Atelier!

-MF

Simple Market Bag

The latest of my older collection to get a remodel, the Simple Market Bag is ready for the big reveal! New photos and sizes and a great new PDF option: I’ll try to keep the rambling short πŸ˜‰

When this design first debuted on my blog as the Simple Stylish Market Bag, it was one of my first free offerings as I was getting started here. I loved making them from the recycled yarn I pulled out of thrifted cotton sweaters, a technique I describe in this tutorial which was also a keystone post in the Early Days.

I loved revisiting this design and thinking about all the threads of my passion weaving in and out of my life – things come and go as they will. Sometimes I feel like all I can do is be here for it.

You can get the portable, printable, ad-free PDF of this crochet pattern with all the great updates included in my Etsy Shop or Ravelry Store now! ❀ Thank you ❀ Keep scrolling for the free pattern πŸ™‚

Materials

3.75 crochet hook (or size needed for gauge)
200-500 yards cotton yarn, #2 or #3 weights work best (A good commercial yarn would be Hobbii Azalea, pictured Above Middle: #2 weight, 52% cotton 48% acrylic, 200 g / 874 yds, Color: 10)  I made most of these with recycled cotton yarn, see notes for details.
Scissors and tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Gauge: 3 inches in diameter after Rnd 3 – however, gauge is not critical, see notes section.

Rnd 3 pictured, with measuring tape held across diameter of the first three rounds.

Stitches:

Chain (ch)
Double Crochet (dc)
Slip Stitch (sl st)
Single Crochet (sc)
Half-Double Crochet (hdc) – in this pattern, hdc are used to complete the final chain space of each round of the mesh portion of this design. They are substituted for the final 2 chain stitches – please refer to this free tutorial for the Chain & Stitch Join if you are unfamiliar with this technique.

Double Chain (DCh): A technique that makes loose and flexible foundation chain stitches that are easy to work into. You may substitute normal chaining if you prefer. Full tutorial for the Double Chain free here.

Notes:

This bag is a great project for leftover yarns the follows the reduce, reuse, recycle philosophy! I originally designed this market bag for using recycled yarn from thrifted sweaters: if you are interested in learning to do that, see my full-length tutorial on Morale Fiber Blog.

For a video tutorial on making the twisted fringe into the surface of your bag, see my YouTube Channel video:

This pattern works great with any hook and yarn, so gauge is not critical if you would like to experiment with different yarns and hook sizes to make different sized bags. I have offered a slightly larger option to this pattern to give extra size options! Instructions for large occur in bold, where different from the small.

The chain lengths at the beginning of rounds DO NOT count as the first stitch of the round.

Instructions

Rnd 1: Ch 4. Dc 12 into the 4th ch from the hook, join with a sl st in the first dc. – 12 sts made

Rnd 2: Ch 3. 2 dc in the same stitch. 2 dc in ea of the next 11 sts. Join with a sl stitch to first dc. – 24 sts made

Rnd 3: Ch  3. 1 dc in the same stitch, 2 dc in the next stitch. (1 dc in the next st, 2 dc in the next st) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl st to first dc. – 36 sts made.

Rnd 4: Ch 3. 1 dc in the same stitch, 1 dc in the next stitch, 2 dc in the next stitch. (1 dc in each of the next 2 stitches, 2 dc in the next stitch) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 48 sts made

Rnd 5: Ch 3, 1 dc in the same stitch. 1 dc in each of the next 2 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in each of the next 3 sts, 2 dc in the next stitch) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 60 sts made

Rnd 6: Ch 3, 1 dc in the same stitch. 1 dc in each of the next 3 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in each of the next 4 sts, 2 dc in the next stitch) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 72 sts made.

Rnd 7: Ch 3, 1 dc in the same stitch. 1 dc in each of the next 4 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in each of the next 5 sts, 2 dc in the next stitch) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 84 sts made.

Rnd 8 (larges only): Ch 3, 1 dc in the same stitch. 1 dc in each of the next 5 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in each of the next 6 sts, 2 dc in the next st) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 96 sts made.

Rnd 9 (larges only): Ch 3, 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in each of the next 6 sts, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in each of the next 7 sts, 2 dc in the next st) rpt 11 times. Join with a sl stitch. – 108 sts made.

That finishes the solid bottom of the bag. Next the pattern works a round of chain loops to start the mesh portion.

Rnd 8 (10): Sc in the same st as sl stitch join.Β  (Ch 4, skip 2 sts. Sc in the next st) rpt around. Ch 2, hdc in the first sc of the round. This positions your hook in the middle of a ch-4 sized space (see Stitches section under hdc for explanation of this type of join). – 28 (36) ch spaces

Close-up of the hdc stitch worked to close the final loop of the round.

Rnd 9 (11): Sc in the same space, working under the hdc made in the previous round as if it were a part of a chain loop.. (Ch 4, sc in the next ch-4 space) rpt around. Ch 2, hdc in the first sc of the round.

Close up of the first sc of the round, worked directly underneath the hdc just made as if it were a chain space.

Finish the round with the same method, using hdc to substitute the final 2 ch stitches.

Rnds 10-23 (12-25): Rpt Rnd 9 (11)

Add as many extra rounds of (ch 4, sc) mesh here as you would like to get the desired bag dimensions – the next part completes the bag with a single crochet brim and handles.

Rnd 24 (26): Ch 1, 2 Sc in the same ch-4 sized space. 3 sc in ea of the next 27 (35) ch-4 spaces. 1 sc in the next ch-4 space, join with a sl st to the first sc of the round.

Rnds 25-26 (27-28): Ch 1. Sc in the same st as sl st join. 1 sc in each sc around, join with a slip stitch in the 1stΒ sc of the round – 84 (108) sts

You can add extra rounds here for a wider brim if needed.

Rnd 27 (29): Ch 2 to begin a double chain. Double chain 50 (or ch 50 normally if you prefer). Skip Β 22 (28) sts of previous round, sc in the next stitch (this creates a gap between the last round and the double chain of this round, which will become your handle). 1 sc in each of the next 19 (26) sts. Ch 2 to begin a double chain, make 50 double chain stitches (or ch 50 normally if you prefer). Skip 22 (28) stitches of previous round, sc in the next stitch. 1 sc in each of the next 18 (25) sts. Sl st into the base of the handle chain (your first double chain).

You should have 2 evenly placed 50-stitch long chain arcs.

Rnds 28 – 30 (30-32): Ch 1, 1 sc in each st around. Join with a sl st to the first sc of the round.

You may want to add extra rows here for wider handles or add rows to the inner gap of the handles – I like to have fun and experiment with different ways to adorn this part of the bag, with tassels or beads, embroidery, etc!

Cut yarn and weave in the ends using a tapestry needle.

Left: Bag finished with embroidery, Right: Bag finished with twisted fringe (click for link to video tutorial!)

Hope you found this little pattern useful – I love these for gifts especially because I just can’t seem to have enough reusable bags on hand!

I couldn’t resist going full grandmacore in a totally uneccessary dress-up sesh for this pattern makeover – this is the bit at the end where I stick all the extra pictures πŸ™‚

-MF

Gnome Toboggan Video

Just going to keep it short and sweet today, because I’m releasing a brand new full-length video pattern and I’m excited to get to the point!

I wanted to do a video for my free Gnome Toboggan crochet pattern to help provide guidance through some of the trickier parts (like increasing in alternating fpdc/bpdc) and because it’s one of my favorite winter projects πŸ™‚

Find Part 1 and Part 2 below, and be sure to check out the other videos available on my YouTube Channel!

Part 1

Part 2

Hope you enjoy!

-MF

Gnome Toboggan Free Pattern

For years now, the Gnome Toboggan has been my favorite everyday handmade winter hat. I’ve made tons of these squishy babies and I pop them on to keep my ears warm (or my bedhead hidden) for every activity from jogging to errand running to working outdoors.

I originally designed this hat in 2016 but it’s never been a best-seller for me despite it’s versatility and adorable quirkiness. So because I love this hat so much and I want others to love it too, I’m making it a TOTALLY FREE pattern available all right here on this blog page πŸ™‚

The paid PDF version of this pattern has also been redesigned, and now includes all the expanded tutorial photographs, written instructions and how-to’s shown/linked here on this page.

You can get the portable, printable, ad-free version of this crochet pattern in my Etsy Shop and Ravelry Store! Or keep scrolling for more details as well as the free pattern instructions πŸ™‚

Oh, and one more thing before we get on to the free hat pattern – Every time I photograph in this green crochet vest I get a bunch of questions as to whether there is a pattern available for it! (I love you guys!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ ) The answer for now is “Sort of” – It was originally a very early draft of the Embla Vest, but it’s so structurally different that I’m working on creating another pattern for this one specifically. Stay tuned on that!

Materials

1 Skein Lion Brand Scarfie (#5 312yd 150g)
5.50 mm hook (or size needed to obtain gauge)
Scissors & tapestry needle

Gauge: 7 sts and 5 rows = 2” in alternating fpdc/bpdc

5 rows = 2″
7 sts = 2″

Sizes: Adult Small (stretches to fit 20-22” head) Adult Large (stretches to fit 22-24” head) – Pointed or Rounded options included

Notes:

The Ch-2 at the beginning of each round does not count as the first stitch. Sl st joins should be made to the first dc of each round, not the beginning chain. Instructions for small are given in regular type. Instructions for Large are given in bold, where differing.

This hat is easy to modify in several ways. For a more rounded top, follow the alternate instructions in the pattern which skip Round 2. Add or subtract length by adding more or less repeats of the final rows of the pattern. Fun bulky yarns like Bernat Velvet make a great hat too, but watch your tension as those yarns don’t have the same amount of elasticity. Here’s several I’ve made, side by side for comparison (Lion Brand Scarfie on the left with a pointed top, LB Scarfie middle with a rounded top, Bernat Velvet on the right)

Shown above is the pointed top Gnome Toboggan. Shown below is the rounded top Gnome Toboggan.

Stitches:

Magic Ring: An adjustable loop made by creating a special slipknot and then crocheting into it before tightening. Can be replaced by an initial chain stitch +ch-3 to start

Double Crochet (dc)
Front Post Double Crochet / Back Post Double Crochet (fpdc / bpdc):

For a photo tutorial on post stitches, see my full length tutorial blog post here!

Abbreviations:
ch – chain
dc – double crochet
sl st – slip stitch
st/sts – stitch / stitches
rnd – round
rpt – repeat
fpdc – front post double crochet
bpdc – back post double crochet
inc – increase (1 fpdc & 1 bpdc in same stitch)

Instructions

Make Magic Ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 2, 12 dc in to the ring. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round – 12 sts

(If you prefer a more traditional rounded beanie top, skip Rnd 2 entirely.)

Rnd 2: Ch 2,fpdc into the same st as join. (1 bpdc into the next st, 1 fpdc into the next st) 5 times. 1 bpdc into the last st. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round – 12 sts.

Photo tutorial example skips this round.

Rnd 3: Ch 2, fpdc into the same st as join.  (Work 1 bpdc AND 1 fpdc into next st, 1 bpdc into the next st, 1 fpdc AND one bpdc into the next st,* 1 fpdc in the next st) 3 times, ending third repeat at *. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round – 18 sts.

First fpdc/bpdc in the same stitch – increase made.
Inserting hook for next fpdc
Several increases in, Rnd 3 looks a little messy – that’s normal!
Rnd 3 completed

Rnd 4: Ch 2, fpdc into the same st as join. 1 bpdc in the next st. In the next st, work a fpdc AND a bpdc in the same st – inc made. (1 fpdc in the next st, 1 bpdc in the next st, 1fpdc AND 1 bpdc in the next st) 5 times. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round – 24 sts.

First increase of Rnd 4 made
Rnd 4 finished

Rnd 5: Ch 2, fpdc into the same st as join. 1 bpdc into the same st. (1 fpdc AND bpdc into the next st) 23 times. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round – 48 sts.

Rnd 5 works increases in every stitch
Rnd 5 completed

Rnd 6: Ch 2, fpdc into the same st as join. 1 bpdc into the next st. (1 fpdc into the next st, 1 bpdc into the next st) 23 times.  Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round – 48 sts.

Rnd 6 works 1 fpdc in every fpdc and 1 bpdc in every bpdc.

Rnd 7-8: Rpt Rnd 6.

After completing Rnd 8.

Rnd 9: Ch 2, fpdc into the same st as join. 1 bpdc in the next st, 1 fpdc into the next st. In the next st, work a bpdc AND a fpdc in the same st. (1 bpdc in the next st, 1 fpdc into the next st, 1 bpdc into the next st. In the next st work 1 fpdc AND 1 bpdc in the same st.* 1 fpdc in the next st, 1 bpdc into the next st, 1 fpdc into the next st. In the next st, work 1 bpdc AND 1 fpdc in the same st) 6 times, ending last repeat at *. Join with a sl st to the first fpdc of the round. – 60 sts

Beginning Rnd 9. Rnd 9 works an increase into every 4th stitch. These increases reverse the established fp/bp dc pattern, so you will sometimes work the post stitch opposite of the one below (fp into bp, for example). This is normal.
Rnd 9 working, some stitches reversed shown
Rnd 9 completed

Rnd 10: Ch 2, fpdc into the same st as join. 1 bpdc into the next st. (1 fpdc into the next st, 1 bpdc into the next st) 29 times. Join with a sl st to the first fpdc of the round.

Rnd 11-12: Rpt Rnd 10.

Gnome Toboggan completed through Rnd 12.

If your hat is not big enough at this point to stretch over your head, proceed with Rnd 13 written in bold below to create a Large size.

Rnd 13: Ch 2, fpdc into the same st as join, 1 bpdc into the next st. 1 fpdc into the next st, 1 bpdc into the next st. In the next st, work 1 fpdc AND 1 bpdc. ( [1 fpdc in the next st, 1 bpdc in the next st] 2 times, work 1 fpdc AND 1 bpdc in the next st) 11 times. – 72 sts

If your hat is still not big enough due to gauge differences, add another row of increases, increasing every 6th stitch, before proceeding.

Rnd 13 places increases every 5th stitch.

Rnds 13-22 (14-23): Ch 2, fpdc into the same st as join. 1 bpdc into the next st. (1 fpdc into the next st, 1 bpdc into the next st) rpt around. Join with a sl st to the first fpdc of the round.

Completed to Rnd 23 – I then added 3 extra rows of non-increasing fp/bp double crochet. You can add as many extra rows here as you like to get the length you want.

Cut yarn and weave in ends.

Now, back to plotting to steal underpants.

-MF

Ushanka and Muff Set

I loooooooove faux fur (and real fur when I can get it thrifted) so I happily bought a lot of Lion Brand’s new Go For Faux yarn when it hit my local hobby store shelves, and have already used it in some of my new fall designs.

The Thick ‘n’ Quick version is so bulky that just one row of it makes a beautiful trim on garments and accessories…. But I mean, I bought lots. So doing a few all-fur pieces was in order. And the best part is, this yarn is JUMBO so you can make this a two-piece set in about half a day!

Here is a totally free pattern for one of my favorite hat styles: the Ushanka. Literally translating to “earflap hat” the ushanka is a classic garment in Russia and other cold northern regions of the globe – because it’s sooooo warm to wear! Additionally I designed a vintage-style muff out of the same faux fur yarn, because who doesn’t love a big fluffy arm sock?

I’m going to ramble a little about my costume here for Discworld nerds but if you’re just here for the free pattern, keep scrolling or save this project on Ravelry for later!

In another recent costume hat pattern, I designed the photo shoot as my favorite witch from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld fantasy books, just for fun. At that point I’d already designed this free pattern too, and wanted to make it a set – two of my favorite Disc heroines for two crochet patterns. The ushanka was, after all, so appropriate for Sergeant (later Captain) Delphine Angua von Uberwald.

Angua’s family’s propensity for cruelty and violence drove her out of her home in Uberwald (the cold northern Disc country run by noble Vampire and Werewolf families), so she migrated to the biggest city and was hired into the city watch; her ability to transform into a natural hunting machine made her a formidable detective. She’s a bit haunted by her past, and her character is a vessel for the struggle between nature and nurture, and the balance of laws and chaos – as many of the best Pratchett characters are.

I gave her the warm fuzzy hat but also a look of wariness and mistrust, a vintage military-style buttoned coat, and a pouch around her neck with her essentials (the only thing that stays on when she transforms).If you’ve never read the Discworld books, but like sci-fi or fantasy – I highly recommend them πŸ™‚ Obviously! Ok, now for the pattern πŸ˜‰

Instructions:

Materials:

Lion Brand Go For Faux Thick and Quick (#7, 120 g / 24 yd, 100% polyester) – 4 skeins (3 for the Ushanka, 1 for the muff). There are several types of Go For Faux – be sure you are getting the Thick and Quick!
11.5 mm crochet hook – or size needed to obtain gauge
Length of ribbon (2 yards)
Scissors, yarn needle (large eyed, for the jumbo yarn)

Gauge: 3 sts and 3 rows = 2″ in dc

Finished Measurements (approximate):
Ushanka Hat: 22″ brim, 7″ tall from brim to crown, 6″ long earflaps
Arm Muff: 7″ x 11″ for the finished tube

Ushanka:

The hat is crocheted in the round, the first 2 chain stitches do not count as the first st. Earflaps are added on after.

With 11.5 mm hook and main yarn, make magic ring.

Leave the tail of the ring long, longer than the normal 6″ for weaving in. Since this yarn is jumbo, we need to leave a bit more so that it’s easier to weave.

Round 1: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), 12 dc into the ring. Join with a sl st in the first dc of the round. – 12 dc

Rnd 2: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), 2 dc in the same st. 2 dc in ea of the next 11 sts. Join with a sl st in the first dc of the rnd. – 24 dc

Rnd 3: Ch 2 (does not count), 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 23 sts. Join with a sl st in the first dc of the rnd. – 24 dc

Rnds 4-6: Rpt Rnd 3.

For and more stiff and structured hat, I like to slip stitch around the entire brim after Rnd 6.

Cut yarn and tie off, leaving long tail.

Ushanka pictured on the right above, before adding earflaps. it makes a really excellent simple fur cap too, if you want to skip the flap part! (but it’s not an Ushanka without the flaps)

Earflaps:

Join yarn at the side of the hat, leaving long tail. I like to try on the hat and use stitch markers to mark off a 6-stitch long section on each side where they should go over my ears before starting this portion of the pattern.

Row 1: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc). 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 5 sts. – 6 dc

Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count), turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 5 sts. – 6 dc

Row 3: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. (Dc2tog in the next pair of stitches) twice. 1 dc in the last st. – 4 dc

Row 4: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. Dc2tog in the next pair of stitches. 1 dc in the last st. – 3 dc

Cut yarn and tie off, leaving long tail for weaving in.

Repeat Earflaps instructions on the other side, making sure to align placement properly for your ears.

See “Finishing” under the Muff section for further instructions.

One completed earflap just before tie off

Muff

The muff is constructed by crocheting a flat rectangle, then folding over and seaming down the open edge to form a tube.

With 11.5 mm hook and main yarn, chain 17 sts.

Row 1: In the 3rd ch from the hook, work 1 dc (first 2 chains do not count as first st). 1 dc in ea of the next 14 chain stitches.

Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 14 sts.

Rows 3-5: Rpt Row 2.

Cut yarn and tie off, leaving an extra long tail for sewing.

Fold the piece in half width-wise (so that the halves are fatter, not skinner). Using the large eyed yarn needle, thread the long tail and seam the sides of the piece together so that it forms a tube.

If you prefer a larger/wider muff you can always add more rows on to the rectangle, or make extra rounds on the ends.

Finishing

With large eyed yarn needle, thread all remaining ends and weave in. The Jumbo yarn is a little tricky to weave in, just stick to going through the bottoms of the stitches and make sure to turn a few times when weaving . I have found this yarn loves to pop out because it’s so thick so you may have to test the finished piece by stretching, and trim a little if your ends start peeking out!

See the little yarn tail peeking out after a bit of stretching? Snip snip.

Now for the ribbon: You’ll need three ribbon lengths. I used a lightweight specialty ribbon yarn (the ruffling kind) but any soft ribbon will work – cut the lengths long, about 21-24 inches, as they will be doubled up (and you can then trim to preference).

Take two lengths and double them up, looping one through the center bottom of each earflap (working through a space between stitches) to tie on.

This decorates the hat and enables you to tie the earflaps up on top of the head in true ushanka fashion.

Next, take the third length of ribbon and cut in half. String each half in and out of the spaces between stitches on the edges of the muff, leaving the ribbon tails poking out in the same space like a drawstring. Tie & bow the ribbons – now you can adjust the openings of the muff to make sure your paws hands are toasty!

That’s it! Now you’re ready to face any chilly northern winds that may blow your way this winter ❀ Or maybe you’re ready to see Captain Carrot πŸ˜‰

-MF

Alpaca Handspun Wrap

Forgive me, fiber darlings, as the golden falling walnut leaves and the true approach of autumn sends me into paroxysms of nostalgia – you see, I’ve completed a very long personal fiber art project, and will not hesitate to use it as an excuse to wax sentimental πŸ˜‰

Translation: This is a long personal reflection post and a project with no patterns. πŸ˜‰

It was almost 4 years ago exactly that I decided to give my still new (to me) Ashford Traveler Double Drive spinning wheel a good workout by ordering several pounds (!!) of Alpaca fiber that I got on sale.

I had already been working with drop spindles at this point, but I was excited to take advantage of the larger, faster batches one could produce with the wheel. I dug into the first pound with vigor, producing a tight and even dark brown set of yarns… but like lots of large projects, the initial momentum got lost and it took me several years to finish spinning the rest of the fiber.

In the mean time I learned and experimented with lots of other things, and even added more alpaca fiber to the hoard, including a raw fleece gifted to me by a friend (not much of that one went into the final product – hand carding is a workout!!)

The fleeces followed me, like a little herd of alpacas themselves, though many phases of life in the past four years. I spun and played with them, dreamed with them. They reminded me all the time of the farms and ranches I worked at when I was younger and traveling the United States, work-trading as a farm hand at communes and eco-villages. Every fiber of them passed through my hands eventually, to twist together on the wheel or spindle – how many thoughts are in these fibers? How many dreams?

At once point I got exuberantly experimental about natural dyeing again (my first forays consisted of tea, coffee, turmeric, and a failed pokeberry batch way back in 2009-10 or so), so I started collecting the vegetable waste from my day job in the produce department and brewing up a big batch of avocado dye from the pits and skins. Raw material, collected and transmuted again. How many hands picked the fruit? How many dreams did they dream?

When I dive, I deep dive. I want to know the parts of a process like I know the breathing of my lungs, intrinsically, so that my fingers can read the dreams. To me, that is the way to respect – respect what, I don’t know. The energies it took to create everything around me? Maybe. It is gratitude, definitely.

When the fibers were carded and dyed and spun and plied and washed and dried, I took them to my fatter knitting needles: the 9.00 mm circulars from my interchangeable set. (I remember the super long knitted scarf from a decade ago, and how I tried to cram so many stitches of recycled cotton onto a cheap plastic yard sale needle and snapped it into oblivion, losing hundreds of tiny knit stitches to my cold-sweating terror…)

Good thing my tools have evolved with me.
I knit and knit and knit, practicing my speed-purling, practicing my yarn overs, dropping stitches and switching to garter occasionally. I never got the bug for delicate knit patterns, I like my knits huge and stupid and chunky and easy.

I knew it was going to be a big folded rectangle essentially, with two arm holes. Simple. A large serape-like shell could be worn over other winter layers, since not all of the yarn I used is next-to-skin soft – but holy heck is it warm! Alpaca fiber is also naturally water-resistant, enhancing this wrap’s qualities as outerwear.

I played up the textural aspects of this piece, letting my big dumb rectangle be the blank canvas for every nuanced lump in the fiber. It was handspun; it was messy, chunky, uneven, perfectly imperfect. I did not want it to look sleek, cosmopolitan, curated. It was my glorious mess. So I did what I learned to do best in the grueling hours of the windowless rooms in studio art at Indiana University – turn imperfections into advantages.

(Mostly) planned dropped stitches provided visual breaks vertically, and lines of garter stitches complemented and accented the color changes horizontally, creating a weathered and distressed texture that plays up the lumpy, bumpy, mismatched yarnscape. The large needles allowed plenty of looseness in the stitches to give the otherwise square shell garment a flattering bit of drape. The rough visual style belies the incredibly squishy loft of the bulky alpaca yarns.

I can’t believe I spun 100% of this garment – it is my first large project to be entirely handspun. Some parts are a little scratchy, I’ll admit, and it certainly needs a second wash (it’s fragrant in a strongly camelid sort of way at the moment) – but this piece will warm me now in a special way, because so much of my story is now shared with it.

I get really excited when I finish a piece that’s taken me years, to me they feel like a victory! Previously, the Stump had been my longest-held project (3 years), but now the Alpaca Wrap (4 years) is the record holder πŸ˜‰

And here’s my advice to every artist who may have had the tough moments, like me, that make dreams feel like impossibilities: Patience, patience, patience.

-MF

Video Game Guy Backpack Tutorial

Let’s say for the sake of imagination that there’s a story featuring an adventurous youth and his acerbic canine best friend, who live in a slightly macabre and trippy video game world and have adventures. We’ll call it “Adventuring Friends.”


I think that in that world, they’d probably have a sentient portable video game console. We’ll call him Video Game Guy and he’s definitely not based on anything that is trademarked πŸ˜‰
Wouldn’t it be cute to crochet a backpack featuring this colorful companion? I think so too. Let’s do it! (P.S – I got this idea originally from Instagram crochet artist @mioforestcrochet and made my own version- please check her out and give her some likes!)


I hope you enjoy this free crochet tutorial for the Video Game Guy Backpack! I’ve included all of my notes, and as much bonus info as I could capture – if you have any questions on how I did any of the steps, please don’t hesitate to ask ❀

Update!: This design now has a Ravelry project Page, if you want to favorite it & save for later ❀

Video Game Guy Tutorial

This tutorial covers the instructions for making all the pieces of the Video Game Guy Backpack, but you can easily use this pattern to create a stuffed friend or pillow out of him, too!

Materials:
I Love This Cotton! (#4 weight, 100% cotton, about 150 yds per skein) 2 skeins in light blue and 1 skein in teal
Assorted scrap yarn colors: Lighter blue for the screen (I held in a strand of Glow-in-the-Dark yarn as well, to make the screen glow. I got that yarn from here, years ago). I also used scrap red, yellow, green, and dark blue for the buttons, and black for the accents.
Scrap fabric (optional)
Safety eyes (optional)
Button
Scissors, Tapestry needle, and locking stitch markers (for assembly)

Hook: 3.5 mm hook
Gauge: Not critical. Should be tight, as you don’t want a very hole-y fabric.

Special Stitches: Linked Double Crochet (LDC) – get the free tutorial from my blog here.
Magic Ring (MR): A great tutorial from Planet June here
Notes: I use Ch 2 to turn on the rows of linked double crochet instead of the traditional 3-chain turn, I find it works better with my gauge on this project – you can substitute 3 if it works better for you! πŸ™‚

Instructions

Front & Back (Make 2, 1 front 1 back, in light blue)

Ch 37.

Row 1: 1 Dc in the 3rd ch from the hook. 1 LDC in ea of the next 34 sts. – 35 sts
Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 34 sts.
Rows 3-27: Rpt Row 2.

If you are making the Front rectangle,
Cut yarn and tie off.
If you are making the Back rectangle and you want a fold-over flap with a loop, continue on in pattern for 7 more rows, placing a chain loop of stitches in the middle of the last row (skip the chain loop if you are making a pillow or stuffie). I wanted the loop more on the inside (showing the button less) so I made the loop on the second to last row, and then crocheted over that row with the loop held on the inside, out of the way.

Side (1 continuous piece, in teal)
Ch 12.
Row 1: 1 dc in the 3rd ch from the hook. 1 LDC in ea of the next 9 ch sts. – 10 sts
Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 9 sts.
Rows 3-77: Rpt Row 2.
Cut yarn and tie off.
Compare the side strip to your front and back panels. It should have enough rows to match all the way around the 3 sides of the front & back rectangles, with plenty of room to turn the fabric at the corners. You can adjust the number of side rows here if needed.

Screen Face (Make 1, lighest blue, white, or preferred color – I held 1 strand of glow yarn in with the regular cotton light blue):
Ch 24.
Row 1: 1 dc in the 3rd ch from the hook. 1 LDC in ea of the next 21 sts. – 22 sts.
Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 21 sts. – 22 sts
Rows 3-12: Rpt row 2.
SC border: Ch 1, rotate. Work 2 sc in the side of every LDC row-end, making 3 sts in each corner to turn. 1 sc in each st across the bottom (the foundation chain), making 3 sts at the corner to turn. 2 sc in the side of every LDC row-end. Stop at final corner.
Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Here’s a picture of his face glowing! Sorry for the terrible image quality here. But it does glow!

Arms (Make 2, light blue)
MR.
Rnd 1: 6 sc into the ring. Tighten.
Rnd 2: 1 sc in ea of the next 6 sc – 6 sts.
Rnds 3-18: Rpt Row 2
Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Legs (Make 2, teal)
MR.
Rnd 1: 6 sc into the ring. Tighten.
Rnd 2: (1 sc in the next sc, 2 sc in the next sc) rpt around – 9 sts
Rnd 3: 1 sc in ea of the next 9 sc. – 9 sts
Rnds 4-12: Rpt rnd 3.
Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Arrow Pad (Make 1, yellow)
MR
Rnd 1: Ch 2( does not count as first dc). Dc 12 into the ring. Tighten. Join with a sl st in the first dc of the round.
Rnd 2: *Ch 3. Dc in the same stitch. 2 dc in the next st. 1 dc in the next st. Working down the side of the last dc stitch made, slip stitch 2 toward the round below. Work 1 sl st in the same stitch of the round below. Sl st in the next free dc. Rpt from * 3 more times to form all 4 arrow directions.
Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Red & Green Button (Make 1 each)
My green yarn was small, so my green button was naturally smaller as I would imagine a Video Game Guy to have a smaller green button than red button πŸ˜‰ But you can substitute hdc’s for dc’s to make the green button smaller if your yarn is the same weight as the rest!
MR
Rnd 1: Ch 2, 12 dc into the ring, tighten. Sl st in the first dc to join.
Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Blue Button (Make 1)
My blue yarn is small, so my blue button is small – you can substitute hdc’s for the dc’s and sc’s for the hdc’s to make the button smaller, if you are using the same weight yarn πŸ™‚
MR.
Rnd 1: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc). (3 dc into the ring, 3 hdc into the ring) 3 times. Join with a sl st in the first dc of the round.
Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Straps:
I forgot to note how many stitches long my straps were, but I ended up making them too long anyway so that’s that πŸ˜› So here’s a short description (skip the straps if you’re making a pillow or stuffie) :
Chain a length equal to the length you want your straps, or slightly under (a lot of weight will stretch them some).
Row 1: 1 dc in the 3rd ch from the hook. 1 LDC in every other stitch across.
Row 2: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 LDC in every other stitch across.
Repeat for as many rows as you want to get the width of your strap. Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Black Details:
Chain small lengths, single crochet back down the chains. Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Lining (Fabric, optional)
I wanted to make my Video Game Guy pretty sturdy (sturdy enough to house an actual portable game console) so I decided to line the inside of the backpack with fabric to reinforce it. I used scrap fabric and just traced my main pieces (the front side and the side rectangle) onto the fabric to get my shapes.

I used my serger for quick construction (it’s ugly, but it’ll mostly be hidden).

And added a channel at the top of the lining for a drawstring, because hey. I’m fancy. I used my regular sewing machine for that part.

Assembly

Using a bunch of locking stitch markers, line your side piece so it runs all the way around both sides of the Front & Back rectangle, with plenty of space at the corners.

Using light blue yarn, join at one end of the Side. To create a seam, work through 2 layers of crochet fabric at once. Single crochet down the side, working 2 single crochet per row-end, under the sides of the LDC stitches at the edge.

If you prefer, you could just use a tapestry needle and yarn to sew it together, but I think the single crochet seam creates a sturdy shape and a crisp edge and is worth the extra patience required!

When turning a corner, work 5 sc into the corner stitch to keep the corner sharp. Continue to work 2 sc into the sides of each LDC row end on the Side, but remember to keep 1 sc per CHAIN stitch on the Front rectangle, as you will now be working across the bottom of the foundation chain on the Front rectangle since you’re working the short side.

Continue on to turn another 5-sc corner and finish the seam up the other long side, leaving one short side (the one with the flap) un-seamed and open.

Repeat this process to seam on the back side.

At this point, weave in any ends on all of your extra pieces that AREN’T going to be used to sew the piece on. Don’t forget like me and accidentally weave in the long yarn tails used for your sewing threads πŸ˜€

For the screen face, place your safety eyes or other form of face-making onto the screen before sewing it on to the front of the backpack. I left the top of the screen open and un-seamed, for use as another small pocket:

I then added the arms and legs, unstuffed, by carefully seaming the top opening onto the flat side piece surfaces.

Next came aaaaaaalll the surface details: Arrow Pad, Colored Buttons, and black details are all seamed onto the surface of the front piece using the yarn tails and tapestry needle.

The final hurdle to jump before I finished the piece was the straps. Now, as I mentioned earlier, I made the straps too long. Possibly because I underestimated how much they would stretch, or possibly because I was just wrong πŸ˜€

Regardless, I used locking stitch markers to test-place the straps, inserting more strap on the inside of the backpack if I needed to shorten it more. Since mine is getting a lining anyway, it won’t matter if there’s a little extra strap poking around in there.

Once they were arranged to my liking, I used the tapestry needle and the remaining yarn tails to sew them into place on the top and bottom. After messing around a little more with the flap and straps, I was ready insert my lining.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s really scary to place something you’ve lovingly stitched for hours with your hook and soft yarn, right into the gaping maw of the stabby-stabby machine. But the more I sew on crochet, the more I get used to it and the more I learn, so away I went! Stabby Stabby!

I sewed reinforcement stitching on the straps, and sewed all along the top rim of the backpack with a straight stitch, keeping an eye on my tension settings. I also added a round button on the inside front of the bag, so the top flap would button down but the button wouldn’t show on the face of the Game Guy.

Lastly, I added the drawstring. Exceedingly happy with my project, I hastened to type up this tutorial so that others might make their own Video Game Guy! This special piece is going to my friend for her birthday ❀

I hope you enjoy making this project, and maybe try out different versions – a simplified project might be to make a stuffed friend or pillow out of VGG! Or even a smaller patch version? ❀

If you liked this free tutorial and want to show off your project, Morale Fiber has a pretty kick-butt Facebook Group now with ALL KINDS of awesome fantasy, boho, hippie, nerdy, and alternative crochet projects shared by fiber fans ❀ Check it out and see if you’d like to join us here!

-MF

Basic Bikini Cup Tutorial

One of the very first things I tried my hand at when I began crafting more complex crochet projects was the bikini top. It seemed like such a doable project, in a relatively short amount of time, and for great rewards – something totally cute to wear that I MADE!

Well, once I started I never did stop trying variations of these, and I became fascinated with the different ways these comfortable and fun projects could be shaped. I followed other patterns, looked at charts and countless examples on Pinterest, and made many of my own including some for which I formed specific designs and published as PDFs!

(Pictured above: The Basic Bralette)

But it was the popularity of the Basic Bralette Tutorial that spurred me to finally create a general Bikini Cup tutorial. Much like with the bralette design, the Basic Bikini Cup Tutorial is meant to be a jumping-off pattern from which you can experiment with your own unique variations.

For the Basic Bikini Cup Tutorial, we’re going to give a bunch of examples and show how cup shape and size can be modified by varying stitch height and increases.

Hopefully this is a good overview useful for both seasoned crocheters as a quick reference and for newbies who don’t know where to start. If you like this tutorial and want to save it, give it a fave on the Ravelry design page!

I’ve included photos, written instructions, AND how-to videos with examples of the strategies used to create one-of-a-kind halter tops and bikinis out of these customized cups ❀ I hope you love!

Check out these other halter top patterns from Morale Fiber or keep scrolling for the FREE Basic Bikini Cup Tutorial!

Basic Bikini Cup Tutorial

Notes:

-Cups are worked by stitching up one side of the foundation row, increasing at the peak (or end) and stitching down the other side. These rows are turned and worked back and forth, placing the increases at the central top for every row.
-First row counts as the foundation row, not Row 1 – be careful when counting your rows. I find it easiest to count by the number of increases.
-Beginning chain does not count as first stitch
-Cups can be worked to desired size by adding rows that maintain the established pattern
-Cups can be put together in a multitude of ways – crochet around them and experiment with inventing unique halters of your own – I tried to include lots of inspiration photos!
-The following includes the pattern of three basic size/shape options, which illustrate the different ways to modify size. Mix and match the strategies as shown to create a custom fit ❀
-Find video tutorial instructions on creating your own unique halter below the written patterns & check out the examples provided throughout! πŸ™‚

Size and shape are determined by manipulating the following factors:


1. Stitch height: Here I’m working with single crochet (sc), half double crochet (hdc) and double crochet (dc)
2. Foundation Length: The number of stitches that make up the central row to be stitched around. I stick within the range of 10-15 normally but it can be any amount.
3. Increase Style: Increases are placed at the central peak of the cup – here I’m either adding +4 stitches per row (2 stitch, 1 chain, 2 stitches increases – where the chain does not count) or +2 stitches per row (1 stitch, 1 chain, 1 stitch increases).
4. Number of Rows: How many rows of stitching are made.

I make a few size recommendations below each cup – but just be aware that you can make any of these to any size desired, depending on how you finish them.

Single Crochet Cups

Stitch: SC
Foundation #: 10
Increases: (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc)

Ch 11 – (10 chain stitches for the foundation stitches, + 1 extra for the turn)

Foundation Row: Sk first ch st, 1 sc in the 2nd ch from the hook and in each of the next 9 ch sts. – 10 sc

Row 1: Ch 1 (does not count as first sc), turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 9 sts. In the end of the foundation row, working into the 1 ch st left over from the foundation, work (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc). Rotate the row so as to work down the opposite side, into the initial foundation chain (working the bottom loops). 1 sc in ea of the next 10 sts. – 22 sc

Row 2: Ch 1 (does not count), turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 10 sc. (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 sc in ea of the next 11 sts. – 24 sc

Row 3: Ch 1 (does not count), turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 11 sc. (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 sc in ea of the next 13 sts. – 26 sc

Row 4: Ch 1 (does not count), turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 12 sc. (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 sc in ea of the next 14 sts. – 28 sc

Row 5: Ch 1 (does not count), turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 13 sc. (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 sc in ea of the next 15 sts. – 30 sc

Row 6: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 14 sc. (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 sc in ea of the next 16 sts. – 32 sc

You can continue on in this pattern for as many rows as you like, maintaining the same method of increasing in the central ch-1 and working 1 stitch in every other stitch.

Above: Two single crochet style cups. Left – Foundation 10 sts, +2 / (1sc, ch 1, 1 sc) increases.
Right – Foundation 5 sts, +4 / (2 sc, ch 1, 2 sc) increases.

I worked the SC, +4 increase style cup for 9 rows to make the top shown below. This pattern makes a very small, flat cup and is appropriate for A cup sizes.

And Sc, +2 increases and 9 rows to make this top – I recommend this cup for A-B size busts.

Half Double Crochet Cups

Stitch: HDC
Foundation #: 10
Increases: (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc)

Pictured Above, from left to right:
1. HDC, Foundation 10 sts, +2 / (1 hdc, ch 1, 1 hdc) increases.
2. HDC, Foundation 15 sts, +2 (1 hdc, ch 1, 1 hdc) increases.
3. HDC, Foundation 10 sts, +4 (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) increases.

Ch 12 – (10 chain stitches for the foundation stitches, + 2 extra for the turn.)

Foundation Row: Sk first 2 ch sts. 1 hdc in the 3rd ch from the hk and in ea of the next 9 ch sts. – 10 hdc.

Row 1: Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc), turn. 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 9 sts. In the end of the foundation row, working into the side of the 2 chains left over from the foundation, work (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc). Rotate the row so as to work down the opposite side, into the initial foundation chain (working the bottom loops). 1 hdc in ea of the next 10 sts. -24 hdc

Row 2: Ch 1 (does not count), turn. 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 11 hdc. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 hdc in ea of the next 12 sts. – 28 hdc

Row 3: Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 13 sts. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 hdc in ea of the next 14 sts. – 32 hdc

Row 4: Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 15 sts. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 hdc in ea of the next 16 sts. – 36 hdc

Row 5: Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 17 sts. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 hdc in ea of the next 18 sts. – 40 hdc

Row 6: Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 19 sts. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 hdc in ea of the next 20 sts. – 44 hdc

You can continue on in this pattern for as many rows as you like, maintaining the same method of increasing in the central ch-1 and working 1 stitch in every other stitch.

Cups made with either +2 increases or +4 increases in HDC are my all-purpose cup pattern. They really do well with most bust sizes, have good proportional qualities, and are a good place to start if you don’t know your preferred size exactly.

In this YouTube video, I show how to work the HDC, +4 increase style step by step – but it’s a good example of the techniques no matter what stitch and increase combo you use! Check it out:

I used HDC, +4 increases to make this top:

The crocodile stitch scale portion that I worked onto the bottom of the cups is from my Feather & Scale Halter Top crochet pattern! πŸ™‚

Double Crochet Cups

Stitch: DC
Foundation #: 15 (+2)
Increases: (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc)

Pictured Above: 1. (Top) – DC, Foundation 15 sts, +4 / (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) increases.
2. DC, Foundation 5 sts, +4 / (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) increases.

Ch 17 – (15 for the foundation sts, + 2 to turn)

Foundation Row: Sk first 2 ch sts. 1 dc in the 3rd ch from the hk and in ea of the next 14 ch sts. – 15 dc.

Row 1: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 14 sts. In the end of the foundation row, working into the side of the 2 chains left over from the foundation, work (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc). Rotate the row so as to work down the opposite side, into the initial foundation chain (working the bottom loops). 1 dc in ea of the next 15 sts. – 34 dc

Row 2: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 16 dc. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 dc in ea of the next 17 sts. – 38 dc

Row 3: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 18 dc. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 dc in ea of the next 19 sts. – 42 dc

Row 4: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 20 dc. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 dc in ea of the next 21 sts. – 46 dc

Row 5: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 22 dc. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 dc in ea of the next 23 sts. – 50 dc

Row 6: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 24 dc. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 dc in ea of the next 25 sts. – 54 dc.

You can continue on in this pattern for as many rows as you like, maintaining the same method of increasing in the central ch-1 and working 1 stitch in every other stitch.

I used the DC, +4 increases style cups with the 5-stitch foundation length to make this bikini! DC stitch cups get wider faster (because of stitch height) and are therefore a great choice for fuller busts.

DC, +4 increases with a foundation length of 15 makes a much bigger cup, as you can see in this halter top (I’m a B-ish cup but it could easily fit a larger chest)

Finishing Your Bikini

There are a lot of different strategies for completing a crocheted top once both bikini cups have been made. First, you’ll need to attach them, which I usually do by crocheting across the bottom of one cup, then directly onto the bottom of the other as one row.

From there, you can crochet rows off the side, work in rounds, add straps, and create other features such as decorative stitching an added motifs. Here’s some side views of completed tops to show the bands and straps:

The video demo below shows how to crochet a bottom band to attach the cups, as well as some of my strategies for creating a finished top including creating bands and straps. I also show in more detail the types of finishings on the tops pictured above πŸ™‚

If you’re not experienced enough to make up your own pattern and are looking for a more structured way to use the bikini cups, check out my TOTALLY FREE pattern for the Kismet Halter Top, which is designed to utilize this style of cup!

By utilizing the different lengths of foundation stitch, stitch height, and number of increased stitches, this style of bikini cup can be made exactly as you like! I hope this tutorial and explanation is useful, and if you have specific questions be sure to leave a comment! ❀

Thanks – and don’t forget to get out (safely) into the sunshine!

-MF