Lotus Hooded Duster

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It’s finally time! I’ve received many requests over the last few years to design a hood for my Lotus Duster free crochet pattern, and it’s been on my to-do list for long enough – today we debut the hood addition to this design! πŸ˜€

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The hood is partially made, then inserted into the main pattern rather than added after the entire thing is finished, so if you are working the Lotus Duster you will be adding the hood after Round 22, then continuing with the main pattern from there and working over the hood brim in addition to the rest of the garment. Also, I made the version pictured here sleeveless (because I wanted to wear it this summer) and I made a few adjustments to the sizing as well, which are explained in the instructions πŸ™‚

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If you like these patterns and want the portable, printable, ad-free version, good news! The Hood Tutorial is now included as a bonus PDF along with the PDF version of the Lotus Mandala Duster pattern, available in my Etsy Shop and Ravelry Pattern Store! And don’t forget my offer for bundled patterns with my new pattern discount codes:
15% off of 2: MF15OFF
20% off of 3-4: MF20OFF
25% off of 5-6: MF25OFF
30% off of 7+: MF30OFF

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The pattern given for the Hood is more of a tutorial and doesn’t include specific stitch counts like the main Lotus Duster pattern does. I also used a random mishmash of yarns, some slightly bigger than I would normally use for this design, which makes a difference in sizing and gauge, etc – so I left the hood instructions open with modifications for individual gauge and preference. I considered using the standard yarn that I use for the main pattern, but I just really wanted to make this crazy thing using all these crazy yarns!

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The majority of the yarns used in this example are either upcycled by me from old sweaters (see my detailed tutorial on how to recycle sweater yarn) or rescued from the thrift store. If you liked this project, give a girl a fave over on the Ravelry project page for this design!

Oh, and those leafy wrap bracelets I am wearing are from another FREE crochet pattern of mine, the Ivy Crown garland.

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Lotus Hooded Duster

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Materials: 5.50 mm hook
Extra yarn – I would estimate the hood addition requires 300-500 yards of yarn more than the standard pattern. Please refer to the main pattern for more info on materials needed, gauge, etc.

Notes: As mentioned, I made a few tweaks to the sizing of this sleeveless duster to get the look I wanted. I started working the main pattern in size Small, then added length and width by working some of the extra rows suggested in the Large size – but not all of them, so the size came out more like a Medium.

Instructions

Work the Lotus Duster 2.0 pattern through to Round 21.

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On Rnd 22 I made an adjustment to the amount of double crochet that I worked across the chain loop that creates the armhole opening.

22. Ch 3 – counts as first dc. 1 dc in the next dc (3 dc in the next ch-1 space, 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc) 9 times. 3 dc in the next ch-1 sp, 1 dc in the next dc. 1 dc in ea of the next 30, 33 ch sts. 1 dc in the next dc (1 dc in the next ch sp, 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc) 9, 13 times**. 1 dc in the next ch sp, 1 dc in the next dc. 1 dc in ea of the next 30, 33 ch sts. 1 dc in the next dc (3 dc in the next ch-1 space, 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc) 63, 65 times. 3 dc in the next ch-1 sp, join with a sl st to the 3rdΒ ch of beg ch-3. – 460, 488 sts”

Instead of working 1 dc in each of the chain stitches made for the armhole loops (making 30 total dc over each armhole) I worked 20 total dc into the armhole loop itself, not the stitches.Β This means that the stitches can stretch across the loop made by the chains and are not anchored to the stitches themselves – to do this, just insert the hook underneath the chain loop to work your stitches across (do not insert your hook into the actual stitches, just the space underneath the chain).

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I forgot to get an actual picture at this stage, so this one is from a little later in the pattern. Still, check out how the stitches are arranged across the armhole loop space – this accomplishes a slight tightening at the bust and shoulder area and makes room for the extra draping material that will be added by the presence of the hood. If these step seems confusing or you are having trouble with sizing, it’s 100% okay to skip this step – it’s not a crucial adjustment. I just made this change because it helps keep all that pretty lacey material tucked around the shoulders for a better fit.

So with that in mind, finish Round 22 as written with or without the armhole adjustments. Once Rnd 22 is complete, set the main body of the duster aside to begin the hood.

Hood Instructions

Using the 5.50 mm hook and your yarn of choice, Chain 35.

The length you chain depends on your gauge – if you hold the chain starting at the nape of the neck, it should be long enough to reach the back of your head. If 35 is too short, chain more.

Row 1: Dc in the 4th ch from hook, ch 1, sk next st. (Dc, ch 1, sk next st) 14 times, or however many times you need to reach the second to last stitch of the chain. Dc, ch 1 in next st. In the last st of the chain, work (Dc, ch 1) 3 times. Rotate the piece so that you are working into the bottom of the chain stitches, creating a chain with stitches on both sides. Dc, ch 1 in the next st, sk next st. (Dc, ch 1, sk next st) 14 times. Dc in next st. Dc in the final st.

Row 2:Β  Ch 4 (counts as first dc + ch 1), turn. (Dc in next ch -1 space, ch 1) 16 times. (Dc, ch 1) twice in ea of the next 2 ch-1 spaces. (Dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) 16 times. Dc in the final dc of the previous row.

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The central chain at the back of the hood

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The instructions in bold create two increase spaces at the tip of one end of the piece. Through the next part, you will work the same kind of increase in each of these two increase spaces on every row – so it’s helpful to mark them!

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Row 3: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), turn. (Dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) 17 times. (Dc, ch 1) twice in the next space. Dc, ch 1 in the next space. (Dc, ch 1) twice in the next space. (Dc in the next space, ch 1) 16 times. 1 dc in the final ch-1 space, 1 dc in the final dc of the previous row.

Row 4: Ch 4 (counts as first dc + ch 1). (Dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) 18 times. (Dc, ch 1) twice in the next space. Dc, ch 1 in each of the next 2 spaces. (Dc, ch 1) twice in the next space. (Dc in the next space, ch 1) 18 times.Β  Dc in the final dc of the previous row.

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Side profile of the hood addition, folded in half – at 9 rows

Keep working in this same manner, placing increases at the two increase points on every row, until your hood has 11 total rows (or until the hood is tall enough to reach the top of your head).

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The next few rows skip the increases to add depth to the hood without adding more height.Β You can repeat the next two rows as many times as you like to get the depth of hood that you want/need, but remember that since there are still 15 rounds left in the main pattern that will add height and depth to the hood, so you really don’t need this part to be a fully functioning hood yet.

Row 12: Ch 4 (counts as first dc + ch 1). (Dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) in each space across. Dc in the final dc of the previous row.

Row 13: Ch 3 (counts as first dc). (Dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) across. 1 dc in the final ch space, 1 dc in the final dc of the previous row.

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Once your hood addition is completed, cut your yarn and tie off. Now we are going toΒ  attach the hood to the work-in-progress main body of the duster.

My hood addition when finished by itself is about 20″ across the bottom, and 12″ at the highest point.Β 

Attaching the Hood

On the main duster, use a stitch marker to mark the central dc between the armholes. I do this by counting how many v-stitches are in the row below, then finding the central v-stitch or space between v-stitches – the double crochet above will be the central point. Align the hood’s flat edge with this point, matching the end of the foundation chain to the middle point marked on the duster.

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Attach yarn, insert hook through both the vest and the hood at the central point. Work a sc in ea dc through the hood, working 2 attaching stitches for the side of every DC at the end of a row. This was 25 stitches for me to get to the end of the hood.

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Half the hood is now attached – now we start on the other side and attach the opposite half.

Count out the amount of sts needed for the other side. Cut yarn and reattach at this point, then work toward the central point using the same strategy to attach.

 

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Of course, you can always just whip stitch the hood onto the main duster if using a crocheted method of attaching seems like too much bother. I prefer a stitched seam here because the hood is going to be resisting against the weight of the rest of the duster (which is not light) and I want the seam to be strong and not stretch too much.

Once your hood is attached in whichever fashion you prefer, cut your yarn and tie off. It’s time to pick back up where we left off on the main body of the duster at Round 23. Only now, we will be working all the rest of the rounds across the brim of the hood as well as around the main body.

“23. Ch 3 – counts as first dc. (Sk next three sts, 1 dc in the next st. Ch 3, 1 dc in the same st) 114, 121 times. Sk next three sts, dc in the next st, ch 1. Hdc in the 3rdΒ ch of beg ch-3 to join.”

Round 23 creates V-stitches all around the garment – to work the first round that includes the hood, work a V-stitch over the arm opening stitches asΒ  instructed…

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Then work a V-stitch in each of the ch-1 spaces around the brim of the hood addition.

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Continue the round across the entire brim of the hood, and then around the main body as well, using the instructions given. Remember that because of the hood addition, your stitch counts will not be the same as given in the main pattern.

Once Round 23 is complete, all remaining rounds can be worked as written in the main Lotus Duster pattern, just working around the entire body including the hood! One more consideration is the half-rounds at Rnd 35 and 36 – because you have added a hood, you’ll have to recalculate what amount of stitches constitutes the top half of the garment and then work the half-rounds across that amount of stitches, not the amount given in the main pattern.

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To calculate this number, count the total number of stitches in Rnd 34, then divide that number by half. Beginning with the Rnd 34 join at the side of the duster, count out your V-stitches that equal half of the total. Mark the final stitch of this set, then work Row 35 and 36 only on that portion following the instructions given. For my duster vest, half of the total equalled 224 V-stitches.

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Once the garment in completed, I cut the yarn and wove in the ends. I added the slip stitching necessary to anchor the ties as shown in the main pattern, then added two braided ties on each side.

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Since I left this version sleeveless, I finished the armholes with a row of dc around the inside.

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I really love this particular version of the Lotus Duster – the lack of sleeves makes it a good garment for warmer weather, but the hood and the length make it mysterious and costume-y enough to be a stunning festival piece! In my tradition of naming these after female singer songwriters, I’m calling this baby “Florence.” ❀

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The polymer clay horns and woodland tree spirit pendant I am wearing in this shoot came from my amazing friend Wendy Davies from Dark Pony Art – please check out her art and give her a like on her Facebook Page!

If you like my designs, you can head over to my Facebook Page too and hit that follow button!

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As always, I’m filled with gratitude for everyone who likes, comments, shares, and creates my designs! I can’t help but remember a time when where I am at now seemed beyond my wildest imaginings ❀ And it’s all possible because of you magical beings out there who support me, thank you so much ❀ I am honored to create with you!

-MF

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Pattern-Versary

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It’s been about a year since I published my two sister patterns, the Lotus Mandala Duster and the Lotus Circular Vest – crazy right? I mean I’m not sure if I can’t believe it’s already been a year, or if I can’t believe it’sΒ onlyΒ been a year, but either way. Y’know?

Anyway, those two freebies continue to be my most popular posts these days, so I’ve spent a lot of time making them as good as they can be and as widely available as possible – revising and updating the writing to make it clearer, answering questions, publishing the vest pattern in PDF form (which you can purchase on Ravelry or Etsy – although it’s still free on the blog) and of course making a bunch more of them because I love them! Β And, by the way, I have LOVED seeing all the versions that everyone has made of these designs – thank you all for creating art with me! ❀

So here’s some more updates on what I’ve been doing with them lately:

First – I’ve been promising a PDF version of the Duster for some time now, and it’s officially underway and will hopefully be ready to release in the fall. I’m determined to make it very much worth the wait! There’s a couple of aspects of the pattern that I thought needed reworking, and therefore re-testing. Fortunately I don’t mind making these over and over again πŸ˜‰
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This one is called “Joni” (I have taken to naming them all after female singer/songwriters) and it’s been done for a while but until recently I didn’t have a proper picture of it. It’s a size small, for sale in my Etsy shop.

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Like the others, this duster is primarily handspun yarn and recycled cotton sweater yarn, lovingly yanked out of it’s original form and restitched by yours truly. I love how the dark blue makes it look a little witchier. I’m not gonna cackle here but I could – I’ve been taking lessons.

Second, I can’t stop making the Lotus Circular Vest with the gorgeous colorways of Shawl in a Ball. That yarn fits the design even better than the yarn I originally designed it with. Except, I like to add little variations when I’m repeating a design, so I experimented with adding sleeves to this version too.

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I went for a practical, slender sleeve this time – and it worked out awesome! So guess what I’m working on now? Getting that written out, too πŸ˜› Which actually shouldn’t take too long, so keep an eye out because the Lotus Cardigan Sleeve will be appearing on the blog and as an adjunct PDF file very soon!

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AAAaaaand this is what happens when I get tired of making the same four faces when I’m modeling my stuff:

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-MF

 

Time and Tied

My ideas have seemed a bit dammed up lately, to be honest. Not for lack of inspiration, and not even for lack of time Β – okay, maybe a little bit for lack of time. Even though I have tons of time to work on crochet et cetera, it never seems to be enough for the amount of things I want to do and create. And, as many creative types know, the more you create the more inspiration you get, and so you are doomed because you cannot possibly ever keep up because the harder you work the more ideas you’ll have.

At least, that’s what it’s like for me.

But I don’t mind things feeling a little tied up, because my experience has been that in matters of creativity it’s best to let things come to you when the time is right.

For instance, my giant bag of orphan yarn has contained, for several years now, balls of recycled yarn from scads of thrift store sweaters. I used a bit here and there, but no project seemed to be eager to fit the bill for the sheer quantity of recycled yarn in this particular weight (usually the sweater yarn I get is somewhere between lace weight and sport weight).

That is, until I just accidentally decided to use some of it in the free pattern for theΒ  Lotus Mandala Duster I made recently based off of my original Lotus mandala motif. Suddenly a whole new world of possibility opened up for these former sweaters! In between the actual pattern writing for my paid patterns and working on my stash of art yarns and hand dyed wool roving, I busted hook to do as the yarn commanded.

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And so out came the “Emmy Lou” duster jacket, made primarily out of recycled sweater yarn but also featuring a good bit of yarn that I spun myself (see this post for more info on that handspun).

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I haven’t gotten pictures of it on an actual person yet because I couldn’t wait πŸ˜‰

In addition to the pattern being free (you can find it on this blog post), I also wrote an extensive, somewhat insanely detailed tutorial last year on how to reclaim yarn from thrift store sweaters, which can be found in three parts:

Everything You Need to Know to Start Recycling Sweater Yarn:

Recycling Sweater Yarn cover

Getting Started and Breaking In V. 1

Breaking In V.2

Unraveling & Finishing

Naturally, before I have even made much of a dent in my stash of previously reclaimed sweater yarns, I ran out and picked up these misty-hued beauties from the thrift store for a future recycled sweater lace duster. I didn’t mean to, I swear. I was looking for summer clothes at the time.

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Of course, I have to wait until some of the dam of ideas I have sifting around in my head find their proper place in new patterns and tutorials before I can wail away on more recycled sweaters. I guess the moral of the story (not to be confused with the morale of the story) is that everything has to come in its own good time. So, if you are like me and experience the pangs of creative blockage from time to time, don’t stress. Someday you may find your patience amply paid for when your ideas find the right vehicle and you realize that’s what you were waiting for all along ❀

-MF

 

Lotus Mandala Duster

After seeing some great circular vests and talking about them with a fellow crocheter last festival, I came home inspired to do something I’ve had in my notebook for a while – rework my Lotus Throw pattern into a mandala-based circular vest! Which I did, and actually I did twice, which is why this post is a two-parter – each with a different FREE pattern guide. The sister pattern to this Lotus Mandala Duster is called the Lotus Circular Vest and can be found here.

IMPORTANT UPDATE πŸ™‚ – This is the OLD version of this pattern. If you are considering starting this pattern, I recommend using the NEW version, which has been cleaned up and has stitch counts and more detailed tutorial sections as well as TWO sizes instead of one. πŸ˜€

ACT ONE

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The Lotus Mandala Duster was one of those gravitational crochet projects that start with a small directionless idea and sort of grows and develops a certain gravity that pulls in other ideas and materials until it is way bigger than I meant it to be! It also qualifies as what I call a “sweater hack” since a large part of the materials came from yarn that was rescued from a boring old sweater and restitched into a new form.

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This first piece was a doozy, because I wanted a really earthy western influenced duster style jacket and I also wanted to use up some #2 weight yarn doing it – I ended up using my fractal plied handspun for the center and outer accent, some recycled cotton blend sweater yarn** I’ve had forever, and a DK weight cotton blend to fill in the gaps. And I made the only partially conscious decision to add a little Lannister influence with a dramatic pointed bell sleeve. I guess I’ve been watching too much Game of Sleeves. I mean, Thrones.

**To get your own recycled sweater yarn, see my extensive tutorial Everything You Need to Know to Start Recycling Sweater Yarn.

Both patterns a bit more like guides, since the basic circular pattern makes it easy to add or subtract rows, adjust sizing, and freestyle if desired (it’s encouraged.) This Duster Β was made in size small, a few of the outer circle worked on only the top half (to balance the length since the armholes are placed high) and the sleeves are tutorial style instead of written in stitch counts. Β Since the Duster style coat was made with a bunch of homeless recycled yarn, I have don’t have a precise yardage requirement, but it tends to be around 1500 yards according to Ravelry and my own personal experience. πŸ™‚

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Lotus Mandala Duster

Notes: The Lotus Circular Vest has better close-up photographs of the central motif, so if you are having trouble figuring out a round you might find it helpful to look at the pictures on that post πŸ™‚

5.5 mm hook, #1, #2, or #3 weight yarn – the recycled yarn I used was around 17 WPI, which could be fingering or sport depending on which chart you look at. Be sure to test your gauge, listed below.

Gauge: 3″ measured across the diameter after Rnd 3.

Final Dimensions:
22.5″ radius (measured from center of motif to bottom edge)
50″ diameter (measured from collar to bottom edge)

Some terms:

4-DC Cluster – Work 4 dc stitches, keeping the last loop on the hook for each. YO and draw through all 5 Β loops on the hook.

Shell – 2 hdc, 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc, 2 hdc

Make Magic Ring.

HI THERE!! It’s me again. In case you missed it in the paragraphs above, you should really consider working from the new, updated version of this pattern. I left the old version up just in case someone still needs it, but the newer pattern is really where it’s at – two different sizes, rewritten instructions, etc. Okay, just making sure you knew. πŸ™‚

  1. 8 sc into the ring, tighten. Join with a slip stitch in first sc of the round.
  2. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next sc, ch 1) 7 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4.
  3. Sc into the next ch-1 space, ch 1 – counts as first dc with last loop on the hook. Dc into ch-1 space 3 more times, keeping last loops on the hook. YO, draw through all four loops on the hook – first 4-dc cluster made. Ch 3. (Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-1 sp, ch 3) 6 times. Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-1 sp, ch 1. Hdc in the top of the first cluster. This positions your hook in the middle of a ch-3 sized space to begin your next round.
  4. Ch 2 – counts as first dc with last lp on hk, dc into ch-3 space 3 more times keeping last loops on the hook. YO, draw through all four loops on the hook – first 4-dc cluster made. Ch 2, work 1 4-dc cluster in same ch-3 space, ch 2. (Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-3 sp, ch 2, 4-dc cluster in the same sp, ch 2) 7 times. 4-dc cluster in next space, ch 2. Join with a sl st in top of first cluster.
  5. Sl st in first ch-2 space. Ch 2 – counts as first dc with last lp on the hk. Dc into the same space 3 more times keeping last lps on hk. YO, draw through all four lps on hk – first 4-dc cluster made, Ch 3. (Work 1 4-dc cluster into the next ch-2 space, ch 3) 14 times. Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-2 sp, dc in the top of the first cluster.
  6. Ch 3 – counts as first dc, 2 more dc in same space, Ch 3. (3 dc in the next ch-3 sp, ch 3) 15 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.
  7. Sl st in the top of the next dc. (Sk next dc, 2 Hdc, 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc, 2 hdc in the next ch-3 sp – shell made. Sk next dc, sl st in the next dc .) 16 times. Join with a sl st in first sl st.
  8. Ch 6 – counts as first dc + ch 3, sc in the top of next tr stitch in the middle of the shell, ch 3. (Dc in the next sl st between shells, ch 3, sc in next treble, ch 3) 15 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.
  9. Ch 3. Yarn over twice, insert hook into next sc and draw up a lp, (YO and draw through 2 lps on the hk) twice – one treble stitch leaving last lp on the hk made. Treble in next dc, leaving last lp on the hk – 3 lps remain on the hk. YO, draw through all 3 lps, ch 7. (In same dc as previous treble, treble crochet leaving last lp on hk, treble in next sc leaving last lp on hk, treble in next dc leaving last lp on hk – 4 lps on the hk. YO, draw through all four lps on hk, ch 7) 15 times. Join with a sl st in top of first treble.
  10. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch 7 space, ch 2, 4-dc cluster in the same space, ch 2. 4 dc cluster in the same sp, ch 1*, dc in top of joined trebles, ch 1) 16 times, ending last repeat at *. Sl st into 3rd ch of beg ch-4.
  11. (Ch 3. 4-dc cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 2, 4-dc cluster in the next ch-2 space*, ch 3, sl st in next dc) 16 times. On 16th rpt, end at *, dc in same st as beg ch-3.
  12. Ch 3 – counts as first tr with last loop on the hk. Work 1 tr with the last lp on the hk in the next cluster. YO and draw through both lps on the hook – first tr2tog made. Ch 4, work 1 4-dc cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 4. (Work 1 tr with the last lp on the hk in the top of the next cluster. Sk next 2 chain-3 spaces, work 1 tr with the last lp on the hk in the next cluster. YO and pull through all 3 lps. Ch 4, work 1 4-dc cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 4) 15 times. Join with a sl st in the first tr2tog. – 16 clusters + 16 tr2tog + 32 chain space
  13. Sl st in next ch-4 space. Ch 3 – counts as first dc. 4 dc in same space. (1 dc in top of cluster, 5 dc in next ch-4 space, 1 dc in top of joined trebles, 5 dc in next ch-4 space) 15 times. 1 dc in top of next cluster, Β 5 dc in next ch-5 space, 1 dc in top of joined trebles. Join with a slip stitch to top of first dc.
  14. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch-1. Sk next dc. (Dc in next dc, ch 1, sk next dc) 95 times. Join with a sl stitch to the 3rd ch of beg ch-4.
  15. (Sk next ch-1 space, 1 hdc, 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc, 1 hdc in next dc, skip next ch-1 space, sl stitch in next dc) 48 times.
  16. Ch 3 in the same st – counts as first dc. Sk next st, 1 hdc in next st, 1 sc in next st (1 hdc in the next st, sk next st, 1 dc in the next st, sk next st, 1 hdc in the next st, 1 sc in the next st) 47 times. Hdc in next stitch, join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.
  17. Ch 5 – counts as first dc + ch 2. (Sk next st, dc in next stitch, ch 2) 95 times. Sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-5.
  18. (Sc in the next ch space, ch 3) 95 times. Sc in the next ch space, ch 1, hdc in the first sc of the round.
  19. Sc in the same ch space, ch 3. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 3) 94 times. Sc in the next ch space, ch 1, hdc in the first sc of the round.
  20. Rpt rnd 19.

Armhole round:

  1. Ch 3 – counts as first dc in V-stitch pattern. (1 dc in the next ch space, Β ch 3, 1 dc in the same space) 10 times. Ch 30, sk the next Β 6 ch-3 spaces, (1 dc in the next ch space, ch 3, 1 dc in the same space) 10 times. Ch 30, sk the next 6 ch-3 spaces, (1 dc in the next ch space, ch 3, 1 dc in the same space) 63 times. 1 dc in the next ch space, ch 3, sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.

22: Ch 3 – counts as first dc. 1 dc in the next dc (3 dc in the next ch-3 space, 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc) 9 times. 3 dc in the next ch-3 sp, 1 dc in the next dc. 1 dc in ea of the next 30 ch sts. 1 dc in the next dc (3 dc in the next ch sp, 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc) 9 times. 3 dc in the next ch sp, 1 dc in the next dc. 1 dc in ea of the next 30 ch sts. 1 dc in the next dc (3 dc in the next ch-3 space, 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc) 63 times. 3 dc in the next ch-3 sp, join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. – 480 stsΒ (It has come to my attention that this stitch count, and therefore some of the other counts following, might be off, so please bear with me until I can check it!)

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The placement of the armholes determines the size – measure straight across the shoulder blades to check your sizing.

  1. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. Dc in the same st, sk next 2 sts (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc in the next st. Sk next 2 sts) 158 times. 1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc in the next st. Sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4.
  2. Sc in next ch-1 space, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch-1. 1 dc in the same space. (1 dc in the next ch-1 sp, ch 1, dc in the same space) 159 times. Sl st in the 2nd ch of beg sc+ch-3.
  3. (Sc in next ch-1 space, ch 4) 159 times. Β Sc in the next ch-1 sp, ch 1, dc in the first sc of the round.
  4. Sc in the same space, ch 4. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 4) 158 times. Sc in the next ch sp, ch 1, dc in the first sc of the round.
  5. Sc in the same sp, ch 5. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 5) 158 times. Sc in the next space, ch 2, dc in the first sc of the round.

28-30. Rpt rnd 27.

  1. Sc in the same sp, ch 6. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 6) 158 times. Sc in the next space, ch 3, dc in the first sc of the round
  2. Sc in the same sp, 6 dc in next sc – one fan made. (1 sc in next ch-6 sp, 6 dc in next sc) 159 times, join with a sl st in first sc of the round.
  3. Ch 5 – counts as first dc + ch 2. Sc in 3rd dc of fan, ch 1, sc in the next dc, ch 2 (dc in next sc, ch 2. Sc in the 3rd dc of next fan, ch 1, sc in the next dc, ch 2) 158 times. Dc in the next sc, ch 2, sc in the 3rd dc of next fan ch 1, sc in the next dc, work 1 hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-5.
  4. Ch 4 – counts as first hdc + ch 2. (Hdc in the next ch-2 space, ch 2, hdc in the next ch-1 sp, ch 2, hdc in the next ch-2 sp, ch 2) 159 times. Hdc in the next ch-2 sp, ch 2, hdc in the next ch-1 sp, hdc in the 2nd ch of beg ch-2.

At this point the bottom of my duster was the length that I wanted it, so I switched to working the following rounds on the top half only so that the bottom wouldn’t be too long.

LotusDuster1

  1. Sc in the same space, ch 2 – counts as first dc. (Dc in the next ch-2 space, ch 1, dc in the same sp) 480 times. In first ch-2 sp of round, dc, ch 1, join with a sl st to 2nd ch of the beg ch-2.
  2. Sl st in the next dc and in the next ch space, ch 2 – counts as first dc with last loop left on hook, work 2 more dc in same space, leaving last lps on the hk. YO, pull through all lps on hk -3 dc cluster made, ch 2. (3 dc cluster in the next ch-1 sp, ch 2) 480 times. Join with a sl st to the top of the first cluster.

Work next round over entire brim of sweater.

  1. Sl st into the next ch-2 space, ch 3 – counts as first dc. 2 dc in the same space. (3 dc in the next ch-2 space) around. Join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.

Cut yarn and tie off.

Sleeves:

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After Step 1 of the sleeves

Step 1. Attach yarn on the inside of the armhole, ch 2 – counts as first dc.. 2 dc in ea ch space, 1 dc into the base of all 30 ch sts. 2Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round. For larger sleeves, work 3 or 4 dc sts into each ch space. Work the same number of dc sts into the base of the chain.

Step 2. Sc in the same st, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch 1. Sk next st. (Dc in the next st, ch 1, sk next st) around. On the last repeat, replace the ch-1 with a hdc to position your hook in the middle of the space to begin the next round.

Step 3. Sc in the same sp, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next sp, ch 1) around. On the last repeat, replace the ch-1 with a hdc to position your hook in the middle of the space to begin the next round.

After a couple rows of this, size down to a smaller hook if desired. I sized down to 4.5 to make the sleeve snug on my upper arm.

Rpt row 3 until your total reaches 17 rows, or until the length reaches your elbow.

DSCN4964.JPG

Locate the ch space that is centered at the back of the elbow and mark it. (14th space from the join for me) This will now be Β the increase center.

Step 4. Sc in the same space, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) until you reach the increase center. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the increase center. The middle chain space made in this repeat is now the increase center. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) the rest of the way around. Repeat until short side of sleeve is about mid-forearm (9 rounds for me)

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3 spaces created in one chain space forms the increase.

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After several rounds of Step 4

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Side view – Step 4

Step 5. Sc in the same space, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) until you reach the space before the increase center. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the next space. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the increase center. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the space after the increase center. The middle chain space made in the middle increase is now the increase center. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) the rest of the way around.

Step 6. Sc in the same space, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) until you reach the middle of one increase before the increase center. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the middle space of the next increase, work dc + ch 1 in between middle spaces. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the middle space of the next increase, work dc + ch 1 in between middle spaces. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the middle space of the third increase. The middle chain space in the middle increases made in this repeat is now the increase center. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) the rest of the way around. (Basically, put a 3-space increase in the center of each increase, dc + ch 1 in every other space.)

Step 7. Sc in the same sp, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the sp, ch 1) around. On the last repeat, replace the ch-1 with a hdc to position your hook in the middle of the space to begin the next round. – repeat until you reach 2 rows from where you want your sleeve to end (just past the wrist for me).

Sleevie1

Sleeve Detail. Witchy!

Step 8. On the 2nd to last row, 2 dc in ea ch-1 space, 1 dc in ea dc around.

Step 9. One the last row, 1 dc in ea st around.

Cut yarn and tie off. Repeat sleeve on the other side.

Weave in all ends.

And yes, I named it “Stevie” after the famous singer/songwriter and style icon, Sleevie Nicks. I mean, Stevie Nicks.

-MF

Update ! : Here are some photos of Steps 5 &6 of the ultra-ruffle sleeves, by request.

DSCN5630

After Step 5. As you can see, each of the spaces of the [(Dc, ch1)4x] increase have a [(Dc, ch1)4x] increase. For step 6, you will increase in the middle space of each of these three increases.

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Dc, ch 1 around the sleeve until you get the the middle (2nd) ch-1space of the first of the three [(Dc,ch1)4x] increases. (Dc,ch1) 4 times in that space.

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Dc, ch1 in ea ch-1 space until you reach the middle space of the next [(Dc, ch1)4x] increase – three times in this case. [(Dc,ch1) 4 times] in the middle space.

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Dc, ch 1 in ea ch-1 space until you reach the middle space of the third [(Dc, ch 1 ) 4x] increase. [(Dc, ch1) 4 times] in the middle space. Continue the sleeve by working one (Dc, ch1) in ea of the rest of the ch-1 spaces around.

It does hang kind of wacky at first, until you add more non-increased rows in Step 7 to balance things out.

Bindu Recycled Sweater Bikini

BinduBeforeAfter

When it comes to screaming “beach hippie” I don’t think you can get much louder than the crocheted bikini, and it didn’t take me very long to make one after re-entering the world of crochet in my late teens. Except, because I didn’t know any better seven years ago… I made it out of 100%Β acrylic. Yikes.

For those of you who don’t know, acrylic yarns do not breathe, and they certainly are not absorbent or fast-drying. So they aren’t the kind of material you want to sweat in. All I’m sayin’ is, crochet yourself an acrylic bikini and prepare for your boobs to suffocate.

Cotton’s the thing.

According to the Cotton Australia website, cotton can absorb up to 27 times its own weight in water, and the fibers actually become stronger when wet. Cotton’s thermal conductivity keeps the body warm in winter and cool in summer – in addition to its unique fiber structure that allows ventilation of air. Sounds like good bikini material to me.

I hodge-podged this crocheted bikini top together using recycled cotton sweater yarn and some really tight half doubles. The cup design comes from this wonderful, free bikini halter top pattern from Melissa Bjerregaard on Ravelry.

However, I didn’t really feel like messing with pineapple lace for this one, pretty as it may be. I designed my own edging for the cups. The following is more of a pattern recipe than a pattern. I used a lot of different techniques to make this, so for easy searching I have linked to any instructional material BOTH in the pattern AND in the following list.

Tutorial References:

Pineapple Lace summer halter neck top by Melissa Bjerregaard

Everything You Need to Know to Start Recycling Sweater Yarn by Morale Fiber

Double Chain Tutorial by Morale Fiber

Pom Pom Edge by Once Upon a Pink Moon

Crochet Chart Symbols from Craft Yarn Council

Bindu Cover

Inspiration for this free bikini halter top pattern came from my love of henna designs, the thick lotus-petal shaped motifs, linework and dot borders. Made from recycled cotton yarn, this pom-pom fringed top is earth friendly and perfect for dance class, unique festival wear, or your next beach adventure!

Stats:

Hook: Use whatever fits your yarn. I used a 2.25.

Yarn: 100% cotton yarn recycled from an old sweater, yarn similar to the following measurements: Β #1 weight, 22 WPI, 250 yards (.229 g per yard).

Bikini Recycled Sweater Yarn

Gauge: As tight as you can manage.

A few notes: I really dislike the “bump” under shirts in the back caused by tied bikini straps, so I rigged up a button system to avoid that. The pattern recipe is for regular style straps, so my pictures will differ slightly from the pattern.

I could not find the standard symbols for a few of the stitches I used. For these stitches I included a key in the charts.

1.Β First, crochet yourself two separate cups using the directions from this pattern.

2. With the wrong side of the cup facing, work a simple filet of (dc, ch 1) up one side of the top of the cup. I started at the bottom right corner and worked a ch 4 (counts as first dc + ch 1), *sk next stitch, dc in the next stitch* rpt.

When you come to the top point of the cup formed by the central 3 hdc cluster, you will work ONE of the following charts to increase. Making the filet increase for this point depends on whether you have an even number of stitches or an odd number.

BikiniEven BikiniOdd

Once you have worked your increase, continue working the filet repeat down the other side of the cup until 2 or 3 stitches from the bottom corner (just make sure you end your repeat on a dc). Without chaining, dc in the 2nd or 3rd stitch from the bottom corner of the next cup, connecting the two cups. Work the edging for the next cup in the same manner as the first. Work the repeat all the way to the corner of the second cup. Cut yarn & fasten off.

3.Β Double chain (click hereΒ for instructions) the length you want your side strap to be. With the right sideΒ of the cups facing, begin to single crochet across the bottom of the cup – you will be working stitches into the row edges of the original cup.

I didn’t sc in the edge of every row, because it came out looking too loose- remember that this is going to stretch a bit in places! I didn’t want the bottom of the cups stretching too much (that’s a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen) so I skipped about every third stitch – experiment and see what looks right to you. When you reach the end of the first cup, ch 1 and continue to sc across the bottom of the second cup using the same ratio.

When you reach the end of the second cup, start a double chain using the last sc as your base. Double chain the same length as your first side strap. Do not tie off.

4.Β Work 2 single chain stitches at the end of your double chain length. Turning your stitch direction counterclockwise (but not flipping the chain over) work hdc down the back of each double chain stitch, back toward the bikini cup.

Working the back of the double chain toward the cup. Ignore the fact that I have part of my bottom edging on already. For you, the bottom will just be straight.

Working the back of the double chain toward the cup.
Ignore the fact that I have part of my bottom edging on already. For you, the bottom will just be straight.

When you reach the cup, sc in each stitch across (both the dc stitches and the ch-1’s count as stitches here) until you reach the point at the top of the cup. Double chain your first strap from here, as long as you want it. When your strap is the appropriate length, ch 2 and work a hdc in each double chain stitch back down the opposite side of the chain. When you reach the cup point again, resume single crocheting two stitches from the beginning of your double chain.

The strap connecting point should look like this

The strap connecting point should look like this

Sc in each stitch until 3 stitches from the connecting point of the two cups. Ch 2, sk 6 stitches, sc in the next stitch and in each stitch across until you reach the point at the top of the second cup.

The 1st row and the 2nd row of the cup join.

The 1st row and the 2nd row of the cup join.

Work your strap in the same manner as with the first cup, then sc in each stitch until your reach the end of the second cup. Hdc in each double chain stitch of the strap until the end. Cut yarn and tie off.

5. Working with the bottom edge of the bikini, decide where you would like the edge motif to start and end (make sure you still have enough room to tie your straps tight – again, THIS WILL STRETCH SOME, so take that into account). You need a multiple of 5 +1 for the pattern repeat. Place markers at the beginning and end of your range.

Joining your yarn at your beginning stitch, work the following motif pattern within your set range of stitches.

a. Ch 3 (counts as dc + ch 1). *sk next stitch, dc in the next st, ch 1* rpt.

b. Ch 1, turn. Sc in each stitch across.

The bottom stitches are either double chain stitches or single crochet, depending on whether you are working the strap or the bottom of the cup.

The bottom stitches are either double chain stitches or single crochet, depending on whether you are working the strap or the bottom of the cup.

c. *Ch 9, sk 4 sts, sl st in the next st.* rpt

d. Ch 1, turn. *Work (2 hdc, 3 dc, 3 tr, 3 dc, 2 hdc) in the next ch-9 space* rpt.

BikiniChart1b

e. Turn. Sl stitch in the next 7 stitches. *ch 5, work 1 pom pom stitch, ch 5, sl stitch in the middle treble of the next cluster* rpt.

BikiniChartMain

Cut yarn and tie off. Weave in all the ends.

Crochet Bikini 13

Looks a little curly, doesn’t it? This is where blocking comes in. Since this is cotton, you can just dunk the entire thing in some water and soak it for a few minutes, then gently squeeze the water out (do NOT wring it). Lay it out on a towel and arrange it so the hem lays flat. You can pin it down to hold the shape if need be, paying special attention to the points to get a good dramatic silhouette goin’ on. Wait for it to dry and you’re done!

Ta-Da!

Ta-Da!

I added some wide wooden beads for a little extra fun by just slipping the strap through them. Now if only my state wasn’t completely landlocked.

If spending a ton of time messing with teeny yarn and guessing cup size is annoying for you, check out the Mehndi Halter Top – a paid pattern inspired by this project but uses #4 weight cotton blend yarns and detailed row-by-row directions in cup sizes from A- 38C!

Mehndi1

 

-MF