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 🙂
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
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 🙂 ❤
Acorns are easily one of the cutest things produced by trees. Their little round nutshells topped with a perfectly fitted cap, textured in minute detail, forcibly remind me of a wee head wearing a jaunty beret style hat – and I’m certainly not the first to try to recreate such a garment inspired by this adorable thing!
So when I set out to crochet an acorn-inspired hat, I wanted lots of texture and whimsy in the final design, something that would evoke the acorn while still capturing a spirit of otherness; something the little folk of the drawings of Cicely Mary Barker might want to adorn themselves with 🙂
Of course, I immediately set my mind on the crocodile stitch for this purpose. Though this stitch is an advanced one, I love it for the sense of magic it imparts to any crochet piece and that’s why I’ve created several patterns featuring this stitch already. The crocodile stitch is a special type of post stitching, so if you’ve never encountered post stitches, I’ve written a free Post Stitch tutorial right here on my blog! I do go over the crocodile stitch as well in this post 😉
So today I’m very excited to introduce the Oak Sprite Hat, an adult-sized acorn hat / beret design which features crocodile stitch worked in rounds from center to brim, edged with simple half double crochets and topped with the cutest little acorn cap stem. I also include a few notes on how to make this hat smaller for truly wee heads!
The pattern is available both for FREE as a video crochet tutorial series and as a paid PDF file in my Etsy Shop and Ravelry Store! Keep scrolling for the free crochet tutorial and videos or support my art directly by buying the PDF at the links above!
I worked several of these hats to finalize the crochet pattern, and while in the process I debated about whether or not to make the crocodile stitches point downward, as the scales do on an actual acorn cap, but in the end I remembered that primary rule from taking art classes in college – suggest, rather than tell. The hat’s acorn-ness isn’t really compromised by this detail, and besides – I really just liked them better pointing upward. This way the green version reminded me of a thistle blossom, which I accented by adding a bright pink poofball!
For those wondering, I don’t currently have plans to do a version of this myself with the croc stitches pointing downward, although it can be done – if you’re interested in trying it, it would work from the brim toward the center, and use decreases rather than increases. I may be so bold as to suggest investing in my Sylphie Hat Pattern, which works the croc stitches in that direction, to get familiar with that method 🙂
Anywho, Here are all the details of the pattern you need to make this must-have woodland accessory, and below you’ll find the three-part video tutorial series for working the Oak Sprite Hat. If you like this video I do have more on my YouTube channel, check it out if you like and thanks for visiting – clicks, shares, tags, tip jar donations, and pattern purchases are my livelihood and I am eternally grateful for my kind and generous audience (YOU) that makes it all possible! ❤ ❤
Oak Sprite Hat
5.00 mm hook – or size needed to obtain gauge
#4 weight yarn – listed below are the specific yarns used to make each hat. Recommended yarn is Caron Simply Soft. Scissors, tapestry needle
Finished Measurements: 23″ circumference for brim 33″ circumference for widest part of crown 7-8″ tall from tip to brim (not including stem)
Notes: Hat can be made a smaller overall size by skipping the final round of increases (Round 5) leaving the total number of croc stitches at 12. 12 croc stitches is ~16” circumference, or baby/child size. In this case you’ll want to work the brim at 48 stitches, without the decreases, unless decreases are necessary for the size being made. Hat can also be made a bit shorter by skipping one or two of the final rounds of non-increasing. 5 rounds are written in the pattern but 4 or even 3 can be done instead. There is a note in the written pattern where this is optional! 😊
Stitches & Abbreviations
Chain (ch) Double Crochet (dc) Slip Stitch (sl st) Half Double Crochet (hdc) Half Double Crochet 2 Together (hdc2tog, a decrease) Single Crochet (sc) Magic Ring (MR): A method of starting a circle with a tight center by working the first round of stitches into a yarn loop, then pulling the yarn tail tight to adjust the loop. Back Post Half Double (bphdc): Working the stitch into the post of the stitch below, inserting the hook from the back, around the post in the front, and re-emerging to catch the yarn in the back.
Special Stitches: Picot: Picot is made by chaining 3 stitches, then slip stitching in the top of the last dc made to form a small loop. I use the two front loops of the last dc to work the slip stitch into. Picots are made in place of the normal ch-1 that occurs in the middle of a croc stitch scale to create the Picot Croc Stitch.
Picot Croc Stitch (PCS): A crocodile stitch with a picot in the middle in place of the normal ch-1.
Crocodile Stitch (croc stitch/st): This is a type of crochet stitch that creates a 3-D effect of a petal or scale. The croc stitch is a special style of post stitching.
It works by creating an underlying framework of alternating “single” (1) dc and “paired” (2) dc sets, separated by a ch-1.
Pictured above is the framework for a row of croc stitches. Once this row is created, the croc stitches are worked across the same row, overlapping.
Crocodile stitches are a type of post stitch, meaning that the hook is inserted around the main body of the stitch instead of the top two loops as normal. The stitch is then worked around the “post”, meaning that the space underneath the stitch is used and the body of the stitch holds the actual stitches. This is an advanced stitch and does take some getting used to as well as adjusting direction and hold of the fabric to achieve.
Croc stitches have 5 dc worked (from the top of the dc down to the bottom) into the post of the first dc of the paired set of dc, then a chain (or in this case picot) is made, before switching directions and working 5 more dc into the next dc of the paired set, working from the bottom of the stitch to the top. Each scale is secured by working a slip stitch into the next singly standing dc before moving on to the next scale.
Pictured above is the direction of post stitches worked to form the crocodile scale (for right-handers, this will be reversed for lefties)
Once a row/round of crocodile stitches is complete, the next row/round will build another framework for the next layer of croc stitches by working the alternating single (1) dc and paired (2) dc into the previous stitches:
Above picture illustrates how the framework for the next row of croc stitches is placed. Each paired dc is worked into the single dc which lies below, which is referred to as the space or stitch between scales. Each singly standing dc is worked into the middle space of the scale below, between the paired doubles underneath.
This pattern works Picot Croc Stitches (PCS) in the round, starting from the center of the hat. To achieve this, we will be working PCS increases, which means that the framework of the rounds will sometimes place 2 sets of paired dc in the same st between scales, each set separated by a ch-1 on either side and a singly standing dc in the middle. This sets us up to work 2 croc stitches in that space.
Pictured above is the croc stitch increase framework: (2 dc, ch 1, 1 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the same st.
Oak Sprite Hat Video Tutorial Part 1
Video Tutorial Part 2
Video Tutorial Part 3
I hope you found this pattern to be helpful and interesting, and are inspired to create lots of clever pixie adornments for your friends and family! If you’ve caught the crocodile stitch bug like I have, here are some other patterns I offer that feature this stitch:
Or, how about woodland and creature themed accessories in general?
If right now you’re asking, “Is she trying to draw me deeper into a fantastical crochet forest from whence I shall never return?” the answer is yes 🙂
True to form, I’ve circled back around to reworking an older design at almost the exact anniversary of it’s original release. Five years ago in January I released the Boho Fringe Poncho as my tenth paid pattern. Today, I’d like to introduce this same design as it’s been reformatted, tweaked for improvements, and released FOR FREE here on the blog!
You can still get the updated crochet pattern as a PDF in my Ravelry and Etsy stores, or keep scrolling for the free pattern (which includes everything in the PDF)
I really enjoy revisiting my patterns to make sure that they are the best that they can be, and this is kind of a constant task as I’m always trying to grow and improve my skills as a pattern designer. Sometimes I just have more to offer in terms of technical assistance – additional tutorial photos were a MUST with this piece – and sometimes I believe that the form & content of the design makes it a good candidate to be re-released for free (the Rhiannon Cowl is another great little project of mine that started as a paid PDF and then debuted on the blog as a free version!)
In this case, I considered just about every aspect of the pattern needed attention 😉 Including the name! While I liked “Boho Fringe” it just didn’t really fit the nature of the poncho. This piece is a Big Booty Judy, made with thick warm woolen yarns, post stitches, and a cozy fit that hugs your shoulders for extra warmth. Realizing that its thicc qualities made it a perfect item to have in the coldest months I decided to rename it – the Winter Poncho!
This is a wonderful project for using up bulky or super bulky scraps (see the notes for more about yarn substitution), it uses large hook sizes so that the project works up quickly, and it’s waaaaaaarm 🙂
Winter Poncho Crochet Pattern
7 skeins Bernat Roving (#5 weight, 100 g / 120 yds, 80% Acrylic, 20% Wool) – all solid-colored examples are made with this recommended yarn, the multi-colored examples are made with a mix of bulky and super bulky weight scrap yarns! 9.00 mm hook, 11.5 mm hook Tapestry Needle Scissors
Measurements (approximate): 40” circumference at the top, 54” circumference at the bottom, 18”long (not including fringe)
4 sts & 3 rows = 2” in alternating fpdc/bpdc for 9.00 mm hook, 3 sts & 3 rows = 2” in alternating fpdc/bpdc for 11.5 mm hook.
The chain-2 at the beginning of every round does not count as the first stitch of the round. When joining rounds with the slip stitch, skip the ch-2 entirely and join into the first fpdc of the round.
I have recommended Bernat Roving for this project, which is a #5 weight yarn but it gauges somewhere between a bulky yarn and a super bulky yarn. Some of my Winter Ponchos have mixed #5 & #6 weight yarns, which works pretty well – but be sure to follow gauge if you substitute yarns!
The Winter Poncho is closed at the top with a drawstring, but the rest of the shape is dictated by hook size and follows the same number of stitches through every round. If you need a wider poncho, evenly place an even number of increases at Round 10 in order to size up.
Two types of fringing is offered in this pattern, the Double Chain Fringe of the original design, and the regular fringe which I have been favoring lately – both types are included in the instructions.
Poncho (Main Body)
Starting with the 9 mm hook, dch 80. Join with a slip stitch to form a ring, making sure not to twist.
Rnd 1: Ch 2, dc in the same stitch as join. (1 dc in the next st) 79 times. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round. – 80 sts
Rnd 2: Ch 2, fpdc in the first dc of the last round, bpdc in the next dc. (1 fpdc in the next st, 1 bpdc in the next st) 39 times. Join with a sl st in the first fpdc of the round – 80 sts
Rnds 3: Ch 2, fpdc in the first fpdc of the last round, bpdc in the next bpdc. (1 fpdc in the next st, 1 bpdc in the next st) 39 times. Join with a sl st in the first fpdc of the round.
Rnds 4 – 10: Rpt Rnd 3.
Switch to the 11.5 mm hook, then continue in pattern for rounds 11-27.
Rnds 11 – 27: Rpt Rnd 3.
Cut yarn and tie off.
Double Chain Drawstring
Double chain a length of 60” (about 120 DCh stitches) with your main yarn. Cut yarn and tie off. Weave this cord through the first row of post stitches at the top of the poncho, going underneath each FPDC and over each BPDC. Finish the ends with either a stranded fringe, tassel, pompom, or whatever you like!
The double chain fringe offers a bolder fringed look than the regular stranded yarn fringe, and copies the original inspiration piece for this design. For a humbler decoration, see the instructions for traditional fringe.
Using the 9.00 mm hook, dch 25- 45 sts or about 10 – 20” of unstretched double chain cord, depending on how long you want your chain fringe. Cut yarn and tie off. Make 19 more double chain cords of about the same length.
When you have twenty cords total, weave in all the yarn ends if you want a very neat fringe. Leave the yarn tails hanging down a bit for a more organic fringe.
If you survived the tedium of end-weaving, the next step is to double up the cords so that ends are together and a loop forms in the middle. Push that loop through the top of a fpdc stitch (NOT through the post) on Rnd 27 (the larger end of the piece).
Insert the ends of the double chain cord through the loop and draw them to tighten.
Repeat with the 19 other fringe cords, placing them every 2nd fpdc stitch so that there is 1 non-fringed fpdc between every fringed one.
Weave in all ends.
For a traditional fringe, get a book or length of cardboard 6” wide. Using your yarn of choice, wrap your yarn around the width 80 times, then cut one side to leave a bundle of 12” strands.
Double your strand over and use the loop at the end to thread the two loose ends through each crochet stitch around the border of the poncho.
Once you’ve put the finishing touches on your Winter Poncho, make sure all your ends are woven in before scurrying out into the cold!
I think the saying goes “Make new patterns but keep the old; one is silver, the other is gold!” Or something like that anyway 😉
Excitedly scoping a new pattern, picking through the stash for a suitable yarn for the project, dreaming up color schemes and envisioning your gloriously perfect new handmade thingamajig.
Except none of the yarns are the same weight as the pattern recommends. And you can’t find your 5.5 hook (check behind your ear). And your yarn fiber is wool, not bamboo. What to do?!
Gauge and Yarn Behavior for Crocheters
The number one question I get asked as a crochet pattern designer is “Can I use [X] yarn for this pattern? Do I need to change my hook?” And the answer to this question is always basically the same: Check your gauge!
Even if you have a passing familiarity with gauge, it’s about more than just how big your stitches are: multiple factors interact when it comes to how your crochet project is going to look & act with a certain yarn.
I’ve found from experience that it pays off to be familiar with those factors that influence how your crochet project is going to turn out: Gauge, Weight, Fiber, and Drape.
Crocheters who go forward unfamiliar with these influences may find themselves in another familiar, but less pleasant, place : halfway through a crochet garment that doesn’t fit and looks nothing like the sample pictures. An in-depth understanding of these Yarn Behaviors will help stop project mishaps before they ever start!
The following is a guide I’ve put together specifically for crocheters that deals with gauge and related yarn issues. I’ve tried to compile the major technical points of figuring out what yarns to use where, and draw heavily from my 20 years of mistakes…. But remember each crocheter is different and therefore every project is different. The absolute best way to master these aspects of fiber art is just to get a ton of experience at it. That being said, let’s get on with it!
What is Gauge and how do I check it?
We’ll start with gauge: what the heck is it already?
Gauge is the measurement of the size of your stitches with a specific hook and yarn. Another term used for gauge is “tension.” While gauge is not something you may have to deal with for hats or scarves very much, it becomes crucial when making garments like sweaters.
The most common question I get for my patterns is “Can I use (x) yarn for this project / Which hook size should I use?”
The answer to this questions is: Check your Gauge!Technically, you can make any pattern with any size hook and yarn if your gauge matches the gauge given in the pattern (there are other concerns but we’ll get to that later).
Follow these instructions to learn how to measure gauge for crochet projects!
Locating the Gauge Listing
First, look to the Materials & Notes section of your pattern which should be at the very beginning. The gauge or gauges for the project should be listed there. If there are multiple parts/yarns to the pattern you may encounter multiple gauge listings.
Here’s what an example of what the gauge might look like: “Gauge: 3 stitches and 3 rows = 1″ in hdc”
And here’s how that is interpreted: “3 stitches” = the measurement, taken horizontally from a section of stitching, of how many stitches of the specified type fit within the given unit length (here in Inches) “3 rows” = the measurement, taken vertically, of how many rows of stitching of the specified type fit within an inch or inches “= 1 inch ” = the given unit length (commonly can be 1″, 2″, or 4″ although other measurements are possible) “in hdc” = the specified stitch type for measuring the gauge
Sometimes for my circular crochet patterns, I give the project gauge as the measurement in diameter of the first few rounds – in this case the first small circle of the project counts as the swatch. The gauge portion of the pattern should specify how to measure if it does not use the traditional method.
Checking Crochet Gauge
Since every crocheter crochets differently – some looser, thinner, or tighter, or fatter – using the same size hook and yarn as the project calls for does not guarantee your gauge will be the same as the one listed for the project.
So now that the Gauge listing is broken down, how do we check it? To accurately check gauge and determine whether your tension is appropriate for the pattern, look again in the Pattern Materials & Notes section. The pattern will list a recommended yarn and hook size – you’ll need to start by using the recommended yarn, or at least a yarn in the same weight category, and the hook size listed in the materials section. With these materials, you are now ready to test your gauge by making a small sample piece of fabric called a swatch.
It’s very tempting to skip this part and move on to the project itself, which is not too dangerous for small projects like hats and scarves – but for things like large sweater coats, you better swatch out!
Testing Your Gauge: Swatching for Crocheters
1. Get the hook size and yarn recommended by the pattern gauge listing Chain a length of 15-20 sts or long enough to accommodate whatever stitch or pattern being swatched (sometimes the pattern will give you direct instructions on how to make your gauge swatch). Some gauge guides say the swatch will be 4 inches, some recommend other lengths or stitch counts – your pattern may or may not specify. The main concern is the get a piece of fabric big enough that your hand becomes accustomed to the stitch design and starts to work regularly. This is also why the gauge reading is taken in the middle of the swatch, away from the top, bottom, or side edges – but we’ll get to that.
2. Begin to Swatch The Gauge listing in the pattern should indicate what stitch or part of the pattern to use for a swatch sample. Here’s the sample Gauge from earlier: Gauge: 3 stitches and 3 rows = 1″ in hdc For this swatch, I would start with 20 ch stitches, then work 1 hdc in each chain stitch. Working in rows back and forth, I would create enough rows of stitching to make a solid square or rectangle piece. Seems like a lot of work, I know. But you can’t get a good gauge reading from a piece that’s only 5 stitches long!
3. Pin it Out Once the swatch is complete, it’s time to measure. Before measuring, set out a soft surface (towel, cushion, or blocking mat) and use pins to uncurl your swatch out to it’s fullest size, evening the tension of the piece. Crochet stitching uncurls and loosens some after being worked, so if you measure your swatch without tensioning it first, you may get an inaccurate gauge reading.
While 4 sts / 1 inch doesn’t seem like that much of a difference from 3.5 stitches / 1 inch, small differences can really add up on larger projects. Get your gauge as close as possible to avoid mishaps later!
4. Measure it! Get a gauge plate tool (the one pictured here is from my Addi Click knitting set, but they are sold individually by the hooks & needles in hobby stores) or a measuring tape / ruler and measure the stitches in the middle of the swatch. For our given gauge of 3 stitches and 3 rows = 1″, we should be able to measure 3 stitches horizontally at 1 inch, then 3 stitches vertically to equal 1 inch.
Correcting Your Gauge
If your gauge is smaller (tighter), and you are getting more stitches and rows per inch (4 sts and 3 rows, for example, instead of 3 stitches and 3 rows. Which was what I got for the swatch pictured above) you will need to size your hook UP to create looser tension and bigger gauge to match the measurements of the project.
If your gauge is larger (looser) and you are getting fewer stitches per inch (2 stitches and 2 rows, for example) you will need to size your hook DOWN to create tighter tension and smaller gauge.
Sometimes you’ll end up with the correct amount of stitches horizontally, but not vertically (or the other way around). Messing around with your method can sometimes correct gauge errors that are just a little off. Try altering the tension of the yarn in your non-hook hand, or pulling up more yarn per stitch, to adjust errors in stitch height or make small horizontal adjustments. Additionally, different hook materials can affect your gauge – if you can’t achieve the right tension with a bamboo hook, try a metal one!
Besides switching your hook, it is also possible to change yarns to get a different gauge, although that happens less often – more commonly, people wish to use a certain yarn for a project and will switch hook size in order to obtain the correct gauge with the yarn they intend to use. However you go about it, adjust your ingredients according to whether you need a tighter or looser gauge.
And then yes, you’ll have to make another swatch and measure again 🙂
But it’s better than having to undo entire large projects because of gauge errors!
One thing I recommend is to keep a stack of past projects’ swatches with the aim of creating a blanket/quilt/other scrap project with them. Having a future use for them makes them more appealing to actually do – and who doesn’t want another project on top of their new project? Haha!
Changing & Taming Gauge:
Let’s say, for the sake of insanity, that you actually DO want to change the gauge of an entire sweater project – you have a hook and yarn combo that makes a different gauge than the project and you’re determined to use it anyway. How do you get a garment that still fits? You have three options: 1.Try to make a different size (if multiple sizes are offered) 2. Just try it anyway and totally wing it changing the pattern willy nilly to fit your size needs, accepting that the result might be utter failure with no recourse (my favorite method). 3. A Lot of Math.
So much math is involved in #3, in fact, that I can’t lay out a general plan here in this Field Guide, but if you would like to start learning how the mathematics of gauge goes into planning the size and design of a crochet pattern, check out some of my free pattern resources. I try to periodically design stuff that’s really open-ended, with the intent to lead others to customize and experiment with whatever they have available – here’s two I’d recommend!: Basic Armwarmers Tutorial Basic Bralette Tutorial
Finally, there ARE times when you don’t have to worry about checking gauge at all: when you don’t care if the project comes out exactly as big as the pattern specifies – blankets and home decor projects are good examples. That’s the conclusion of the Gauge-specific portion of this Field Guide, but if you’re curious about the other important Yarn Behaviors, read on!
Yarn Weight – Meet the Standards
Yarn weight is one of those things that seems like it should be simple. Especially in the United States, we’re used to seeing one of 8 little numbers on the yarn label which generally tells us what different yarns can work for the same project. For instance, if you have a crochet pattern that calls for a #4 weight category yarn, most people will go to the store and pick any yarn they like that has a #4 on it.
Except experienced crocheters know that not every yarn in the same weight category is going to act exactly the same. Take my favorite rogue #4 weight yarn – Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball – and compare to a regular cheapie #4 weight acrylic solid:
They look totally different. And you might guess that they work up pretty differently, too:
And that’s why yarn labels also contain some other important information besides the general numbered category (which doesn’t even exist on some non-US yarns): The length of the skein in yards/meters, the weight of the skein in ounces/grams, and the fiber content.
The length/weight information tells something important about the yarn that the numbered categories don’t directly specify – how DENSE or heavy the yarn is. That’s how our favorite rogue manages to be a #4 weight yarn the same as this acrylic – because the Shawl in a Ball is denser, and so the yarn is as heavy per yard/meter as the bigger sized yarn. And since yarns are categorized by weight, the Shawl in a Ball has enough weight per length unit to get a #4 label even though it is thinner than our acrylic #4.
Wraps Per Inch
While the apparent thickness of the yarn strand usually stays similar throughout a single numbered yarn category – several of these bulky #5 yarns for example – there is another metric that can help determine if your yarn is right for your project, and that’s something called Wraps Per Inch (WPI).
WPI is measured by taking a small object (a ruler is choice, a pencil works great too) and wrapping a strand of yarn as neatly and evenly as possible around the object. The wraps are then measured to see how many wraps can fit within an inch of space – which gives a better idea of the thickness of the strand than the weight categories do.
Different fibers have different structures and densities, and yes, fiber content will definitely affect your project – and for more reason than just how you wash it. Fiber densities effect grams per yard, so a thinner yarn made of heavier fiber may be in same weight category as fatter yarn with lighter fiber – and the different surface qualities will change the way your project looks and acts.
There are so many more fibers and fiber blends available today than there were even 10 years ago when I started getting serious about my funtime hobby. I could most definitely do a full post on just fiber alone (actually I’ve done several in the past) but I’ll try to keep it fairly brief for now!
Fibers come in several general categories: Animal or Protein fibers (wool, alpaca, yak, etc) Plant or Cellulose fibers (cotton, rayon, hemp etc), and Inorganic/Man-made fibers (polyester, acrylic, polyamide, ect).
Although it may not be the first thing you compare when substituting your yarns, fiber content does matter – especially if you need to know how the finished piece will behave over time. A heavier-fiber yarn (such as cotton) substituted in place of a lighter fiber yarn (such as acrylic) will result in a project that might be a lot heavier overall than the designer intended, causing problems such as stretching and warping.
Conversely, a project that is designed to depend on the heaviness of the yarn for it’s overall look (such as the Lotus Duster, pictured above) might not be quite as flattering to wear in a yarn that is extremely light and does not exert the right amount of downward pressure on the garment. (I mean in my opinion it looks great no matter what but… 😉 )
Not to mention wool, and whether or not your project will shrink and felt in the wash!
In addition to weight, fiber also contributes to the traction or slipperiness of a stitch – extremely soft and slippery fibers like silk will not create a lot of friction or resistance when rubbing together, so any stitches made with silk yarn will settle and stretch out to the maximum that they can in a finished project – where a stiffer, rougher yarn like wool (especially if it’s lighter too) will not ‘spread’ so much.
Of course, in considering what yarn to use, where you’ll wear it makes a big difference too. Cotton, bamboo, and silk are wonderful fibers for delicate next-to-skin projects, like the halter top below made with bamboo/silk blend. I had to keep the tension tight for this project so that the stitches in the slippery soft fiber wouldn’t stretch out too much, resulting in wardrobe malfunctions 😉
Ply refers to the structure of the fibers within the strand of yarn – a ply is one strand of raw fiber spun together, and a yarn may consist of many plies or only one. Yarns with several plies tend to be strong and can be easily pulled back out (frogged) from stitching. One ply yarns (like RH Unforgettable) provide a gorgeous stitch definition but are weaker and will pill/tangle more easily when unraveled.
Ply, combined with fiber type, will affect the density and elasticity of the yarn too! When finding yarns that will easily create the same gauge as your intended project, it can be helpful to match the ply types of the yarn. For this reason some UK yarns will list the ply on the label (like we saw on the Ravelry standards chart).
Since ply isn’t talked about that much in crocheting, how about a for instance?
My Elf Coat uses DK (#3) weight wool as the recommended yarn. I searched high and low for a suitable DK weight yarn substitute available in US hobby stores (King Cole Riot is a UK brand yarn). The closest I could find was Red Heart Unforgettable, a worsted (#4 weight) yarn. As mentioned in the pattern, they do produce slightly different gauges with the same size hook, but RH Unforgettable works better as a substitute than other #4 yarns might because Unforgettable is a one ply yarn just like the DK weight yarn.
If you are very interested in the structure of yarn plies and the ways that different yarns are designed and constructed, you should check out my blog posts about spinning. There’s no better way to take your hobby to the next level than to learn to make your own yarn!
Ah, drape. Drape is the creature of the night, the hidden amalgamation of all the yarn behaviors discussed above. How could I not love something as mysterious and dramatic as drape, which is how a piece of fabric hangs or flows over a surface?
The flow of the fabric depends first on how easily the stitches can move around within it – stitches with lots of space in between them may have better movement and can wrinkle and ruffle more when handled or hung – pieces with stitches very tightly packed and no space in between will be stiff and less flow-ey.
Through the years I have found that people, whether they are beginner fiber artist or not, DO instinctively perceive drape even though it can be hard to define. When I read about how a crochet piece doesn’t match the project image, or when I see crocheters struggle to recreate a specific part of a pattern that just “doesn’t look right” even though the gauge and stitches are correct – that’s drape.
But it’s not just about the closeness of the stitching – you can get the correct gauge for a project and still not achieve a good drape.
If your yarn is not the same or similar fiber content, your drape can be off – remember talking about smoother yarns like silk stretching and settling more? That’s drape, too.
And yarn weight, in which some yarns are weirdly heavier or lighter per yard than others in the same category, due to fiber content? You guessed it! That affects drape too.
And you might have some suspicions about WPI – the amount of space a certain size yarn takes up when wrapped around an object (such as a crochet hook)… Whaddya know! Drape!
The good news is, drape can be tamed by being familiar with all the yarn qualities and behaviors we’ve been talking about in this post. If that lovely sweater you’ve got your eye on making calls for yarn that’s 50% bamboo and 50% cotton, now you’ll know that choosing a 100% acrylic yarn will change the way that project looks or maybe even fits. And you can either decide to look for a yarn that’s a closer match, or decide you don’t give a flip and will make it with whatever yarn you have on hand and drape be damned (an extremely valid standpoint IMO).
Which brings me to the final portion of this programme:
Wrapping it Up
You’re armed. You’re ready. You’ve got your massive, exuberantly curated folder of crochet patterns. You’ve got your yarn and your backup yarn and your secret backup yarn (it’s hidden in the trunk of the car). You’ve got your hooks (except for that damn 5.50 CHECK THE COUCH)…
And you’ve got all this information about how to best make material choices based on gauge, weight, fiber, WPI, ply… yikes! That’s a lot to consider now, and maybe it can be a bit overwhelming. After all, a lot of hobby crocheters make it their whole hobby careers not worrying about most of this.
And that’s perfectly fine. I wanted to create this Field Guide for other fiber artists who might have wondered the same things as me, and for those who just can’t get enough of weirdly specific fiber science (also me). The important part is to have the knowledge, so that you can make your own decisions. As a very famous and favorite quote of mine runs, “Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.”
If you’re a beginner crocheter who came here to learn about gauge and got sucked in, congratulations on making it this far! I can’t believe you’re still reading this! Anyway, dear beginners who need a starting point: just start with the gauge aspect of Yarn Behaviors, following the procedures for checking gauge by swatching. The rest of these considerations will be picked up and intuited over time 🙂
After all, the majority of what I’m presenting here is information I’ve slowly gleaned through experience. Experience and a whole buttload of mistakes – because while none of us like to make mistakes, we simply can’t grow and learn without them. So whether or not you apply all the information in this post, I truly hope it’s helpful on YOUR fiber art journey, whatever you make of it.
And as always I am here if you have questions and I love to talk shop – if I don’t have answers, I can at least offer advice ❤
Thanks for visiting! See you on the next yarn safari… -MF
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!
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
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
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:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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!
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!
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 🙂
Find Part 1 and Part 2 below, and be sure to check out the other videos available on my YouTube Channel!
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 🙂
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 🙂
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!!! 🙂 🙂 ) 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!
Gauge: 7 sts and 5 rows = 2” in alternating fpdc/bpdc
Sizes: Adult Small (stretches to fit 20-22” head) Adult Large (stretches to fit 22-24” head) – Pointed or Rounded options included
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)
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):
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)
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.
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.
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 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 7-8: Rpt Rnd 6.
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
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.
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.
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.
The following is a ramble-y lead-up to my new FREE crochet pattern design, a super simple and warm triangular shawl with a touch of adventure – keep scrolling for the free Novella Shawl pattern or get the downloadable, printable, ad-free PDF in my Ravelry Store or Etsy Shop now!
Backstory: Or, How Designing an Easy Shawl Pattern Led Me to Purchase a Bow and Arrow
Drama was one of my many extra-curriculars when I was in high school, although I can’t claim to have ever been any good at it. I got assigned chorus and background roles, which was fine because I had a significant amount of stage fright and I was really only there because my friends were there too.
And because I loved the costumes. Hands down my favorite part of any dramatic endeavor, and a lifelong interest since I was old enough to carry the massive Renaissance Art tome down from the bookshelf.
When I grew up and minored in Art History, I discovered 18th century actress Emma Hamilton and her “Attitudes,” ; the European celebrity would dress in costume and assume various charade poses depicting classical myths as a form of party entertainment for her esteemed friends.
This must be the Mother of Cosplay!
I have an enduring love of dress-up, responsible in no small part for the designs I publish as Morale Fiber as well as the costumes I pair them with. When creating these ensembles, I am also feeling around for a character to portray.
Sort of like an “Attitudes” style character depiction ; as I craft and plan my crochet design and the coordinating outfit, I let that Attitude take shape.
So while the shawl I had started for this was very simple and humble, the Attitude grabbed it, and demanded I make it more dramatic. At first she was just a quiet woman on a forest walk, seeking the perfect tree under which to read her book of short stories, an escape from her daily life at the shop in town.
But she turned and twisted, like the plot of a short story – upon returning, the town she remembered didn’t exist anymore. Its people wiped away from the world from a terrible sickness, and danger lurking now under every seemingly friendly face she passes on the road away from the tragedy. She needed a hood on her carefully woven covering, to shelter from unfriendly eyes, and fur trim to protect from the chill ashy winds starting to blow.
And as the ends of her neat stitching started to unravel, to become frayed and wild, so did the woman, searching for life in the twisted forest. Armed now with more strength and experience, she sets out, to find whatever good people are still left.
Novella Shawl Crochet Pattern
The Novella Shawl is an easy crochet pattern designed to showcase the unique texture of linked double crochet. This thick, interwoven crochet stitch calls to mind the cozy look of loom weaving while the dramatic point and slight ruffle create a tailored look that flatters. Crochet just the shawl or choose to top it off with a deep hood and fur trim for a really special piece to show off on all your woodland wanderings…
5.00 mm hook (or size needed to obtain gauge), 11.50 mm hook (for jumbo yarn fur trim, if using)
Lion Brand Ferris Wheel (#4 weight, 85 g / 270 yd, 100% Acrylic) 6 skeins – Color shown is Imaginary Garden Lion Brand Thick & Quick Go for Faux (#7 weight, 120 g / 24 yd, 100% Polyester) 1 skein – Color shown is Husky – optional Scissors, tapestry needles – 1 regular, on large-eyed (for the jumbo yarn, if you are using it) Large button (optional)
Gauge: 6 sts & 4 rows = 2” in LDC
Finished Measurements: ~ 65 inches along top edge, ~ 35 inches from collar to tip. Hood: ~ 16 inches deep, ~ 16 inches tall – can be a bit smaller or larger depending on how you finish & seam it.
Stitches & Abbreviations
Chain (ch) Double Crochet (dc) Linked Double Crochet (LDC): A special type of double crochet that links each stitch with the last stitch made. A full written tutorial on this technique can be found on my blog here. A video tutorial can be found on my YouTube channel here. Half-Double Crochet (hdc) St/sts – stitch /stitches
Notes: Ch-2 at the beginning of each row does not count as the first st. Shawl can be made to desired length by adding more or fewer rows maintaining the established increasing pattern. Ruffle edge can also be made longer or shorter by adding non-increase rows. Fur trim & hood optional.
To begin, Ch 3.
Row 1: 9 dc in the 3rd ch from the hook.
Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 LDC in the same stitch. 1 LDC in ea of the next 3 sts. 5 LDC in the next st. 1 LDC in the next 3 sts. 2 LDC in the last st. – 15 sts
Row 3: Ch 2 (does not count), turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 LDC in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 6 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 6 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 21 sts
Row 4: Ch 2 (does not count), turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 9 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 9 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 27 sts
Row 5: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 12 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 12 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 33 sts
Row 6: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 15 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 15 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 39 sts
Row 7: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 18 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 18 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 45 sts
Row 8: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 21 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 21 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 51 sts
Row 9: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 24 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 24 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 57 sts
Row 10: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 27 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 27 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 63 sts
Row 11: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 30 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 30 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 69 sts
Row 12: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 33 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 33 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 75 sts
Row 13: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 36 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 36 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 81 sts
Row 14: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 39 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 39 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 87 sts
Row 15: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 42 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 41 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 93 sts
Row 16: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 45 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 45 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 99 sts
Row 17: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 48 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 48 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 105 sts
Row 18: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 51 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 51 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 111 sts
Row 19: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 54 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 54 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 117 sts
Row 20: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 57 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 57 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 123 sts
Row 21: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 60 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 60 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 129 sts
Row 22: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 63 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 63 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 135 sts
Row 23: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 66 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 66 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 141 sts
Row 24: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 69 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 69 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 147 sts
Row 25: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 72 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 72 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 153 sts
Row 26: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 75 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 75 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 159 sts
Row 27: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 78 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 78 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 165 sts
Row 28: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 81 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 81 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 171 sts
Row 29: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 84 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 84 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 177 sts
Row 30: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 87 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 87 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 183 sts
Row 31: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 90 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 90 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 189 sts
Row 32: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 93 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 93 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 195 sts
Row 33: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 96 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 96 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 201 sts
Row 34: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 99 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 99 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 207 sts
Row 35: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 102 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 102 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 213 sts
Row 36: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 105 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 105 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 219 sts
Row 37: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 108 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 108 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 225 sts
Row 38: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 111 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 111 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 231 sts
Row 39: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 114 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 114 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 237 sts
Row 40: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 117 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 117 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 243 sts
Row 41: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 120 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 120 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 249 sts
Row 42: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 123 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 123 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 255 sts
Row 43: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 126 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 126 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 261 sts
Row 44: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 129 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 129 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 267 sts
Row 45: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 132 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 132 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 273 sts
Row 1: Ch 3 (does not count as first dc). 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in the next st, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in the next 2 sts, 2 dc in the next st) 90 times, or all the way across the long (pointed) bottom edge of the shawl, working 2 dc in the last st. – 364 sts
Row 2: Ch 3 (does not count as first dc). 1 dc in the same st. 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in the next st, 2 dc in the next st) 181 times, or all the way across the long edge of the shawl. – 546 sts
Rows 3-4 : Ch 3, turn. 1 dc in ea st across.
Cut yarn and tie off.
Ch 17 (15 sts + 2 for turn).
Row 1: 1 dc in the 3rd ch from the hook. 1 ldc in the next 13 sts, 3 ldc in the last st. Rotate to begin working down the opposite side of the foundation chain. 1 ldc in the next 14 sts. – 31 sts
Row 2: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 13 sts. 2 ldc in ea of the next 3 sts. 1 ldc in the next 14 sts. – 34 sts
Row 3: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 14 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next st, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 14 sts. – 37 sts
Row 4: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 14 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 2 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 15 sts. – 40 sts
Row 5: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 15 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 3 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 15 sts. – 43 sts
Row 6: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 15 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 4 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 16 sts. – 46 sts
Row 7: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 16 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 5 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 16 sts. – 49 sts
Row 8: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 16 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 6 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 17 sts. – 52 sts
Row 9: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 17 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 7 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 17 sts. – 55 sts
Row 10: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 17 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 8 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 18 sts. – 58 sts
Row 11: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 18 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 9 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 18 sts. – 61 sts
Row 12: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 18 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 10 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 19 sts. – 64 sts
Row 13: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 19 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 11 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 19 sts. – 67 sts
Row 14: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 19 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 12 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 20 sts. – 70 sts
Row 15: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 20 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 13 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 20 sts. – 73 sts
Row 16: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 20 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 14 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 21 sts. – 76 sts
Row 17: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 21 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 15 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 21 sts. – 79 sts
Row 18: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 21 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 16 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 22 sts. – 82 sts
Row 19: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 22 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 17 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 22 sts. – 85 sts
Row 20: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 22 sts, 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 18 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 23 sts. – 88 sts
Row 21: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 23 sts, 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 19 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 23 sts. – 91 sts
Row 22: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 23 sts, 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 20 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 24 sts. – 94 sts
Row 23: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in each stitch across.
Rows 24-25: Rpt Row 23
If adding fur trim, follow Rnds 26 – 27. If not, add 2 more rows of 1 dc in ea st.
Row 26: Ch 2, turn. 1 hdc in the same st, ch 1, sk next st. (1 hdc in the next st, ch 1, sk next st) across. 1 hdc in the last st of the row.
Attach Faux Fur with 11.5 mm hook.
Row 27: Ch 2, 1 dc in the next space. 1 dc in each ch-1 space across.
Once the hood and shawl are complete, you may seam hood to the top of the shawl. This can be done before or after adding the fur.
To seam the hood, use locking stitch markers to align the center of the hood (the foundation chain line) with the center of the shawl (Central stitch of Row 1). Place the markers so that the hood is evenly held against the fabric.
Using a length of your main yarn and a tapestry needle, sew the edge of the hood to the edge of the shawl.
Once the hood is seamed and the fur trim is added, use a large-eyed yarn needle to thread the faux fur yarn. Weave in the ends, securing the top of Row 27 to the edges of the shawl so that it transitions smoothly.
Weave in any remaining ends, and add a button to fasten at the collar if you prefer! The holes in row 26 make excellent natural buttonholes or tie-holes – or you could add a chain-loop closure instead. Once this is finished, you’re all done and ready for adventure!
Whatever the character, one thing remains true throughout all photoshoots – I’m either pretending to be freezing in scorching weather, or pretending to be scorching in freezing weather 😉
Let’s jump right in today because it’s going to be a quick one! If you’re a human who crochets, odds are good that you don’t LOVE working into the bothersome stitches of a foundation chain. I know I don’t.
So when I needed a technique that would allow me to add length to the end of a forward pass row in Tunisian crochet, I fiddled until I got what I wanted: A Tunisian version of foundation crochet, which works the bottom stitches and the first row of stitches simultaneously.
No long twisty strands. No chaining and rejoining. AND it helps keep the bottom from curling!
Here is my video of this technique, the first of what I hope is many Tunisian tutorial videos – use the Foundation Tunisian Stitch as the base for your Tunisian crochet pieces by working FTS instead of the base chain and first row, or use it to add length on Tunisian pieces easily ❤
For more Tunisian tutorials, peep the links below the video!
Sometimes I think I’m a really slow designer compared to other crochet artists out there! When I dream up an idea, and hone it down, it may still be months before I perfect it and apply it to a project satisfactorily, and then more time still to sculpt the pattern and create the materials to teach it.
The Kismet Square was originally created for an entirely different design, one that I still have my eye on for the future – but that pattern was taking way too long!
So I settled on creating a simpler garment featuring the Kismet Square, and doing a full-length crochet pattern tutorial video for both the squares and for assembling & completing a poncho from them!
The entire Kismet Poncho pattern can be accessed for FREE exclusively on my YouTube channel videos (with written captions) or get the written pattern with tutorial photos as a downloadable, printable, ad-free PDF in my Etsy Shop or Ravelry Store! ❤ Keep scrolling for the free video ❤
It’s not the project I originally intended, but it’s the perfect project for the upcoming autumn weather and the perfect addition to my YouTube free pattern offerings – so the Kismet Poncho was born, and it was… well… fate 😉
The Kismet Poncho features a 12-round crochet square with a floral circular focal point that expands outward into easy repeat rows of stitches, clusters and shells. The alternating solid and openwork stitches create a boldly textured appeal inspired by the rich layered patterning of Middle Eastern decorative traditions.
Worked in various colors of sleek #4 worsted weight yarn, this one-size-fits-all poncho uses 4 squares to create a gorgeous statement piece with or without fringe. The pattern itself is easy to adapt with different yarn and hook sizes, and the rounds of varied stitching showcases any range of color combinations you can dream!
Length – 30” collar to tip, not including fringe, 20” collar to short edge, not including fringe Width – 45” across from short edge to short edge
5.5 mm hook #4 weight Acrylic Yarn (I used a blend of yarns, all acrylics such as Caron Simply Soft and Lion Brand Heartland) – ~ 800-900 yds Scissors Tapestry Needle 6” book or length of cardboard for cutting fringe
Now on to the videos! Find Gauge, stitches, and pattern notes below the first video ❤
Special Stitches: Magic Ring: An adjustable ring made by wrapping the yarn around the hand or fingers, and using the loop to crochet the first round of a circular crochet piece. Ring is closed by pulling the loose tail tightly after completing the round. Shell: A set of 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc in the same space. Petal: A series of hdc, dc, tr, arranged in a mirrored shape within a single stitch or space. Cluster: Several stitches worked in the same st or space, leaving the last loops on the hook. When all stitches are worked, YO and pull through all loops on the hook. Dc3tog: A decrease where 1 dc is worked in each of the next 3 indicated stitches, leaving the last loop on the hook for each dc stitch. The complete the stitch, YO and draw through all remaining loops on the hook. 1 dc3tog made.
Abbreviations Skip (sk) Next (nxt) Each (ea) Space (sp) Stitch (st) Beginning (beg)
Kismet Poncho Part 2
Kismet Poncho Part 3
I hope this design inspires you to create something you or your friends & family will love! And if you have any questions whatsoever, please don’t hesitate to contact me here or via any of my social media channels 🙂