Morale Fiber’s Field Guide to Crochet Gauge and Yarn Behavior

We’ve all been there.

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.

Above is an example from my Acanthus Top pattern, with the gauge listing circled in green
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.

Example of the first three rounds of the Lotus Mandala measured to check gauge – it’s correct!

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!

My Tunisian crochet sweater coat trifecta: The Shaman Coat, the Elf Coat, and the Priestess Coat

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.

I did not achieve the correct gauge horizontally, because I have 4 stitches to the inch instead of 3.
But I got it right vertically!

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.

In the above picture, I have tensioned my swatch. And though I worked this swatch in the exact same yarn as the pattern recommends, using the same size hook, AND EVEN DESPITE THE FACT THAT I AM THE ONE THAT WROTE THAT GAUGE for that pattern, I still did not get it right. LOL! That’s gauge for you!

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 πŸ™‚

But it’s better than having to undo entire large projects because of gauge errors!

After sizing up my hook by one step (3.75 mm instead of 3.50 mm) and tensioning, I made a swatch with the right gauge horizontally of 3 stitches to an inch. My vertical measurement stayed the same.

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!

An oldie but a goodie : The Partial Shades T-Shirt Yarn Plant Hanger

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.

This yarn label has lots of info – the weight is shown on the little skein pictogram as “5” for #5, also called Bulky, weight yarn.

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.

Yarn Density

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).

Three yarns of different fibers and plies, all labeled #5 weight

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.

Here’s a handy WPI and yarn weight chart from Ravelry!

You can totally test WPI yourself at home, which I have done a number of times to help determine what weight my recycled sweater yarn was.

Fiber Content

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.

Microscopic view of different fibers, image not mine. I’ve had this image in my media for so long I don’t know the original source, sorry!

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.

The Lotus Duster, size Large


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… πŸ˜‰ )

Not to mention wool, and whether or not your project will shrink and felt in the wash!

An ancient photo of half-felted wool that I messed up when dyeing – it did turn into a nice shawl, though!

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 πŸ˜‰

From my Basic Bikini Cup guide

Yarn Ply:

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.

These yarns from top to bottom are multi-ply (I don’t know how many exactly but more than 4), 2-ply (in the middle) and 1 ply (chenille yarn on bottom)

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!

Drape:

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.

The Lotus Duster pattern uses thin, cotton yarn and a proportionally large hook to create stitches with tons of room to flow around
The Post Stitch Pixie Hat pattern uses thick yarn, a relatively small hook, and tightly packed post stitches to create a structured bonnet with almost no floweyness

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 Flower Child Pullover has a medium drape, the openwork mesh combines with sturdy #4 acrylic to create a sweater with both swing and structure

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 πŸ™‚

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

Yearling Headband

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

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

Keep scrolling for the FREE crochet pattern & video!

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

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

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

Introduction to Yearling Headband

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

Materials

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

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

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

Headband Base

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

Yearling Antlers

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

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

Written instructions: Main Tine (Make 2:

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

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

2nd Tine (Make 2):

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

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

4th Tine (Make 2):

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

Antler Construction:

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

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

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

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

Twig Antlers:

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

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

Main Tine:

Rnd 1: Make Magic Ring. 6 sc into the ring. Pull the ring closed tightly.
Rnd 2: 1 sc in ea sc around. – 6 sts
Rnd 3: *1 sc in the next sc, 2 sc in the next sc. Rpt from * around. – 9 sts
Rnds 4-13: 1 sc in ea st around. – 9 sts
Rnd 14: *1 sc in ea of the next 2 sc, 2 sc in the next sc. Rpt from  * around. – 12 sts

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

2nd Tine

Rnd 1: Make Magic Ring. 6 sc into the ring. Pull the ring closed tightly.
Rnd 2: 1 sc in ea sc around. – 6 sts
Rnd 3: *1 sc in the next sc, 2 sc in the next sc. Rpt from * around. – 9 sts
Rnds 4-8: 1 sc in ea st around. – 9 sts

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

Assembly:

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

Leaf Motif

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

Leaf Motif:

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

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

Final Assembly

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

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

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

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

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

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

-MF

Gnome Toboggan Video

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

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

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

Part 1

Part 2

Hope you enjoy!

-MF

Gnome Toboggan Free Pattern

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

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

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

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

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

Materials

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

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

5 rows = 2″
7 sts = 2″

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

Notes:

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

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

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

Stitches:

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

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

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

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

Instructions

Make Magic Ring.

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

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

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

Photo tutorial example skips this round.

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

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

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

First increase of Rnd 4 made
Rnd 4 finished

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

Rnd 5 works increases in every stitch
Rnd 5 completed

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

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

Rnd 7-8: Rpt Rnd 6.

After completing Rnd 8.

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

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

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

Rnd 11-12: Rpt Rnd 10.

Gnome Toboggan completed through Rnd 12.

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

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

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

Rnd 13 places increases every 5th stitch.

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

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

Cut yarn and weave in ends.

Now, back to plotting to steal underpants.

-MF

Novella Shawl Pattern

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.

Im know I’m not holding the bow and arrow right, but hey, give the gal a break. She used to work at a book store, pre-apocolypse πŸ˜‰

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…

Materials

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  β€“ 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.

Instructions

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

RUFFLE:

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.

Hood

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 πŸ˜‰

And then there’s the cliff-perching.

-MF

Foundation Tunisian Stitch

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!

Tunisian Simple Stitch Tutorial

Tunisian Knit Stitch Tutorial

Tunisian Simple Stitch – Increases and decreases

Thanks for visiting! ❀

-MF

Kismet Poncho

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 πŸ˜‰

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!

Finished Measurements:

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

Materials:

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 ❀

Kismet Poncho Part 1

Keep scrolling for Parts 2 & 3!

Gauge: 3 sts & 1 row = 1” in dc

Stitches & Abbreviations:
Chain (ch)
Double Crochet (dc)
Slip Stitch (sl st)
Half Double Crochet (hdc)
Treble Crochet (tr)

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 πŸ™‚

Peace!

-MF

Video Game Guy Backpack Tutorial

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


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


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

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

Video Game Guy Tutorial

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

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

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

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

Instructions

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

Ch 37.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Assembly

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

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

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

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

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

Repeat this process to seam on the back side.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-MF

Hedge Witch Hat PDF

No sooner than I released the totally-free crochet pattern for the Hedge Witch Hat, did I realize I wanted to add some tweaks to the general shape of it! Typical of me really – I’ve never once put out a pattern that I didn’t want to keep modifying in some way. Unfortunately, not matter how finicky I get, I could always keep changing a bit here and a bit there, and so at some point I just have to commit and get it done with.

The lovely Sarina modeling her custom Hedge Witch Hat!

After all, I can come back to it later. Which is exactly what I’ve done with here! In this case the design modifications are minor – I wanted the silhouette to be a LITTLE more curved and forward-set.

Because the two variations are similar but each with it’s own charm, I couldn’t decide which I liked better – so the pattern update includes the instructions for BOTH varieties!

You can get the updated, totally free version of this easy and cute crochet pattern on my blog via the original post.

The new version is also getting the spiffy PDF treatment – so now the entire updated pattern is available as a purchaseable, downloadable, ad-free PDF!

Get the PDF crochet pattern now through my Etsy Shop or Ravelry Store!

Paid patterns make up the vast majority of my business income so if you like this pattern and want to use it more in the future, please consider supporting me by buying the paid version. And of course, more support means more great Morale Fiber designs in the future πŸ˜‰

Sharing my art is my passion and I couldn’t do it without you ❀ Read on for more info on the Hedge Witch Hat PDF!

This quick, easy, and stylish little witch hat is not just a cute version of a Halloween favorite – it may just charm its way into your everyday wardrobe! Great made with any #4 worsted weight acrylic yarn, this simple design comes in two style options with plenty of room for customizing with color or adorable add-ons like flowers or patches.

Worked in half-double crochet, this pattern utilizes a special technique to keep the seam straight called the Switchback Join – instructions and tutorial link are included in the written pattern along with lots of the usual features – clear tutorial photos, step-by-step directions, stitch counts, and all the details you need to make this quick project!

Materials:
3.75 mm hk
#4 weight yarn – Approximately 200-250 yds
Scissors & tapestry needle

Gauge: 4 sts & 3 rows – 1” in hdc

Finished measurements: ~ 25β€³ on the inside, 36β€³ brim on the outside, 9-10β€³ height

Types: A (Pointier, black & dark gray versions), B (Rounder, light gray and tan versions)

All instructions are in English in U.S terminology.

I’m already plotting some crochet patches to put on these babies – perhaps a Crochet Patch pattern series is in order, no? πŸ™‚ I have a couple good candidates already! Follow the links below for more Free Patterns:

At the center of the Embla Vest (pictured above) is the Tree of Life motif, which you can get for free on my blog and would make a great patch!

I’ll probably do a little crescent moon on the hat I’m working on now, which is navy and blue. You can get the instructions for the Crescent Moon motif where it appears as part of my other free pattern, the Forest Guide Hat.

Happy Casting!

-MF

Basic Bikini Cup Tutorial

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

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

(Pictured above: The Basic Bralette)

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

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

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

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

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

Basic Bikini Cup Tutorial

Notes:

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

Size and shape are determined by manipulating the following factors:


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

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

Single Crochet Cups

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Half Double Crochet Cups

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Double Crochet Cups

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finishing Your Bikini

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

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

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

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

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

-MF