Waistcoat Stitch Tutorial

Today I’m sharing a tutorial for the Waistcoat Stitch, aka the Knit Stitch! Despite the name, this stitch is a crochet stitch that’s actually very simple – it’s basically just single crochet – but creates a distinctive structure that’s perfect for tightly formed fabric with a smooth surface texture. Plus, it looks a bit like knitting πŸ™‚

Waistcoat Stitch (abbreviated to “WS” or “ws”) is worked in the round to achieve the smooth knit-look texture. You can work this stitch back and forth, but because the WS relies on the Right Side to create the effect, back-and-forth WS will not look smooth and pretty like in-the-round will. The firm texture, the neat look of the surface, and the reliance on working in rounds makes this a perfect stitch for hats!

In fact, I already have one hat pattern written in the Waistcoat Stitch, available both for free on my blog and purchasable as a portable, ad-free PDF – that’s the Vintage Derby Hat, shown above & below.

And I have yet another pointy hat being developed right this very minute, ready to be published soon, which also utilizes this awesome technique – so I’m doing a tutorial here today in preparation which includes a video demo – keep scrolling for the free instructions! ❀

Waistcoat Stitch Tutorial

So how do we work this amazing little stitch? As I mentioned, the WS is basically a single crochet, so you don’t have to learn any fancy yarnwork to create it. The secret to this stitch is all in where you insert your hook to draw up the first loop for your crochet stitch.

In the first round, you’ll be working traditional single crochet stitches into your ring or your round of chains (remember, we don’t work this back and forth but in rounds instead).

Once you have established a round in single crochet, the next round will work single crochet stitches but through the vertical bars of the stitch below, not through the top two loops as normal.

Highlighted here are the top two loops (first image above) where you would normally insert your hook to draw up the first loop for your stitch. In the second image above, I have highlighted the vertical bars of the crochet stitch below, which form a bit of a “V”. You’ll be inserting your hook in between these two bars from the front and emerging through the body of the stitch to the back of the work.

Pictured Above: Inserting the hook through the middle of the highlighted vertical bars of the stitch below

At the back of the work, the vertical bars of a single crochet stitch form an upside-down “V” shape. Your hook will emerge between these vertical bars, at the point indicated by the white dot.

Pictured Above: The hook emerging at the back of the work, between the vertical bars. The stitch beside it is highlighted to show the configuration of the bars when viewed from the back, with the white dot indicating where the hook should emerge.

From there, draw up a loop. YO and draw through two loops as normal to complete one Waistcoat Stitch. Your stitch will now emerge from the center of the stitch below, coming out from the vertical V shape.

Insert your hook again through the V of the next stitch, then draw up a loop and complete the single crochet as normal. Voila! You are working waistcoat stitch!

After a few rounds of this stitch, the texture starts to become very smooth and even, with the v-shapes mimicking the loops of knitting but with a firmer, thicker fabric perfect for structured projects.

Increasing and decreasing in Waistcoat Stitch are handled the exact same way as with single crochet, but again – inserting that hook in between the vertical bars instead of the top loops. So to increase, simply work two Waistcoat stitches in the next vertical-bar “V”, so that you have an extra stitch in the same place. To decrease, work a single crochet 2 together (sc2tog) but draw up your first two loops from between the vertical-bar “V”s πŸ™‚

I’ve created this video tutorial to help you navigate the basics of this stitch – I didn’t get quite the video quality I wanted for this, but I’m working on upgrading some of my technologies for doing better videos (and dealing with some malfunctions) so stay tuned and thanks for your patience πŸ™‚

Waistcoat Stitch Video Tutorial

As I mentioned (a lot) just love this stitch because it’s particular qualities are so good for hats! Firm fabric and a neatly smooth textured surface – it’s just perfect ❀ You can also substitute this stitch for regular single crochet in many simple hat patterns – I might try it on my Mori Girl Beret pattern next!

Thanks for visiting and stay tuned for my newest hat pattern, to be released in just a few days!
-MF

Kismet Halter Top

My little Kismet Square motif has had an eventful life so far! I designed this circle-to-square motif a couple years ago, planning on using it for an ambitious new design which STILL hasn’t seen the light of day. Okay so, I’m still working on that one and it will eventually become something really great, but it is like… taking forever. Which I’ve learned simply happens sometimes, so you just have to roll with it.

In the meantime, I’ve found the main Kismet motif really useful for inspiring other patterns – including my newest FREE halter top design which premiers right here, right now!

The Kismet Halter Top is here on this blog post for anyone who wants to enjoy it, but is also available in my Ravelry Store and Etsy Shop as a downloadable, printable, ad-free PDF πŸ™‚ Read all the details of this latest design below or keep scrolling for the FREE crochet pattern instructions!

Oh, and the other project that features the Kismet motif is the Kismet Poncho, shown below, also free or purchasable as a premium pattern – OH and a FULL video tutorial version exists, too! ❀ Yay!

Kismet Halter Top

The Kismet Halter top draws aspects from many of my other favorite halter top designs – a sturdy, wide construction around the ribcage for good coverage and good support, criss-cross lacing ties that don’t pressure the neck, and an eye-catching central mandala that looks perfect layered under tanks and low-cut tees. The optional Mehndi Border across the bottom can add extra coverage and turn up the festival fanciness factor!

The instructions for this top are in good written detail for the stitches and construction, while also being flexible enough to customize size to get the perfect fit. Cup sizes are written for A cup through DD cup and size suggestions for customizing the band portion go from X-Small – to 2X-Large πŸ™‚ 75+ tutorial photos are included with detailed references and clear steps connected to the written instructions.

The top is made with #4 weight 100% cotton for a quick project that will keep you cool and comfortable all summer – taken to the beach, to festivals, out dancing, or anywhere you are following your kismet ❀

The following free pattern appears here exactly as in the PDF version, if you like it consider supporting my art by buying the PDF version or sampling my other patterns in the Ravelry Store and Etsy Shop! If you don’t need or want the PDF file, consider leaving a tip in my Tip Jar? Thank you for your support and please let me know what you think πŸ™‚

Materials:

#4 weight cotton yarn (I used I Love This Cotton! – 3.5 oz/ 100 g, 180 yds, 100% cotton)
1 skein main color for Small-Med/A-C, 2 skeins main color for Lg-XL/D-DD , ~100 yds each for 2 accent colors
3.50 mm hook (or size needed to obtain gauge)
Stitch markers, scissors, tapestry needle.

Gauge: 4 sts & 3 rows = 1” in hdc
4 sts & 5 rows = 1” in sc
4 sts & 2.5 rows = 1” in dc

Sizes:
A – DD Cup sizes. Sizing for band (circumference around the ribcage) is written flexibly for customizable sizes.
Finished Measurements For Individual Cups (approximate, taken with cup flattened):
Cup Size A:  5.5” length from top to bottom (shown below), 4” width across bottom
Size B: 6.5” length, 5” width
Size C: 7” length, 6.5” width
Size D: 7” length, 7.5” width
Size DD: 7.5” length, 8.5” width

Stitches & Abbreviations:
Chain (ch)
Double crochet (dc)
Slip stitch (sl st)
Half Double Crochet (hdc)
Single Crochet (sc)
Treble (tr)

Skip (sk)
Round (rnd)
Space (sp)
Figure (fig)
Yarn Over (YO)

Special Techniques

Magic Ring – An adjustable loop for starting circular pieces – you can see a full video demo on my YouTube Channel here or view the step-by-step written tutorial here.
Chain and Stitch Join – special way of closing an openwork round by using a stitch to substitute the last few chain stitches. Explained in pattern but for a full tutorial see my blog post here.
Half Double Crochet 2 Together (hdc2tog) – a half double crochet decrease. Steps explained in pattern.
PomPom Stitch (for optional bottom border) – a special cluster of stitches that form a little ball or pompom. Full tutorial is available in written form here
Additionally, I have a PomPom Stitch tutorial video on my YouTube channel here
Double Crochet 3 Together (dc3tog) – part of a cluster stitch that forms the pompom. Steps detailed in PomPom Stitch tutorial.

Notes:
Beginning chain stitches do not count as the first st of the row.
Beginning chain sts are given as 1 chain stitch for sc, 1 chain st for hdc, 2 ch sts for dc – these are one less than the typical amount because they work better for my gauge for this project, however, if those are too tight please feel free to add an extra chain to the beginning chain as needed.

Instructions

Center Motif:

With first accent color, make magic ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 3 (does not count as first dc – fig 1), 12 dc into the ring – fig 2. Pull loose yarn end to tighten the ring, slip stitch in the first dc to join – fig 3. – 12 dc

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

Rnd 2: Ch 5 (counts as first dc + ch 2). (1 dc in the next st, ch 2) 11 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beginning ch-5 – fig 4. – 12 dc, 12 ch-2 spaces

Fig. 4

Rnd 3: In the next ch space work 1 hdc, 1 dc, ch 2, 1 dc, 1 hdc – fig 5. Sl st in the next dc – fig 6. (In the next ch sp work 1 hdc, 1 dc, ch 2, 1 dc, 1 hdc. Sl st in the next dc) 11 times. Cut yarn and tie off if changing colors. – fig 7. – 12 shells

Fig. 5

Fig. 6

Fig. 7 – your motif may ruffle some at the end of this round. To help it lie flat, pull out the ends of the shells and press the motif. Don’t worry if it’s still a little curly, it will straighten out in the following rounds.

Rnd 4: Join 2nd accent color at the top of any ch space of the previous round (if not changing colors, simply slip stitch to the next ch sp). 1 sc in the same sp – fig 8. Ch 3, sc in the same space, ch 3. (1 sc in the next ch-1 space, ch 3, 1 sc in the same space, ch 3) 10 times – fig 9. 1 sc in the next ch-1 space, ch 3, 1 sc in the same space. Ch 1, work 1 hdc in the first sc of the round. This closes the last chain space by using a half-double crochet stitch instead of chain stitches so that your hook is positioned in the middle of a ch-3 sized space to begin the next round – figs 10-11. – 24 ch-3 spaces, 24 sc.

Fig. 8

Fig. 9

Fig. 10

Fig. 11 – the final chain space is closed by working a hdc which leaves your hook positioned in a ch-3 sized space to begin the next round.

Rnd 5: Ch 3 (does not count as first dc) – fig 12. 2 dc in the side of the last hdc worked at the close of Rnd 4, working underneath the side of the stitch as if it were a chain space – fig 13. Ch 1, sc in the next ch-3 space, ch 1 – fig 14. (2 dc in the next ch-3 space, ch 2. 2 dc in the same space, ch 1. 1 sc in the next ch-3 space, ch 1) 11 times – fig 15. 2 dc in the last ch-3 space, working next to the initial 2 dc. Ch 2, join with a sl st in the first dc of the round – fig 16. – 12 shells

Cut yarn and tie off – center motif should measure about 5.5” in diameter – fig 17. If motif is still curly, stretch out the points of the shells again and press flat. Some curl or ruffle will likely remain, this will also get stretched out later in the pattern. In some cases, 100% cotton yarn will be very thick and you may have extreme ruffling problems – in this case, you can skip the ch-1 in between the dc shells and the single crochets in Rnd 5 to reduce bulk.

Proceed to Cups instructions.

Fig. 12

Fig. 13

Fig. 14

Fig. 15

Fig. 16

 Fig. 17 – Motif should measure about 5.5” in diameter.

Once finished, make 2 bikini cups according to your cup size:

Cups: Size A

Finished measurements: 5.5” from top to bottom (show above), 4.5” width across flat side.

Ch 16 (counts as first 15 chain stitches  + 1 to turn, final ch st does not count as first st)

Foundation Row: Turn, work 1 sc in each of the next 15 ch sts. – 15 sc

Row 1: Ch 1 (does not count as first sc, see Notes), turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 14 sts. In the side of the sc on the end, work (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc). Rotate to work down the other side of the foundation row, inserting hook into the bottom loop of the chain stitches. 1 sc in ea of the next 15 sts. – 32 sc, 16 on ea side of the ch-1 space (ch-1 space not included in the end-of-row stitch counts)

Row 2: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 15 sts. (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 sc in ea of the next 16 sc. – 34 sc, 17 on ea side of ch-1 space.

Row 3: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 16 sts. (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 sc in ea of the next 17 sc. – 36 sc, 18 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 4: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 17 sts. (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 sc in ea of the next 18 sc. – 38 sc, 19 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 5: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 18 sts. (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 sc in ea of the next 19 sc. – 40 sc, 20 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 6:  Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 19 sts. (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 sc in ea of the next 20 sc. – 42 sc, 21 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 7: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 20 sts. (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 sc in ea of the next 21 sc. – 44 sc, 22 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 8: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in the same st. 1 sc in ea of the next 21 sts. (1 sc, ch 1, 1 sc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 sc in ea of the next 22 sc. – 46 sc, 23 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Cut yarn and tie off. Repeat for 2nd cup, leaving main color yarn attached after 2nd cup is complete. Proceed to β€œConstruction”

Cups: Size B

Finished measurements: 6.5” from top to bottom (shown above), 5” width across flat side (shown below)

Ch 16 (counts as first 15 ch stitches + 1 to turn, final ch does not count as first st).

Foundation Row: Turn, 1 sc in ea of the next 15 ch sts. – 15 sc

Row 1: Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 14 sts. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the side of the ch 1 on the end. Rotate to work down the other side of the row, inserting hook into the bottom loop of the foundation chain stitches. 1 hdc in ea of the next 15 sts. – 34 hdc, 17 hdc on ea side of the ch-1 space (Ch-1 space not included in the end-of-row stitch counts)

Row 2: Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 16 sts. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 hdc in ea of the next 17 sts. – 38 hdc, 19 hdc on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 3: Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in the same st, 1 hdc in ea of the next 18 sts. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 hdc in ea of the next 19 sts. – 42 hdc, 21 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 4: Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in the same st.  1 hdc in ea of the next 20 sts. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 hdc in ea of the next 21 sts. – 46 hdc, 23 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 5: Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 22 sts. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 hdc in ea of the next 23 sts. – 50 hdc, 25 on ea side of the next ch-1 sp.

Row 6: Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 24 sts. (2 hdc, ch 1, 2 hdc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 hdc in ea of the next 25 sts. – 54 hdc, 27 on ea side of the next ch-1 sp.

Cut yarn and tie off. Repeat for 2nd cup, leaving main color yarn attached after 2nd cup is complete. Proceed to β€œConstruction”

Cups: Size C

Finished measurements: 7” from top to bottom (above), 6.5” width across flat side (below)

Ch 16 (counts as first 15 chain stitches  + 1 to turn, final 2 ch sts do not count as first st)

Foundation Row: Turn, work 1 hdc in each of the next 15 ch sts. – 15 hdc

Row 1: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc, see Notes), turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 14 sts. In the side of the hdc on the end, work (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc). Rotate to work down the other side of the foundation row, inserting hook into the bottom loop of the chain stitches. 1 dc in ea of the next 15 sts. – 34 dc, 17 on ea side of the ch-1 space (ch-1 space not included in the end-of-row stitch counts)

Row 2: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 16 sts. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 17 sts. – 38 dc, 19 on ea side of the ch-1 space.

Row 3: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 18 sts. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 19 sts. – 42 dc, 21 on ea side of the ch-1 sp

Row 4: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 20 sts. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 21 sts. – 46 dc, 23 on ea side of the ch-1 sp

Row 5: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 22 sts. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 23 sts. – 50 dc, 25 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 6: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 24 sts. (2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 25 sts. – 54 dc, 27 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Cut yarn and tie off. Repeat for 2nd cup, leaving main color yarn attached after 2nd cup is complete. Proceed to β€œConstruction”

Cups: Sizes D-DD

D-DD cups follow the same instructions given below, with DD sizes adding extra rows at the end.

Finished measurements, D Cup: 7” from top to bottom (above), 7.5” width across flat side

Finished Measurements, DD cup: 7.5” from top to bottom, 8.5” width across flat side

Ch 19 (counts as first 18 chain stitches  + 1 to turn, final ch sts do not count as first st)

Foundation Row: Turn, work 1 sc in each of the next 18 ch sts. – 18 sc

Row 1: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc, see Notes), turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 17 sts. In the side of the ch st on the end, work (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc). Rotate to work down the other side of the foundation row, inserting hook into the bottom loop of the chain stitches. 1 dc in ea of the next 18 sts. – 38 dc, 19 on ea side of the ch-1 space (ch-1 space not included in the end-of-row stitch counts)

Row 2: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 18 sts. (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next ch-1 space. 1 dc in ea of the next 19 sts. – 40 dc, 20 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 3: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 19 sts. (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 20 sts. – 42 dc, 21 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 4: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 20 sts. (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 21 sts. – 44 dc, 22 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 5: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 21 sts. (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 22 sts. – 46 dc, 23 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 6: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 22 sts. (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 23 sts. – 48 dc, 24 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 7: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 23 sts. (1 dc, ch 1 1 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 24 sts. – 50 dc, 25 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 8: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 24 sts. (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 25 sts. – 52 dc, 26 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Cut yarn and tie off for D cup sizes. Repeat for 2nd cup, leaving main color yarn attached after 2nd cup is complete.

For DD sizes, continue for following rows:

Row 9: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 25 sts. (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 26 sts. – 54 dc, 27 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Row 10: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 26 sts. (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next ch-1 sp. 1 dc in ea of the next 27 sts. – 56 dc, 28 on ea side of the ch-1 sp.

Cut yarn and tie off. Repeat for 2nd cup, leaving main color yarn attached after 2nd cup is complete. Proceed to β€œConstruction”

Construction:

Completed pieces so far.

Connecting the Motif & Cups:

With the two cups complete, position the 2nd cup (with the yarn still attached), so that the attached yarn is between the motif and the cup on the side of your crocheting hand – as shown in fig. 18, below-

 Fig. 18 -This configuration allows you to work back and forth between the cups and the motif to connect them.

Chain 3. Sc in any ch-2 space of the shells of the motif – fig 19. Ch 2. Skip 5 stitches on the last row of the cup, sc in the next st – fig 20.

Fig. 19

Fig. 20

*Ch 2. 1 sc in the next ch-2 space on the motif. Ch 2, skip 5 sts on the edge of the cup, 1 sc in the next st on the cup – fig 21. Repeat from * once more.

There should now be 3 shell spaces attached along the cup side, with 5 stitches between each sc attachment on the cup, and gap of remaining stitches left at the end of the cup side before the central ch-1 space of the cup peak.

How many sts you have left on the cup before the ch-1 space depends on size – 4 for A, 8 for B, 8 for C, 7 for D, 9 for DD.

Fig. 21

The connection now continues onto the second cup:

Ch 2, 1 sc in the next ch-2 space on the motif – fig 22. Count an equal amount of stitches away from the ch-1 central space on the opposite cup as you had left on the first cup (4 for A, 8 for B, 8 for C, 7 for D, 9 for DD) , mark the next stitch. Ch 2 and work 1 sc into the marked stitch. Ch 2, 1 sc in the next shell.

Fig. 22

*Ch 2, skip 5 stitches on the cup, 1 sc in the next st. Ch 2, 1 sc in the next shell of the motif.

Repeat from * once more.

Ch 2, skip 5 stitches on the cup, sc in the next st (the final stitch on the row of the cup side) – fig 23.

Fig. 23

Now the entire piece will be rotated to add chains across the rest of the central motif – fig 24.

(Ch 6 – fig 24, 1 sc in the next shell) 5 times. Ch 6, 1 sc in the side of the outermost stitch of the side of the cup – figs 25-26.

Fig. 24

Fig. 25

Fig. 26

Edges

To continue, a sc edging will be worked into the side of the cup.

In single crochet down the side of the rows on this edge of the cup, work 1 sc per row side for Cup Size A (total 17), 2 sc per row side for cup sizes B-C (total 26 for B, 26 for C), and 2-3 sc per row side for sizes D-DD (total 34 sc for D at 2 per side, 42 for DD at 2 per side) – fig 27.

Depending on gauge, you may want to work 3 sc per row side for cups worked in dc – you can experiment and decide which looks best as the rest of the instructions will be flexible for this area of the design.

Fig. 27

At the edge of the cup, ch 1 and rotate the piece to work along what is now the β€œbottom” portion of the halter top – fig 28. 1 sc in each stitch until reaching the ch-1 space at the peak of the cup. 1 sc in the ch-1 space. 1 sc in the next st – fig 29.

Fig. 28

Fig. 29

Ch 1 for A-C sizes. Ch 2 for D-DD sizes. Skip to next cup, 1 sc in the st right before the ch-1 space. 1 sc in the next ch-1 space. Continue along the bottom edge of the next cup by working 1 sc in each st until the edge – fig 30.

Fig. 30

Ch 1, rotate to begin working along the edge of the cup – fig 31. 1-3 sc in the side of each row according to your size the same way as you worked with the other cup edge, until reaching the top corner – fig 32. Slip stitch in the top corner stitch to join, cut yarn and tie off.

Fig. 31

Fig. 32

Fig. 33

Reattach main yarn at the bottom corner of the halter top so that you are ready to work across the length of the bottom again.

Bottom:

Row 1: Ch 1 (does not count as first sc), 1 sc in each st until 3 stitches from the chain that runs across the middle of the two cups – fig 34.

Fig. 34

Ch 4 – 5 (4 for smaller sizes, 5 for larger), skip the next 3 stitches, the chains, and the 3 sts on the opposite side – fig 35. 1 sc in the next st and in ea remaining stitch across the bottom length.

Fig. 35

Row 2: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in the same st and in each stitch across the bottom of the first half, working 4-5 sc in the chain space, then working 1 sc in each st across the bottom of the second half – fig 36.

Fig. 36

Row 3: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in ea st across.

Row 4: Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in ea st across – fig 37.

Fig. 37

Now there should be 3 rows total of single crochet after the 2nd chain space between the cups (not counting the row containing the chain space). To finish the bottom edge, you can add as much hdc as you like by working the following:

Row 5: Ch 1 (does not count as first hdc), 1 hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea stitch across – fig 38.  

Work an amount of rows repeating Row 5 so that the top is the length you like. I suggest the following amounts just to get started, then add more or less if you like:
XS: 3 rows, Small: 4 rows, Med-Large: 5 rows, XL-2XL: 6 rows. Do not tie off. Proceed to Side Panel instructions.

Fig. 38

Side Panels

Rotate the piece so that you are preparing to work up the side of the halter toward the motif – fig 39.

Row 1: Ch 1, 1 hdc in the side of ea row just worked along the bottom of the halter for all rows worked. For example, a total of bottom rows equaling 7 (4 sc rows, 3 hdc rows) would be 7 sc.

Fig. 39

Row 1 Ct’d: Working in the sc stitches up the side of the cup, 1 hdc in ea st until this portion covers 5 total rows of the cup – fig. 40. This will be approximately 5 more stitches for A cups, 10 more stitches for B and C cups, and 10-15 more stitches for D and DD cups (depending on how many sc’s per row end you worked).

This will extend the side panel to cover about 1/3rd of the cup length. Smaller sizes may go up to almost Β½ the cup length if more coverage is needed.

The total width of these side panels can also be modified here to suit taste or desired fit – just add or remove stitches to alter the width of the side panel.

Fig. 40

Row 2: Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in the same st, 1 hdc in ea st across.

Repeat for as many rows as you like to get enough length to reach around your ribcage.

Use the following as a guide & customize number of rows to suit your personal fit:
X-Small: 10 rows, Small: 12 rows, Med: 15, Lg: 18, XL: 21, 2XL: 23

These amounts are just a starting point, as you can do as many or as few rows as you need here.

 Cut yarn and tie off.

Attach yarn to the opposite corner and work the same amount of stitches up the side to start the second side panel. Repeat the same amount of rows as you did before to complete second side panel. Proceed to Trim & Straps Instructions.

Trim & Straps

Reattach yarn at the top corner of the panel on the side of your hook hand, Right Side of the piece facing (as shown below). Depending on how many rows on your side panel, you may finish in this spot, in which case you wouldn’t have to cut & rejoin the yarn.

Rejoined yarn at the top corner of the side panel on my hook hand side (the right side). Right Side facing.

Step 1: Ch 1, 1 sc in each st of the sides of the side panel rows. As before, you can add more or less to loosen or tighten the stitching depending on tension and preference – fig 41

Step 2: Now working in the side of the cup, 1 Sc in ea stitch up the side of the cup – fig 42 – until reaching the ch-6 space that connects the motif to the top.

Fig. 41

Fig. 42

Step 3: (6 sc in the next ch-6 space, 1 sc in the next sc) 2 times – fig 43.

Fig. 43

Step 4 (First strap) Here we add the straps that cross in the back and then weave back and forth through the eyelets. We’ll need plenty of length to weave back and forth – I use 200 for a smalls-mediums.  200-250 is usually enough, but it also depends on how long your side panels are. If you’re not sure, err on the side of extra length as you can always wrap the ties more to get the out of the way. If they are too short, you either have to frog and try again or attach yarn at the end and lengthen by chaining and slip stitching back down the extra length. πŸ˜‰

Ch 200-250 – fig 44.

Slip stitch in each ch stitch all the way back down the chain. Sc in the same stitch as last sc fig 45.

Fig. 44

Fig. 45

Step 5: (6 sc in the next ch-6 space, 1 sc in the next sc) 2 times.

Step 6 (Second strap) Ch 200-250 – fig 46. Slip stitch back down, 1 sc in the same stitch as last sc.

Fig. 46

Step 7: (6 sc in the next ch-6 space, 1 sc in the next sc) 2 times – fig 47.

Fig. 47

Step 8: 1 sc in ea st down the side of the next cup.

Step 9: 1 sc in ea st on the side of the panel rows – matching the number you got for the other side – fig 48.

Fig. 48

Step 10: Ch 3, rotate to work down the edge of the panel. Sk next st, 1 hdc in the next st. 1 hdc in each of the next 4-5 sts*.

(Ch 1, sk next st, 1 hdc in ea of the next 4-5 sts) rpt across the end of the side panel – fig 49. This creates the eyelets necessary to weave the straps back and forth.

*Depending on the exact number of stitches in your side panel, your eyelet number might be different. Just create as many repeats so that the skipped stitches are even across the panel. You can vary the number of stitches between eyelets to help balance the spacing.

Fig. 49

Step 11: At the end of the row, rotate to work across the bottom of the halter top. Ch 3, 1 sc in each row end stitch across the bottom of the side panel, in each stitch across the bottom of the halter, and in each row end across the other side panel. – fig 50.

Fig. 50

Step 12: Ch 3, 1 hdc in the same st. Working across the top row of the side panel, create the (4-5 hdc, ch 1, sk next st) repeats from the other side to create a matching eyelet row. At the final stitch, ch 3 and slip stitch in the first stitch of the strap edging round – fig 51.

Cute yarn and tie off.

Fig. 51

Mehndi Border (Optional)

The Mehndi Border creates a cute textural decoration of petals and pompoms across the bottom of the halter. This is a great option if you are wearing your halter alone as a crop top and want a little more coverage – it does make it a bit bulky for layering though.

This feature originally appeared in another halter design of mine, the Mehndi Halter Top!

Finished Mehndi Border (shown above)

Row 1: With RS facing, join coordinating color yarn into the bottom edge – fig 52 – and ch 3. The first ch 3 counts as the first dc. (Ch 1, sk the next st, dc in the next st) across to the other edge of the bottom – figs 53-54.

Fig. 52

Fig. 53

Fig. 54

Row 2: Ch 6, turn – fig 55, sk next 4 sts, sl st in the next st – fig 56. (Ch 6, sk next 4 sts, sl st in the next st) across – figs 57-58.

Fig. 55

Fig. 56

Fig. 57

Fig. 58

Row 3: Turn without chaining. 2 hdc in the last ch-6 loop of the previous row – figs 59-60. Work 2 dc, 3 tr, 2 dc in the same loop. 1 hdc in the same space – fig 61. YO, draw up a loop in the same ch-6 space. YO, draw up a loop in the next ch-6 space – fig 62. YO and draw through all 5 lps on the hook – 1 hdc2tog over 2 ch-6 spaces – fig 63. (1 hdc, 2 dc, 3 tr, 2 dc, 1 hdc, 1 hdc2tog over the next 2 spaces) in ea ch-6 space across, forming the β€œpetals” of the border design. 1 hdc, 2 dc, 3 tr, 2 dc, 2 hdc in the last ch-6 space – fig 64. Sl  st in the side of the last dc of the first row.

Fig. 59

Fig. 60

Fig. 61

Fig. 62

Fig. 63

Fig. 64

Cut yarn and tie off if changing to 2nd accent color. If not, then turn without chaining to begin Row 4.

The petals will likely be slanted or curly from working – take the middle tr stitch and stretch them until evenly placed on the spaces and straightened – fig 65.

Fig. 65

Row 4: Turn, join new color at the middle tr st of the first petal. If using same color, sl st to that stitch. Ch 7 ( counts as ch-5 + first 2 ch of pompom st) – fig 66. *Dc3tog  in the 2nd ch from the hook. Ch 2, Dc3tog in the top of the previous cluster. Slip stitch in the base of the FIRST cluster, bringing the two dc clusters together to form two halves of a ball* – from * to * is your pompom stitch (see tutorial, Pg. 22). Ch 5, sl st in the 2nd treble of the next petal – fig 67.  (Ch 7, pom pom stitch, ch 5, sl st in the 2nd tr of the next petal) repeat across – fig 68.

Fig. 66

Fig. 67

Fig. 68

Cut yarn and tie off. Weave in all ends.

To Wear

Weave in all remaining ends. The two long ties at the top of the motif cross and/or tie at the neck, then cross over again to lace down the eyelets of the side panels.

I hope you have as much fun making & wearing this top as I did designing it! I love the flattering way the border flares out from the natural waist, which makes it so versatile as a crop top for higher waisted skirts and pants – while you can also leave off the border entirely for a perfect layering bralette πŸ™‚

-MF

Pom Pom Stitch Tutorial

The Pom Pom Stitch is one of the first crochet textural details I learned, and I was so excited to discover it – easy, cute, and almost perfectly round, the pom pom bobble is made of two double crochet clusters stacked together and can be inserted into projects for beautiful accents and trims.

Crochet really is a magic art in my opinion – a never-ending world of things to learn and try and endless combinations of techniques makes this hobby perfect for the obsessively curious and tactile artist in me.

I first put the Pom Pom stitch into a project long ago in an ancient free post about making a bikini out of cotton recycled sweater yarn. That was when I came up with the border design which would eventually trim the Mehndi Halter Top and Plus Size Mehndi patterns, and now again in my latest halter top as well!

Anyway, it’s time I published the Pom Pom Stitch Tutorial here on the blog for everyone to try, and I’ve got a brand new demo video to go along with it – you can watch at the bottom of the post after the written and photo tutorial which starts now!

Pom Pom Stitch

The pompom stitch uses two clusters of double crochet stitches stacked on top of each other to form a round ball which makes a fun border decoration. For this example I’m placing them on chain spaces, but you can place them anywhere as long as you work the chain 2 to start as indicated in Step 1. Here’s how to work it:

Step 1: Work the amount of stitches desired until reaching the point to place the pompom. Ch 2 to count as the beginning of the pompom stitch. *Yarn over and insert hook in the 2nd ch from the hook. Draw up a loop, YO, pull through 2 lps on the hook. Repeat twice more into the same stitch, leaving the last lp of each dc on the hook for each stitch.  You should have 4 lps on the hook.

YO once more and pull through all 4 lps on the hook. One dc3tog made.

Step 2: Ch 2, to gain height for the second cluster.

Step 3: Working into the TOP of the last cluster, make another dc3tog.

Step 4: Insert hook into the same stitch that you worked your FIRST cluster and make a slip stitch, bringing the two clusters together to form two halves of a ball – fig 74.

Step 5: Finish the repeat by chaining enough to get to the next pom pom (or as indicated in pattern). Here it’s shown worked into the Mehndi Border!

Tip: Keeping your clusters tight and wet blocking the border when you are finished helps the pompoms look nice and round!

Pom Pom Stitch Video Demo

The demo for the video goes over the Pom Pom stitch as it occurs on the Mehndi Border, but remember you can place them anywhere you like by starting with just the 2 chain stitches and then working the pompom on those πŸ™‚

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned something new, and as always if you have any questions or feedback please leave them in the comments! ❀ Thanks for visiting πŸ™‚

-MF

Magic Ring Tutorial

Given how many crochet patterns I have that start with the notoriously useful Magic Ring technique, you’d think I’d have written a full, freestanding tutorial for it by now! Mostly because so many tutorials already exist for the Magic Ring, I hadn’t bothered to do my own – but now I am remedying that thanks to some encouraging words from a friend to whom I recently taught my method πŸ™‚

Above: The center of the Ida Shawl

If you’ve never heard of it before, the Magic Ring (abbreviated to MR) is simply an adjustable string loop onto which the first round of a circular crochet project is worked. The loop is a substitute for the other method of starting circular crochet, which is to chain a certain number and then join the length chain stitches into a circle shape by slip stitching in the first chain.

The advantages of the Magic Ring are many – that’s why it’s called magic! Instead of guessing how many chain stitches will give you the adequate room to work your first round, the MR closes AFTER you make your stitches, so you can close the round as tightly as you wish. Sometimes starting chain rings are too bulky even when made to the right length, resulting in a rather nippular bump :/ No so with the Magic Ring! Although it still tends to look like a cat’s booty, but whaddyagonnado. πŸ˜‰

Above: The Tree of Life motif

Anyway, here’s a written and photo tutorial for how to work the Magic Ring, followed by a video demonstration at the bottom of the blog post ❀ Hope it’s helpful to you!

Magic Ring

Step 1: Take the end of the yarn strand and lay it over the fingers, the end placed on the pinkie side.

Bring the strand under the fingers and back up over the index finger, using your bottom fingers to secure the loose end and your thumb to hold the yarn strand in place.

Slip your hook under the bottom-most strand and wrap the top strand around the hook as for a yarn over.

Draw up your loop through the strand under which your hook was inserted. Now you have one loop drawn up through the beginning of the ring.

Yarn over again…

… And draw through the loop on the hook.

Tighten the stitch you just made. Now you have a yarn ring and a loose tail of yarn coming off of this initial stitch. For taller stitches like dc and tr, this first stitch counts as the first chain in the starting chain. For single crochet, I usually don’t count this as the first stitch as it is very tight to try to work into.

You can now start to work stitches into the ring you have just secured by tightening the first chain. There will be a ring and a loose tail end, you can crochet over both but don’t lose track of the loose end because you’ll need it in a minute. Here’s a ring with some single crochet worked into it:

Once your first round is worked into the ring, take the yarn tail end and pull it tightly, sliding the stitches on the yarn ring together until the central hole is closed.

Either close your round with a slip stitch, if working non-continuous circles, or mark your first stitch of the next round if you are working continuously πŸ™‚

That’s it! Now you can easily make circular crochet projects that have a neat, clean center with no pokey flappy bits. You can even leave the central space a little open if you have enough stitches on the ring to support it. Below is an example from my Pixie Pocket Belt freeform tutorial series.

Useful, eh? Here’s a quick video demo where I start and work the Magic Ring! We went straight from phone camera to video for this one, as I’m trying to be quicker about producing my video content πŸ˜›

Magic Ring Video Demo

That’s it for today – thanks for visiting πŸ™‚ And be sure to check out my huge collection of TOTALLY FREE crochet patterns right here on the blog ❀

-MF

Above: Spiral Sweater

Elf Coat: Pointed Pockets

First things first! To see all available sizes of the FREE Elf Coat pattern, as well as all the available add-ons to this design, please visit the Elf Coat FAQ page for links ❀

During the process of updating the original Elf Coat Pattern, I decided it was finally time to make an Elf Coat of my very own! I’ve had this color of King Cole DK Riot “Funky” saved back specifically for this purpose for years – the colors feature warm purples, lavender, sage greens, olive and hints of fuschia – all my favorite colors πŸ™‚

I worked up a size Small in this colorway, partly to test out the new shoulder and hood shaping that was part of the big update – and also to keep my head in the game while my awesome pattern testers worked on the Elf Coat Plus Sizes pattern expansion which was just released. This whole design has had a lively life so far, and I can’t wait to see where you all take it in the future πŸ˜‰

While working, I also made some modifications on the skirt wedges that resulted in a larger skirt seamed to a smaller bodice – for more info on how to pull that off, I made a YouTube tutorial how-to! πŸ™‚

While making my personal version of the Elf Coat, I couldn’t help but try out my vision for a pointed pocket, inspired by the type of pixie pocket shape featured on Katwise’s (www.katwise.com) coats, which are responsible for helping inspire this design. I didn’t want to mess around with doing the inset pockets, so I decided that I could do the pointed shape and apply it directly to the outside of the coat after it was finished for an “afterthought” pocket. Keep scrolling for the FREE pattern for these cute pointed pockets for the Elf Coat πŸ™‚

I also added a sweet little faux fur trim to the hood – 6 rows of fuzzy yarn in LDC with a 3.50 mm hook and I will NEVER do something so crazy again, haha! πŸ˜› It was slow going, but I did eventually accomplish that faux fur and I’ll say now that it was worth it.

I also really love how the buttons came out – I had an assortment of detailed metal vintage buttons and I love the way they add interest and character ❀

I give each of these coats a name and a personality and I dubbed my own personal Elf Coat “Twig Nest” – for reasons πŸ˜€ I’m a hodge-podge, helter-skelter chaos artist and if I were a bird, my nest would be a dopey looking pile of twigs on the ground – but there’d be love in there πŸ™‚

Pointed Pockets Pattern

Following all yarn, hook, and gauge instructions from the original pattern.

With 6.50 Tunisian hook and main yarn:

Row 1: Ch 3. TSS in the 2nd chain from the hook and in the next ch st. RP – 3 sts

Rows 2-3: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 3 sts

Row 4: TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the next st. TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the final st. RP. – 5 sts

Rows 5-6: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 5 sts

Row 7: TKS inc in the next space. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the last st. RP. – 7 sts

Rows 8-9: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 7 sts

Row 10: TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the next 5 sts. TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the final st. RP. – 9 sts.

Rows 11-12: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 9 sts.

Row 13: TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the next 7 sts. TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the final st. RP. – 11 sts

Rows 14-15: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 11 sts

Row 16: TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the next 9 sts. TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the final st. RP. – 13 sts

Row 17: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 13 sts

Row 18: TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the next 11 sts. TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the final st. RP. – 15 sts

Row 19: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 15 sts

Row 20: TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the next 13 sts. TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the final st. RP. – 17 sts

Row 21: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 17 sts

Row 22: TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the next 7 sts. TKS inc in the next space, TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the next 7 sts. TKS inc in the last space, TKS in the last st. RP. – 21 sts

Row 23: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 21 sts

Row 24: TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the next 9 sts. TKS inc in the next space, TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the next 9 sts. TKS inc in the last space, TKS in the last st. RP. – 25 sts

Row 25: TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the next 11 sts. TKS inc in the next space, TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the next 11 sts. TKS inc in the last space, TKS in the last st. RP. – 29 sts

Row 26: TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the next 13 sts. TKS inc in the next space, TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the next 13 sts. TKS inc in the last space, TKS in the last st. RP. – 33 sts

Row 27: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 11 sts. TKS dec over the next 2 sts, TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 11 sts, TKS dec over the next 2 sts, TKS in the last st. RP – 29 sts.

Row 28: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 29 sts

Row 29: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 9 sts. TKS dec over the next 2 sts, TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 9 sts, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the last st. RP. – 25 sts

Rows 30-34: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 25 sts

Switch to 3.50 mm regular crochet hook.

LDC Row 1: Ch 3, 1 dc in the same st, inserting hook into the tunisian stitches as if to TKS (but working regular crochet instead). 1 LDC (Linked Double Crochet, see Stitches & Techniques section in the main pattern) in ea of the next 24 sts.

LDC Rows 2-3 : Ch 3, turn. 1 LDC in each stitch across.

Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing the pocket onto the coat.

Using the long yarn tail and tapestry needle, sew the pocket onto the outside of the finished coat using a whip stitch or your preferred seaming stitch.

I’ll be taking another long break from Elf Coats now, especially considering that I gloriously injured my shoulder while cranking out this particular coat! But no worries, there’s plenty more coming from your friendly neighborhood Mad Fiber Scientist…
-MF

Mandala Top Add-Ons Free Pattern

In my last post I was happy to re-release the premium Mandala Top crochet pattern as a FREE offering on my blog – that design was several years old at this point and I wanted to make it more widely available as it’s one of my all-time favorites! The Mandala Top also got a few additional features over the years, namely the cute bell-shaped Drop Sleeves option and the (absolutely essential IMO) Dress Extension which adds more length and flounce to the bottom of the tunic.

Anyway, the Mandala Top Free Pattern post ran a little long, so I’m doing the Mandala Top Add-Ons free patterns in this post! Keep scrolling to get the instructions for both of these features for all 4 sizes, or go to my Ravelry Store or Etsy Shop to get the all-inclusive portable, downloadable, ad-free version by purchasing the Mandala Top PDF!

This whole design looks superb with regular ol’ #4 worsted weight acrylics, and affordable yarn means you can easily create the most colorful mandalas you can imagine! I can’t decide if I love these more in color combos using spare yarn balls, or in single tone neutrals that go with everything ❀

Mandala Top Drop Sleeves

Materials:

5.00 mm hook or size needed to obtain gauge

Yarn: #4 worsted weight – yardage given is in addition to the yarn required to complete the main body of the top.
Small, Medium, Large: 200 yds
X-Large: 285 yds
Tapestry Needle
Stitch Markers
Scissors

Gauge:

4 sts and 2 rows = 1” in dc

Notes: Instructions are given for working the sleeve directly onto the side of the top. For a tutorial on how to work the DCh stitch, refer back to the Mandala Top Pattern

Small, medium, and large instructions are the same, instructions for XL will appear as a secondary option, where differing.

Work the entire Mandala Top Pattern. For the straps, add extra DCh sts according to the sizes below:

Small & Medium: 10 extra DCh

Large: 15 extra DCh

X-Large: 20 extra Dch

 Do not weave in the ends of the straps, as you may want to adjust them later.

Pattern for Sleeves

Foundation: Attach yarn 6 sc sts away from the base of the strap at the back of the top – counting toward the armpit, not toward the neckline of the top.

Ch 1, work a sc in the same st. Insert hk into the side bar of the sc, then draw up a loop to begin the first DCh st. YO and draw through both lps on the hook – 1 DCh stitch made. Place marker in this st.

DCh 28 more sts. Insert hk through both side bar of last DCh st and through the stitch 6 sc sts away from the strap on the other side of the top. Draw up a loop, then YO and draw through both lps on the hk. Place marker in this stitch.

Working toward the armpit of the top, not toward the strap, work 1 sc in the next 16 (26) sts, sk the stitch where the front and back of the top are joined, work 1 sc in ea of the next 16 (26) sts. – 60, 80 sts.

The stitches you marked (the very first and very last of the DCh) DO NOT count as stitches for Rnd 1. Skip over them completely when working the instructions for the following round.

Rnd 1: Ch 5  β€“  counts as first tr + ch-1. (sk next st, tr in the next st, ch 1) 29, 39 times. Join with a sl st in the 4th ch of beg ch-5.

Rnd 2: Sl st into the next ch st. Ch 5 – counts as first tr + ch 1. (sk next st, tr in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) 29, 39 times. Join with a sl st in the 4th ch of beg ch-5.

Rnd 3.: Rpt Rnd 2.

Rnd 4: Sl st into the next ch-1 space. Ch 3 – counts as first dc. Dc into the same space, ch 3. (2 dc in the next ch-1 sp, ch 3) 28, 38 times. 2 dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1, join with a hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.

Rnd 5: Ch 3- counts as first dc. Dc into the same space, ch 3. (2 dc in the next ch-3 sp, ch 3) 28, 38 times. 2 dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1, join with a hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.

Rnd 6: Rpt Rnd 5.

Rnd 7: Ch 4 – counts as first tr. Tr in the same space, ch 3. (2 tr in the next ch-3 space, ch 3) 28, 38 times. 2 tr in the next ch-3 space, ch 1, join with a hdc in the 4th ch of beg ch-4.

Rnd 8: Rpt Rnd 7.

Rnd 9: Rpt Rnd 7.

Cut yarn and tie off.

Repeat foundation and rounds 1-10 on the opposite side. For the second foundation, join your yarn 6 sc sts from the base of the strap on the front side so that you maintain the RS facing. Weave in all ends.

Forming the Adjustable Ring

The adjustable ring draws the straps together in an X at the back of the top to keep them from falling off the shoulder from the additional weight of the sleeves; this design requires that extra length is added to the straps. Though the general guidelines for adding extra length is given, you may want to test the lengths first to check what fits best.

Step 1: With new yarn that is the same color as the straps, ch 6. Bring the straps together in the back and slip the chain around both straps. Join with a sl st in the first ch to form a ring that encircles the straps.

Step 2: Sc into the same stitch. Sc into ea of the next 5 ch sts. Join with a slip stitch to the first sc of the ring. Cut yarn and tie off. Weave in ends, making sure that the ring is not attached to either strap at any point.

Mandala Top Dress Extension

Materials:

5.00 mm hook or size needed to obtain gauge

#4 Worsted Weight yarn (yardage given is in addition to amount needed to complete the main body of the top)
Smalls & Mediums: 200 yds
Larges & X-Larges: 275 yds
Tapestry Needle
Scissors

Add more length and flounce to your mandala top by completing this extension pattern for the 3 extra rounds at the bottom of the garment.

Smalls  & Mediums Instructions:

Rnd 1: With RS facing, join new yarn in the 2nd ch-8 space from the dc2tog at the side of the top. Ch 7 – counts as first dc + ch 4. Dc in the same space, ch 7. *Dc in the next ch-8 space, ch 4, dc in the same space, ch 4. YO and insert hook under the next ch-4 space. Draw up a loop, YO, and draw through 2 lps on the hook – 2 lps left on the hook. YO and insert hook under next ch-4 space, draw up a loop. YO and draw through 2 lps on the hk, YO again and draw through all 3 lps on the hook – dc2tog made. Ch 4.* (Dc in the next ch sp, ch 4, dc in the same space, ch 7) 31 times.  Repeat from *to *. (Dc in the next space, ch 4, dc in the same space, ch 7) 30 times. Dc in the next ch space, ch 4, dc in the same space, ch 4. Tr in the 3rd ch of beg ch-7. 132 chain spaces made.

Rnd 2: Ch 3 – counts as first dc. Dc in the same space, ch 8. (2 dc in the next ch space, ch 8) twice.* 2 dc in the next chain space, ch 4. YO and insert hk under the next ch-4 space. Draw up a loop, YO and draw through 2 lps on the hook – 2 lps left on the hook. YO and insert hook under the next ch-4 space, draw up a loop. YO and draw through 2 lps on the hk, YO again and draw through all 3 lps on the hook – dc2tog made. Ch 4. * (2 dc in the next chain space, ch 8) 62 times. Rpt from * to *. (2 dc in the next chain space, ch 8) 60 times. 2 dc in the next chain space, ch 4, treble in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. 130 chain spaces made.

Rnd 3: Ch 3 – counts as first dc. Dc in the same space, ch 8. (2 dc in the next chain space, ch 8) twice. .* 2 dc in the next chain space, ch 4. YO and insert hk under the next ch-4 space. Draw up a loop, YO and draw through 2 lps on the hook – 2 lps left on the hook. YO and insert hook under the next ch-4 space, draw up a loop. YO and draw through 2 lps on the hk, YO again and draw through all 3 lps on the hook – dc2tog made. Ch 4. * (2 dc in the next chain space, ch 8) 61 times. Rpt from * to *. (2 dc in the next chain space, ch 8) 60 times. Sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. 128 chain spaces made.

Cut yarn and tie off. Weave in all ends.

Size Large Instructions:

Rnd 1: With RS facing, join new yarn in the 2nd ch-8 space from the dc2tog at the side of the to .Ch 7 – counts as first dc + ch 4. Dc in the same space, ch 7. *Dc in the next ch-8 space, ch 4, dc in the same space, ch 4. YO and insert hook under the next ch-4 space. Draw up a loop, YO, and draw through 2 lps on the hook – 2 lps left on the hook. YO and insert hook under next ch-4 space, draw up a loop. YO and draw through 2 lps on the hk, YO again and draw through all 3 lps on the hook – dc2tog made. Ch 4. *(Dc in the next ch sp, ch 4, dc in the same space, ch 7) 45 times.  Repeat from *to *. (Dc in the next space, ch 4, dc in the same space, ch 7) 44 times. Dc in the next ch space, ch 4, dc in the same space, ch 4. Tr in the 3rd ch of beg ch-7. 188 chain spaces made.

Rnd 2: Ch 3 – counts as first dc. Dc in the same space, ch 8. (2 dc in the next ch space, ch 8) twice.* 2 dc in the next chain space, ch 4. YO and insert hk under the next ch-4 space. Draw up a loop, YO and draw through 2 lps on the hook – 2 lps left on the hook. YO and insert hook under the next ch-4 space, draw up a loop. YO and draw through 2 lps on the hk, YO again and draw through all 3 lps on the hook – dc2tog made (see fig 3). Ch 4. * (2 dc in the next chain space, ch 8) 90 times. Rpt from * to *. (2 dc in the next chain space, ch 8) 88 times. 2 dc in the next chain space, ch 4, treble in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. 186 chain spaces made.

Rnd 3: Ch 3 – counts as first dc. Dc in the same space, ch 8. (2 dc in the next ch space, ch 8) twice.* 2 dc in the next chain space, ch 4. YO and insert hk under the next ch-4 space. Draw up a loop, YO and draw through 2 lps on the hook – 2 lps left on the hook. YO and insert hook under the next ch-4 space, draw up a loop. YO and draw through 2 lps on the hk, YO again and draw through all 3 lps on the hook – dc2tog made. Ch 4. * (2 dc in the next chain space, ch 8) 89 times. Rpt from * to *. (2 dc in the next chain space, ch 8) 88 times. Sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. 184 chain spaces made. Cut yarn and tie off. Weave in all ends.

X-Large Instructions:

Rnd 1: With RS facing, join new yarn to any ch-8 space. Ch 7 – counts as first dc + ch . Dc in the same space, ch 7. (Dc in the next space, ch 4, dc in the same space, ch 7) 91 times. Dc in the next ch space, ch 4, dc in the same space, ch 4. Tr in the 3rd ch of beg ch-7. 194 chain spaces made.

Rnd 2: Ch 3 – counts as first dc. Dc in the same space, ch 8. (2 dc in the next ch space, ch 8) 192 times. 2 dc in the next ch space, ch 4, tr in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. 194 chain spaces made.

Rnd 3: Repeat Round 2.

Cut yarn and tie off. Weave in all ends.

That’s it for this re-release! It’s been so much fun revisiting this pattern and setting up this design to become free and available to everyone, not the least because it’s an excuse to make new versions πŸ˜‰ If you have any questions about this design please leave me a comment or contact me directly through messages on any of my social media sites!

One more mention before I go – I started playing around with the Mandala Top design after I had finished it to see about adding sleeves and making it a sweater (those are my first drafts below)…

… which after some tweaking and changing things a bit, led directly to the Flower Child Pullover design, a paid PDF pattern in my Ravelry and Etsy stores – in case you’re interested πŸ˜‰

-MF

Mandala Top Free Pattern

I’m always looking for the best ways to expand my offerings as I grow and develop as a crochet pattern designer. On one hand, I need to make enough money from my business to pay my bills and care for myself. On the other hand, offering things for free here on my blog is mutually beneficial to me AND you! By offering more free things, people have the chance to see what my premium written patterns are like, and if they like them and want to use them all the time the hope is that they’ll buy the downloadable, ad-free versions πŸ™‚

Offering free patterns also drives up my website and channel views, which in turn make me a little more money from ad revenue- not as much as the paid PDFs, but some. But the best part of this scenario is that through free pattern offerings, more people make awesome things based off of my patterns and when they tag me in their social media posts, I get to see and so do others who then go to find my patterns! πŸ™‚

This is the true definition of a win-win scenario, and to me it applies the theories of Mutual Aid, which I think is important for the future of our society ❀ Mutual Aid is offering freely what can be freely given with no presupposition of charity or reward – Mutual Aid is based on the theory that what is good for one of us, is in turn good for all of us, because human society is inextricably connected. We are all just threads in a great universal mandala, you guys.

Anyway, that spiel was leading up to the fact that today I’m re-releasing my previously paid-only crochet pattern, the Mandala Top, here on this blog post for FREE! If you like it you can check out my Tip Jar page here and maybe leave a little somethin’ in the Jar to help fund future offerings. What goes around comes around ❀

If you want the downloadable, printable, ad-free PDF version of this pattern, you can still get it in my Ravelry Store or Etsy Shop! The free version also includes the Mandala Top Add-Ons, two bonus features you can add to your basic top design, and the paid version in my shops now include the Add-Ons PDF with the main Mandala Top in one single purchase. They were previously two separate purchases but now they are all included under the Mandala Top listing for the price of a single pattern πŸ˜‰ Yay! Keep scrolling for the FREE version.

For this re-release, I made a few pearly white Mandala Tops in sizes Large and Small (small is pictured on me here), and I recorded some video tutorial footage (found at the bottom of the page) to help people navigate the Joining Round, which can be a little tricky to interpret just from the written version. I think this new video is helpful and I hope you do too!

For the model photography I went totally shabby chic, pairing my pearly white Mandala tunic with a white lacey dress, a vintage crochet collar I thrifted, and a sweet straw bucket hat because I’m obsessed with Mori Girl and Grandmacore fashion πŸ˜‰

But this design also great in more colorful versions, such as the super cute hippie girl tunics modeled by my lovely friend Laney above & below.

And, for good measure, the oooooooold picture from the original release of this design, in sweet vintage-y warm browns and pinks ❀

Actually, over the years I’ve made a TON of these. They are quick to work once you’re familiar with the pattern and they have always been great sellers for me when I take them to vend at festivals πŸ™‚

Okay, so now that we’re fully inspired, on to the FREE PATTERN!

Mandala Top Pattern

Materials:

5.0 mm hook (or size needed to obtain gauge)
300-400 total yards worsted weight yarn in various colors
Tapestry Needle
Stitch Markers

Gauge: Round 1 = 5” measured straight across the diameter
or
4 sts and 2 rows = 1” in dc

Stitches Used:
Magic Ring: The best method for starting circular crochet with no central gap. Refer to this great guide from Craftsy at – http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/09/demystifying-the-magic-ring/

Double Chain (Dch): See my free tutorial for this technique here.

Half Double Crochet (hdc): Between sc and double crochet in height.  Yarn over, insert hk into the next stitch. Yarn over and draw up a lp. Yarn over and pull through all three lps on the hk. Equal to 2 chains in length when joining.

Treble Crochet (tr): Equal to 4 chains in length when joining. Yarn over twice and insert hk into the next stitch. Draw up a loop. Yarn over and draw through 2 lps on the hook three times.

Double Treble Crochet (dtr):  Yarn over 3 times, insert hook into the next stitch. Yarn over and draw up a loop. Yarn over and draw through 2 lps on the hook  4 times.  Equal to 5 chains in length.

Triple Treble Crochet (trtr): Yarn over 4 times, insert hook into the next stitch. Yarn over and draw up a loop. Yarn over and draw through 2 lps on the hook 5 times

Sizes: Small – XL

Notes

Sizing: the openwork mesh structure of the garment allows for a lot of drape and stretch so that it fits a wide variety of body types. When choosing a size, keep in mind that the bust width given is the maximum length the garment will stretch from armpit to armpit without warping the appearance of the pattern.

Color Changing:  This pattern is written for 5-6 different colors, but looks great with any amount of color changes. If you are working custom color changes, make sure to start at the same point the last pattern round leaves off unless the pattern indicates you may join the new yarn at any space.

Round Closure and Counting Spaces: Some rounds use a chain and stitch combination to close the round in order to place your hook at the apex of a loop to start the following round. (Ex from Rnd 3 in Small: 2 dc in the next ch-4 space, ch 3. Double in the 3rd ch of the beg ch-3.  16 ch-6 spaces made.) This chain and stitch combination forms a space the same size as the rest of the chain spaces in the round and IS COUNTED as a chain-space in the final count at the end of the round instructions. For instance, the chain and stitch combo example from Rnd 3 counts as one of the 16 (for small or medium) or 20 (for large and x-large) chain-6 spaces for the entire round. For more on this technique, see my comprehensive free tutorial on closing chain-space rounds with the Chain & Stitch Join.

Instructions for Small & Medium Sizes:

To begin, make Magic Ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 9, counts as Trtr plus ch-4. (Trtr into ring, ch 4) 14 times. Trtr into the ring, ch 2, hdc in the 5th chain of beginning ch-9.  16 trtr + ch-4 spaces made. Pull your magic ring closed tightly.

Rnd 2: Ch 4 – counts as first treble. (Treble in the next ch-4 space, ch 4, treble in the same space) 15 times. Treble in the next ch-4 space, ch 4, join with a slip stitch to the 4th chain of beginning ch-4. 16 treble V stitches made. Cut color and tie off.

Rnd 3: Join new color to any ch-4 space. Ch 3 – counts as first dc. Dc in the same ch-4 space, ch-6. (2 dc in the next space, ch 6) 14 times. 2 dc in the next ch-4 space, ch 3. Dc in the 3rd ch of the beg ch-3.  16 ch-6 spaces made.

Rnd 4: Ch 3 – counts as first double. Double in the same ch-6 space, ch 7. (2 dc in the next space, ch 7) 15 times.  Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. 16 ch-7 spaces made. Cut yarn and tie off.

Rnd 5: Join new color in the middle of any ch-7 space. Ch 6 – counts as dc + ch-3. Dc in the same space, ch 7. ([dc, ch 3, dc, ch7] in the next ch-7 space) 14 times. Dc in the next ch-7 space, ch 3, dc in the same space, ch 3, treble in the 3rd ch of beg ch-6.  32 chain spaces made

Rnd 6: Ch 3, dc in the same space, ch 7. (2 dc in the next chain space, ch 7) 31 times.  Join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. 32 chain spaces. Cut yarn and tie off.

MEDIUMS ONLY: Rnd 7: Rejoin yarn in any ch-7 space. Ch 3 to count as first dc, dc in the same space, ch 8. (2 dc in the next ch space, ch 8) 31 times. Join with a slip stitch to the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. 32 chain spaces. Cut yarn and tie off.

Rnd 7/8 : Join new yarn to any chain space. Ch 3, dc in the same space, ch 8. (2 dc in the next chain space, ch 8) 2 times. Work (2 dtr, ch 8) twice in the next chain space. (2 dc in the next chain space, ch 8) 4 times.  Work (2 dtr, ch 8) twice in the next chain space.  (2 dc in the next chain space, ch 8) 22 times. 2 dc in the next space, ch 4, treble in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. 34 ch-8 spaces made.

Chart shows Size M

Rnd 8/9:  Sc in the same space, ch 5. (Sc in the next ch-8 space, ch 5) 3 times.  Work (2 tr, ch 8, 2 tr, ch 5) in the next ch-8 space. (Sc in the next ch-8 space, ch 5) 5 times. Work (2 tr, ch 8, 2 tr, ch 5) in the next ch-8 space. (Sc in the next ch-8 space, ch 5) 3 times. Sc in the next ch-8 space, ch 8. (Dc in the next ch-8 space, ch 4, dc in the same space, ch 7) 18 times. Dc in the next ch-8 space, ch 4, dc in the same space, ch 8. Join with a sl stitch to the first sc of the round. 55 chain spaces made. Cut yarn and tie off.

If this is the first motif made, complete Rnds 1-8/9 again to form a second motif. If this is your second motif, move on to the joining round in Round 9/10.

The following instructions work the sc border across the top half of both of the mandala motifs. This is mostly covered in the Part 1 of the Mandala Top Joining Video Tutorial, included at the bottom of the page.

JOINING: Rnd 9/10 :  Join new yarn in the sixth stitch from end of the last round on the last motif (this will be the second single crochet of round 8/9.)  *(1 sc in ea of the next 5 ch stitches, 1 sc in the next sc) 2 times. 1 sc in ea of the next 5 ch stitches, 1 sc in each of the next 2 treble stitches. 1 sc in ea of the next 4 ch stitches, 3 hdc in the next ch stitch. Place marker in the 2nd hdc made. 1 sc in ea of the next 3 ch stitches and in ea of the next 2 treble stitches.  (1 sc in ea of the next 5 ch stitches, 1 sc in the next sc) 5 times. 1 sc in ea of the next 5 ch stitches, 1 sc in ea of the next 2 treble stitches. 1 sc in each of the next 3 ch stitches, 3 hdc in the next ch st. Place marker in the 2nd hdc made.  1 sc in ea of the next 4 ch sts, 1 sc in ea of the next 2 treble sts. (1 sc in ea of the next 5 ch sts, 1 sc in the next sc) 2 times. 1 sc in ea of the next 5 sts. *

Align the second motif with the first, making sure the two wrong sides are facing each other. Align the 3rd single crochet stitch from the left of the leftmost set of treble sts (or the right of the rightmost if you are a leftie) with the corresponding stitch on the second motif. Work one sc through both stitches at once. Begin to work the Rnd 9/10 pattern from * to * on the second motif, working ONLY the stitches of the second motif, and working in the direction of the nearest set of trebles. To end the round, insert hook through the next sc and through the corresponding stitch of the opposite motif (the third sc left of the leftmost set of trebles, or right of the rightmost if you are a leftie). Work a sl stitch through both stitches at once. Do not cut or tie off, move on to Round 10/11.

The following instructions work down the side of the two mandala motifs, constructing a join made of chaining and sc back and forth between the two motifs. This is described in Part 2 of the Joining Video Tutorial below, as well as in the charts pictured πŸ™‚

Rnd 10/11: Keeping both motifs aligned, the motif on top (facing you) will be referred to as #1. The motif in back (further away from you) will be #2. You will be working a fagoting stitch join between the two motifs (See fig 3 for chart) . Working away from the nearest set of trebles, ch 3 and sc in the next Ch-5 space of #2.  Ch 3, sc in the corresponding ch-5 space of #1. Ch 5, sc in the next ch-8 space of #2, ch 5, sc in the corresponding ch-8 space of #1. Ch 5, sc in the next ch-4 space of #2, ch 5, sc in the corresponding ch-4 space of #1 (fagoting joint completed) Ch 8.

Now we will work across the bottom of only one of the motifs until reaching the other side, where we will work another join.

(2 dc in the next ch space, ch 8) 35 times. (Beginning of next join) Sc in the next ch-4 space, ch 5. Sc in the corresponding space on #2, ch 5.  Sc in the next ch-8 space of #1, ch 5. Sc in the corresponding ch space of #2, ch 5. Sc in the next ch-5 space of #1, ch 3, sc in the corresponding space of # 2. Ch 3, join with a slip stitch in the motif-join sc of Rnd 9/10. Cut yarn and tie off.

Rnd 10/11 makes up an extra row on the tunic, making one side slightly longer. This longer side is now the back side. Rnd 11/12 is worked in a single round around the bottom, including both front and back as two halves of the same round. I show where to start this next round in the last part of Part 2 of the video Joining Tutorial. 

Rnd 11/12: With RS facing, join new yarn in the 3rd ch-8 space from the last ch-5 in the fagoting join on the back half of the top. Ch 3 to count as first dc. Dc in the same space, ch 8. *2 dc in the next ch-8 space, ch 4. Yarn over and draw up a lp through the next ch-8 space, yo and draw through 2 lps on the hook. Yarn over and draw up a loop through the next free chain space (skipping ch-5 of fagoting join and the chain space it is attached to). Yarn over and draw through 2 lps on the hook. Yarn over and draw through the last 3 lps on the hook – dc2tog made. Ch 4. (2 dc in the next ch space, ch 8) 32 times.* Rpt from * to *. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. Cut yarn and tie off. – 69 ch spaces total.

Proceed to the Straps portion of the instructions πŸ™‚

Instructions for Size Large:

Make Magic Ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 9, counts as Trtr plus ch-4. (Trtr into ring, ch 4) 18 times. Trtr into the ring, ch 2, hdc in the 5th chain of beginning ch-9.  20 trtr + ch-4 spaces made. Pull your magic ring closed tightly.

Rnd 2: Ch 4 – counts as first treble. (Treble in the next ch-4 space, ch 4, treble in the same space) 19 times. Treble in the next ch-4 space, ch 4, join with a slip stitch to the 4th chain of beginning ch-4.  20 treble V stitches made. Cut color and tie off.

Rnd 3: Join new color to any ch-4 space. Ch 3 – counts as first double. Double in the same ch-4 space, ch 6. (2 dc in the next space, ch 6) 18 times. 2 dc in the next ch-4 space, ch 3. Double in the 3rd ch of the beg ch-3.  20 ch-6 spaces made.

See instructions for Small & Medium sizes to view the charted examples of the joins in Rnds 1-5.


Rnd 4: Ch 3 – counts as first double. Double in the same ch-6 space, ch 7. (2 dc in the next space, ch 7) 19 times.  Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. 20 ch-7 spaces made. Cut yarn and tie off.

Rnd 5: Join new color in the middle of any ch-7 space. Ch 6 – counts as first dc + ch-3. Dc in the same space, ch 7. ([dc, ch 3, dc, ch7] in the next ch-7 space) 18 times. Dc in the next ch-7 space, ch 3, dc in the same space, ch 3, treble in the 3rd ch of beg ch-6.  40 chain spaces made.

Rnd 6:  Ch 3, dc in the same space, ch 7. (2 dc in the next chain space, ch 7) 39 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beginning ch-3. Cut yarn and tie off. 40 ch spaces made.

Rnd 7: Join new color in the middle of any ch-7 space. Ch 3, dc in the same space, ch 8. (2 dc in the next ch-7 space, ch 8) 38 times. 2 dc in the next space, ch 4, treble in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. 40 ch-8 spaces made.

Rnd 8: Ch 3, dc in the same space, ch 8. (2 dc in the next ch-8 space, ch 8) 2 more times. Work (2 trtr, ch 8) twice in the next ch-8 space. (2 dc in the next ch-8 space, ch 8) 4 times.  Work (2 trtr, ch 8) twice in the next ch-8 space.  (2 dc in the next ch-8 space, ch 8) 31 times. Join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. Cut yarn and tie off. 42 ch-8 spaces made.

Rnd 9: Join new color in the final ch-8 space of Rnd 8. Sc in the same space as join, ch 5. (Sc in the next ch-8 space, ch 5) 3 times. (2 treble, ch 8, 2 treble, ch 5) in the next ch-8 space – 1 treble shell made. (Sc in the next ch-8 space, ch 5) 5 times. (2 tr, ch 8, 2 tr, ch 5) in the next ch-8 space – 2nd treble shell made . (Sc in the next ch-8 space, ch 5) 3 times. Sc in the next ch-8 space, ch 8. (Dc in the next ch-8 sp, ch 4, dc in the same space, ch 7)  26 times. Dc in the next ch-8 sp, ch-4, dc in the same space, ch 8. Join with a sl st to the first sc of the round – 71 chain spaces made. Rpts Rnds 1-9 for second motif.

If this is the completion of Rnd 9 on your first motif, cut yarn and tie off. If this the completion of Rnd 9 on your second motif, do not tie off.

The following instructions work the sc border across the top half of both of the mandala motifs. This is mostly covered in the Part 1 of the Mandala Top Joining Video Tutorial, included at the bottom of the page

Rnd 10 (Joining) :  Sl stitch in the next 5 ch sts, sl st in the next sc st. *(1 sc in ea of the next 5 ch stitches, 1 sc in the next sc) 2 times. 1 sc in ea of the next 5 ch stitches, 1 sc in each of the next 2 treble stitches. 1 sc in ea of the next 4 ch stitches, 3 hdc in the next ch stitch. Place a marker in the 2nd hdc. 1 sc in ea of the next 3 ch stitches and in ea of the next 2 treble stitches.  (1 sc in ea of the next 5 ch stitches, 1 sc in the next sc) 5 times. 1 sc in ea of the next 5 ch stitches, 1 sc in ea of the next 2 treble stitches. 1 sc in each of the next 3 ch stitches, 3 hdc in the next ch st, place marker in the 2nd hdc made. 1 sc in ea of the next 4 ch sts, 1 sc in ea of the next 2 treble sts. (1 sc in ea of the next 5 ch sts, 1 sc in the next sc) 2 times. 1 sc in ea of the next 5 sts. *

Align the second motif with the first, making sure the two WS are facing each other. Align the 3rd single crochet stitch from the left of the leftmost treble shell (or the right of the rightmost if you are a leftie) with the corresponding stitch on the second motif. Work one sc through both stitches at once. Begin to work the Rnd 10 pattern from * to * on the second motif, working ONLY the stitches of the second motif, and working in the direction of the nearest treble shell. To end the round, insert hook through the next sc and through the corresponding stitch of the opposite motif (the third sc left of the leftmost treble shell, or right of the rightmost if you are a leftie). Work a sl stitch through both stitches at once.  Do not tie off.

The following instructions work down the side of the two mandala motifs, constructing a join made of chaining and sc back and forth between the two motifs. This is described in Part 2 of the Joining Video Tutorial below, as well as in the charts pictured πŸ™‚

Rnd 11: Keeping both motifs aligned, the motif on top (facing you) will be referred to as #1. The motif in back (further away from you) will be #2. You will be working a fagoting stitch join between the two motifs. (See fig 5 for chart)Working away from the nearest treble shell, ch 3 and sc in the next Ch-5 space of #2. Ch 3, sc in the corresponding ch-5 space of #1. Ch 5, sc in the next ch-8 space of #2. Ch 5, sc in the corresponding space of #1. Ch 5, sc in the next ch-4 space of #2, Ch 5, sc in the corresponding space of #1. Ch 5, sc in the next ch-7 space of #2, ch 5, sc in the corresponding ch-7 space on #1 – fagoting join completed. Chain 8. Continuing only on #1, (2 dc in the next chain space, ch 8)  49 times. (Beginning of next join) Sc in the next ch-7  space on #1, ch 5.  Sc in the corresponding space on #2, ch 5. Sc in the next ch space of #1, ch 5, sc in the corresponding space of #2, ch 5. Sc in the next ch space of #1, ch 5. Sc in the corresponding chain space of #2. Ch 5, sc in the next chain space of #1. Ch 3, sc in the corresponding space of #2, ch 3. Join with a sl stitch to the joining stitch of Rnd 10. Cut yarn and tie off.

Rnd 11 makes up an extra row on the tunic, making one side slightly longer. This longer side is now the back side. Rnd 12 is worked in a single round around the bottom, including both front and back as two halves of the same round.

Rnd 12:  With RS facing, join new yarn in the 3rd ch-8 space from the last ch-5 in the fagoting join on the back half of the top. Ch 3 to count as first dc. Dc in the same space, ch 8. *2 dc in the next ch-8 space, ch 4. Yarn over and draw up a lp through the next ch-8 space, yo and draw through 2 lps on the hook. Yarn over and draw up a loop through the next free chain space (skipping ch-5 of fagoting join and the ch space it is attached to). Yarn over and draw through 2 lps on the hook. Yarn over and draw through the last 3 lps on the hook. Ch 4. (2 dc in the next ch space, ch 8) 46 times.* Rpt from * to *. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. Cut yarn and tie off. – 97 ch spaces total.

Proceed to Straps Instructions

Instructions for Size X-Large

Follow instructions for size Large for Rounds 1-5.

Rnd 6: Ch 4 – counts as first treble, tr in the same space, ch 7. (2 tr in the next chain space, ch 7) 38 times. 2 treble in the next chain space, ch 3. Tr in the 4th ch of beg ch-4. 40 chain spaces made.

Rnd 7: Ch 4 – counts as first treble, tr in the same space, ch 8. (2 tr in the next chain space, ch 8) 39 times. Join with a sl st to the 4th ch of beg ch-4. cut yarn and tie off. 40 chain spaces made.

Rnd 8: Join new yarn in any ch-8 space. Ch 3, dc in the same space, ch 8. (2 dc in the next ch-8 space, ch 8) 2 times. Work (2 trtr, ch 8) twice in the next ch-8 space. (2 dc in the next ch-8 space, ch 8) 4 times.  Work (2 trtr, ch 8) twice in the next ch-8 space.  (2 dc in the next ch-8 space, ch 8) 30 times. Work 2 dc in the next ch-8 space, ch 4, tr in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. 42 chain spaces made.

Rnd 9: Sc in the same space, ch 5. (Sc in the next ch space, ch 5) 2 times. Sc in the next space, ch 8. (2 treble crochet, ch 8) twice in the next ch-8 space – 1st treble shell made. (Sc in the next ch space, ch 5) 4 times. Sc in the next ch-8 space, ch 8. (2 treble crochet, ch 8) twice in the next ch-8 space- 2nd treble shell made. (Sc in the next ch space, ch 5) 3 times. Sc in the next space, ch 8. (Dc in the next ch sp, ch 4, dc in the same space, ch 7) 26 times. Dc in the next ch space, ch 4, dc in the same space, ch 8. Join with a sl st in the first sc of the round. 71 chain spaces made. Cut yarn and tie off.

Rpt Rnds 1-9 for second motif.

The following instructions work the sc border across the top half of both of the mandala motifs. This is mostly covered in the Part 1 of the Mandala Top Joining Video Tutorial, included at the bottom of the page.

Rnd 10 (Joining):   Join new color in the same sc as the ending join of Rnd 9, sc in the same space. *(1 sc in ea of the next 5 ch stitches, 1 sc in the next sc) 3 times. 1 sc in ea of the next 8 ch stitches, 1 sc in each of the next 2 treble stitches. 1 sc in ea of the next 4 ch stitches, 3 hdc in the next ch stitch – place marker in the 2nd hdc made. 1 sc in ea of the next 3 ch stitches and in ea of the next 2 treble stitches. 1 sc in ea of the next 8 ch stitches.  (1 sc in the next sc, 1 sc in ea of the next 5 ch sts) 5 times. Sc in the next sc and in ea of the next 8 ch sts.  1 sc in ea of the next 2 treble stitches. 1 sc in each of the next 3 ch stitches, 3 hdc in the next ch st – place marker in 2nd hdc made, 1 sc in ea of the next 4 ch sts, 1 sc in ea of the next 2 treble sts.  1 sc in ea of the next 8 ch sts. (1 sc in the next sc. 1 sc in ea of the next 5 ch sts) 3 times. *

Align the second motif with the first, making sure the two WS are facing each other. Align the 4th single crochet stitch from the left of the leftmost treble shell (or the right of the rightmost if you are a leftie) with the corresponding stitch on the second motif. This should be the next stitch to be worked after finishing the Rnd 10 instructions above. Work one sc through both stitches at once. Begin to work the Rnd 10 pattern from * to * on the second motif, working ONLY the stitches of the second motif, and working in the direction of the nearest treble shell. To end the round, insert hook through the next sc and through the corresponding stitch of the opposite motif (the 4th sc left of the leftmost treble shell, or right of the rightmost if you are a leftie). Work a sl stitch through both stitches at once. Do not tie off.

The following instructions work down the side of the two mandala motifs, constructing a join made of chaining and sc back and forth between the two motifs. This is described in Part 2 of the Joining Video Tutorial below, as well as in the charts pictured πŸ™‚

Rnd 11: Keeping both motifs aligned, the motif on top (facing you) will be referred to as #1. The motif in back (further away from you) will be #2. You will be working a fagoting stitch join between the two motifs. (See fig 6 for chart) Working away from the nearest treble shell, ch 5 and sc in the next Ch-8 space of #2. (Ch 5, sc in the next chain space of #1. Ch 5, sc in the next chain space of #2.) 3 times. Ch 5, sc in the next chain space of #1. Ch 8. (Fagoting join made). Working only in #1, (2 dc in the next chain space, ch 8) 47 times. (Beginning of next join) Sc in the next chain space, ch 5. Sc in the corresponding space on #2, ch 5.  (Sc in the next chain space of #1, ch 5. Sc in the corresponding ch space of #2, ch 5) 3 times. Join with a slip stitch in the motif-join sc of Rnd 10. Cut yarn and tie off.

Rnd 11 makes up an extra row on the tunic, making one side slightly longer. This longer side is now the back side. Rnd 12 is worked in a single round around the bottom, including both front and back as two halves of the same round.

Rnd 12:Β  With RS facing, join new yarn in the 3rd ch-8 space from the last ch-5 in the fagoting join on the back half of the top. Ch 3 to count as first dc. Dc in the same space, ch 8. (2 dc in the next ch-8 space, ch 8) twice. *2 dc in the next ch-5 space – the last chain space of the fagoting join, ch 8. 2 dc in the next unworked chain space, ch 8.* (2 dc in the next ch space, ch 8) 46 times.* Rpt from * to *. (2 dc in the next ch space, ch 8) 44 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. Cut yarn and tie off. – 93 ch spaces total.

Proceed to the Straps Instructions πŸ™‚

Straps Instructions

For more detailed instructions on working the Double Chain technique, see my free tutorial here.

If you plan on making the Drop Sleeves pattern add-on, work the following extra DCh stitches on each strap. In case you need to adjust the length, do not weave in the ends.

Small & Medium: 10 extra DCh

Large: 13 extra DCh

X-Large: 15 extra Dch

Attach new yarn to the hdc marked with a stitch marker on any of the points on your motifs, ch 1. Sc in the same space as join (#1). Work 1 double chain into the side of the single crochet stitch (#2). DCh 24 (#3). Insert hook into the side of last DCh stitch and also through the corresponding marked hdc on the opposite motif and draw up a loop (#4). Yarn over and draw through both loops on the hook (#5). Secure with a sl st in the next hdc of the motif. Cut yarn and tie off, repeat on the other side for the second strap. Weave in all ends.

Mandala Top Joining Tutorial Video: Part 1

This video starts at the joining round, which is Round 10 for Medium – XL and Rnd 9 for Small.

Mandala Top Joining Tutorial Video: Part 2

Once you’ve finished with your Mandala Top, weave in all ends. This piece looks best if you take the bottom hem and gently stretch the mesh downward, especially at the side joins, to get all the stitches to settle in that direction – creating a nice drapey shape. Pulling out the bottom loops and letting them settle makes a huge difference in the appearance of the finished crochet mesh!

This post got a little long with the main part of the Mandala Top, so I’m going to post the Mandala Top Add-Ons FREE pattern in another post, coming right up! If you have any questions, be sure to leave them in the comments for me or contact me via direct message on any of my social media sites!

-MF

P.S – After I finished the original Mandala Top design years ago, I began to play around with the possibility of adding sleeves and making it more of a layering sweater dress – and thus the Flower Child Pullover was born! You can find that design as a paid PDF in my Ravelry Store and Etsy Shop – in case you are interested πŸ˜‰

Rambler’s Mitts & Armwarmers Pattern

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

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

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

Rambler’s Mitts & Armwarmers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Language: English
All instructions are in US crochet terminology.

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

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

-MF

Oak Sprite Hat

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ™‚

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

Materials

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

Thistle (green): LB Ferris Wheel (#4, 270 yd / 85 g, 100% Acrylic) – 1 Skein, Caron Simply Soft (#4) ~ 50 yards
Hedgehog (gray/brown): LB Amazing (discontinued) – 1 skein, LB Ferris Wheel ~ 100 yards
Acorn (brown): Caron Simply Soft Chocolate – 1 skein, I Love This Yarn – ~ 50 yds

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 β€œsingle” (1) dc and β€œpaired” (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 β€œpost”, 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 πŸ™‚

-MF

Winter Poncho Pattern

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 πŸ˜‰ 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 πŸ™‚

Winter Poncho Crochet Pattern

Materials

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

Techniques Used

Chain (ch), Double Chain (dch), Double Crochet (dc), Slip Stitch (sl st), Front Post Double Crochet (fpdc), Back Post Double Crochet (bpdc) (click the links for tutorials!)

Measurements (approximate): 40” circumference at the top, 54” circumference at the bottom, 18”long (not including fringe)

Gauge:

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.

Notes:

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!

To work the double chain, see my tutorial post here.

Double Chain Fringe

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.

Stranded Fringe

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 πŸ˜‰

-MF