Elderberry Pixie Belt & Sale

Hi friends! In addition to working diligently on the Elf Coat patterns, I’ve been having fun doing some experimentation in one of my favorite project categories, the upcycled crochet pixie belt.

If you don’t already know, you can get a ton of info on how to create original, freeform pixie pocket belts from my blog series, the Pixie Belt Tutorial. The full tutorial is also available in downloadable, printable, ad-free PDF format through my Ravelry store – and I’m using this post as a springboard for a pattern sale too!

Now through Aug. 12, through Ravelry only, you can get the Pixie Belt Tutorial pattern FREE with the purchase of any other pattern! πŸ™‚ Just put both patterns in your cart and the discount is taken at checkout.

I had fun adding new hardware elements to this latest pixie belt piece – a metal mandala centerpiece I’ve had for years that came off of an old thrifted dress forms a focal point on the back, plus two D-rings on either side of the belt which hold a draped scarf really nicely for extra oomph around the hips. The best part is that the silver scarf is totally removable, so you can change out scarves!

There are also two pixie pockets: one circular pouch and one drawstring, as well as a detachable mushroom pouch ❀ The skirting I’m especially proud of – one whole thrifted shirt made from dusky rose gauzy material, artfully ripped of course.

I’m very happy with how this belt came out, especially since I got pretty experimental with it! This encourages me in my other ideas – I’d love to bring in more diverse fiber elements like fabric and leather πŸ™‚

Also it was fun to dress up this one – what do you think of my new background? I dig it!

If you’d like the see more unique, one of a kind pixie belt projects, be sure to check out the Pixie Belt Tutorial blog series!

-MF ❀

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Lotus Hooded Duster

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Lotus Hooded Duster

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

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

Instructions

Work the Lotus Duster 2.0 pattern through to Round 21.

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

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

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

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

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

Hood Instructions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Attaching the Hood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Then work a V-stitch in every other ch-1 space around the brim of the hood addition.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-MF

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Pixie Belt PDF

Just popping in for a quick reminder that my Pixie Pocket Belt tutorial is now available in downloadable, portable, printable, ad-free form! Head over to my Etsy Shop or Ravelry Pattern Store to get it ❀ ❀ ❀ Thanks for visiting and supporting – the free version is still available on my blog in this series of posts, but PDF’s are more convenient and accessible – plus I get yarn money which allows me to make more patterns and tutorials!

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I also have the most recently finished pixie belt, “Dogwood” to share. I made this one for me, since I didn’t have my own yet. My favorite colors, plus some extra slip stitch fanciness, resin cabochon details, and even a leather and crochet pocket.

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I loved crocheting on the leather and plan to do more – and maybe even make some tutorials for it! πŸ˜‰

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I especially enjoy the deer antler button fastenings and the adjustable ribbon tie combo – so there are multiple ways to wear this. I’d have to say these are in the running for my #1 favorite crochet project to make, I hope you love them as much as I do!

-MF

PBT: Cell Phone Pocket

This post is part of a series of tutorials on how to create your own unique crochet pixie pocket belt – to read more about this series visit theΒ Intro page.

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I often like to leave my technology behind when I go wandering in the forest, but hey, sometime’s a pixie’s gotta stay connected. That’s why I named this special pocket style the Cell Phone pocket, because it’s the perfect addition to a crochet utility belt that needs room for a phone!

Of course, this in-the-round style rectangular pouch is just really fun and simple to make on its own, so no tech required if you prefer to stow other treasures inside πŸ™‚

Cell Phone Pocket

3.75 mm Hook
Ch 12 (or the length you think will fit your phone, plus a little extra – you don’t want it too tight)
1. Hdc in 3rd ch from the hook and in ea st down the chain. 3 hdc in the final ch st. Rotate the piece, then hdc in each ch stitch (inserting hk into bottom loop). Work 2 hdc in the final ch st. Join with a slip stitch

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2. Ch 2 (does not count as first hdc) hdc in ea hdc, across, working 3 hdc in the central hdc of the 3-hdc turn at the end. Hdc across again, work 3 hdc in the central stitch of the previous 3-hdc turn at the end. Join with a sl st

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Check to see if this will comfortably fit your phone. If not, add another round with increases at both ends. If it’s lookin’ good, just work rounds evenly without increases.

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Don’t look at how dirty my phone is.

3. Hdc even for as many rounds as necessary.

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I did about 13, then added a roomy loop so that it can secure my phone by catching on a button which I planned to add to the front. Pretty sweet right? Weave in all your ends, then stash this baby with the rest of your pockets until you’re ready to add them on!

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I hope you enjoyed this little bonus round of the Pixie Belt Tutorial! I loved making this belt especially because THIS one’s for me πŸ˜‰ I’ve never made myself one before so I thought it was high time ❀

-MF

 

PBT: One Piece Circular Pocket

This post is part of a series of tutorials on how to create your own unique crochet pixie pocket belt – to read more about this series visit theΒ Intro page.

One Piece Circular Pocket

Most of the crochet utility belts I make have circle pockets – I love their potential as a canvas for other shapes like mandalas, simple embroidery, or shell flower petals. Plus, I’m just really into circles.

While I’ve created a tutorial for circle pockets that utilize two flat circle shapes sewn together, I often prefer to create them in a single piece – this tutorial shows how!

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Begin by working a colorful, non-continuous circle as shown in this section of the tutorial series.Β Shown here is my version for the belt I’ve been working on, “Dogwood”.

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As you can see, I’ve got some crazy stuff going on in there, including some overlay stitches and textural bobbles, plus a resin cabochon that I appliqued on with a crochet cover. But the basic structure is the same, using regular increases to make a flat circle and going up to 60 or so stitches, which means following in pattern until you Inc on 10 (see Circle Pockets Part 1 for more on creating flat circles).

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Once I reach my desired size, I prepare to shape the circle. To do this, I’m going to add a few rows of sc even in the round, meaning I’ll just crochet around the circle without adding any increases or working any joins. This will add depth to your circle so that the pocket is rounded and not flat. BUT, you have to keep in mind you’ll need an opening in your pocket, so at some point you’ll chain a number (I think I did around 13-15) and skip the same number of stitches before continuing to crochet.

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On the next round, single crochet right over the chain as normal. Now you have the opening worked out, so you will work a few more rounds of sc even, then begin to decrease at the same rate that you increased in the front.

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If you plan on adding a button fastening, don’t forget to crochet either a loop or a buttonhole into one of the rounds behind the opening on the back of your pocket! I almost forgot, which is why my loop is larger and set further back πŸ˜‰

Since my pocket went up to “Inc on 10” I’ll start shaping the back of my pocket by decreasing on 10, using the same counting strategy as the increases:

Dec on 10 (or count out 9 stitches, then use the 10th and 11th sts to work a sc decrease)
Dec on 9 (count out 8 sts, use the 9th and 10th sts to dec)
Dec on 8 (etc…)

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The back of the circle pocket will start to close up. When you can’t decrease anymore, you’ll need to cut a long yarn tail and tie off your stitches. Thread the yarn tail on a tapestry needle and secure the closing circle by stitching through it back and forth a few times.

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Weave in all your ends, and sew on a button or fastening, beads, or anything you like!

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Hope you enjoyed this little bonus edition of the Pixie Belt Tutorial – keep sending me pictures because I love seeing what you make! Hit me up on my Facebook page:
Morale Fiber on Facebook

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-MF

 

Winter Project Updates

Hi there! It’s not necessarily been crickets around here, but I do feel its time for some project updates of things I’ve recently completed. I haven’t had a whole lot of new things to show in the crochet category since many of the things I’ve had on the hook have been larger, longer projects that I’ve toiled at slowly in my spare time over the course of last semester. After the New Year I made it a priority to finish some of these things up so that I could MOVE. ON. FINALLY.

And so today I present two new project variations on two of my personal favorite original patterns, plus a skirt that I’d been hacking away at (literally). Prepare for photogenic twirling. There will be twirling.

Eyeball Sweater

I bought the yarn for this pattern, Yarn Bee Soft and Sleek in six different multi colorways, with some legwarmer project vaguely in mind. Well, that project was just not exciting enough to me, and so I started a chaotically rainbow version of my Spiral Sweater pattern.

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I worked it in size Small, but decreased every other stitch across the armholes to tighten up the front collar of the sweater (and also conserve yarn, which turns out was very necessary). I also skipped the Linked Double Crochet reinforcement across the back of the collar. Because I forgot. πŸ˜›

eyeball4Because I started with a central circle of solid navy leftovers that I had from a different Spiral Sweater, the middle part of the back started to look like the pupil of an eye, so I ran with that. After finishing everything on the sweater, I took some more spare yarn and slip stitched some crazy squiggles into the “iris” of the eye.

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I’ve always loved the nazar, a Middle Eastern charm symbol representing an eye, which used to ward off the evil eye.Β  This sweater is watching your back! Har har har.

You can find the project page, which also links to my original pattern in the righthand sidebar, here on Ravelry.Β  That bitchin’ tree man necklace I am wearing is from my friend Wendy’s polymer clay art shop, Dark Pony Arts – check her out, she is amazing!

 

Fairy Shawl

Though the Ida Shawl was originally designed to be multicolored, I’ve found that I really love doing them in monochromatic yarns, especially neutrals. This one is done with a DK weight acrylic yarn, Premier Everyday Baby in White, which used up all of three skeins once the fringe was finished. I really had fun plotting an outfit to go with this one.

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That’s really the only reason I do this. Excuse to dress up! Just kidding. Kind of.

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The Ida Shawl, as finicky as it was to get right during the designing process, is all the more worth it for the struggle. I still love that central design, which represents the seeds that form a star when you cut an apple in half horizontally.

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You can see this project on Ravelry too, with all of the pictures and a link to the original pattern. The leafy headwrap I am wearing is also a pattern of mine, the FREE Ivy Crown tutorial.

 

Jewel Skirt

This is the 5th skirt I’ve produced using Wendy Kay’s No-Gathers Gypsy Skirt pattern that I bought from her shop on Etsy, and this pattern has been WELL worth my money. Just chop out blocks and sew them together, no measuring (well, not much measuring) and you’ve got a beautiful dancing skirt to twirl in. Easy.. and fun!!

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I made this one from mostly upcycled fabrics, including some curtains from Goodwill and several yards of fabric I had had tucked away for YEARS that I got from a thrift market outside of the Portland Indiana Tractor and Engine show. It’s funny sometimes, when your craft supplies remind you of the places you’ve been and the other lives that you’ve lived.

I think sometimes that’s part of the appeal, for people who handmake things. It certainly is for me.

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The other skirts I’ve made I’ve given away or sold, but I think I’m keeping this one for myself. The jewel tones and floral print match nearly everything in my closet πŸ˜€

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I don’t put ALL of my sewing and refashion projects here on Morale Fiber blog, since I want the main focus here to be on crochet techniques, patterns and designs – but I do run a more personal side blog on Tumblr which I use for sewing and fashion stuff. Check me out there: Howling Mouse on Tumblr.

 

I do have more projects from over the winter that remain unfinished, plus some exciting new things budding! So I’m gonna go hustle that. As always, thank you for visiting!

-MF

P.S – I’ve gotten a lot of photo submissions of people’s projects that they have made from my designs lately – please keep that up! I love that so much! ❀ ❀ ❀ I hope you all have loved it too!

 

PBT: Wrap-Up

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This post is part of a series of tutorials on how to create your own unique crochet pixie pocket belt – to read more about this series visit theΒ Intro page.

Maybe it’s just because I worked on the tutorial for this so much, but this newest pixie pocket belt may be my favorite ever. To be fair though, I do say that almost every time I make a new one of these.

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That’s because every one of them turns out to be totally unique – I start out with a pile of scrap materials, and then let it be what it becomes along the way. This one became “Maple” named of course after the tree. I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial series – I certainly did – and I’d love to see what is being made from this guide!

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This pattern tutorial series is now listed on Ravelry – hook up your projects so I can see what you made, or look through other projects for inspirationΒ  πŸ˜‰

And now for more pictures and ramblings.

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I especially love these to dance in, since the fabric fringe catches movement so well!

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Fun side story – the flower headpiece I am wearing in this photo is one I made years ago, a long strand of curlicues (just like the ones talked about earlier in the tutorial series) with scrap yarn flowers that made as I was traveling across the U.S.

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Of course, the utility belt function of this project is super handy if you are the festival-going type, since these pixie belts are not only cute and go over anything, but also hold your necessaries!

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I’m pretty happy with how the faux-bustle back came out – its not something I’d ever really tried before. That’s another thing I love about these projects – pure experimentation is necessary, not just encouraged.

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I’m a little sad to be closing out the pixie belt tutorial actually, so I’ve had a thought – perhaps more pocket patterns in the future? What do you think?

As always, don’t hesitate to ask any questions or leave any comments! I love hearing from you ❀

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-MF