Hairpin Lace Refashion

When it comes to hobbies, I push myself to try new things. I’m not sure if this is due to my hyperactive Pinterest-ing disorder, an excess of caffeine, or possibly some sort of mania. Fast forward to the point: something I’ve been experimenting with recently is hairpin lace.

Ellie13Hairpin lace is a technique that wraps and crochets long loops around a tool and then uses those loops to make decorative stitches and weaves. Traditionally one used a literal hair pin, I’m assuming, but nowadays they make specialty craft tools that look like you could low-key use it to torture somebody.

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Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

I took a pretty freeform approach to learning this technique – the first strip of hairpin lace I made was for attaching two pieces of upcycled clothing together, using reclaimed sweater yarn for the strip. A list of things I learned from this:

  1. Do not try to learn this technique with a yarn that splits like crazy.
  2. That trick with threading the spare yarn through a finished strip to keep the loops together? It’s way more trouble than it is worth unless you are storing the strips together for later.
  3. Even with the aforementioned splitting yarn, hairpin lace is WAY LESS complex and intimidating than I thought. After the first few shaky loops, I got comfortable with it very quickly.

I learned from this excellent video from Stitch Diva Studios (who also sell great hairpin lace crochet patterns) and this video from Knitting Daily to supplement my technique.  Now for the refashion part!

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I’ve been ogling pretty fiber artsy styles like mori kei and shabby/chic, clothes that maximize texture and variety and emphasize the handmade look. The ragamuffin style is especially attractive to me because it lends itself well to experimentation in short bursts, which is about as much as I have time for during the semester.

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The two fabric pieces that went into this forest girl dress were a soft green top that I liked but didn’t wear (too short), and an earthy colored skirt that I picked up thrifting. Both are 100% rayon, and oh man, I really love rayon. It’s so so soft. Hard to believe it is manufactured from wood pulp.

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Long story short, I chopped the bottom off of the top and the top off of the skirt, then serged the cut edge on both pieces. Using #10 mercerized cotton crochet thread, I embroidered a blanket stitch over the serged hem.

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I then counted the blanket stitches. My hairpin lace strip would need as many loops as the largest amount of stitches (which is on the skirt’s hem). Having done this part late at night months ago, I now have no idea what that number was. Lets say it’s 150. It was actually way more than that, but just pretend. And for the sake of clean math, lets say the smaller number  (the amount of blanket stitches on the top hem) was 125.

So I need a hairpin lace strip with at least 150 loops. ONE LOOP of the strip will get crocheted to one blanket stitch on the hem of the skirt. Since the top hem has a smaller number, 25 sts less than the larger number, I would need to double up on some of the stitches on the top hem. 125 / 25 = 5. This means when I was attaching the hairpin lace strip to the hem on the top (in fictional pretty-math world) I attached TWO loops every 5th stitch.

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Using that strategy and a small hook, I worked a single crochet around the garment, inserting the hook through the top of the blanket stitch and through the hairpin loops simultaneously to attach the fabric pieces. Don’t forget to weave in the ends through both of the middle seams of the hairpin lace strip where the two ends of the strip meet!

Time for the patchy part. With the same upcycled sweater yarn, I made two big doilies using one of the many graphs on my Pinterest crochet board, as well as another hairpin strip for the collar. I sewed these in place with a sewing machine and threaded the loops in the doily with velvet cord to create an adjustable criss-cross tie in the back.

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Velvet leggings, thrifted cowgirl boots, ridiculously large hat? Yes please.

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I loved melding pretty fabrics with crochet, and using all reclaimed/upcycled materials was a big bonus. I have a feeling I’ll be doing more of this in the future!

-MF

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Summer Wrap Up!

Woah – tomorrow is already the start of the new fall semester, so I’m squeaking this year’s end-of-summer post in tonight so I can talk about a few projects I hadn’t mentioned/photographed/finished previous to now.

First, probably one of my favorite things I’ve ever made:

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That’s an ultra-floral retro fringed keyhole collar poncho of awesomeness right there in case you were wondering I started by making a longer version of the Freewheelin’ Poncho, a paid pattern I designed last fall. My goal started as just using up odds and ends yarn, but I’ve been wanting to make a floral poncho and the scarlet reds seemed so pretty next to the navy blue I couldn’t resist! The retro roses are stitched directly onto the mesh using post stitch and slip stitching techniques.

Plus, that keyhole collar doubles as a shoulder cut-out if you wear the poncho lengthwise.

Also: This amazing patchwork skirt pattern from Wendy Kay on Etsy. I bought an assortment of cotton lawn, a lightweight fabric perfect for summer skirts, in paisley prints and floral (are you noticing a pattern here)..

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That one was fun to make (and spin around in).  In fact, it was so fun to make that I immediately started another patchwork project, using a modified version of the patchwork template from Wendy’s pattern.

A little background here – One fiber art fashion hero of mine is the lady behind Majik Horse & the 7 Magicians Clothing Company. Although it looks as though she doesn’t make those crazy awesome coats anymore, I always fall in love with any picture I see of her amazing work. I’ve been dying to create a coat in that style, and I’ve had a sweet little jacket tucked away waiting, and happened to have some fabrics that would match… and some GIANT vintage fur cuffs and collar that I rescued from an otherwise ugly coat.

So this was born.

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I’ve been calling it the Frankencoat but I think it needs a better name 😉 These photos are sorta blurry, but they’ll have to do for now. I added my favorite GIANT belt and a 25-yd skirt underneath. Kind of calls for a tophat and goggles, I think.

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And some without the skirt underneath – it’s still pretty full!
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I like to squeeze in “unscripted” projects periodically – things that I hadn’t planned for or decided exactly what I wanted them to be. This Starry sweater was originally just stashbusting, but then I was inspired by the floral poncho to try another crochet applique piece.

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My favorite free-form, unplanned exercise of course is the pixie pocket belts with the tattered skirts – this one I finished up recently using handdyed handspun wool/silk blend yarn, knit into a sash then crocheted at the edges.

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You’ll have to forgive the photo quality for this post – I was mid organizational spree so I only had time for this little blurb! 🙂 As always, more to come.

-MF

Lotus Duster 2.0

Finally! I have been working on rewriting, restyling, tweaking, and expanding this design for ages, and I am so excited it’s time to premier the new version for free here on the blog! (or for purchase in PDF – read on for more info).

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Special thanks to my beautiful BFF Danielle for modeling for me 😀

You can get this pattern in downloadable, printable format from my Ravelry Pattern Store or my Etsy shop for 5.50 USD. The PDF version also includes a TON (100+) of bonus tutorial photos in the regular version as well as a printer-friendly file with just text!

The old version is still available on the blog for those that were in the middle of working one and want to continue with the same version. The NEW version is right here!

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Some of the tweaks I have made to the design include reworking the neckline to make the collar more manageable (read- less ruffled), adding detailed instructions as to how to work the half rounds, rewriting the sleeve tutorial to be more precise, adding stitch counts for all the rounds on the main body, writing instructions on attaching ties, and generally cleaning up the writing style. OH, and I almost forgot – in response to many requests, there is now A LARGE SIZE! YAY! Check out the FREE pattern below!

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Lotus Mandala Duster

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Sizes Small (Left) and Large (Right)

Notes:
Reading the pattern: Pattern is written for Small with the changes for Large listed afterward – when there are no changes, directions apply to all sizes. Rows marked “Extra” with a decimal number are for Larges only (Example: “Extra Round 13.1”)

Joining the Rounds: This pattern frequently uses hdc and dc to join the rounds in the openwork portions. If you are having trouble with the round-end joins, please see my Chain & Stitch Join Tutorial at
https://moralefiber.blog/2017/07/24/chain-stitch-join-tutorial/

Color Changes: This pattern leaves you free to plan your own color changes. To change colors, cut old color and tie off, then join new color in the last stitch of the round (for solid rounds) or last chain space of the round (for openwork/lace rounds).

Yarns Used: The Small size Duster (pictured above on the left) is made with yarns recycled from sweaters. You can find a tutorial for how to reclaim yarn on my blog at:
http://wp.me/p5Dj8T-3d
The Large duster (pictured on the right) is made with the yarn listed in the Materials section.

Materials
5.5 mm hook (I always use an in-line hook for these)
Premier Cotton Fair (#2, 3.5 oz, 317 yds) – 6 skeins
Scissors & Tapestry Needle

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

Final Dimensions:
SMALL: 22.5″ radius (measured from center of motif to bottom edge)
50″ diameter (measured from collar to bottom edge)
Up to 36” bust
LARGE: 26.5” radius
53” diameter
Up to 42” bust

Some terms:

Dc with last loop on the hook: YO once, insert hk into next st/sp, draw up a loop. YO and pull through 2 lps on the hook. 2 lps remain on the hook (1 original and 1 left unworked from the dc stitch).

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

3-dc cluster – Work 3 dc stitches leaving the last loop on the hook for each. YO and draw through all 4 loops on the hook.

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

Main Body

  1. Make magic ring. 8 sc into the ring, tighten. Join with a slip stitch in first sc of the round. – 8 sc

 

  1. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next sc, ch 1) 7 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rdch of beg ch-4. – 8 dc + 8 spaces

 

  1. Sl st into the next ch-1 space, ch 2 – counts as first dc with last loop on the hook. Dc into the same space 3 more times, keeping last loops on the hook. YO, draw through all four loops on the hook. Ch 3. (Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-1 sp, ch 3) 6 times. Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-1 sp, ch 1. Hdc in the top of the first cluster to join. This positions your hook in the middle of a ch-3 sized space to begin your next round. – 8 clusters + 8 spaces

 

  1. Ch 2 – counts as first dc with last lp on hk, dc into the same space 3 more times, keeping last loops on the hook. YO, draw through all four loops on the hook – first 4-dc cluster made. Ch 2. (Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-3 sp, ch 2, 4-dc cluster in the same sp, ch 2) 7 times. Ch 2, work 1 4-dc cluster in next ch-3 space, work 1 hdc in the top of the first cluster to join. 16 clusters + 16 spaces

 

  1. Ch 2 – counts as first dc with last lp on the hk. Dc into the same space 3 more times keeping last lps on hk. YO, draw through all four lps. Ch 3. (Work 1 4-dc cluster into the next ch-2 space, ch 3) 14 times. Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-2 sp, dc in the top of the first cluster to join. – 16 clusters + 16 spaces

 

  1. Ch 3 – counts as first dc, 2 more dc in same space, Ch 3. (3 dc in the next ch-3 sp, ch 3) 15 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rdch of beg ch-3. – 16 sets of 3 dc + 16 spaces

 

  1. Sl st in the top of the next dc. (Sk next dc. In the next ch-3 space work 2 hdc, 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc, 2 hdc – shell made. Sk next dc, sl st in the next dc) 16 times. Join with a sl st in first sl st. – 16 shells

 

  1. Ch 6 – counts as first dc + ch 3, sc in the top of next tr stitch in the middle of the shell, ch 3. (Dc in the next sl st between shells, ch 3, sc in next treble, ch 3) 15 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rdch of beg ch-3. – 32 spaces

 

  1. Ch 3. Yarn over twice, insert hook into next sc and draw up a lp, (YO and draw through 2 lps on the hk) twice – one treble stitch leaving last lp on the hk made. Treble in next dc, leaving last lp on the hk – 3 lps remain on the hk. YO, draw through all 3 lps, ch 7. (In the last st worked the previous tr3tog, work 1 treble crochet leaving last lp on hk. Work 1 treble in next sc leaving last lp on hk. Work 1 treble in next dc leaving last lp on hk – 4 lps on the hk. YO, draw through all four lps on hk – tr3tog made, ch 7.) 15 times. Join with a sl st in top of first tr3tog. – 16 tr3tog + 16 spaces

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  1. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch 7 space, ch 2, 4-dc cluster in the same space, ch 2. 4 dc cluster in the same sp, ch 1. Work 1dc in the top of the next tr3tog st, ch 1) 15 times. Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch 7 space, ch 2, 4-dc cluster in the same space, ch 2. 4 dc cluster in the same sp, ch 1. Sl st into 3rdch of beg ch-4.  – 48 clusters + 16 dc

 

  1. (Ch 3. Sk next space and next cluster, work 1 4-dc cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 2. Skip next cluster, work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-2 space, ch 3. Sk next cluster and space, sl st in next dc.) 15 times. Ch 3. Sk next space and next cluster, work 1 4-dc cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 2. Sk next cluster, work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-2 space. Sk next cluster and space, dc in same st as the sl st join of the previous round. – 32 clusters
  2. Ch 3 – counts as first tr with last loop on the hk. Work 1 tr with the last lp on the hk in the next cluster. YO and draw through both lps on the hook – first tr2tog made. Ch 4, work 1 4-dc cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 4. (Work 1 tr with the last lp on the hk in the top of the next cluster. Sk next 2 chain-3 spaces, work 1 tr with the last lp on the hk in the next cluster. YO and pull through all 3 lps. Ch 4, work 1 4-dc cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 4) 15 times. Join with a sl st in the first tr2tog. – 16 clusters + 16 tr2tog + 32 chain spaces
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  3. Sl st in the next ch-4 space, ch 3 – counts as first dc. Work 4 dc in the same space. (1 dc in top of the next cluster, 5 dc in next ch-4 space, 1 dc in top of the next tr2tog, 5 dc in next ch-4 space) 15 times. Work 1 dc in top of next cluster, 5 dc in next ch-5 space, 1 dc in top of tr2tog. Join with a slip stitch to the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. – 192 dc sts

Extra Rnd 13.1: Ch 3 – counts as first dc. Dc in ea of the next 22 sts. 2 dc in the next st. (Dc in ea of the next 23 sts, 2 dc in the next st) 7 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. – 200 dc sts

 

Extra Rnd 13.2: Ch 3 – counts as first dc. Dc in ea of the next 23 sts. 2 dc in the next st. (Dc in ea of the next 24 sts, 2 dc in the next st) 7 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. – 208 dc sts

 

  1. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch-1. Sk next dc. (Dc in next dc, ch 1, sk next dc) 95, 103 Join with a sl stitch to the 3rdch of beg ch-4. – 96 dc + 96 ch-1 spaces, 104 dc + 104 ch-1 spaces.

 

  1. (Sk next ch-1 space. Work 1 hdc in the next dc. In the same st work 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc, 1 hdc – scallop made. Skip next ch-1 space, sl stitch in next dc) 48, 52 Join with a sl st in the same st as join from the previous rnd. – 48 scallops, 52 scallops

 

When working with multiple colors, I always change colors after Rnd 15 – otherwise, the pretty scallops become hard to see after the next rnd.

  1. Ch 3 –counts as first dc. Sk next st, 1 hdc in next st, 1 sc in next st (1 hdc in the next st, sk next st, 1 dc in the next st, sk next st, 1 hdc in the next st, 1 sc in the next st) 47, 51 Hdc in next stitch, sk next st, join with a sl st to the 3rdch of beg ch-3. – 192, 208 sts

 

  1. Ch 5 – counts as first dc + ch 2. (Sk next st, dc in next stitch, ch 2) 94, 102 Sk next st,dc in the next stitch. Hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-5. – 96, 104 ch spaces

 

Extra Rnd 17.1 – Ch 5 – counts as first dc + ch 2. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 2) 102 times. Dc in the next space, hdc in the 3rd ch of the beg ch-5 to join. – 104 ch spaces

 

  1. Sc in the space formed by the hdc join of the previous rnd. Ch 3. (Sc in the next ch space, ch 3) 94, 102 Sc in the next ch space, ch 1, hdc in the first sc of the round. – 96, 104 ch spaces

Rnds 19-20. Rpt rnd 18.

Extra Round 20.1: Rpt Rnd 18 once more

Sleeve Yoke round:

21. Ch 3. (1 dc in the next ch-3 space, ch 1, 1 dc in the same space) 10 times. Ch 30, 33, sk the next 6, 7 ch-3 spaces, (1 dc in the next ch space, ch 1, 1 dc in the same space) 10,14 times. Ch 30, 33, sk the next 6, 7 ch-3 spaces, (1 dc in the next ch space, ch 1, 1 dc in the same space) 63, 65 times. 1 dc in the next ch space, ch 1, sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.- 84, 90 ch-1 spaces and 2 long chain loops that form the upper halves of the sleeve yokes

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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-3 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-3 sp, join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. – 460, 488 sts

** Moving the armholes further apart or closer together to adjust the garment to your measurements will change this count. Just remember that any V-stitch in between the shoulder yokes should have 1 dc per space, not 3 as with the rest of the round.

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-4 to join. – 115, 122 V-stitches

24. Ch 3 – counts as first dc. (1 dc in the next ch sp, ch 3, dc in the same space) 114, 121 times. 1 dc in the next ch space, ch 1, hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. – 115, 122 V-stitches

25. Sc in space formed by the hdc join of the previous round, ch 4. (Sc in next ch-3 space, ch 4) 113, 120 times.  Sc in the next ch-1 sp, ch 1, dc in the first sc of the round. – 115, 122 ch spaces

26. Sc in the space formed by the dc join of the previous rnd, ch 4. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 4) 113, 120 times. Sc in the next ch sp, ch 1, dc in the first sc of the round. – 115, 122 ch spaces

27.Sc in the same sp, ch 5. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 5) 113, 120 times. Sc in the next space, ch 2, dc in the first sc of the round. – 115, 122 ch spaces

28-30. Rpt rnd 27.

Extra Rnd 30.1-30.2: Rpt rnd 27 two more times

31. Sc in the same sp, ch 6. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 6) 113, 120times. Sc in the next space, ch 3, dc in the first sc of the round. – 115, 122 ch spaces

Extra Rnd 31.1: Rpt Rnd 31

32. Sc in the same sp, 6 dc in next sc – one fan made. (1 sc in next ch-6 sp, 6 dc in next sc) 114, 121 times, join with a sl st in first sc of the round. – 115, 122 fans

33. Ch 5 – counts as first dc + ch 2. Sk next 2 sts, sc in the next st (the third dc of the fan), ch 1, sc in the next dc, ch 2. (sk 2 sts, dc in next sc, ch 2. Sk next 2 sts, sc in the 3rd dc of next fan, ch 1, sc in the next dc, ch 2) 113,120 times. Sk next 2 sts, dc in the next sc, ch 2, sk next 2 sts, sc in the 3rd dc of next fan. Ch 1, sc in the next dc, work 1 hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-5 to join. – 345, 366 chain spaces

34. Ch 4 – counts as first hdc + ch 2. (Hdc in the next ch-2 space, ch 2, hdc in the next ch-1 sp, ch 2, hdc in the next ch-2 sp, ch 2) 114, 121 times. Hdc in the next ch-2 sp, ch 2, hdc in the next ch-1 sp, hdc in the 2nd ch of beg ch-2 to join. – 345, 366 ch spaces made

Working the following rounds on the top half only:

35. Ch 3. (Dc in the next ch-2 space, ch 1, dc in the same sp) 171, 191 times. Ch 3, Sl st in the next ch-2 space. Ch 3, turn. – 171, 191 dc V-stitches

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36. Sk first ch-3 space. Work 1 dc, leaving last lp on the hook in the next ch-1 space. Work 2 more dc with the last lp on the hook in the same space. YO and draw through all 4 lps on the hook – 1 3-dc cluster made. Ch 2. (3 dc cluster in the next ch-1 sp, ch 2) 169, 189 times. 3 dc cluster in the next ch-1 space, ch 3. Sk next ch space, sl st in the next hdc. Ch 3, turn. – 171, 191 dc clusters

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Work next round over entire circle.

37. 3 dc in the first ch-3 space. (3 dc in the next ch-2 space) 171, 191 times. 3 dc in the next ch-3 space. (3 dc in the next ch-2 space) 172, 173 times. 3 dc in the next chain space. Join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. – 1036, 1101 dc

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Cut yarn and tie off.

Sleeves:

Step 1. Attach yarn on the inside of the armhole, in the side of the last dc before the armhole on Rnd 21. Ch 3 – counts as first dc. 1, 2 dc more in the side of the dc. 2, 3 dc in each of the 8, 9 chain spaces – including the spaces that the v-stitches from Rnd 21 are worked into. 2, 3 dc into the side of the other Rnd 21 dc on the opposite end of the armhole. 1 dc into the base of all 30, 33 ch sts. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round. – 50, 66  dc

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Step 2. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. Sk next st. (Dc in the next st, ch 1, sk next st) 23, 31 times. Dc in the next st, hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4 to join. – 25, 33 ch-1 spaces

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Step 3. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next sp, ch 1) 23, 31 times. Dc in the next st, hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4 to join. – 25, 33 ch-1 spaces

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

Rpt Step 3 until your total reaches 23 rows, or until the length reaches just below your elbow.

Locate the ch space that is centered at the back of the elbow and mark it. (14th space from the join for me, 17th on the large) This will now be the increase center.

Step 4. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) until you reach the increase center. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the increase center. The middle chain space made in this repeat is now the increase center. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) the rest of the way around, ending with a hdc join in the 3rd ch of the beg ch-4.

Repeat Step 4 until short side of sleeve is about mid-forearm (11 rounds for me)

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Step 5. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) until you reach the space before the increase center. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the next space – increase made. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the increase center – increase made. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the space after the increase center- increase made. The middle chain space made in the middle increase is now the increase center. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) the rest of the way around, ending on a hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4 to join.

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Shown above is the three adjacent increases made after Step 5, each with the center space of the increase marked.

Step 6. Ch 4– counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) until you reach the middle of one increase before the increase center. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the middle space of the next increase, work dc + ch 1 in between middle spaces. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the middle space of the next increase, work dc + ch 1 in between middle spaces. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the middle space of the third increase. The middle chain space in the middle increase made in this repeat is now the increase center. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) the rest of the way around, ending with a hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4 to join.

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(Basically, put a 3-space increase in the center of each increase, dc + ch 1 in every other space.)

Step 7. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the sp, ch 1) rpt the rest of the way around, ending with a hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4 to join.

Rpt Step 7 until the length reaches your wrist, or as many times as desired.

Step 8. Ch 3, 1 dc in the same space. 1 dc in the next dc. (2 dc in next ch-1 space, 1 dc in next dc) rpt around. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.

-To add even more ruffle, increase the amount of dc sts per chain space.
– For extra length or added detailing, Rpt Step 8 then follow Steps 9 – 11

Step 9.  Ch 3 – counts as first dc. 1 dc in ea st around. Join with a sl st in top of beg chain

Step 10: Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch-1. Sk next st. (Dc in the next st, ch 1, sk next st) rpt around. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4.

Step 11: Ch 1 – counts as first sc. Sc in the next space. (Sc in the next dc, sc in the next space) rpt around. Join with a sl st to the beg ch.

Cut yarn and tie off. Repeat sleeve on the other side. Remember that if you start your second sleeve in the same place as the first, you will need to re-measure to find the space at the elbow before Step 4 – it may not be the same as you will be working in the opposite direction.

Weave in all ends.

Ties:

Beginning with the shell below the last cluster on the end of Rnd 36, place marker. Repeat on the other side. WS facing (or on the “inside” of the duster), attach yarn to the edge of the marked shell. Sl st in each stitch of the shells around, ending at the shell with the other marker. Be sure to keep your gauge fairly loose. Cut yarn and tie off, weave in ends.

Note: For larger sizes, you may want to move the row of slip stitching for the ties out to the very last round of the garment so that it can tie across the full front of the torso. Test your tie placement with the jacket on before deciding!

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Shown above is the slip stitching that reinforces the shells in preparation for attaching ties, worked in a contrasting color so you can see – I actually did the ties in the same white color as the rest of the garment.

Locate the shell in the middle of the two previously marked shells and mark it. This shell should fall in the center of your back when you try the coat on – if not, adjust placement so that it does.

With the coat on, decide where you want your ties to be and mark those shells with stitch markers. Take the coat off and make sure that your placement is even, using the middle marked shell as a guide. I like to do 3-4 ties on each side, 2-3 shells apart, beginning just above the apex of the bust.

Cut 5-6 yard long strands of yarn. Fold into a loop and pull through the middle slip stitch of the first shell on either side. Draw tail ends through the loop and tighten – separate into 3 bundles of four strands and braid to the end. Tie off. Cut 6 more strands, repeat the process of attaching to your next marked shell and braid. Repeat on one side, then switch to the other side and repeat process for as many ties as you like.

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Weave in all ends and block if desired. Congratulations on your new Lotus Mandala Duster!

(Individual artisans may feel free to sell finished items made from this pattern – just please link back to me!)

Time for more pictures!

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And I FINALLY made one just for me, as an early birthday present to myself:

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If you liked this pattern please consider sharing on Ravelry! I love seeing everyone’s awesome projects!

-MF

 

Pattern-Versary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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-MF

 

Tattered Fairy Vest

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I wind up making a lot of bright pieces because I love playing with color, but I have a personal bias for earthy tones and neutrals (like over half of the things I own are brown. I love brown). So when I was thinking about the color scheme for this Forest Fae Vest pattern I bought from the Etsy shop ForeverWanderingg, I decided to follow her example and go with pretty, soft, and earthy.

I’ve been trying to work from crochet patterns other than my own lately and I bought this one as soon as I saw it. I love the tattered aesthetic and the mandala- I never met a mandala I didn’t like.  So here’s my version of the Forest Fae Vest 🙂
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I made the main body using Premier Cotton Fair (using two strands held together) and it came out feeling soft and thick and perfect! I wanted to achieve the longer tattered bustle style of the last model picture on the Etsy listing, so I searched through my collection of magical garbage. Which you can see a little of in the background here 😉

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I came up with an old lacy scarf that had gotten accidentally dyed in the wash and a big piece of crochet lace I had salvaged from a dress I found at Goodwill. Time to dye those puppies to match!

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I used some Rit dye that I have had forever – can you believe I used dark brown and tan for this? Well, if you’ve dyed with Rit before you might, because it does tend to be a little bit of a crapshoot for color accuracy if you’re not careful. However, I prefer the lovely muted purple and am super glad that it didn’t come out dark brown. I even dyed that jersey cotton cowl to match!

Sewing it on took some psyching up, because taking something you’ve lovingly crocheted by hand and sticking it in a machine to punch a bunch of tiny thread into it is SCARY. But it went smooth as butter and before I knew it this sweet fairy vest was ready to rock!

Maybe you can tell I had a lot of fun making this? My favorite projects have always been based around upcycling – giving new life to old things, rediscovering their beauty. This project definitely fit that category.

-MF

Tribal T-shirt Fringe Choker

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Sometimes I have to burn off my excess creative energy by doing something I can finish quickly! These wild textile jewelry pieces fit the bill, especially since I’ve been trying to clean my shamefully stuffed craft storage and shredding stockpiled t-shirts is a pretty effective method for me to do that.

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This tutorial is a guide for the refashion-centric among us, and you don’t even really need to be able to crochet to make it! Only the simplest crochet stitch, the chain stitch, is necessary. It’s explained here for those who don’t know how.

There are lots of different methods for cutting t-shirt yarn, and you don’t have to cut yours the same way as shown here, but this method is featured because you can use t-shirts with lots of seams (ex: Women’s fitted t-shirts). Of course, if you want to save yourself the trouble, you could just buy some commercially produced t-shirt yarn instead!

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Materials:
1 Jersey knit cotton t-shirt, plain
9.00 mm crochet hook
Scissors

Step 1: Lay out your T-shirt and cut up the side seams  on both sides of the front and across the top. It’s okay to cut a little wonky to get extra material from the bust area below the collar, but I’ve found it’s best to keep in GENERALLY rectangle shaped.

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Step 2: Beginning with your wonky – cut side (or any side if you don’t have one) start cutting a strip about an inch in width. The goal is a thin-ish strand once you stretch the material. It can be a little more or a little less than an inch depending on the material, but be careful because if it’s too thin, it’ll break when stretched. Leave your strip attached by about an inch of uncut material.

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Step 3: Flip your t-shirt piece around and cut  about an inch to the opposite side of the uncut end. Do this 3 or 4 more times to get  a long uncut strand (for a small size) or 2-3 more times for larger t-shirts. It’s better to have more than you need than not enough, and in fact you could cut the entire piece of t-shirt material this way, but I don’t like to because cutting this way leaves tabs. Speaking of which….

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Step 4: Once you’ve got your long piece, start gently stretching your strip to curl the material to make it round and yarn-like. Use a light touch at first! Now, to deal with those tabs created by zigzagging the material. Take your scissors and round those babies off, then stretch them a little more (be careful here – rounding the corners makes the fabric thin and therefore weak to stretching). Still a little messy, but stitching will mask that.

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Step 5: Set your long strip aside – I had almost 3 yards. Now lay out your remaining rectangle of t-shirt fabric and get one inch strips straight across, shearing them completely from the main fabric so that they are individual strips. Stretch each of these strips. For a standard amount of fringe, you’ll want to have 23-26 strips, so use cut out the back piece of the t-shirt and use it for more short strips if you have to.

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If you are using commercial yarn or a continuous strip in this step, cut your strands to DOUBLE the length you want your fringe to be.

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Step 6: Grab your hook and your long strand. Leaving a tail of yarn about 10″ long, create a slipknot loop. With your hook in the loop, grab the long end of your yarn with the hook and pull it through the loop, leaving your hook in the middle of the new loop. One chain stitch made.

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Repeat until you have 25-ish chain stitches, or however long you need your chain to be to fit your neck. If you’re feeling adventurous, try using the Double Chain technique instead of the regular chain. I like to use this on the fringe chokers because it helps them lie flatter around the collarbone.

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Once you’ve completed your stitches, tie off (i.e – pull the rest of your strip out through the last loop), and leave a 10″ tail when cutting off excess yarn. If you complete your required stitches but don’t have a 10 inch tail left over, just tie it off for now. We can use a short strip to attach an adequate length of tie later.

Step 7: Finally! Fringing time! Lay out your chain. Grab some of your short t-shirt strands and double them over. You might have some that are shorter than others – aesthetically I like those to be on the outside toward the shoulders but you might not care. Anyway, double those puppies over.

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Insert your hook into the loop on the bottom of your chain or double chain, from back to front, and catch the doubled side of your strand with the hook. Pull it through so you’ve got a loop.

Now catch the loose ends of your short strand with the hook. Pull those through your loop completely. Tighten.

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Ta-Da! Now do that until you have fringed the entire choker, or at least the majority of it.

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Step 8: Attach extra ties at the end of your chain if you need to, for fastening around the neck. You could be done at this point, but I like to add a little knotwork around the top.
To add knotwork, take two adjacent pairs of fringe and separate one strand from each pair (make sure the strands are also right next to each other). Pick up both strands and tie in a simple knot. Repeat across.

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These can be used as a base for adding even wilder decorations like beads, feathers, leather strips, chains, etc… But since I’m short on time, I’ll leave those for another day!

That stylish bikini underneath the necklaces is also made from recycled materials. Check out my post, the Bindu Recycled Sweater Bikini, for more on that.

-MF

Time and Tied

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everything You Need to Know to Start Recycling Sweater Yarn:

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Getting Started and Breaking In V. 1

Breaking In V.2

Unraveling & Finishing

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

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

-MF