Elf Coat FAQ

I’m back with another FAQ page!

I am in love with the fact that my Elf Coat pattern has been so popular since I released it over a year ago! I’ve seen many wonderful creations and talked to tons of great people and it’s just….. so gratifying. And humbling.

Anyway, before I get too schmaltzy, I also get a lot of questions and so I created this resource to help answer those more readily πŸ™‚

Where Can I Find the Elf Coat Pattern?

This crochet pattern can be found for free on my blog at the following links:
Elf Coat Size Small
Elf Coat Size Medium
Elf Coat Size Large
Elf Coat Corset Lacing (for all sizes)

This pattern can also be purchased as a downloadable, ad-free PDF document (all 3 sizes included) through my Ravelry Store or Etsy Shop.

How Do I Size Up?

Currently this pattern is only written for Adult sizes S,M,L. However, many people ask how to go about making a pattern for XL + or other sizes. Although I do intend to write more size options for this design eventually, for now the only sizing advice I can offer is already written into the pattern πŸ™‚ Check the notes that occur before many sections of the design to see what kind of math I used and/or how to alter the size of the coat by changing the gauge.

Though the math in the pattern doesn’t cover every obstacle you may face when trying to create different sizes for this coat, it’ll have to do until I can sit down and write more exact instructions for different sizes (which is high on my list at this point but takes a lot of time and testing)!

Do You Offer This Pattern in Children’s Sizes?

Exact same answer as for “How Do I Size Up”

Can I Make This in Regular Crochet / Knit ?

The Elf Coat is made with Tunisian Crochet, specifically Tunisian Knit stitch. Since many people do not know how to do Tunisian, I’ve had a lot of asks about working it in either a regular crochet stitch or a regular knit stitch. Since the Elf Coat relies solely on 1 type of stitch, made in rows with only increases and decreases for shaping, it is easy to translate into regular crochet/knit stitches using a 1:1 translation for stitch counts (as long as you match the gauge) – omit the Return Pass (since you are not doing Tunisian) and Reverse the instructions every other row (because you’ll be working back and forth instead of in the same direction every row like Tunisian does).

For crochet, it’s proven difficult (from what I’ve heard) to match the gauge EXACTLY to the one given for the pattern, but with some engineering I’ve seen folks turn out Elf coats in regular single crochet that look great!

I’ve also seen several great examples in regular knitting, which produces a slightly flowier, looser and thinner garment. Again, a 1:1 translation (stitch for stitch, inc for inc, dec for dec) can be followed.

I have to say, though, that it’s really worth learning Tunisian Crochet to make this piece! I personally think there’s nothing quite like it πŸ™‚ And it’s not really as unfamiliar as you might think. Which leads to the next FAQ:

Do You Have a Video Tutorial for This Pattern?

No, I don’t currently have a video for the Elf Coat Pattern – although I AM rolling out a series of video tutorials for all of the Tunisian Crochet techniques used in this pattern on my YouTube Channel right now!

Many people have asked about a full video Elf Coat pattern, and I understand that there are a lot of people out there who really don’t like reading written patterns. And though I never say never, I’m pretty sure I won’t be making a full video tutorial for this pattern. I’d really love to – but I do not plan on it. I’m a one-woman business and I just can’t make the time to create all options for everything ❀ Even though I wish I could. Thanks for understanding!

Can I use β€œX” yarn with this pattern / What hook should I use?

The answer to this question always begins with β€œcheck your gauge.” Technically you can make any pattern with any size hook and yarn if your gauge matches the gauge given in the pattern. Now, gauge can be tricky and there are other things that contribute to the general look, feel, and function of a handmade garment, but the simplest place to start when asking β€œcan I make it with this yarn and hook?” is to test your gauge.

This pattern works best with DK / #3 weight yarn, or with lighter #4 weight yarns (One ply yarns like Unforgettable work best for this weight category – picture below). I don’t recommend it in something like a #4 weight multi-ply acrylic (think RHSS) because it’s so hard to get the right gauge with those yarns, but some people have achieved it!

If you need yarn ideas, you can search the yarn recommended in the pattern through the yarnsub.com database and it will give you yarn with similar weight and characteristics as options for substitutes. It’s one of my favorite yarn resources.

Is This Pattern Available in Other Languages?

Currently some sizes are available for FREE in Dutch via the awesome Een Mooi Gebaar , along with a couple other popular patterns of mine!

Dutch is currently the only other language, bu I would like to offer more language options for this pattern in the future so be sure to check back.

Do You Know That Someone is Stealing Your Photos and Pretending to Sell Your Design?

I do. It’s not awesome, but I am aware of it. Around this time last year, a foreign scam/knockoff website started advertising heavily to my fanbase pretending to sell my Elf Coat (using an image they stole from me). A LOT of people messaged me about it, thank you so much!! I can’t believe so many people recognized my work and cared enough to rush to my defense!

That being said, there’s not much I can do, so I just ignore it. Many people have suggested that I watermark my images, but for various reasons I prefer not to.

Do You Offer the Real Elf Coat for Sale?

I don’t, unfortunately! But I highly encourage you to shop around on Etsy or among friends to find someone to make it for you if you don’t crochet. I’m so busy designing patterns anymore that I’ve stopped taking any kind of actual crochet commission work. It’s possible that I may end up making one or two for pattern testing or for fun in the future, and if that happens I will probably offer them directly for sale via my Facebook page – so if you would like the chance to buy one, make sure you follow me for updates!

Thank you so much to everyone who has shown interest in this design and in my other pieces – this elf gal is charged up and ready to create some more new designs for you guys, and it’s all thanks to the amazing people who support my art ❀ We are in this together ❀

-MF

This isn’t the Elf Coat, I just love this picture. (Click so see the Feather & Scale Halter Top design)

Mori Beret

It all started in fall of 2015 when I searched around the internet for a good, simple crochet beret pattern, one with a classic shape good for regular ol’ worsted yarns.

Finding nothing that appealed to my particular idea of what I wanted, I sat down and crocheted it myself and debuted the pattern for free as the Sweetheart Beret, in an ancient long-buried blog post with an atrocious lack of photography skills :/ In 2018, I revamped that pattern and offered a cute deer antler version, again for free, on a slightly better photographed blog post as the Forest Girl Beret.

The Forest Girl Beret continues to be offered for free via the link above, but perhaps I can interest you in a re- re- RE- vamped pattern, now with even more cute extras?

Get the Mori Beret in my Ravelry Store or Etsy Shop now or read on for more details!

Because I just can’t leave well enough alone, when I decided to create a paid PDF option for the Forest Girl Beret I also rewrote the pattern just slightly, fixed a few wonky spots, and created full written instructions for new features like ears, spots, and leaves!

I’m calling it the Mori Beret, true to it’s original inspiration from the Japanese style subculture ❀ And I made FIVE versions of this cute hat because I couldn’t resist a multi-creature photoshoot πŸ˜‰

The Mori Beret starts with a basic, easy pattern the utilizes worsted weight yarn and half-double crochet to create a beret or tam style hat with a timeless silhouette. The main hat pattern includes tips for custom sizing and bright tutorial photos to show the details of the pattern.

Stick with the classic, sleek beret style and make one for every outfit or create a cute and whimsical wardrobe staple by adding one (or several!) of the 5 Extra Feature options: Mini Antlers, Ears (Small or Large), Leaves, or Mushroom Speckles!

The perfect classic and classy beret hat for any style ❀

Materials:

5.00 mm hook (main hat) 3.50 mm hook (optional, for extra features) – or sizes needed to obtain gauge

#4 weight yarn (Main Hat) – 175-200 yards

#4 accent yarn, 25-50 yds (optional, for Extra Features)

Tapestry needle Scissors

Finished Measurements (for standard hat, approximate): 22” brim, 11” diameter across the top when laid flat, 9” depth

Oh, and those fingerless gloves I’m wearing are the Rambler’s Mitts, a free pattern from my blog, worked in Bernat Velvet ❀

-MF

Foundation Tunisian Stitch

Let’s jump right in today because it’s going to be a quick one! If you’re a human who crochets, odds are good that you don’t LOVE working into the bothersome stitches of a foundation chain. I know I don’t.

So when I needed a technique that would allow me to add length to the end of a forward pass row in Tunisian crochet, I fiddled until I got what I wanted: A Tunisian version of foundation crochet, which works the bottom stitches and the first row of stitches simultaneously.

No long twisty strands. No chaining and rejoining. AND it helps keep the bottom from curling!

Here is my video of this technique, the first of what I hope is many Tunisian tutorial videos – use the Foundation Tunisian Stitch as the base for your Tunisian crochet pieces by working FTS instead of the base chain and first row, or use it to add length on Tunisian pieces easily ❀

For more Tunisian tutorials, peep the links below the video!

Tunisian Simple Stitch Tutorial

Tunisian Knit Stitch Tutorial

Tunisian Simple Stitch – Increases and decreases

Thanks for visiting! ❀

-MF

Kismet Poncho

Sometimes I think I’m a really slow designer compared to other crochet artists out there! When I dream up an idea, and hone it down, it may still be months before I perfect it and apply it to a project satisfactorily, and then more time still to sculpt the pattern and create the materials to teach it.

The Kismet Square was originally created for an entirely different design, one that I still have my eye on for the future – but that pattern was taking way too long!

So I settled on creating a simpler garment featuring the Kismet Square, and doing a full-length crochet pattern tutorial video for both the squares and for assembling & completing a poncho from them!

The entire Kismet Poncho pattern can be accessed for FREE exclusively on my YouTube channel videos (with written captions) or get the written pattern with tutorial photos as a downloadable, printable, ad-free PDF in my Etsy Shop or Ravelry Store! ❀ Keep scrolling for the free video ❀

It’s not the project I originally intended, but it’s the perfect project for the upcoming autumn weather and the perfect addition to my YouTube free pattern offerings – so the Kismet Poncho was born, and it was… well… fate πŸ˜‰

The Kismet Poncho features a 12-round crochet square with a floral circular focal point that expands outward into easy repeat rows of stitches, clusters and shells. The alternating solid and openwork stitches create a boldly textured appeal inspired by the rich layered patterning of Middle Eastern decorative traditions.

Worked in various colors of sleek #4 worsted weight yarn, this one-size-fits-all poncho uses 4 squares to create a gorgeous statement piece with or without fringe. The pattern itself is easy to adapt with different yarn and hook sizes, and the rounds of varied stitching showcases any range of color combinations you can dream!

Finished Measurements:

Length – 30” collar to tip, not including fringe, 20” collar to short edge, not including fringe
Width – 45” across from short edge to short edge

Materials:

5.5 mm hook
#4 weight Acrylic Yarn (I used a blend of yarns, all acrylics such as Caron Simply Soft and Lion Brand Heartland) – ~ 800-900 yds
Scissors
Tapestry Needle
6” book or length of cardboard for cutting fringe

Now on to the videos! Find Gauge, stitches, and pattern notes below the first video ❀

Kismet Poncho Part 1

Keep scrolling for Parts 2 & 3!

Gauge: 3 sts & 1 row = 1” in dc

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

Special Stitches:
Magic Ring: An adjustable ring made by wrapping the yarn around the hand or fingers, and using the loop to crochet the first round of a circular crochet piece. Ring is closed by pulling the loose tail tightly after completing the round.
Shell: A set of 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc in the same space.
Petal: A series of hdc, dc, tr, arranged in a mirrored shape within a single stitch or space.
Cluster: Several stitches worked in the same st or space, leaving the last loops on the hook. When all stitches are worked, YO and pull through all loops on the hook.
Dc3tog: A decrease where 1 dc is worked in each of the next 3 indicated stitches, leaving the last loop on the hook for each dc stitch. The complete the stitch, YO and draw through all remaining loops on the hook. 1 dc3tog made.

Abbreviations
Skip (sk)
Next (nxt)
Each (ea)
Space (sp)
Stitch (st)
Beginning (beg)

Kismet Poncho Part 2

Kismet Poncho Part 3

I hope this design inspires you to create something you or your friends & family will love! And if you have any questions whatsoever, please don’t hesitate to contact me here or via any of my social media channels πŸ™‚

Peace!

-MF

Freeform #1

For years now I’ve had my eye on creating a piece in the classic Freeform style, a method of crochet that rejects the use of pattern or pre-planned formations and uses highly textural and varied crochet stitches to create odd, asymmetric pieces called “scrumbles.”

Though any crocheting without a pattern could technically be called freeform or freestyle, I differentiate the classic Freeform technique as having a few key characteristics: lack of pattern or overall plan, emphasis on chaotic form and texture over cohesive visual harmony, and reliance on several iconic motifs common in modern freeform (such as spirals, bullions, puffs, and other textural stitches).

Freeform scrumbles are finished bits of crochet that are then arranged and connected to form the final piece – anything from a freestanding “painting” of forms to a highly ornate coat to furniture covers (I dream of freeforming over an entire couch one day…).

Sometimes sewn together, sometimes connected via an openwork web of chains as in traditional Irish lace – the scumbles are like a puzzle you get to create AND solve!

After looking to such Freeform crochet geniuses as Prudence Mapstone and Hannah Martin of Of Mars, perusing some playlists for Freeform shapes on Youtube, and endlessly scrolling the Freeform Crochet World Group on Facebook, I finally collected a bunch of yarn and started scumbling.

And scrumbling.

And scrumbling.

After 8 months of slow progress, and lots of learning curves, I finally put the finishing touches on Freeform #1!

I knew it would be a shawl from the start, but the rest of the journey of this project was a complete and utter mystery until it was finally finished.

I must have arranged and rearranged the pieces so many times, in so many combinations! There are even a few eyeballs stuck in there, left over from practicing bullion eyes for the Forest Guide Hat.

The colors were chosen to be an earthy rainbow, with lots of gem tones (my favorite). Plenty of odd bits of hand-dyed and hand-spun yarn were included that I also created – which adds to the unique and personal “process” art touch.

At some point along the way, I started becoming (more) obsessed with moths, and I couldn’t stop picturing this piece as moth wings, or at least some winged bug-eyed thing – so the prism goggles came out to play πŸ˜‰

I’m overall thrilled with how this piece turned out – better than my expectations, to be sure! My first full-size freeform will be staying in my closet as I don’t think I could bear to part with it.

It’s great to create something that is impossible to write a pattern from! These days it’s hard to crochet anything that I don’t start to consider writing a pattern for (cue the incessant note-taking), but with freeform, that’s obviously not an option…

Although I may do some tutorial videos for the techniques I used at some point!

If you want to try out freeform but don’t want to commit to a huge project, my Pixie Pocket Belt Tutorial series uses freeform techniques to create cute, quick costume projects.

This shawl really pushed my boundaries and challenged me, and I value it all the more because of that.

-MF

Video Game Guy Backpack Tutorial

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


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


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

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

Video Game Guy Tutorial

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

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

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

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

Instructions

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

Ch 37.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Assembly

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

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

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

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

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

Repeat this process to seam on the back side.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-MF

Acanthus Top

Life has seemed at once hectic and uneventful recently, my “normal” summer months stretching on under the strain of the daily news and the smell of spray sanitizer, but my evenings peaceful and filled with fragrant breeze and birdsong.

This summer, is not like last summer. But my gratitude has not changed. For the friends I have, for the capabilities I am given, and for each day, whether it’s spent alone or not – after all I’ve learned a lot in the past year about how we are all connected.

During this isolationary idyll, I’ve designed a VERY comfy and cute top that you’ll want in every color: the Acanthus Top, now available in my Etsy Shop and Ravelry Pattern Store!

A lush and leafy bralette top perfect for the laziest of summer days! This crochet crop top features wide, lacy straps that interweave to form a racer-back shape, maximizing comfort without sacrificing prettiness. Shell detail edging trims the entire piece and frames your bodice in pretty flowing lines. The Acanthus Top is designed for a looser, more natural fit – like a cross between a bralette and a halter top!

Combining a structured silhouette with a peek-a-boo center, this crop top pattern covers SIX sizes (X-Small – 2XL) with detailed written instructions and step-by-step photo tutorials. I really aimed to make this one of the most versatile and wearable Morale Fiber halter top designs yet πŸ™‚

In Mediterranean culture and art, the Acanthus plant symbolized long life and immortality and was a regular feature of classical architecture ❀ I hope you love this new design and that it has a long life in your closet!

The Acanthus Top was the first design of mine to be produced using a full complement of pattern testers and they did an AWESOME job helping me hone this design and expand the size offerings. I plan more tests in the future – if you are interested in participating, I make the call-outs in my Facebook Group, the Magic Fantastic Crochet Atelier. Join us and keep a look out for the next test!

Meanwhile I’ll be taking my Acanthus Top out to lounge in a hammock as soon as possible! πŸ™‚

-MF

Sunflower Lotus Vest

It’s been a while since I made the Lotus Vest, the Free-Size circular shawl version of my Lotus Mandala design, seen also in the Lotus Duster (all free patterns available on my blog – just follow the links!)

So there I was, trying to use up some of my Quarantine stash while on Staycation, and I plumbed the depths of the cotton bin to find a lot of the Lion Brand 24/7 cotton yarn – the same kind I used to make the original piece.

Stashbusting achieved! I moved the armholes a little closer together, and skipped a few of the chain mesh rows – but here’s my latest version of the Lotus Circular Vest, crocheted with sunflowers in mind πŸ™‚

If you don’t prefer written patterns, I do have a video tutorial for the Lotus Duster, a similar pattern, which can be make sleeveless as well. Get that by going to the my YouTube Channel Playlist here.

There’s also a great Dutch version of this pattern, translated by Iris of Een Mooi Gebaar – you can get that for FREE on her website, or get the downloadable, portable, printable Dutch translation PDF pattern file in my Etsy Shop or Ravelry store!

Stay cool out there! ❀

-MF

P.S – the crocheted top I’m wearing in these pictures is the Valkyrie Top!


Hedge Witch Hat PDF

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

The lovely Sarina modeling her custom Hedge Witch Hat!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gauge: 4 sts & 3 rows – 1” in hdc

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

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

All instructions are in English in U.S terminology.

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

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

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

Happy Casting!

-MF

Henbit and Housekeeping

The month of May is usually a busy one for me, and this one has not been an exception so far, even despite local shutdown regulations! Read on for a bit about the projects I’m doing now and what I’ve got coming up ❀

Henbit Pixie Belt

With the weather warming I’m working outside and hiking around even more, enjoying nature in isolation and keeping an eye on the new plants springing up everywhere.

One particularly pretty little spring plant is Henbit, a bright fuschia-flowered plant that grows in scrubby areas and fields, which is an edible weed for humans as well as tasty for wildlife like hummingbirds. This plant was the inspiration for my latest Pixie Pocket Belt piece, for which it is named.

The mitts I’m wearing above are from my free Rambler’s Mitts pattern.

The Pixie Pocket Belts are projects I’ve been drawn to for years, and though I never make two the same, I did create a comprehensive tutorial guide for making your own unique creation – that’s available for free on my blog or in PDF format for a small fee.

These cute & useful costume pieces are a chance for me to flex my freestyle muscles. I love the multimedia aspect too, using beads and upcycled fabrics and metal details to create something really magical.

Freeform Shawl

The Pixie Belts I’ve made over the years have been technically “freeform” (meaning crocheted without a pattern or overall plan), though they are a bit different from the classic freeform style made popular by such incredible crochet artists as Prudence Mapstone and Hannah Martin of Of Mars.

Pixie Belt “Kelp” pictured above featured a bullion stitch pouch & a freeform seashell pouch

I’ve wanted to tackle a more recognizably freeform crochet piece and recently began practicing the various motifs that are common in this style, such as spirals, bullions, and crab stitch.

Some of the videos I’ve been watching have been both useful for the freeform project and useful to help me hone my video tutorial skills πŸ™‚ I’ve saved some of my favorites to my Channel playlists and I’ll keep adding more – find those collected here on Youtube and like & subscribe to my channel to get more updates!

I’ve completed most of the pieces I want to include in this freeform shawl, so I’m currently in the process of arranging and joining them. It feels great to challenge myself, and I’m learning and making lots of mistakes which is good ❀

Out of Office May 20-24

At the end of every May for the last 9 years, I’ve attended the big spring festival Elf Fest with my local community of nature-celebrators. This May, of course, it has been canceled. It’s the responsible thing to do and I’m happy that my friends are all safe – still, it’s a wrench for me and the rest of the crew.

Despite not having the festival to attend, I am going to go ahead and take that time off anyway, to unplug a little more and slow down πŸ™‚ So I’ll be Out of Office from May 20 through May 24, returning May 25 to answer any questions and comments you might have left during that time!

This stunning handmade moth clip from The Forest Fae is my constant companion these days…

I have a loooooooooong list of upcoming crochet designs – so many that I think I’ll need help soon! I’m looking into starting a little group – if you are interested in pattern testing for Morale Fiber be sure to follow me on Facebook, join my main crochet group the Magic Fantastic Crochet Atelier, or subscribe to my blog through e-mail! ❀ I’ll make the announcement across these channels when it comes time.

As always, I’m really grateful for everyone out there who purchases, supports, tags, shares, comments, likes, and recommends my work – I do it for you! I love you! Thank you! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

-MF