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

Amanita Muscaria Mushroom Pouch

Maybe creepy poison fungus seems more like an autumn thing, but there is some argument for the seasonality of the crochet project I have to share today!

It wasn’t meant to be seasonal – I created the Amanita Mushroom Pouch tutorial & free crochet pattern because I had requests to make a pattern for the above older photos from my Jack-O-Lantern and Morel Mushroom pouch blog posts. But since we’re on the subject, here’s an article about the connection of amanitas to winter tradition in Northern Europe and Russia. I’ve read other articles in the past, making wilder and less well-researched claims, which are fun if speculative.

Whether or not you buy that some of our holiday traditions are derived from hallucinating on mushroom toxins, the Amanita Muscaria Mushroom Pouch is a pretty cute little project to make curled up inside on a winter’s day, and look adorable tucked in the branches of the tree ❀

I’ve been making these for a few years and I’m glad to have finally created a pattern for them πŸ™‚ Happily, I have BOTH a written pattern and a video tutorial (see my Youtube Channel or find it at the end of the pattern below)! Huzzah!

Amanita Muscaria Mushroom Pouch

Materials:
4.5 mm Hook
#4 Worsted weight yarn in white and red
Tapestry needle
Scissors

Stem Instructions:
Make Magic Ring.
Rnd 1: 6 sc into the ring.
Rnd 2: 2 sc in ea st – 12 sts
Rnd 3: Working in back loop only, 1 sc in ea st around – 12 sts in BLO
Rnd 4: *Sc in the next 2 sc, sc2tog. Rpt around – 9 sts
Rnds 5-6: 1 sc in ea sc.

Rnd 7: Working in the back loop only (BLO), 1 sc in ea sc


Rnd 8: Working in the front loop only left from Rnd 7, *1 hdc and 1 sc in the next st, 1 sc in the next st. Rpt around.


Rnd 9: Skipping over Rnd 8 and continuing into the sc stitches of Rnd 7, 1 sc in ea sc.
Rnds 10-13: 1 sc in ea sc around

Sl st in the next few sts, do not tie off. Begin crochet chain loop. Chain 100-125. Once chain is complete, slip stitch on the opposite side of the stem from the beginning of the chain. Add a few more slip sts around to secure. Cut yarn and tie off.

Cap Instructions:

With red yarn, make Magic Ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 2. 10 hdc into the ring.
Rnd 2: Ch 2. 1 hdc in the same st. 2 hdc in the next st. *1 hdc in the next st, 2 hdc in the next st. Rpt around


Rnds 3-4: 1 hdc in ea st around.
Rnd 5: 1 sc in ea st around.

Sl st in the next few sts to secure, then cut yarn and tie off. Weave in all ends on the stem and cap using a tapestry needle and scissors.

With a length of white yarn, thread the tapestry needle. Insert needle from under the cap to the top, leaving some tail for sewing in. The spots are made from working french knots, an embroidery technique that wraps yarn around the embroidery needle before completing the stitch. For instructions on this part, see the video at 17:00.

Video Tutorial

Also, for fun, here’s me in an Amanita Muscaria Mushroom hat, which is made with french knots bespeckling my Sweetheart Beret crochet pattern, a.k.a the Forest Girl Beret ( the antlered version).
UPDATE 8/2020: This beret pattern actually now comes in full-format PDF form that includes specific instructions for a mushroom hat – find more info on this blog post!

Well, that’s all the pictures of yarn mushrooms I’ve got… Just kidding, it isn’t. But that’s all I’m going to cram into this post. I hope you all have a super safe and lovely holiday season ❀

-MF

Krampus Hat Free Pattern

KrampusCover1

There’s a lot of pretty cool stuff in my hometown of Bloomington, Indiana, but one of the most outstanding in my opinion is the annual Krampus Night put on by the awesome people at the Krampus Legend and Arts Workshop (K.L.A.W). A better explanation of Krampus Night and American versions of this traditional European event can be found in this Dangerous Minds article (in which it says that Bloomington’s parade is the best. I have to agree obviously).

You just can’t beatΒ  fire spinning, giant hairy monsters threatening children with sticks and neon hooping angels handing out candy. Here’s a video from Krampus Night 2014 with me at 6:08 attempting to escape retribution. Also I am wearing my Deer Hat!

Anyway, that’s how my enthusiasm for Krampus was born. Who wouldn’t love a ferocious rampaging Christmas demon?Β  So this year, as I was contemplating how to refurbish an old crochet pattern of mine, I got the idea to turn it into a Krampus Hat. And since I don’t want the Krampus to think that I am ungenerous, I am sharing it for free here with you!

I am also making it available in PDF form for 5.50 in my Etsy Shop and Ravelry Pattern Store.

Krampus11

That’s right.

As far as insane things that I’ve crocheted go, it may well be a personal best. Also I got to look bonkers in the photos. Bonus!

Krampus4

This twisty-horned, shaggy eared monstrosity could also be a ram, a yeti, a Wild Thing, or any number of raucous beasts. Hope you enjoy!

Krampus5

Krampus7

Krampus Hat Crochet Pattern

Materials:
4.50 mm hook, 3.75 mm hook, 5.00 mm hook

Color A: 710 yds #4 worsted weight acrylic (I used I Love This Yarn! – 2 skeins, in “Linen”)
Color B: 150 yds #4 worsted weight acrylic (I used I Love This Yarn! in “Toasted Almond”)
Color C:Β  <100 yds #3 DK weight acrylic or wool blend (I used some spare Drops Lima I had laying around. You could easily sub any DK weight or a light #4 weight in here)

Polyester fiberfill
Scissors, Tapestry Needle
Locking stitch markers (highly recommended – other kinds of markers will work but I have found non-locking markers tend to get knocked off during the creation of this pattern)
Head form (useful but not absolutely necessary)

Gauge: 2″ in diameter after Rnd 7 (in pattern) for the main hat.

Techniques used:Β Magic Ring, Single crochet (sc), Crochet chain (ch), Slip stitch (sl st), Front loop only (FLO), Back loop only (BLO), Single crochet decrease (sc2tog), half-double crochet (hdc)

Notes:
The circular pattern alternates rounds worked in the front and back loops of the previous round. I highly recommend using a locking marker on the back loop of the first stitch of each sc round (odd numbered rounds) so you know for sure where to start and finish – with all of those loops it can get confusing and the markers always save the day.

To Begin, make magic ring with Color A and a 4.50 mm hook.

Rnd 1: 6 sc into the ring, join round with a sl st in the front loop of the first stitch. Pull the ring closed tightly. – 6 sts

Rnd 2: Working in the FLO of Rnd 1 (Ch 7, sl st in the same stitch. *sl st in the next stitch.)Β  Rpt Β 5 more times, ending last rpt at *. Β Β Do not join. – 6 ch loops

Rnd 3: 2 sc into each of the back loops only (BLO)Β  of the sc stitches from Rnd 1. Β Join with a sl st in the FLO. – 12 sts

Krampustute1

The back of the piece after Rnd 6. See that non-locking marker? That fell off about twenty times.

Rnd 4: Working in the FLO of Rnd 3, (Ch 7, sl st in the same stitch. *Sl st in the next stitch.)Β  RptΒ  11 more times, ending last rpt at *.Β  Β Do not join – 12 ch loops

Rnd 5: In BLO of Rnd 3, (1 sc in next st, 2 sc in the next st. ) Rpt around. Join with a sl st in the FLO of first st in the round. – 18 sts

Rnd 6: Working in the FLO of Rnd 5, (Ch 7, sl st in the same stitch. *Sl st in the next stitch.)Β  RptΒ  17 more times, ending last rpt at *.Β  Β Do not join. – 18 ch loops

Rnd 7: In BLO of Rnd 5, (1 sc in each of the next 2 sts, 2 sc in next st.) Rpt around. Join with a sl st in the FLO of first st in the round – 24 sts

Rnd 8: Working in the FLO of Rnd 7, (Ch 7, sl st in the same stitch. *sl st in the next stitch.)Β  Rpt 23 more times, ending last rpt at *.Β  Β Do not join. – 24 ch loops

Rnd 9: In BLO of Rnd 7, (1 sc in each of the next 3 sts, 2 sc in next st.) Rpt around. Join with a sl st in the FLO of first st in the round. – 30 sts

Rnd 10:Β  Working in FLO of Rnd 9, (Ch 7, sl st in the same stitch. *Sl st in the next stitch.)Β  Rpt 29 more times, ending last rpt at *.Β Β  Do not join. – 30 ch loops

Rnd 11: In BLO of Rnd 9, (1 sc in each of the next 4 sts, 2 sc in next st.) Rpt around. Join with a sl st in the FLO of first st in the round. – 36 sts

Rnd 12: Working in FLO of Rnd 11, sc in the same stitch as sl st join. (Ch 6, sl st in the same stitch. *Sc in the next stitch.)Β  RptΒ  35 more times, ending last rpt at *.Β Β  Do not join. – 36 ch loops

Rnd 13: In BLO of Rnd 11, (1 sc in each of the next 5 sts, 2 sc in next st.) Rpt around. Join with a sl st in the FLO of first st in the round. – 42 sts

Rnd 14: Working in FLO of Rnd 13,Β  (Ch 7, sl st in the same stitch. *Sl st in the next stitch.)Β  Rpt 41 more times, ending last rpt at *.Β Β  Do not join. – 42 ch loops

Rnd 15: In BLO of Rnd 13, (1 sc in each of the next 6 sts, 2 sc in next st.) Rpt around. Join with a sl st in the FLO of first st in the round. – 48 sts

Rnd 16: Working in FLO of Rnd 15, (Ch 7, sl st in the same stitch. *Sl st in the next stitch.)Β  Rpt 47 more times, ending last rpt at *.Β Β  Do not join. – 48 ch loops

Rnd 17: In BLO of Rnd 15, (1 sc in each of the next 7 sts, 2 sc in next st.) Rpt around. Join with a sl st in the FLO of first st in the round. – 54 sts

Rnd 18: Working in FLO of Rnd 17, (Ch 7, sl st in the same stitch. *Sl st in the next stitch.)Β  Rpt 53 more times, ending last rpt at *.Β Β  Do not join. – 54 ch loops

Rnd 19: In BLO of Rnd 17, 1 sc in each sc around. Join with a sl st in the FL of first st in the rnd. – 54 sts

Rnd 20: Working in FLO of Rnd 19, (Ch 7, sl st in the same st. *Sl st in the next st.) Rpt 53 more times, ending last rpt at *. Do not join. – 54 ch lps

Rnd 21: In BLO of Rnd 19, (1 sc in each of the next 8 sts, 2 sc in next st.) Rpt around. Join with a sl st in the FLO of first st in the round. – 60 sts

Rnd 22: Working in FLO of Rnd 21, (Ch 7, sl st in the same stitch. *Sl st in the next stitch.)Β  Rpt 59 more times, ending last rpt at *.Β Β  Do not join. – 60 ch loops

Rnd 23: In BLO of Rnd 21, sc in each stitch around. Join with a sl st in the FLO of first st in the round. – 60 sts

Rnd 24: Working in FLO of Rnd 23, (Ch 7, sl st in the same stitch. *Sl st in the next stitch.) Rpt 59 more times, ending last rpt at *. Do not join. – 60 ch loops

Rnd 25: Working in BLO of Rnd 23, (1 sc in ea of the next 9 sts, 2 sc in the next st.) Rpt around. Join with a sl st in the FL of the first st of the rnd. – 66 sts

Rnd 26: Working in the FLO of Rnd 25, (Ch 7, sl st in the same st. *Sl st in the next stitch.) Rpt 65 more times, ending last rpt at *. Do not join. – 66 ch loops

Rnd 27: In BL of previous rnd, sc in each stitch around. Join with a sl st in the FLO of first st in the round. – 66 sts

Rnd 28: Working in FLO of previous rnd, (Ch 7, sl st in the same stitch. *Sl st in the next stitch.) Rpt 65 more times, ending last rpt at *. Do not join. – 66 ch loops

Rnds 29-42: Rpt Rnds 27-28 7 more times.

Rnd 43: In BL of previous rnd, sc in each stitch around. Join with a sl st in the FLO of first st in the round. – 66 sts

Rnd 44: Working in FLO of previous rnd, (Ch 9, sl st in the same st. *Sl st in the next st.) Rpt 65 more times, ending alst rpt at *. Do not join.

Rnds 45 – 52: Rpt Rnds 43-44 4 more times. Leave yarn attached to begin working earflaps.

Krampustute2

Earflaps (Make 2)

Get four locking stitch markers. Place one in the BL of the first stitch of the previous round. Place second marker 9 stitches from the first (counting in same direction as you would work the round). Including stitches with markers, this makes a 10-stitch section. Starting with the first stitch after the 2nd marker, count 19 stitches in the same direction you would work the round. Place the third marker in the back loop of the 19 stitch. Place 4th marker 9 stitches from the third.

This leaves you with two marked off sections of 10 stitches (where you will work the earflaps) with an 18-stitch gap on one side (the back of the hat) and a 28-stitch gap on the other side (the front of the hat).Β  You can try on the hat now to see where those sections fall and adjust if necessary – as long as you have two sections of 10 stitches you can place them where you like.

Earflaps are worked in rows, turning after each row. Every row is worked in the back loop only.

Row 1: RS facing, join with a sc to the marked st at the beginning of one marked off 10-st section. 1 sc into the BLO of ea of next 9 sts. Ch 11, turn.

Row 2: Working in the BLO, sl st in the same st. (Sl st in the next st, ch 11, sl st in the same st) 9 more times. Ch 1, turn – 10 ch loops

Row 3: In the BLO, sc in ea of the next 10 sts. Ch 11, turn.

Row 4: Rpt Row 2.

Row 5: Rpt Row 3.

Row 6: Rpt Row 2.

Row 7: To begin this row, work a sc decrease over the BL of the first 2 stitches. Sc in ea of the next 6 sts. Work a sc decrease over the next 2 stitches. Ch 11, turn. – 8 sts.

Row 8: Sl st in the same st. (Sl st in the next st, ch 11, sl st in the same st) 7 times. Ch 1, turn. 8 ch loops.

Row 9: Sc in ea of the next 8 sts. Ch 11, turn. – 8 sts

Row 10: Rpt Row 8.

Row 11: To begin this row, work a sc decrease over the BL of the first 2 sts. Sc in ea of the next 4 sts. Work a sc decrease over the next 2 sts. Ch 11, turn. – 6 sts

Row 12: Sl st in the same st. (Sl st in the next st, ch 11, sl st in the same st) 5 times. Ch 1, turn. – 6 ch loops

Row 13: Work a sc decrease over the next 2 sts. Sc in ea of next 2 sts. 1 sc dec over the next 2 sts. Ch 11, turn.

Row 14: Sl st in the same st. (Sl st in the next st, ch 11, sl st in the same st) 3 times. Ch 1, turn. – 4 ch loops

Row 15: (Work a sc dec over the next 2 sts) twice. If this is your first earflap, cut yarn and tie off. If this is your second earflap, do not cut or tie off.

Brim:

The brim works two rows of sc in each stitch around the edge of the hat, including the earflaps.

Row 1: Work 1 sc in the side of ea row down the earflap toward the main part of the hat. Continue to work 1 sc in the back loops of the stitches and 1 sc in between ea loop on the sides of the earflaps all the way around the hat.

Row 2: Sc in ea sc.

Horns (Make 2)

KrampusTute5KrampusTute4

Work in BLO unless otherwise specified. Work continuously in the round, using a st marker to track rounds. Stuff gradually with poly fiberfill as you go – be careful not to overstuff.

Using color B and 3.75 mm hook, make magic ring.

Rnd 1: 6 sc into the ring. – 6 sts

Rnd 2: 1 hdc in ea of the next 3 sc, 1 sc in ea of the next 3 sc. – 6 sts

Rnd 3: Rpt Rnd 2.

Rnd 4: Rpt Rnd 2.

Rnd 5: (1 sc in the next st, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. – 9 sts

Rnd 6: 1 hdc in ea of the next 5 sts, 1 sc in ea of the next 4 sts. – 9 sts

Rnd 7: 1 hdc in ea of the next 5 sts, 1 sl st in ea of the next 4 sts. – 9 sts

Rnd 8: Rpt Rnd 7

Rnd 9: (1 sc in ea of the next 2 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. – 12 sts

Rnd 10: 1 hdc in ea of the next 6 sts, 1 sl st in ea of the nxt 6 sts. – 12 sts

Rnd 11: Rpt Rnd 10

Rnd 12: 1 sc in ea st around. – 12 sts

Rnd 13: (1 sc in ea of the next 3 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. – 15 sts

Rnd 14: 1 hdc in ea of the next 9 sts, 1 sl st in ea of the next 6 sts. – 15 sts

Rnd 15: Rpt Rnd 14

Rnd 16: 1 sc in ea st around. – 15 sts

Rnd 17: (1 sc in ea of the next 4 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. – 18 sts

Rnd 18: 1 hdc in ea of the nxt 12 sts, 1 sl st in ea of the nxt 6 sts. – 18 sts

Rnd 19: Rpt Rnd 18

Rnd 20: (1 sc in ea of the next 5 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. – 21 sts

Rnd 21: 1 hdc in ea of the next 13 sts, 1 sl st in ea of the next 8 sts. – 21 sts

Rnd 22: Rpt Rnd 21

Rnd 23: (1 sc in ea of the nxt 6 sts, 2 sc in the nxt st) 3 times. – 24 sts

Rnd 24: 1 hdc in ea of the nxt 16 sts, 1 sl st in ea of the nxt 8 sts. – 24 sts

Rnd 25: Rpt Rnd 24

Rnd 26: (1 sc in ea of the next 7 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. – 27 sts

Rnd 27: 1 hdc in ea of the nxt 18 sts, 1 sl st in ea of the nxt 9 sts. – 27 sts

Rnd 28: (1 sc in ea of the nxt 8 sts, 2 sc in the nxt st) 3 times. – 30 sts

Rnd 29: 1 hdc in ea of the nxt 20 sts, 1 sl st in ea of the nxt 10 sts. – 30 sts

Rnd 30: (1 sc in ea of the nxt 9 sts, 2 sc in the nxt st) 3 times. – 33 sts

Rnd 31: 1 hdc in ea of the nxt 22 sts, 1 stl st in ea of the nxt 11 sts. – 33 sts

Rnd 32: (1 sc in ea of the nxt 10 sts, 2 sc in the nxt st) 3 times. – 36 sts

Rnd 33: 1 hdc in ea of the nxt 24 sts, 1 sl st in ea of the nxt 12 sts. – 36 sts

Rnd 34: (1 sc in ea of the nxt 11 sts, 2 sc in the nxt st) 3 times. – 39 sts

Rnd 35: 1 hdc in ea of the nxt 26 sts, 1 sl st in ea of the nxt 13 sts. – 39 sts

Rnd 36: (1 sc in ea of the nxt 12 sts, 2 sc in the nxt st) 3 times. – 42 sts

Rnd 37: Β 1 hdc in ea of the nxt 28 sts, 1 sc in ea of the nxt 14 sts. – 42 sts

Rnd 38: Working in both of the top loops, 1 Sl st in each st around. Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Embellishing the Horn

In a contrasting yarn and the 3.75 hk, attach yarn to the first FL from Rnd 1 of the tip of the horn. *Sl st in the FL of the next st. Rpt from * in a continuous spiral all the way down the horn to the end of Rnd 36. Cut yarn and tie off.

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Ears (Make 2):

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The ears are worked in continuous rounds and then flattened to form a sturdy, double layered shape.

With Color A and a 5.00 mm hook, make magic ring.

Rnd 1:Β  3 sc into the ring. Tighten. – 3 sts

Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc around – 6 stitches

Rnd 3: 1 sc in ea sc around – 6 stitches

Rnd 4: 2 sc in ea sc around – 12 stitches

Rnd 5 -6: 1 sc in ea sc around – 12 stitches

 

Rnd 7: (1 sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc) around – 18 stitches

Rnd 8: 1 sc in each sc around – 18 stitches

Rnd 9: (1 sc in each of the next 2 sc, 2 sc in the next sc) – 24 stitches

 

Rnds 10 – 14: 1 sc in each sc around – 24 stitches

Rnd 15: (1 sc in each of the next 2 sc, sc2tog over the next 2 stitches) – 18 stitches

Rnd 16 -22: 1 sc in each sc around – 18 stitches.

Rnd 23: Sl stitch around. Fasten off, leaving a long tail attached for sewing.

Using a length of Color C and a tapestry needle, embellish the ear by embroidering on a spiral or other fun ear-like shapes.

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Earflap braids:

Cut a bundle of 15 32”-long strands in Color A. Fold the bundle to form a loop at one end and draw it through the bottom of the earflap. Tuck loose ends through the loop and tighten. Separate into 3 bundles of 10 strands and braid, then tie off. Repeat for the other side.

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Assembly

Gather all of your pieces and weave all ends except those left long to sew on the piece. Try on the hat and hold up the pieces to see how you’d like to position your horns and ears – the horns are not mirrored pieces so you won’t get them exactly symmetrical, but its fun to play around and see what you like. Mark out the area you will be attaching the pieces with safety pins or stitch markers if you like.

Then find something to put your hat on while you sew. Head forms are handy, or you can hunt around for something else that vaguely fits. You can even use your bent knee if you’re limber enough. I still haven’t replaced my battered old styrofoam head so today we’re using a medicine ball.

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I used to sew the horns directly onto the hat, but I have found that since the chain loops are so dense, you can really just sew them onto the loops and it works just as well. Make sure before you close the seam that the bottom of the horns are properly stuffed – I usually cram in a glob of fiberfill just before closing it up for good measure.

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I like the ears just beneath the horns – mine are floppy as they are sewn directly onto the loops, but you can get them sturdier by sewing onto the hat base instead.

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Finally, for extra scruffiness, cut a big bundle of 1/2 yard strands of Color A. Loop them over in and fringe bundles of 4-5 through some of the loops on the lower part of the hat around the earflaps.Β  Chop and style as you like – I used whatever bit of Color A I had left over and added small decorative braids. You could really go nuts here (since the entire hat is covered in loops) and make an extremely shaggy thing. I hope someone does, and shows me a picture πŸ˜‰

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And, there you have it – Krampus Hat!Β  I hope you like, and of course if you have any questions I am here to help. Be good or the Krampus will get you!

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Nooo not sunlight… oh wait, that’s vampires.

-MF

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Glow-in-the-Dark Mushroom Free Pattern

Welcome to day two of the Halloween Special! Day one featured a handspun pumpkin (handspunpkin?) which was more of a description than an actual tutorial, but today you’ll never guess what I’ve got here.

It’s glow-in-the-dark. It’s a mushroom. It’s a FREE PATTERN!

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This spooky fungus is cute and quick and has a little secret pouch inside the hollow stem, covered by the moveable cap that is strung on the chain loop band.

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The glow-in-the-dark yarn I use here is awesome, from a company called Gert’s Glow House.Β They don’t always have it in stock though, so you might have to range afar to find it. Since gauge isn’t critical on this project, you can also easily substitute other glow or neon yarns if you can’t get that exact type.

FUN FACT: There is a species of mushroom called the Jack-o’-Lantern Mushroom (Omphalotus olearius)Β that really does glow in the dark! That’s what I named these little pockets after πŸ™‚

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Jack-o’-Lantern Mushroom Pouch

Materials:
3.75 mm hook
Gert’s Glow House Glow-in-the-Dark Yarn (50 g, 4-ply fingering weight) – 1 skein
Tapestry needle & scissors
Stitch Marker

Gauge is not critical

Notes:
Pattern uses 2 strands of yarn held together, so you will need to either split your skein in half, work from both ends, or use 2 skeins

Rounds are worked continuously without joining, so mark the first stitch of each round with a marker to keep track.

Helpful Tutorials:Β 
Magic Ring, Back Loop Only

Stem:

To begin, take 2 strands and make a Magic Ring.
Rnd 1: 6 sc into the ring. Pull the ring closed tightly. – 6 sts
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each of the next 6 sc. – 12 sts
Rnd 3: Working in the back loop only, 1 sc in ea of the next 12 sts. – 12 sts
Rnds 4 -13: Work in both loops, 1 sc in ea of the next 12 sts. – 12 sts

You can add extra rounds here if you want a longer stem!

Rnd 14: Sl st in the next 2 sts. Ch 100 and join with a sl st on the opposite side of the round. Sl st in the next 2 sts to secure. Cut yarn and tie off.

Cap:

To begin, make Magic Ring
Rnd 1: 10 sc into the ring. Pull the ring closed, but not tightly – there should be a circle left open big enough to get your hook through later. -10 sts
Rnd 2: *1 sc in the next st, 2 sc in the next st. Β Repeat from * around. – 15 sts
Rnds 3-4: 1 sc in ea of the next 15 sts. – 15 sts
Rnd 5: *1 sc in ea of the next 2 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Rpt from * around. – 20 sts
Rnds 6-7: 1 sc in ea of the next 20 sts. – 20 sts
Rnd 8: Sl st in ea st around. Cut yarn and fasten off.

Insert hook from the top of the cap to the underside and catch the 100-st long chain you made for the stem. Pull the chain through so that the cap fits over the top of the stem.

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Tighten the hole at the top of the cap to the tension you like (remember you still want the cap to be able to move up and down the chain).

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Weave in all ends.

To get a really good glow going, leave your new Jack-o’-lantern mushroom on the windowsill to charge in the sunlight (or moonlight).

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The glowing in this picture is enhanced by my camera exposure setting, but still, they’re pretty dang glowy.

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These are so handy for carrying pocket money, chapstick, pretty rocks, etc… or just for looking cuter than heck.

-MF

Halloween Special: Crochet Pumpkin

Um, Halloween is amazing. It’s like Christmas for the spooky kids. It’s like Thanksgiving for the sweet tooth crowd. And most importantly ITS AN EXCUSE FOR ADULTS TO PLAY DRESS UP.

Also, have you disemboweled a gourd recently? Satisfying.

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Chaston’s bat carving from last year

Armed with some bright orange handspun yarn I had stashed, I decided to finally make a crochet pumpkin with it! I found several good guides –

The Fairy Tale Pumpkin pattern from Crochet Dynamite I used to get started, though I mostly freeform stitched using sc and hdc to enhance the bumpy surface of the handspun. I wanted it to look warty, like an heirloom variety, so I decided to turn the wrong side outward to make it even bumpier!

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I started with a Magic Circle and a base of 6 sc worked continuously in the round, then just freeform added the increases. I didn’t count exactly but I payed attention to make sure there were more increases than necessary, to give the sides of the pumpkin room to fold and form those characteristic pumpkin ridges later.

Once the base was big enough, I worked in non-increasing rounds to form the sides of the pumpkin, then freeform decreases to close up the top. It was kind of a guessing game, as I didn’t have very much of that yarn! Fortunately I came to the end with a little to spare.

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Next, I tucked in the yarn tails and stuffed that fella! Be careful not to overstuff – I had to go back and pull some out later so that I could make better ridges. You’ll want it to have some give, more than for normal amigurumi.

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Too much :/

I tried the technique from the Fairy Tale pumpkin pattern to do the ridges, but unfortunately my yarn was just too thick and stubborn to thread the yarn through the actual stitches. Instead I used a hybrid version of this pumpkin shaping technique from Itsy Bitsy Spider Crochet, but I threaded my yarn through the center of the pumpkin (in through the center top and out through the center of the base) as per the Fairy Tale instructions. Worked awesome in my opinion!

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After I finished up the main part, I made a little stem using the front post / back post technique suggested for the Fairy Tale pumpkin, but widened the base and stuffed it just a little. The yarn I used is a naturally dark brown alpaca fiber! Super soft.

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But why stop there? I had some green handspun too, so I grabbed it and chained a length for the vines, and worked 2 sc in each ch st back across to make it a little curly. As you can see I stopped periodically to make some quirky leaves (I have a tutorial for those here!) Then, I sewed the vine onto the top to complete my glorious gourd.

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I’m especially attached to it- I rarely get to make things that are entirely hand spun. The orange yarn in particular is one of the first that I had dyed and spun myself a few years ago – I always knew it needed to be a pumpkin, and now it finally is! Satisfying.

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with sneaky hedgehog fren!

Stay tuned because this Halloween Special is actually a two-parter! I’ve got more spooky knicknacks on the way πŸ˜‰

-MF