PBT: Circle Pocket Part 2

Circle Pockets: Non-Continuous Circles, Color Changes, and Overlay

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

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

The continuous orange circle I made in the previous post to demonstrate my shorthand and the principle of increases and whatnot was fun and all, but now it’s really time to use a little more color! The plajn orange circle will end up being the back of a circular pouch on this belt, so we need a matching size circle to make up the front. For this, I’ll start a new piece, worked non-continuously. Since continuous rounds don’t start and end in the same place, I don’t use them for multi-colored circles (because the stripes wouldn’t match up). I mean, you totally can if you want to though! FrEeForM baby!

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Non Continuous Circles & Color Changes

Non-continuous circles are worked with the exact same increase strategy, except you join with a slip stitch at the end of every round and start the next, new round by chaining (to count as the first stitch or not – your choice). I use the same shorthand as in the previous post for this, and just leave off the info on beginning and ending the round, which is the same every time: Ch to start (counts or doesn’t count as first st, up to you) blah blah blah, join with a slip stitch in the first st of the round.

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The front circle of the pocket is where I really like to use up the small scraps of color. Looking at my scrap options, I want to tend toward the smallest balls first because they may not be big enough to make it around the entire circle once it gets larger.

MR (Magic Ring)
1. 6 sc into ring
2. Inc every st. Color Change (CC)

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Rnd 1

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Rnd 2.

That’s as much as I can do with the first ball. To add the new yarn for Rnd 3, I start in a different st than the ending of my previous rnd, so that all of my joins are not in the same place and my seam ends up being less obvious.

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This also means my increases will be offset, so less of that hexagonal shaping to make a more even-looking circle.  I like to use a standing sc to join my new yarn, a technique explained in this great tutorial from Look At What I Made.

  1. Inc on 2. CC
  2. 4. Inc on 3. CC
  3. 5. Inc on 4, BLO. CC
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After Rnd 5

Overlay Double Crochet

Rnd 5 is worked in the Back Loop Only so that I can do some fancy stuff with it on the next round. I’ll be using those empty front loops to work an some overlay stitches, or stitches that go over the previous round to form layers.

Rnd 6 starts normally, with the new yarn joined wherever. I will be increasing at the normal rate, but the extra stitch of every inc will be a double crochet, worked into the FLO of Rnd 4 instead of the same Rnd 5 loop as the previous stitch.

6. Dc Overlay Inc on 5.
7. Inc on 6. CC

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Rnd 6

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To make an overlay dc, Yo and insert hook into the front loop of the stitch below, from bottom to top as shown

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Then work dc as normal

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End of Rnd 7

Spike Stitch

On the next round I’ll do another type of overlay called a spike stitch. I count it as an overlay because it layers over the previous round, but it doesn’t require free loops. Basically, you just insert the hook in the same space as one of the stitches of the previous round, and draw up a loop over an entire round (or two!) of crochet, then finish it like a normal sc. You can do this at any time, so it makes a great freeform stitch. I like to do mine at the increase, and as you can see here I placed them between each two overlay sts from Rnd 6.

  1. Spike st inc on 7. CC
  2.  Inc on 8. CC

 

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Draw up a loop

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Complete single crochet (or whatever stitch) as normal

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Rnd 8 completed

 

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Rnd 9 completed

10. Inc on 9.
11. Sc even, skipping a few stitches at the end and chaining a few instead. Sl st to join, then sl st a few more to secure. Cut yarn and tie off.

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End of Rnd 10

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Stop a few stitches before the end and chain a few stitches instead

Skipping the last few stitches and chaining makes a buttonhole for the button fastening for your circle pouch. I forgot to choose buttons when I was looking for materials, so I poke around in my collection and grab this wooden one. It just feels like the right one, even though the pale orange one matches better. I guess I just like the cut of its jib.

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Check to make sure the button just fits through your opening, making smaller or bigger if necessary.

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Assembling & Finishing

Now that you have two flat circles, weave in all of the ends of the front circle (the multi-color or what-have-you) and the central end of the back circle (the plain one).

Leave the outer yarn-end of the back circle unwoven so that you can attach your button to the inside face of that circle using the yarn end and a tapestry needle.

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Line your pockets up, then match the buttonhole on the front circle to the button on the back. Grab two locking stitch markers and pin those puppies together, leaving an opening about a quarter of the circumference at the top for the pocket opening.

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I use locking stitch markers to mark where I want to seam to begin and end

Next we’ll be crocheting around the bottom part of both circles at once to attach them – so grab a matching or coordinating yarn (or a mismatching one – this is freeform after all) to do the seam. If you’re feeling sassy, string a few of those beads on there using the tapestry needle – I’ll show you what to do with them later.

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Join your yarn at the point where you put your stitch marker so that you’ll be working around the bottom ¾ or so of the pocket. Insert your hook through the top of the sc of both layers and work a sc. Continue to sc through both layers at once around the circumference – slip stitch works fine here too or hdc or even dc works fine here too, if you like – fReEfOrM ba- ok, you get the idea.

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Crochet through both layers at once to seam

Once I reach near the bottom, it’s time to work the beads in. I like dangly things. Here’s two ways to do it:

For prestrung beads, chain a length and chain in the bead at the end. Slip stitch back down the chain and continue working the hem through both layers until you want to add another bead, then repeat.

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For beads with larger holes that are not prestrung, chain a longer length, then slip stitch back down. Once the chain is finished, string the cord through the bead and then tie a small knot at the end. Continue to work the hem through both layers until you want to add another bead, then repeat.

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Once you’ve beaded to your heart’s content, keep single crocheting around the last portion of the pocket circles until you reach the other stitch marker. Cut yarn and tie off, then weave in your ends.

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Ta-Da! You have your very own circle pocket for attaching to your pixie pocket belt! For how to attach, keep reading through this tutorial series 🙂

To wrap up, how about some more ideas for circle pockets? Here are some ways I’ve done them in past projects:

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This circle pocket features a crochet overlay motif of the tree of life, from this awesome free pattern!

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Another overlay motif crocheted then sewn on appears on this plain circle pocket – a great chance to practice designing your own doily/mandala patterns.

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The circle pocket in “Nightshade” features beaded single crochet, working prestrung seed beads into the back side of each stitch.

 

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PBT: Triangles

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

Today’s task is: Triangles! I don’t personally use this shape much in my belts, but I have seen others do beautiful pixie belts with triangles featured. Speaking of inspiration, have I mentioned I’ve been creating a special Pinterest subsection on my crochet board just for pixie pocket belts? I have, and you should follow me. Anyway, here’s triangles!

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Triangle shapes can be worked either in-the-round, where you crochet your rows in a circular direction and join them before starting a new row (using increases to create points), or in regular rows, where you chain and turn to work the opposite direction after every row (this method uses decreases to shape the piece if working from the base of the shape).

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The square pocket on “Hickory” uses back-and-forth rows with decreases placed at each end of every row to shape the triangle portion.

I personally prefer the in-the-round triangle for decorative applications, because it keeps the right side facing the entire time, which to me looks prettier. I have an in-depth photo-tutorial on in-the-round triangles in my Basic Bralette free crochet pattern, so I’ll not go over the entire thing here – please refer to that tutorial for more info! And of course, I’m using bits and scraps, so I’ll change colors every row or so.

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Pattern for in-the-round Triangle:

MR (Make Ring)

Rnd 1: Ch 2 (does not count as first st), (3 dc into the ring, ch 2) 3 times. Join with a sl st to the first dc. – 9 dc

Rnd 2: Ch 2, 1 dc into the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc. In the next space, work 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc. (1 dc in ea of the next 3 dc. In the next sp work 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) repeat within parentheses twice. Join with a sl st to the first dc. – 21 dc

Rnd 3: Ch 2, 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 4 dc. In the next space, work 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc. (1 dc in ea of the next 7 dc. In the next sp work 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) rpt within parentheses twice. 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc. Join with a sl st to the first dc. – 33 dc

(shorthand version from here on – just continue the established pattern until your triangle is the desired size!)

Rnd 4: 11 dc, [2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc] in next space – rpt around

Rnd 5: 15 dc, [2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc] in next space – rpt around

Etc.

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I want to make my triangle just big enough for one side to match the top of my rectangle pocket – see where I’m going with this?

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So, after I’m done, I’ll  slip stitch through the top row of the triangle and the top row of the rectangle simultaneously to join them – doesn’t matter if you don’t have exactly the matching amount of stitches, ‘cause its fReEfOrM baby! So fudging it is okay. Encouraged even.

Once that’s complete, I weave in all the ends. Now I have a rectangle pocket with a cute pointed flap to cover the top. Let’s get even fancier – or as the kids these days say, extra – by using that ruffle technology I talked about earlier in the series.

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With some handspun orange wool, I attach with a sl st a few stitches down the side of the pocket. Using a gradation of stitch heights and working about 2-3 stitches per every stitch worked into, I make a funky ruffle down the side of the pocket, ending in a couple chain stitches before fastening off. Let’s go nuts and slip a bead on there, too. And some extra yarn bits for tassel.

Then, begin on the other side (working in the opposite direction if you want the right side to be facing) and do the other side to match. Now we’re talking.

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Another word on inspiration here : this is why it’s fun for me to choose a theme for these pieces, which are always nature-based for me.  What made me decide to add that crazy ruffle? Well, for one thing, I had just a bit of that thick wool orange yarn, and bulky handspun makes great funky accent choice. But more than that, I was thinking about the Maple tree, and the way the brightly colored leaves curl as they slowly dry. The pockets so far had bright fall-like colors, but the lines were so straightforward – circle, square, rectangle – that I needed a bit of crazy curl in the pockets to kind of represent that thought of the curly maple leaf. I wasn’t going for an exact replica of the curly leaf, just a touch of the spirit of the leaf. Does that sound crazy? Good. Because this is some artistic pixie magic we’re doing. Save the logic for the office.

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In the next few posts we’ll be tackling circular pockets – stay tuned!

-MF

Cecilia Skirt Belt

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Surprise! Here’s an extra fun little pattern you can use to really get creative with bells, charms, beads, fabric scraps, and spare funky yarns – the Cecilia Skirt Belt, available in my Etsy Shop and Ravelry Store for 5.50 USD 🙂 Hope you love it!

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A ragtag faerie belt made for a midsummer dance session with your pixie crew! This crocheted belt features crocodile stitches decorated with a fabric fringe skirt and whatever bells, beads, charms, or treasures you can string on.

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With the pattern for an Adult and a Child size version, instructions for creating a custom-sized belt, and lots of tutorial photos on crocheting the belt and adding the fringe skirt, you can make one for all the magical folk you know!

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Use as a pretty layer over skirts (as shown with the Adult version in the photos), at the beach, as an accent to your favorite funky leggings, for costuming, or wherever you want to bring the magic 🙂

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Sizes:
Adult – 34″ (not including d-rings and ties)
Child – 20″ (not including d-rings and ties)
+ Custom sizing instructions

Materials:
3.75 hook
Lion Brand 24/7 Cotton – 1 skein
Scrap Fabric
1″ D rings (2)
Bells, beads, or charms, ribbons, funky yarns, etc
Tapestry needle & scissors

Big thanks to the lovely models Lainy Clayton and her sweet (and very patient) daughter Thea!  ❤

-MF

Skinny Scrappy Scarf!

My lovely friends have often shown up at gatherings exclaiming “I have yarn for you!” – and this is a situation to be thoroughly enjoyed. However, I can’t always find a use for every single one of these yarns, among them long-forgotten cheap acrylics from granny’s attics, abandoned yarn sale yarn, and other orphaned skeins.

Some of these yarns have a lot more merit than others – and I try to use everything I can possibly use, because it is a rare occasion that I can bring myself to evict the yarn from the Sad Yarn Orphanarium.

However, I finally said goodbye to a huge bag full of old yarn that I just knew I wasn’t ever going to use (and actually most of it was stuff that I had bought :P) It’s slated to go to Goodwill, where it might be just the thing some other stitchmaster needs.

As a result, my yarn wall looks a lot less scary. This has virtually nothing to do with the following project. I’m just proud of myself.

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I cheated. I still have a lot of yarn that isn’t on that wall. BUT, at least I no longer fear an avalanche.

Okay, it’s not totally unrelated, because while I was cleaning I rediscovered some old handspun and some other bits and pieces that would look nice together and got inspired to create a scrap-buster project!

This little skinny scarf combines beading, crocheting, and knitting to create a unique artsy accessory that’s great for using up small lengths of yarn.

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Skinny Scrappy Scarf

Materials Needed:
20 g packet of 6/0 seed beads
1 beading needle
#10 cotton crochet thread
2.10 mm steel crochet hook
12.5 mm knitting needles
An assortment of yarn scraps, preferably 15-20+ yards each

  1. First, grab your beading needle, crochet thread, and half of your packet of beads (set the other half aside). Your amount doesn’t have to be exact. String the beads on your crochet thread.
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  2. With your 2.10 hook, start chaining the crochet thread. Every 15-20 chains (again, we’re not worried about exact numbers here) grab a bead and include it in your stitch.

    Continue beading & chaining until you run out of your first half of beads and you have a nice little beaded strand ball. Cut the thread and tie it off. You can go ahead and make a second ball from the other half of your beads now, or (if you are sick of chaining like I was) you can wait until you’re ready for it later.
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  3. Using your beaded strand and two other yarns, CO 6 sts to your 12.5 mm knitting needles using three strands.
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  4. Using all three strands, knit the next row. Purl the next row. Repeat, alternating knitting and purling and tying in new yarn strands whenever you run out of one.
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  5. Once you have your scarf almost the length you’d like (for me this was about 60″), replace one of your strands with the second beaded yarn ball and continue knitting until you run out of beaded cord. Bind off and weave in all of your ends.

I like the beaded cord because it gives the ends a nice swing-y weight! These also make pretty good handmade gifts, since they don’t take a ton of time to make.

Here in the midwest it’s getting pretty nippy outside… maybe a nice free cowl pattern is more weather appropriate for you?

-MF

 

Stone Cold Charming

Does anyone else here have a Magpie-like tendency to grab shiny objects and stow them away?

Tiny animal charms, small bells from wedding decorations, bits of broken jewelry (sometimes my own, sometimes from things I have found on the ground), smooth rocks… all stacked in old tea caddies and desk organizer trays in my drawers, on my shelves, and who knows where else. Because they’re pretty. Because they’re interesting. Because eventually they would be useful.

And today they were. Warning: I went pic-heavy on this as GTFO. Because nothing is more interesting than pictures of rocks.

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Easy Crocheted Stone Necklace Tutorial

Stone Charm 1

Supplies Needed:

Lace weight yarn or Size 5, 10, or 20 crochet thread

Hook: 3.25, 2.75, or 2.10

Round flattish stone, 1″ to 1 1/2″ diameter

Small charms or beads

Tapestry needle, embroidery needle.

Start with your 3.25 hook and the lace weight yarn – later when you feel more confident in your stone-wrapping skills, you can move on to the tiny hook and thread.

Stone Charm 2

Rnd 1: Starting with a long yarn tail, Ch 6. Sc into the 6th ch from the hook. (Ch 5, sc in the same st) 4 times. Ch 2, dc in the same st. Leave tail hanging out from the center of the motif on the Right Side. (as show below in the Rnd 2 photo)

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Rnd 2: (Ch 6, sc in the next ch-5 space) 5 times. Ch 3, treble in the top of the dc of the next ch-space.

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At this point you should test the fit of your stone. The loops should reach about one third to one half of the way up the stone unstretched with the “bottom” or fattest end resting in the center of the “flower” motif. Since every stone is different and so is every crocheter, you may have to adjust your pattern to fit the stone better. Add a repeat of Round 2 or subtract it altogether to make the net smaller or larger. Since it’s a very small, quick motif, experimenting doesn’t take too long, but it does take some patience. Once you are satisfied, take your stone back out and continue with the next round.

Rnd 3: Ch 4 – counts as dc + 1. (Dc in the top of the next ch-space, ch 1) 5 times.

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Before joining the end of this round, take your stone and slip it into the net, bottom centered against the middle of the motif. Join Rnd 3 to the 3rd ch of beginning ch-4 with a slip stitch, making sure to tighten securely. The net of the motif should be stretched almost to the top of the stone. Tug it into place, keeping the center of the motif aligned with the bottom.

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Rnd 4: Ch 1. (Single crochet in the next ch-1 space) 6 times. Join with a slip stitch to the first sc of the round.

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You should have a ring of 6 sc at the very top of your stone. Skip 2 stitches. Insert your hook in the next stitch, work a sc. *** In the bar at the side of the single crochet stitch (the outside loop, at the base) insert your hook and draw up loop. Yo and draw through two loops on the hook – 1 double chain stitch made. For a photo-tutorial on the Double Chain stitch, click here.

***If you prefer to work regular chain stitches for the cord, skip the rest of the paragraph. I prefer double chain as it is sturdier, prettier, and more elastic.

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Double chain 120 – 150 stitches (depending on how long you want your cord to be – just make sure it will fit over your head) and join back at the base stitch without twisting. This forms your cord. Cut yarn.

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Move to the base of your stone, where you left the long beginning tail hanging. Thread your embroidery needle or tapestry needle with this tail and sew on your charm or beads.

 

Weave in your tails with a tapestry or embroidery needle and you’re finished! This is a beautiful way to keepsake stones from your travels or from places special to you.
I made my next one with a similar weight yarn but smaller hook, and a beach stone…

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And after that I felt confident enough to move on to using Lizbeth size 20 crochet and tatting thread and the dreaded 2.10 hook.

Be careful… these might become addictive.

 

Crochet Stone 15

-MF

The Sweet and the Sass

 

Recycled Sweater Yarn shawl 2

Yep, used to be a boring, unwanted, lonely, sad white sweater. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that sweaters aren’t good enough. Some of my best friends are sweaters. But I could see this sweater was suffering, yearning for a transformation, wanting desperately to better itself.

So I pulled out the lovely yarn (a cotton / wool / synthetic blend) and dyed it in a self-striping colorway, which I have named “Silk and Cherrywood” because the soft, delicate tones remind me of a fancy, old-timey boudoir.

Thinking about how long I spent on this gives me the vapors.

Givin’ me the vapors!

I lightly freestyled Make My Day Creative’s “Atlantic Lace Shawl” pattern, a wonderful free pattern that I featured in my Spring Scarves Pattern Gallery.

The color change lengths came out almost perfectly for this particular pattern, not too patchy as I feared (I don’t usually like that “camo” look in variegated yarns). I also happened to already have beads that matched! Joy!

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-MF