Costume Mega Tail

Fur yarn seems to be something I always have a lot of. In addition to using it to trim Trickster Hoods, wacky coats, and Pixie Belts, I also occasionally use it to make costume ears and tails. My first foray into tail making was using crochet, as it was certainly easier for me at the time to deal with the nuisance of all that funky hair using a technique with which I was very confident.

The resulting little fox tail (I call it the chibi tail) was clever, IMHO, made with super soft Lion Brand Romance and ending in a little clip so it could be attached to a belt. But it was a bit stiff, and I decided knitting was really the way to go for these fun and cruelty-free costume elements.

I made a couple more – the tail on the left is made with Lion Brand Fun Fur, knitted to look like a raccoon, the tail on the right is Lion Brand Romance again, in sweet fantastical pastels. Both are stuffed with lightweight polyester fiber stuffing and clippable, like the first, onto belt or pants.

The pastel tail is pretty long, and very slinky and soft. After that one, I went down the rabbit hole. Er, possibly the fox hole.

I had A LOT of Lion Brand Pelt in similar colors. What if I made a really BIG tail, so it would look proportionate to the human body?

So, as you can see, I did that. And this year’s Halloween costume was born. To be specific, I finished the humongous tail less than 24 hours before the costume party! 😀

I dubbed my costume “Forest Witch” but mostly I was referred to as the Squirrel Lady which I am also 100% satisfied with 😉 . This is one of the most handmade of all costumes I’ve ever done, so I’m going to feature some of the elements involved before writing out my notes on making the Tail toward the end of the post – keep reading for the free pattern! You can also favorite this project on Ravelry for reference later.

It was cold and rainy enough the day of the party to wear my super woodsy version of the Boho Fringe Poncho, made with different scrap bulky and super bulky yarns, then trimmed with plain fringe and woven with a super textured handspun art yarn. I also added a leafy drawstring tie to the top of this piece, similar to the one made for the Rhiannon Cowl. I’m so glad to have added this poncho to the ensemble, because it hasn’t really seen the light of day since I made it.

Underneath I wore the dress I had refashioned from a few thrift store pieces – I cut the green top and the brown and purple paisley skirt up joined them using hairpin lace, then added doily accents – all crocheted in gray, upcycled sweater yarn. You can read more about this refashion project here. Layered under the dress is a thrifted skirt that I tie-dyed in browns.

The belt sports several accessories beside the tail – one of them is a crocheted woolen pouch, mounted on loops so that it can slide onto a belt. This pattern is a piece of Lilla Bjorn’s Dandelion Mandala Overlay. The knife is an antique piece made with a real fawn’s hoof found for me by a friend. It’s not handmade by me, it’s just totally wicked so I wanted to mention it 😉

It was terribly overcast all day, so my indoors photoshoot is very dark (and consequently grainy.. just pretend it’s a spooky filter effect, okay?) and you probably can’t see the faux dreads underneath my hair very well, but they are there and I made those too! From Jacob wool, dyed brown and boiled in hot water to felt them making long woolen cords, then attached to and elastic headband and decorated with beads and feathers. The hat on top sports a pair of crocheted fur yarn ears, mounted on an elastic band around the crown of the hat.

The witch hat, unfortunately is not handmade. I attempted to finish the black Hedge Witch Hat for this ensemble in time for the party, but was too busy knitting this big chunky baby…

Speaking of which, how about that tutorial? I’m afraid all I can offer is my notes, since this was not intended to be a full-scale pattern, but it’s pretty straightforward knitting if you can stand trying to see your way around all that fur.

Costume Mega Tail Tutorial

Materials:
US Size 9 double pointed knitting needles (1 set) US size 9 circular needles, 24″
Lion Brand Pelt (#5, 50 g / 47 yds) 4 skeins “Sable”, 4 skeins “Fisher”
Lion Brand Fun Fur, (#5 bulky, 40 g / 57 yards) 1 skein “Ginger”
Lion Brand Romance (#6 super bulky, 50 g / 27 yards) 1 skein “Truffle”, 1 skein “Champagne”
(Or, in substitute, around 550 yards total of any fur yarn)
Metal clasp
~10-15 oz Polyester Fiberfill batting
Scissors and Tapestry needle

With fur yarn and DPNs, Cast On 18 sts. Knitting in the round:
Row 1: *K, M1 increase* Rpt around – 27 sts
Row 2; *K2, M1 increase* Rpt around – 36 sts
Row 3: *K3, M1 increase* Rpt around – 45 sts
Row 4: *K4, M1 increase* Rpt around – 54 sts
Row 5: *K5, M1 increase* Rpt around – 63 sts
Row 6: *K6, M1 increase* Rpt around – 72 sts

Switch to circular needles.
Rows 7 – Infinity: Knit around. Change colors when necessary or desired.

I knit this piece to a length of about 55″. When ready to finish off:

Switch back to the Double Pointed needles

3rd to last Row: *K2, K2together decrease* Rpt around.
2nd to last Row: *K1, K2together decrease* Rpt around.
Last Row: *K2tog decrease* around. Cut yarn leaving a long piece for sewing. Thread the yarn into a tapestry needle and pass the yarn through each loop on the needles, catching the live stitches on the yarn tail. Once all stitches are threaded, pull the DPNS out and use the thread to cinch the stitches shut. Make some firm weavings across this circle to secure shut, then weave in ends and cut.

To finish the piece, Weave in all yarn ends. I used a wig brush at this stage to brush all the fur loose that had gotten trapped in between stitches to make it thicker and fluffier. Then, take the polyester fiberfill and stuff through the open end. Be careful not to overstuff – it really needs less than you think, and overdoing it will cause the piece to be too stiff and therefore less realistic looking.

Once the piece is stuffed, thread a long piece of fur yarn onto a tapestry needle and sew the open end shut, then sew onto the clasp. I used a pretty small metal lobster style clasp, available with the metal findings in most hobby stores. This allows you to attach the tail to a belt (recommended – it’s heavy) or to pants (works better with smaller ones, but if you’re brave enough…)

One last very necessary addition to this monstrosity is left! Using a crochet hook, I loosely threaded a length of bronze ribbon yarn through the knit stitches toward the end of the tail, weaving in and out all around the circumference, then tying the ends in a knot. After all, I had to have some way to keep this thing from getting super wet and mucky by dragging on the ground!

I used the tied length of ribbon as a handle to maneuver the thing all night (and dance with it – SO MUCH FUN.) Also occasionally to bop people in the face with the fluffyness. When I needed both hands free, I wrapped the ribbon into my belt in the front to secure it.

I probably don’t need to tell you that I had too much fun with it 😉 And I hope you will too, if you decide to make one for yourself ❤ If you have any questions on how I did anything in this semi-slap-dash tutorial thingy, leave me a comment 🙂


-MF

P.S – as a big and unintended bonus, post-costume-party this thing turned out to be an excellent body pillow as well, lol!

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Krampus Hat Free Pattern

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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 beat  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?  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.

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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!

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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!

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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:  <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: 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.)  Rpt  5 more times, ending last rpt at *.   Do not join. – 6 ch loops

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

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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.)  Rpt  11 more times, ending last rpt at *.   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.)  Rpt  17 more times, ending last rpt at *.   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.)  Rpt 23 more times, ending last rpt at *.   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:  Working in FLO of Rnd 9, (Ch 7, sl st in the same stitch. *Sl st in the next stitch.)  Rpt 29 more times, ending last rpt at *.   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.)  Rpt  35 more times, ending last rpt at *.   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,  (Ch 7, sl st in the same stitch. *Sl st in the next stitch.)  Rpt 41 more times, ending last rpt at *.   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.)  Rpt 47 more times, ending last rpt at *.   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.)  Rpt 53 more times, ending last rpt at *.   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.)  Rpt 59 more times, ending last rpt at *.   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.

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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).  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)

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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:  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:  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.  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 😉

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And, there you have it – Krampus Hat!  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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Post Stitch Pixie Hat

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I think every yarn twisting mama (or papa) has a few tricks in their repertoire that they favor over others. One of my personal favorite crochet techniques is the post stitch.

While this stitch may be daunting at first because you aren’t working into the top loops like with most stitches, the results are fantastic, especially if you’re designing something you want to be stretchy (like my big booty Boho Poncho).

Alternating front and back post stitches creates a moderately stretchy fabric with the added bonus of an interesting, ribbed texture. Working it in bulky yarns enhances these characteristics for a big, cushy, warm garment. Here’s a little pattern I worked up recently to hone down my stash – a simple but fun pointed bonnet in small (child) and large (adult) sizes!

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Stitches used: Chain (ch), double crochet (dc), front post double crochet (FPDC ), back post double crochet (BPDC), slip stitch (sl st). Here’s my tutorial on post stitch ribbing.

Post Stitch Pixie Hat

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Hook: 6.00 mm

Yarn:
Any bulky weight #5, about 200-250 yards

Gauge: 5 sts & 3 rows = 2″ in alternating BPDC/FPDC

Notes: Ch-2 counts as the first st.

Leaving about a foot of yarn as a tail, make a slip knot loop. Ch 56.

Row 1: Working in the back of the ch sts, dc in the 3rd ch from the hk and in ea of the next 53 sts. – 54 sts

Row 2: Ch 2, turn. (FPDC in the next st, BPDC in the next st) 26 times. FPDC in the next st. Dc in the last stitch (the 2nd chain of the previous row’s turning chain). – 54 sts

Row 3: Ch 2, turn. (BPDC in the next st, FPDC in the next st) 26 times. BPDC in the next st. Dc in the last st (the 2nd ch of the previous row’s turning chain)

Rows 4-15: Repeat rows 2 & 3 six times.

Row 16: Rpt row 2.

Cut yarn and tie off.

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Turn and fold the square of crocheted fabric in half, matching up the sides of the foundation chain. Using the long yarn tail from the beginning, thread a tapestry needle and stitch through both layers at once to make the seam (the seam is now the back of the bonnet). Whip stitch all the way to the corner of the fold.

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I like to do the next part with a contrasting yarn, which makes it easier to tell which side is the bottom 😉

With new yarn, ch 30. Yo and insert hook into the corner of the bonnet, into the side of the last dc or turning chain. Draw up a loop. Complete 1 dc. 1 dc in the side of each of the dc’s or turning chains along the bottom of the bonnet, including both sides. Chain another 30 to make the second tie.

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Weave in all ends. I like to attach tassels to the ends of my ties – pompoms would look cute too!

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-MF

Mehndi Halter Top Pattern BOGO Sale

Merry May Day friends! I have a new pattern for you today. Some of you may remember the Bindu Recycled Sweater bikini pattern “recipe” I published on the blog last summer – this new pattern is something of a mash-up between the Sol Halter Top and the Bindu design.

I altered the bindu border to fit the yarn weight and overall look of the halter top, and the main body has more in the way of coverage and comfort. This paid pattern comes with all the great features of my other buyable patterns – detailed instructions, tutorial photos, charts, and stitch counts included!

You can get the PDF for this crochet pattern in my Ravelry Pattern Store or Etsy Shop for 5.95 USD 🙂 🙂

Enough talking, lets see some pictures…

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The Mehndi Halter Top pattern draws inspiration from the thick lotus petal motifs, linework, and dot borders in traditional henna design. Made in bright #4 weight cotton yarn, this pom-pom fringed top makes a unique addition to dance costumes, festival wear, or your next beach adventure!

Size Small fits A to lower B cup sizes, Medium fits upper B to C cups. The band size is 20” at the bottom of the halter plus 12” for each tie, adding up to 44”.

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Model: Lainy Clayton

I’m so excited for summer – I’ve got patterns out the wazoo planned for you guys!

Happy yarning,

-MF

 

Steampunk Ruffled Wristers

Lately I’ve been wanting to bring another easy, funky, and FREE pattern to the blog -Here’s a pair of sassy ruffled cuffs with a steampunk mien, because if you don’t love a good corset and goggle combination I don’t know what to tell you. About life.

You can also get this free pattern in PDF form via Ravelry!

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Steampunk Ruffled Wristers

3.50 hk

1 skein Vicki Howell Cotton-ish (#3, 70g, 282yds, color shown is “Coffee Filter”)

1 skein ruffle yarn such as Willow Yarns Aura

8 round buttons about 1.5 cm in diameter. I used La Mode style #26296.

Gauge: 5 sts = 1″ in alternating rows of fpdc/bpdc

Notes: Ch 2 at the beginning of each round does not count as the first stitch. Be careful not to catch the beginning chains when working the post stitches into the stitch right next to them, as you will utilize them later.

Ch 20.

Row 1: Sc in the 1st ch and in ea of the next 19 ch stitches.

Row 2: Ch 2, turn. BPDC in the last sc from Row 1 and in ea of the next 19 sts.

Row 3: Ch 2, turn. FPDC in the same st and in ea of the next 19 sts.

Row 4: Ch 2, turn. BPDC in the same st and in ea of the next 19 sts.

Row 5: Rpt Row 3.

Row 6: Rpt Row 4.

Rows 7-22: Make 8 more complete repeats of rows 3 and 4.

Row 23 (button loop row): Ch 4, turn. Sk next st, sc in the next st and in the next 3 sts. (Ch 4, sk 2 sts, sc in ea of the next 4 sts) twice. Ch 4, sk 2 sts, sl st into the side of the turning chain at the end of the row.

You will now be working into the turning chains at the ends of the rows (they will only be at the end of every other row) for the rounds that complete the ruffled portion of the cuffs.

A quick ruffle yarn tutorial:

All you need to do to work with ruffle yarn is to hold the strand at the WS of the work, then insert your hook through one of the tabs located at the top at the same time as you are inserting your hook through the next stitch or chain space. Next, draw your main yarn through as you normally would for the stitch. It can be done at any point where you would insert your hook and draw up a loop, just make sure you don’t draw up a loop of the ribbon yarn along with your main yarn.

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With the FPDC side of the work facing, insert hook into the ch-2 space formed by the side of the beginning chain. Insert hook through the tab space at the top of the ruffle yarn, then yarn over and draw up a loop. Yarn over and draw through 2 lps on the hook. This completes a sc stitch with ruffle.

Round 1: Work 4 sc with ruffle stitches into the side of each ch-2 turning chain – each sc stitch should catch a separate tab of the top of the ruffle yarn for maximum frillyness.  Join in the round by slip stitching to the first sc of the round. Slip stitch in the next st also.

Round 2 (do not catch ruffle yarn this round) : (Ch 4, sk 3 sts, sc in the next st) 10 times. Ch 2, hdc in the base of the first chain-4 of the last round. This positions your hook in the middle of a ch-4 sized space to begin the next ruffle round.

Round 3: Sc with ruffle twice in the same space. (4 sc with ruffle in the next space) 10 times. 2 Sc with ruffle in the next space. Join with a sl st.

Round 4: Rpt Rnd 2.

Rnd 5: Rpt Rnd 3.

Rnd 6: Rpt Rnd 2

Rnd 7: Rpt Rnd 3.

Rnd 8: Ch 1. Sc in ea sc around. Join with a sl stitch to the ch 1 at the beginning of the round. Cut yarn and tie off. Cut ribbon yarn, leaving at least one whole tab space uncut.

FINISHING:

We will now work one round on the outside of the cuff, at the bottom of the ruffles. With the ruffled side out, join yarn at the base of the ruffles into the side of the last post double in a row BETWEEN the rows that end in a Ch-2 turning chain. 4 sc into the side of this stitch. (4 sc into the side of the next end post double)10 times. Whenever you reach the space where the two ends of the wrist piece are joined with a stitch, treat that stitch like the same as a row-end stitch and sc 4 into the side.

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You will end up with 11 sets of 4 sc. It may be arduous trying to work these stitches around the ruffle yarn and other single crochet sets, but it does polish off the cuff well to make it look neat and tidy. Cut yarn and tie off.

Finally, test the cuff on your wrist and mark where you want to place your buttons based on how tightly you want the cuff to fit. Use a length of yarn or thread to sew on the buttons tightly.

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Weave in all ends to finish, using your yarn tails to catch the tab at the cut ends of the ruffle yarn and tuck it down as you weave to hide it. Give the ruffles some gentle tugging when you are all done to even them out and make sure they are flared outward, to fix any compaction that might have happened during stitching.

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160534172_vintage-steampunk-image-with-a-henry-david-thoreau-quote

-MF

 

Hedge Witch Ruana Coat

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I find that when making things in different colors, my ideas and feelings on the design often change slightly or even  sometimes completely transform.

Such was the case with this project, a variation on my pattern for the Woodsman’s Wife Ruana. I was excited to make the pattern with the Herb Garden colorway because I love the woodsy tones, but when I was finished I felt that it needed a bit more. Here’s my notes on how I modified this piece to make a robe-style sweater coat!

The original pattern can be found in my Ravelry store or my Etsy Shop for 5.50 USD. Hope you like!

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Hedge Witch Ruana Mod

(You will need one more skein than what the pattern calls for to make this mod)

The following are the shorthand instructions for seaming up the sides of the Woodsman’s Wife Ruana to close it into a coat. After seaming, a few simple rows are added around the holes left open at the top to make shortish 3/4 sleeves – because who needs long sleeves trailing around and getting in your potions?

For this coat, I followed the main pattern instructions all the way through without deviation. After I was finished with the main pattern, I aligned the front and back so that they were even, then counted 16 stitches down the side from the top of the fold (on the hooded end)

On the 17th stitch, insert hook through BOTH layers of stitching (the front and the back) and attach a new yarn. Flip the garment inside out (so the seam is on the inside of the garment) Slip Stitch loosely 20 stitches down the side through both layers of the coat toward the bottom – you should still have some of the bottom sides left unseamed. Cut yarn and tie off, then repeat on the other side.

For the sleeves, attach new yarn at the 16th stitch from the top fold (working only one layer, RS facing) and work the following sequence around the 32-stitch edge “hole” left open before the seam:
1: (4 sc, 4 hdc, 4 dc, 8 tr, 4 dc, 4 hdc, 4 sc) join with a sl st to the first sc.
2: Rpt 1
3: Ch 2, dc in each stitch around.
4: Rpt 3.

Cut yarn and tie off, repeat for the opposite sleeve.

Next time I will work the side seam from the bottom up so that I can end at the place the sleeve begins and work continuously from there – fewer ends to weave in!

I thought this ruana was cuddly in it’s original form, but damn! This ruana coat style is basically a portable hug from the most comforting person in the world (possibly David Attenborough).

-MF

Deer Hat Pattern Makeover

I love free patterns – they are a fantastic and fun way to share crochet knowledge and enjoy they endless variety that is the product of so many people’s creativity and expertise. However, there are many advantages to paid patterns from a dependable pattern seller – and of course I am going to tell you about at least one of them, because I’m a paid pattern seller!

One of these advantages is that you are paying the designer not only for the time they spent to write the pattern, but for the time they WILL spend in the future answering questions and improving anything that needs it. One of my patterns, the Deer Hat, needed a makeover and that’s what it got.  The new version is now available on Etsy and Ravelry for 5.50 USD!

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In addition to snappier photographs, I’ve also reviewed and re-worked the pattern, making some minor changes to improve the general shaping of the main hat and antlers. The new photos were taken with the pattern model of the latest version, using the new recommended yarn and shaping.

Though the recommended yarn for this pattern is now listed as Big Twist Value Solids, the previously listed yarns are still good choices. All the important bottom-line stuff, such as hooks, gauge, and yardage, remain the same.

This pattern has also been re-formatted to the two-column page layout to make for easier reading on smartphones and mobile devices.

Hooks: 5.00mm, 4.50 mm
Yarn: 2 skeins Big Twist Value Solids from JoAnn Fabrics (#4 weight, 6 oz, 374 yds – 1 skein “Chocolate, 1 skein “Cream”)
Other: Stitch markers, tapestry needle, scissors, small amount of polyester fiberfill or other stuffing for the antlers

Written in US crochet terminology

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I hope everyone enjoys the new look!

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Yarn deer is my spirit animal.

-MF