Sol Halter Top Updates

The weather has been turning my mind toward hot sunny days – indeed, it was up to almost 70 in the sunshine yesterday – and this inevitably results in crocheting halter tops! I’ve started toying with a new design recently but couldn’t resist diving into some old patterns too. After all, I had a half-finished update for the Sol Halter top sitting in my computer files, giving me the side-eye after being pushed toward the bottom of the to-do list for a couple years.

So today I uploaded the finished pattern update for my Sol Halter Top pattern, the very first halter top I ever published (it was 5 years ago now… OMG). The pattern needed some extra tutorial photos in one of the trickier areas, and I clarified some of the language and just generally tried to give it a spring cleaning πŸ™‚ I’m very happy with the result!

You can purchase the newly updated Sol Halter Top pattern (straight sizes, for A, B & C cups) in my Ravelry Pattern Store or Etsy Shop now! Keep reading for more info on this design as well as some cool mods…

Of course I made one or two actual halters in the process of updating, and in the last few years my strategies have changed from using straight tie-back style straps, to the more comfortable criss-cross backing as in the Basic Bralette, the Valkyrie Top, and the Feather & Scale Halter. I didn’t feel committed to changing the strap style entirely within the PDF pattern itself, so I’m offering these modifications right here on the blog, so keep reading for more info on this design and how to modify it ❀

What I really like about the Sol Halter top design is the cup style. The halter top starts by creating a long base for the underbust, then creates two equidistant points on which is centered a series of increases, and also stitch height changes (if you are working B-C cup sizes, A cups continue in the same height of stitch).

The combination of increases and height changes creates an actual bulge in the material which is form-fitting to the bust. Many other central-motif style halter tops work rows of back-and-forth stitches that create a basically flat piece of fabric for the torso, which merely wraps around and compresses. That method is pretty and fairly simple, but I find that my method – which occurs also in my Mehndi Halter Top pattern and my Valkyrie Top pattern – is really comfortable and doesn’t result in major slippages on the bust while wearing. I consider it my signature strategy for halter top making!

Besides the bust portion itself, the mandala motif in the center of the Sol pattern also includes an expansion for C-cups which gives a little extra room between the motif and the main body of the halter. Once the motif is attached, I like the clever way that the stitching goes right on to work the edging and the straps without having to cut yarn and tie off.

Pictured above: C-Cup size Sol Halter Top with modified straps
Pictured above: original straps from the PDF pattern

While the original PDF file only includes instructions for straight ties (one pair for the neck, one pair for the bust) I have moved away from this style for myself personally since I don’t like the pressure of the ties on my neck. Instead, I follow the first portion of the instructions for the edging until reaching the lower portion of the side bottom:

Instead of single crocheting across the entire side, I create a series of loops (about ch 20 sized) intermittently. I normally do 2 loops, but I got extra and did 3 for this top. Once your ch-20 loops are placed (about 3-4 single crochets apart, with no skips in between), you can move right into rotating the piece and working the bottom edging as directed.

Mirror those loops on the other side of the halter, then complete the edging by working the rest of the single crochets up the side. Follow the directions as written for working across the top of the motif, but instead of using the “ch 75, sc back down” style tie, you’ll want to chain 175 – 250 (depending on your band size – these are chain 200 size ties and work well for a size Medium gal) and SLIP STITCH back down the chain length, not single crochet. Do this for both ties on the top. I changed over to working slip stitch cords really shortly after writing the Sol and Mehndi patterns, as I find they are rounder and more comfortable and work better for lacing back and forth.

Once your ties on top are completed, finish off the edging round as directed. You can stop here, but I had some extra yarn left over and I like a nice substantial bottom band so I rejoined my yarn at the bottom of the halter and worked 3 extra rows of single crochet back and forth to add a little more coverage!

To tie on this criss-cross back style, the straps go over the shoulders and then cross, lacing into the first loops, and then lacing back and forth through the second loop (or as many as you have) before tying. With just a bit of adjustment to make sure everything is even, this style of lacing is really secure and comfortable – and I don’t know about you, but I love feeling free to romp and roam in my magical crochet-wear without having to re-tie and tug around at the garment all the time!

I hope you enjoyed this little exploration of one of my keystone designs and are inspired to try it out for yourself – I think I’ll be making more halter tops from the Morale Fiber vaults this season, so hopefully there will be more to come. Until then, have you checked out these great FREE tutorials? πŸ™‚ ❀

-MF ❀

Elf Coat Updates

I’ve been working super hard since fall to expand, update, and improve my popular Elf Coat design and today I’m so pleased to announce that I have rolled out the updates for the new Elf Coat Pattern regular sizes (version: 2.0)!

All of these updates have been applied to both the FREE blog versions of the pattern and to the purchasable PDF version, and the links to all of these can be found on the FAQ page for this design πŸ™‚ Or keep reading to see what the updates entail!

These new updates include a re-shaped sleeve portion, which fixes some of the bunching issues that were occuring in the armpit area of the old style sleeve. I moved the decreases to the center of the row so that the sleeve follows the downward curve of the shoulder more naturally:

The old style of Hood also needed some work (and the Half Hood even MORE work) – so the Hood has been expanded and updated so that both styles of hood are plenty roomy and big enough, with notes on how to modify!

Honestly though, this pattern was in desperate need of something brand new : POCKETS!! Thanks to some help from fellow crocheter Tirzah, a basic pocket pattern was developed and then implemented in two different styles: Afterthought Pocket (applied to the outside) and Inset Pocket (hidden in the waistband)!

Photo courtesy of Tirzah Norton-Shantie


The pockets were absolutely necessary for carrying magical items, woodland treasures, and sedition – but I thought with the larger sizes being kind of oversized, there needed to be a belt option too, for extra cinching capacity.

Size Large, finished & laid out for blocking

Of course, all the extras are included in the PDF pattern file as part of the written pattern and are available in free pattern format on my blog via the links I mentioned at the beginning of the post. I’ll have to make a “deluxe” Elf Coat at some point for myself so that I can include all the options mentioned here on one coat – not forgetting that sweet corset back lacing option…)

Last but certainly not least, I have paid to get this pattern professionally translated into Spanish! I was lucky enough to find a great Spanish translator to work with who speedily took care of all of my new Elf Coat updates and created a beautiful PDF pattern file available for purchase in my Etsy Shop and Ravelry Store.

I’ve still got some work to do with this design, including getting that neatly finished Large Size properly modeled and photographed, and the Plus Sizes are currently in the testing phase meaning that more updates will be coming soon for the expanded sizing! You know what I always say…

Until Morale Improves, the Crocheting Will Continue!

-MF ❀

Elf Coat Pockets

One thing my popular Elf Coat Tunisian Crochet Pattern really needed was some pockets! We all love to have a place to stash our woodland treasures, quest items, and sedition, so I’ve provided here a tutorial on how to create & apply both “Afterthought” pockets – easy and applied on the outside after finishing the coat – or “Inset” pockets, which are more advanced and are placed on the inside of the coat through an opening created at the waistband. All the same pattern specs such as gauge, hook size, and yarn from the original pattern (linked above) can be applied here, so let’s get right on into the instructions!

Pockets (Make 2 for Afterthought pockets- Make 4 for Inset pockets)

Pocket pattern developed from design by Tirzah Norton-Shantie – thanks Tirzah! 😊

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To add pockets to the outside of the garment, create 2 matching pieces and sew them on after the coat is finished. To create inset pockets, make 4 matching pieces from the pattern below, then follow Inset Pocket Waistband instructions.

Ch. 19

Row 1: Pick up a loop from ea of the next 18 ch sts. RP. – 19 sts

Row 2: TKS in the next 8 sts, TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp.  TKS in the next 9 sts. RP.  -21 sts

Row 3-10: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 21 sts

Row 11: TKS dec over the next 2 sts, TKS in next 7 sts, TKS inc in next sp, TKS in next st. TKS inc in next sp, TKS in next 7 sts. TKS dec over next 2 sts, TKS in last st. RP. – 21 sts

Row 12-16: TKS in ea st across. RP – 21 sts

Row 17: Repeat Row 11

Row 18-26: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 21 sts

Row 27-29: Rpt Row 11
Cut yarn and tie off.

If working outside / afterthought pockets, then work the following LDC rows onto the top of each pocket. Outside pockets can be sewn on after construction.

tirzahpocket

Photo courtesy of Tirzah Norton-Shantie

 If working inset pockets, the LDC rows will be worked later so skip them for now.

Row 30-31 (LDC ROWS): Attach yarn to the top edge of the pocket piece. Ch 3 (does not count as first st). 1 LDC in the same st and in ea st across, inserting hook through each stitch as if to TKS. – 19 sts.

Inset Pocket – Waistband

If working inset pockets, complete 4 pocket pieces (without the LDC rows) and seam each pair together with the wrong sides facing, leaving top open.

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To leave an opening at the waistband for inset pockets, there are two choices. The easier option is to complete the entire waistband as instructed and leave a 19-stitch long opening on each side of the garment when seaming together the waistband and the bottom of the Front & back panels.

The more advanced option is to work a set-in pocket in the middle of the waistband. To do so, familiarize yourself with both the Foundation Tunisian Technique here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haU59Ss8Hsw&list=PLwudTTp1E52YwgmfEmdmNSDgKJGbejoOm&index=2

And with the β€œAdding Length” technique which utilizes Foundation Tunisian, instructions here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bsg54HL156M&list=PLwudTTp1E52YwgmfEmdmNSDgKJGbejoOm&index=7

When working the waistband mark off where you will place your inset pockets on either side, then create a 19-stitch long Foundation Tunisian chain at that place (detailed in tutorial photos below). Resume regular TKS until reaching the other pocket point, then repeat for that opening. Return Pass as normal, then work the rest of the rows as normal.

Working Tunisian Foundation in the middle of the waistband for an inset pocket:

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TKS until reaching the portion you wish to leave open for inset pocket.

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Insert hook into the back of the next st – under the loop highlighted in green.

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Draw up a loop from this stitch to begin your Foundation Tunisian chain. Complete 19 Tunisian Foundation stitches.

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Once foundation length is complete, skip the appropriate number of stitches on the row below and resume TKS as normal.

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Once the entire waistband is complete, locate your two openings. With the two seamed-together pockets, sew the pocket openings into the opening created in the waistband or at the bodice/waistband seam.

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Insert pocket envelope into opening

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Align the edges and whip stitch together with tapestry needle and yarn.

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Attach new yarn and work the Linked Double crochet (Rows 30-31) over the bottom seam of the pocket, working through both the garment layer and the bottom layer of the pocket. Seam this row up the side of the pocket when complete, overlapping the top to hide the opening.

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View of the inset pocket from the inside of the coat.

Now, go fill your pockets! πŸ™‚
-MF

Winter Poncho Pattern

True to form, I’ve circled back around to reworking an older design at almost the exact anniversary of it’s original release. Five years ago in January I released the Boho Fringe Poncho as my tenth paid pattern. Today, I’d like to introduce this same design as it’s been reformatted, tweaked for improvements, and released FOR FREE here on the blog!

You can still get the updated crochet pattern as a PDF in my Ravelry and Etsy stores, or keep scrolling for the free pattern (which includes everything in the PDF)

I really enjoy revisiting my patterns to make sure that they are the best that they can be, and this is kind of a constant task as I’m always trying to grow and improve my skills as a pattern designer. Sometimes I just have more to offer in terms of technical assistance – additional tutorial photos were a MUST with this piece – and sometimes I believe that the form & content of the design makes it a good candidate to be re-released for free (the Rhiannon Cowl is another great little project of mine that started as a paid PDF and then debuted on the blog as a free version!)

In this case, I considered just about every aspect of the pattern needed attention πŸ˜‰ Including the name! While I liked “Boho Fringe” it just didn’t really fit the nature of the poncho. This piece is a Big Booty Judy, made with thick warm woolen yarns, post stitches, and a cozy fit that hugs your shoulders for extra warmth. Realizing that its thicc qualities made it a perfect item to have in the coldest months I decided to rename it – the Winter Poncho!

This is a wonderful project for using up bulky or super bulky scraps (see the notes for more about yarn substitution), it uses large hook sizes so that the project works up quickly, and it’s waaaaaaarm πŸ™‚

Winter Poncho Crochet Pattern

Materials

7 skeins Bernat Roving (#5 weight, 100 g / 120 yds, 80% Acrylic, 20% Wool) – all solid-colored examples are made with this recommended yarn, the multi-colored examples are made with a mix of bulky and super bulky weight scrap yarns!
9.00 mm hook, 11.5 mm hook
Tapestry Needle
Scissors

Techniques Used

Chain (ch), Double Chain (dch), Double Crochet (dc), Slip Stitch (sl st), Front Post Double Crochet (fpdc), Back Post Double Crochet (bpdc) (click the links for tutorials!)

Measurements (approximate): 40” circumference at the top, 54” circumference at the bottom, 18”long (not including fringe)

Gauge:

4 sts & 3 rows = 2” in alternating fpdc/bpdc for 9.00 mm hook, 3 sts & 3 rows = 2” in alternating fpdc/bpdc for 11.5 mm hook.

Notes:

The chain-2 at the beginning of every round does not count as the first stitch of the round. When joining rounds with the slip stitch, skip the ch-2 entirely and join into the first fpdc of the round.

I have recommended Bernat Roving for this project, which is a #5 weight yarn but it gauges somewhere between a bulky yarn and a super bulky yarn. Some of my Winter Ponchos have mixed #5 & #6 weight yarns, which works pretty well –  but be sure to follow gauge if you substitute yarns!

The Winter Poncho is closed at the top with a drawstring, but the rest of the shape is dictated by hook size and follows the same number of stitches through every round. If you need a wider poncho, evenly place an even number of increases at Round 10 in order to size up.

Two types of fringing is offered in this pattern, the Double Chain Fringe of the original design, and the regular fringe which I have been favoring lately – both types are included in the instructions.

Poncho (Main Body)

Starting with the 9 mm hook, dch 80. Join with a slip stitch to form a ring, making sure not to twist.

Rnd 1: Ch 2, dc in the same stitch as join. (1 dc in the next st) 79 times. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round. – 80 sts

Rnd 2: Ch 2, fpdc in the first dc of the last round, bpdc in the next dc. (1 fpdc in the next st, 1 bpdc in the next st) 39 times. Join with a sl st in the first fpdc of the round – 80 sts

Rnds 3: Ch 2, fpdc in the first fpdc of the last round, bpdc in the next bpdc. (1 fpdc in the next st, 1 bpdc in the next st) 39 times. Join with a sl st in the first fpdc of the round.

Rnds 4 – 10: Rpt Rnd 3.

Switch to the 11.5 mm hook, then continue in pattern for rounds 11-27.

Rnds 11 – 27: Rpt Rnd 3.

Cut yarn and tie off.

Double Chain Drawstring

Double chain a length of 60” (about 120 DCh stitches) with your main yarn. Cut yarn and tie off. Weave this cord through the first row of post stitches at the top of the poncho, going underneath each FPDC and over each BPDC. Finish the ends with either a stranded fringe, tassel, pompom, or whatever you like!

To work the double chain, see my tutorial post here.

Double Chain Fringe

The double chain fringe offers a bolder fringed look than the regular stranded yarn fringe, and copies the original inspiration piece for this design. For a humbler decoration, see the instructions for traditional fringe.

Using the 9.00 mm hook, dch 25- 45 sts or about  10 – 20” of unstretched double chain cord, depending on how long you want your chain fringe. Cut yarn and tie off. Make 19 more double chain cords of about the same length.

When you have twenty cords total, weave in all the yarn ends if you want a very neat fringe. Leave the yarn tails hanging down a bit for a more organic fringe.

If you survived the tedium of end-weaving, the next step is to double up the cords so that ends are together and a loop forms in the middle. Push that loop through the top of a fpdc stitch (NOT through the post) on Rnd 27 (the larger end of the piece).

Insert the ends of the double chain cord through the loop and draw them to tighten.

Repeat with the 19 other fringe cords, placing them every 2nd fpdc stitch so that there is 1 non-fringed fpdc between every fringed one. 

Weave in all ends.

Stranded Fringe

For a traditional fringe, get a book or length of cardboard 6” wide. Using your yarn of choice, wrap your yarn around the width 80 times, then cut one side to leave a bundle of 12” strands.

Double your strand over and use the loop at the end to thread the two loose ends through each crochet stitch around the border of the poncho.

Once you’ve put the finishing touches on your Winter Poncho, make sure all your ends are woven in before scurrying out into the cold!

I think the saying goes “Make new patterns but keep the old; one is silver, the other is gold!” Or something like that anyway πŸ˜‰

-MF

Woodsman’s Wife Ruana Update – with Pockets!

This classic pattern of mine from 2015 looked like the perfect project for my consistently-freezing self to whip up a few weekends ago, using a small stash of inherited yarn…

believe it or not, I meant to make that face

And as I am wont to do, I thought of some things this design needed – like pockets! And a little sprucing up of the PDF couldn’t hurt, and the written specs really weren’t up to scratch. Long story short, my “quick weekend project” turned into a total refurbishing of the Woodsman’s Wife Ruana, and I’m so happy I did because it’s a much-loved oldie but goodie and it deserved a makeover ❀

You can get the brand-new updated PDF pattern now in my Etsy Shop or Ravelry Store! Thank you for your support ❀ ❀

My “pocket shawl” version of this ruana / scarf / hood / blanket / thing hybrid was actually made with Lion Brand Homespun (#5 weight) held double, as a substitute for the Lion Brand Homespun Thick & Quick (#6 weight) called for in the pattern. Unfortunately I don’t know the colors used, because I got them from a destash, but I do know it took 11 skeins, and I switched the colors out individually by strand instead of at the same time, to get the faded effect πŸ™‚

I love the new version, especially the cozy pockets! Keep reading to find the details on the new PDF pattern:

This big cushy crocheted version of the traditional ruana features crochet ribbing, a pixie pointed hood, and alternate sizing instructions to make anything from a slim belted wrap to an extra-wide cape-style coverup, and now has instructions for pockets as well!

The main body is worked flat in one whole piece, while the hood is worked separately in one piece and then seamed together. Made with a super bulky yarn and a 11.50 mm hook, this wrap works up quickly and feels super cozy. Wear it belted, over-the-shoulder, or add buttons or ties for a closed vest style.

The pattern for this versatile, convertible wrap includes alternate sizing instructions, construction charts, and detailed written instructions. The Woodsman’s Wife Ruana is a great Easy level pattern for crocheters ready to move on from hats and scarves and includes all the instructions you need to make this fantasy piece for autumn!

Materials:
Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun Thick & Quick, #6 Super Bulky, 160 yds / 6 oz, 170 g – 88% Acrylic 12% Polyester)– 5 skeins (7 – 9 skeins for expanded sizes)
Alternative: Regular Lion Brand Homespun held double (#5 Bulky, 185 yds / 6 oz, 170g – 98% Acrylic, 2% other) – 11 skeins
Please note that you may need more yarn if you customize the size by adding rows, given optionally in the notes.
11.5 mm (P) hook
Yarn needle, scissors
Button & yarn in coordinating color, 5.00 mm hook and/or ribbon (all optional, if adding fastenings)

Finished Measurements:
Main Body: 72” Long unfolded, 36” long when hanging from body. Width is optional.
Hood: about 13” x 13” after folding and seaming, laid flat.

As you can see I’ve made a few of these over the years and even made a closed robe style once – I took notes on how I did it, even though they’re really rough and don’t have accompanying photos, and you can find that on this old blog post here.

I’ve done a lot of remodeling with my older designs lately, and I do have more on my list – I make a point to keep my designs updated as I grow and learn from my business and as styles and demands change ❀ It’s one of the many benefits of buying from independent crochet designers, and I thank you all for making it possible!

-MF

P.S- the faux fur hat I am wearing in some of the newer photos is my free crochet pattern for the Ushanka Hat ❀ Check it out!

Ushanka and Muff Set

I loooooooove faux fur (and real fur when I can get it thrifted) so I happily bought a lot of Lion Brand’s new Go For Faux yarn when it hit my local hobby store shelves, and have already used it in some of my new fall designs.

The Thick ‘n’ Quick version is so bulky that just one row of it makes a beautiful trim on garments and accessories…. But I mean, I bought lots. So doing a few all-fur pieces was in order. And the best part is, this yarn is JUMBO so you can make this a two-piece set in about half a day!

Here is a totally free pattern for one of my favorite hat styles: the Ushanka. Literally translating to “earflap hat” the ushanka is a classic garment in Russia and other cold northern regions of the globe – because it’s sooooo warm to wear! Additionally I designed a vintage-style muff out of the same faux fur yarn, because who doesn’t love a big fluffy arm sock?

I’m going to ramble a little about my costume here for Discworld nerds but if you’re just here for the free pattern, keep scrolling or save this project on Ravelry for later!

In another recent costume hat pattern, I designed the photo shoot as my favorite witch from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld fantasy books, just for fun. At that point I’d already designed this free pattern too, and wanted to make it a set – two of my favorite Disc heroines for two crochet patterns. The ushanka was, after all, so appropriate for Sergeant (later Captain) Delphine Angua von Uberwald.

Angua’s family’s propensity for cruelty and violence drove her out of her home in Uberwald (the cold northern Disc country run by noble Vampire and Werewolf families), so she migrated to the biggest city and was hired into the city watch; her ability to transform into a natural hunting machine made her a formidable detective. She’s a bit haunted by her past, and her character is a vessel for the struggle between nature and nurture, and the balance of laws and chaos – as many of the best Pratchett characters are.

I gave her the warm fuzzy hat but also a look of wariness and mistrust, a vintage military-style buttoned coat, and a pouch around her neck with her essentials (the only thing that stays on when she transforms).If you’ve never read the Discworld books, but like sci-fi or fantasy – I highly recommend them πŸ™‚ Obviously! Ok, now for the pattern πŸ˜‰

Instructions:

Materials:

Lion Brand Go For Faux Thick and Quick (#7, 120 g / 24 yd, 100% polyester) – 3 skeins (2 for the Ushanka, 1 for the muff). There are several types of Go For Faux – be sure you are getting the Thick and Quick!
11.5 mm crochet hook – or size needed to obtain gauge
Length of ribbon (2 yards)
Scissors, yarn needle (large eyed, for the jumbo yarn)

Gauge: 3 sts and 3 rows = 2″ in dc

Finished Measurements (approximate):
Ushanka Hat: 22″ brim, 7″ tall from brim to crown, 6″ long earflaps
Arm Muff: 7″ x 11″ for the finished tube

Ushanka:

The hat is crocheted in the round, the first 2 chain stitches do not count as the first st. Earflaps are added on after.

With 11.5 mm hook and main yarn, make magic ring.

Leave the tail of the ring long, longer than the normal 6″ for weaving in. Since this yarn is jumbo, we need to leave a bit more so that it’s easier to weave.

Round 1: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), 12 dc into the ring. Join with a sl st in the first dc of the round. – 12 dc

Rnd 2: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), 2 dc in the same st. 2 dc in ea of the next 11 sts. Join with a sl st in the first dc of the rnd. – 24 dc

Rnd 3: Ch 2 (does not count), 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 23 sts. Join with a sl st in the first dc of the rnd. – 24 dc

Rnds 4-6: Rpt Rnd 3.

For and more stiff and structured hat, I like to slip stitch around the entire brim after Rnd 6.

Cut yarn and tie off, leaving long tail.

Ushanka pictured on the right above, before adding earflaps. it makes a really excellent simple fur cap too, if you want to skip the flap part! (but it’s not an Ushanka without the flaps)

Earflaps:

Join yarn at the side of the hat, leaving long tail. I like to try on the hat and use stitch markers to mark off a 6-stitch long section on each side where they should go over my ears before starting this portion of the pattern.

Row 1: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc). 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 5 sts. – 6 dc

Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count), turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 5 sts. – 6 dc

Row 3: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. (Dc2tog in the next pair of stitches) twice. 1 dc in the last st. – 4 dc

Row 4: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the same st. Dc2tog in the next pair of stitches. 1 dc in the last st. – 3 dc

Cut yarn and tie off, leaving long tail for weaving in.

Repeat Earflaps instructions on the other side, making sure to align placement properly for your ears.

See “Finishing” under the Muff section for further instructions.

One completed earflap just before tie off

Muff

The muff is constructed by crocheting a flat rectangle, then folding over and seaming down the open edge to form a tube.

With 11.5 mm hook and main yarn, chain 17 sts.

Row 1: In the 3rd ch from the hook, work 1 dc (first 2 chains do not count as first st). 1 dc in ea of the next 14 chain stitches.

Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), turn. 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in ea of the next 14 sts.

Rows 3-5: Rpt Row 2.

Cut yarn and tie off, leaving an extra long tail for sewing.

Fold the piece in half width-wise (so that the halves are fatter, not skinner). Using the large eyed yarn needle, thread the long tail and seam the sides of the piece together so that it forms a tube.

If you prefer a larger/wider muff you can always add more rows on to the rectangle, or make extra rounds on the ends.

Finishing

With large eyed yarn needle, thread all remaining ends and weave in. The Jumbo yarn is a little tricky to weave in, just stick to going through the bottoms of the stitches and make sure to turn a few times when weaving . I have found this yarn loves to pop out because it’s so thick so you may have to test the finished piece by stretching, and trim a little if your ends start peeking out!

See the little yarn tail peeking out after a bit of stretching? Snip snip.

Now for the ribbon: You’ll need three ribbon lengths. I used a lightweight specialty ribbon yarn (the ruffling kind) but any soft ribbon will work – cut the lengths long, about 21-24 inches, as they will be doubled up (and you can then trim to preference).

Take two lengths and double them up, looping one through the center bottom of each earflap (working through a space between stitches) to tie on.

This decorates the hat and enables you to tie the earflaps up on top of the head in true ushanka fashion.

Next, take the third length of ribbon and cut in half. String each half in and out of the spaces between stitches on the edges of the muff, leaving the ribbon tails poking out in the same space like a drawstring. Tie & bow the ribbons – now you can adjust the openings of the muff to make sure your paws hands are toasty!

That’s it! Now you’re ready to face any chilly northern winds that may blow your way this winter ❀ Or maybe you’re ready to see Captain Carrot πŸ˜‰

-MF

Novella Shawl Pattern

The following is a ramble-y lead-up to my new FREE crochet pattern design, a super simple and warm triangular shawl with a touch of adventure – keep scrolling for the free Novella Shawl pattern or get the downloadable, printable, ad-free PDF in my Ravelry Store or Etsy Shop now!

Backstory: Or, How Designing an Easy Shawl Pattern Led Me to Purchase a Bow and Arrow

Drama was one of my many extra-curriculars when I was in high school, although I can’t claim to have ever been any good at it. I got assigned chorus and background roles, which was fine because I had a significant amount of stage fright and I was really only there because my friends were there too.

And because I loved the costumes. Hands down my favorite part of any dramatic endeavor, and a lifelong interest since I was old enough to carry the massive Renaissance Art tome down from the bookshelf.

When I grew up and minored in Art History, I discovered 18th century actress Emma Hamilton and her “Attitudes,” ; the European celebrity would dress in costume and assume various charade poses depicting classical myths as a form of party entertainment for her esteemed friends.

This must be the Mother of Cosplay!

I have an enduring love of dress-up, responsible in no small part for the designs I publish as Morale Fiber as well as the costumes I pair them with. When creating these ensembles, I am also feeling around for a character to portray.

Sort of like an “Attitudes” style character depiction ; as I craft and plan my crochet design and the coordinating outfit, I let that Attitude take shape.

So while the shawl I had started for this was very simple and humble, the Attitude grabbed it, and demanded I make it more dramatic. At first she was just a quiet woman on a forest walk, seeking the perfect tree under which to read her book of short stories, an escape from her daily life at the shop in town.

But she turned and twisted, like the plot of a short story – upon returning, the town she remembered didn’t exist anymore. Its people wiped away from the world from a terrible sickness, and danger lurking now under every seemingly friendly face she passes on the road away from the tragedy. She needed a hood on her carefully woven covering, to shelter from unfriendly eyes, and fur trim to protect from the chill ashy winds starting to blow.

And as the ends of her neat stitching started to unravel, to become frayed and wild, so did the woman, searching for life in the twisted forest. Armed now with more strength and experience, she sets out, to find whatever good people are still left.

Im know I’m not holding the bow and arrow right, but hey, give the gal a break. She used to work at a book store, pre-apocolypse πŸ˜‰

Novella Shawl Crochet Pattern

The Novella Shawl is an easy crochet pattern designed to showcase the unique texture of linked double crochet. This thick, interwoven crochet stitch calls to mind the cozy look of loom weaving while the dramatic point and slight ruffle create a tailored look that flatters. Crochet just the shawl or choose to top it off with a deep hood and fur trim for a really special piece to show off on all your woodland wanderings…

Materials

5.00 mm hook (or size needed to obtain gauge), 11.50 mm hook (for jumbo yarn fur trim, if using)

Lion Brand Ferris Wheel (#4 weight, 85 g / 270 yd, 100% Acrylic) 6 skeins  β€“ Color shown is Imaginary Garden
Lion Brand Thick & Quick Go for Faux (#7 weight, 120 g / 24 yd, 100% Polyester) 1 skein – Color shown is Husky – optional
Scissors, tapestry needles – 1 regular, on large-eyed (for the jumbo yarn, if you are using it)
Large button (optional)

Gauge: 6 sts & 4 rows = 2” in LDC

Finished Measurements:  ~ 65 inches along top edge, ~ 35 inches from collar to tip.
Hood: ~ 16 inches deep, ~ 16 inches tall – can be a bit smaller or larger depending on how you finish & seam it.

Stitches & Abbreviations

Chain (ch)
Double Crochet (dc)
Linked Double Crochet (LDC): A special type of double crochet that links each stitch with the last stitch made. A full written tutorial on this technique can be found on my blog here. A video tutorial can be found on my YouTube channel here.
Half-Double Crochet (hdc)
St/sts – stitch /stitches

Notes:
Ch-2 at the beginning of each row does not count as the first st.
Shawl can be made to desired length by adding more or fewer rows maintaining the established increasing pattern. Ruffle edge can also be made longer or shorter by adding non-increase rows. Fur trim & hood optional.

Instructions

To begin, Ch 3.

Row 1: 9 dc in the 3rd ch from the hook.

Row 2: Ch 2 (does not count as first dc), turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 LDC in the same stitch. 1 LDC in ea of the next 3 sts. 5 LDC in the next st. 1 LDC in the next 3 sts. 2 LDC in the last st. – 15 sts

Row 3: Ch 2 (does not count), turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 LDC in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 6 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 6 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 21 sts

Row 4: Ch 2 (does not count), turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 9 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 9 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 27 sts

Row 5: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 12 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 12 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 33 sts

Row 6: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 15 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 15 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 39 sts

Row 7: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 18 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 18 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 45 sts

Row 8: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 21 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 21 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 51 sts

Row 9: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 24 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 24 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 57 sts

Row 10: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 27 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 27 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 63 sts

Row 11: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 30 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 30 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 69 sts

Row 12: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 33 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 33 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 75 sts

Row 13: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 36 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 36 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 81 sts

Row 14: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 39 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 39 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 87 sts

Row 15: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 42 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 41 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 93 sts

Row 16: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 45 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 45 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 99 sts

Row 17: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 48 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 48 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 105 sts

Row 18: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 51 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 51 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 111 sts

Row 19: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 54 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 54 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 117 sts

Row 20: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 57 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 57 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 123 sts

Row 21: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 60 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 60 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 129 sts

Row 22: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 63 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 63 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 135 sts

Row 23: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 66 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 66 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 141 sts

Row 24: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 69 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 69 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 147 sts

Row 25: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 72 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 72 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 153 sts

Row 26: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 75 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 75 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 159 sts

Row 27: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 78 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 78 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 165 sts

Row 28: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 81 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 81 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 171 sts

Row 29: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 84 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 84 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 177 sts

Row 30: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 87 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 87 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 183 sts

Row 31: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 90 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 90 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 189 sts

Row 32: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 93 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 93 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 195 sts

Row 33: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 96 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 96 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 201 sts

Row 34: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 99 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 99 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 207 sts

Row 35: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 102 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 102 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 213 sts

Row 36: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 105 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 105 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 219 sts

Row 37: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 108 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 108 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 225 sts

Row 38: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 111 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 111 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 231 sts

Row 39: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 114 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 114 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 237 sts

Row 40: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 117 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 117 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 243 sts

Row 41: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 120 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 120 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 249 sts

Row 42: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 123 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 123 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 255 sts

Row 43: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 126 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 126 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 261 sts

Row 44: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 129 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 129 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 267 sts

Row 45: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the same st. 1 LDC in ea of the next 132 sts. 5 ldc in the next st. 1 ldc in the next 132 sts. 2 ldc in the last st. – 273 sts

RUFFLE:

Row 1: Ch 3 (does not count as first dc). 1 dc in the same st. 1 dc in the next st, 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in the next 2 sts, 2 dc in the next st) 90 times, or all the way across the long (pointed) bottom edge of the shawl, working 2 dc in the last st. – 364 sts

Row 2: Ch 3 (does not count as first dc). 1 dc in the same st. 2 dc in the next st. (1 dc in the next st, 2 dc in the next st) 181 times, or all the way across the long edge of the shawl. – 546 sts

Rows 3-4 : Ch 3, turn. 1 dc in ea st across.

Cut yarn and tie off.

Hood

Ch 17 (15 sts + 2 for turn).

Row 1: 1 dc in the 3rd ch from the hook. 1 ldc in the next 13 sts, 3 ldc in the last st. Rotate to begin working down the opposite side of the foundation chain. 1 ldc in the next 14 sts. – 31 sts

Row 2: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 13 sts. 2 ldc in ea of the next 3 sts. 1 ldc in the next 14 sts. – 34 sts

Row 3: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 14 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next st, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 14 sts. – 37 sts

Row 4: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 14 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 2 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 15 sts. – 40 sts

Row 5: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 15 sts. 2 ldc in the next st.  (1 ldc in the next 3 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 15 sts. – 43 sts

Row 6: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 15 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 4 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 16 sts. – 46 sts

Row 7: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 16 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 5 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 16 sts. – 49 sts

Row 8: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 16 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 6 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 17 sts. – 52 sts

Row 9: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 17 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 7 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 17 sts. – 55 sts

Row 10: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 17 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 8 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 18 sts. – 58 sts

Row 11: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 18 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 9 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 18 sts. – 61 sts

Row 12: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 18 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 10 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 19 sts. – 64 sts

Row 13: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 19 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 11 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 19 sts. – 67 sts

Row 14: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 19 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 12 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 20 sts. – 70 sts

Row 15: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 20 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 13 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 20 sts. – 73 sts

Row 16: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 20 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 14 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 21 sts. – 76 sts

Row 17: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 21 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 15 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 21 sts. – 79 sts

Row 18: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 21 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 16 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 22 sts. – 82 sts

Row 19: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 22 sts. 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 17 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 22 sts. – 85 sts

Row 20: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 22 sts, 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 18 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 23 sts. – 88 sts

Row 21: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 23 sts, 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 19 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 23 sts. – 91 sts

Row 22: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in the next 23 sts, 2 ldc in the next st. (1 ldc in the next 20 sts, 2 ldc in the next st) 2 times. 1 ldc in the next 24 sts. – 94 sts

Row 23: Ch 2, turn. 1 dc in the first st. 1 ldc in each stitch across.

Rows 24-25: Rpt Row 23

If adding fur trim, follow Rnds 26 – 27. If not, add 2 more rows of 1 dc in ea st.

Row 26: Ch 2, turn. 1 hdc in the same st, ch 1, sk next st. (1 hdc in the next st, ch 1, sk next st) across. 1 hdc in the last st of the row.

Attach Faux Fur with 11.5 mm hook.

Row 27: Ch 2, 1 dc in the next space. 1 dc in each ch-1 space across.

Once the hood and shawl are complete, you may seam hood to the top of the shawl. This can be done before or after adding the fur.

To seam the hood, use locking stitch markers to align the center of the hood (the foundation chain line) with the center of the shawl (Central stitch of Row 1). Place the markers so that the hood is evenly held against the fabric.

Using a length of your main yarn and a tapestry needle, sew the edge of the hood to the edge of the shawl.

Once the hood is seamed and the fur trim is added, use a large-eyed yarn needle to thread the faux fur yarn. Weave in the ends, securing the top of Row 27 to the edges of the shawl so that it transitions smoothly.

Weave in any remaining ends, and add a button to fasten at the collar if you prefer! The holes in row  26 make excellent natural buttonholes or tie-holes – or you could add a chain-loop closure instead. Once this is finished, you’re all done and ready for adventure!

Whatever the character, one thing remains true throughout all photoshoots – I’m either pretending to be freezing in scorching weather, or pretending to be scorching in freezing weather πŸ˜‰

And then there’s the cliff-perching.

-MF

Witch Hat Pattern

Fandoms come and go for me. If you’ve been reading this blog for long enough, you’ll remember projects, photos and posts inspired by popular media and geek cultures – GOT and Harry Potter and Krampus to name a few! I’ve made Video Game Guys and Coralines and Pikachus for friends that may or may not ever make it on to the blog, and I’ve become fixated on and then subsequently grown out of a number of fandoms myself.

One though, I’ll never grow out of, and that’s Discworld.

If you know, you know. If you don’t, it’s hard to explain! With 40+ Discworld novels spanning a lifetime writing career, British fantasy author Terry Pratchett first appeared on my bookshelf when I was an adolescent. His combination of comedic fantasy and humanitarian social commentary hooked me immediately and I’ve been reading and re-reading his books ever since.

The graphic novels are great too, I have most of them! Pictured here in the free pattern for the Teddy Bear Onesie ❀

So when I had a couple crochet hat pattern ideas for the blog, I thought it would be fun to match them to two of my favorite characters from the Disc: Part 1 is Tiffany Aching, Witch of the Chalk!

Read on for more info, or save this project by favoriting the Ravelry Project page!

Tiffany is a young heroine from Pratchett’s YA Discworld series who runs the dairy on her shepherding family’s farm, which she is driven to defend (with a frying pan) when the Queen of the Otherworld crosses over and steals her little brother. Tiffany’s ambitions to become a witch are helped by her tiny, drunk, warlike pictsie friends the Nac Mac Feegle, and her adventures are chronicled through the 5 book series which Pratchett completed just before he died in 2015.

This pattern was started just from a love of making witch hats – I happen to have another similar hat pattern for free, the Hedge Witch Hat, available on my blog on in PDF format! This time, though, I wanted something taller and pointier, something really traditionally witchy, with a structured brim and a severe point.

Since this is in a traditional style, I’m keeping it simple and calling it the Witch Hat πŸ™‚

Witch Hat

This traditionally shaped witch hat uses tight single crochet and gradual increases to create a tapering point perfect for any aspiring magic wielder. The pattern includes instructions for wiring the brim of the hat as well!

Materials:

3.25 mm hook (or size needed to obtain gauge)
#4 Worsted Weight Yarn – Caron Simply Soft is pictured here (300 yards)
~46″ of flexible craft wire + wire cutters (optional, for brim)
Scissors, tapestry needle, stitch markers

Gauge: 5 sts + 5 rows = 1″

Notes: Ch – 1 at the beginning of the round to start. Beginning Ch-1 does not count as first sc.

Instructions:

Make Magic Ring.

Row 1: 6 sc into the ring. Sl st in the 1st sc of the round to join. – 6 sts

Round 2: 1 sc in the next 5 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the round to join. – 7 sts

Round 3: 1 sc in the next 6 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the round to join. – 8 sts

Round 4: 1 sc in the next 7 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the rnd to join. – 9 sts

Round 5: 1 sc in the next 8 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the rnd to join. – 10 sts

Round 6: 1 sc in the next 9 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the rnd to join. – 11 sts

Round 7: 1 sc in the next 10 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the rnd to join. – 12 sts

Round 8: 1 sc in the next 11 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the rnd to join. – 13 sts.

Rnd 9: 1 sc in the next 12 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the rnd to join. – 14 sts

Rnd 10: 1 sc in the next 13 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the rnd to join. – 15 sts

Rnd 11: 1 sc in the next 14 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the rnd to join. – 16 sts

Rnd 12: 1 sc in the next 15 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the rnd to join. – 17 sts

Rnd 13: 1 sc in the next 16 sts, 2 sc in the next st. Sl st in the first sc of the rnd to join. – 18 sts

Rnd 14: (1 sc in the next 8 sts, 2 sc in the next st) rpt the parentheses 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 20 sts

Rnd 15: (1 sc in the next 9 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 22 sts

Rnd 16: (1 sc in the next 10 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 24 sts

Rnd 17: (1 sc in the next 11 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 26

Rnd 18: (1 sc in the next 12 sts. 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 28 sts

Rnd 19: (1 sc in the next 13 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 30 sts

Rnd 20: (1 sc in the next 14 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 32 sts

Rnd 21: (1 sc in the next 15 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 34 sts

Rnd 22: (1 sc in the next 16 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 36 sts

Rnd 23: (1 sc in the next 17 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join witha sl st. – 38 sts

Rnd 24: (1 sc in the next 18 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 40 sts

Rnd 25: (1 sc in the next 19 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 42 sts

Rnd 26: (1 sc in the next 20 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 44 sts

Rnd 27: (1 sc in the next 21 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join witha sl st. – 46 sts

Rnd 28: (1 sc in the next 22 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 2 times. Join with a sl st. – 48 sts

Rnd 29: (1 sc in the next 15 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 51

Rnd 30: (1 sc in the next 16 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 54

Rnd 31: (1 sc in the next 17 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 57

Rnd 32: (1 sc in the next 18 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 60

Rnd 33: (1 sc in the next 19 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 63 sts

Rnd 34: (1 sc in the next 20 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 66 sts

Rnd 35: (1 sc in the next 21 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 69 sts

Rnd 36: (1 sc in the next 22 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 72 sts

Rnd 37: (1 sc in the next 23 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 75 sts

Rnd 38: (1 sc in the next 24 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 78 sts

Rnd 39: (1 sc in the next 25 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 81 sts

Rnd 40: (1 sc in the next 26 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 84 sts

Rnd 41: (1 sc in the next 27 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 87

Rnd 42: (1 sc in the next 28 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 90 sts

Rnd 43: (1 sc in the next 29 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 93 sts

Rnd 44: (1 sc in the next 30 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 96 sts

Rnd 45: (1 sc in the next 31 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 99 sts

Rnd 46: (1 sc in the next 32 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 102 sts

Rnd 47: (1 sc in the next 33 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 105 sts

Rnd 48: (1 sc in the next 34 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 3 times. Join with a sl st. – 108 sts

Rnd 49 – 55: 1 sc in ea st around. – 108 sts

Rnd 56: (1 sc in the next 17 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 114 sts

Rnd 57: (1 sc in the next 18 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 120 sts

Rnd 58: (1 sc in the next 19 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 126 sts

Rnd 59: (1 sc in the next 20 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 132 sts

Rnd 60: (1 sc in the next 21 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 138 sts

Rnd 61: (1 sc in the next 22 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 144 sts

Rnd 62: (1 sc in the next 23 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 150 sts

Rnd 63: (1 sc in the next 24 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 156 sts

Rnd 64: (1 sc in the next 25 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 162 sts

Rnd 65: (1 sc in the next 26 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 168 sts

Rnd 66: (1 sc in the next 27 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 174 sts

Rnd 67: (1 sc in the next 28 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 180 sts

Rnd 68: (1 sc in the next 29 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 186 sts

Rnd 69: (1 sc in the next 30 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 192 sts

Rnd 70: (1 sc in the next 31 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 198 sts

Rnd 71: (1 sc in the next 32 sts, 2 sc in the next st) 6 times. Join with a sl st. – 204 sts

For a structured brim: Make a ring about the side of the brim of your hat from the craft wire. Fold the excess over at both ends, hooking the wire together, matching the diameter of the brim (get close but doesn’t have to be exact). In the next round, hold the wire on top of the piece, inserting your hook under the stitch and the wire to draw up loops, then yarn over on top of the wire and complete the stitch to trap the wire inside your stitches. Work this method around the entire brim for the following round:

Rnd 72: 1 sc in ea stitch around. – 204 sts

You may have to unhook and adjust your wire for more or less length toward the end of the round. Once finished, re-fold and hook the wire together, flatten the folded ends to close them off around each other, and clip off any excess. Then crochet as best you can over the wire join.

Cut yarn and tie off. Weave in ends – I wove my yarn end from the brim around the wire join lump, to give it some extra security! πŸ™‚


As weapons go, I really identify with the choice of cast-iron pan, my favorite cooking implement πŸ˜‰

-MF

Kismet Poncho

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Finished Measurements:

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

Materials:

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

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

Kismet Poncho Part 1

Keep scrolling for Parts 2 & 3!

Gauge: 3 sts & 1 row = 1” in dc

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

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

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

Kismet Poncho Part 2

Kismet Poncho Part 3

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

Peace!

-MF

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