Elderberry Pixie Belt & Sale

Hi friends! In addition to working diligently on the Elf Coat patterns, I’ve been having fun doing some experimentation in one of my favorite project categories, the upcycled crochet pixie belt.

If you don’t already know, you can get a ton of info on how to create original, freeform pixie pocket belts from my blog series, the Pixie Belt Tutorial. The full tutorial is also available in downloadable, printable, ad-free PDF format through my Ravelry store – and I’m using this post as a springboard for a pattern sale too!

Now through Aug. 12, through Ravelry only, you can get the Pixie Belt Tutorial pattern FREE with the purchase of any other pattern! πŸ™‚ Just put both patterns in your cart and the discount is taken at checkout.

I had fun adding new hardware elements to this latest pixie belt piece – a metal mandala centerpiece I’ve had for years that came off of an old thrifted dress forms a focal point on the back, plus two D-rings on either side of the belt which hold a draped scarf really nicely for extra oomph around the hips. The best part is that the silver scarf is totally removable, so you can change out scarves!

There are also two pixie pockets: one circular pouch and one drawstring, as well as a detachable mushroom pouch ❀ The skirting I’m especially proud of – one whole thrifted shirt made from dusky rose gauzy material, artfully ripped of course.

I’m very happy with how this belt came out, especially since I got pretty experimental with it! This encourages me in my other ideas – I’d love to bring in more diverse fiber elements like fabric and leather πŸ™‚

Also it was fun to dress up this one – what do you think of my new background? I dig it!

If you’d like the see more unique, one of a kind pixie belt projects, be sure to check out the Pixie Belt Tutorial blog series!

-MF ❀

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Winter Project Updates

Hi there! It’s not necessarily been crickets around here, but I do feel its time for some project updates of things I’ve recently completed. I haven’t had a whole lot of new things to show in the crochet category since many of the things I’ve had on the hook have been larger, longer projects that I’ve toiled at slowly in my spare time over the course of last semester. After the New Year I made it a priority to finish some of these things up so that I could MOVE. ON. FINALLY.

And so today I present two new project variations on two of my personal favorite original patterns, plus a skirt that I’d been hacking away at (literally). Prepare for photogenic twirling. There will be twirling.

Eyeball Sweater

I bought the yarn for this pattern, Yarn Bee Soft and Sleek in six different multi colorways, with some legwarmer project vaguely in mind. Well, that project was just not exciting enough to me, and so I started a chaotically rainbow version of my Spiral Sweater pattern.

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I worked it in size Small, but decreased every other stitch across the armholes to tighten up the front collar of the sweater (and also conserve yarn, which turns out was very necessary). I also skipped the Linked Double Crochet reinforcement across the back of the collar. Because I forgot. πŸ˜›

eyeball4Because I started with a central circle of solid navy leftovers that I had from a different Spiral Sweater, the middle part of the back started to look like the pupil of an eye, so I ran with that. After finishing everything on the sweater, I took some more spare yarn and slip stitched some crazy squiggles into the “iris” of the eye.

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I’ve always loved the nazar, a Middle Eastern charm symbol representing an eye, which used to ward off the evil eye.Β  This sweater is watching your back! Har har har.

You can find the project page, which also links to my original pattern in the righthand sidebar, here on Ravelry.Β  That bitchin’ tree man necklace I am wearing is from my friend Wendy’s polymer clay art shop, Dark Pony Arts – check her out, she is amazing!

 

Fairy Shawl

Though the Ida Shawl was originally designed to be multicolored, I’ve found that I really love doing them in monochromatic yarns, especially neutrals. This one is done with a DK weight acrylic yarn, Premier Everyday Baby in White, which used up all of three skeins once the fringe was finished. I really had fun plotting an outfit to go with this one.

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That’s really the only reason I do this. Excuse to dress up! Just kidding. Kind of.

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The Ida Shawl, as finicky as it was to get right during the designing process, is all the more worth it for the struggle. I still love that central design, which represents the seeds that form a star when you cut an apple in half horizontally.

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You can see this project on Ravelry too, with all of the pictures and a link to the original pattern. The leafy headwrap I am wearing is also a pattern of mine, the FREE Ivy Crown tutorial.

 

Jewel Skirt

This is the 5th skirt I’ve produced using Wendy Kay’s No-Gathers Gypsy Skirt pattern that I bought from her shop on Etsy, and this pattern has been WELL worth my money. Just chop out blocks and sew them together, no measuring (well, not much measuring) and you’ve got a beautiful dancing skirt to twirl in. Easy.. and fun!!

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I made this one from mostly upcycled fabrics, including some curtains from Goodwill and several yards of fabric I had had tucked away for YEARS that I got from a thrift market outside of the Portland Indiana Tractor and Engine show. It’s funny sometimes, when your craft supplies remind you of the places you’ve been and the other lives that you’ve lived.

I think sometimes that’s part of the appeal, for people who handmake things. It certainly is for me.

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The other skirts I’ve made I’ve given away or sold, but I think I’m keeping this one for myself. The jewel tones and floral print match nearly everything in my closet πŸ˜€

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I don’t put ALL of my sewing and refashion projects here on Morale Fiber blog, since I want the main focus here to be on crochet techniques, patterns and designs – but I do run a more personal side blog on Tumblr which I use for sewing and fashion stuff. Check me out there: Howling Mouse on Tumblr.

 

I do have more projects from over the winter that remain unfinished, plus some exciting new things budding! So I’m gonna go hustle that. As always, thank you for visiting!

-MF

P.S – I’ve gotten a lot of photo submissions of people’s projects that they have made from my designs lately – please keep that up! I love that so much! ❀ ❀ ❀ I hope you all have loved it too!

 

Hairpin Lace Refashion

When it comes to hobbies, I push myself to try new things. I’m not sure if this is due to my hyperactive Pinterest-ing disorder, an excess of caffeine, or possibly some sort of mania. Fast forward to the point: something I’ve been experimenting with recently is hairpin lace.

Ellie13Hairpin lace is a technique that wraps and crochets long loops around a tool and then uses those loops to make decorative stitches and weaves. Traditionally one used a literal hair pin, I’m assuming, but nowadays they make specialty craft tools that look like you could low-key use it to torture somebody.

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Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

I took a pretty freeform approach to learning this technique – the first strip of hairpin lace I made was for attaching two pieces of upcycled clothing together, using reclaimed sweater yarn for the strip. A list of things I learned from this:

  1. Do not try to learn this technique with a yarn that splits like crazy.
  2. That trick with threading the spare yarn through a finished strip to keep the loops together? It’s way more trouble than it is worth unless you are storing the strips together for later.
  3. Even with the aforementioned splitting yarn, hairpin lace is WAY LESS complex and intimidating than I thought. After the first few shaky loops, I got comfortable with it very quickly.

I learned from this excellent video from Stitch Diva Studios (who also sell great hairpin lace crochet patterns) and this video from Knitting Daily to supplement my technique.Β  Now for the refashion part!

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I’ve been ogling pretty fiber artsy styles like mori kei and shabby/chic, clothes that maximize texture and variety and emphasize the handmade look. The ragamuffin style is especially attractive to me because it lends itself well to experimentation in short bursts, which is about as much as I have time for during the semester.

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The two fabric pieces that went into this forest girl dress were a soft green top that I liked but didn’t wear (too short), and an earthy colored skirt that I picked up thrifting. Both are 100% rayon, and oh man, I really love rayon. It’s so so soft. Hard to believe it is manufactured from wood pulp.

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Long story short, I chopped the bottom off of the top and the top off of the skirt, then serged the cut edge on both pieces. Using #10 mercerized cotton crochet thread, I embroidered a blanket stitch over the serged hem.

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I then counted the blanket stitches. My hairpin lace strip would need as many loops as the largest amount of stitches (which is on the skirt’s hem). Having done this part late at night months ago, I now have no idea what that number was. Lets say it’s 150. It was actually way more than that, but just pretend. And for the sake of clean math, lets say the smaller numberΒ  (the amount of blanket stitches on the top hem) was 125.

So I need a hairpin lace strip with at least 150 loops. ONE LOOP of the strip will get crocheted to one blanket stitch on the hem of the skirt. Since the top hem has a smaller number, 25 sts less than the larger number, I would need to double up on some of the stitches on the top hem. 125 / 25 = 5. This means when I was attaching the hairpin lace strip to the hem on the top (in fictional pretty-math world) I attached TWO loops every 5th stitch.

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Using that strategy and a small hook, I worked a single crochet around the garment, inserting the hook through the top of the blanket stitch and through the hairpin loops simultaneously to attach the fabric pieces. Don’t forget to weave in the ends through both of the middle seams of the hairpin lace strip where the two ends of the strip meet!

Time for the patchy part. With the same upcycled sweater yarn, I made two big doilies using one of the many graphs on my Pinterest crochet board, as well as another hairpin strip for the collar. I sewed these in place with a sewing machine and threaded the loops in the doily with velvet cord to create an adjustable criss-cross tie in the back.

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Velvet leggings, thrifted cowgirl boots, ridiculously large hat? Yes please.

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I loved melding pretty fabrics with crochet, and using all reclaimed/upcycled materials was a big bonus. I have a feeling I’ll be doing more of this in the future!

-MF

Summer Wrap Up!

Woah – tomorrow is already the start of the new fall semester, so I’m squeaking this year’s end-of-summer post in tonight so I can talk about a few projects I hadn’t mentioned/photographed/finished previous to now.

First, probably one of my favorite things I’ve ever made:

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That’s an ultra-floral retro fringed keyhole collar poncho of awesomeness right there in case you were wondering I started by making a longer version of the Freewheelin’ Poncho, a paid pattern I designed last fall. My goal started as just using up odds and ends yarn, but I’ve been wanting to make a floral poncho and the scarlet reds seemed so pretty next to the navy blue I couldn’t resist! The retro roses are stitched directly onto the mesh using post stitch and slip stitching techniques.

Plus, that keyhole collar doubles as a shoulder cut-out if you wear the poncho lengthwise.

Also: This amazing patchwork skirt patternΒ from Wendy Kay on Etsy. I bought an assortment of cotton lawn, a lightweight fabric perfect for summer skirts, in paisley prints and floral (are you noticing a pattern here)..

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That one was fun to make (and spin around in). Β In fact, it was so fun to make that I immediately started another patchwork project, using a modified version of the patchwork template from Wendy’s pattern.

A little background here – One fiber art fashion hero of mine is the lady behind Majik Horse & the 7 Magicians Clothing Company.Β I always fall in love with any picture I see of her amazing work. I’ve been dying to create a patchwork coat in that style, and I’ve had a sweet little jacket tucked away waiting, and happened to have some fabrics that would match… and some GIANT vintage fur cuffs and collar that I rescued from an otherwise ugly coat.

So this was born.

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I’ve been calling it the Frankencoat but I think it needs a better name πŸ˜‰ These photos are sorta blurry, but they’ll have to do for now. I added my favorite GIANT belt and a 25-yd skirt underneath. Kind of calls for a tophat and goggles, I think.

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And some without the skirt underneath – it’s still pretty full!
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I like to squeeze in “unscripted” projects periodically – things that I hadn’t planned for or decided exactly what I wanted them to be. This Starry sweater was originally just stashbusting, but then I was inspired by the floral poncho to try another crochet applique piece.

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My favorite free-form, unplanned exercise of course is the pixie pocket belts with the tattered skirts – this one I finished up recently using handdyed handspun wool/silk blend yarn, knit into a sash then crocheted at the edges.

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You’ll have to forgive the photo quality for this post – I was mid organizational spree so I only had time for this little blurb! πŸ™‚ As always, more to come.

-MF

Time and Tied

My ideas have seemed a bit dammed up lately, to be honest. Not for lack of inspiration, and not even for lack of time Β – okay, maybe a little bit for lack of time. Even though I have tons of time to work on crochet et cetera, it never seems to be enough for the amount of things I want to do and create. And, as many creative types know, the more you create the more inspiration you get, and so you are doomed because you cannot possibly ever keep up because the harder you work the more ideas you’ll have.

At least, that’s what it’s like for me.

But I don’t mind things feeling a little tied up, because my experience has been that in matters of creativity it’s best to let things come to you when the time is right.

For instance, my giant bag of orphan yarn has contained, for several years now, balls of recycled yarn from scads of thrift store sweaters. I used a bit here and there, but no project seemed to be eager to fit the bill for the sheer quantity of recycled yarn in this particular weight (usually the sweater yarn I get is somewhere between lace weight and sport weight).

That is, until I just accidentally decided to use some of it in the free pattern for theΒ  Lotus Mandala Duster I made recently based off of my original Lotus mandala motif. Suddenly a whole new world of possibility opened up for these former sweaters! In between the actual pattern writing for my paid patterns and working on my stash of art yarns and hand dyed wool roving, I busted hook to do as the yarn commanded.

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And so out came the “Emmy Lou” duster jacket, made primarily out of recycled sweater yarn but also featuring a good bit of yarn that I spun myself (see this post for more info on that handspun).

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I haven’t gotten pictures of it on an actual person yet because I couldn’t wait πŸ˜‰

In addition to the pattern being free (you can find it on this blog post), I also wrote an extensive, somewhat insanely detailed tutorial last year on how to reclaim yarn from thrift store sweaters, which can be found in three parts:

Everything You Need to Know to Start Recycling Sweater Yarn:

Recycling Sweater Yarn cover

Getting Started and Breaking In V. 1

Breaking In V.2

Unraveling & Finishing

Naturally, before I have even made much of a dent in my stash of previously reclaimed sweater yarns, I ran out and picked up these misty-hued beauties from the thrift store for a future recycled sweater lace duster. I didn’t mean to, I swear. I was looking for summer clothes at the time.

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Of course, I have to wait until some of the dam of ideas I have sifting around in my head find their proper place in new patterns and tutorials before I can wail away on more recycled sweaters. I guess the moral of the story (not to be confused with the morale of the story) is that everything has to come in its own good time. So, if you are like me and experience the pangs of creative blockage from time to time, don’t stress. Someday you may find your patience amply paid for when your ideas find the right vehicle and you realize that’s what you were waiting for all along ❀

-MF

 

Lotus Mandala Duster

After seeing some great circular vests and talking about them with a fellow crocheter last festival, I came home inspired to do something I’ve had in my notebook for a while – rework my Lotus Throw pattern into a mandala-based circular vest! Which I did, and actually I did twice, which is why this post is a two-parter – each with a different FREE pattern guide. The sister pattern to this Lotus Mandala Duster is called the Lotus Circular Vest and can be found here.

IMPORTANT UPDATE πŸ™‚ – This is the OLD version of this pattern. If you are considering starting this pattern, I recommend using the NEW version, which has been cleaned up and has stitch counts and more detailed tutorial sections as well as TWO sizes instead of one. πŸ˜€

ACT ONE

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The Lotus Mandala Duster was one of those gravitational crochet projects that start with a small directionless idea and sort of grows and develops a certain gravity that pulls in other ideas and materials until it is way bigger than I meant it to be! It also qualifies as what I call a “sweater hack” since a large part of the materials came from yarn that was rescued from a boring old sweater and restitched into a new form.

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This first piece was a doozy, because I wanted a really earthy western influenced duster style jacket and I also wanted to use up some #2 weight yarn doing it – I ended up using my fractal plied handspun for the center and outer accent, some recycled cotton blend sweater yarn** I’ve had forever, and a DK weight cotton blend to fill in the gaps. And I made the only partially conscious decision to add a little Lannister influence with a dramatic pointed bell sleeve. I guess I’ve been watching too much Game of Sleeves. I mean, Thrones.

**To get your own recycled sweater yarn, see my extensive tutorial Everything You Need to Know to Start Recycling Sweater Yarn.

Both patterns a bit more like guides, since the basic circular pattern makes it easy to add or subtract rows, adjust sizing, and freestyle if desired (it’s encouraged.) This Duster Β was made in size small, a few of the outer circle worked on only the top half (to balance the length since the armholes are placed high) and the sleeves are tutorial style instead of written in stitch counts. Β Since the Duster style coat was made with a bunch of homeless recycled yarn, I have don’t have a precise yardage requirement, but it tends to be around 1500 yards according to Ravelry and my own personal experience. πŸ™‚

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Lotus Mandala Duster

Notes: The Lotus Circular Vest has better close-up photographs of the central motif, so if you are having trouble figuring out a round you might find it helpful to look at the pictures on that post πŸ™‚

5.5 mm hook, #1, #2, or #3 weight yarn – the recycled yarn I used was around 17 WPI, which could be fingering or sport depending on which chart you look at. Be sure to test your gauge, listed below.

Gauge: 3″ measured across the diameter after Rnd 3.

Final Dimensions:
22.5″ radius (measured from center of motif to bottom edge)
50″ diameter (measured from collar to bottom edge)

Some terms:

4-DC Cluster – Work 4 dc stitches, keeping the last loop on the hook for each. YO and draw through all 5 Β loops on the hook.

Shell – 2 hdc, 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc, 2 hdc

Make Magic Ring.

HI THERE!! It’s me again. In case you missed it in the paragraphs above, you should really consider working from the new, updated version of this pattern. I left the old version up just in case someone still needs it, but the newer pattern is really where it’s at – two different sizes, rewritten instructions, etc. Okay, just making sure you knew. πŸ™‚

  1. 8 sc into the ring, tighten. Join with a slip stitch in first sc of the round.
  2. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next sc, ch 1) 7 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4.
  3. Sc into the next ch-1 space, ch 1 – counts as first dc with last loop on the hook. Dc into ch-1 space 3 more times, keeping last loops on the hook. YO, draw through all four loops on the hook – first 4-dc cluster made. Ch 3. (Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-1 sp, ch 3) 6 times. Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-1 sp, ch 1. Hdc in the top of the first cluster. This positions your hook in the middle of a ch-3 sized space to begin your next round.
  4. Ch 2 – counts as first dc with last lp on hk, dc into ch-3 space 3 more times keeping last loops on the hook. YO, draw through all four loops on the hook – first 4-dc cluster made. Ch 2, work 1 4-dc cluster in same ch-3 space, ch 2. (Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-3 sp, ch 2, 4-dc cluster in the same sp, ch 2) 7 times. 4-dc cluster in next space, ch 2. Join with a sl st in top of first cluster.
  5. Sl st in first ch-2 space. Ch 2 – counts as first dc with last lp on the hk. Dc into the same space 3 more times keeping last lps on hk. YO, draw through all four lps on hk – first 4-dc cluster made, Ch 3. (Work 1 4-dc cluster into the next ch-2 space, ch 3) 14 times. Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-2 sp, dc in the top of the first cluster.
  6. Ch 3 – counts as first dc, 2 more dc in same space, Ch 3. (3 dc in the next ch-3 sp, ch 3) 15 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.
  7. Sl st in the top of the next dc. (Sk next dc, 2 Hdc, 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc, 2 hdc in the next ch-3 sp – shell made. Sk next dc, sl st in the next dc .) 16 times. Join with a sl st in first sl st.
  8. Ch 6 – counts as first dc + ch 3, sc in the top of next tr stitch in the middle of the shell, ch 3. (Dc in the next sl st between shells, ch 3, sc in next treble, ch 3) 15 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.
  9. Ch 3. Yarn over twice, insert hook into next sc and draw up a lp, (YO and draw through 2 lps on the hk) twice – one treble stitch leaving last lp on the hk made. Treble in next dc, leaving last lp on the hk – 3 lps remain on the hk. YO, draw through all 3 lps, ch 7. (In same dc as previous treble, treble crochet leaving last lp on hk, treble in next sc leaving last lp on hk, treble in next dc leaving last lp on hk – 4 lps on the hk. YO, draw through all four lps on hk, ch 7) 15 times. Join with a sl st in top of first treble.
  10. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch 7 space, ch 2, 4-dc cluster in the same space, ch 2. 4 dc cluster in the same sp, ch 1*, dc in top of joined trebles, ch 1) 16 times, ending last repeat at *. Sl st into 3rd ch of beg ch-4.
  11. (Ch 3. 4-dc cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 2, 4-dc cluster in the next ch-2 space*, ch 3, sl st in next dc) 16 times. On 16th rpt, end at *, dc in same st as beg ch-3.
  12. Ch 3 – counts as first tr with last loop on the hk. Work 1 tr with the last lp on the hk in the next cluster. YO and draw through both lps on the hook – first tr2tog made. Ch 4, work 1 4-dc cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 4. (Work 1 tr with the last lp on the hk in the top of the next cluster. Sk next 2 chain-3 spaces, work 1 tr with the last lp on the hk in the next cluster. YO and pull through all 3 lps. Ch 4, work 1 4-dc cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 4) 15 times. Join with a sl st in the first tr2tog. – 16 clusters + 16 tr2tog + 32 chain space
  13. Sl st in next ch-4 space. Ch 3 – counts as first dc. 4 dc in same space. (1 dc in top of cluster, 5 dc in next ch-4 space, 1 dc in top of joined trebles, 5 dc in next ch-4 space) 15 times. 1 dc in top of next cluster, Β 5 dc in next ch-5 space, 1 dc in top of joined trebles. Join with a slip stitch to top of first dc.
  14. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch-1. Sk next dc. (Dc in next dc, ch 1, sk next dc) 95 times. Join with a sl stitch to the 3rd ch of beg ch-4.
  15. (Sk next ch-1 space, 1 hdc, 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc, 1 hdc in next dc, skip next ch-1 space, sl stitch in next dc) 48 times.
  16. Ch 3 in the same st – counts as first dc. Sk next st, 1 hdc in next st, 1 sc in next st (1 hdc in the next st, sk next st, 1 dc in the next st, sk next st, 1 hdc in the next st, 1 sc in the next st) 47 times. Hdc in next stitch, join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.
  17. Ch 5 – counts as first dc + ch 2. (Sk next st, dc in next stitch, ch 2) 95 times. Sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-5.
  18. (Sc in the next ch space, ch 3) 95 times. Sc in the next ch space, ch 1, hdc in the first sc of the round.
  19. Sc in the same ch space, ch 3. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 3) 94 times. Sc in the next ch space, ch 1, hdc in the first sc of the round.
  20. Rpt rnd 19.

Armhole round:

  1. Ch 3 – counts as first dc in V-stitch pattern. (1 dc in the next ch space, Β ch 3, 1 dc in the same space) 10 times. Ch 30, sk the next Β 6 ch-3 spaces, (1 dc in the next ch space, ch 3, 1 dc in the same space) 10 times. Ch 30, sk the next 6 ch-3 spaces, (1 dc in the next ch space, ch 3, 1 dc in the same space) 63 times. 1 dc in the next ch space, ch 3, sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.

22: Ch 3 – counts as first dc. 1 dc in the next dc (3 dc in the next ch-3 space, 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc) 9 times. 3 dc in the next ch-3 sp, 1 dc in the next dc. 1 dc in ea of the next 30 ch sts. 1 dc in the next dc (3 dc in the next ch sp, 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc) 9 times. 3 dc in the next ch sp, 1 dc in the next dc. 1 dc in ea of the next 30 ch sts. 1 dc in the next dc (3 dc in the next ch-3 space, 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc) 63 times. 3 dc in the next ch-3 sp, join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. – 480 stsΒ (It has come to my attention that this stitch count, and therefore some of the other counts following, might be off, so please bear with me until I can check it!)

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The placement of the armholes determines the size – measure straight across the shoulder blades to check your sizing.

  1. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. Dc in the same st, sk next 2 sts (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc in the next st. Sk next 2 sts) 158 times. 1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc in the next st. Sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4.
  2. Sc in next ch-1 space, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch-1. 1 dc in the same space. (1 dc in the next ch-1 sp, ch 1, dc in the same space) 159 times. Sl st in the 2nd ch of beg sc+ch-3.
  3. (Sc in next ch-1 space, ch 4) 159 times. Β Sc in the next ch-1 sp, ch 1, dc in the first sc of the round.
  4. Sc in the same space, ch 4. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 4) 158 times. Sc in the next ch sp, ch 1, dc in the first sc of the round.
  5. Sc in the same sp, ch 5. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 5) 158 times. Sc in the next space, ch 2, dc in the first sc of the round.

28-30. Rpt rnd 27.

  1. Sc in the same sp, ch 6. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 6) 158 times. Sc in the next space, ch 3, dc in the first sc of the round
  2. Sc in the same sp, 6 dc in next sc – one fan made. (1 sc in next ch-6 sp, 6 dc in next sc) 159 times, join with a sl st in first sc of the round.
  3. Ch 5 – counts as first dc + ch 2. Sc in 3rd dc of fan, ch 1, sc in the next dc, ch 2 (dc in next sc, ch 2. Sc in the 3rd dc of next fan, ch 1, sc in the next dc, ch 2) 158 times. Dc in the next sc, ch 2, sc in the 3rd dc of next fan ch 1, sc in the next dc, work 1 hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-5.
  4. Ch 4 – counts as first hdc + ch 2. (Hdc in the next ch-2 space, ch 2, hdc in the next ch-1 sp, ch 2, hdc in the next ch-2 sp, ch 2) 159 times. Hdc in the next ch-2 sp, ch 2, hdc in the next ch-1 sp, hdc in the 2nd ch of beg ch-2.

At this point the bottom of my duster was the length that I wanted it, so I switched to working the following rounds on the top half only so that the bottom wouldn’t be too long.

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  1. Sc in the same space, ch 2 – counts as first dc. (Dc in the next ch-2 space, ch 1, dc in the same sp) 480 times. In first ch-2 sp of round, dc, ch 1, join with a sl st to 2nd ch of the beg ch-2.
  2. Sl st in the next dc and in the next ch space, ch 2 – counts as first dc with last loop left on hook, work 2 more dc in same space, leaving last lps on the hk. YO, pull through all lps on hk -3 dc cluster made, ch 2. (3 dc cluster in the next ch-1 sp, ch 2) 480 times. Join with a sl st to the top of the first cluster.

Work next round over entire brim of sweater.

  1. Sl st into the next ch-2 space, ch 3 – counts as first dc. 2 dc in the same space. (3 dc in the next ch-2 space) around. Join with a sl st to the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.

Cut yarn and tie off.

Sleeves:

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After Step 1 of the sleeves

Step 1. Attach yarn on the inside of the armhole, ch 2 – counts as first dc.. 2 dc in ea ch space, 1 dc into the base of all 30 ch sts. 2Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round. For larger sleeves, work 3 or 4 dc sts into each ch space. Work the same number of dc sts into the base of the chain.

Step 2. Sc in the same st, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch 1. Sk next st. (Dc in the next st, ch 1, sk next st) around. On the last repeat, replace the ch-1 with a hdc to position your hook in the middle of the space to begin the next round.

Step 3. Sc in the same sp, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next sp, ch 1) around. On the last repeat, replace the ch-1 with a hdc to position your hook in the middle of the space to begin the next round.

After a couple rows of this, size down to a smaller hook if desired. I sized down to 4.5 to make the sleeve snug on my upper arm.

Rpt row 3 until your total reaches 17 rows, or until the length reaches your elbow.

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Locate the ch space that is centered at the back of the elbow and mark it. (14th space from the join for me) This will now be Β the increase center.

Step 4. Sc in the same space, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) until you reach the increase center. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the increase center. The middle chain space made in this repeat is now the increase center. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) the rest of the way around. Repeat until short side of sleeve is about mid-forearm (9 rounds for me)

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3 spaces created in one chain space forms the increase.

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After several rounds of Step 4

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Side view – Step 4

Step 5. Sc in the same space, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) until you reach the space before the increase center. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the next space. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the increase center. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the space after the increase center. The middle chain space made in the middle increase is now the increase center. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) the rest of the way around.

Step 6. Sc in the same space, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) until you reach the middle of one increase before the increase center. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the middle space of the next increase, work dc + ch 1 in between middle spaces. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the middle space of the next increase, work dc + ch 1 in between middle spaces. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the middle space of the third increase. The middle chain space in the middle increases made in this repeat is now the increase center. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) the rest of the way around. (Basically, put a 3-space increase in the center of each increase, dc + ch 1 in every other space.)

Step 7. Sc in the same sp, ch 3 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the sp, ch 1) around. On the last repeat, replace the ch-1 with a hdc to position your hook in the middle of the space to begin the next round. – repeat until you reach 2 rows from where you want your sleeve to end (just past the wrist for me).

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Sleeve Detail. Witchy!

Step 8. On the 2nd to last row, 2 dc in ea ch-1 space, 1 dc in ea dc around.

Step 9. One the last row, 1 dc in ea st around.

Cut yarn and tie off. Repeat sleeve on the other side.

Weave in all ends.

And yes, I named it “Stevie” after the famous singer/songwriter and style icon, Sleevie Nicks. I mean, Stevie Nicks.

-MF

Update ! : Here are some photos of Steps 5 &6 of the ultra-ruffle sleeves, by request.

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After Step 5. As you can see, each of the spaces of the [(Dc, ch1)4x] increase have a [(Dc, ch1)4x] increase. For step 6, you will increase in the middle space of each of these three increases.

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Dc, ch 1 around the sleeve until you get the the middle (2nd) ch-1space of the first of the three [(Dc,ch1)4x] increases. (Dc,ch1) 4 times in that space.

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Dc, ch1 in ea ch-1 space until you reach the middle space of the next [(Dc, ch1)4x] increase – three times in this case. [(Dc,ch1) 4 times] in the middle space.

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Dc, ch 1 in ea ch-1 space until you reach the middle space of the third [(Dc, ch 1 ) 4x] increase. [(Dc, ch1) 4 times] in the middle space. Continue the sleeve by working one (Dc, ch1) in ea of the rest of the ch-1 spaces around.

It does hang kind of wacky at first, until you add more non-increased rows in Step 7 to balance things out.

T-Shirt Rug Tutorial

Here’s another project that fits firmly into the “tired of staring at it because it’s been sitting on my desk for over a year so I might as well finish it” category!

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There’s no real reason that it took me so long to finish, other than I got continuously distracted by other projects and lost my momentum on it. It was the fourth crocheted t-shirt rug from this seriesΒ that I posted a while ago, in which I allude to the method but don’t provide much of an explanation. Today I am remedying that!

But FIRST! Here’s how to make T-shirt yarn via Endlessly Inspired.

I got the idea of using yarn to crochet around the t-shirt strips from Pinterest (of course) but felt that I could make things a little more interesting by experimenting with stitch designs..
MerryPrankster2…. which was fun, but sometimes one desires a more mindless exercise. So I experimented with ducking the t-shirt yarn strip in front of and behind the stitch, and came up with a design that makes the strip form Β eye-pleasing rings of bobbles or nubs, or in the case of my most recent rug, stones on sand.

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Crocheting around the T-shirt yarn in this way is soooooo much easier, neater-looking, and more economical Β than trying the crochet the t-shirt yarn itself. I always make my own t-shirt yarn, so it’s also better because it’s easy to switch from one ball to another with this method. So enough talk… how is it done?

Crocheted T-shirt Rug How-To

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You need:

A large amount of cotton or acrylic yarn (A skein of Caron One Pound usually gets the job done nicely, with some to spare)

T-shirt Yarn (I use home-made, but store bought works too!)

A 6.00 mm hook

Start by making a magic ring. 6 sc into the ring tightly. Sc into the first sc of the first round to begin a joinless, in-the-round crochet circle. *

*I will not be giving instructions for increases in the round because I’m making the assumption that the crocheter already knows how to handle this – just work them in the same proportion as you usually would or decide how many you need to keep it flat as you go.Β 

In the second round of stitching, hold the t-shirt yarn flat against the last row and start to stitch the single crochet over the tail of this yarn until you have worked 3-5 stitches or have anchored it securely. Once you have secured the t-shirt yarn, you will begin weaving it in and out of the sc stitches.

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This isn’t a picture of the second round, but you can see where I have begun the new strip by anchoring it within the sc stitching before I start weaving it in and out.

Continuing to work in the round (and adding increases where necessary), hold the t-shirt yarn to the back of your work and work a sc in the next stitch. Keep in mind that the t-shirt yarn should be completely to the back of the work so that the yarn is not held within the stitch at all.

*Tightening the sc after working it by holding the loop steady and pulling on your working yarn makes the rug nice and firm and helps the t-shirt yarn bobbles look neat.

Before you work the next stitch, bring the t-shirt yarn completely to the front of the work, so that you are working your next sc behind the t-shirt strand.

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Work the next sc, tighten it down if necessary, then return the t-shirt strand to the back of the work – this will wrap the t-shirt yarn around the stitch you just made, creating a little t-shirt bobble.

With the t-shirt yarn at the back, make another sc in the next stitch.

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Continue alternating holding the t-shirt yarn in front or back, until you get near the end of the strand or decide to change colors. Return the t-shirt yarn to the top of your work and work a series of several sc stitches OVER the yarn, so that it is trapped in the stitch again. Do this until the end is reached, then begin the next strand the same way.

I like to vary the proportion of bobbles in the front (i.e – bring the t-shirt yarn to the front every two stitches, every three stitches, etc) to provide visual interest, or alternate rounds of bobbles with rounds of t-shirt yarn carried along inside openwork stitches.

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T-shirt yarn carried inside openwork stitches (granny blocks in this case)

As I’ve mentioned before, carrying T-shirt yarn along while you crochet regular yarn is a lot easier on your hands than trying to crochet the t-shirt yarn itself! Β And this way, there’s tons of variations you can try.

My rugs usually end up being somewhere between 32-45″, for use as small accent rugs or even table centerpieces (and if you use all cotton materials, really awesome hotpads are possible!) Β Lately, I’ve been thinking more about making them specifically for use as djembe rugs for the drum-circle going type! This of course has nothing to do with the djembe I recently purchased after a drumming workshop.

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Ain’t she pretty?

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Typical. I finally finish a project that I’ve been dragging my feet on, and I immediately want to start another.

❀

-MF