Linked Double Crochet Tutorial

Years ago, I was crocheting a mysterious pineapple stitch market bag (I can’t seem to locate the pattern now) when I ran up against a stitch I hadn’t yet heard of: the linked treble crochet. After a few wonky stitches representing my first learning attempts, I had a band of prettily textured, smooth treble crochet stitchesΒ without holes in between them. This seemed like a tiny miracle to me, since as we know the taller stitches in this lovely craft of ours are pretty hole-y. Which is sometimes great. But sometimes not.

That pretty linked stitch stuck in my mind long after I finished off the project, so I came back for more – and found that you could link any tall stitch, which I consider one of the handiest little bits of hook wizardry to know!

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Today I want to share the Linked Double Crochet tutorial, which I think is a good introduction to linked stitches and ALSO happens to be a featured stitch in my upcoming new pattern πŸ˜‰Β  As you’ll see, linked double crochets are a neat, nice looking and easy way to eliminate gaps between stitches, which is great tool for garments that can’t be see-through or to reinforce areas of crochet for durability.

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Here is a shameless plug for the Plus Size Sol halter top pattern, in which I used linked double crochet (ldc), seen above! I also find ldc does a very nice job at creating borders for Tunisian crochet fabric like in my Shaman Coat pattern– the texture and density of the two stitch styles work well together.

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Neat, huh? So let’s do this!

Linked Double Crochet (ldc)

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Linked double crochet (ldc) uses the middle (horizontal) bar of the previous dc stitch to draw up a loop, instead of using a yarn over wrap as for a normal dc. This loop is then crocheted into the stitch as the yarn over would be, and the resulting stitches are linked by their horizontal bars.

Step 1:Β 

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Beginning with the first dc of your linked double crochet section, locate the “bar” of the stitch which runs diagonally across the middle, shown here highlighted in blue. Insert your hook, from top to bottom through this one strand.

If you are beginning a new row and not starting in the middle of a row of regular stitches, you can insert through the front half of the second chain of the turning chain, or make a regular dc to start.

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Step 2:

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Yarn over and draw up a loop through this strand. The loop just made stands in for the YO wrap that would normally begin a double crochet stitch.

Step 3:

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Insert hook into the next stitch and draw up a loop – three loops on the hook.

Step 4:Β 

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Yarn over and draw through 2 loops.

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Yarn over and draw through two loops again to complete the stitch. The new stitch now has a middle bar (bright blue) that is linked to the middle bar of the previous stitch (faded blue).

To continue,Β keep inserting your hook into the middle bar of the previous ldc and drawing up a loop to replace the yarn over. The result is a line of sturdy but flexible stitching with a pleasing lined texture.

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Aww, it’s like they’re holding hands.

 

And about those linked treble crochets I mentioned at the beginning of the post – since they’ve got TWO middle bars, you can just draw up two loops – which stand in for the TWO yarn overs you would do for a regular treble. Pretty slick, eh? I think so.

-MF

 

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Forest Girl Beret Free Crochet Pattern

As I mentioned in a recent post, I’ve been geeking out about Mori Kei (“forest style”), one of many fascinating Japanese street styles. I mean… combining forest themed accessories, layered skirts, and crochet/knitwear? Plus crazy socks?? Sign me up.

 

And of course, my proclivity for putting horns on things fits right in. So when I saw this adorable antlered beret on Pinterest, I was inspired to create my own version. Paired with a Mori-inspired outfit of course.

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The hat pattern itself is a slight modification of the Sweetheart Beret, a free pattern I made two years ago. The antlers are new, done more simply than the bigger antlers I make for my Deer Hat pattern.Β  Hope you like this new little project, and be sure to share on Ravelry if you do!

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Forest Girl Beret

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Materials:
5.00 mm hook, 3.50 mm hook
1 skein Buttercream Mohair Metallic (#5 Bulky, 3.5 oz, 188 yds)
30-40 yds brown DK weight yarn for antlers (Worsted weight is fine, too)
Tapestry needle
Size 5 knitting DPNs (optional)
Gauge: 7 sts & 5 rows = 2” in hdc

Notes:

The Ch 2 at the beginning of each round DOES NOT COUNT as the first st of the round.

Instructions:

To begin, make a 6 row I-Cord using either the knit technique or the crochet I-cord technique (Planet June has an excellent tutorial on the crochet version)

On the sixth row, transfer all three loops (if knitting) onto your 5.00 mm crochet hook.

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Grab the loop closest to your hook end and draw it through the other two loops on the hook, leaving you with one loop on the hook.

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Rnd 1 : Ch 3. Join with a slip stitch to the first chain to form a ring. This gives you a ring attached to the base of the I-cord. With the I-cord at the back, Ch 2 and work 8 hdc into the ring, then join with a slip stitch to the first hdc, (remember this is NOT the beginning ch-2). You will have a circle of 8 hdc stitches with the I-cord off center from the beginning ring on the wrong side of your stitching, which is where it will stay until we center it later.

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I-cord with ch-3 ring made

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8 hdc into the ring

Rnd 2: Ch 2. 2 hdc into the same st. (2 hdc in the next st) 7 times. Join with a sl st. – 16 sts

Rnd 3: Ch 2, hdc into the same st. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in the next st, 2 hdc into the next st) 7 times. Join with a sl st – 24 sts.

Rnd 4: Ch 2, 1 hdc in the same st and 1 hdc in the next st. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc into ea of the next 2 sts, 2 hdc into the next st) 7 times. Join with a sl st – 32 sts

Rnd 5: Ch 2, hdc in the same st and in ea of the next 2 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc into ea of the next 3 sts, 2 hdc into the next st.) 7 times. Join with a sl st – 40 sts.

Rnd 6: Ch 2, hdc in the same st and in ea of the next 3 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 4 sts, 2 hdc into the next st.) 7 times. Join with a sl st – 48 sts.

Rnd 7: Ch 2, hdc in the same st and in ea of the next 4 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 5 sts, 2 hdc into the next st.) 7 times. Join with a sl st – 56 sts.

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At this point, my circular pattern is starting to form telltale points at the increases. To keep the work nice and rounded, the next round offsets the increases – although the total number of increases remains the same.

Rnd 8: Ch 2, hdc in the same st and in ea of the next 2 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 6 sts, 2 hdc into the next st.) 7 times. Hdc in ea of the next 3 sts. Join with a sl st – 64 sts.

 

Rnd 9: Ch 2, hdc in the same st and in ea of the next 3 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 7 sts, 2 hdc in the next st.) 7 times.Β  Hdc in ea of the next 3 sts. Join with a sl st – 72 sts.

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A few stitches before the end of Rnd 9

Rnd 10: Ch 2, hdc in the same st and in ea of the next 4 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 8 sts, 2 hdc in the next st.) 7 times. Hdc in ea of the next 3 sts. Join with a sl st – 80 sts.

In the next round, we will offset the increases again.

Rnd 11: Ch 2, hdc in the same st and in ea of the next 8 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 9 sts, 2 hdc in the next st.) 7 times. Join with a sl st – 88 sts.

Rnd 12: Ch 2, hdc in the same st and in ea of the next 9 sts. 2 hdc in the next st. (1 hdc in ea of the next 10 sts, 2 hdc in the next st.) 7 times. Join with a sl st – 96 sts.

Rnds 13-16: Ch 2, hdc in the same st. 1 hdc in ea of the next 95 sts. Join with a sl st – 96 sts.

Rnd 17: Ch 2, hdc in the same st and in ea of the next 9 sts. Hdc2tog over the next 2 sts. (1 hdc in ea of the next 10 sts, hdc2tog over the next 2 sts.) – 88 sts.

Rnd 18-20: Ch 2, 1 hdc in the same st. Hdc in ea of the next 87 sts. – 88 sts

Rnd 21: Ch 2, 1 hdc in the same st and in ea of the next 3 sts. Hdc2tog over the next 2 sts. (1 hdc in ea of the next 3 sts, hdc2tog over the next 2 sts. 1 hdc in ea of the next 4 sts, hdc2tog over the next 2 sts) 7 times. 1 hdc in ea of the next 3 sts, hdc2tog over the next 2 sts. Join with a sl st. – 72 sts.

Rnd 22: Ch 2, 1 hdc in the same st and in ea of the next 6 sts. Hdc2tog over the next 2 sts. (1 hdc in ea of the next 7 sts, hdc2tog over the next 2 sts) around – 64 sts

The next round begins with a turn so that we are working with the WS facing. The rest of the hat will be worked from this side.

Rnd 23: Ch 1, turn. Sc in the same st and in ea of the next 71 sts. Join with a sl st – 72 sts.

Rnds 24 – 25: Ch 1, sc in the same st and in ea of the next 71 sts. Join with a sl st – 72 sts.

Rnd 26: Sl st loosely in the next st and in ea of the remaining 71 sts. Try on the hat to test for size. If the slip stitching makes your brim too tight, skip this round. Cut yarn and tie off.

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This hat uses the wrong side of the piece as the outside surface, so make sure that the wrong side is facing out before weaving in all your ends!

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Thread your yarn needle with the yarn end from the i-cord.

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Slip the needle end down through the i-cord and through the opposite side of the beginning ring to center the cord over the middle of the beginning ring. Straighten out your yarn tension so that the i-cord can stretch out fully and look natural. Weave in the rest of the yarn end, and all other yarn ends.

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Antlers:

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Using 3.50 hook and DK weight yarn

Make 2 of each tine. Worked continuously in the round. Use a stitch marker to keep track of rounds. Gauge is amigurumi-style, aka as tight as possible πŸ˜‰

Main Tine:

Rnd 1: Make Magic Ring. 6 sc into the ring. Pull the ring closed tightly.

Rnd 2: 1 sc in ea sc around. – 6 sts

Rnd 3: *1 sc in the next sc, 2 sc in the next sc. Rpt from * around. – 9 sts

Rnds 4-13: 1 sc in ea st around. – 9 sts

Rnd 14: *1 sc in ea of the next 2 sc, 2 sc in the next sc. Rpt fromΒ  * around. – 12 sts

Sl st in the next 2-3 sts, cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

2nd Tine

Rnd 1: Make Magic Ring. 6 sc into the ring. Pull the ring closed tightly.

Rnd 2: 1 sc in ea sc around. – 6 sts

Rnd 3: *1 sc in the next sc, 2 sc in the next sc. Rpt from * around. – 9 sts

Rnds 4-8: 1 sc in ea st around. – 9 sts

Sl st in the next 2-3 sts. Cut yarn and tie off, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Assembly:

Thread the long tail of the 2nd tine onto a tapestry needle and sew around the base onto the main tine. Weave in the end. Rpt for other antler.

Thread the long tail of the main tine onto a tapestry needle and position your antlers on the beret. I tried to place mine roughly equally spaced around the 6th-7th round of the beret. I liked this for a subtle look, where the antlers can mostly be seen from the back. But, it would be fun to position them further forward too!

If your stitching isn’t tight enough to keep the antlers stiff on their own, you can stuff a tiny bit of fiberfill in the base of the main tine to help stabilize things.

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Sew around the base of the antler, attaching it to the beret. Weave in any remaining ends.

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ForestGirl3

Quick AND cute, I’ll definitely be making a few more of these for springtime! I also unearthed the toadstool beret I had from the making of the originalΒ  tam pattern and got some new photos. I used a tapestry needle threaded with fluffy white bulky weight yarn to add the characteristic speckles by embroidering french knots.

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I particularly enjoy the background view of my freaky forest friends staring me down πŸ˜€

-MF

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Basic Armwarmers Tutorial

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Armwarmers are an awesome crochet project. Quick, fun, and not finicky – these babies have been a go-to for me whenever I have a spare skein of soft yarn that needs a purpose. This pattern/tutorial/guide is customizeable, with enough structure to use as a straightforward pattern for beginners, or for more experienced crocheters to use as a base for inspiration.

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This tutorial features a guide for figuring gauge & sizing, base pattern for two different gauge sizes, and some ideas for creative extras. My favorite features of the gloves themselves are the continuous round construction that eliminates the join seam and the unique thumb opening, which creates a more contoured fit at the base of the thumb.

So without further introduction…

Basic Armwarmers Tutorial

Materials:
300-400 yds #4 or #5 weight yarn
5.00 mm hook
Scissors, tapestry needle
2 Stitch Markers

Gauge:
For bulky yarns, 3 sts & 2 rows = 1″ in hdc
For worsted yarns, 7 sts & 5 rows = 2″ in hdc

Figuring Gauge:

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For this project you’ll need to make a gauge swatch. This is just a square of fabric worked, for this project, in rows of half double crochet. Generally more stitches per square will give you a better reading of your gauge, but I have cheated a bit here and made relatively small swatches. The worsted weight swatches (purple, top left and rainbow, bottom) both measure 7 sts & 5 rows = 2″.

You can find out your gauge by creating a swatch 10-20 stitches in length, with enough rows to make a fat rectangle or a square. Then, take a measuring device and measure across a row of stitches in the middle of the swatch.

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As you can see, for this gauge measuring to ONE inch means I’d have a fraction of a stitch included in my gauge (since one inch covers about 3 and a half stitches). Since that makes for messy math, measure for 2″ instead, which gives 7 sts = 2″.

Next, measure how many rows will equal your 2″ in height.

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So for this yarn, my gauge is 7 sts and 5 rows = 2″.Β  My bulky weight yarn gauge (the yellow) is more even, with 3 sts and 2 rows equalling an inch. You can use your gauge to create a custom sized pair of armwarmers, or you can change hooks or yarn weights to match one of the two gauges listed here and use the pre-written patterns for each gauge.

Sizing:

To figure your own custom size, take a tape measure and get the circumference of your hand measured across the base of your thumb with your hand relaxed (not spread or closed tightly). For me, this is about 8-9″. This is how wide the armwarmer will be. This measurement will also be enough to get the warmer snug on my mid-forearm, which also measures about 8-9″.

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Since I like my armwarmers snug, we’ll shoot for an 8″ circumference (don’t forget they will stretch some also). In the bulky yarn gauge, 3 stitches = 1″ in width, so 8 (inches) x 3 (sts) = 24 sts. Our armwarmer pattern for bulky yarn will use a base of 24 sts.

In worsted weight gauge, I had 7 sts = 2″, so since 2″ goes into 8″ 4 times, I use the formula 7 (sts) x 4 (sets of 2 inches) = 28 sts. Our armwarmer pattern for worsted weight will use a base of 28 sts.

The photos for the tutorial appear for the worsted weight pattern, with the bulky weight pattern instructions appearing separately below πŸ™‚ But you can use the photo reference for both!

Basic Armwarmers: Worsted Weight

Notes: Worked continuously in the round. Place marker in the first stitch of every round.

Rnd 1: Ch 28. Join in a ring by working a sc into the first st of the chain.

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Rnd 2: Hdc in the next st. Place marker in this first stitch. Hdc in ea of the next 27 sts.

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Rnds 3 – 21: Hdc in ea hdc around.

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Rnd 22: Hdc in the first st. Place a 2nd marker in the stitch half way around the row from the first stitch of the round (the 14th st). This is where you will create the hole for the thumb over the next 2 rounds. Hdc in ea of the next 12 sts. 3 dc in the marked stitch. Move the 2nd marker to the 2nd dc in this st. Hdc in ea of the next 14 sts.

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Rnd 23: Hdc in ea of the next 13 sts. Dc in the next st. Sk next 3 sts, dc in the next st. Hdc in ea st around.

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Ta-Da! Thumbhole. NOW, you can add a few more rounds of hdc, but since I will be adding post stitch ribbing to the end, I am not going to do that. Whenever you have reached the length you like (saving room for embellishment if you want to), end your final round and then use:

1 sc in ea of the next 2 sts, 1 sl st in ea of the next 2 sts.Β  Cut yarn and tie off.

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This accomplishes a height change so your edge will be even. To add trim like contrasting sc, scallops, or post stitch rib, rejoin your yarn and work in regular, non-continuous rounds.

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Post Stitch Rnd 1: Join yarn in any stitch, ch 2 (does not count as first st). Hdc in ea st around. Join with a sl st in the first hdc of the round.
Post Stitch Rnd 2: Ch 2 (does not count), Fphdc in the same st. Bphdc in the next st. *Fphdc in the next st, bphdc in the next st. Rpt from * around. Join with a sl st in the first st of the round.

Rpt Rnd 2 again, or until you have the length you want. Cut yarn and tie off.

For more info on how to work post stitches, see my tutorial here! For the purple armwarmers below, I added a round of scallops and some contrasting embroidery. Okay, my embroidery needs a little work πŸ˜›

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Basic Armwarmers: Bulky Weight

Notes: Worked continuously in the round. Place marker in the first stitch of every round.

Rnd 1: Ch 24. Join in a ring by working a sc into the first st of the chain.

Rnd 2: Hdc in the next st. Place marker in the first st. Hdc in ea of the next 23 sts.

Rnds 3-16: Hdc in ea hdc around.

Rnd 17: Place a 2nd st marker in the 12th stitch of the round. Hdc in ea stitch until you reach the marker, then 3 dc in the marked stitch. Transfer 2nd marker to the 2nd dc of this stitch. Hdc in the next 12 sts.

Rnd 18: Hdc in ea of the next 10 sts. Dc in the next st. Sk next 3 sts. Dc in the next st. Hdc in ea of the next 12 sts.

Rnds 19 – 21 (or until you have the length you want): Hdc in ea st around.

To end, finish your last round then 1 sc in ea of the next 2 sts, 1 sl st in ea of the next 2 sts. Cut yarn and tie off.

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I added some spiffy autumn trees to the mustard yellow gloves!

I hope this little tutorial has inspired you to use up some orphan skeins (or go out and buy new ones… hey, I ain’t gonna judge).

-MF

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Post Stitch Ribbing Tutorial

I LOVE post stitches. Whether in the context of ribbing, overlay crochet,Β  or the ever-popular crocodile stitch, I think post stitching is one of the most versatile and useful tricks in the crocheter’s arsenal.

Post stitching can create a number of looks that are completely unique to crochet, but I often rely on the simple alternation of front post double crochet (fpdc) and back post double crochet (bpdc) to make ribbing on my pieces. This fpdc/bpdc rib mimics the look of knit, but it also lends some handy characteristics to the fabric – an elasticity and a squishy density you won’t get with regular crochet!

PostStitchPinstructional1Β Just like knit, fpdc/bpdc ribbing is great for the ends of sweater sleeves, boot toppers, the brims of hats, or anywhere you want a great combination of texture and stretchiness. I’m a fan of doing whole pieces with post stitch rib in bulky yarn just for the squishy joy of it.

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SQUISHY JOY. These are hats made from my Gnome Toboggan design, a post stitch beanie with a pointy poofball profile.

Here’s a tutorial for fpdc/bpdc rib – earlier versions of this tutorial have appeared in a number of my paid patterns, but I swiped the pictures for this particular tutorial from the Boho Fringe Poncho pattern, since the bulky yarn makes things a little easier to see.

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Front Post Double Crochet / Back Post Double Crochet Tutorial

As the name suggest, this stitch is worked into the “post” of the stitch below, rather than into the top loops.

To start, you’ll need an even number of stitches (divisible by 2) on whatever it is you are adding the ribbed edge to. You can do this with any size yarn or hook.

Create 1 row/rnd of traditional double crochet, made the through the top loops of the stitches below as normal. Do not count the beginning chain as your first stitch. If you are adding ribbing onto a row/rnd that is already regular double crochet, you can skip this step.

Ch 2 or 3 to start the next row/rnd. This beginning chain does not count as your first stitch.

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Normally, ch-3 is theΒ  beginning chain equivalent of a double crochet. I like to chain 2 instead of the traditional 3 because post stitches are a little shorter than regular crochet stitches, so the ch-2 just looks neater to me (but the pictures show the traditional ch-3).Β 

To begin the first front post double crochet, yarn over once as for traditional dc. Instead of inserting your hook into the top loops of the stitch to be worked, you will insert your hookΒ from the front of the work (on the right side) to the back (the wrong side) beside the next stitch to be worked.

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In the top photo, the “post” of the stitch to be worked is highlighted.

Next, re-emerge the hook from back to front on the other side of the stitch to be worked. Your hook should be positioned across the front of the work, with the post caught over the top of your hook.

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Please forgive the state of my nails πŸ˜› I’ve never been one for manicures.

Yarn over and draw a loop up from under the post of the stitch that you had on the hook. You will now have 2 loops on the hook – your second loop will be wrapped around the post.

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Yarn over and draw through 2 loops on the hook. Yarn over once more and draw through the last 2 loops on the hook, completing one front post double crochet.

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Easy, right? Good news! The back post double is almost exactly the same thing, except, you know, on the back. To continue your ribbing, yarn over.

Insert your hookΒ from the back of the work (the wrong side) to the front of the work (the right side) beside the next stitch to be worked.

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Re-emerge the hook on the back side of the work (the wrong side) on the other side of the stitch being worked. Your hook should be positioned across the back of your work, with the post of the next stitch caught over the top.

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Yarn over and draw up a loop from under the post of the stitch you had on the hook.

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Yarn over and draw through 2 loops on the hook, then YO and draw through 2 loops again, completing the bpdc.

Continue to alternate fpdc and bpdc. I like to do 1 fpdc / 1 bpdc, but you could easily make thicker ribs by alternating 2 fpdc / 2 bpdc or more (but don’t forget this will change the required number of base stitches!)

The front post stitches appear as a raised stitch on the front of the work, while the back post stitches appear raised on the back and only show up as receding lines on the front.

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This fabric is reversible – if you are working in rows and not rounds, when you turn for the next row, the back post double crochets will become the front post double crochets – simply fpdc into each fpdc (the stitches that are now sticking out) and bpdc into each bpdc (the receding stitches).

It takes a few rows/rnds of post stitch rib for the texture to really solidify and get the crisp look and useful stretch – so if yours isn’t looking quite right yet, keep going for a few more!

Of course, post stitches can be worked with any length of crochet stitch – sc, hdc, dc, tr, etc – the smaller your stitches the stiffer your fabric will be, and taller stitches will be looser of course. Here’s some patterns I’ve made using this technique; hope you enjoy!

-MF

(Right to left) Gnome Toboggan – paid, Boho Fringe Poncho – paid, Mini Mandala Tam – paid, Post Stitch Pixie Bonnet – FREE, Leafy Tam – FREE, Woodsman’s Wife Ruana – paid, Steampunk Ruffled Wristers – FREE

Glow-in-the-Dark Mushroom Free Pattern

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

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

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

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

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

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Jack-o’-Lantern Mushroom Pouch

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

Gauge is not critical

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

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

Helpful Tutorials:Β 
Magic Ring, Back Loop Only

Stem:

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

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

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

Cap:

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

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

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

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Weave in all ends.

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

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

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

-MF

Halloween Special: Crochet Pumpkin

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

Also, have you disemboweled a gourd recently? Satisfying.

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Chaston’s bat carving from last year

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

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

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

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

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

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Too much :/

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

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

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

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

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with sneaky hedgehog fren!

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

-MF

Lotus Duster 2.0

Finally! I have been working on rewriting, restyling, tweaking, and expanding this design for ages, and I am so excited it’s time to premier the new version for free here on the blog! (or for purchase in PDF – read on for more info).

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Special thanks to my beautiful BFF Danielle for modeling for me πŸ˜€

You can get this pattern in downloadable, printable format from my Ravelry Pattern Store or my Etsy shop for 5.50 USD. The PDF version also includes a TON (100+) of bonus tutorial photos in the regular version as well as a printer-friendly file with just text!

The old version is still available on the blog for those that were in the middle of working one and want to continue with the same version. The NEW version is right here!

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Some of the tweaks I have made to the design include reworking the neckline to make the collar more manageable (read- less ruffled), adding detailed instructions as to how to work the half rounds, rewriting the sleeve tutorial to be more precise, adding stitch counts for all the rounds on the main body, writing instructions on attaching ties, and generally cleaning up the writing style. OH, and I almost forgot – in response to many requests, there is now A LARGE SIZE! YAY! Check out the FREE pattern below!

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Lotus Mandala Duster

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Sizes Small (Left) and Large (Right)

Notes:
Reading the pattern: Pattern is written for Small with the changes for Large listed afterward – when there are no changes, directions apply to all sizes. Rows marked “Extra” with a decimal number are for Larges only (Example: “Extra Round 13.1”)

Joining the Rounds: This pattern frequently uses hdc and dc to join the rounds in the openwork portions. If you are having trouble with the round-end joins, please see my Chain & Stitch Join Tutorial at
https://moralefiber.blog/2017/07/24/chain-stitch-join-tutorial/

Color Changes: This pattern leaves you free to plan your own color changes. To change colors, cut old color and tie off, then join new color in the last stitch of the round (for solid rounds) or last chain space of the round (for openwork/lace rounds).

Yarns Used: The Small size Duster (pictured above on the left) is made with yarns recycled from sweaters. You can find a tutorial for how to reclaim yarn on my blog at:
http://wp.me/p5Dj8T-3d
The Large duster (pictured on the right) is made with the yarn listed in the Materials section.

Materials
5.5 mm hook (I always use an in-line hook for these)
Premier Cotton Fair (#2, 3.5 oz, 317 yds) – 6 skeins
Scissors & Tapestry Needle

Gauge: 3β€³ measured across the diameter after Rnd 3.

Final Dimensions:
SMALL: 22.5β€³ radius (measured from center of motif to bottom edge)
50β€³ diameter (measured from collar to bottom edge)
Up to 36” bust
LARGE: 26.5” radius
53” diameter
Up to 42” bust

Some terms:

Dc with last loop on the hook: YO once, insert hk into next st/sp, draw up a loop. YO and pull through 2 lps on the hook. 2 lps remain on the hook (1 original and 1 left unworked from the dc stitch).

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

3-dc cluster – Work 3 dc stitches leaving the last loop on the hook for each. YO and draw through all 4 loops on the hook.

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

Main Body

  1. Make magic ring. 8 sc into the ring, tighten. Join with a slip stitch in first sc of the round. – 8 sc

 

  1. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next sc, ch 1) 7 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rdch of beg ch-4. – 8 dc + 8 spaces

 

  1. Sl st into the next ch-1 space, ch 2 – counts as first dc with last loop on the hook. Dc into the same space 3 more times, keeping last loops on the hook. YO, draw through all four loops on the hook. 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 to join. This positions your hook in the middle of a ch-3 sized space to begin your next round. – 8 clusters + 8 spaces

 

  1. Ch 2 – counts as first dc with last lp on hk, dc into the same 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 the next ch-3 sp, ch 2, 4-dc cluster in the same sp, ch 2) 7 times. Ch 2, work 1 4-dc cluster in next ch-3 space, work 1 hdc in the top of the first cluster to join. 16 clusters + 16 spaces

 

  1. 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. 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 to join. – 16 clusters + 16 spaces

 

  1. 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 3rdch of beg ch-3. – 16 sets of 3 dc + 16 spaces

 

  1. Sl st in the top of the next dc. (Sk next dc. In the next ch-3 space work 2 hdc, 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc, 2 hdc – shell made. Sk next dc, sl st in the next dc) 16 times. Join with a sl st in first sl st. – 16 shells

 

  1. 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 3rdch of beg ch-3. – 32 spaces

 

  1. 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 the last st worked the previous tr3tog, work 1 treble crochet leaving last lp on hk. Work 1 treble in next sc leaving last lp on hk. Work 1 treble in next dc leaving last lp on hk – 4 lps on the hk. YO, draw through all four lps on hk – tr3tog made, ch 7.) 15 times. Join with a sl st in top of first tr3tog. – 16 tr3tog + 16 spaces

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  1. 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. Work 1dc in the top of the next tr3tog st, ch 1) 15 times. 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. Sl st into 3rdch of beg ch-4. Β – 48 clusters + 16 dc

 

  1. (Ch 3. Sk next space and next cluster, work 1 4-dc cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 2. Skip next cluster, work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-2 space, ch 3. Sk next cluster and space, sl st in next dc.) 15 times. Ch 3. Sk next space and next cluster, work 1 4-dc cluster in next ch-2 space, ch 2. Sk next cluster, work 1 4-dc cluster in the next ch-2 space. Sk next cluster and space, dc in same st as the sl st join of the previous round. – 32 clusters
  2. 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 spaces
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  3. Sl st in the next ch-4 space, ch 3 – counts as first dc. Work 4 dc in the same space. (1 dc in top of the next cluster, 5 dc in next ch-4 space, 1 dc in top of the next tr2tog, 5 dc in next ch-4 space) 15 times. Work 1 dc in top of next cluster, 5 dc in next ch-5 space, 1 dc in top of tr2tog. Join with a slip stitch to the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. – 192 dc sts

Extra Rnd 13.1: Ch 3 – counts as first dc. Dc in ea of the next 22 sts. 2 dc in the next st. (Dc in ea of the next 23 sts, 2 dc in the next st) 7 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. – 200 dc sts

 

Extra Rnd 13.2: Ch 3 – counts as first dc. Dc in ea of the next 23 sts. 2 dc in the next st. (Dc in ea of the next 24 sts, 2 dc in the next st) 7 times. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3. – 208 dc sts

 

  1. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch-1. Sk next dc. (Dc in next dc, ch 1, sk next dc) 95, 103 Join with a sl stitch to the 3rdch of beg ch-4. – 96 dc + 96 ch-1 spaces, 104 dc + 104 ch-1 spaces.

 

  1. (Sk next ch-1 space. Work 1 hdc in the next dc. In the same st work 1 dc, 1 tr, 1 dc, 1 hdc – scallop made. Skip next ch-1 space, sl stitch in next dc) 48, 52 Join with a sl st in the same st as join from the previous rnd. – 48 scallops, 52 scallops

 

When working with multiple colors, I always change colors after Rnd 15 – otherwise, the pretty scallops become hard to see after the next rnd.

  1. Ch 3 –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, 51 Hdc in next stitch, sk next st, join with a sl st to the 3rdch of beg ch-3. – 192, 208 sts

 

  1. Ch 5 – counts as first dc + ch 2. (Sk next st, dc in next stitch, ch 2) 94, 102 Sk next st,dc in the next stitch. Hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-5. – 96, 104 ch spaces

 

Extra Rnd 17.1 – Ch 5 – counts as first dc + ch 2. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 2) 102 times. Dc in the next space, hdc in the 3rd ch of the beg ch-5 to join. – 104 ch spaces

Β 

  1. Sc in the space formed by the hdc join of the previous rnd. Ch 3. (Sc in the next ch space, ch 3) 94, 102 Sc in the next ch space, ch 1, hdc in the first sc of the round. – 96, 104 ch spaces

Rnds 19-20. Rpt rnd 18.

Extra Round 20.1: Rpt Rnd 18 once more

Sleeve Yoke round:

21. Ch 3. (1 dc in the next ch-3 space, ch 1, 1 dc in the same space) 10 times. Ch 30, 33, sk the next 6, 7 ch-3 spaces, (1 dc in the next ch space, ch 1, 1 dc in the same space) 10,14 times. Ch 30, 33, sk the next 6, 7 ch-3 spaces, (1 dc in the next ch space, ch 1, 1 dc in the same space) 63, 65 times. 1 dc in the next ch space, ch 1, sl st in the 3rdΒ ch of beg ch-3.- 84, 90 ch-1 spaces and 2 long chain loops that form the upper halves of the sleeve yokes

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22. Ch 3 – counts as first dc. 1 dc in the next dc (3 dc in the next ch-1 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, 33 ch sts. 1 dc in the next dc (1 dc in the next ch sp, 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc) 9, 13 times**. 1 dc in the next ch sp, 1 dc in the next dc. 1 dc in ea of the next 30, 33 ch sts. 1 dc in the next dc (3 dc in the next ch-1 space, 1 dc in ea of the next 2 dc) 63, 65 times. 3 dc in the next ch-3 sp, join with a sl st to the 3rdΒ ch of beg ch-3. – 460, 488 sts

** Moving the armholes further apart or closer together to adjust the garment to your measurements will change this count. Just remember that any V-stitch in between the shoulder yokes should have 1 dc per space, not 3 as with the rest of the round.

23. Ch 3 – counts as first dc. (Sk next three sts, 1 dc in the next st. Ch 3, 1 dc in the same st) 114, 121 times. Sk next three sts, dc in the next st, ch 1. Hdc in the 3rdΒ ch of beg ch-4 to join. – 115, 122 V-stitches

24. Ch 3 – counts as first dc. (1 dc in the next ch sp, ch 3, dc in the same space) 114, 121 times. 1 dc in the next ch space, ch 1, hdc in the 3rdΒ ch of beg ch-3. – 115, 122 V-stitches

25. Sc in space formed by the hdc join of the previous round, ch 4. (Sc in next ch-3 space, ch 4) 113, 120 times. Β Sc in the next ch-1 sp, ch 1, dc in the first sc of the round. – 115, 122 ch spaces

26. Sc in the space formed by the dc join of the previous rnd, ch 4. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 4) 113, 120 times. Sc in the next ch sp, ch 1, dc in the first sc of the round. – 115, 122 ch spaces

27.Sc in the same sp, ch 5. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 5) 113, 120 times. Sc in the next space, ch 2, dc in the first sc of the round. – 115, 122 ch spaces

28-30. Rpt rnd 27.

Extra Rnd 30.1-30.2: Rpt rnd 27 two more times

31. Sc in the same sp, ch 6. (Sc in the next ch sp, ch 6) 113, 120times. Sc in the next space, ch 3, dc in the first sc of the round. – 115, 122 ch spaces

Extra Rnd 31.1: Rpt Rnd 31

32. 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) 114, 121 times, join with a sl st in first sc of the round. – 115, 122 fans

33. Ch 5 – counts as first dc + ch 2. Sk next 2 sts, sc in the next st (the third dc of the fan), ch 1, sc in the next dc, ch 2. (sk 2 sts, dc in next sc, ch 2. Sk next 2 sts, sc in the 3rdΒ dc of next fan, ch 1, sc in the next dc, ch 2) 113,120 times. Sk next 2 sts, dc in the next sc, ch 2, sk next 2 sts, sc in the 3rdΒ dc of next fan. Ch 1, sc in the next dc, work 1 hdc in the 3rdΒ ch of beg ch-5 to join. – 345, 366 chain spaces

34. 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) 114, 121 times. Hdc in the next ch-2 sp, ch 2, hdc in the next ch-1 sp, hdc in the 2ndΒ ch of beg ch-2 to join. – 345, 366 ch spaces made

Working the following rounds on the top half only:

35. Ch 3. (Dc in the next ch-2 space, ch 1, dc in the same sp) 171, 191 times. Ch 3, Sl st in the next ch-2 space. Ch 3, turn. – 171, 191 dc V-stitches

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36. Sk first ch-3 space. Work 1 dc, leaving last lp on the hook in the next ch-1 space. Work 2 more dc with the last lp on the hook in the same space. YO and draw through all 4 lps on the hook – 1 3-dc cluster made. Ch 2. (3 dc cluster in the next ch-1 sp, ch 2) 169, 189 times. 3 dc cluster in the next ch-1 space, ch 3. Sk next ch space, sl st in the next hdc. Ch 3, turn. – 171, 191 dc clusters

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Work next round over entire circle.

37. 3 dc in the first ch-3 space. (3 dc in the next ch-2 space) 171, 191 times. 3 dc in the next ch-3 space. (3 dc in the next ch-2 space) 172, 173 times. 3 dc in the next chain space. Join with a sl st to the 3rdΒ ch of beg ch-3. – 1036, 1101 dc

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Cut yarn and tie off.

Sleeves:

Step 1. Attach yarn on the inside of the armhole, in the side of the last dc before the armhole on Rnd 21. Ch 3 – counts as first dc. 1, 2 dc more in the side of the dc. 2, 3 dc in each of the 8, 9 chain spaces – including the spaces that the v-stitches from Rnd 21 are worked into. 2, 3 dc into the side of the other Rnd 21 dc on the opposite end of the armhole. 1 dc into the base of all 30, 33 ch sts. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round. – 50, 66 Β dc

Β DSC_1393

Step 2. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. Sk next st. (Dc in the next st, ch 1, sk next st) 23, 31 times. Dc in the next st, hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4 to join. – 25, 33 ch-1 spaces

Β DSC_1397

Step 3. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the next sp, ch 1) 23, 31 times. Dc in the next st, hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4 to join. – 25, 33 ch-1 spaces

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 Step 3 until your total reaches 23 rows, or until the length reaches just below your elbow.

Locate the ch space that is centered at the back of the elbow and mark it. (14thΒ space from the join for me, 17th on the large) This will now be the increase center.

Step 4. Ch 4 – 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, ending with a hdc join in the 3rd ch of the beg ch-4.

Repeat Step 4 until short side of sleeve is about mid-forearm (11 rounds for me)

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Step 5. Ch 4 – 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 – increase made. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the increase center – increase made. (Dc, ch 1) 4 times in the space after the increase center- increase made. 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, ending on a hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4 to join.

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Shown above is the three adjacent increases made after Step 5, each with the center space of the increase marked.

Step 6. Ch 4– 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 increase made in this repeat is now the increase center. (Dc in the next ch space, ch 1) the rest of the way around, ending with a hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4 to join.

Β DSC_1426

(Basically, put a 3-space increase in the center of each increase, dc + ch 1 in every other space.)

Step 7. Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. (Dc in the sp, ch 1) rpt the rest of the way around, ending with a hdc in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4 to join.

Rpt Step 7 until the length reaches your wrist, or as many times as desired.

Step 8. Ch 3, 1 dc in the same space. 1 dc in the next dc. (2 dc in next ch-1 space, 1 dc in next dc) rpt around. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-3.

-To add even more ruffle, increase the amount of dc sts per chain space.
– For extra length or added detailing, Rpt Step 8 then follow Steps 9 – 11

Step 9. Β Ch 3 – counts as first dc. 1 dc in ea st around. Join with a sl st in top of beg chain

Step 10: Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch-1. Sk next st. (Dc in the next st, ch 1, sk next st) rpt around. Join with a sl st in the 3rd ch of beg ch-4.

Step 11: Ch 1 – counts as first sc. Sc in the next space. (Sc in the next dc, sc in the next space) rpt around. Join with a sl st to the beg ch.

Cut yarn and tie off. Repeat sleeve on the other side. Remember that if you start your second sleeve in the same place as the first, you will need to re-measure to find the space at the elbow before Step 4 – it may not be the same as you will be working in the opposite direction.

Weave in all ends.

Ties:

Beginning with the shell below the last cluster on the end of Rnd 36, place marker. Repeat on the other side. WS facing (or on the β€œinside” of the duster), attach yarn to the edge of the marked shell. Sl st in each stitch of the shells around, ending at the shell with the other marker. Be sure to keep your gauge fairly loose. Cut yarn and tie off, weave in ends.

Note: For larger sizes, you may want to move the row of slip stitching for the ties out to the very last round of the garment so that it can tie across the full front of the torso. Test your tie placement with the jacket on before deciding!

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Shown above is the slip stitching that reinforces the shells in preparation for attaching ties, worked in a contrasting color so you can see – I actually did the ties in the same white color as the rest of the garment.

Locate the shell in the middle of the two previously marked shells and mark it. This shell should fall in the center of your back when you try the coat on – if not, adjust placement so that it does.

With the coat on, decide where you want your ties to be and mark those shells with stitch markers. Take the coat off and make sure that your placement is even, using the middle marked shell as a guide. I like to do 3-4 ties on each side, 2-3 shells apart, beginning just above the apex of the bust.

Cut 5-6 yard long strands of yarn. Fold into a loop and pull through the middle slip stitch of the first shell on either side. Draw tail ends through the loop and tighten – separate into 3 bundles of four strands and braid to the end. Tie off. Cut 6 more strands, repeat the process of attaching to your next marked shell and braid. Repeat on one side, then switch to the other side and repeat process for as many ties as you like.

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Weave in all ends and block if desired. Congratulations on your new Lotus Mandala Duster!

(Individual artisans may feel free to sell finished items made from this pattern – just please link back to me!)

Time for more pictures!

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And I FINALLY made one just for me, as an early birthday present to myself:

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If you liked this pattern please consider sharing on Ravelry! I love seeing everyone’s awesome projects!

-MF