Lion Brand Yarn Unboxing

Hi fiber fans! This blog post is just a quick one featuring my newest YouTube video, which is a long and ramble-y unboxing of my latest yarn order from one of my absolute favorite supply companies, Lion Brand. As usual, the opinions and products featured in this review are 100% my own – I didn’t receive any money, affiliations, or products in return for this feature, I just really like their yarn πŸ™‚

With this review I’ve continued my search for soft, comfortable #4 weight cotton yarn for use in my halter top and bikini top patterns and I finally find my coveted substitute for I Love This Cotton…

I also re-supply myself on Ferris Wheel, an excellent colorful acrylic cake yarn with a lightweight one-ply structure. This yarn is somewhat melancholy as I’m using it to finish the Sundogs Throw blanket my friend was making right before she passed away.

So here’s the video – come hang with me as I laugh, cry, and ogle totes in my little woodland corner (and check below the video for links to all the patterns I mention)…

Lion Brand Unboxing & Yarn Review

Thanks for joining me! Here are the links to the patterns I mention in the video:

The Sundogs Throw Blanket – FREE on my blog ❀

The Shaman Coat pattern – click the link for the blog post with all the info and links to the pattern in my shops!

Novella Shawl – FREE pattern on my blog, also available in portable, printable, ad-free PDF format in my stores!

The Yearling Headband – FREE design in video tutorial format! click the link for the post πŸ™‚

Hope you enjoyed this little review and round-up πŸ™‚ If you like my newer videos, please leave me some feedback and let me know what you’d like to see more of ❀ Thanks for tuning in!

-MF

Waistcoat Stitch Tutorial

Today I’m sharing a tutorial for the Waistcoat Stitch, aka the Knit Stitch! Despite the name, this stitch is a crochet stitch that’s actually very simple – it’s basically just single crochet – but creates a distinctive structure that’s perfect for tightly formed fabric with a smooth surface texture. Plus, it looks a bit like knitting πŸ™‚

Waistcoat Stitch (abbreviated to “WS” or “ws”) is worked in the round to achieve the smooth knit-look texture. You can work this stitch back and forth, but because the WS relies on the Right Side to create the effect, back-and-forth WS will not look smooth and pretty like in-the-round will. The firm texture, the neat look of the surface, and the reliance on working in rounds makes this a perfect stitch for hats!

In fact, I already have one hat pattern written in the Waistcoat Stitch, available both for free on my blog and purchasable as a portable, ad-free PDF – that’s the Vintage Derby Hat, shown above & below.

And I have yet another pointy hat being developed right this very minute, ready to be published soon, which also utilizes this awesome technique – so I’m doing a tutorial here today in preparation which includes a video demo – keep scrolling for the free instructions! ❀

Waistcoat Stitch Tutorial

So how do we work this amazing little stitch? As I mentioned, the WS is basically a single crochet, so you don’t have to learn any fancy yarnwork to create it. The secret to this stitch is all in where you insert your hook to draw up the first loop for your crochet stitch.

In the first round, you’ll be working traditional single crochet stitches into your ring or your round of chains (remember, we don’t work this back and forth but in rounds instead).

Once you have established a round in single crochet, the next round will work single crochet stitches but through the vertical bars of the stitch below, not through the top two loops as normal.

Highlighted here are the top two loops (first image above) where you would normally insert your hook to draw up the first loop for your stitch. In the second image above, I have highlighted the vertical bars of the crochet stitch below, which form a bit of a “V”. You’ll be inserting your hook in between these two bars from the front and emerging through the body of the stitch to the back of the work.

Pictured Above: Inserting the hook through the middle of the highlighted vertical bars of the stitch below

At the back of the work, the vertical bars of a single crochet stitch form an upside-down “V” shape. Your hook will emerge between these vertical bars, at the point indicated by the white dot.

Pictured Above: The hook emerging at the back of the work, between the vertical bars. The stitch beside it is highlighted to show the configuration of the bars when viewed from the back, with the white dot indicating where the hook should emerge.

From there, draw up a loop. YO and draw through two loops as normal to complete one Waistcoat Stitch. Your stitch will now emerge from the center of the stitch below, coming out from the vertical V shape.

Insert your hook again through the V of the next stitch, then draw up a loop and complete the single crochet as normal. Voila! You are working waistcoat stitch!

After a few rounds of this stitch, the texture starts to become very smooth and even, with the v-shapes mimicking the loops of knitting but with a firmer, thicker fabric perfect for structured projects.

Increasing and decreasing in Waistcoat Stitch are handled the exact same way as with single crochet, but again – inserting that hook in between the vertical bars instead of the top loops. So to increase, simply work two Waistcoat stitches in the next vertical-bar “V”, so that you have an extra stitch in the same place. To decrease, work a single crochet 2 together (sc2tog) but draw up your first two loops from between the vertical-bar “V”s πŸ™‚

I’ve created this video tutorial to help you navigate the basics of this stitch – I didn’t get quite the video quality I wanted for this, but I’m working on upgrading some of my technologies for doing better videos (and dealing with some malfunctions) so stay tuned and thanks for your patience πŸ™‚

Waistcoat Stitch Video Tutorial

As I mentioned (a lot) just love this stitch because it’s particular qualities are so good for hats! Firm fabric and a neatly smooth textured surface – it’s just perfect ❀ You can also substitute this stitch for regular single crochet in many simple hat patterns – I might try it on my Mori Girl Beret pattern next!

Thanks for visiting and stay tuned for my newest hat pattern, to be released in just a few days!
-MF

Pom Pom Stitch Tutorial

The Pom Pom Stitch is one of the first crochet textural details I learned, and I was so excited to discover it – easy, cute, and almost perfectly round, the pom pom bobble is made of two double crochet clusters stacked together and can be inserted into projects for beautiful accents and trims.

Crochet really is a magic art in my opinion – a never-ending world of things to learn and try and endless combinations of techniques makes this hobby perfect for the obsessively curious and tactile artist in me.

I first put the Pom Pom stitch into a project long ago in an ancient free post about making a bikini out of cotton recycled sweater yarn. That was when I came up with the border design which would eventually trim the Mehndi Halter Top and Plus Size Mehndi patterns, and now again in my latest halter top as well!

Anyway, it’s time I published the Pom Pom Stitch Tutorial here on the blog for everyone to try, and I’ve got a brand new demo video to go along with it – you can watch at the bottom of the post after the written and photo tutorial which starts now!

Pom Pom Stitch

The pompom stitch uses two clusters of double crochet stitches stacked on top of each other to form a round ball which makes a fun border decoration. For this example I’m placing them on chain spaces, but you can place them anywhere as long as you work the chain 2 to start as indicated in Step 1. Here’s how to work it:

Step 1: Work the amount of stitches desired until reaching the point to place the pompom. Ch 2 to count as the beginning of the pompom stitch. *Yarn over and insert hook in the 2nd ch from the hook. Draw up a loop, YO, pull through 2 lps on the hook. Repeat twice more into the same stitch, leaving the last lp of each dc on the hook for each stitch.  You should have 4 lps on the hook.

YO once more and pull through all 4 lps on the hook. One dc3tog made.

Step 2: Ch 2, to gain height for the second cluster.

Step 3: Working into the TOP of the last cluster, make another dc3tog.

Step 4: Insert hook into the same stitch that you worked your FIRST cluster and make a slip stitch, bringing the two clusters together to form two halves of a ball – fig 74.

Step 5: Finish the repeat by chaining enough to get to the next pom pom (or as indicated in pattern). Here it’s shown worked into the Mehndi Border!

Tip: Keeping your clusters tight and wet blocking the border when you are finished helps the pompoms look nice and round!

Pom Pom Stitch Video Demo

The demo for the video goes over the Pom Pom stitch as it occurs on the Mehndi Border, but remember you can place them anywhere you like by starting with just the 2 chain stitches and then working the pompom on those πŸ™‚

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned something new, and as always if you have any questions or feedback please leave them in the comments! ❀ Thanks for visiting πŸ™‚

-MF

Hook Review & Overalls Dress

One of the best things about doing more video media is the ability to show my latest and greatest crochet projects in action! Today’s post introduces the newest video on my YouTube Channel, which is a Hook Review that goes over some different hook types and hook brands that I’ve used. In that video, I feature several of my own patterns but also this lovely crochet overalls dress from The Dream Crochet Shoppe on Etsy! I finished her pattern recently and love the product so much I had to show it off by wearing it for the review – here’s a few snapshots of this cute crochet design!

I don’t get to branch out to work other people’s crochet patterns nearly as often as I’d like, since all my crochet mojo is usually funneled toward creating my own original designs. But I make an effort every so often to stop and pull out a pattern from my (ever growing) collection of purchased PDF’s. It’s a fantastic way to branch out and learn from others and also to give my own brain a break πŸ™‚ I adore Ashlee Elle’s designs and she has SO many to choose from! Check her out on Instagram, too!

In my newest video, I wanted to go over some of the crochet hook types and hook brands that I have in my collection of tools. Crochet hooks are super important (duh) to your work because changes in hooks will create subtle changes in your projects and you want to use the right tool for the job, but one that also works well for you individually! That’s why it’s a good idea to know what’s available.

Brands reviewed cover Boye and Susan Bates (the “regular” aluminum metal style hooks), Clover (soft grip and contoured), and specifically reviews Furls crochet hooks – are they really worth the money?

My current Furls collection says yes πŸ˜‰ All opinions expressed are just mine and I haven’t been compensated or influenced in any way by the brands I talk about here! Just a crocheter’s honest thoughts. After all, they are our magic wands so every crocheter will have their favorites for their personal collection πŸ™‚

Hook Review

I mention two of my own designs in the video too, here are the links to the posts with more info on those!
Mandala Top
Cobweb Wrap

I also mention the Field Guide to Crochet Gauge and Yarn Behavior, a blog post of mine that outlines some of the ways that gauge, hooks, and yarn types interact within crochet projects. There’s so much to learn about the finer points of crochet and I’m always trying to learn more – I hope my perspective is inspiring and helpful to your personal fiber art journey πŸ™‚

-MF

Lotus Video Tutorial Part 6

It’s finally time to debut the finishing video for the Lotus Mandala Duster pattern – Part 6, the Sleeves! I’m very happy with the response from this video series and am looking forward to exploring more video tutorial goodness so be sure to subscribe to my Youtube Channel so you can catch all the latest content πŸ™‚

Since the sleeves are written in steps instead of specifically numbered rounds, you can repeat certain steps to get the length and flare that you like in the sleeve. The video goes into this more, as well as demonstrating how to taper by placing decreases, mirror the directions on the other side, etc – I tried to hit some of the major questions I’ve been asked about this part of the pattern before! Hopefully it’s helpful.

The sleeves were my stroke of drama for this design when I first made it, and what really captured my attention. The sister design, the Lotus Vest, didn’t quite charm me the way the Duster did, and I think it’s because I just love those crazy sleeves so much.

I did eventually design a slimmer, more everyday sleeve for the Lotus Vest, which could easily be crossed with the Lotus Duster using the same techniques shown in the video, if you wanted a less burdensome arm covering πŸ˜‰

Pictured above: Lotus Vest with Cardigan Sleeve added

I’d say that it feels great to wrap up this design, but I know for a fact that I’ll still be fiddling with this pattern in the future, adding more size options and so forth. I’m nothing if not persistent, LOL!

-MF

Tree of Life Video Tutorial

This post will be a quick one, so I can get back to my lazy Sunday afternoon sloth-fest, but I’ve managed to create a video tutorial for the first 6 rounds of the Tree of Life Mandala pattern and wanted to share it as soon as I could πŸ™‚

This video is full-length up to Round 6, so that all the intricate workings of the branches are available to see in real time. Since some bits of it are a little complex, I knew that a video would be eventually if not immediately necessary. I hope it’s helpful!

If you’ve been keeping up with Morale Fiber lately you’ll notice that videos have quickly become a regular feature and I hope to continue that trend – so like and subscribe to my channel if you don’t want to miss anything πŸ™‚

So without further yammering, here’s the video ❀

Have a truly wonderful day!

-MF

Lotus Mandala Video Tutorial Part 2

With my first full length video tutorial under my belt, I forged ahead this week to create Part 2 of the Lotus Mandala series! It went much faster this time, because I had a better idea of how to make the video to flow and therefore (frankly) procrastinated less πŸ˜‰

If you missed the release of Part 1, check it out here.

Part 2 covers rounds 9-16, which contain some of the most technically difficult rounds and the ones that I get the most questions about – so hopefully it will prove useful.

I am planning on completing this series, creating video tutorials for the rest of the rounds of the Lotus Duster pattern including the sleeves and such, though that might not premier as quickly. I have some really exciting new releases coming soon that I need to finish first!

If you want to make sure you don’t miss anything, hit the follow button on my blog and be sure to like and follow my Facebook Page as well ❀

And now, Part 2!

If you enjoyed this video, like and subscribe to my channel! Besides the Lotus Mandala series, there’s more on the way ❀

And I’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank everyone out there who has liked, commented, shared, purchased, and otherwise supported my art. I couldn’t do this without any of you, YOU ARE AWESOME and BEAUTIFUL!

❀ ❀ ❀

-MF

Lotus Mandala Video Tutorial Part 1

Well, I’m excited to announce that my first full-length video tutorial is underway! Not that I haven’t made videos before, but this is the first time I’ve filmed with the intent of capturing a whole pattern on video. After many moons of wanting to do it, I’ve started the tutorial for the Lotus Mandala Duster design and I have finished Part 1 to share with you today!

I avoided video tutorials for a long time simply because they were a whole new thing that I had to learn. Also, I hate the sound of my own voice πŸ˜› But because I really wanted to bring the Lotus Duster into the reach of people who can only crochet from videos, I bootstrapped up and began this new venture!

The goal of this tutorial is to cover the first 16 rounds of the Lotus Mandala. These first 16 rounds are the exact same instructions, whether you are doing the Lotus Duster or the Lotus Vest (two separate but sister patterns) and are perhaps the most challenging rounds, technically speaking, within the design. So even though the yarn used in the tutorial is for the Duster, you can follow the same instructions through Round 16 if you are working the vest πŸ™‚

Part 1, which I am sharing today, consists of Rounds 1 – 8 of the Lotus Mandala. I do intend on finishing out the Duster in video tutorials in later parts, but we’ll cross that bridge eventually, probably.

UPDATE: Part 2 with Rounds 9-16 is now available!

So without further ado, here is the Lotus Mandala Video Tutorial Part 1! ❀ Directly below this paragraph you can find links to the patterns mentioned above as well as their related add-ons, frequently asked questions, and tutorial links from the video:

Lotus Mandala Duster
Lotus Mandala Vest
Lotus Duster Hood
Lotus Mandala Vest Cardigan Sleeves
Lotus Mandala Vest FAQ
Lotus Duster FAQ

Chain and Stitch Join Tutorial

Everything You Need to Know to Start Recycling Sweater Yarn

I hope you enjoyed this video and if you have feedback or questions please feel free to leave them in the comments! ❀

Happy Stitching,

MF

Crocodile Stitch Video Demos

Well, I’ve finally cajoled myself into learning to video edit so that I can bring you more video tutorials! One of my goals with my newest design, the Feather & Scale Halter Top, was to create a few short video tutorials that shows the particular way I work the crocodile stitches for that pattern.

FSCover3.jpg

I’m still in the learning stages, though – so these videos aren’t as polished as I’d like them to be. But I wanted to at least get some of these techniques in action, as they are easier understood by watching than by written pattern reading alone – even with all the tutorial photos provided in the PDF!

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While shooting these (roughly) I had a lot of ideas for how I’d like to do videos in the future, which was a great way to practice for the Lotus Mandala Duster tutorial video I am planning.Β  If you have feedback or something that you’d like to see in my future videos, please let me know in the comments! πŸ™‚

Hope these crocodile stitch demos for the first few rows of my Feather & Scale Halter Top crochet pattern are a good start, at least:

Croc Stitch Demo – Row 1

Croc Stitch DemoΒ  Row 2

Croc Stitch Demo – Rows 3 & 4

Be sure to check out my Facebook page for more updates on new tutorial videos and patterns!

-MF

Tunisian Ripple Scarf Free Pattern

I’ve developed an impulse for Tunisian crochet – two of my most recent paid patterns have been in this style and I’ve recently started exploring different types of Tunisian stitching. One of those little experiments grew up to be a successful project, which I’m excited to share with you here for free!

tkscarf1

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EDIT 8/2020:Β  I now have a growing playlist of Tunisian Crochet tutorial videos on my YouTube Channel – check them out here!
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And speaking of videos, this free pattern comes with a little video demo I put together for this scarf. I’m still at the beginning of the learning curve for making instructional videos, so this video is more of a test run.Β  So without further waffling, here’s the pattern.

Tunisian Ripple Scarf

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Materials:
6.5 mm Tunisian crochet hook
Any worsted weight yarn (I used Yarn Bee Soft & Sleek in Light Gray)
Tapestry needle & scissors for weaving in ends

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Ch. 39.

Row 1: In Tunisian Simple Stitch. Pick up a loop from each of the next 38 chain stitches.Work all sts back off the hook.

Row 2: In Tunisian Knit Stitch. Sk first stitch. Pick up a lp from the next 3 stitches. *Pick up a lp from the next space between stitches. Pick up a lp from the next st. Pick up a loop from the next space between stitches. Pick up a lp from the next 5 sts. Insert hook through the next 3 stitches at once and draw up one loop. Pick up a loop from the next 5 sts.* Rpt from * once more. Pick up a lp from the next space between sts, pick up a lp from the next st, pick up a lp from the next space between sts. Pick up a lp from ea of the next 3 sts. Sk next st. Pick up a lp from the final st. Work all sts back off the hook (the same way you would for Tunisian Simple Stitch!) – 39 sts

Rows 3+ : Repeat Row 2.

Repeat Row 2 until your scarf is the length you want it! I made a 75″ scarf, which used about 2 and a half skeins of my yarn (about 645 yards).

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What I ended up loving about this design is that…
a.) It has a very pretty texture on both the right side AND the wrong side
b.) It’s SO thick and cushy, and since I made this one about 2 yards long, there’s plenty of scarf there to wrap around your neck to keep the icy winds out.

If you want more pattern goodness, you should check out my Ravelry page!

-MF