Roving Sale

Good news! I’m clearing out the last few items in the Spinnables category of my Etsy shop, which means I have a 15% off sale running for the two beautiful wool/silk blend rovings left! These are really gorgeous soft color schemes and the dye really shines brightly on the fibers – silk always dyes so beautifully ❀  So hurry up and buy them before I give in to temptation and spin them myself! πŸ˜€

 

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Speaking of, I rounded up all (or most of) my handspun yarns and took a family photo, because I was curious as to how it would compare to my similar picture from a couple of years ago. Not bad! It’s kind of like that ten year challenge thing, except with yarn. Ten Yarn Challenge.

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Well, it’s more like a 2 and a half year challenge but… we’ll do it again in a couple of years πŸ˜‰

-MF

Elf Coat Pattern

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Hi there! I’m really happy I am bringing you the Elf Coat Tunisian crochet pattern today, as this piece has been my secret baby for over a year and a half now (twenty months or so if you count the first draft).

This design started as a variation on my Shaman Coat pattern, a Tunisian crochet pattern that uses Tunisian Simple Stitch to create a rectangular-based overcoat with a big magical hood.

I wanted to try a coat with a flouncier A-line shape. This is what I made the following summer – you can read more about that project on this blog post:

I got positive responses and requests for the pattern, but to be honest I personally was not satisfied on how it came out. So I sat and pondered and then tried again, using inspiration from a favorite sweater of mine and other projects I saw out there in the yarniverse including the coats of the inimitable Katwise.

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The new design I came up with was solid, but needed a lot of tweaking and figuring, plus many hours of stitching of course. All this was done gradually as my life changed very quickly around me. When I recently (finally) completed it, I felt triumphant… but this was just forΒ one size.Β I still needed two more sizes to complete the pattern I had planned!

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Well, I got impatient. I have been working on this thing for a long time, and I wanted to hurry up and share it. So I decided to share the pattern for the first size here for FREE, along with basic schematic descriptions and tips for customizing. I plan on adding more pattern elements and the written pattern for larger sizesΒ  in the future –Β  but for now, please enjoy the Small size and if you make something with it I would LOVE TO SEE IT! ❀ ❀ ❀

UPDATE: This pattern is now linked in the Ravelry Pattern database, so you can throw a gal a favorite and/or link up your projects to the Ravelry pattern page here.

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Elf Coat Tunisian Crochet Pattern

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This elegant fantasy-inspired sweater coat features an A-line silhouette with a curling, pointed geometric hem shape inspired by flower blossoms, delicate pointed bell sleeves, and of course a long and ample pointed elf hood. The variegated yarn creates dazzling prisms of color across the separately worked pieces of the coat.

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Tunisian crochet using the Tunisian Knit Stitch gives the fabric of this coat an imitation-knit texture that is sleek and beautiful as well as warm. The modular construction makes this pattern easy to customize and style, and includes tips for sizing and modification from the written pattern.

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My own vision for future versions of this pattern includes too many ideas to maybe ever actually do! I plan to add corset lacing on this for sure (this version doesn’t have it because it is already so fitted). Also faux fur hemming, like the first draft… a patchy version using yarn scraps… added pockets… an ultra-flared version using all pointed wedges, a short sleeve collared version… Just a cropped jacket version with no skirt… an ornate version with embroidery or freeform crochet… felted additions…

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You guys might have to help me out with those. πŸ˜€ Speaking of which, if you like and/or make this pattern and you have feedback for me, please leave it in the comments! Questions and suggestions are always welcome.

Elf Coat Instructions

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Materials

6.5 (K) Tunisian hook
3.50 mm regular hook
King Cole Riot DK (#3 weight, 100 g / 324 yds, 30% wool, 70% acrylic – color shown is Autumn) – 10 skeins
Gauge for Riot DK: 9 sts & 10 rows = 2” (top of ea block = 3.5”)
Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable (#4 weight, 100 g / 270 yds, 100% acrylic – color shown is Meadow) – 13 skeins
Gauge for Unforgettable: = 8 sts & 9 rows = 2”

Size:

Finished Measurements:
Waist: ~34″
Bust: ~34″
Hip: ~38″
Sleeve: 22″ (measured armpit to hem)
Length: ~35″

This pattern, based on a 9-wedge skirt, using 5 pointed wedges and 4 simple wedges , is equivalent to aΒ Small size. Larger sizes can be based on an 11-wedge skirt (5 pointed wedges, 6 simple wedges) and a 13-wedge skirt (7 pointed, 6 simple). Further tips on custom sizing can be found in the pattern, but no written pattern is completed yet for larger sizes.

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Notes on yarn, gauge, and sizing:

Yarn: I chose King Cole Riot DK yarn for this pattern because of it’s long color changes and pretty one-ply structure that makes the colors and the stitches well defined. The DK weight and 30% wool content creates a sleek and lightweight fabric that is also very warm. However, the big box hobby stores in the U.S do not carry this yarn – I get it from a UK website called LoveKnitting.com (which I highly recommend!).

So, I wanted to find a substitute yarn that is more commercially available and the closest I could find was Red Heart Unforgettable, which also looks gorgeous for this design. RH Unforgettable is 100% acrylic, which has the benefit of zero felting, and being allergy/vegan friendly. It is also a #4 weight yarn which means it will gauge differently.

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The two wedges worked in Red Heart Unforgettable

Gauge:Β Since the two yarns gauge differently, I have listed the gauges for each yarn individually under the materials section. These are using the 6.50 mm hook listed. If you use Unforgettable following it’s gauge, you can get a slightly bigger coat using the same stitch counts listed in the pattern. If you use Riot DK and follow that gauge, you will have the size coat pictured here and the measurements shown in the diagrams.

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9 stitches = 2″ in Riot DK

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10 rows = 2″ in Riot DK

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8 sts = 2″ in RH Unforgettable. It’s really more like 8.5 stitches, but we’re calling it 8 because of stretch!

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9 rows = 2″

 

It’s also an option to change the hook size for Unforgettable to obtain the gauge given for Riot DK, if you want to use the alternate yarn but still get the size pictured.

Techniques Used:

Chain (ch)
Tunisian Knit Stitch (TKS) – stitch used for each coat piece. Tutorial can be found on my blog here
TKS Increase (TKS inc): Increasing in Tunisian Knit Stitch – see TKS tutorial
TKS Decrease (TKS dec): Decreasing in Tunisian Knit stitch – see TKS tutorial
Linked Double Crochet (LDC): Creating a row of double crochet that are linked in the middle. Tutorial can be found on my blog here.
Slip Stitch (Sl st): Used selectively for seaming
Whip Stitch: Sewing stitch made with a tapestry needle with yarn as thread, used for seaming.

Technique Notes: Tunisian stitch is a wonderful crochet technique and I love it and highly recommend learning if you haven’t. But since this piece uses a simple stitch pattern (it’s just rows of regular stitches with some increases and decreases – that’s really it) a different technique can easily be substituted in. As long as your stitches match the gauge given, you could work this pattern in regular single crochet or regular knit stitch.

One Tunisian stitch = one regular single crochet or one regular knit/purl stitch.

I tested out some Riot DK in rows of single crochet, and obtained a closely matching gauge using a 4.0 mm hook.

Blocking: Not absolutely necessary but it does wonders for your finished piece, especially with Tunisian crochet which tends to curl. Blocking for this piece can be done simply by laying your piece out on a foam mat, using blocking pins to stretch it and make it lay flat and pretty and in the right shape. Using a spray bottle and plain water, wet the piece, then let dry. This works great with wool based yarns (King Cole Riot DK) and moderately well with acrylics (RH Unforgettable).

Okay, phew. That was a lot of info.

I tried to provide the answers to what I thought might be common questions for this pattern, based on what people have asked about similar patterns πŸ™‚ If any of it seems confusing, please don’t hesitate to ask me here on the blog, or via my Facebook page

Now on to the pattern:

Simple Wedge (Make 4)

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Ch 15.
Row 1: Pick up a st in the 2nd ch from the hook and in the next 13 sts. Return pass (RP). – 15 stitches
Row 2: TKS in ea ch st across the row. RP. – 15 sts
Rows 3-18: TKS across, RP. – 15 sts
Row 19: TKS in the next 6 sts, pick up a lp in the next space to increase. TKS in the next st, pick up a lp in the next sp to increase. TKS in the next 7 sts. RP. – 17 sts
Rows 20-35: TKS across, RP. – 17 sts
Row 36: TKS in the next 7 sts, increase in the next sp. TKS in the next st, increase in the next sp. TKS in the next 8 sts. RP. – 19 sts.
Rows 37-52: TKS across, RP. – 19 sts
Row 53: TKS in the next 8 sts, increase in the next sp. TKS in the next st, increase in the next sp. TKS in the next 9 sts. RP. – 21 sts.
Row 54-69: TKS across, RP. – 21 sts
Row 70: TKS in the next 9 sts, increase in the next sp. TKS in the next st, increase in the next sp. TKS in the next 10 sts. RP. – 23 sts.
Row 71-80: TKS across, RP. – 23 sts
Cut yarn and tie off.

Pointed Wedge (Make 5):

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Ch 15.
Row 1: Pick up a st in the 2nd ch from the hook and in the next 13 sts. Return pass (RP). – 15 stitches
Row 2: In TKS, pick up a lp from ea st across the row. RP. – 15 sts
Rows 3-9: TKS across, RP. – 15 sts
Row 10: TKS in the next 6 sts, pick up a lp in the next space to increase. TKS in the next st, pick up a lp in the next sp to increase. TKS in the next 7 sts. RP. – 17 sts
Rows 11-18: TKS across, RP. – 17 sts
Row 19: TKS in the next 7 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 8 sts. RP. – 19 sts
Rows 20-27: TKS across, RP. – 19 sts
Row 28: TKS in the next 8 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 9 sts. RP. – 21 sts
Rows 29-32: TKS across, RP. – 21 sts
Row 33: TKS in the next 9 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 10 sts. RP. – 23 sts
Rows 34-37: TKS across, RP. – 23 sts
Row 38: TKS in the next 10 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 11 sts. RP. – 25 sts
Rows 39-42: TKS across, RP. – 25 sts
Row 43: TKS in the next 11 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 12 sts. RP. – 27 sts
Rows 44-47: TKS across, RP. – 27 sts
Row 48: TKS in the next 12 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 13 sts. RP. – 29 sts
Rows 49-50: TKS across, RP. – 29 sts
Row 51: TKS in the next 13 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 14 sts. RP. – 31 sts
Rows 52-53: TKS across, RP. – 31 sts
Row 54: TKS in the next 14 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 15 sts. RP. – 33 sts
Row 55: TKS across, RP. – 33 sts
Row 56: TKS in the next 15 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 16 sts. RP. – 35 sts
Row 57: TKS across, RP. – 35 sts
Row 58: TKS in the next 16 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 17 sts. RP. – 37 sts
Row 59: TKS across, RP. – 37 sts
Row 60: TKS in the next 17 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 18 sts. RP. – 39 sts
Row 61: TKS across, RP. – 39 sts
Row 62: TKS in the next 18 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 19 sts. RP. – 41 sts
Row 63: TKS across, RP. – 41 sts
Row 64: TKS in the next 19 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 20 sts. RP. – 43 sts
Row 65: TKS across, RP. – 43 sts
Row 66: TKS in the next 20 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 21 sts. RP. – 45 sts
Row 67: TKS in the next 21 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 22 sts. RP. – 47 sts
Row 68: TKS in the next 22 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 23 sts. RP. – 49 sts
Row 69: TKS in the next 23 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 24 sts. RP. – 51 sts
Row 70: TKS in the next 24 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 25 sts. RP. – 53 sts
Row 71: TKS in the next 25 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 26 sts. RP. – 55 sts
Row 72: TKS in the next 26 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 27 sts. RP. – 57 sts
Row 73: TKS in the next 27 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 28 sts. RP. – 59 sts
Row 74: TKS in the next 28 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 29 sts. RP. – 61 sts
Row 75: TKS in the next 29 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 30 sts. RP. – 63 sts
Row 76: TKS in the next 30 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 31 sts. RP. – 65 sts
Row 77: TKS in the next 31 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 32 sts. RP. – 67 sts
Row 78: TKS in the next 32 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 33 sts. RP. – 69 sts
Row 79: TKS in the next 33 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 34 sts. RP. – 71 sts
Row 80: TKS in the next 34 sts, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next st, inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 35 sts. RP. – 73 sts

Cut yarn and tie off.

Skirt Construction

Alternating simple wedges with pointed wedges as shown, seam all blocks together with a whip stitch using a tapestry needle and a length of yarn.

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Since the rest of the pattern is based off of the measurements of the skirt waist, you could extend the skirt and figure the pattern out from there if you are adventurous. I have included notes in the rest of the pattern on modifying the pieces.

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Waist length for the size Small.

Skirt Border:

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The skirt border consists of 3 rows of Linked Double Crochet, worked back and forth, with increases at the point of each pointed wedge.

With 3.50 mm hook, attach yarn at one end of the skirt hem.
Row 1: Ch 3, LDC in each stitch across, inserting hook as if to TKS. 3 LDC at the point of each pointed wedge, mark the middle stitch of this increase.
Row 2: Ch 3, turn. LDC in ea st across working (2 LDC, ch 1, 2 LDC) at each point where the increase was marked.
Row 3: Ch 3, turn. LDC in ea st across working (2 LDC, ch 1, 2 LDC) in each ch-1 from the increase points of the previous row.

Once third row is completed, cut yarn and tie off. You can work extra border here if you want the skirt longer!

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Close-up of the increases at the point of each pointed wedge

 

WAIST:

The waist is worked directly onto the top of the wedges that make up the skirt. One stitch is skipped on every block, to create a slight decrease in width to accentuate the waist.

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Row 1: RS facing, attach yarn at end of the tops of the seamed wedges by pulling up a loop using TKS. With 6.50 mm Tunisian hook, pick up a loop using TKS from ea of the next 13 sts. Sk next st and seam. (Pick up a loop from ea of the next 14 sts, sk next st and seam) 8 times – or however many you need to complete the row across every wedge block. RP. – 126 sts
Rows 2 – 17: TKS in ea st across. RP. To modify the size here, add or subtract any rowsΒ  after the first one to make it longer or shorter.

Back Panel:

The back panel is worked the length of stitches that equals half of the number of stitches in the waist. In this size, the waist is 126 stitches. Divided by two, that’s 63 stitches.

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With 6.50 mm Tunisian Hook, Ch 63.
Row 1: Pick up a st in the 2nd ch from the hook and in the next 61 sts. Return pass (RP). – 63 stitches
Row 2: In TKS, pick up a lp from ea st across the row. RP. – 63 sts
Rows 3 – 26 : Rpt Row 2.
Row 27: TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 55 sts. TKS dec in the next 2 sts. Tks in the next 2 sts. RP. – 61 sts
Row 28: TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 53 sts. TKS dec in the next 2 sts. Tks in the next 2 sts. RP. – 59 sts
Row 29: TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 51 sts. TKS dec in the next 2 sts. Tks in the next 2 sts. RP. – 57 sts
Row 30: TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 49 sts. TKS dec in the next 2 sts. Tks in the next 2 sts. RP. – 55 sts
Row 31: TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 47 sts. TKS dec in the next 2 sts. Tks in the next 2 sts. RP. – 53 sts
Row 32: TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 45 sts. TKS dec in the next 2 sts. Tks in the next 2 sts. RP. – 51 sts
Row 33: TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 43 sts. TKS dec in the next 2 sts. Tks in the next 2 sts. RP. – 49 sts
Row 34: TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 41 sts. TKS dec in the next 2 sts. Tks in the next 2 sts. RP. – 47 sts
Row 35: TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 39 sts. TKS dec in the next 2 sts. Tks in the next 2 sts. RP. – 45 sts
Row 36: TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 37 sts. TKS dec in the next 2 sts. Tks in the next 2 sts. RP. – 43 sts
Row 37: TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 35 sts. TKS dec in the next 2 sts. Tks in the next 2 sts. RP. – 41 sts
Row 38: TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 33 sts. TKS dec in the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 2 sts. RP. – 39 sts
Row 39: TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 31 sts. TKS dec in the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 2 sts. RP. – 37 sts
Row 40: TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 29 sts. TKS dec in the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 2 sts. RP. – 35 sts
Row 41: TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 27 sts. TKS dec in the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 2 sts. RP – 33 sts
Row 42: TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 25 sts. TKS dec in the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 2 sts. RP – 31 sts
Row 43: TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 23 sts. TKS dec in the next 2 sts. RP – 29 sts
Row 44: TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 21 sts. TKS dec in the next 2 sts. RP – 27 sts
Row 45: TKS in the next st, TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next 19 sts. TKS dec in the next 2 sts. RP – 25 sts

If working a different size, keep working in the pattern with decreases at both ends (or as necessary) until the remaining number of stitches is 25.

Cut yarn and tie off.
Front Panel – Right:

The front panels are worked with the length of stitches equaling the half of the waistband that the back panel won’t be taking up. There’s two, so each panel will be a quarter of the total waistband stitches. 126 / 4 = 31.5. Since that’s not a whole number, I will round down to 31 and fudge the seam a tiny fraction.

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With 6.50 mm Tunisian Hook, Ch 31.
Row 1: Pick up a st in the 2nd ch from the hook and in the next 30 sts. Return pass (RP). – 31 stitches
Row 2: TKS in ea st across the row. RP. – 31 sts
Rows 3 – 26 : Rpt Row 2.
Row 27: TKS in ea of the next 28 sts. TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP – 30 sts.
Row 28: TKS in ea of the next 27 sts. TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP – 29 sts.
Row 29: TKS in ea of the next 26 sts. TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP – 28 sts.
Row 30: TKS in ea of the next 25 sts. TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP – 27 sts.
Row 31: TKS in ea of the next 24 sts. TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP – 26 sts.
Row 32: TKS in ea of the next 23 sts. TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP – 25 sts.
Row 33: TKS in ea of the next 22 sts. TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP – 24 sts.
Row 34: TKS in ea of the next 21 sts. TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP – 23 sts.
Row 35: TKS in ea of the next 20 sts. TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP – 22 sts.
Row 36: TKS in ea of the next 19 sts. TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP – 21 sts.
Row 37: TKS in ea of the next 18 sts. TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP – 20 sts.
Row 38: TKS in ea of the next 17 sts. TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP – 19 sts.
Row 39: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 13 sts. Dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP. – 17 sts
Row 40: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 11 sts. Dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP. – 15 sts
Row 41: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 9 sts. Dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP. – 13 sts
Row 42: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 7 sts. Dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP. – 11 sts
Row 43: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 5 sts. Dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP. – 9 sts
Row 44: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. Dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP. – 7 sts
Row 45: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the next st. Dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP. – 5 sts

If working a different size, keep working in the pattern with decreases at both ends (or as necessary) until the remaining number of stitches is 5.

Cut yarn and tie off.

Front Panel – Left:

With 6.50 mm Tunisian Hook, Ch 31.
Row 1: Pick up a st in the 2nd ch from the hook and in the next 30 sts. Return pass (RP). – 31 stitches
Row 2: TKS in ea st across the row. RP. – 31 sts
Rows 3 – 26 : Rpt Row 2.
Row 27: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 28 sts. RP – 30 sts.
Row 28: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 27 sts. RP – 29 sts.
Row 29: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 26 sts. RP – 28 sts.
Row 30: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 25 sts. RP – 27 sts.
Row 31: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 24 sts. RP – 26 sts.
Row 32: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 23 sts. RP – 25 sts.
Row 33: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 22 sts. RP – 24 sts.
Row 34: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 21 sts. RP – 23 sts.
Row 35: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 20 sts. RP – 22 sts.
Row 36: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 19 sts. RP – 21 sts.
Row 37: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 18 sts. RP – 20 sts.
Row 38: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 17 sts. RP – 19 sts.
Row 39: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 13 sts. Dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP. – 17 sts
Row 40: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKs in ea of the next 11 sts. Dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP. – 15 sts
Row 41: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 9 sts. Dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP. – 13 sts
Row 42: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 7 sts. Dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP. – 11 sts
Row 43: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 5 sts. Dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP. – 9 sts
Row 43: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. Dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP. – 7 sts
Row 44: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next st. Dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP. – 5 sts

If working a different size, keep working in the pattern with decreases at both ends (or as necessary) until the remaining number of stitches is 5.

Cut yarn and tie off.

Seam the Back & Front Panels

Using a tapestry needle and a length of yarn, whip stitch the sides of the panels together so that the long angles face each other. Stitch together the straight sides, not the angles. Once the bodice is sewn together, line the flat bottom up with the waist of the skirt and attach using a 3.50 mm crochet hook and a ball of yarn by working a slip stitch through both pieces.

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SLEEVE (Make 2):

If working a different size, the number of rows worked with increases in the start of the sleeve should equal the number of rows it will be seamed onto (across the angle created by the decreases in the front and back panels), plus 4 (sleeve is also seamed onto the top 4 stitches across the panels).

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Ch 16.
Row 1: Pick up a lp in the 2nd ch from the hk and in ea of the next 14 ch sts. RP. – 16 sts
Row 2: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 12 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 18 sts
Row 3: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 14 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 20 sts
Row 4: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 16 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 22 sts
Row 5: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 18 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 24 sts
Row 6: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 20 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 26 sts
Row 7: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 22 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 28 sts
Row 8: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 24 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 30 sts
Row 9: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 26 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 32 sts
Row 10: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 28 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 34 sts
Row 11: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 30 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 36 sts
Row 12: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 32 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 38 sts
Row 13: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 34 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 40 sts
Row 14: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 36 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 42 sts
Row 15: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 38 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 44 sts
Row 16: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 40 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 46 sts
Row 17: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 42 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 48 sts
Row 18: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 44 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 50 sts
Row 19: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 46 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 52 sts
Row 20: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 48 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 54 sts
Row 21: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 50 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 56 sts
Row 22: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 52 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 58 sts
Row 23: TKS in the next st, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 54 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final 2 sts. RP. – 60 sts
Row 24: TKS in ea st across. Rp. – 60 sts
Row 25: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 60 sts
Row 26: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 54 sts. TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP. – 58 sts
Row 27: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKs in ea of the next 52 sts. TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP. – 56 sts.
Row 28: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 50 sts. TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP. – 54 sts
Row 29: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKs in ea of the next 48 sts. TKs dec over the next 2 sts. TKs in the final st. RP. – 52 sts.
Row 30: TKs dec over the next 2 sts. TKs in ea of the next 46 sts. TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP. – 50 sts.
Row 31: TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in ea of the next 44 sts. TKS dec over the next 2 sts. TKS in the final st. RP. – 48 sts.
Rows 32 – 72: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 48 sts
Row 73: TKS in the next 2 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 42 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. RP. – 50 sts
Row 74: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 50 sts
Row 75: TKS in the next 2 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 44 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. RP. – 52 sts
Row 76: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 52 sts
Row 77: TKS in the next 2 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 46 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. RP. – 54 sts
Row 78: Row 74: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 54 sts
Row 79: TKS in the next 2 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 48 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. RP. – 56 sts
Row 80: Row 74: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 56 sts
Row 81: TKS in the next 2 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 50 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. RP. – 58 sts
Row 82: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 58 sts
Row 83: TKS in the next 2 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 52 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. RP. – 60 sts
Row 84: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 60 sts
Row 85: TKS in the next 2 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 54 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. RP. – 62 sts
Row 86: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 62 sts
Row 87: TKS in the next 2 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 56 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. RP. – 64 sts
Row 88: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 64 sts
Row 89: TKS in the next 2 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 58 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. RP. – 66 sts
Row 90: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 66 sts
Row 91: TKS in the next 2 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 60 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. RP. – 68 sts
Row 92: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 68 sts
Row 93: TKS in the next 2 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 62 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. RP. – 70 sts
Row 94: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 70 sts
Row 95: TKS in the next 2 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 64 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. RP. – 72 sts
Row 96: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 72 sts
Row 97: TKS in the next 2 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 66 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. RP. – 74 sts
Row 98: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 74 sts
Row 99: TKS in the next 2 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 68 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. RP. – 76 sts
Row 100: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 76 sts
Row 101: TKS in the next 2 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 70 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. RP. – 78 sts
Row 102: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 78 sts
Row 103: TKS in the next 2 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 72 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. RP. – 80 sts
Row 104: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 80 sts
Row 105: TKS in the next 2 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 74 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. RP. – 82 sts
Row 106: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 82 sts
Row 107: TKS in the next 2 sts, TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 76 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. RP. – 84 sts
Row 108: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 84 sts

Cut yarn and tie off.

Seaming the Sleeve:

Fold the sleeve in half down the length of the piece. Seam together using a whip stitch, starting at the flare of the sleeve and moving toward the shoulder. At the underarm of the sleeve, match the remaining opening to the front and back panel sides, using the top 4 rows to cap the tops of the panels, overlapping the top by 4 stitches.

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Seam the sleeve using a whip stitch around the front and back panels.

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Close-up of the sleeve fitting.

 

Sleeve Border

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With 3.50 mm hook, attach yarn at the seam where the sleeve is sewn together.
Row 1: Ch 3 (does not count as first st), LDC 3 times in the same stitch, inserting hook as if to TKS. LDC in ea stitch around the sleeve. Join with a slip stitch in the top of the first dc.
Row 2: Ch 3 (does not count) LDC in the first stitch and 3 times in the next st. LDC in ea stitch around. Join with a slip stitch.
Row 3: Ch 3 (does not count), LDC in ea of the next 2 stitches. LDC 3 times in the next st. LDC in ea stitch around. Join with a slip stitch.

Cut yarn and tie off. You can make the sleeves longer here by adding extra border rounds of LDC.

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Close-up of sleeve border. Beware my join is not in the same place pictured as is written in the pattern – whoops!

HOOD:

The hood is worked as a separate piece consisting of one large triangle, folded in half when complete. To lengthen or shorten the hood, add or subtract rows of TKS in between the rows that increase.

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Ch 3.
Row 1: Draw up a loop from the back of each of the next 2 chain stitches. RP. – 3 sts
Row 2: TKS inc in the first space. TKS in the next st. TKS inc in the next space. TKS in the final st. RP. – 5 sts
Rows 3-4: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 5 sts
Row 5: TKS inc in the first space. TKS in the next 3 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 7 sts
Rows 6-7: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 7 sts
Row 8: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 5 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 9 sts.
Rows 9-10: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 9 sts
Row 11: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 7 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 11 sts
Row 12-13: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 11 sts
Row 14: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 9 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 13 sts
Rows 15-16: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 13 sts
Row 17: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 11 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 15 sts
Rows 18-19: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 15 sts
Row 20: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 13 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 17 sts
Row 21-22: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 17 sts
Row 23: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 15 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 19 sts
Rows 24-25: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 19 sts
Row 26: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 17 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 21 sts
Rows 27-28: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 21 sts
Row 29: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 19 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 23 sts
Rows 30-31: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 23 sts
Row 32: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 21 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 25 sts
Rows 33-34: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 25 sts
Row 35: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 23 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 27 sts
Rows 36-37: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 27 sts
Row 38: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 25 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 29 sts
Rows 39-40: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 29 sts
Row 41: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 27 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 31 sts
Rows 42-43: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 31 sts
Row 44: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 29 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 33 sts
Row 45-46: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 33 sts
Row 47: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 31 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 35 sts.
Rows 48-49: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 35 sts
Row 50: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 33 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 37 sts.
Rows 51-52: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 37 sts
Row 53: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 35 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 39 sts
Rows 54-55: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 39 sts
Row 56: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 37 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 41 sts
Rows 57-58: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 41 sts
Row 59: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 39 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 43 sts
Rows 60-61: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 43 sts
Row 62: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 41 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 45 sts
Rows 63-64: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 45 sts
Row 65: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 43 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 47 sts
Rows 66-67: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 47 sts
Row 68: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 45 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 49 sts
Rows 69-70: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 49 sts
Row 71: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 47 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 51 sts
Rows 72-73: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 51 sts
Row 74: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in the next 49 sts. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 53 sts
Rows 75-76: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 53 sts.
Row 77: TKS inc in the first sp. TKS in ea of the next 12 sts. (TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 13 sts) 3 times. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 58 sts
Rows 78-79: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 58 sts
Row 80: TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 14 sts. (TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 14 sts) 3 times. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the final st. RP. – 63 sts.
Rows 81-82: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 63 sts
Row 83: TKS inc in the next sp. (TKS in ea of the next 15 sts. TKS inc in the next sp) 4 times. TKS in ea of the next 2 sts. RP. – 68 sts
Rows 84-85: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 68 sts
Row 86: TKS in the next st. (TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 16 sts) 4 times. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 2 sts. RP. – 73 sts
Rows 87-88: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 73 sts
Row 89: TKS in the next st. (TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 17 sts) 4 times. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 3 sts. RP. – 78 sts.
Rows 90-91: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 78 sts
Row 92: TKS in ea of the next 2 sts. (TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 18 sts) 4 times. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in the next 3 sts. RP. – 83 sts
Rows 93-94: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 83 sts
Row 95: TKS in ea of the next 2 sts. (TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 19 sts) 4 times. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 4 sts. RP. – 88 sts
Rows 96-97: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 88 sts
Row 98: TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. (TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 20 sts) 4 times. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 4 sts. RP. – 93 sts
Rows 99-100: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 93 sts
Row 101: TKS in ea of the next 3 sts. (TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 21 sts) 4 times. TKS inc in the next sp. TKS in ea of the next 5 sts. RP. – 98 sts
Rows 102-103: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 98 sts
Rows 104-121: TKS in ea st across. RP. – 98 sts

Cut yarn and tie off.

Seaming the Hood

Fold the large triangle down the center length so that the right sides of the fabric are facing each other and the wrong sides are out. With a tapestry needle and a length of yarn, make a whip stitch seam starting at the point of the hood and seaming over the next 89 rows toward the opening of the hood.

Once this seam is complete, there should be 32 rows left un-seamed on either side.Turn your hood inside out so that the right sides are facing out again.

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How did I get the number of rows to leave unseamed? It’s (8+8) to account for the small angled part on each side of the front panel, plus (16+16) to cover the tops of the sleeves, then (25-8= 17) to cover the portion of the top of the back panel not already covered by the cap of the sleeves. This equals 65, but I rounded down to 64 to get an even number when I halved it – so 32 rows left unseamed on either side of the hood.

The hood then is seamed to the collar of the garment (once all sleeves and everything have been seamed) using a tapestry needle and a length of yarn. Whip stitch the hood, matching the points of the hood opening indicated by the red dots to the beginning of the collar on the front, also indicated by red dots.

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Seam the hood around the collar opening, matching stitch for stitch.

Front Border and Closures

We’re almost done!Β Next up is to use four rows of LDC to add a border across the entire front opening, beginning with the hem, working up the opening of the garment, going around the edge of the hood, and working back down the other side of the front opening. After the third row, we’ll stop and mark the placement of the buttons.

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Using a 3.50 mm hook, join yarn in the side of the skirt border rows.

Ch 3.
Row 1: 2 LDC in the side of each LDC from the border rows (6 LDC if you did 3 border rows.) 1 LDC in the side of each row across the next wedge, waist band, and front panel. 1 LDC in ea st across the brim of the hood. 1 LDC in the side of each row across the front panel, waist band, and the next wedge. 2 LDC in the side of each LDC of the skirt border.
Row 2: Ch 3, turn. 1 LDC in ea LDC of Row 1.
Row 3: Ch 3, turn. 1 LDC in ea LDC of Row 2.

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Close-up of LDC border

Now stop and mark where your buttons will be on one side, and mark an equidistant space on the other side of the border for where you will place your loops or buttonholes. I began with one button/closure on the top and bottom edge of the waist band, then used this measurement (17 sts between each placement) to space the other buttons. I made five button placements total.

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Once your button placements have been marked, begin the fourth row of LDC.

Row 4: Ch 3, turn. 1 LDC in ea st across until you reach a button/closure marker. If you are on the button side, keep working LDC’s. If you are on the closure side, there are two options: You can chain a couple stitches and skip over working a couple stitches, which creates a buttonhole within the band and a tighter closure. I opted to use a loop closure, which leaves the front a little more open when buttoned.

If using a loop closure, chain a loop just big enough to fit the button through, then slip stitch in the same stitch. Continue working LDC’s across the band, stopping to work a chain loop at any point where a closure is marked.

Cut yarn and tie off.

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Stopping to chain a loop closure

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After finishing the final border row, use a tapestry needle and a length of yarn to attach each button at the marked location on the opposite side of the closures.

After you have completed this, you are finished with the Elf Coat! At least, until I add more bells and whistles (figuratively… I think). Weave in your ends and block your work (blocking is highly recommended for this garment).

As I mentioned, I’ll be adding more sizes and features to this pattern as I go. I hope you are inspired to create a work of wearable art all your own ❀ The best part of designing patterns and sharing them online is that I get to help create artwork with people all around the world. Thank you, thank you, thank you for visiting and creating art with me!

-MF

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Avocado Dye – Batch 1

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I love garbage.

Let me explain: I love taking things that would otherwise end up in the garbage and using them for something. The feeling of making something useful and valuable out of what would normally be considered disposable brings me great satisfaction.

So when I was told I could bring home the rotten avocados that had to be pulled from the shelf in the produce department at the co-op where I work, I was giddy. Hooray! Garbage to play with!

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I removed the pits and skins from these castoffs, as well as from the avos that I ate, over the course of a couple months. I knew from doing some research into natural dyeing that avocado pits and skins could be made into a dye that yields an earthy pink color, when managed correctly. There’s plenty of links to good blog posts about this process on my Pinterest Dyeing board.

Anyway, I ended up with around 2,600 g of avocado materials. A pretty healthy amount, which I needed considering the dyestuff to fiber ratio needs to be around 6:1 to get a deep color, according to the accounts I had read.

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My materials were an assortment of things, because experimentation! I had about 428 g of materials to dye – some handspun alpaca yarn, wool roving and a Habotai silk scarf from Dharma Trading Company, an old silk shirt I wanted to upcycle, and some fugly cotton yarn just because I hated it. But before I dealt with any of these things, I had to extract the dye.

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I piled up all of my avocado leavings, which had been stored in bags in the freezer until I built up enough, into a pot with about a gallon of filtered water and a cup of baking soda. The baking soda was to make the water alkaline, because (according to the blogs I read) acidity changes the dye and turns things brown rather than pink. I boiled this witchy brew for about 2 1/2 hours.

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I was very excited to see that deep mauve color appearing in the bubbles as it boiled. I was less excited about the smell.

Once it had boiled for a good long time and the color of the water was opaque (almost black!) I strained all of it through cheesecloth into jars and let the dye cool. Since extracting the dye was an all-afternoon affair, I decided to store the dye in the fridge until the next phase.

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Note that I could have dyed the materials in with the skins and pits all at once, but I didn’t do this for a couple of reasons: first, I was working with wool and it would felt if I had exposed it to such high temperatures, and second, I wanted a little more control over the process and the opportunity to dye the materials with different ratios of dye extract.

So I popped the jars of dye into the fridge after they had cooled off, until the next free afternoon I had available. To get the dye to take the fibers, I had to mordant my materials. I used alum and cream of tartar dissolved in distilled water, and soaked my materials in the mordant solution for a couple hours – next time, I’ll probably soak overnight.

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One source said I needed 7 g cream of tartar and 8 g of Alum per 100 g of fabric/fiber, so I used a total of 31.5 g cream of tartar and 36 g of alum (both of these were obtained from Dharma Trading).

Once soaked in the mordant solution, I pulled everything out and began portioning the fibers out into quart canning jars. Each jar got an extra 1/8 cup baking soda just to be sure to keep the alkalinity of the water. Each jar also got a mixture of mordant solution and dye extract, and I purposefully squished the fabrics into the jars and poured dye over the top, to create an uneven reach for the dye. I wanted a nice earthy textured color effect. Which I got, sort of.

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Next, the jars went into the canner on a rack, with some water at the bottom for steaming, and set on a low setting on the stove. Lid goes on, then waiting while the temp starts to slowly rise. The jar balanced precariously on the side is the one with the wool, raised further out of the bottom to avoid the danger of overheating and felting.

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More waiting. And occasional poking with a stick.

Once my jars had been steaming for a couple hours, I turned the temperature off and left it overnight to cool.

The next morning, I removed the soggy mess from inside each jar and gently squeezed them into the sink, enjoying the fact that since I was using natural dyestuff, I didn’t have to worry too much about psychedelicizing my apartment kitchen by way of accidental splashing.

But, since I was using natural dyestuff, I also didn’t have to worry about psychedelicizing my fiber either. Since an alarming amount of dye seemed to be washing out – and the remaining color was a sad brown. With an intensely sinking feeling, I washed all of my materials in textile detergent and rinsed them, taking stock of my situation.

One alpaca skein seemed to have taken the dye well, the other was muchΒ  paler, and the wool had some definite patches of well-dyed fiber. The habotai silk took some dye, with a couple dark patches, and the silk shirt not much at all. The cotton yarn, ugly to begin with, was now both ugly, brown, and tangled. In fact, I was kind of frustrated at this point and just pitched the cotton yarn straight into the trash. The rest I hung up to air dry.

One nugget of wisdom I’ve learned over the years so far is never to judge a dye batch before it’s fully dry. And though I already knew this, I spent the next few days calling the experiment a failure as it hung on my curtain rod, being shunned.

And then when it was fully dry I took it down and got a good look. I was surprised that the rosy pinks HAD come out after all, though it was still browner than I wanted in places. Overall, the earthy pink and hazel shades were really pleasing and I immediately forgave them all of their supposed misbehavior.

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Not perfect, no. But since I gained a little success, and I have dye extract left over, there will definitely be a Batch 2! The rest of this post is just a bunch of pictures of the dye materials, because I do love them after all. Except for that stupid cotton yarn. πŸ˜›

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Left to right – Alpaca, wool roving, wool roving, alpaca again, then silk

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The silk shirt just barely got a tinge, except for a few patches that were very dark. Still figuring out how that happened.

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I’ll be ripping this one up for silk fringe on my pixie belts anyway.

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The wool roving turned out nicer than expected, especially since for a moment I had thought I felted it!

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Definitely halfway spun already as I type this πŸ˜€

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So, moral of the story, it’s difficult and sometimes frustrating to try to learn new things with your art (or anything). But that’s because you have to push yourself to be better in order to grow – and if you love what you do, the risk of failure is nothing compared to the reward of learning.

-MF

 

Alpacalypse Now

Guys, I’m really sorry about that pun. Sort of.

You see, last Saturday I turned in my final assignment for my Bachelor’s degree, so I’ve been bursting forth with renewed energy on all the ongoing craft projects laying around my home. And exuberant art energy requires puns.

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So that’s my segue into my post today, talking about one of the things I love to do when I have a little extra time – spinning! Well, it’s also just an excuse for shameless yarn porn.

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I’ve been spinning periodically, although I haven’t really made a blog post about it recently. I did a silly thing a while back and ordered a massive amount of beautiful alpaca fiber from Alpaca Direct. I resolved to spin it all, and wrote a whole post about it –Β  which, now that I look at that post, was over two years ago. Slow art for the win!

Because, I totally did spin it all! Yep, all of it. Some of it even made it into projects for my friends along the way. This is me, plying together the last bit of the natural white alpaca fiber, on my trusty wheel.

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Her name is Mystic.

I made it through the pound of natural white, the 12 oz of dark brown, and SOME of the 8 oz of lighter brown (from Valentina) that I purchased at a later date. I eventually gave up on spinning it all consistently, and went in for the fast and wacky approach for the last half of the natural white. I love the variation in textures I got!

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For the white yarn, some skeins were consistent, some were chunky, and some were singles. The dark brown (being the first batch I did) was pretty even, and the light brown is a bulky, fluffy affair.

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I am really loving these natural tones, which is a good thing because my beautiful friends sometimes give me secondhand fiber.Β  Last summer I was gifted a big bag of RAW alpaca fiber in a beautiful pecan brown color; the catch is, this fiber is really unprocessed.

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Which is actually not a catch at all, since I finally had an excuse to purchase some carding equipment! Hand carders (still not enough resources to justify a drum carder πŸ˜› ) were acquired and now I am clumsily learning to use them.

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I’m not great at it yet, especially since I have to keep switching to my left hand so that my right arm doesn’t end up noticeably more beefy – this activity is a WORKOUT. But as you can see, I’m producing a few silly looking rolags from the raw material so I can spin them, bit by bit, on the drop spindle.

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Excuse my awkward fiber sausage

Its tempting to build a pile of rolags and then spin them all on the wheel for speed’s sake, but for now I am enjoying the process of drop spindling them, so that I can learn how the fibers act when they are hand carded like this. I’ve been favoring the spindle lately anyway, after a period of neglect. Its simplicity and portability is really attractive and valuable, even though wheel spinning is more efficient, so I’m glad I learned both.

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The real question is, what the hell am I going to make with 4 pounds of handspun alpaca fiber? Stay tuned, maybe I’ll know in another two years! πŸ˜‰

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Here’s a picture of my moon lamp, for no reason other than its pretty!

-MF

PBT: Wrap-Up

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This post is part of a series of tutorials on how to create your own unique crochet pixie pocket belt – to read more about this series visit theΒ Intro page.

Maybe it’s just because I worked on the tutorial for this so much, but this newest pixie pocket belt may be my favorite ever. To be fair though, I do say that almost every time I make a new one of these.

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That’s because every one of them turns out to be totally unique – I start out with a pile of scrap materials, and then let it be what it becomes along the way. This one became “Maple” named of course after the tree. I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial series – I certainly did – and I’d love to see what is being made from this guide!

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This pattern tutorial series is now listed on Ravelry – hook up your projects so I can see what you made, or look through other projects for inspirationΒ  πŸ˜‰

And now for more pictures and ramblings.

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I especially love these to dance in, since the fabric fringe catches movement so well!

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Fun side story – the flower headpiece I am wearing in this photo is one I made years ago, a long strand of curlicues (just like the ones talked about earlier in the tutorial series) with scrap yarn flowers that made as I was traveling across the U.S.

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Of course, the utility belt function of this project is super handy if you are the festival-going type, since these pixie belts are not only cute and go over anything, but also hold your necessaries!

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I’m pretty happy with how the faux-bustle back came out – its not something I’d ever really tried before. That’s another thing I love about these projects – pure experimentation is necessary, not just encouraged.

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I’m a little sad to be closing out the pixie belt tutorial actually, so I’ve had a thought – perhaps more pocket patterns in the future? What do you think?

As always, don’t hesitate to ask any questions or leave any comments! I love hearing from you ❀

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-MF

 

 

 

PBT: Fabric Fringe Skirt

This post is part of a series of tutorials on how to create your own unique crochet pixie pocket belt – to read more about this series visit theΒ Intro page.

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Okay, we’re all done with the crochet process now, so it’s time to move on to one of the most *satisfying* portions of the process: the ragtag fabric scrap fringe skirt! Why is it so satisfying? Well, because you get to rip stuff up. Rip rip rip.

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Here I have the fabrics I selected during the process of selecting my materials – a couple of thrift store silk shirts and some soft rayon jersey knit that formed the lining of one of the shirts. I use my scissors to separate large chunks of fabric away from the bulky seams, then once I have a piece isolated, I start ripping!

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Using my fabric scissors, I cut out small tabs on the edge of the piece of fabric. Then…

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….I grab a tab and rip straight across to get a strip of fabric. RIIIIIIP!

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That’s all there is to it, really. I keep ripping until I have a nice little pile of strips. Beware, there will be a lot of stray threads involved in the ripping process. This is normal.

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So here I have a nice pile from this silk piece. They are different sizes, because I’m using upcycled clothing, so the pieces I’m ripping from are not uniform in size or shape. I’ll sort it out later.

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I’ve also decided to use the jersey knit lining from the same upcycled shirt. Since you can’t rip knit, (or stretch velvet, another favorite fabric of mine to use in these projects) I just use a rotary blade to open up the shirt and cut long strips.

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Add ’em to the pile!

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I also discovered this gold colored silk button-down in my stash at some point and added it to my material pile – I thought it would be good to add depth to the color scheme. Rip rip rip!

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Okay, that’s a pretty good sized pile. It’s not all of my material, but I can always cut more if I need to. Time to apply them to the belt. First, though, one side of my belt doesn’t have a tie – so I am going to use the netted ribbon yarn for that. One good long length doubled over, then looped through the end of the belt, makes a nice tie. Additionally, the netted nature of the ribbon yarn can easily hook over any buttons placed on the belt, giving you more options for how to secure it around the waist.

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Now, the fringe! I lay out all of my strips – since I am making a bustle-style back for this belt, I want to utilize my longest strips in the back middle, and put the shorter ones toward the front edges. So I organize my strips into piles according to size – long, medium, short. Then, take each strip and double it over.

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Using a large-ish hook, draw the loop at the end of the double strip through a chain-loop opening on the edge of the belt. You can also draw these directly through the stitches, or really wherever you want. FrEeForM!!

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Draw the ends through the loop and tighten to create the fringe. Do this all across the belt, or anwhere you want your fabric fringe to be. I go through and add this layer of fabric on just the edge loops, going according to size as I mentioned earlier.

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Once all of the loops on the very bottom have been fringed, I flip the belt over and work from the back side for a bit, hooking fringe into the middle layer of loops.

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Again, there’s really not a wrong way to do this. You can fringe all from the front, or all from the back, or just do one layer, or do so many layers you can’t even see the mesh portion. That last one is what I’m aiming for.

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So I attach my strips just about anywhere they will fit.

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Then, flip it back over, and attach on the top portion of the mesh on the right side!

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Hm, needs just one final touch I think – so I attach just a few strands of a small ball of silky eyelash yarn I have in my materials pile.

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That’s the stuff. And now, I’m seriously done! I am so thrilled about the way this turned out, and also being able to share this creative process here on the blog πŸ™‚ But I do have one more post in this series: the Wrap-Up! Check it out and don’t forget to show me what you’ve made!

Meanwhile, here’s more examples of fringe skirts from other belts I’ve done:

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“Mulberry” used strips of cut stretch velveteen. It also featured a mushroom pouch on it’s own loop, which can be worn around the neck as well. I didn’t include that type of pocket in this tutorial because I already have a mushroom pouch free pattern available!

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“Shepherd’s Purse” used only ripped cotton weave fabrics, like gauze and muslin.

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Instead of ripped fabric, the skirt for “Nightshade” is that netted ribbon yarn, all stretched out to make a frilly fringe.

-MF

 

PBT: Attaching the Pockets

This post is part of a series of tutorials on how to create your own unique crochet pixie pocket belt – to read more about this series visit theΒ Intro page.

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So far we’ve covered basic shapes in the form of pockets such as circles, squares & rectangles, triangles, and cones – now it’s time to take all the pockets and attach them to the belt base using slip stitch crochet. Like the rest of this project, there is no strictly “right” way to do this, but I’ve included lots of process photos to show how I manage this part.

I prefer the look of pockets mounted directly onto the belt, with the backs up against the belt itself. I also always double-mount my pockets, using two lines of slip stitching, one at the top and one in the middle, to attach the pockets to the belt base. This is not absolutely necessary if you want to skip the second mount (the middle mount is the trickiest part of this) but it does make them really sturdy.Β  I have seen my festival friends put these things through the wringer with use – and they hold up!

If you need more inspiration on the ways you can assemble the belt, remember to check out my Pinterest board featuring crochet utility belts!

Attaching the Pockets to the Belt

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To begin the final stage of crochet for the pocket belt, lay out your belt base and grab all of your completed pockets. Decide how to place the pockets, arranging them along the belt base in whatever manner strikes your fancy – I like the pockets to sit near the ends, but sometimes they are all over the place. Here, because I’m featuring a bustle back, I keep them corralled near the ends so as not to cover the back of the skirt.

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The first step is to get a yarn and start slip stitching across the top of the belt base. I am using a really textured yarn for this part, just to add a little extra crazy.

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Here, I’m just slip stitching across the top of the belt until I get to a place where I’d like to put a pocket. Keep slip stitching, but now work through two layers – the top edge of the pocket (the back part only, since you don’t want to stitch the pocket closed) and the top edge of the belt base.

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This is the first attachment. Keep slip stitching until you want to place another pocket.

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Then, slip stitch across the pocket and belt simultaneously again.

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For drawstring pockets like this one, make sure you leave enough pocket unattached for it to be able to close nicely.

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Keep slip stitching and attaching pockets until you reach the opposite end of the belt.

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For the envelope-style pocket, I decide to make the slip stitch attaching underneath the top flap – so I open it up and stitch through the pocket layer and the belt layer underneath.

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At the end, I rotate and work one row of the side of the belt base, then rotate again and start to slip stitch across the middle of the belt, placing my stitches in between the double crochets that make up the middle row.

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Attaching in the middle can require some really creative maneuvering on the part of the hook-wielder. In fact, this part is more like guerilla fiber-punk yarn wrestling. So be prepared for that! πŸ˜€

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To work the second row of attaching, slip stitch until you reach a pocket. With the back of the pocket facing you, insert your hook into the stitching and back out on the other side of a single stitch, catching the post of the stitch with your hook.

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Then, insert the hook through the middle of the belt. Yarn over and draw this loop through the belt, the post of the pocket stitching, and the loop on your hook, making one slip stitch through two layers.

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Continue this process for at least part of the back of the pocket. When you’ve attached enough of the back of the pocket, keep slip stitching through just the belt layer as normal until you reach the next pocket, then work through both layers in the same manner again.

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Here you can see the back of the slip stitching of the second row on the inside of a pocket – just enough to hold them down and make sure they are extra secure.

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The pockets are now attached!

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After working the second round of attaching, I like to do one more row of slip stitching into the same stitches across the top of the belt, just for extra firmness (to reduce yarn stretching on the belt base) and to add more color and depth. Here I’ll change colors, then just work a simple line of slip stitching all the way across, right next to the first line of slip stitches (or wherever… FREEFORM!!)

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After this last finishing touch, I’m DONE with the crochet portion of the belt! Time to weave in my ends, then tackle the final step: the fabric fringe skirt. After that post, I’ll do a final reveal and wrap-up – I can’t wait to show the final product πŸ™‚

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-MF