Crafting Withdrawal

Well, all of my everything is now moved to the new place! But not, unfortunately, unpacked or organized in any logical fashion. In addition to the continued chaos of me having way too much stuff, I’ve also got the last month of the semester to wrangle with still – all of this has resulted in me not really crafting a damn thing since spring break. I’ve practically got the DT’s from this, I’m serious.

On the bright side, I happen to have had a big mindless knit project laying around, on which I could squeak in a few rows here and there in between moving and cleaning and class to relieve stress. So that no one got mysteriously disemboweled with craft scissors. Somehow.

DSCN7890

Full story on this thing is still to come, once I (finally) finish it. I’ve had it laying around for over a year, gradually consuming and assimilating various scrap yarns. However, it came out YUGE. Like, thrice as big as I meant it to – used up the scrap yarn thrice as fast of course, which is good, because I have this whole bag full of it:

DSCN7891Still, I need to adjust it somewhat before presenting it in all its massive glory.

But first, writing papers and unpacking. Cringe.

-MF

 

(Not Really) Spring (Not Really) Break

The title says it all, really – my spring break from school was heralded by extremely cold temperatures and snowstorms since it’s Indiana and a mess of personal life responsibilities since, as it turns out, I will be moving at the end of the month.

So I’m scrambling to get all my ducks in a pile, which includes the horrifying prospect of organizing and packing my craft supplies and cleaning out my work area desk in which I have been deeply entrenched for three years.

20170313_162509

WHY AM I LIKE THIS

Part of this process included finishing, photographing, and listing the pile of crocheted pieces I’ve been slowly completing this semester, so I managed to do an Etsy Shop update with some new and new-ish handmade stuff! The end, see you later.

No, just kidding, I’m totally going to list them all and comment on them. I love lists!

Flower Child Pullovers

From left to right : A large, two mediums, and a small in the Flower Child Pullover design, which happens to be my latest pattern, which is why I have a bunch of them lying around (from pattern testing, you see). All of these are available in my shop along with the originals from the pattern model photos.

Sol Halters

The left is a size medium with beaded chain fringe added, the right is a Plus size with a super sweet OM embellishment! Both are in my Etsy shop, as well as both patterns (but you can get all sizes in one pattern bundle and save $2)

Foxglove Pixie Belt

Every time I make another one of these crocheted utility belts, it’s my new favorite. This one features a super soft and silky Fox tail that is also a secret pouch! Also a simple floral circular pouch and a ruffled blossom shaped drawstring bag – and fits waist sizes up to around 50″ and is adjustable with button and tie closures – you can get it here. I’ve also got two other pixie utility belts still available in shop.

Lotus Mandala Vests

Two different Lotus Mandala Vests for which you can find the free pattern here – both made with Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball, which is absolutely awesome for this piece and I can’t decide if I like it better with this or with the original 24/7 cotton – but with Shawl in a Ball all the color changing is done for you, which is a bonus!

That vest on the left has added sleeves, so it’s sort of a mixture of the Lotus Vest and the Lotus Duster, except the sleeves are a more toned down cardigan style instead of the crazy mega-bell duster sleeves, and they are made to fit on the Vest shoulder yoke, not the duster one. A pattern-slash-tutorial for how I did those on the vest will definitely be forthcoming, but with all the moving and school and crazyness I can’t say exactly when.

Joni Mandala Duster

Oh SPEAKING of the Lotus Duster, I made another, this time with some pretty slate blue handspun merino, gray cotton blend commercial yarn, and deep navy recycled sweater cotton yarn. I LOVE IT. I did this for revamping the Lotus Duster pattern, but unfortunately I still have some tweaking to do. When it’s all done it will get the same treatment as the Lotus Vest, which is an official rewrite on the blog and availability in PDF format.

Granny Vest

I’ve been loving some granny square vests on Pinterest lately (have you followed my crochet board? You should). This was my first attempt at designing one and I am TOTALLY addicted now and want to do one in every color. SO CUTE. Should I do a pattern? I think I should.

The End.

For real this time, because I need to go eat real food. I’ve been running on Doritos and fruit snacks for hours now.

-MF

Flower Child Pullover Pattern

Can I tell you about how stoked I am to finally have this design out?! I just barely squeaked it in, a month after I had planned on releasing it, while pre-warm-weather crafting is still going on: It’s the Flower Child Pullover! Cousin to my Mandala Top pattern, I think this may be my favorite pattern I’ve designed so far.

You can get it for 5.50 USD through my Etsy Shop or my Ravelry Pattern Store! More details below.

flowerchildcover4

With a colorful openwork design and a flattering A-line shape, the Flower Child Pullover lets the good vibes flow! A great layering piece for any season and a guaranteed eye-catcher at the beach, festivals, markets, concerts, yoga, or anywhere you feel like letting your hippie flag fly.

flowerchild10-1

This funkadelic mandala sweater dress is similar in construction to the sleeveless tunic-style Mandala Top, made with the same easy-care worsted weight acrylic yarn that lets you zen out to your favorite color combinations without breaking the bank.

flowerchild1

I personally love the mesh crochet construction that lets the garment drape alluringly over all different types of beautiful curves! Pattern is written in 3 sizes (Small, Medium, and Large) with options for customizing size, 9-17 color changes written into the instructions, and over 75 bright, clear tutorial photos. I really went nuts with the tutorial photos for this one! To compensate, I also have included a separate text-only PDF pattern version that won’t break your printer.

flowerchild6-1

 

Get colorful or bust some scraps with the detailed individually listed yardage requirements for each color included in the pattern.

flowerchild12-1

Sizes:
Small: 24” Length, 16” upper arm circumference, 32” bust, 15” wide collar
Medium: 26” Length, 18” upper arm circumference, 38” bust, 15” wide collar
Large – 30” Length, 20” upper arm circumference, 42” bust, 16” wide collar

Materials:
Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn! (#4 Medium Weight, 199 g / 355 yds per skein). 700-820 yds total, exact yardages for each color included.
5.00 mm hook
Stitch Markers
Scissors & Tapestry Needle

Written in US terminology

I’m really glad I had an excuse to buy that giant flower, because I’ve been eyeballing it at the craft store for months.
flowerchild13-1

-MF

Lotus Mandala Vest PDF Pattern is Here!

Thanks everyone who waited so patiently for me to produce the Lotus Mandala Vest pattern in PDF form: it’s finally out! I got a lot of very sweet comments from people about this pattern lately, and some questions included in this little FAQ page. Many wanted a version of the pattern they could print or view offline, and since I was planning to clean up this pattern’s writing anyway I decided to wait to release a PDF until I could make it nice and pretty and (most importantly) easier to understand.

So here it is! This PDF is available through Ravelry, for FREE with the code PLOTUS until Feb. 28, 2017. After that it will be the same price as all of my other paid PDF patterns, 5.50 USD. The pattern on the blog, however, will remain FREE, FOREVER – and has also been updated to the cleaned-up version.

Although I have also added this pattern to my Etsy Shop, unfortunately the nature of Etsy promos does not allow me to add the free pattern code 😦

LotusVest6

My Lotus Mandala Vest pattern now in swanky PDF format! This new option includes extra tutorial photos, tips on adjusting size, and a print-friendly text-only version! Please note that the pattern will remain free on my blog, this option is just for those who want the portability and extra tutorial photos featured in the PDF version (or if you just love me and want to give me yarn money).

This bright crochet mandala vest is both visually appealing and simple to work with tons of tutorial photos and a detailed, written pattern. This vest is written in Free Size, which easily fits up to a 42″ bust, and tons of tips for customizing the size are included. This circular lace shawl has a smooth drape and swing-y ruffle to accent movement and looks right at home in any free-spirited outfit.

Yarn: Worked in Lion Brand 24/7 Cotton, but also looks fabulous in Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball!
Hook Size: 5.5 mm
All instructions are in US terms

DSCN5084.JPG

It’s nice to be reminded of things when they were warm and green!

Thank you again to everyone who has posted their comments and tips and shared their beautiful projects for this design! You really make doing this so rewarding!

-MF

Lotus Mandala Video Tutorial

dscn7872

My free Lotus Mandala Vest pattern was getting some attention on Facebook recently and so for convenience I put together a little FAQ page for that pattern a few days ago to try to answer some of the most common questions. One of them is “Is there a video tutorial available?” Well, now there is!

A very great big THANK YOU to fellow blogger Cynthialoowho, who volunteered to create a video tutorial for this pattern! It is now available on her Youtube channel here. I am really excited about this new video option because I know a lot of crocheters work exclusively from patterns and tutorials that are heavy on visuals or exclusively visual.

dscn7870

For the written pattern crocheters, I’m working on making this pattern available for download as a PDF file so it can be viewed offline or printed out. Since I was planning on cleaning up the written instructions anyway, I started another Lotus Vest using Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball, and oh my goooodnessss!

dscn7873

The colors are way too pretty! This colorway is “Calming Desert”. And did you know they have Shawl in a Ball Metallics now? Moonstone is my favorite. Agh, I feel a large yarn purchase coming on.

I’m also cleaning up and formatting the Lotus Duster pattern for PDF availability, which I had been working on before the Lotus Vest went briefly viral.

dscn7876

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE! I’m also working (slowly) on finishing up a brand new mandala-based crochet pattern. Basically my desk is just one big heap of colorful yarn mandalas right now. Which makes me happy 🙂

-MF

Lotus Mandala Vest FAQ

Hi everyone! There’s been a recent surge in popularity of the free Lotus Mandala Vest pattern I designed last summer and I’ve been getting a lot of questions so I wanted to post this quick little FAQ. I have done my best to get back to everyone who  had questions (let me know if I missed you!) and I am SOOOO STOKED that you all like it so much!

Lotus Mandala Vest FAQ

Where can I get a printable PDF of this pattern?:

There is now a PDF version of this pattern, as well as a low-image printer-friendly version, available through Ravelry and Etsy. Check out the details on this blog post.

Is there a video tutorial for this pattern?:

Yes! Fellow blogger Cynthialoowho volunteered to create a video tutorial for this pattern and it is now available on her Youtube channel here. Big thanks to her for providing this awesome video so quickly for everyone who was asking for one 😀

What size does this pattern fit?:

I designed this vest to have a very loose fit, with wide armholes placed 15″ apart across the back (relaxed). The diameter across the portion of the vest with armholes is 45″. The lovely Arika is shown modeling the vest in the pictures above, and it comfortably fits her with a bust of 41″,  and a shoulder width measurement of 16″. Hopefully that gives a more accurate depiction of the sizing!

How do I make the vest bigger?:

There are several good strategies for sizing up on this pattern – and although I don’t have an exact pattern for different specific measurements, I can offer a few tips gathered from my own experience and what others have suggested:
– Make sure to take the measurement between the shoulders for the person who will be wearing it! This is how far apart to place the armholes. Smaller sizes will place the armholes closer together, larger will generally place them farther apart.
– For bigger sizes, you will probably want to add extra repeats of Rnd 29, to make sure there is a wide enough edge for the garment to drape and ruffle proportionately.
-It’s also an option to add additional rows just before the armhole round.
-You can increase the size of the armholes by simply chaining more per armhole (your stitch counts will be different, but as long as you just repeat the main pattern around, you should be good), but be sure to skip more stitches on the round below if you do.

How do I make this vest smaller/child size?:

This depends on how small you want the pattern to be. For a smaller adult/teen size, placing the armholes closer together will size the vest down, and you can also size down by using a smaller yarn weight (such as a #2 weight instead of a #4 weight) and smaller hook. However, I can’t say how well this design will work for very small children as I have not tried it. The central “lotus” motif to this vest is fairly large and might not sit well on a much smaller body – When asked about making it in child size I generally refer people to the great free pattern Ring Around the Rosie Vest from The Lavender Chair, which is similar in style and written specifically for the wee ones.

Where can I buy this vest?:

I’m not currently making these for sale, but there are some great shops on Etsy that I have seen selling this design if you search around. Fiona of MadeForYOUbyFi on Etsy has several beautiful pieces made from this pattern and has generously offered a 15% off discount of orders over $50 when you use my special code “MORALE”!

~*~

That’s it for now! I will post more common questions if they come up. Thanks so much everyone for your support!

-MF

Batty Kitty Sweater (Rar!)

So you know that feeling when you live in the Midwest in January and you don’t see the sun for like three weeks? And the sky just sort of spits rain on you constantly and everything is soggy and gray everywhere you look every day? Okay, maybe you don’t know that feeling, but I definitely do.

For me it’s a feeling of being morose and unmotivated and (apparently) listening to a lot of The Smiths while huddled in bed freezing because it’s really expensive to heat my cheaply constructed apartment. Clearly the only answer is a big, cocoon-like sweater, decked out with a hood and a front pocket so as much of you can disappear into it as possible!

kittysweater1

The Patient Photographer got me a home photo studio and a set of funky backdrops as a gift! And of course, one of them was a big fat moon because he knows me.

This started out as a project to test the waters for a design I had in mind, but it kind of grew up to be its own thing as it went along – and it grew cat ears, too! Probably as a result of loving on so many people’s pink kitty hats recently. I also wanted to try out the trendy batwing / dolman sleeve / box sweater style, so I guess it could be a bat sweater too if spooky-cute animals are your thing (I freaking love bats).

kittysweater3

No pattern for this baby, but I AM working on a new pattern design even though I am WAY behind schedule on it, because this semester is already killing me.

I CAN tell you that I did use 10 skeins of Jo-Ann Fabric’s brand Buttercream in Angel Hair, and it’s THE. SOFTEST. Combined with a 9.00 mm hook, this project was fast enough to do off the cuff in between homework, and since I was winging (ha) it, I no have to use me brain much. Which is good because it not work right.

kittysweater2

Rar?

-MF