Tribal T-shirt Fringe Choker

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Sometimes I have to burn off my excess creative energy by doing something I can finish quickly! These wild textile jewelry pieces fit the bill, especially since I’ve been trying to clean my shamefully stuffed craft storage and shredding stockpiled t-shirts is a pretty effective method for me to do that.

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This tutorial is a guide for the refashion-centric among us, and you don’t even really need to be able to crochet to make it! Only the simplest crochet stitch, the chain stitch, is necessary. It’s explained here for those who don’t know how.

There are lots of different methods for cutting t-shirt yarn, and you don’t have to cut yours the same way as shown here, but this method is featured because you can use t-shirts with lots of seams (ex: Women’s fitted t-shirts). Of course, if you want to save yourself the trouble, you could just buy some commercially produced t-shirt yarn instead!

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Materials:
1 Jersey knit cotton t-shirt, plain
9.00 mm crochet hook
Scissors

Step 1: Lay out your T-shirt and cut up the side seams  on both sides of the front and across the top. It’s okay to cut a little wonky to get extra material from the bust area below the collar, but I’ve found it’s best to keep in GENERALLY rectangle shaped.

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Step 2: Beginning with your wonky – cut side (or any side if you don’t have one) start cutting a strip about an inch in width. The goal is a thin-ish strand once you stretch the material. It can be a little more or a little less than an inch depending on the material, but be careful because if it’s too thin, it’ll break when stretched. Leave your strip attached by about an inch of uncut material.

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Step 3: Flip your t-shirt piece around and cut  about an inch to the opposite side of the uncut end. Do this 3 or 4 more times to get  a long uncut strand (for a small size) or 2-3 more times for larger t-shirts. It’s better to have more than you need than not enough, and in fact you could cut the entire piece of t-shirt material this way, but I don’t like to because cutting this way leaves tabs. Speaking of which….

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Step 4: Once you’ve got your long piece, start gently stretching your strip to curl the material to make it round and yarn-like. Use a light touch at first! Now, to deal with those tabs created by zigzagging the material. Take your scissors and round those babies off, then stretch them a little more (be careful here – rounding the corners makes the fabric thin and therefore weak to stretching). Still a little messy, but stitching will mask that.

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Step 5: Set your long strip aside – I had almost 3 yards. Now lay out your remaining rectangle of t-shirt fabric and get one inch strips straight across, shearing them completely from the main fabric so that they are individual strips. Stretch each of these strips. For a standard amount of fringe, you’ll want to have 23-26 strips, so use cut out the back piece of the t-shirt and use it for more short strips if you have to.

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If you are using commercial yarn or a continuous strip in this step, cut your strands to DOUBLE the length you want your fringe to be.

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Step 6: Grab your hook and your long strand. Leaving a tail of yarn about 10″ long, create a slipknot loop. With your hook in the loop, grab the long end of your yarn with the hook and pull it through the loop, leaving your hook in the middle of the new loop. One chain stitch made.

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Repeat until you have 25-ish chain stitches, or however long you need your chain to be to fit your neck. If you’re feeling adventurous, try using the Double Chain technique instead of the regular chain. I like to use this on the fringe chokers because it helps them lie flatter around the collarbone.

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Once you’ve completed your stitches, tie off (i.e – pull the rest of your strip out through the last loop), and leave a 10″ tail when cutting off excess yarn. If you complete your required stitches but don’t have a 10 inch tail left over, just tie it off for now. We can use a short strip to attach an adequate length of tie later.

Step 7: Finally! Fringing time! Lay out your chain. Grab some of your short t-shirt strands and double them over. You might have some that are shorter than others – aesthetically I like those to be on the outside toward the shoulders but you might not care. Anyway, double those puppies over.

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Insert your hook into the loop on the bottom of your chain or double chain, from back to front, and catch the doubled side of your strand with the hook. Pull it through so you’ve got a loop.

Now catch the loose ends of your short strand with the hook. Pull those through your loop completely. Tighten.

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Ta-Da! Now do that until you have fringed the entire choker, or at least the majority of it.

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Step 8: Attach extra ties at the end of your chain if you need to, for fastening around the neck. You could be done at this point, but I like to add a little knotwork around the top.
To add knotwork, take two adjacent pairs of fringe and separate one strand from each pair (make sure the strands are also right next to each other). Pick up both strands and tie in a simple knot. Repeat across.

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These can be used as a base for adding even wilder decorations like beads, feathers, leather strips, chains, etc… But since I’m short on time, I’ll leave those for another day!

That stylish bikini underneath the necklaces is also made from recycled materials. Check out my post, the Bindu Recycled Sweater Bikini, for more on that.

-MF

Tunisian Ripple Scarf Free Pattern

I’ve developed persistent fondness for Tunisian crochet – two of my most recent paid patterns have been in this style and I’ve recently started exploring a variety of 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!

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………..
EDIT 4/20/2017: Unfortunately the blog I reference in the following paragraph is defunct, which sucks because it was awesome. For instructions on TSS, check out this great tutorial instead. For a tutorial on Tunisian Knit Stitch, the ever-fabulous Moogly provides.
…………..

One of my favorite resources for Tunisian is My Tunisian Crochet, which has a nice collection of different stitches for this type of crochet as well as a video channel (yay!). This scarf uses Tunisian Simple Stitch to create the first row and then moves on to Tunisian Knit Stitch for the rest of the pattern.

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, but my goal is to expand some of my past and future patterns by adding video tutorials to accompany the written and/or charted instructions. This video is sort of a little test run! 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.
c.) It’s gender neutral – my partner claimed this one for his own before it was even halfway done!

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

-MF

Stuff I Made

This blog has been dead air lately, which is in my humble opinion INCREDIBLY LAME. The spirit is willing but the time allotment is pretty weak, what with school and final projects and such. I have still been stitching away however, mostly on custom pieces and gifts, so at least I have some pictures to throw down!

So in lieu of an actual blog post, here’s some stuff I made. I’ve got new patterns and freebies brewing away of course, but they have to wait their turn.

I made this Unicorn hat on a whim, but it was quickly claimed as a Christmas gift and led to a request for a similarly styled giraffe hat for a different young lady. Which I didn’t get a picture of because I totally forgot. Because my brain has been running on fumes. Anyway, both animal hats were made using my Deer Hat pattern as a base!

I did, to my own astonishment, actually make it through spinning the giant pile of alpaca fiber I wrote about in my Pounds of ‘Paca blog post. I’d like to photograph the entirety of the cushy, luxurious pile of yarn I produced, but since I BOUGHT EVEN MORE alpaca fiber to add to this madness, I’ll wait. Alpaca mountain, here I come.

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It’s Coraline! This was a special commission for my friends’ little girl, who loves all things creepy. I used Carmen Rent’s Coraline Doll pattern as a template (it was great!) and freestyled the rest. Couldn’t be happier with the way she came out!

The big piece I just completed was this lovely bright lotus duster, made custom for an Etsy order. I used my best sweater-hunting skills to create the color scheme she requested and I just love how bright yet soft the colors came out! Handspun Merino/Silk blend creates the central mandala, then brushed alpaca / silk (the fuschia) and pure silk yarn (the lime green). The main body is several recycled cotton sweater yarns, one that I plied myself on the wheel in order the get the correct weight.

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The pattern for the Lotus Duster can be found on my blog for free, although I admit the instructions remain a little rough and I’ve been wanting to fix them for like forever. It’s one my To Do list. Which is about a mile long right now, ha! Still, keep an eye out because I’m (pretty) sure I’ll actually do that one.

-MF

 

Shop Small – Indie Artists and Holiday Deals

My prime directive this Thanksgiving break was to get a new batch of handpainted wool dyed, dried, and stocked in my Etsy shop, which I totally did, check it out! This batch features a lot of muted earthy tones, I guess I was sort of in a wintry mindset.

There’s a variety of fibers there, including a heavenly Polworth / Tussah silk blend that gorgeously translated my featured colorway this round, Celtic Teatime (the emerald, heathered silver, and russet gradients at the top). Please buy it before I spin it myself! Oh, and here’s some incentive:

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Get some holiday shopping done! This 15% off deal applies to EVERYTHING in my shop, including crochet patterns and handmade items!

If completely awesome knit and yarn – themed jewelry is your style, you should check out Malojos, run by the same awesome lady who taught me how to spin correctly and thus re-launched my obsession with it. She’s running a 15% off sale too (check out the blog post in the previous link for details), and recently has pledged to donate a portion of her profits to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Shop small, do good, feel good! My favorite is her beautiful kitchener stitch instruction cuff.

Perhaps you are a fan of pretty rocks? I know I am. Take a look at Cherry Bones Arts, who does beautiful wire wrapping around a variety of stones. I own several of her pieces and get compliments every time I wear one!

No matter where you shop, stay safe out there and spread the love this season ❤

-MF

 

 

Ravelry Projects Episode 2

I’ve said it many times, and I’ll say it again – one of the very BEST parts about designing patterns and being part of the online crochet community is seeing the awesome stuff people make from my patterns. Everybody adds a little something different – a different perspective, technique, flair – to the projects that make them truly unique! Plus I get to see more variations than I would ever have time to do myself, so it’s basically like I get to stitch vicariously. Which is awesome. Have I mentioned I love you guys?

Anyway, here are some lovely projects I have gathered from Ravelry users, all photos shared with permission of course.

This is ACountryYarn’s beautiful version of the Lotus Mandala Duster, from the free pattern on my blog here. I love it in those soft colors!

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Check out BekkaPoo’s Winter Wizard Hood, made using half double crochets in the back loop instead of Tunisian – so magic! Much wow! She used the Tunisian Fantasy Hood as a guide, a pattern that is more or less the ancestor to my recently released Trickster Hood.

If you follow me on Facebook you may have seen these over the summer, a fabulous top made from my Plus Size Sol Halter pattern. Made by Sandy from the Etsy shop Sandy’s Sundries who graciously helped me pattern test!

This version of the Lotus Duster features handspun in the center – I dig those blues and oranges! Made by Raveler Mamadear – you can see the full project page here. So pretty!

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Finally here’s a stunning Scrappy Granny shawl from the free pattern I recently released on my blog and as download on Ravelry, stitched beautifully by Chicky Magoo!

HUUUGE thank you to everyone who has shared photos of your amazing projects! If you’ve got a project you’d like to share with me and/or this blog, message me on Facebook or tag me on Instagram!

Want more? Click here to see Episode 1.

-MF

 

Trickster Art Yarn Hood

If you’re a regular reader of this here weblog, you know that I love to spin yarn and that recently I’ve been spinning a lot of art yarns full of glorious lumpy texture: slubs, coils, beehives, and locks! It’s these crazy textures that make stitching with art yarns almost as fun as making them.

However, there really aren’t a lot of crochet patterns out there that feature art yarns – most example projects I come across are knits, and for good reason. Knit stitching is generally must easier to use when working up these super-lumpy strands because it involves less wrapping around and pulling through. But there is one form of crochet I’ve been doing a lot lately that really lends itself to using art yarns : TUNISIAN, yeah buddy!

Tunisian tends to trap textures on the nubby, bumpy wrong side… so with a little special trickery, I created this fantastical hood that showcases the all the art yarn awesomeness (and uses as little as 30 yds of it!).  Check out the Trickster Hood pattern now in my Etsy Shop or Ravelry Pattern store for 5.50 USD!

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Trickster Art Yarn Hood

The Trickster Hood is a fantastical fae accessory with a long point, deep hood, and a ton of possibilities! This bad boy comes in Large and Small sizes and can be trimmed with any novelty yarn or just 30-50 yards of handspun art yarn!

The hood is worked flat in Tunisian crochet and then seamed up the bottom side. The main body uses a mix of worsted weight yarns with blended color changes and the trim alternates bulky yarn with novelty or art yarns. The front of the bonnet-style hood is fastened with a button so you can wear it up around the face or down on the shoulders.

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Isn’t it too dang cute?!

Don’t know Tunisian crochet? This pattern comes with the Tunisian Primer as a bonus PDF file, with all the basics of Tunisian techniques that you will need to work this pattern. The pattern itself includes photo-tutorials on color changing, construction, and stitching with art yarn.

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Back to front – Large size hoods Bonfire (with Teeswater locks art yarn), Mabh (with novelty fur yarn Romance), and Magnolia (with handspun beehive yarn). Very front: Small hood Pagan Santa (with novelty fur yarn Romance)

Requirements:
6.50 mm Tunisian hk, 5.00 mm regular crochet hk
About 320 yds total #4 weight yarn (I used Lion Brand Heartland – lengths for specific colors are given in the pattern)
200-250 yds #5 or #6 weight yarn
30-50 yds Super Bulky weight hand spun Art Yarn OR 50-60 yds novelty fur or eyelash yarn (I used Lion Brand Romance)

In the spirit of doing holiday stuff way too early, I made the smallest size pictured as a non-traditional winter holiday hat!

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Sort of reminds me of those old-fashioned Santa Clauses that I always preferred over the weird bloated Coca-Cola version of Santa. I dunno, he just looks much less manic than modern Santa, with his faraway look and basket full of branches.

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Like he’s really just an old, confused guy and can’t remember whether he’s delivering presents or trimming people’s hedges.

-MF

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Scrappy Granny Shawl Pattern

Maybe it’s the changing of the leaves, or maybe it was the improvisational painting exercises I did in Fundamental 2-D class, but Tuesday I came home with the irresistible urge to take a bunch of colors of yarn and smoosh them all together.

As luck would have it, I started this granny square blanket  that uses a similarly chaotic approach to color around this same time last year and I had a few good sized remnants left over from it. Mixed and matched with some random solid yarns bits, I was all set to smoosh up this quick granny shawl!

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The pattern uses a simple granny blocks spaced out by lengths of chain 3’s to make it nice and drapey. The triangular pattern is easy to memorize and adjust depending on your size requirements – also it’s a superb scrap buster! And it’s free so what in tarnation are you EVEN waiting for?

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I added some slip stitch crochet cord to the ends of this beaut so you can tie it in place around your waist or neck so it doesn’t fall off your shoulders – but you can skip those if you want of course. This pattern is also available as a PDF through my Ravelry store!

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Scrappy Granny Shawl

Materials:
6.00 mm hook
Around 660 yards various #4 weight yarn (scraps are great!)
Scissors
Tapestry Needle
Cardboard or book 6″ wide – for creating tassels

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Guys, I’m really sorry about this clunky chart. I’m still in search of good chart-making software 😛

Ch. 4. Join with a slip stitch to form a ring.

Row 1: Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. 3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc into the ring. Ch 1, dc into the ring.

Row 2: Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. 3 dc in the first ch-1 space, ch 3. (3 dc, ch 3) twice in the next ch-3 space – increase made. 3 dc, ch 1, 1 dc in the next space created by the beginning ch-4.

Row 3: Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. 3 dc in the first ch-1 space, ch 3. (3 dc, ch 3) in the next ch-3 sp. (3 dc, ch 3) twice in the next ch-3 sp. (3 dc, ch 3) in the next ch-3 sp. (3 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next space created by the beg ch-4.

Row 4: Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. 3 dc in the first ch-1 space, ch 3. (3 dc, ch 3) in ea of the next 2 ch-3 spaces. (3 dc, ch 3) twice in the next ch-3 sp. (3 dc, ch 3) in ea of the next 2 ch-3 sps. (3 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next space created by the beg ch-4.

Row 5: Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. 3 dc in the first ch-1 space, ch 3. (3 dc, ch 3) in the next 3 ch-3 spaces. (3 dc, ch 3) twice in the next ch-3 sp. (3 dc, ch 3) in ea of the next 3 ch-3 sps. (3 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next space created by the beg ch-4.

Row 6: Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. 3 dc in the first ch-1 space, ch 3. (3 dc, ch 3) in the next 4 ch-3 spaces. (3 dc, ch 3) twice in the next ch-3 sp. (3 dc, ch 3) in ea of the next 4 ch-3 sps. (3 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next space created by the beg ch-4.

Row 7: Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. 3 dc in the first ch-1 space, ch 3. (3 dc, ch 3) in the next 5 ch-3 spaces. (3 dc, ch 3) twice in the next ch-3 sp. (3 dc, ch 3) in ea of the next 5 ch-3 sps. (3 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next space created by the beg ch-4.

Row 7: Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. 3 dc in the first ch-1 space, ch 3. (3 dc, ch 3) in the next 6 ch-3 spaces. (3 dc, ch 3) twice in the next ch-3 sp. (3 dc, ch 3) in ea of the next 6 ch-3 sps. (3 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next space created by the beg ch-4.

Row 8: Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. 3 dc in the first ch-1 space, ch 3. (3 dc, ch 3) in the next 7 ch-3 spaces. (3 dc, ch 3) twice in the next ch-3 sp. (3 dc, ch 3) in ea of the next 7 ch-3 sps. (3 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next space created by the beg ch-4.

Row 9: Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. 3 dc in the first ch-1 space, ch 3. (3 dc, ch 3) in the next 8 ch-3 spaces. (3 dc, ch 3) twice in the next ch-3 sp. (3 dc, ch 3) in ea of the next 8 ch-3 sps. (3 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next space created by the beg ch-4.

Row 10: Ch 4 – counts as first dc + ch 1. 3 dc in the first ch-1 space, ch 3. (3 dc, ch 3) in the next 9 ch-3 spaces. (3 dc, ch 3) twice in the next ch-3 sp. (3 dc, ch 3) in ea of the next 9 ch-3 sps. (3 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the next space created by the beg ch-4.

Work in pattern, always increasing at the point of the triangle, until you have worked 29 total rows – or until you run out of scraps!

BORDER ROUND

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Step 1: Attach your yarn to the corner in position to work across the flat top of the shawl. Ch 3, 2 dc in the same space. (3 dc) into the side of each double crochet or turning chain space across the top of the shawl.

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Step 2: When you reach the corner, 3 dc into the final space. Ch 2, then chain 50 (or however long you want your ties to be). Work a slip stitch into each chain stitch back down the length of the tie, leaving your original 2 chain stitches unworked. Ch another 2, then 3 dc in the same space as your last 3 dc block. Finish by working a sc in the middle dc stitch of the first 3 dc block on the next side of the shawl.

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Step 3: In the next ch-3 space, work (1 hdc, 1 dc, 1 tr, ch-4 picot, 1 dc, 1 hdc, sc in the middle dc of the next 3 dc block). Repeat the pattern in the parentheses down the side of the shawl until you have worked the last space before the point of the triangle.

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Step 4: In the ch-3 space at the point of the triangle, work (2 hdc, 2 dc, 1 tr, ch-4 picot, 2 dc, 2 hdc, sc in the middle dc of the next 3 dc block).

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Step 5: Rpt the shell border of step 3 along the next side of the triangle until you have worked the shell repeat in the last space before your first 3 dc block of the border round. Work 3 dc in the same space as your first 3 dc block, ch 2. Ch 50 (or however much you chained for the first tie) and then slip stitch back down the tie, leaving the first 2 chain stitches unworked. Ch 2, join with a slip stitch in the first dc of step 1.

I like to add an extra row of slip stitching along the flat top of the shawl to reduce stretching!

Cut yarn and tie off – weave in all ends.

FRINGE:

Cut 4-5 strands about 12” in length. Double them over and loop through a ch-4 picot on the shell border. Repeat for each shell on the side borders of the shawl.

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I’ve been lucky enough to be personally acquainted with a number of scrappy, spunky, creative, inspiring grannies – here’s to you ladies! You rock!

-MF