Free Crochet Pattern – Half Moon Shawl

Featuring a bobble stitch, this pretty Half Moon Shawl has a bit of a textured look with lacy, open stitches, a luxuriously soft feel, and an elegant sheen that will make you feel like a queen!

Half Moon Shawl, Astral Yarn5 (640x538)

Adapted from a pattern from the Lion Brand Yarn website that calls for a super bulky yarn and Size N hook, I’ve used yarn from our Astral line and a Size J hook.

Ha

The rich, beautiful color I chose is called Gemini.

Half Moon Shawl, Astral Yarn2 (480x640)

SKILL LEVEL

Easy

HOOK

6.0 mm (J)

MATERIALS

625 Yards or 3.2 skeins of Astral Yarn
I think I’ll use a smaller hook next time to see if I can’t get the yardage down to three skeins.  The thicker the yarn, and the bigger the hook, the more yarn you’ll need so stepping down a few sizes should help to cut the yardage.  I will keep you posted.  On that note,  How Much Yarn Do I Need from the Fresh Stitches blog is a very helpful post for trying to calculate yardage required for different weights of yarn.

STITCH EXPLANATION

*Bobble Holding back last loop of each dc, work 5 dc in next st, yarn over and pull through 6 loops on hook.

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

Approximately 32 inches/ 81.28cm long and 64 inches/162.56cm across the top edge

Half Moon Shawl, Astral Yarn3 (480x640)

DIRECTIONS

Ch 3, sl st in beg ch to form a ring.
Row 1: Ch 3  (does not count as st in this row and in all following rows), 9 dc in ring, do not join.

Note: The turning ch-3 does not count as first dc in each row. This means that you should work your first dc into the very first st (at base of turning ch-3), unless you are instructed to sk the first st. When you reach the end of a row, do not work into the top of the turning ch-3, unless instructed to do so. When counting sts, do not count the turning ch.

Row 2: Ch 3, turn, (dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc) twice, bobble* in next dc, (2 dc in next dc, dc in next dc) twice – 13 sts.
Row 3: Ch 3, turn, (2 dc in next st, dc in next st) across, end dc in last dc – 19 dc.
Row 4: Ch 3, turn, 2 dc in next dc, (ch 2, sk 2 dc, 3 dc in next dc) across – 6 ch- 2 sp.
Row 5: Ch 5 (counts as dc, ch 2), turn, (3 dc in next ch-2 sp, ch 2) across, end dc in top of ch-3 – 7 ch-2 sp.
Row 6: Ch 3, turn, 2 dc in beg ch-2 sp, (ch 2, 3 dc in next ch-2 sp) across – 6 ch-2 sp.
Row 7: Ch 3, turn, skip first dc, dc in each of next 2 dc, (4 dc in next ch-2 sp, dc in each of next 3 dc) across, end last dc in top of ch-3 – 44 dc.
Row 8: Ch 3, turn, dc in each of next 3 dc, (bobble in next dc, dc in each of next 8 dc) to last 5 dc, end bobble in next dc, dc in each of next 4 dc – 5 bobbles.
Row 9: Ch 3, turn, 2 dc in beg dc, dc in each st across to last dc, 2 dc in last dc – 46 dc.
Row 10: Ch 3, turn, 2 dc in beg dc, (ch 2, sk 2 dc, 3 dc in next dc) across – 15 ch-2 sp.
Row 11: Ch 5 (counts as dc, ch 2), turn, (3 dc in next ch-2 sp, ch 2) across, end dc in top of ch-3 – 16 ch-2 sp.
Row 12: Ch 3, turn, 2 dc in beg ch-2 sp, (ch 2, 3 dc in next ch-2 sp) across – 15 ch-2 sp.
Row 13: Ch 3, turn, skip first dc, dc in each of next 2 dc, (2 dc in ch-2 sp, dc in each of next 3 dc) across, end last dc in top of ch-3 – 77 dc.
Row 14: Ch 3, turn, dc in each of next 2 dc, (bobble in next dc, dc in each of next 8 dc) to last 3 dc, end bobble in next dc, dc in each of next 2 dc – 9 bobbles.
Row 15: Ch 3, turn, dc in each st across, inc 2 dc evenly spaced – 79 dc.
Row 16: Ch 3, turn, 2 dc in beg dc, (ch 2, sk 2 dc, 3 dc in next dc) across – 26 ch-2 sp.
Row 17: Ch 5 (counts as dc, ch 2), turn, (3 dc in next ch-2 sp, ch 2) across, end dc in top of ch-3– 27 ch-2 sp.
Row 18: Ch 3, turn, 2 dc in beg ch-2 sp, (ch 2, 3 dc in next ch-2 sp) across – 26 ch-2 sp.
Row 19: Ch 3, turn, skip first dc, dc in each of next 2 dc, (2 dc in ch-2 sp, dc in each of next 3 dc) across, end last dc in top of ch-3 – 132 dc.
Row 20: Ch 3, turn, dc in each of next 2 dc, (bobble in next dc, dc in each of next 8 dc) to last 4 dc, end bobble in next dc, dc in each of next 3 dc – 15 bobbles.
Row 21: Ch 3, turn, 2 dc in beg dc, dc in each st across – 133 dc.
Row 22: Ch 3, turn, 2 dc in beg dc, (ch 2, sk 2 dc, 3 dc in next dc) across – 44 ch-2 sps.
Row 23: Ch 5 (counts as dc, ch 2), turn, (3 dc in next ch-2 sp, ch 2) across, end dc in top of ch-3 – 45 ch-2 sps.
Row 24: Ch 3, turn, 2 dc in beg ch-2 sp, (ch 2, 3 dc in next ch-2 sp) across – 44 ch-2 sps.
Row 25: Ch 3, turn, skip first dc, dc in each of next 2 dc, (2 dc in ch-2 sp, dc in each of next 3 dc) across, end last dc in top of ch-3 – 222 dc.

Fasten off.

FINISHING
Edging

From RS, join yarn at any edge of shawl.
Work [sc in next st, dc in each of next 2 sts, tr in each of next 2 sts, dc in each of next 2 sts] evenly around Shawl.
Weave in ends.

To print pattern, click Half Moon Shawl Pattern.

Half Moon Shawl, Astral Yarn4 (469x640)

This Half Moon Shawl is available to purchase, just click here!  Custom orders are welcome in any of the pretty Astral colors available.

How to Separate Locks of Suri Fiber

 

Fiber of the suri alpaca grows vertically down the side of the body, hanging in long, separate, distinctive locks.  These individual locks are made up of many lustrous fibers.  Separating the locks of fiber is not hard, but it does take time.  I am a novice when it comes to video, so hope you’ll bear with me.

1.  Identify the tip of the lock, versus the cut end which will be more blunt.

2.  Hold the upper tip end of the lock tightly and pull it away from the base of the fleece, while holding the base of the fleece around the lock.  This keeps the other locks intact and ready for their turn at being removed.

3.  The lock is pulled up and the fleece around it is held intact by my other hand.

This can be done wet or dry, as seen in the video, depending on your preference.

Be sure to see:

Using Suri Fiber for Doll Hair

Tips for Purchasing Suri Fiber for Doll Hair

Doll Makers – Customer Gallery

Coming Soon:

Washing and Combing Suri Fiber for Doll Hair

Tips for Purchasing Suri Fiber for Doll Hair

We offer our raw suri fiber in two different forms.  Our Natural Suri has been carefully skirted, tumbled, and washed. Suri Locks have been taken one step further in that the individual locks of fiber have been separated from the rest of the fleece.

Natural Suri          Suri Locks

Doll makers are finding that suri alpaca makes beautiful doll hair!  There is some fiber terminology that may be helpful for doll makers purchasing suri fiber for doll hair.

Blythe Doll by Chris Hegarty

Purchasing the Natural Suri is the most economical way to purchase this silky, lustrous fiber.  There is a huge cost savings if purchasing an entire fleece, but this is usually way more fiber than needed for doll wigs.  Separating Suri Fiber into Locks is not difficult, but it is more expensive to buy fiber this way because of the time involved.  See How to Separate Locks of Suri Fiber.

Alpacas in the Pasture

The Terms:

Fiber is the hair of an alpaca.

Fleece is the coat of an alpaca, after having been sheared, but before being processed into yarn or thread.

Micron is the unit of measurement used in assessing the diameter of a fiber.

Micron count is scientifically devised by measuring the diameter of several individual fibers and determining the average. The lower microns are the finer fibers.  The larger the micron count, the courser the fiber.

The textile world generally uses six Grades of Fiber for Alpacas:

Grade 1 Ultra Fine (less than 20 microns)
Grade 2 Superfine (20-22.99 microns)
Grade 3 Fine (23-25.99 microns)
Grade 4 Medium (26-28.99 microns)
Grade 5 Intermediate (29-31.99 microns)
Grade 6 Robust (32 microns and above)

Locks
are the natural divisions in an animal’s fiber.  A single lock of suri is made up of multiple individual fibers.

Skirting is when fleece is shorn off an alpaca, the blanket or primary fleece is brought to a table where the guard hair and vegetable matter is hand picked from the fiber.

Staple is an independent cluster of individual fibers.

Staple Length is the actual length of shorn alpaca fiber.

Tumbling is when fiber is placed in a machine called a tumbler and, well, tumbled, to removed dirt, dust, vegetable matter, etc.

Vegetable Matter is the little pieces of hay, stray, dead leaves, seed heads, and sometimes burrs that find their home in alpaca fiber.

More Alpaca Fiber Terms can be found on the Alpaca Fiber Cooperative of
North America, Inc. website.

Vegetable Matter

And now the TIPS:

 

1.  Be aware that there is a lot of waste when combing out the locks. Be sure to purchase up to an extra ounce for your project, to make sure you have enough.

2.  For whatever reason, the darker colors seem to work well in the higher micron range – 26 microns and up.   The fiber tends to have less static, is stronger for combing, but is still very lustrous and the fibers hang together well.
Dark Brown Suri Fiber

Dark Brown Suri Fiber Separated Into Locks

3.  On the flip side, the whites and lights work better in the finer micron ranges, say 20 – 28 microns.  Finer than 20 microns and the fibers will break.  Over 28 microns, the fiber just looks bad with no luster, the fiber looks coarse, etc.
White Suri Fiber

White Suri Fiber Not Separated Into Locks

4.  Lengthwise, the 7″-8″ fiber works the best.  That is just a year’s worth of growth for many animals, so it is easier to comb out, has less breakage, and overall has less damage than most of the two year growth animals.  Some doll makers opt for longer fiber, 9″ – 12″.  Though premium prices are charged for this longer fiber, it can be hard to comb out and tends to have more vegetable matter embedded in the locks.  Of course, it is lovely but can be more work.
Suri Alpaca Fiber, 6.5"', Medium Fawn, 2 Ounces, Simeon
5.  Stay away from fleeces of alpacas that the alpaca owner has shown extensively in the show ring.  This fiber is going to be prone to fiber breakage due to repeated stress and length of time the fiber is on the animal.
6.  Be cautious of first year fleeces.  Again, breakage due to stress of weaning can make the fleece problematic for doll hair.
7.  Buy from an experienced fleece handler who knows the doll hair market.  Many suri farms will offer their fleeces for sale in this market, but only a few will really understand the characteristics needed to make good doll hair!
 2012_634733645411868000
Thank you to Liz Vahlcamp and my doll maker friends for helping me with this post!

Other related posts:

Using Suri Fiber for Doll Hair
Doll Makers – Customer Gallery

Coming soon:

Washing Alpaca Fiber
Combing Suri Fiber for Doll Hair

Doll Makers – Customer Gallery

 Suri Alpaca Fiber has become quite popular for use by doll makers that use it as doll hair.  See Using Suri Fiber for Doll Hair.  Pictured are below are dolls made by some of our my favorite doll makers with suri fiber from our very own alpacas.

 
Katty Van De Sype

Katty Van De Sype

Blythe Doll by Sofie Bell

Sofie Bell

Sharon Avital Dolls

Sharon Avital

Blythe Doll by Ingrid Gilbert by

Ingrid Gilbert

Blythe Doll by Chris Hegarty at Blythe Kouklas

Chris Hegarty

Zeina by Belén de la Morena

Belén de la Morena

Blythe Doll by Sofie Bell

Sofie Bell

Blythe Doll by Morgon Orton

Morgon Orton

Blythe Doll by Justine Hewett

Justine Hewett

Blythe Doll by Sharon Avital

Sharon Avital

Blythe Reroot by Cindy Sowers

Cindy Sowers

Blythe Doll by Ingrid Gilbert at Sweet Days Dolls

Ingrid Gilbert

Blythe Doll by Cindy Sowers

Cindy Sowers

Blythe Doll by Sofie Bell

Sofie Bell

Blythe Doll by Sophie Bell

Sophie Bell

Sharon Avital Dolls

Sharon Avital

Sharon Avital Dolls

Sharon Avital

Blythe Doll by Sophie Bell

Sophie Bell

Sharon Avital Dolls

Sharon Avital

Blythe Doll by Belén de la Morena

Belén de la Morena

Suri Fiber for Doll Hair

Cindy Sowers

FAVORITE DOLL MAKERS

Cindy Sowers of Burlington, VT
Chris Hegarty of Blythe Kouklas, in Melbourne, Australia
Ingrid Gilberty of Sweet Days Dolls, in Ngaruawahia, Waikato, New Zealand
Sharon Avital of Sharon Avital Dolls, in Ramat Gan, Israel
Belén de la Morena of DCBE Handmade in Valladolid, Spain
Katty Van De Sype of Earthstone Girls Europe in Alost, Belgium

 

Tips for Purchasing Suri Fiber for Doll Hair

Separating Suri Fiber into Locks

Coming soon –  Washing and Combing Suri Fiber for Doll Hair

Using Suri Fiber for Doll Hair

I gets lots of orders for Suri Fiber from doll makers all over the world, that use this natural fiber as doll hair.  This doll’s name is Zeina and her reroot was done by Belén de la Morena at DCBE Handmade in Valladolid, Spain.

Zeina by DCBE Handmade

Not being a doll maker myself, I had to do some research. What I found was a whole new world (that I knew nothing about) and some terminology I had never heard of like BlytheBJD, and Sad Eyed Susies for starters, all plastic dollies that are being remade, redressed, and having their hair rerooted!

Blythe Doll - Alpaca Reroot by Cindy Sowers

This is an alpaca reroot on a doll done by Cindy Sowers of Burlington, Vermont, using Suri Fiber from one of our alpacas.

Zuma's Fiber

Natural fibers are being used for doll hair to give a unique, more realistic look. There are approximately 22 recognized natural colors of alpacas with many variations and blends.  Light colors can by dyed as seen above, so there are many, many options when it comes to color.

Suri Alpaca Fiber - True Black

 Suri Alpacas have silky and lustrous, penciled fiber that grows in “dreadlocks” which lends itself nicely for use as doll hair.  There are a variety of locks and fiber styles that Suri offers, which gives doll makers variety in hairstyles for their unique, one-of-a-kind dolls.

Lock Styles

  The five lock styles currently recognized by suri breeders are tight ringlet, flat twisted, curl, pearl, and straight.

Miski

Alpaca is a natural fiber and so it can be styled using a blow dryer, flat iron, or curler, and moderate amounts of heat.  Other styles are created with curlers or braiding.

Sam

Alpaca is a great substitution for Mohair since it is finer, easier to handle and is not greasy.

Suri Alpaca Fiber, 6.5"', Medium Fawn, 2 Ounces, Simeon

Doll artist Morgan Orton says this about alpaca versus mohair, “I love the look of both, but Alpaca is my favorite. It’s fun to work with and creates a really unique look!  I love how clean the lines are, every strand adds to the effect. It’s naturally straight but has a kind of piecey, almost edgy look to it if left alone.  Both mohair and alpaca can be styled different ways though, since they’re natural fibers they can be heat styled, which is a lot of fun!  Alpaca hair can be styled curly or wavy a few different ways, whether with heat, rollers, or braiding. You can also break up the stringy look of Alpaca hair by brushing it with a boar bristle brush which gives it a really floaty fluffy cotton candy look. The boars bristle because it’s made from natural fibers like the Alpaca and will distribute the hairs oils and boost shine. Alpaca hair can get sort of stringy looking, which is a pretty cool look and part of its appeal, but using a bristle brush will help to break it up and smooth it out a little. You can also style your Alpaca hair wavy/curly by “scrunching” it when wet after combing it out, a tiny bit of mousse or other similar hair product can help with this.”

Alpaca Reroot by Morgan Orton

Alpaca Rerooted Blythes is a Flickr group with thousands of pictures of dolls that have alpaca for hair!

I  have been amazed at the orders I get for Suri Fiber from doll artists all over the world!  It has been fun to see orders come from the east coast to the west in the United States.  As I scroll down through my sales list, I also see orders from Italy, Australia, Spain, Frances, United Kingdom, Norway, Brazil, Switzerland, Lithuania, Poland, Denmark and Thailand.

Tips for Purchasing Suri Fiber for Doll Hair

Separating Suri Fiber into Locks

Be sure to see pictures of dolls using Suri Fiber created by our customers in our Doll Makers – Customer Gallery!

Also coming soon – Washing and Combing Suri Fiber for Doll Hair

Doll wigs are made from a variety of different fibers, from natural to synthetic.  Jessica Hamilton shares some very helpful information in her post called What is Doll Hair Made Of?, part of a series on Doll Wigging and Hair.

Private Lessons – Knitting and Crochet

Been wanting to come to a class, but your schedule never coincides with mine?  Or you’ve come to a beginner’s class and now you’re ready for more?  Perhaps a private lesson is in order.  Some people learn easier one-on-one.  Schedule the day and time that works best for you.  An hour lesson is just $20 and you get a one-on-one lesson focused on what you need the most.  Or bring a friend and share the cost.  Choose a project you’d like to start on, or I can make suggestions.  Bring your own yarn, or enjoy a 10% discount on any yarn in The Fiber Studio.  Fiber friends ages 7 and over are welcome.

Check your calendar then call or contact us to schedule your private lesson!

Beginner Knitting

Transfix Alpaca Shawl

Knitting is the new yoga!  You will learn to cast-on, knit, purl and bind-off.  Your private lesson also includes an overview of knitting vocabulary, materials, accessories and more.

Beginner Crochet

Bulky Ribbed Crochet Scarf

Crochet is is enjoying a renaissance and is my personal favorite.  This cherished fiber art is faster than knitting, and easier to correct mistakes.  Yes, I make them!  Learn to crochet or refresh your memory.  You will learn to create a foundation chain as well as single, half-double, double, and triple crochet stitches. Your lesson also includes an overview of crochet vocabulary, materials, accessories and more.

Back to Class Schedule.

Swizzle Alpaca Scarf – FREE Knitting Pattern

Scarf Crocheted with Swizzle Alpaca Yarn

I love how this scarf turned out!

Scarf Crocheted with Swizzle Alpaca Yarn

The yarn I used is 100% alpaca so of course it is soft and lovely!  This yarn is hand-dyed.  The color is Academy Blue, one of the nine beautiful shades in the Swizzle line from The Alpaca Yarn Company available at Alpaca Meadows.

Swizzle Alpaca Yarn Scarf

 The pattern is by Christine Vogel of Frazzled Knits.  She is right, it does look beautiful in a variegated yarn.  The horizontal drop stitch makes it fun to knit … as the yarn overs are dropped, the lacy design is created!

Swizzle Alpaca Yarn Scarf

Free Knitting Pattern – Transfix Lace Shawl

 Featuring an elongated pattern stitch, this easy lace shawl is a fun accessory for those cooler spring days that surely lie just ahead.  Adapted from a pattern by the Berroco Design Team, I’ve used our 100% alpaca Paca Paints Yarn and this shawl turned out lovely!  The color I chose is called Spiked Punch.

Transfix Alpaca Shawl

SKILL LEVEL

Easy

NEEDLES

Straight knitting needles, size 7 (4.50 mm) OR SIZE TO OBTAIN GAUGE gauge 14 sts = 4”; 16 rows = 4”

MATERIALS

2.5 skeins of Paca Paints Yarn

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

Approximately 18” wide x 70” long

:Transfix Alpaca Shawl

DIRECTIONS

Cast on 60 sts loosely. Work even in Elongated Pat St for 72”, end with Row 1 of Pat. Bind off loosely knitwise.

NOTE: When casting on and binding off loosely, if you prefer, use a larger size needle.

Transfix Alpaca Shawl

ELONGATED PATTERN STITCH

Row 1 (RS): Knit.

Row 2: Knit.

Row 3: K1, * yo twice, k1, rep from * across.

Row 4: Knit, dropping all yo’s. Rep these 4 rows for Elongated Pattern Stitch.

Transfix Alpaca ShawlEnjoy!

This shawl is available for purchase in any of the many pretty Paca Paints colors!  Click here.

Free Crochet Pattern – Bulky Ribbed Scarf

 I use this pattern by Prague Loop over and over.  It is easy, mindless and quick, especially with a bulky yarn.  Any yarn could be used and any size hook.  My favorite yarn to use with this pattern is our Snuggle Yarn.  This scarf is worked lengthwise, back and forth in rows, and gauge is not important.

Ribbed Crochet Scarf

The color of the Snuggle Yarn pictured above is called Seafoam.

HOOK

US Size N – 9.0 mm

MATERIALS

131 Yards of Snuggle Yarn

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

6 inches wide, and 50 inches long
Bulky Ribbed Crochet Scarf

The color of this Snuggle Yarn is called Winkle.

DIRECTIONS

Decide how long a scarf is good for you.  Chain an amount of st that is the length you want.  The scarves above were made with 100 stitches, though next time I make it I may go a little longer.

Setup row: HDC (half double crochet) in each st.

Row 1: HDC into back loop of every HDC of previous row.

(Note for the beginner: Unlike single or double crochet, the HDC stitches appear to have an extra loop at the top.  You will be using the loop that is at the back of the stitch.  In a few rows, you will see that the two loops you have not been using form a “chain” along the length of the scarf.)

Repeat row 1 until the scarf is as wide as you want or you run out of yarn.

You might want to work one round of single crochet around the whole thing, so the edge looks neat, but it is not necessary.  Weave in ends.

Blocking is optional.

Enjoy your new scarf or give it to someone!

Bulky Ribbed Crochet Scarf - Knot of Naturals

 This scarf was made with the same pattern using one of the Hand Dyed Snuggle Yarns called Knot of Naturals.  The hand dyed line comes in seven different colors!

Bulky Ribbed Scarf - Group of Greens

Of course, any of the scarves pictured above are for sale, in other color options as well.  Just click on the image to find out more!

Free Crochet Pattern – Spring Petals Scarf

This pattern is called Spring Petals Scarf, a free pattern I found on Ravelry by Ragamuffin.  I adapted it for our Astral Yarn and love how it turned out!  I used Star Bright White Astral Yarn by The Alpaca Yarn Company.  The pattern called for a worsted weight yarn, and Astral Yarn is DK weight, also referred to as light worsted.  A little lighter than worsted weight, I figured the DK weight might make the scarf a little bit more lacy looking.  And so it did!

Spring Petals Scarf - Astral

HOOK

 US Size H – 5.0 mm

MATERIALS

265 Yards of Astral Yarn

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

6 inches wide, and 68 inches long

Spring Petals Scarf - Astral

DIRECTIONS

Chain 25.

Row 1 – 3 dc in 5th ch from hook, skip next 3 ch, 1 sc in next ch, *ch 3, 3 dc in same ch as last sc, skip 3 ch, 1 sc in next ch, repeat from *, ending with 1 sc in last ch, turn.

Row 2 – Ch 4, 3 dc in first ch, skip [1 sc, 3 dc], 1 sc in ch 3 space, *Ch 3, 3 dc in same ch 3 space as last sc, skip [1 sc, 3 dc], 1 sc in next ch 3 space, repeat from *, work last sc under ch 4, turn.

Repeat row 2 to desired length.  Finish off and weave in ends.

Optional ending row (to even out edge):

Ch 3, 3 hdc in first sc, *sc in ch 3 space, 3 hdc in first dc, repeat from *, sc in last ch 4 sp.

Finish off and weave in ends.

IMG_3612

 

The Astral Yarn is a beautiful blend of 30% alpaca, 20% wool, and 50% Tencel.  It has a sheen to it that is gorgeous and so sumptuously lovely to work with.

Spring Petals Scarf - Astral

This is the scarf made up in Gold Rush, such a rich, pretty color, especially in the sunlight.

Spring Petals Scarf - Astral

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