Damhan-allaidh • a Crochet Pattern Release •

I don’t know about you, but the descending fall weather has a way of veiling my senses in the mythic imagination. And speaking of veils, lore says that they become thinner and thinner as we move closer to Samhain, the witch’s new year. What better time to drop a spooky crochet pattern for fellow fiber mystics to enjoy?

Damhan-allaidh (Dom-min all-ee) is Scottish Gaelic for “spider,” and in global mythology, the spider has long been associated with creative and sexual power. The Damhan-allaidh top utilizes our creative strengths to make exactly what we need, symbolizes a reclamation of healthy sexual expression from a history of oppression and abuse, and celebrates non-coercive, self-loving sexuality, well-woven into the web of divine being.

This pattern is for crocheters who would like to learn how to adapt patterns to their bodies. This pattern doesn’t use conventional sizing charts, but includes step by step guidance and a fillable worksheet for adapting the pattern to your specific needs.

Find the pattern on Etsy and Ravelry, and until October 20th, you can get it half off with the code SPOOKYSZN. Be well and make well, friends of the damhan-allaidh ♥

Pattern Notes:

🕷This pattern is for ALL body types!

🕷Pattern uses US terminology

🕷Yarn: This pattern is made to suit all weights of yarn, with a recommendation to choose something between fingering and worsted weight. Yarn in sample is Knit Picks’ Hawthorne Fingering Multi in Macadam.

🕷Skill level: Intermediate

🕷Skills needed: Gauge swatching, basic calculator math, magic ring, chain stitch, slip stitch, double crochet and foundation double crochet

Stitching Power

When I was a young girl, at a time when most relatives gifted me with dollhouses, stuffed animals and plastic building blocks, my grandmother gave me a needle and thread, and taught me how to cross-stitch.

She loved the craft, and admired her mother’s prolific stitching abilities, who had made large and elaborate images of angels wearing billowing gowns, among other things, that had won prizes from the State Fair. I can trace these crafts – sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery, quilting, and all variations of them – through my lineage. These crafts connect me back to my ancestors as strongly as the blood running through my veins.

After those first lessons, I took my cross-stitch kit home, cut up some of my outgrown clothes into uneven squares, and began to stitch them together with colorful embroidery floss. The image of that square foot of quilt, with its mixture of woven polyester silks and rib knit fabrics, it’s stitches jagged like a mouth full of teeth, has been forever seared into my mind. It never did get big enough to cover my bed, but it became a talisman of sorts – a reminder of what I am capable of with the right materials and a little instruction.

Despite the industrialization of the textile and clothing trade, stitching remains poignantly relevant today. In fact, it’s especially relevant now, as we begin to confront the ails of fast fashion, industrialization, and neocolonialism with more and more urgency.

The ability to sew, knit, or crochet garments, blankets, and other home goods for oneself and one’s community takes the power out of a faulty capitalist system and puts it back into our own hands. We are no longer stuck consuming what is churned out of a profit-proliferating algorithm, we can create what serves us, in a way that serves us. There is raw power in creating what we need and want with the materials available to us, and when we do so, we feed our soul.

When sewing freedom and power, all it takes is a stitch.

Plarn Snowflake Pattern

‘Tis the season for fun, recycled ornamentation! This particular craft gets bonus points because it’s cute, keeps plastic out of the landfill, and because you can find plastic bags almost anywhere (including in the neighborhood trees *sigh*).

If you haven’t already guessed, plarn is yarn made from plastic shopping bags (plastic + yarn = plarn). It’s super easy to make, and once you’ve worked with it a bit, it can be incredibly versatile too. There’s even a movement of people using plarn to make sleeping mats for those in need of them.

From start to finish, including making up the plarn and weaving in ends, each snowflake can easily be made in less than fifteen minutes. That, and the availability of plastic bags, makes this craft a super simple solution for decking up the home space with holiday vibes, or whipping up something clever and simple for holiday-time gift-giving.

Enough fluff – let’s get started!

Skills needed:

  • Magic ring
  • Single crochet (sc)
  • Double crochet (dc)
  • Picot
  • Sl st to join

Materials:

  • Plarn (written tutorial here, video tutorial here. Keep in mind, it takes 1-2 standard sized shopping bags to create one ornament)
  • Scissors
  • A crochet hook. I used size K (6 mm).
  • A tapestry needle with a large eye
  • Thread for hanging the ornament when you’re done

Tips:

  • Depending on the quality of bag you’re using, plarn can rip easily – to avoid this, pull on it as little as possible
  • You may want to make your stitches a bit looser than you would with ordinary yarn so that the plarn slides easily through the stitches

The Pattern:

Start with a magic ring.

Round 1: 12 dc into the ring. Sl st to join.

Round 2: Ch 1 (counts as first sc), dc into the same st, picot, dc into next dc, sc into same st, *sc into next dc, dc in same st, picot, dc into next dc, sc in same st.* Repeat the pattern between * 4 more times. Sl st to join and fasten off.

Weave in ends, tie the hanging thread into one of the picot spaces, and voila! Your plarn snowflake ornament is complete.

Because we’re using plastic yarn instead of fabric, this guy doesn’t need blocking. That doesn’t mean it won’t curl, but you can shape it easily enough by tugging on its points.

When you’ve finished, display it on a tree or make a ton and knot them onto a long length of thread for a garland. Happy crafting!


All contents including photography and patterns belong to Ort Cloud Fiber Arts.
Do not copy, edit, distribute or republish patterns and images within this blog in part or whole as your own. If you would like to share, please do so by including a direct link to the pattern with credit to OCFA. You are welcome to make and sell finished items using my patterns.