Crochet Stars and Soot Sprites | Free Pattern

December 6, 2020

 

When I finished crocheting my Soot Sprite Blanket inspired by the small, black, fuzzy creatures who scurry throughout Studio Ghibli's films, I realized how fun it would be to crochet tiny Soot Sprites and their accompanying bright star-shaped food (which they earn in exchange for carrying coal in Spirited Away!). Enjoy these free (and very quick!) patterns!


Part 1: Crochet Stars


Materials:

  • Yarn in the weight and color of your choice (I used limited-edition yarn from Red Door Fibre Studio's Studio Ghibli collection in DK weight)
  • Crochet hook in a size that matches your yarn
  • Scissors


Instructions:

There are many, many ways to crochet a star! These instructions create a beautifully simple five-point star, and can be crocheted in many different sizes! To change the size of your star, you only need to adjust your yarn weight and crochet hook size.

  • Round 1
    • To begin your star, chain two. 
    • In the second chain from your hook, crochet 10 half double crochet stitches. 
    • Join to the first half double crochet stitch using a slip stitch.
  • Round 2
    • *Chain 4. You will now be working in the chain stitches you just created. Place a slip stitch in the second chain from your hook. Single crochet in the next chain. Then, place a half double crochet stitch in the next chain. Skip the next half double crochet stitch, which is on your Round 1. Slip stitch in the next half double crochet stitch. 
    • Repeat from * around your entire Round 1. 
    • Fasten off and cut any excess yarn. (I don't bother to weave in yarn ends with small stars!)

Part 2: Pom-Pom Soot Sprites


Materials:

  • Yarn in the weight and color of your choice (I used limited-edition Soot Sprite yarn from Red Door Fibre Studio's Studio Ghibli collection in DK weight)
  • Pom-pom maker (I love this set by Clover)
  • Scissors

Instructions:
These Soot Sprites are an absolute breeze to create! It almost feels like a lie to call them crocheted - because you never touch a crochet hook! But, I love them so much (and so does my daughter!) - they're wonderfully squishy and so fun to roll around.

  • If using a pom-pom maker, you will need to follow the instructions provided by on the pom-pom maker's box. This will typically involve winding the yarn around each arch before cutting the yarn. You'll then tie the pom-pom together using thread before opening each arm one at a time. Remove the pom-pom from the maker, and trim any loose ends to shape.

Tada - that's it! Seriously! :)



Interview with Red Door Fibre Studio

 

A sneak peek at the limited-edition Twilight collection by Red Door Fibre Studio, launching today (December 6, 2020!)

Bringing Fandom to Yarn: Speaking with Kate Campbell of Red Door Fibre Studio

While exploring artists tagged in a #FridayFollow post one August morning, I stumbled upon Kate Campbell's Instagram profile featuring her newly-launched hand-dyed yarn shop, Red Door Fibre Studio! It took about 20 seconds of scrolling through Kate's colorful profile to realize that I was absolutely smitten with her style: Kate brings fan art to a new level by translating iconic movies and characters to limited-edition yarn collections! In early autumn, she released a *stunning* collection inspired by Studio Ghibli, which led to us collaborating and creating the Soot Sprite Blanket


Kate is launching a new collection inspired by the Twilight series today (12/6/20), and I know it will be another instant classic! 


Without further ado, it's time to grab a cuppa and get comfy as I chat with Kate about Red Door Fibre Studio.


Could you tell us a bit about how Red Door Fibre Studio came to be, where it all started?

We (I say we, but it’s really just myself) started Red Door out of a need for something more freeing than what I was already doing. I have a deep love for how all art is interconnected with one another, and my previous business concept just wasn’t cutting it for me.


I ran a small knitwear company, and since COVID cancelled all of our markets for this fall, I needed a way to fill my time and bring in our second income! I had researched hand-dyeing for over a year before actually taking the plunge because we were only renting at the time and my landlord wasn’t fond of the potential mess dyeing tends to make. Once we bought our house in early June, the building blocks started getting laid down hard and fast!


Kate Campbell holding yarn hanks from her limited-edition Studio Ghibli collection in her in-home dye studio!


What does a typical yarn-dyeing day look like for you?

I am a *planner*... until it comes to creative outlets. So I have lists of what colorways to dye/already completed, bases or materials to order, and even snacks I want for the next week! I don’t keep myself married to a dye schedule though, otherwise it sucks the life out of me.

So I take my list of colorways to dye out to my garage sometime between 7-8am during the week and pick what I can finish. I do my absolute best to listen to my body and my mental state to see when to stop for the day! There’s a set rate I need to dye at to get all orders out on time, so as long as I hit more than my rate for the day (constant over-acheiver over here), I can turn in whenever! I love the flexibility that comes with this job. If I wanted to run errands unbothered in the afternoon, I could simply wake up earlier, finish everything before lunch, and then not have to worry about whether I need to get back to my pans!


Gorgeous yarn AND cinnamon rolls - I just cannot handle the cuteness!


What are your favorite yarn bases to work with? (I'm a *sucker* for worsted weight!)

I’m a DK girl through and through! I love the drape of this base. It also doesn’t hurt that it knits up faster than fingering weight… I’m afraid I’m not too patient!


You have such a knack for translating popular culture into brilliant colorways! How do you decide what each collection will be about?

Oh wow, thank you! I started Red Door because I was lacking total creative freedom (as well as the other reasons like I talked about earlier) and I have an obsessive personality when it comes to movies or tv shows or any other media, really. I wanted to shove Red Door with as much joy as humanly possible, so I base our collections off of things that I love. Animal Crossing, Studio Ghibli films, Avatar: The Last Airbender (an animated kid’s show!) and I have so many more ideas up my sleeve. My key is to always stick to things I know like the back of my own hand!




How do you balance having to produce yarn for your business with indulging your creative side?

My whole job IS my creative side! Because I base our collections off of things that I love, I get to indulge every single time I hit the dye pans. This is where that whole “obsessive personality” thing really kicks in. I’m a true believer that all art is not complete without other art. Like how movies lack emotional depth without a perfect soundtrack overlaying heartfelt scenes. How fanart (or even memes!) from TV shows and book series’ help us relate even further to the characters. And even how our yarns are really just hanks on a shelf until fibre artists get a hold of them to turn them into something even more beautiful. My creative heart is filled to the *brim* with happiness every time someone sends me or tags me in one of their makes. 

It also helps that we do a monthly mystery yarn club, The Villagers Club, based on Animal Crossing Villagers! This way, I get to dye up a new colorway even in the middle of fulfilling pre-orders!


Lastly, what do you have on your needles at the moment?

So. Many. Things. But we’ll stick to the one I’m actually making any progress on! I’m knitting up Hermione’s Everyday Socks in our colorways Kyoshi Warrior and Katana (for a contrasting heel and toe).


Where can people find you and your yarn?

You can purchase my yarn online at Red Door Fibre Studio, and you can follow me on Instagram at @reddoorfs.




The Soot Sprite Blanket

December 5, 2020

 

When I began to imagine my first crochet pattern inspired by pop culture, I knew it had to accomplish several things at once: it needed to evoke fantasy and nostalgia, appeal to both children and adults alike, and incorporate a rainbow of colors balanced by a grounding neutral. My go-to neutral is Pale Grey by Feels Like Butta (Lion Brand Yarns), and when I discovered the limited-edition Studio Ghibli hand-dyed yarn collection by Kate Campbell of Red Door Fibre Studio, I knew I had a winning combination!



About the Pattern

The Soot Sprite Blanket is inspired by the small, black, fuzzy creatures who scurry throughout Studio Ghibli's films, often accompanied by bright star-shaped food (which they earn in exchange for carrying coal in Spirited Away!). This crochet pattern uses a variety of basic crochet stitches that combine to create stripes and bobbles (the Soot Sprites!). I love creating flexible blanket designs, so you will find instructions for making it any size. The finished baby blanket featured in this pattern's photos measures 37.5" x 36.5."

My sample blanket featured in this pattern includes limited-edition hand-dyed yarn by Red Door Fibre Studio, which may or may not be available for purchase at the time you are creating your blanket. I love using hand-dyed yarn in projects because it's wonderfully high quality, comes in a wide range of unique colors, and is made with tremendous love and care by a small business. Unlike corporate yarn producers, however, small hand-dyed yarn businesses are typically unable to maintain an inventory of all colors they have dyed; sometimes colors will be re-released, but it is not guaranteed! In this pattern, you'll see that I have provided a comprehensive list of alternative yarn colors and brands you may substitute in this pattern.


One of my favorite parts of this blanket are the softly undulating "ripples" created by the alternating stitch patterns in each row! This is designed to mimic the Soot Sprites' movements! 

What's in the pattern?

In this PDF pattern, you'll find: 

  • A detailed 70-page tutorial with 129 step-by-step color photos that teach you exactly how to crochet this blanket (including photos showing you where to place your hook and stitch!)
  • Instructions provided for the body of the blanket, border, and fastening off/weaving in all yarn tails
  • A comprehensive supply list, including the amount of yarn I used in this sample baby blanket. Please note that the sample blanket featured in this pattern's photos includes limited-edition hand-dyed yarn by Red Door Fibre Studio, and I have included a detailed list of readily-available alternative yarn brands/colors you may substitute in this pattern.
  • Tips that are written as if I am teaching a good friend, so you will encounter minimal abbreviations or crochet jargon
  • Instructions written in US terms

What stitches should I know?

Although the instructions are very detailed, I recommend you be familiar with the following stitches that are used in this blanket:

  • Foundation chain stitches
  • Chain stitches
  • Slip stitches
  • Single crochet stitches
  • Half double crochet stitches
  • Double crochet stitches

Am I able to sell items I make from this pattern?

Yes! You are welcome to sell anything you make from this pattern. However, I kindly request that you do not alter this pattern in any manner and distribute as your own. Please also use your own photos to advertise products made for sale. I strongly (but politely!) request that you give credit to my shop for the pattern and post a link if you sell online.


Where can I purchase this pattern?

You may purchase this Soot Sprite Blanket pattern in my Etsy shop here, and it costs $6!