Cherry Blossom Motif

This post is moved from my original blog.

I’m designing an Irish Crochet piece (finally!!!)with cherry blossoms all over it, and I couldn’t find just the right flower motif to make it look right.  Let me be clear that were plenty of beautiful ones on Ravelry, they just weren’t what I was looking for: flatish, detailed and thread friendly. So I spent the afternoon designing my own!  As usual, I’m sharing the pattern (at bottom of page)

So here is a picture of real cherry blossoms for comparison (with source and permission of course!):

Spring in Somerville, NJ – 2012 File 3” by Siddharth Mallya – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Here is my first attempt with size 10 white thread (unknown brand) and DMC Tatting Cotton in plum for the center:

And my final pattern piece with DMC Cordonnet No 30 blanc and the same tatting thread in the center.

And because I love thread size comparisons, here’s one of those!

And finally, a picture of a rough concept for the final design.  I plan to create stems just overloaded with the little version of the flowers, just like real cherry trees! I’m also planning to design a separate motif for the buds so I can have a few of those as well.  Please excuse the wrinkled fabric I pinned it to.

Cherry Blossom Motif:

Materials:
DMC Cordonnet No 30 in blanc
DMC USA Spécial Dentelles Size 80 in plum
size 11 steel hook
size 14 steel hook
needle for weaving in ends
with white No 30 thread and size 11 hook

round 1: 1ch, 10sc into a magic loop.  sl st into back loop only of 1st sc

round 2: (working in back loops only) 1ch, 1sc in same st, *2sc in next sc, 1sc in next sc* repeat to last sc, 2sc in last sc, sl st into back loop of 1st sc

round 3: *ch 7, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in next sc, hdc in next 2 ch, sc in last 2 ch, sl st to back loop of next sc from round 2, 1ch, turn to sc in last sc of petal, hdc in next st, dc in next 2 hdc, hdc in next st, sc in last st, 1ch, turn, 1sc in next 2st, hdc in next 2 st, sc in last 2 st, sl st to back loop of next sc from round 2,** sl st to next st* repeat 3 more times from *, then once more from * to **

round 4: *sl st into back of ch on petal from last round, 2sc in back of next sc from last round, 2hdc in back of each of next 3 st, 2sc in last back of st, 2sc together across row ends of last round, 2sc in next sc, 2hdc in each of next 3 st, 2sc in next st, sl st in next st.* repeat from * around, end with a sl st into first sl st of round. Fasten off, weave in ends.

To make center:
with plum No 80 thread and size 14 hook
Join pink yarn to innermost front loop with a sc.  *2ch, sc in next front loop* repeat around, working in a small spiral until you have one circle of pink.  sl st to complete circle, fasten off, weave in ends.

If you want a more textured center like on my bigger flower, start by attaching in the same spot, but then work (3ch, 1sc, 3ch, 1sc, 3ch) into each front loop around.

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The Littlest Crochet Flower

This post is moved from my old blog, econoknits.

My Irish Crochet materials finally arrived!

From Top Left: DMC Cardonnet Special 30 in white, DMC Cardonnet Special 40 in white, DMC tatting cotton (size 80) in medium plum, Boye steel crochet hooks in sizes 7, 11, 12 and 14.

For anyone who’s not familiar with crochet thread sizes, the higher the number, the thinner the thread.  The same goes for the hooks, the higher the number, the smaller the hook!

The first thing I did was create a teeny tiny flower motif using the tatting cotton.

Yes, that’s my thumb!
For comparison, here it is next to a flower of extremely similar pattern (the big one has a few more stitches in each petal) where the big one is done in what I think is size 10 thread (it was just in my stash and I didn’t have a label).

It was much more difficult to crochet with the size 80 thread!  It was a welcome challenge though, as I haven’t felt challenged by the grab-the-yarn-and-pull-it-through process since I was a kid.

I had to adjust the pattern for the thread size (80) and hook size (14).  Here’s a pattern for those sizes of thread and hook, which is based on my tiny flower motif pattern (the bigger motif in the picture).  I realized that for these sizes, you didn’t need 25 double crochet in the initial loop, so it’s reduced to 20, and the rest of the pattern is appropriately scaled:

The Littlest Flower

8ch, sl st into first ch to form a loop
round 1: 3ch (count as 1 dc), 19dc into loop, sl st into top of 3 ch
round 2: 5ch, *skip 3 dc, sc in next dc, 4ch,* repeat inside * three more times, sl st into 1st ch at beginning of round
round 3: 1ch, (sc, hdc, 5dc, hdc, sc) in next ch space, repeat () 4 more times, sl st into ch at beginning of round
Fasten off, weave in ends. (or be lazy like I am and don’t)

Irish Crochet Practice

This post is moved from my original blog.

I’ve been working on some “practice” Irish crochet motifs before my new thread and hooks come in next week.

First I tried some doily motif’s from a copy of The Harmony Guide to Crochet Stitches.  I don’t have a small enough hook yet, so they’re too loose, but getting used to working with thread instead of yarn was the most important goal. The motifs are called Mica and Floribunda.

Next I moved on to some free form crochet based on some pictures I’ve seen around on Irish crochet.  I ended up developing the patterns below for the tiny flower and the 3 petal flower (stem added in picture below).
For instructions on htc (half treble crochet) you can look here .
Tiny flower:
round 1: 8ch, join with sl st to first chain to form ring
round 2: 3ch, 24dc into ring, sl st to top of 3 ch
round 3: 6ch, skip 4 dc, sl st into next dc; repeat 3 more times, 6ch sl st into first ch

round 4: (1sc, 1hdc, 1dc, 7htr, 1dc, 1hdc, 1sc) into next 6ch space, repeat around, sl st into first sc, fasten off, weave in ends

Three-petal flower

Flower petal (make 3):
row 1: chain 10, turn
row 2: sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each chain across, 3ch, 1sc into back of chain, sc in back of each ch across, turn
row 3: 1ch, 1sc, 1 hdc, 1dc, 3htc, 1dc, 1hdc, 1sc, 3sc in 3ch space, 1sc, 1 hdc, 1dc, 3htc, 1dc, 1hdc, 1sc, sl st into ch at beginning of round, turn
row 4:  cut a piece of thread so that when folded in quarters, measures all the way around the petal. sl st to attach looped end of folded thread to working loop, do not turn.  1ch, work 2sc around the padding (folded thread) into each sc of last round, being sure to fully cover padding.  Sl st into first sc of round. Fasten off, weave in ends.

Flower center:

start with a magic loop for the center,
round 1: 9ch, sc in loop, 8ch, sc in loop, 8ch, sl st into first chain
round 2: 1ch, 16sc in each 8ch sp around, sl st to first sc
Fasten off, weave in ends.

Stem:

14ch, sc in second ch from hook, sc in next 6ch, 2sc in next ch, sc in each ch to end
Fasten off, weave in ends.

Sew the three petals together so they overlap slightly. then sew the center to where the 3 petals meet, and finally sew the stem in the space where there is no petal.

Little Black Wristlet

This post is moved from my original blog.

Welcome to my new crafting blog, econoknits!  I’m looking for a better name (it’s supposed to sound like “economist” but I know it just makes me sound cheap), so I’m open to suggestions.

I thought I’d kick off my blog with a free pattern for a little black purse I made a few weeks ago.  I made it with some leftover nylon thread in my stash from who-knows-how-long-ago.  The nylon is the perfect texture for this little purse because it gives it shape and the lace stitch has fabulous definition.  Of course you could always make it with a worsted-weight yarn of your choice, and if worked with tight stitches it would also come out quite sturdy.  Note that the flap is worked in fantail stitch.  I know this is not my original creation, it’s available in many places, but the instructions I found have been edited slightly to work for this project, so I just went ahead and typed some modified ones.

 
Materials
 
One spool of nylon thread (mine is old so I can’t tell you brand or size.  It is closer in weight to worsted weight yarn than to crochet thread).
Crochet hook size suggested on package
2 double pointed knitting needles (optional for strap, can also use a chain stitch)
long-handled lighter (for burning knots in place)
tapestry needle for side seams
Stitches
 
Fan: in one stitch or chain space (3dc, 1ch, 3dc)
V: in one stitch or chain space (1hdc, 1ch, 1hdc)

Body

Chain 42

row 1: 1sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc to last sc, turn

row 2: 2ch, sc in each sc to end
repeat row 2 until piece measures about 9 inches in length

Flap

row 1 (right side): 1ch, 1sc into first stitch *skip 3sc, work a fan (see above stitch patterns) into next stitch, skip 3sc, 1sc into next sc, 1ch, skip 1sc, sc in next sc; repeat from * 3 more times, turn

row 2: 2ch (counts as 1 hdc), 1 hdc into space between last 2sc of last round, *3ch, sc into ch space at center of next fan, 3ch,** work a V (see above stitch patterns) into next ch space; repeat from * 2 more times, then from * to ** once, ending with 2hdc in last sc, turn

row 3: 3ch, 3dc into first st, *1sc into next 3ch space, 1ch, 1sc into next 3ch space**, work a fan into space at center of next V, repeat 2 more times from *, then from * to ** once, end with 4 dc into top of turning chain, turn

row 4: 1ch, sc in first dc, *3ch, V into next ch space, 3ch, 1sc into space at center of next fan, repeat from * 3 more times, ending into the top of the turning chain, turn

row 5: 1ch, 1sc into first st, *sc into next 3ch space, work a fan into space at center of next V, sc in next 3ch space, 1ch, repeat from * 3 more times, sc into last sc, turn

repeat rows 2-5 until desired length of flap is achieved, ending on row 3 or 5

fasten off

Finishing

Burn fasten off and starting slip knot with a long-handled lighter to fuse the nylon chord.  (No end weaving in yay!)

With right sides together, sew side seams for the body, leaving the flap free.  Burn ends.  Turn right side out.

Knit an i-chord with double sided needles (just google it, I won’t reproduce the instructions here) for the wrist strap.  Mine measured about 14 inches.  Alternatively, you could make a chain of the same length.  Secure the ends of the wrist strap together, careful to keep it from twisting, and then secure to the inside edge of the purse.  Remember to burn the knots to keep them from slipping. (Turn the purse inside out for this to avoid burning your fingers.)

For a fastener, you could use a sew on snap or a button and a chain stitch loop.  I haven’t found the perfect button for mine yet, so it’s not pictured.