Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Irish Crochet Rose - 1

In honor of St. Patrick's Day and also in honor of the soon-to-be arrival of spring, our next project is an Irish crochet rose. The picture at the right is of this type of rose done as a border for a doily. The pattern is from an old issue of Workbasket Magazine. (My grandmother had a subscription to Workbasket and let me borrow various issues.) It's made with size 10 crochet thread. The roses were made separately. The inner halves of the roses were attached in the second-to-last round of the doily, the outer halves in the last round.

The pattern we will be working with comes from the American Thread Company Booklet but appears to be the same pattern as the Workbasket one. To be different and to see how the rose looks in a different size, I'm going to use worsted weight yarn (in particular Wool-Ease) and a size F (or 5) hook.

First a word about Irish crochet. ....

Last week, we talked about filet crochet. It is, at its most basic, a grid of dc and ch sts. It's lovely in its own right. Irish crochet is, at its most basic, a lot of ch sts to produce not a rectangular grid but triangles and diamonds. Some of these diamond shapes are visible in the upper left hand corner of the first picture. It's also lovely and possibly more of what one thinks of when thinking of crocheted doilies. However, Irish crochet is not limited to circular doilies. It can also be worked back and forth.

Here's the first part of the pattern (from the American Thread Company booklet):

"Ch 7, join to form a ring, ch 6, dc into ring, * ch 3, dc into ring, repeat from * 3 times, ch 3 and join in 3rd st of ch 6 at beginning of row." -- for a total of 6 loops. I'm not sure whether or not it's a typo. But, the part between the asterisks should be worked 4 times.

To begin, chain 7 and join to form a ring. The second picture shows the project at the point of joining to form a ring -- ie, making a slip st in the first st. So, after chaining 7, put the hook through the first ch st, yo, and draw the yarn through both loops.

Note: This is the usual way to start a circular project. The ch 7 produces a nicely defined circle. One could start out with as few as 3 ch sts for a smaller loop. More than 7 ch sts would probably produce too large of a loop. (More on this is at the end of the post.)

Then ch 6, dc into ring, * ch 3, dc into ring *. The third picture shows the second dc into the ring. The first 3 sts of the ch 6 are a substitute for a dc.

If you're going to use the tail later for attaching the rose to a garment or a purse, then let the tail dangle. If not, hide the tail as you dc into the ring. The picture has the tail next to the ch ring and partially hidden under the dc's.

And here is the completed first round. There are 6 chain loops, not counting the center one. The last st is a slip stitch.

A final word: To have no loop at the center (which is another usual way to start a circular project), do not make a loop to start out. Instead of making dc or sc (or whatever) sts into a loop, make them into the 1st st. The first round of the pattern would then be written:

Ch 7, dc into 1st st, * ch 3, dc into 1st st * 4 times, ch 3 and join to 4th st of ch 7 at beginning of rnd.

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