Tuesday, April 29, 2008

a Pansy

We made a rose. How about designing a pansy? A pansy generally has 5 petals so we'll start out with 5 spokes instead of 6.

For the rose there were 6 spokes with a ch 3 in between for a total of 24 sts around. We'll try 25 for the pansy (since 25 is close to 24 and is divisible by 5). I'm going to start with a smaller initial chain loop – just to be different. I'm also using triple crochet sts for a little extra height since we're only going to have one round of petals.

The flower begins essentially like the Irish crochet rose – with a center chain loop and spokes. The petals are worked differently. The first picture shows the 5 spokes plus 2 petals. The last sc of the second petal isn't finished. Why there's a picture of an unfinished sc will become apparent later.

Here is the pattern:


I used a size 5 or F (3.75 mm) crochet hook and leftovers from a couple of balls of Peaches & Creme cotton yarn – worsted weight -- in yellow and blue. Yellow is the color for the center and the first 2 petals.

This is my own pattern, just made up yesterday especially for this blog.

The flower is about 3 ½ " in diameter.

Ch 4. Join to form ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 7, * dc 1, ch 4 * 4x, join with slip stitch to 3rd st of ch 7. (5 spokes)

Rnd 2: In each of the first 2 loops work "sc 1, hdc 1, dc 1, tr 3, dc 1, hdc 1, sc 1". If desired, change colors. In each of the remaining 3 loops work "sc 1, ch 3, tr 2, dc 1, tr 2, ch 3, sc 1".

That's all there is to the pattern -- except for fastening off and weaving in the ends.

There are several ways to change colors. One way is to fasten off the old color and then start with the new. However, for the pansy, I changed colors by just starting to crochet with the new color.

For that method, for the last sc of the second petal, don't draw a loop of yellow through to complete the sc. Instead draw a loop of blue through. (The loop created when finishing a st is the top of the next st. This is shown in the second picture.) That is all there is to it. (One, of course, needs to weave in the ends. But, whatever technique you use, you'd need to do that.)

Note also: Just as the ch 3 (the first part of the ch 7 at the beginning of round 1) is a substitute for dc 1, "sc 1, ch 3" and "ch 3, sc 1" are substitutes for tr 1.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Why 6?

-- or "Crocheting a hotpad"

It's no accident that the Irish crochet rose started with 6 spokes (and 6 chain loops). Six appears often in circular patterns.

A single crochet spiral hotpad starts with 6 sc sts in the center loop. Then each round after that has an increase 6 sc sts. If you make fewer than 6 increases per round, you'll end up with a cup or bowl shaped object. If you make more than 6 increases, you'll end up with ruffles.

Something similar holds true for double crochet As you recall, a dc st is twice the height of a sc st. To make a circle in dc, you would start with 12 dc sts in the center loop and then increase 12 dc sts per round. For triple crochet, the "magic" number is 18.

In the case of the rose we just completed, we started out with the equivalent of * dc 1, ch 3 * six times. This gave 6 spokes and 6 loops. If we hadn't wanted loops but just a basic pinwheel shape (a circle with spokes), we would have made the equivalent of * dc 1, ch 1* six times – for 12 sts around.

My aunt Ila was my first crochet teacher. And the first thing I ever crocheted was a hotpad. (I didn't start out with long chains of chain sts but rather with something to use in the kitchen.)
Here's the basic pattern:

A Simple Spiral Hotpad
I used Peaches & Creme worsted weight cotton yarn and a size 7 or H (4.50 mm) hook.
The finished hotpad is almost 7" in diameter.

Rnd 1: Ch 2. Sc 6 in 2nd st from hook. (6 sc)
-- Make a slip knot around the hook. Chain 2. Insert the hook into the second st from the hook (ie, the slip knot) and sc. Make 5 more sc's in the same st (ie, the slip knot).
The out-of-focus photo shows the start of the 4
th sc.

Rnd 2: 2 sc in same st 6x (ie, sc twice in each sc from the previous round). (12 sc)

Rnd 3: * 2 sc in same st, sc 1 * 6x (18 sc)

Note: If you wanted to, you could slip a locking stitch marker into the first st of a rnd to let you know when you're about to start a new rnd.
In the photo, you can see that at the end of rnd 3, there are 18 sts on the outside and that there are 3 rows of sc's.

A lot of patterns for simple spiral hotpads like this have for the next few rounds:
Rnd 4: * 2 sc in same st, sc 2 * 6x (24 sc)
Rnd 5: * 2 sc in same st, sc 3 * 6x (30 sc)
Rnd 6: * 2 sc in same st, sc 4 * 6x (36 sc)

This will produce a hexagon with rounded corners. To get something circular, one needs to vary where one places the increases. Here's a way to do that:

Rnd 4: * sc 2, 2 sc in same st * 6x (24 sc)
Rnd 5: * 2 sc in same st, sc 3 * 6x (30 sc)
Rnd 6: * sc 2, 2 sc in same st, sc 2 * 6x (36 sc)
Rnd 7: * sc 4, 2 sc in same st, sc 1 * 6x (42 sc)
Rnd 8: * sc 6, 2 sc in same st * 6x (48 sc)
Rnd 9: * 2 sc in same st, sc 7 * 6x (54 sc)
Rnd 10: * sc 2, 2 sc in same st, sc 6 * 6x (60 sc)
Rnd 11: * sc 4, 2 sc in same st, sc 5 * 6x (66 sc)
Rnd 12: * sc 6, 2 sc in same st, sc 4 * 6x (72 sc)
Rnd 13: * sc 8, 2 sc in same st, sc 3 * 6x (78 sc)
Make loop: Ch 10 (or more), attach to top of last sc as you would a picot.
Rnd 14: * sc 10, 2 sc in same st, sc 2 * 6x (84 sc), ending with a slip st into the base of the picot-like loop.

For added sturdiness, you can slip stitch along the chain sts. Fasten off.

A final word:
As you work around, you'll find that just before it's time to make an increase, the sts are slanted to the right. After the increase, the sts are slanted to the left.

The way I learned to make hotpads was not to follow a pattern -- but to make an increase when the sts start pulling to the right. (This did work out to about 6 increases per round). Also, if there was a choice about where to place the increase, place it in the middle of a flat edge.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Irish Crochet Rose - 5

I was going to name the post "Why 6?" but decided there was too much for one post. So, "Why 6?" will have to wait until next week.

Here are the last 2 rnds for the Irish Crochet Rose (from the American Thread Company booklet):

"5th Row. * Ch 7, sc in back of work between next 2 petals, repeat from * all around.
"6th Row. In each loop work 1 sc, 1 sdc, 7 dc, 1 sdc, 1 sc. Sl st in 1st sc of row and fasten thread."

So, the 5th round is basically a repeat of the 3rd round, and the 6th round is basically a repeat of the 4th round. Again sdc or short double crochet is the same as hdc or half double crochet. Sl st is slip stitch and is done the same way as in the link for the baby blanket edging. The picture shows the slip stitch being made. Note that the hook is placed through the back loop only.

This flower in worsted weight yarn is about 4 1/2" across. The one pictured in the first section for the rose and done in size 10 crochet thread is about 1 3/4" across.

As I was thinking about writing this post, I realized that I hadn't said anything about how to attach the rose. Here are some ideas:

To attach it to a sweater or handbag or scarf: I would use floss like one uses for cross stitch. It comes in many colors. It's thicker than regular thread but not as thick as yarn. I would thread a blunt needle with the floss and tack the flower to the object between the outside petals -- where you would place the sc's if you were to do a round 7.

To make a shawl of flowers: I would lay the flowers out how I wanted them to be in the final product. Where the petals touched, I would sc through the tops (either both top loops, the back loops, or the front loops) of touching dc sts, then chain to the next touching petals. If a chain crossed another chain, I would slip stitch them together where they crossed.

To make the flower the center of a square or circle or whatever: I would divide each petal into thirds mentally. For this flower, which has 11 sts per petal, I would sc in the 4th st of the petal, make enough ch sts to start achieving the shape I wanted, sc in the 8th st of the petal, and then ch again, making the next sc in the 4th st of the next petal, etc.


By the way, one isn't limited to just sc, hdc, and dc when making petals. In fact, the booklet has another flower design immediately after this one. (I don't like it as well -- mostly because the petals turn out more square than rounded.) In round 1, one makes only 5 instead of 6 ch loops. It has for our equivalent of Row/Round 2:
"Ch 1, * 1 dc, 7 dc, 1 dc in ch 3, 1 sc in dc, repeat from * all around."
In other words, instead of skipping over the dc's from the previous round and working only in the ch loops, ch 1 -- which counts as a sc in the first dc. Then work 1 dc, 7 tr (triple crochet), 1 dc in the next loop. Finally, work a sc in the dc on the other side of the ch loop.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Irish Crochet Rose - 4

Here's a pic of the underbelly/WS of the rose through the end of Round 3. The chain loops are lying on top of the petals.

In the first round, each of 6 chain loops had 3 ch's. In the third, each of 6 chain loops had 5 ch's. In the second round, each of 6 petals had 3 dc's. You can probably guess how many dc's for the fourth round. From the American Thread Company booklet:

"4th Row. In each loop work 1 sc, 1 sdc, 5 dc, 1 sdc, 1 sc." (sdc -- or short double crochet -- is the same as hdc)

Here is a picture from the RS of the rose with 3 petals made plus part of a fourth. You can see how the base of the petals in this round is hidden beneath petals from the 2nd round. Also, notice that, to make it easier to crochet, I've bent a petal forward. Finally, as with the 2nd round of petals, I need to scoot the sts over to make room for more in the chain loop.

Next week will be the last 2 rnds of the rose -- under the title "Why 6?".

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Irish Crochet Rose - 3

So far, we've completed the first round of petals. Next comes a set-up round for the second round of petals. The next line of instructions from the American Thread Company booklet is:

"3rd Row. * Ch 5, sc in back of work between the single crochets of next 2 petals, repeat from * all around."

The picture shows the back of the rose. I chained 5. (The chain sts are hidden by a petal in the picture. They really shouldn't be.) Then I placed the hook through the back of the stitch between petals -- the back of a dc from round 1 -- as the first step in making a sc.

The last stitch from the previous round is just to the left of the petal just to the left of the crochet hook (from our perspective) . (It's at about the 11 o'clock position.) When the round is complete, none of the sts from this round will be easily visible from the right side of the rose.

Bits and Bobs Crochet Tutorial Index

An Introduction


Chain space
Chain stitch
Cluster stitch
Double crochet
Double treble crochet
Half double crochet
Lacet stitch
Single crochet
Slip stitch
Treble crochet

Techniques, etc

Changing colors
Covered button
Crocheted ball fringe
Crocheted cap fringe
Crocheted cord
Double knot fringe
Filet crochet, defined
Irish crochet, defined
No-edging edging
Picot edging
Single crochet edging
Single fringe
Tassels and Pom-Poms
Triple knot fringe
Washing and blocking


Filet Crochet Diamonds Dishcloth
--Version 1
--Version 2
Irish Crochet Rose
--Part 1
--Part 2
--Part 3
--Part 4
--Part 5
Kitchen Towel Hanger
--Part 1
--Part 2
--Part 3
--Part 4
--Part 5
--Part 6
A Simple Spiral Hotpad
Sunbonnet Potholder
--Part 1
--Part 2
--Part 3
--Part 4
--Part 5
--Part 6

Other patterns mentioned in the tutorial
Diamond mesh
Filet Crochet Iris
Lion Brand dishcloth patterns
Ripple afghan