Thursday, December 1, 2016

Yarnvent - Day 1

On the first day of Yarnvent, the fiber fairy gave to me . . .

A beautiful skein of madelinetosh Merino Light in very dark green. It's a "one of a kind" color, so it doesn't have a name. I love it!

While these all came from recently acquired parts of my hoard, I didn't keep track of which skein was wrapped in which paper, so each day really will be a surprise.

my very own Yarnvent calendar

I tried to buy one of Jimmy Beans' advent calendars, but it didn't work out. They ran out of ... something ... maybe beads, maybe boxes, I've heard different stories. In any case, I didn't end up with one. So I decided to make my own. I bought a 24-pocket over-the-door shoe storage bag for around $7.00 on Amazon. I printed numbers 1-24 on labels, cut them into circles and stuck one on each pocket. I wrapped 24 skeins of yarn from my hoard* and stuck one in each pocket. Not a great photo because it's inside a darkish room in December, but here it is:

*Most people use the word "stash" but that makes it sound too normal. Mine is a hoard.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Poppy

I’ve had a hard time getting this one right. The motifs are getting a little more complicated as they go along and my "crochet French" hasn’t improved much so it’s taking longer to do each one. The first time through this one, for example, I didn’t understand that you were supposed to round the small petals rather than making them square-ish like the large petal. If I had looked at the photo I might have realized that something was missing, but I was just barreling along. While I still don’t know if I’m following Mme Hardouin completely here, I’ve worked it out well enough so that the end result looks like hers.

For the motif pictured I used:

No 60 thread
No 10 padding cord (pc)
1.00mm hook
Pattern uses US terminology

From the Guipure d'Irlande books by Mme Hardouin.
You can download or view it here.

No. 3 - Le Pavot (the Poppy)
Wrap pc around shaft of hook (or whatever) twice.
Work 35 sc in the ring and join
Ch 1, *1 sc in next st, 2 sc in next st,* repeat * to * across (52 sts), drop pc
Small petal
1 sc in the 1st sc, 1 dc in next sc,
15 dc over next 10 sc (2 dc in every other sc),
1 dc in next sc, 1 sc in next sc, turn
ch 1, 1 sc in each stitch of previous row,
sl into ring (in same st as 1st sc of petal), turn
1 sc in the 1st sc, 1 dc in next sc,
20 dc over next 15 sc (2 dc in every 3rd sc),
1 dc in next sc, 1 sc in next sc, sl to ring as before, turn
ch 1, then 1 sc in each stitch of previous row,
pick up pc and sc around petal (2 sc in approx. every other stitch)
Make two sc on the round with the pc, drop pc.
Large petal
*ch 3, sk 1, 1 sc in next sc*, repeat 6x (creating 7 ch 3 spaces), turn
*ch 3, 1sc in first ch 3 space* repeat 6x, turn
*ch 3, 1sc in first ch 3 space* repeat 6x, turn
4 sc in each of the ch 3 spaces, turn
ch 3, then dc across, turn
sc in each dc, turn
ch 3, then dc across, turn
sc in each dc
Work slip stitches down side of large petal, pick up pc and work as in first petal, but make 3 sc in each corner.

Make second small petal

Make 40 sc on pc alone and turn
1 dc on each sc
Make a round with the pc a little larger than the hole in the middle (go around twice so the pc is doubled),
*5 sc, 1 picot* repeat * to * 4 more times, 2 sc
secure to original ring with a slip st opposite the stem
2 sc, *5 sc, 1 picot* repeat * to * 4 more times, 5 sc
secure pc and cut.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sweet Briar Rose

I’m having fun with this one. This motif starts off by wrapping with the working thread rather than using padding cord. That’s a new one on me. Padding is only needed for the inner circle and the outer border, so maybe the original designer (Mme. Hardouin, I assume) didn’t want to fiddle with pc for the center. The book says this is a “small and lightweight design” and recommends thread Nos. 80, 90 and 100. I used 60 since that’s the smallest I have. It actually turned out prettier than I expected.

For the motif pictured I used:
No 60 thread
No 10 padding cord (pc)
1.00mm hook 

Pattern uses US terminology

From the Guipure d'Irlande books by Madame Hardouin.
You can download or view it here.


No. 2 - L’EGLANTINE (sweet briar rose)

Wrap thread (not pc) 25 to 30 times around the shaft of your hook (trying to wrap in the same place for a nice firm ring), remove ring from hook, work 20 sc in ring and join
*ch 5, skip 1 sc, sc in the next sc* repeat 9 times (10 total arches)
ch 2, 1 sc in top of first ch 5 arch, ch 5, sc in the middle of each remaining arch
ch 5, sl in 1st ch of first arch
6 sc in each of the 10 ch 5 spaces

sc in next sc
ch 3, *1 dc in the next sc, 2 dc in next sc*, repeat * to * 3 more times, 1 dc in next sc (total of 1 ch 3 and 13 dc over 10 sts)
turn, ch 3, 1 dc in same dc and each dc of previous row (14 dc)
turn, ch 3, 1 dc in same dc and each dc of previous row (15 dc)
8 sl st down side of petal
2 sc in next 2 sc of the center

Repeat petal 4 times (5 petals total)

Hold pc against side of first petal and fasten at ring
8 sc up side of petal, 3 sc in corner, one sc in each dc across top of petal,
three sc in the opposite corner, 8 sc down side and 1 sc in the hollow between the petals.
Repeat for remaining petals, secure pc and cut.

Monday, July 9, 2012

new project

I've decided to try some of the motifs from the Guipure d'Irlande books by Madame Hardouin.
The Smithsonian owns a copy of the books (apparently a hardbound version containing 6 volumes) and it's been added to the Internet Archive. You can download or view it here.

The thing is, the books are in French and I don't speak a word of it. Some of the ladies in the Irish Crochet group on Ravelry have translated a few of the motifs to English, which is great. For most of the motifs, though, I can't find anything in English. So, it'll be slow, but I'm going to try them, translating as I go using online tools, starting with the simplest and moving on from there. As I work each one out, I'll try to post a photo of my motif with my translation.

I'm no expert at (a) French, (b) Irish Crochet or (c) writing patterns, so my "translations" are probably more like loose interpretations. If anyone does speak French (or IC or "pattern") and notices something I left out or did wrong, I'd be grateful if you'd let me know so I can fix it. Hopefully I'll get better as I go along.

Here's my first. I don't know if there's a different, more flowery meaning for this word in French, but I can't find any, so I present "The Propeller."(!) 

For the motif pictured I used:
No 20 thread
No 10 padding cord (pc)
1.10mm hook 

Pattern uses US terminology

Motif No. 1 - L'helice

Wrap the pc around the end of your hook, pencil, whatever, twice.
Make 35 dc in the ring, ss to close ring, turn.
First arm 
On the pc alone, make 1sc, 20 dc, 2 sc,
pull gently on pc to bend the arm, turn.
(At this point you might want to compare your work to the photo to make sure the arm is bending in the right direction.)
Skip 2 sc, and working in back loops only,
1sc in each of 20 dc, 1 sc in sc.
Make 5 sc in next 5 dc of ring (working through both loops), turn.
Second arm 
*On pc alone, make 1sc, 30 dc, 2 sc,
pull gently on the pc to create an arc,
Join to 14th sc of first arm (counting from ring), turn.
Skip 2 sc, working in back loops only,
1sc in each of 20 dc, 1 sc in sc.
Make 5 sc in next 5 dc of ring (working through both loops of stitch).*
Repeat * through * 4 more times.
On pc alone, make 1sc, 40 dc, 2 sc, turn.
Skip 2 sc, 1 sc in each of 40 dc, 1 sc in sc.
Make 5 sc in next 5 dc of ring.
Secure pc to back of work and cut.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I realize this is not normal

What do you do when you have a whole lunch hour to kill and you have your thread, but you’ve left your hook with your other project? I’m pretty sure I know what normal people DON’T do. They don’t obsessively fashion a hook out of a plastic kitchen knife using the keychain version of a Swiss Army Knife, a pair of office scissors and an emery board, leaving no time to actually crochet anything. Because that’s … not normal. Heh.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Irish summer

I never liked dolls. Not ever. Yet, as a kid, I created a dollhouse out of some modular shelving that covered one wall of my room because I was fascinated by miniatures. I’d spend hours in there crafting tiny pies and chairs and blankets.

I also became entranced by a National Geographic article about Ukranian Easter eggs (pysanky). The colors and detail just drew me in. I remembered that article until adulthood, when I was able to search for information about pysanky on the internet. I loved them so much I had to make them myself. I bought all the equipment and started learning. Those guys in the photo are mine.

Tiny, detailed stuff calls to me like a siren's song. So it has been and ever shall be. When I started knitting, I went straight for the intricate lace, then intricate colorwork, then intricate cabling. I suppose it's really no surprise that I’ve gravitated toward Irish crochet.

 I’m not good at it yet. These are, literally, my very first attempts at real, padded motifs. But I’m having a blast. I've started with some motifs from Priscilla Irish Crochet No 1 and Dillmont (DMC) Irish Crochet Lace, both of which can be found in the Antique Pattern Library. The largest motif is actually one of the recent CALs from the Irish Crochet group on Ravelry. I don't have it with me, but I'd estimate it to be around 3.5" long.

Getting the supplies hasn’t been as easy as I expected. You'd think, living in a big city, you'd have easy access to everything under the sun, right? Not so much when it comes to old school things like crochet/tatting thread. I haven't found anything smaller than #20 thread locally, so that's what I've started with. It seems small to someone who started out as a knitter, but I want to go smaller. I bought my first pair of reading glasses to magnify the tiny thread and hooks. It helps a lot, even with the #20. I’ve just received some nice #60 thread and I’m looking forward to torturing myself with it at lunch today.