Archive | April 2012

Manly Lace

When my prince learned to serve for the Latin Mass a few years ago (as a favor to the chaplain at the school where he teaches), he developed a taste for lace–manly lace– specifically, for the lace that decorates some of the more expensive surplices. And he wanted the surplice itself to be linen.

We looked. Pricey! When we happened to mention it as a gift idea to my mom, who loves to sew, she made a deal with me: if I’d crochet the lace, she’d make the surplice.

It took me about 4 months!

I developed the lace pattern to my prince’s taste, using the less-common ch-1 filet crochet (ch1 for each open square, instead of ch 2–it makes a denser lace).  It’s crocheted vertically (I started at the lower right edge of the chart & worked my way to the upper right, then back to the bottom of the chart, etc.), using size 50 crochet thread and a size 14 hook.  The horizontal line of each square is a double crochet.  The spaces are a chain-1, the filled blocks are another double crochet.

Her’s the chart for the bottom edging:

Here’s the chart for the sleeve edging:

The bottom lace is about 4 yards long. The lace for each sleeve is roughly a yard long.

Mom, in the meantime, studied surplices and developed her own pattern to finish the project.
She made a muslin mockup for my prince to try on before cutting into the actual linen.

It’s being put to good use!

Lifelike Crocheted Johnny-Jump-Up

I’ve never been satisfied with the crocheted pansy patterns I’ve found…
perusing the internet offerings yesterday inspired me to try my own:

The two flowers without stems are crocheted–the violet & yellow at top center,
and the yellow at lower left. The others are real flowers.

These are Johnny-Jump-Ups–
the pattern could be altered a little to make them look more like violets or pansies.

Start with a magic circle (for best results, keep the ring small), ch 2.
All in ring: 3trc, 1dc, 3trc, ch 2, sl st (bottom petal), *ch 3, 4 trc, ch3, sl st (side petal), repeat from* once (second side petal), sl in 1st ch of bottom petal, pull tail to tighten ring, ch1, turn.

Working behind side petals, insert hook into the middle of side petal just worked and out through the center ring.

Grab thread and pull through for a sl st. ch1, insert hook into center ring between 2 side petals and sl st,

ch1, insert hook into the middle of second side petal and out center ring (as for previous petal), sl st. If you want to switch colors, this would be the time to pick up the second color. ch 3, turn.

In last ch 1 made (still behind side petals), trc, 2dtrc (wrap 3 times around hook), trc, ch 3, sl st.

Sl st into next ch 1 and repeat (ch 3, trc, 2 dtrc, trc, ch 3, sl st). Fasten off.

Sew seed bead to center of flower if desired (a touch of black embroidery radiating from the center would make them even more realistic!).

Paper Phalaenopsis Orchid Tutorial

I’ve always admired orchids, but have never been brave enough to try grow one…then I saw a pattern on Tally’s Treasury and the Butter Orchid kit by Paper Source (which I can’t find on their site anymore).

I had to try it… 🙂

…and here it is!

I want to make a dozen ;).

Here’s the template I designed, adapted from the two sites listed above.


The flowers on the first page can be “ungrouped” and taken apart for pattern pieces, and the colors changed, if you want to try other color combinations.

I wet and dried 110 lb card stock to give it a little texture (ran it under the faucet, then let it sit on a towel until it was dry), then ran it through the ink jet printer for the flower parts (I printed the pot and liner on regular 110 lb. white card stock). The printer needed a little coaxing to accept it…I’ve since made others with plain card stock of different weights & I can’t tell the difference, so I’d say that step is optional!

I used my fingers to gently curl the ends of the 3-fold petals forward & used a crochet hook to gently score a line across the back of the 2-fold petals before curling the top & bottoms backward and the sides forward (on either side of the center). The pink centers are all curled toward their center.

The stems on the individual flowers are 22 gauge galvanized steel wire from Fleet Farm, wrapped in green floral tape. I bent the end of the wire into a 1/4″ hook, hooked it over the 3-fold back petals (hook piece in front) & squeezed it tight with needle nose pliers, then glued the 2-fold petals over the top to secure it (Elmer’s white school glue).

If you didn’t need a stem on the orchid, you could just omit the wire & glue the petals to each other directly–it would be lovely on a card or in a frame!

The center pink petals were only glued at the very center back, between the upper “wings”. The triangular piece was attached with a tiny triangle of mounting tape.

The stem was then arched behind the flower and turned sideways to go along the main stem.

The main stem is 18-gauge floral stem wire wrapped with green floral tape.

For the green bud, the 3-fold green petals (on the page with the leaves) were pierced in the center & the main stem wire fed through. The end of the wire was curled into a tiny circle & glued to the center. Then the petals were cupped & curled toward each other (with the wire circle inside) & glued together at the tips (I just put a little glue at the edges & held them until they stayed together).

The flowers were attached to the stem with more floral tape at the point where the stems turned sideways, and curved to approximate a real orchid plant.

The pot was scored at each corner and glued together at the tabs. The insert was scored and glued together at the edges, but not the top flap. A piece of Styrofoam (from packing material) was cut into a block of roughly 1″x1″x2″ & glued (using Inkssentials “Glossy Accents”–I wasn’t sure Elmer’s would hold), small end down, into the pot. The insert was “closed” (the top flap held in place), held upside down & filled with 5-6 small stones. The pot was placed upside down over the insert & the whole thing gently flipped right side up, shaking to distribute the stones around the Styrofoam (I tried just putting the stones into the pot & adding the insert, but the stones got in the way of the insert). The stones are to keep it from being so top-heavy, so it doesn’t tip over! A hole was pierced through the center of the insert “cover”, and the stem inserted through the hole into the Styrofoam.

The leaves were scored down the center and scored to form veins running roughly parallel to the edge (I modeled them after a photo of a real orchid leaf), then curved by hand. The short stems at the bottom were folded under the leaves & glued to the top of the pot insert on either side of the stem, with the smaller leaves on top.

My printer ran out of yellow ink, so I ended up coloring the leaves with chalks–a bit of a mess! That’s also why I don’t have photos of the process of making the pot–I wasn’t taking them as I went & don’t have the ink to print another one for demonstration purposes–sorry about that!

The top of the pot was then filled with pine bark collected from a stump in our yard.

Let me know if you try your own!

Crocheted Cattleya Corsage

When I found this pattern for a crocheted orchid in FaveCrafts, I thought of Mother’s Day! This vintage pattern gave me the idea of adding color with crayons!

And I made a few modifications…

I wanted the orchid a little larger, so I lengthened the three straplike petals by 2 rows (at the widest point on each).

I wanted the upper side petals to ruffle a little, so I turned the sc of rnd 2 into dc, alternating 2 dc in one stitch & 3 in the next. At the tips, I did 2 dc, trc, 2 dc to turn the corner. The last round was ch2, sk 1 st, sc (repeat around, with ch 2, sc in same st. at the tips).

The center petal I fudged. I don’t have exact instructions, so if you’re a beginner, I’m afraid this is going to be Greek to you! My apologies… If you’re used to trying variations, this will give you grist for the mill. I’ve done 4 of these now & they’re all a little different.

On the first rnd, I only put 7 dc in the first ch. And on Rnd 4, I diverged completely. Instead of going all the way around, I went back & forth for 4 rows, working 8-10 st. On some I started with a 3 dc cluster over the first 3 dc, *dc in next, 2 dc in next (rpt from *2-3x), a 3dc cluster over the next 3 dc, turn (then I’d do something similar back & forth). On others I didn’t multiply the dc, which worked too. The idea is to lengthen the bottom of the lip without lengthening the top.

Once I had 4 rows of back & forth, I started going around again, with dc, ch 1, dc in next st (or edge of st, as the case may be)–that gives it the ruffled edge–to the top center of the lip, where I put 3 (dc ch 1) in one st, sk 1 st, sl st in each of next 3-4 st, sk 1 st, 3 (dc ch 1 in next st) & resume dc ch 1 to the end.

This picture shows the top center of the lip a little better :

I was aiming for something similar to this.

The last rnd was sc in next ch 1, ch 3 (rpt around), but sl st at the top center of the lip (in sl st of previous rnd)

And yes, the coloring is crayon!
I dropped the whole flower in boiling water, smoothed it out & let it dry (you could starch it).

I tacked the edges of the petals together (could sl st them together on your way around–I would’ve if I’d known ahead of time!), added a pin to the back & voila–a permanent corsage!