Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Kim's little tree
Eileen's motifs on a card
Are you  up to your neck in projects for the holidays?  I hope not, because Eileen is sharing a great little motif here!! ~~Kim

Here is the pattern for the Christmas tree, which has been adapted from the Ridged IC leaf motif known to many.

Terms given UK

Row 1
4 chain, 1dc in 2nd ch from hook,1dc in next ch, 3dc in last chain,
working along other side of chain make 2 dc.-Turn

Work each row into the back loop of the stitch for remainder of motif.

Row 2
1 dc in each of next 3 stitches, 3dc in next ,1dc in each of next 3 sts-Turn

Row 3
1dc in each of next 4 sts,3dc in next, 1dc in each of next 4 sts-Turn

Row 4
1dc in each of next 5 sts,3dc in next, 1dc in each of next 5 sts-Turn

Row 5
1dc in each of next 6 sts, 3dc in next, 1dc in each of next 6 sts-Turn

Row 6
1dc in each of next 7 sts, 3dc in next, 1dc in each of next 4 sts-Turn

Row 7
1dc in each of next 5 sts,3dc in next ,1dc in each of next 5sts-Turn

Row 8
1dc in each of next 6 sts, 3dc in next, 1dc in each of next 3 sts-Turn

Row 9
1dc in each of next 4sts, 3dc in next, 1dc in each of next 4 sts-Turn

Row 10
1dc in each of next 5 sts,3dc in next,1dc in each of next 2 sts-Turn

Row 11
1dc in each of next 4 sts, 3ch, 1dc in 2nd ch from hook 1dc in next ch,
1dc in same st as last of first 4 dc worked,1dc in each of next 3 sts-Fasten off.

To achieve this tree shape I have made more straight rows at the begining of the leaf before working the rows where less stitches are made to serrate the leaf edge.  The different height of the trees was achieved by making 1 ch less or more at the begining of the motif.

Eileen's suggestions for use of the Christmas Tree motif

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Making it Easier

I've changed some of the settings for the Comments to make it easier for you! I had inadvertently left some pretty hefty security restrictions turned on. Hopefully now you can comment with ease.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ravelry August CAL--Blackberries

Last month in the Irish Crochet Lovers group on Ravelry, the CAL (crochet-a-long) was the Blackberry Design pattern from Priscilla Irish Crochet book 1.  You can find it HERE on the Antique Pattern Library.  At first glance, I thought this was an intimidating little sprig.  So many stems to get twisted, so many Clones Knots to unravel on me, and how on earth are those berries even constructed??

This CAL inspired many of us to join in, and I would like to share some of our results.  The journey of the Blackberry Design gives us a perfect example of how a crocheter might interpret patterns and spring off into her creative permutations.  It's so interesting to me where we take these challenges.  Some crocheters stayed true to the pattern, while many others tweaked and adjusted.  All the results are fabulous!

Eileen, bless her, came up with another amazing tutorial on the stemmed berry construction, on the full berry, and also shared tips on making Clones Knots.  I don't know where we would be without Eileen and her generous spirit.

Eileen's images inspired ashropshirelass to give Irish Crochet a try, and she completed her blackberry group in no time.  Can you believe this is her FIRST attempt at Irish Crochet???  I know, I can't get over it, either.  Notice how she used Clones Knots for the thorns on the stem, rather than picots.  Wonderful!
in progress
ashropshirelass' first attempt at Irish Crochet--amazing!

Eileen's tutorials certainly helped me with my blackberry attempt.  I went for a minimal berry composition, using 80 thread.  I was very concerned that I do the motif "correctly" and am thankful for the reminders that we can work the thread as we see fit!  I finished the berry while on a road trip, and was so excited by all the knots, that I just kept practicing them on a chain, experimenting with the number of "overs" and the tension, and positioning of the hook.  My husband thinks I'm crazy.
My daughter says the berries look like broccoli!

When I was done with the elements of the group above, I thought I would continue with the rest of the pattern.  Then I was inspired by Fatima's gorgeous interpretation of the blackberries.  She turned hers into jewelry!
Fatima's blackberry necklace
Fatima's project in progress

Sally stirred things up on the forum when she posted pictures of real blackberry plants, and we all agreed that the original pattern had the berries out of scale, compared to what we are used to seeing in nature.  Turns out UK and US blackberries look pretty similar, in case you were wondering!  I think Sally has created berries, leaves and flowers with more realistic proportions.  She not only made more petit berries, she modified the leaves to make the holes align with the center stem of the leaf, rather than going across.  And adding the picots to the leaf edge was brilliant.  The evolution of the design from the antique pattern to each of our final interpretations enthralled me.
Sally's in-progress work

Lori also minimized the berries in her piece, ending up with a more proportionate group.  I love how she made this her own, keeping to the pattern for parts of the motif and changing the rest to suit her vision.  I am such a rule-follower that I need reminding that it's OK to veer off the page and explore.  I'd like to share a quote posted by Eileen, from an Irish Crochet book found online by Susan:
” The aim of the worker should be to produce the most artistic work she is capable of if by altering a curve or adding a leaf to any spray she can create a design more pleasing to herself she should not hesitate to follow her own inclination”  --T.E. Beuthner
Lori's blackberries

Melba interpreted the pattern into her own design, keeping the berries more in scale with the flowers.  Melba is a free-form crocheter too, and she always comes up with wonderful versions of the antique patterns.  I envy those free-form crochet skills!
Melba's blackberry sprig--I love how she finished off the stem with a little loop

I really enjoyed following everyone's progress.  Some of us stuck to the pattern while for others, the design evolved into something more personal.  It was so great to see what sparked a crocheter's imagination.  We all had moments of frustration (learning time!) and bursts of inspiration too.  I think this CAL exemplifies why I appreciate Ravelry and my fellow Irish Crochet Lovers so much.  Without our discussion and photos, comments and questions, and inspiration and frustration, I would not be able to move forward as I have.  Everyone provides such a unique view of the creative aspect of our craft, that I can't help but learn something each time I read through the forum.  I know there are many more folks out there who worked the CAL or followed the thread (no pun intended), learning along with all of us!  So THANK YOU, to the Irish Crochet Lovers who are so willing to share their knowledge.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Antique of the Week--English Garden Collar

Hi everyone!  This week, Jennifer from Starched and Crumpled is sharing a collar with a sweet variety of floral motifs and filled with a tiny picot ground.  The motifs include Iris, Fuchsia, Lily of the Valley, and Irish Rose, and the collar has a traditional scallop edge.

An overal view of the collar.
Collar as it would have been worn
Central Iris motif with Clones Knot accent, and a good view of the filling ground
Bouquet of Irish Rose
Lily of the Valley over the shoulder

Friday, September 7, 2012

Seashell Challenge--Results

I had a lot of fun with the seashell challenge!  I was at the beach not too long after the initial post, and I found a sanddollar, so I decided that would be my inspiration.  I used No. 10 thread with 4 strand PC, and a US 10 hook.  Did anyone else play this month?  Send me your photos!~~Kim

Actual size of motif is about 2 inches across

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Antique of the Week--Clones Collar with Symmetrical Design

This week we have a gorgeous collar from eBay-er adtjmd.  The collar is cream, made of fine thread, and is twelve inches from the neckline to the central point.  The ground is entirely a Clones Knot ground, and the collar is edged with a lovely scallop border.  I am impressed by many aspects of this piece, including the perfect little Clones Knots and the symmetry of the design.  I enjoy Irish Crochet where there is an overall pattern, but reflected designs like the one on this collar are my favorite.

The edging and a couple of the motifs can be found in the Priscilla Irish Crochet books.  The border is Figure 60 in Book 1.  The solid circle with the five little "leaflets" is unusual to me, as is the central three-dimensional flower.

Lower center point.  The wheel motif is Figure 23 from Priscilla Irish Crochet Book 1.

I love the winged leaves used throughout.  These look to be modified portions of the grape leaves in the Priscilla books.  Those leaves are part solid and part mesh.  For the leaves in this collar, I would say begin with a long stem over PC (at least 50-60 sc US), then turn and work back maybe 20 stitches.  Turn at the stem, connecting to it with an sc (US) and work all the way back up the 20, turning to work back down towards the stem when you get to the top.  You can create the arch in the stem by adding a stitch or two each time you connect to the stem, before you go back up the frond.  Repeat this for 7 fronds and on the 7th, continue all the way down the stem.

This is a great close-up of the central flower and the construction of the ground.  The individual knots are so consistent in their tension!

And can we talk about those Knots????  Wow!  The ground is worked like a picot ground, but with (about) 6 chains, Clones Knot, 6 chains on each arch.  You attach each arch to the row below, in the middle of the arch, just near the Knot.  A single crochet stitch (UK=DC) connects near a Knot but not AROUND the knot, as Maire Treanor teaches.  Her method allows the Knots to stand up at attention and keeps them tight at each intersection of the grid of the ground.  These Knots float a little off to the side. The knots themselves look like miniature bullion-style Clones Knots.

Grape motif from Priscilla Irish Crochet Book 2.  I haven't seen these leaves before.  I love them!

This collar is quite inspiring, and I'm so happy that adtjmd shared it with us!  Remember, if you have an antique that you would like to share, send it in!

Reminder to those participating in the Seashell Challenge:  email a photo to me, I will be posting Challenge pictures this weekend.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Modern Lace--Kim's Espadrilles

Over on the Ravelry Group, Irish Crochet Lovers, some of us were chatting about what we do with all of our loose little motifs from practice, and from the CAL's.  Some folks keep a sample book and some make jewelry or embellish items.  Melba is making a fabulous bag, using a thrift-store purse and motifs in shades of brown.  I have been keeping all of my motifs in a ziplock baggie, saving them for....I don't know what!  I couldn't think of a project for them, as they are all different figures and weights of thread.  I like symmetry and using them in a joined piece would mean that I would have to make more of them to balance out my design.  I was feeling a little lazy about that.  During our chat I looked down at my feet, and lo and behold, inspiration struck!  I was wearing my cheapie espadrilles that I bought on clearance at Target.  Then and there I arranged some motifs on my toes and sewed them onto the canvas!  I received many compliments the next morning at the school run.  What do YOU do with all of your motifs?  Leave a comment below to help out the rest of us!  ~~Kim

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Jeff Amazes Me

If you haven't seen Jeff's Poppy Project, take a few minutes to check out his slideshow of the design and creation process.  It is amazing!  Thank you, Jeff, for taking the time to make this video.  Your focused and thoughtful approach to this artpiece is something to which we all can aspire.

Jeff's slideshow HERE 

From Jeff's YouTube page--  "In July 2011, I was invited to make a version of the International Poppy Project in Clones lace - a form of Irish crochet lace. In June 2012, I finished the project. A number of people asked me about how I designed and worked the piece. This slideshow describes some of the process." 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Antique of the Week--Full Length Dress

Firefly1052, an eBay seller, was showing this dress a while ago and was kind enough to share it with us here on the Irish Together Blog.  It is a French Victorian dress made of white net and elaborately detailed Irish Crochet work.


Detail of bodice.  I love the change in texture that is achieved with the different types of background joining. 
Bodice net and collar detail.  The collar is 2.5 inches tall.
Detail of the waist decoration.  This looks like a much heavier thread was used here than on the other Irish Crochet areas.  I wonder if it was added later...?

Back view.  The strip of Irish Crochet near the bottom of the skirt is 4.5 inches wide.

Side view

Close up of large flower on sleeve.  I see possible Clones Knots on the petals!
Do you have an antique you would like to share?  Send an email to Kim at irishcrochettogether@gmail.com.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Time for a new challenge!  Using traditional Irish Crochet techniques, create a motif or design inspired by SEASHELLS.  They have a symmetrical and mathematical design but are straight from nature and will provide us with countless jumping-off points.

Google Image Search:  SEASHELLS result sample

Take a look at what Jeff is creating: Sealife Collar

What other inspiring images can you find?  This might be an excuse to head to the beach to hunt for real-life inspiration.

I'm excited to see what you create.  Goal date for completion is August 30, 2012.  Send your photo(s) to Kim at irishcrochettogether@gmail.com.  These challenges are open-ended so send in photos even if you finish a challenge after the goal date!  We always love to share!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Blog Challenge--Blue Valentino--Results

Our blog challenge using the Blue Valentino dress from the cover of InStyle magazine is posted here.  I encourage those of you who are working on this to send me a photo ANY time.  There won't be a deadline on the challenges, they will be open-ended and I'll post photos whenever I receive them.   Here is my project.  You can see further details on my personal blog: modern crochet goddess

Kim's blog challenge June 2012

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Modern Lace--Olgemini's Blue Dress

Many of you are already fans of Olgemini, a modern Irish crocheter from Moscow.  She contributes to Zurnal Mod magazine, a Russian publication filled with amazing work and patterns.  This year, Olga attended Maire Treanor's Summer School in Clones, and brought some of her garments for up-close inspection.  Were you one of the lucky ones who met her there?

Olga's inspiration comes mainly from antique motifs.  She has a beautiful antique Irish Crochet collection and examines the pieces to learn about construction and motif design.  She has also purchased some Irish Crochet books on Amazon, and then learned the patterns by studying the photos, as her English is not fluent. She says she loves the antique motifs, and regarding creating new motifs, "My hands do crochet as they want :=) I try to add elements of freeform in traditional motifs."

Her Blue Dress took two months to create, a long time for her, she says!  Only two months!  I think it's safe to say that most of us could work for a year and not come close to completion of something so beautiful.  She used 100 percent cotton Yarnart Violet thread for the motifs, with a 1mm hook.  For the joining, she used Nilo thread and a .75mm hook.

front of dress
back of dress--I see a shamrock spray!

I love the pansy.  I will be trying that one for my new project!

I aspire to have tension this even

traditional motifs

skirt--I love how the hem design has a repeating pattern of heavier motifs to define it

hem detail

Thanks so much to Olga for sharing her photos and for talking with me!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Field Trip-Clones Lace Workshop, Lacis 2012

Lacis, in Berkely California
I had a very special treat today!  Although I'm not able to attend Maire Treanor's Clones Lace Workshop at Lacis this year, I was able to pop up to Berkeley today for a little visit!  It was so wonderful to see Maire, and also some familiar faces from last year.

The workshop is fairly informal, with a variety of projects and experience levels happening at the same time.  Maire breaks the chatting once in a while to demonstrate a technique for the whole group, and is otherwise occupied giving individual attention to the participants.  I saw people working with No. 10 thread, and with No. 80.  I saw colored thread and white.  Beginners were assembling their first small projects, and a few advanced folks were laying out more ambitious creations.  There were traditional motifs, motifs from Russian inspiration, and brand new motifs.  What an inspiring day for me.  Thank you everyone for welcoming me just for those couple of hours I was able to join you.--Kim
Maire demonstrates the Clones Knot
Leanne works on her shawlette.
Tiny hook and thread!  Leanne is using No. 40 DMC
Shawlette laid out on muslin.  Detail is of Roz's cyclamen leaf.

Design discussion.
Showing us the layout.
Look at how much she has finished!  These motifs are in different threads and lightweight yarns.
Cynthia designed her own grapeleaf.  She picked a real grapeleaf from her garden for inspiration.  
Patty's work-in-progress using No. 10 thread.  She is inspired by MOD.  We were all envious of her sketching skills too!
Maire has photos from her Summer School in Clones workshop on her Facebook Page.