a crochet sampler :: week 1 ~ apple trees
Do you remember, I mentioned the other day that I was so inspired by Nanny’s 110 Crocheted Edgings book that I wanted to make a crocheted edges sampler?
Well, I’ve started! Yes, 2014 is the year of just doing it. And I thought I would make the whole project into a little weekly thing and share it here with you. Each week, I will add another sample to my background and then publish the instructions and photos here, if you would like to join me. That means, in a year’s time – I – and you! – will have roughly 50 edges. We may have had enough by then. Or maybe we’ll make more! As Nanny would say, we’ll play it by ear, shall we?
A word on copyright – I don’t know if this book is still within copyright. I certainly don’t want to steal from it, which aside from anything else would diminish the wonderful effort put in by its original authors and publishers, The Misses Bamford & Walker of St. Ives, Sydney.
Instead, I see myself – and this little series – as celebrating their skill and expertise, as well as the wonderful heritage left to me by my grandmothers. All designs belong to Misses Bamford and Walker. I will not be reproducing their instructions here, because I actually find them really hard to follow – this is no slight of Misses Bamford & Walker, but more a reflection of my skill level and the differences in how we write crochet instructions today as opposed to then.
So, I will be muddling my way through their instructions – it will be trial and error with lots of ripping back – and I will then write my own instructions which will be my interpretation of how I achieved their design. From my experiences so far, I use the accompanying photographs to guide me as much, if not more, than their written instructions.
Also – this will be a rather long post because it’s starting us off – describing how I prepared the fabric and establish my crocheted edge. In all future posts we’ll just jump straight in to the week’s design.
Shall we start!
A little trip up the road on Saturday, in the most frightful heat, presented me with a lovely piece of dove grey fabric as the background. It’s a heavy cotton, 150cm wide, with an almost aida-cloth like texture. I straightened the top and bottom edges by pulling a thread from the edge through from one side to the other, to find the straight line, cut along the line that appeared, then overlocked the edges. I prewashed it – figured I wouldn’t want to be washing it much once it was laden up with crocheted edgings – and amazingly enough, when it’s 40 celsius, things dry to a crisp on the line within an hour.
I measured down 9 inches from the top edge – it just seemed to be the right amount – folded it over and gave it a light water spray and a good bash with the iron so that my edge had military precision. Then I stitched 3cm away from it – straight across from one side to the other. My first pleated edge for crocheting! Now I bought 2 metres of fabric but I’m not sure how much of that length will be used. Will have to wait and see. However, I have divided my width into 3 columns. I have left 10 centimetres on either side for a border and binding, and then 5 centimetres in between each of the columns. That means each sample of crocheted edging will be 40cm long – just enough to get a good feel for it!
(Should add here that I apologise in advance for chopping and changing from metric to imperial measurements – being here in Australia where metric is the order of the day, metric is my usual guide, but I still use imperial often because of the quilting rulers – so it was 9 inches because of the quilting ruler I had at hand, 3cm because of the gradients marked on my sewing machine and so on!)
Now I’ve only done the first pleat, because I wanted to see how much gap I would like between each row of crocheted edgings. When I’ve finished the first three, I shall play around with the gap between the first and second rows and update you. It may well change for each gap, according to the depth of the edging. Some of them are beautifully deep – wait til you see the Crowns!!!!
Sunday morning – after a terrible night’s sleep, thanks to the heatwave – I sat up in bed, with two fans blowing on me, a huge glass of water by my side, a constant supply of coffee (thank you sweet Julian!), a snoring Lucy at the foot (she was forbidden from snuggling into the background fabric), and started my stitching. I chose Edging No. 3 – strong enough to be worthy of the top line of my sampler, but not too deep or difficult.
Preparing the Fabric and Establishing a Crocheted Foundation Edge
Using DMC No. 12 Perle Cotton, measure in 10cm from the edge of your background fabric, then blanket stitch the edge of your pleat until you are 10cm away from the opposite edge (don’t worry about your 3 columns at this point). It doesn’t really matter how long each stitch is. Obviously, it’s nicer if they are uniform, but it won’t affect the crochet. However, the width of the stitch will – too narrow, and the crochet foundation you will make in Step 2 will bunch up; too wide and your crochet foundation will gather your fabric in. Mine are roughly 1/2 centimetre wide. We won’t count them :-)
Using DMC Traditions Crochet Cotton (we’ll call it our thread), Size 10, and a 2.5mm crochet hook, create a double crocheted running stitch through your blanket stitching. This will form the foundation on which you will stitch your lace edging.
I achieve this by fastening my thread on the far right, leaving a long enough tail to pull through to the back. Make 1 chain. Then insert the crochet hook through the next blanket stitch loop that runs along the edge of the pleat and draw the thread through so that you have two loops on your hook. Wrap your thread around the hook and pull it through both loops on your hook. Repeat on each blanket stitch loop until you reach the end of your first column – 40cm (that’s what the pin is marking in the previous photo). Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough to pull through the back.
Now we are ready for this week’s edging!
Week 1 :~ Apple Trees (edging no. 3)
A word on the rows. I do think that you can differentiate sometimes between a crochet’s front and back, which is why I fastened off my double crochet foundation row. I wanted to start Row 1 on the front of my work. When you are going round something – like a doily or a face flannel or a skirt – it’s not a problem because you are always working on the front. When you are making one straight line, you are going to be coming back on the wrong side. However, I think, in this design, the second row works fine to come back on the wrong side.
Return to the beginning of your double crochet foundation (the far right). Make 2 trebles in the first 3 double crochet foundation stitches. * Make 1 treble in the next double crochet. Chain 4. Make 1 treble into the same double crochet. Make 2 trebles into the next 5 double crochets. Repeat from * until you reach the end of your double crochet foundation. I finished on the second pair of the 5 trebles. Doesn’t really matter where you finish – just don’t finish on the sequence – 1 treble, four chain, 1 treble. It’s a sampler, not a finished product. Fasten off, leaving a tail long enough to pull through the back.
Make your way back to the third pair of the first group of 5 treble pairs (remember, you’re working on the wrong side for this row). I finished on the second pair of my 5 trebles so I just started there. If you finished on the fourth or fifth treble pair, slip stitch back to the third pair. # Make 1 double crochet into the first of the two trebles that make your third pair. Make one chain. * Make 1 treble into the loop (formed by row 1′s 1 treble, 4 chain, 1 treble sequence). Chain 4. Make 1 double crochet into the chain stitch you made before the last treble. At first I found this bit tricky – so I’ve included a photograph of where to make this double crochet below (with the mustard coloured arrow). Make 1 chain. Repeat four more times from * . Repeat from # until you are back at the beginning. Fasten off.
It looks so much more complicated than that, doesn’t it – but it’s only two rows. And I do think the lace created looks like well laden apple trees.
Let me know if you’re going to make a sampler too! And if you need help deciphering my instructions, or think I could do it better (because I have NO experience at crochet pattern writing), please feel free to email me – lily(at)blockaday(dot)com.