Trippletimer Take 2

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I used 4-ply cotton yarn and 3mm crochet hook, this is a shorter, tighter version of “Trippletimer“, decorated with Irish crochet motifs. I started with a foundation chain (in multiples of 5 chs) that is about the length of half my underbust (you need to make the foundation chain longer if you wish to make a bolero that closes at the front). Adding 15 chains to this foundation chain, I followed the pattern instructions. The bolero is worked from the back-bottom, moving upwards, making the increase towards the front. When I have reached the desired length (from the bottom of the bolero to just below my armpits), I began to divide for the armholes.

I did not leave any loops open for the armholes and I decreased the two front sections near the neck so there is a slight curve at the neckline.

Having divided and worked upwards, the front left and right sides are joined to the back, leaving in the middle several loops as space at the back of the neck. Then the sleeves are crocheted in the round.

Before working the sleeves, you must count the number of loops on each armhole to make sure you have the same number of loops. Then you work in those loops the same trellis-picot pattern. However, you must devise a decrease in the round as you work the length of the sleeves. When you work the decrease for one sleeve, you must take note of the pattern so you can repeat exactly for the other sleeve.

For my bolero sleeve, I worked 3 rounds of 6-ch loops, then 3 rounds of 5-ch loops, then 8 rounds of decreasing 5-ch loops. Now the decrease of these loops in the round is a tricky one but I managed to find a way. What I do is simply, at the end of each alternating round, instead of a ch-5-sc in the last loop, I make a ch 2, dc in last loop, ch 2, and join to the first stitch. This results in a decrease of one loop at the last round. The next round, I work a ch 5, sc in dc, picot, ch 5, sl st in first st to join.

Another way to make the sleeve decrease is perhaps to crochet the sleeve in rows, decreasing at both sides then finish off and sew the seams together.

MAKING THE BOLERO
See Pattern at Trippletimer

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TRIM

Get your favourite lace trim to work along the edges of the bolero. The trim I used is this one, below.

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The Irish crochet motifs are all made using the same 4-ply cotton yarn with four strands of yarn as padding cord. The photographs below show how the leaf is made in Irish crochet. The leaf pattern (in symbol chart) may be found in Zhurnal MOD No. 533.

MAKING THE IRISH CROCHET LEAVES

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Prepare the padding cord of 4 or more strands of the same yarn as the working yarn.

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Join the working yarn to the padding cord with a sl st and a sc.

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Make a sc around the padding cord.

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Continue making more sc around the padding cord. The Zhurnal MOD leaf pattern calls for 22-24 sc, then turn.

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Here the piece has been turned, showing the back side of the sc stitches around the padding cord. We now need to work the second row of stitches of the leaf, this time, dropping or leaving the padding cord behind.

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As indicated in the Zhurnal MOD pattern, make 2 sl st, 2 sc, 6 dc, 2 sc and 4 sl st all in the back loops of each sc of the previous row.

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Here is the finished row. Back loop stitches make a nice ridge on the leaf. Now you must turn the leaf for the next row.

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Work back loop sc in each st as shown here, moving towards the tip of the leaf. When you reach the tip, turn.

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Here the piece has been turned and the padding cord is picked up again. The next row of back loop sc is worked along the leaf, covering the padding cord along the edge of the leaf.

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The finished leaf is shown here. You must turn the piece and begin the next row and the next leaf.

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Here the first row of the next leaf is being made, with the padding cord and back loop sc stitches.

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But you don’t work all the edge of the first leaf. You continue by orking sc around the padding cord only, and not joined to the edge of the first leaf, as shown here. The pattern call for about 15 sc on the padding cord alone. Then turn.

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Here, the open loop design of the leaf is begun, dropping the padding cord. Make a sc in the first st, then ch 4, sk 3 sts, sc in next st. make at least 3 of these then end with ch 2, sk 3 sts, dc in next st. Then turn.

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The next row of the open loop design is made. Make 4-ch and sc in next loop, and so on, ending with ch 4, sc in first sc at the tip of the leaf. Then turn.

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Now you will pick up the padding cord again, working around it with 4 sc in each loop of the leaf. The Zhurnal MOD pattern calls for 2 sc, dc, 1 sc to make a slightly uneven edging.

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Here is the finished two leaves, one is solid and the other has open design.

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To shape the leaf, you need to occasionally pull the padding cord. To flatten the piece, you can put the piece on a flat surface, then press with one hand while gently but firmly pulling the padding cord with the other.

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Here is the leaf after pulling the padding cord.

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And here is another solid leaf made afterwards. It is up to you to improvise on the original pattern, making 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 leaves on each motif, varying in sizes.

ASSEMBLY

Wash and block the bolero before sewing on the motifs. Apart from the leaves, I made some Irish crochet flowers.

The Irish crochet motifs are arranged on the bolero and then sewn at the back. You can pin the motifs first and then turn the bolero inside out, then sew.

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Crocheted Knickers – No Pattern

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You’d be surprised how easy it is to make a pair of crocheted knickers. Get ready with your favourite close-weave crochet pattern and your favourite lace trim pattern.

This is made with Lotus Yarns Tibetan Yak fingering weight yarn in natural white colour and 2.25mm hook. It is very simple – just two rectangles crocheted separately, joined at the sides, then the crotch added. Afterwards, the legs are crocheted in the round. Waistband is crocheted all around last.

Here are progress pics:

Start with two rectangles each the size of half your hips plus an inch or so. OR, if you’re lazy, just start with a crocheted cylinder that fits around your hips.

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Join the rectangles at the sides. Use stitchmarkers to mark the crotch.

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Make the crotch. Usually minimum standard is 5cm wide and 16cm long.

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Join the crotch from front to back. Then start crocheting the leg in the round.

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Make lacey edging around the leg.

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Here the legs are finished, the next is the waistband.

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The waistband has gaps for ribbon. Extra rows are made so that it is folded towards the wrong side and sewn behind the gaps/ribbon.

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Finished pair of lacey knickers! :)

Maja – No Pattern Dress

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Here is a dress I made without use of a crochet pattern. I found this construction method very useful because I do not have a tailor’s dummy or dress form. The method I used for Maja and Corinthia is to begin with motifs. In Corinthia the motifs lie over the waist. In Maja the motifs lie over the bust. The motifs begin the shape of the dress.

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Once these motifs are made to the measurement you need, then it is easy to work upward (for the bodice, neckline and armholes) and downward (for the skirt) to construct the full dress. The three motifs make up the front of the dress bodice. There is no complicated shaping used in this dress. Crocheting the trim all around the neckline and all around the armholes is sufficient to make the shape. The trick is to use a basic stitch pattern that is flexible, for example, the trellis stitch, the trellis with picot stitch or the simple mesh.

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Maja is made up of two sections – Front and Back – and Front starts with three motifs. The three motifs in Maja lie directly over the bust and its width includes the armholes. The upper chest/neckline is added next, working upwards with left and right shoulders worked separately. After the front and back bodice are joined together, the skirt section is worked downwards, in the round.. The back is worked similarly without the motifs. There is no shaping other than the use of smaller hook at the waist.

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Maja is then decorated with Irish crochet motifs.

Maja is worked in Maharaja dyed silk from Silk Indian and 2.5mm hook.

Here, below, is the silk yarn. I wind the yarn into balls using a home-made yarn-winder.

Here are photos showing the basic dress in progress – starting with the 3 motifs that go at the front bodice of the dress. From there the top and lower section of the dress are crocheted.

Here are photos showing the Irish crochet motifs. I used worsted weight yarn of pink colour to match the silk as padding cord.

And here are the motifs being sewn onto the dress. And the finished dress below.

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Crazy Motif Skirt

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I made this skirt using motifs from The Crazy Motif Bolero. If you don’t have that pattern, you can experiment using motif patterns that are freely available on-line or motif patterns that you already have. Check out your crochet books and magazines for patterns for doilies and coasters. Check out the stitch/pattern dictionaries. There’s plenty available. You can also see the motif blouse, Sundance, made in a similar way.

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I used 4-ply cotton yarn in light blue and yellow colours. The motifs join-as-you-go. The skirt has a mesh waistband which I made wide enough to be secure. I added the waistband in the round after the skirt is seamed.

The next step is to add length to the skirt using natural colour cotton threads. I have lots of these undyed threads of size 5, just a bit thinner than the 4-ply cotton yarn. My plan was to create a lighter undyed colour lace at the hem of the skirt.

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Corinthia No Pattern Dress

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This is what I do when I make a dress without a pattern. I hope that this inspires you to do the same. And more.

Corinthia is an exercise in making a crocheted dress without the use of patterns and with only very minimal shaping. A basic dress is finished first then it is embellished with Irish crochet motifs.

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Corinthia is worked in the round. Work starts at the waist: a strip of motifs joined together. Then the upper section is made up to the armpits, crocheting in rows with decrease at the front to shape the overlapping V-neckline. The V-neckline then commences separately towards the left and right Front shoulder. The low back and shoulder for the Back is added on separately. The skirt section is worked down from the waist, in rounds. There is no shaping as the motifs already narrow at the waist, gathers a bit then flares very slightly as work is done downwards.

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The upper part of the dress is worked in a trellis with picots stitch pattern. This is easy to shape. The lower part of the dress is worked in alternating rounds of sc, dc-ch-dc, dc, etc. – just to create an interesting mesh design.

MAKING THE BASIC DRESS

After the basic dress is finished, Irish crochet motifs are made and sewn onto the dress.

MAKING THE IRISH CROCHET MOTIFS

The hook I used for this project is 2.25mm and the yarn is 3-ply silk-acrylic and thicker 8-ply cotton yarn for the padding cord.

Some lessons:

Crochet dresses tend to stretch due to gravity. They stretch more with every washing and most specially when hang to dry. Stretch is prevented by drying flat and flat storage.

However, I tend to prefer hang dry because this allows the crochet fabric to dry faster. During the cooler and wet seasons, crochet fabric take longer to dry and have that unpleasant smell if they do not dry properly.

If you use a blocked gauge swatch, you can crochet the garment to a size approximating that of the washed finished garment taking into account stretch through washing and gravity. However, a blocked gauge can’t really account for gravity during wear.

So what I do is trial and error especially when using a yarn I am not familiar with. When I finish a basic garment (without the motifs), I try to make them shorter than the desired finished length. If the garment stretches after washing (and hanging to dry), I adjust the shoulder length. This is why I often leave tail ends undone until I am perfectly certain that the garment will no longer stretch.

Sewing a lining to the dress is another solution. The lining, especially when sewn at the seams, will keep the crochet fabric from stretching. I have not tried this before, though, so I have no experience to speak of of this solution.

Finishing stitches are also a solution. The finishing done along the neckline, armholes, and shoulders as well as the waist in some cases, provide the “back bone” for the dress. A good strong finishing/trim of solid tight stitches will have the least tendency to stretch.

Or – of course – you can use yarn that has the least tendency to stretch and change its shape due to gravity, washing or other. Cotton is one example I can think of. It has only a mild tendency to stretch.

One solution I have tried is to crochet the yarn together with polyester thread of matching colour, as polyester thread will not stretch.

Sundance

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“Sundance” is a Crochetology challenge – get various round motifs together to make a blouse. I thought of doing this because I wanted to use a Japanese crochet book of coasters, Christmas tree decorations and motifs to make a garment. This was also the chance to get more used to crocheting a garment without a full pattern, using motifs joined together, a basic method used in Irish crochet and in the new crochet fashion coming from Russia and the Ukraine.

For this project, I used 4-ply cotton yarn and a 2.5mm hook. This is great if you’re new to Irish crochet or joining motifs to make a garment since Irish crochet and the Russian/Ukrainian patterns often ask for fine thread and hook. It is best to practise with the yarn and hook that you are comfortable with before moving onto finer work.

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There are various methods in joining motifs or filling in spaces between motifs to create the fabric and shape you need. General methods include starting in the narrow spaces and moving out from there. Often in this method, the motifs are already arranged onto a surface following the desired shape. Such a surface may be a piece of fabric cut out in the shape desired, such as a blouse. Or one may use an existing garment and baste the motifs on that.

The method I use here is more spontaneous. I don’t use a fabric or garment as base. I make all the motifs I like and make a layout that create the shape, then I crochet around a motif and join that to the next one. Some important things:

1. I don’t worry about the edges, they can be as crooked and uneven as they are. I focus on joining the motifs.

2. I don’t worry about large gaps between motifs. The motifs don’t need to fit each other like perfecting a jigsaw puzzle. The gaps are part of the design and can be filled in later if desired.

3. I choose motifs on the basis of their shape (circle, octagon, hexagon), the less spaces around the motif to fill in the better. I choose also on the basis of their size, I prefer large motifs at least 3 inches in diameter as minimum. I avoid motifs that are too heavy or solid.

4. I used 3-ply cotton yarn in natural colour when I ran out of 4-ply yarn, keeping the yarn in the area at the bottom of the blouse, then deciding to use the same yarn to make curved lines all across the blouse in surface crochet. This allows the new yarn to be more integrated with the whole design.

5. Join and fill-in stitches are mostly chain stitches joined with sl st or sc, and sometimes dc or tr for areas where chain stitches are insufficient. Working around the motifs seem to be the easiest way to join them, rather than working at one side of the motif to join to the next.

6. If you’re used to reading and following patterns in crochet, this can be a daunting exercise but you can do it. You can take that hook and yarn anywhere.

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Silky Camel Lace Neck Warmer

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Finished Measurements:

Approximately 13 inches long and 9 inches wide

The length and width of the neck warmer can be easily adjusted by increasing the length of the foundation chain to desired width and by adding more rows to the desired length.

Yarn:

Baby Camel 4 by Lotus Yarns, approximately 25 grams or 80 meters

Silky Camel Lace by Lotus Yarns, approximately 5 grams (worked in 2 strands held together)

Yarn Substitution:

Substitute Baby Camel 4 with DK/8-ply yarn

Substitute Silky Camel Lace with 2-ply lace yarn

Hooks: Aluminum Crochet Hook size 3mm and 3.5mm

Notions:

Sewing needle

3 buttons (1.5cm in diameter)

Gauge:
23 stitches and 9 rows in double crochet stitches = 4 inches/10 cm square

Terminology:
Pattern is written using US crochet terminology.

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Design Notes:
The neck warmer is started at one end using Baby Camel Yarn and larger hook, working vertically in rows until you reach the desired length. The neck warmer is a simple mesh of double crochet stitches separated by a single chain space. The upper edge of the neck warmer has rows of 2 double crochet stitches next to each other while the lower edge of the neck warmer has the double crochet and chain space. So you must end the row on the side where you can continue working along the lower edge of the piece. Here, a scallop edge is worked all along the lower edge of the neck warmer.

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The lacy edging is worked in Silky Camel Lace Yarn in two strands held together using smaller hook. The lace edging is done in 3 rows, started by joining the yarn with sc around the stem of the second double crochet along the upper edge of the neck warmer, right side facing.

Instructions:

With Baby Camel 4 and 3.5mm hook, ch 31.

Row 1: Dc in 6th ch from hook, *ch 1, sk next ch, dc in next ch, rep fr * all across, up to the second to the last ch. Dc in last ch. Ch 3, turn.

Row 2: Sk first dc, dc in next dc, *sk next ch, ch 1, dc in next dc, rep fr * all across. Ch 4, turn.

Row 3: Sk first dc and next ch, dc in next dc, *ch 1, sk next ch, dc in next dc, rep fr * all across, up to
the second to the last dc, dc in last dc. Ch 3, turn.

Rows 4-30: Rep rows 2-3, ending with row 2. At last rep, make ch 3 instead of ch 4. Do not turn.

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Continue along the lower edge of the neck warmer as follows:

3 dc in first sp, *sc in top of next dc, ch 3, 3 dc in next sp, rep fr * all along the edge of the neck warmer, up to the last sp. End with sc in top of last dc. Fasten off.

Lace Edging along upper edge of Neck Warmer:

Using two strands of Silky Camel Lace Yarn held together and 3mm hook and neck warmer facing the right side, insert the hook at the back, to the front, around the stem of the second of two dc along the upper edge of the neck warmer. Yo, draw loop through, yo and draw yarn through loop to make sc. Continue working in this manner, working the stitches of the first row from the back of the neck warmer as follows:

Row 1: Ch 4, dc around same dc stem, *ch 1, around next dc stem make (dc, ch 1, dc), rep fr * all along the edge, up to the last dc stem. Ch 4, turn.

Row 2: In first ch sp make (dc, ch 1, dc), *ch 1, in next ch sp make (dc, ch 1, dc), rep fr * all across to the last ch sp. Ch 1, turn.

Row 3: Sk first sp, *in next sp make (dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc), ch 1, sk next sp, sc in next sp, sk next sp, in next sp make (3 dc, ch 6, sl st in 6th ch fr hook, 3 dc), sk next sp, sc in next sp, sk next sp, rep fr * all across. Sc in last sp. Fasten off.

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Finishing:

Block to shape. Sew the three buttons onto one end of the neck warmer as in photographs.

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Motificat!

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The finished swimsuit, Motificat! Named so after my cat Earl Grey, who sits with me everytime I crochet.
The finished swimsuit, Motificat! Named so after my cat Earl Grey, who sits with me everytime I crochet.

Crochetology exercise – given the square motif and trim below, make an article of clothing. My project is a pair of boyshorts and a bra top to be used for swimming.

The challenge here is first to make a half version of the motif. The next challenge is to determine the layout of the motifs to make the shape of the intended size particularly for the bra top.

The full motif, joining and the trim.
The full motif, joining and the trim.
The half motif.
The half motif.
Proposed assembly of motifs for small size.
Proposed assembly of motifs for small size.
Proposed assembly of motifs for larger size.
Proposed assembly of motifs for larger size.

MAKING THE BRA TOP

Use three motifs joined together to make the bra top. Use more motifs to make the band below the bust and around the back. Use half motifs to shape under the arms. Photos below show the bra top construction in progress. Crocheted ties are used along the bottom of the bra top. The straps are simple rows of sc stitches.

The finished bra top.
The finished bra top.

MAKING THE BOYSHORTS

The boyshorts consists of motifs all around the hips, then rows of treble stitches along the top to make the waistband. The crotch is shaped also with treble stitches shaped by adding stitches to increase and skipping stitches to decrease. Then the legs are worked in treble stitches. Photos below show the boyshorts construction in progress. Crocheted ties are used along the waistband.

The finished boyshorts.
The finished boyshorts.

Embellishing a Triangle Motif – anklets and necklace

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One of my favourite motifs for making jewellery is the triangle motif. It looks absolutely beautiful as its shape goes well on the body. In these examples, I use a triangle motif to make anklets and a necklace.

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The yarn is Hamanaka Lacy Crochet cotton size 8, and the hook is1mm steel. I used only black beads: cut beads and tear drop-shaped beads.

Here is the pattern for the motif.

Triangle Motif
Hook: 1mm
Yarn: Black cotton thread 8

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Ch 8. Sl st in first ch to make a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in ring, *ch 3, sc in ring, ch 4, keeping last loop of each stitch on hook, make 3 treble crochet in ring, yarn over and pull loop through all 4 loops on hook (3-tr cluster made), ch 4, sc in ring, rep fr * two more times, omitting the sc in the last rep; sl st in first ch made in current round to join.

Rnd 2: Sl st in next 3-ch sp, ch 4, tr in same 3-ch sp, ch 5, *sc in 4-ch sp, ch 3, sc in next 4-ch sp, ch 5, keeping last loop of each stitch on hook, make 2 treble crochet in next 3-ch sp, yarn over and pull loop through all 3 loops on hook (2-tr cluster made), ch 5, rep fr * one more time, sc in 4-ch sp, ch 3, sc in next 4-ch sp, ch 2, dc in top of ch-4 made in the beginning of current round.

Rnd 3: Ch 1, sc in stem of dc, *ch 3, in top of next tr cluster make (dc, ch 3, dc), ch 3, sc in next 5-ch sp, ch 4, 3-tr cluster in next 3-ch sp, ch 12, sl st in eighth ch fr hook, ch 4, 3-tr cluster in same 3-ch sp, ch 4, sc in next 5-ch sp, rep fr * two more times, but in last rep omit the last sc, instead, sl st in first ch made at the beginning of the current round to join.

Rnd 4: Ch 1, *3 sc in each of next 3 3-ch sps, 4 sc in next 4-ch sp, 5 sc in next 4-ch sp, 9 sc in next 8-ch loop, 5 sc in next 4-ch sp, 4 sc in next 4-ch sp, rep fr * two more times, sl st in first ch made in current round to join. Fasten off.

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Use a fine beading needle to sew on the beads. Always use the best quality beads that sparkle most beautifully.

But before beading, you might wish to starch your lace. Here’s how.

Starching your Crocheted Jewellery

Lay crocheted lace flat on a few layers of clean cloth. Spray or dab with commercial fabric stiffener. You can also prepare your own fabric stiffener as follows: dissolve 1 tsp cornstarch in one cup of water in a saucepan. Add a tsp of vinegar or salt as preservative. Bring to a gentle boil stirring constantly. Let cool and pour into a spray bottle. You can also use a brush to apply the starch solution instead of spraying. You can also dip the motif into the starch solution and press out excess with your fingers.

While wet, use your fingers to shape the crocheted lace, flatten tips and corners that stick up. When done, let the piece dry completely for at least two to three days.

Sewn to the pendant are black satin ribbons.
Sewn to the pendant are black satin ribbons.

After starching, sew on the beads and the straps. For the necklace, I used a black satin ribbon.

The anklets use black round elastics.
The anklets use black round elastics.

For the anklet, I used round black cloth covered elastics. I find that elastics are more easy to wear for anklets so I don’t have to bother with buttons or ties. Use good quality elastics for this, the ones that look nice.

With your favourite motifs, you can make beautiful crochet jewellery by embellishing with the best quality beads. Make these for yourself, as gifts or to sell in your handmade shop.

Hairpin Lace Popcorn Scarf

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This hairpin lace scarf combines hairpin crochet with popcorn stitches.
This hairpin lace scarf combines hairpin crochet with popcorn stitches.

You will need:

Hairpin Lace Staple 2″ or bigger if you want a wider scarf
3mm aluminium crochet hook
South Maid Cotton 8
or any 8-ply DK weight cotton yarn
Finished scarf shown is 4.5′′ wide and 40 inches long

This pattern is for the Intermediate to Advance Level crocheter.

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Instructions:

Make a band of hairpin crochet of desired length (+ 2 inches) with 3 sc in each loop. Make loops in multiples of 8 on each side. Remove the band completely from the staple but don’t fasten off. You will continue working around the band as follows (twist loops once when you work them):

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Rnd 1: Ch 4, *sc in first loop, ch 1, sc in next loop, and do this over a total of 8 loops; ch 1, join next 8 loops with sc, ch 1, re fr * to the last loop, ch 4, sc between sc’s in end of band; ch 4, repeat the established pattern such that it alternates with the pattern along the opposite side of the band. Ch 4, sl st in sc at end of band.

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Rnd 2: Ch 1, sl st in next sc and sl st up the 4-ch, now working only in back loops, work 1 sc in each sc and 2 sc in each ch sp, but do not make sc in single sc joining the 8 loops together. Work these sc’s to the last sc, then sl st down the 4-ch, sc in sc at end of band, sl st along the next 4-ch, then work sc as before along the sc’s on the opposite side of the band. Sl st in 4-ch, sc in sc at the end of band.

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Rnd 3: Ch 1, work sc in all sc all around the scarf, but you must keep the wave shape of the scarf by making 2 sc in sc at the top of each upward wave, and 3sctog in 3 sc in the middle of each downward wave. To follow the curve of the scarf along the ends, you must also make 2 sc in each sc that turns the curve.

Work this way all around the scarf, then sl st in first sc to join the rnd.

Rnd 4: Ch 1, *in next sc make 5-dc popcorn, ch 2, sc each of next 5 sc, rep fr * all arounf the scarf. Fasten off. Weave in all ends and block to shape.

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