This week's project comes to us from the most awesome Yvestown blog via Pinterest. I haven't crocheted for quite awhile and generally disregard it in the summer months, but Miss Yvonne of the wonderful house and projects at Yvestown made me want for a hook.
Part of my effort in this… effort… is to not spend any money on my weekly endeavor (because, as we learned yesterday, I'd rather spend it on a ridiculously expensive purse), so I raided my stash of yarn and started hooking... With the yarn... I started crocheting... Just to be clear.
The pattern is super easy. My first flower (doily) took me 34 minutes with the distraction of children and having to use the ladies' room several times (remember? I'm quite pregnant). After that, I memorized the pattern and got down to about 20 minutes per flower (doily).
Yes, my friends, I can read. And to be specific, I can read crochet patterns. I have often been asked how I learned to read those crazy things. A nice example:
4 ch, 1 dc in the closing ss of the previous row; 1 ch *skip 2 st; in the next st: 1 dc, 2 ch, 1 dc; 1 ch* Repeat 7x from *to*. Close row with a ss in the 2nd ch (of 4) of the start.
Well, here's what I did in the beginning (OK, I still do it): one step at a time. It's really a great life lesson, too, right? If I use the example above, I would break it down thusly:
- figure out the abbreviations- ch= chain stitch; dc= double crochet; st= stitch; ss= slip stitch
- if you learned from somebody, you might not know the name of the stitches that you do. If so, I recommend grabbing a neat crochet book or interweb tutorial so you can put a name to that stitch's face.
- do the first thing- 4 chain stitches. Easy!
- do the next thing- 1 double crochet stitch into the slip stitch of the previous row. Done! You now have a loop.
- remember, one thing at a time- 1 chain. It's so simple!
- then sound it out! Read it out loud, or write it out without abbreviations- skip the next two stitches, then in the third stitch, make 1 double crochet, then 2 chain stitches, another double crochet into the same spot as the first one, then one more little chain stitch (a loop with a tumor). Whew! Okay, that was a bit tricky, but then take a look at your work.
- does it look like something? If you have a picture of the doodad you're making, compare!
- now you get to repeat that 1 double, 2 chain, 1 double, 1 chain business seven more times 'cause this is the foundation for your petals… of which there are eight.
I'm not saying it's easy, but once you get past the tediousness of translation and the slightly algebraic feel of a written pattern, they're not so scary. Plus, then you can make fun things like flowers (doilies)!
I won't take you through all the steps, since you have the great tutorial through Yvestown, but here's the growth of a flower (doily), round by round.
Back on my tutorial for the rag rug, I briefly explained "blocking." Or, "how to get your crap to lay* flat." I find blocking exceptionally rewarding when doing flowers (doilies) or other small things. Just get your project a little damp and pin it in the shape you want. I use my ironing board since it has some padding and material on which to pin things. (There you go, G.) You can, I hear, make a blocking board (use cardboard, corkboard, foamboard, etc.), but that is for another day.
Once I got started with these, I really couldn't stop. I'm not really working right now and the ladies are getting really good at entertaining themselves, so I kept busy all week making these bad boys.
I also have a large stash of yarn and nothing to do with it, so besides making a couple sets of coasters as the Project called for, I'm also going to make an "Amoeba Throw-up Blanket" with my OCD-induced flowers (doilies). More on that later.
I also tried some variations on the theme...
And now for the exciting part...
Riot and Frolic's first...
[cue wild applause]
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!
I will give away a set of lovely rainbow-flavored flower (doily) coasters to two lucky readers! Just leave a comment in the comment box down below telling me your favorite cheese (or candy, if you're lactose intolerant) and where you like to walk barefoot. I'll choose two comments randomly and post the winners in next week's Pinterest Project post. Comment as many times as you like for more chances to win, but please enter only if you are from the U.S of A, since I can't afford international shipping. Thanks!
Note: these fun flower (doily) coasters are not quite all the same size. Since I was dealing with my free and existing yarn, they're not all the same weight/brand/material. But they're coasters, so maybe that's OK.
*If you ever need to remember how to use "lay" versus "lie," think of the line "Now I lay me down to sleep." It's actually bad grammar, so use the opposite. People lie down, things are laid down.