Once upon a time, I discovered a crochet artist called Sophie Digard. I fell into immediate rapturous love with her intricate lace like scarves; an alchemy of design and colour that had the inspiration levels soaring into overdrive! I had never worked with cotton before, but decided it was something that I'd like to try crocheting with very much indeed. My dear old Nan used to crochet doilies when she was alive, and these too held the same fragile allure for me. Such care had been taken with the beautiful patterns, the elegant stitches creating a floral masterpiece that would have taken quite some time to create.
The thing was, a doily seemed doable, but a scarf or a shawl made with such fine threads seemed a little daunting. Did I have the patience to work diligently at something that would surely be a labour of love, an endurance, a project that would take a Very Long Time?
In short, no.
I'm one of these people who sometimes like a quick result, a fast and happy little project that can be quickly made and installed; a project that I can work at alongside my Bigger Blanket projects. And whilst I love the vintage feel of a crocheted doily, I wanted something a little more colourful and festive; something that would feel inspiring and exciting to look at. So I decided to make a garland; a flowery, autumnal garland that I could hang in my home. A garland inspired by my Nan's pretty doilies and the delicate threads of Sophie's beautiful creations, indeed it would be a miniature floral doily garland!
Oh the excitement at realising a new project is about to be undertaken!
So a couple of weeks ago, I purchased a handful of skeins of cotton thread. I spent a happy half hour winding them onto old style wooden laundry pegs (my preferred method of storing all embroidery cottons). I chose DMC perle cotton skeins #8, but you can also buy this in balls.
And then I dug out my Crochet Motifs book and looked for some pretty doily style flowers to make.
As most of the patterns are from the book, Im sorry to say that I cannot reproduce them here - but if you have the book yourself I can point you in the general direction of the flowers I chose (numbers 41 and 53).
I also designed a little flower myself - for which the pattern is here:
The stitches are written in US terms.
- Ch4, SS to join to form ring.
- Ch3, 14DC into ring, SS to join (15 stitches).
- *Ch5, SS into 3rd stitch along* Repeat ** around circle, until you have 5 half circle loops made from the chain stitches. SS to finish round in first stitch.
- *6DC into each half circle loop* Repeat ** into each loop to make petals, SS to finish and tie off. Secure ends by sewing into the back of the flower.
You can use this pattern with any yarn of course, but for those of you who'd like to try out the cotton perle flowers that I made here, I used a 2.5 hook.
But now...it's time for a little Ta~Dah moment!
I've hung my little flowery doily garland over some photos and decopatched letters.
What do you think?? I'm rather smitten by it, and am now contemplating making one for my kitchen! The flowers, although a little fiddly to start with do crochet up quite quickly once you get the hang of working with the cotton (I'm used to working with DK yarn, so it was quite a difference to me and took a little getting used to). However, I think it's worth persevering with as the outcome is so delicate and pretty.
To join your flowers to form a garland, choose a cotton/yarn colour and start by attaching with a SS to the top of a flower; then chain across (I chained 25 here) and SS to join your next flower. Just carry on in this way until all flowers are attached and finish off with a SS in the top of the last flower, secure and tie in ends.
I hope you've enjoyed the tutorial; I'm going to love you and leave you now as I feel a big mug of tea coming on!! Thanks for coming by today!