Well, you’ll be pleased to know I didn’t catch a cold after all, in fact, I’ve been unusually busy, fermenting my little ideas…
Believe it or not, this post started out being quite short….
Those of you following this blog from the beginning will know that the main reason I wanted to decipher how they made ‘The Sweetbag’ was to learn news ways to make flowers, and most of all, tiny flowers. I’m pleased to say, I think I’m finally reaching my goal and each new discovery just seems to spark another….
Textile Brooch Using 2 Historic Techniques
I made this very small Daisy Brooch by combining two historic techniques and adding 6 modern sepals and a calyx.
Last time I mentioned that I made the centre with ‘Spiral Corded Buttonhole’ like this:
Note: If you’re right handed, you would be buttonholing from left to right.
The technique is described fully in Sweet Bags and since I visited the Ashmolean Museum and photographed those tiny needlework posies, I’ve been keen to try that way of working out for myself.
I already posted that I made the first row of 8 petals, using tiny 3-d needle lace method. The whole thing is worked in the hand and the right side of the work faces you at all times.
Then, as I had decided that I was going to turn this into a brooch, I realised it needed to have another layer of petals. Plus, I figured I wanted to try something different this time, because my main aim was to try to introduce the idea of ‘movement’ into the piece.
Curly Elizabethan needle lace is wonderful for creating that illusion, but my first row of back and forth Corded Buttonhole (DBH) appeared to consist of too few stitches to curl very much.
So I wandered off for a few days to ponder the problem, then decided to simply continue using Spiral Buttonhole method and see where it took me?
Quite soon into my miniature journey of discovery, I realised that once you give the cord row its final tug, the completed little petal has a charming way of twisting on itself and that could be advantageous !
Time to get technical
In these next two pictures you can see how the first petal, now complete, has duly twisted. Followed by a close-up of 3 completed petals.
Next time I’ll show you how I set up my ‘miniature loom’, because after all, if you think about it, by tensioning the Cord row, you end up with a classic warp thread but rigged-up horizontally, this time. Remember I discussed the Elizabethan’s love of working over horizontal warp threads, when I investigated Soumak Weaving, the technique they used typically on Sweet Bag formers.
The petals worked-up very small, as you can see, each is the length of my thumb nail !
However, I was still left wondering if I could maybe make them even smaller??
Also, notice how if you work multiple rows of buttonhole like this, the surface patterning is virtually exactly the same as for Cluny Leaves in Tatting, or Woven Picots in embroidery.
For now, I will say that in terms of construction method, I found it to be most akin to Irish Crochet, where you turn the work and fold the foundation cord down to start the next row... (more next time).
Eventually, I made these 9 petals:
Deciding that the curly layer would remain uppermost, I placed them over the earlier layer and sewed the two together with fine sewing thread, like this:
Then I needed to think about sepals? To speed matters up and because I wanted the tips to come forward once in place, I decided this time to simply crochet some tiny leaves, using my own pattern that I include at the end of this post.
All that remained after that, was to think about how I would finish off the back and position the leaves? After a few mock-ups, I made one more leaf and produced this:
The brooch pin will fit nicely onto this sturdy base and you could even extend the calyx and create a slender stem, maybe? Earrings to match would be nice too…
Then, as I had all this lovely DMC ‘Forest Green’ crochet cotton out, I decided to finish off something else I’d been working on…
Its going to be another gift, this time for a very nice lady who takes in orphaned hedgehogs from the forest near her house. (As cute as this sounds, they are very demanding little creatures and in need of a lot of flea powder, I’m told!!!)
This really cute design for rose and leaves is from Crochet Bouquet, by Suzann Thompson.
The wonderful rose pattern is called ‘Shelly’, to be found on page 68. As far as the leaves go, (page 114), they are the most life-like that I’ve seen in a crochet pattern. Perhaps its little wonder that the author was able to achieve this design, because as you delve into her book you realise she has a very thorough grounding in the fabulous floral tradition of Irish Crochet.
I should add, the rose incorporates an ingenious assembly technique, involving lots of ruffles and tacking stitches.
Beth Lea’s: Sepal Pattern (U.S. Terms)
Sl St into second ch from hook
SC in next ch st
HDC in next ch st
DC in next ch st
HDC in next ch st
SC in next ch st
Sl St into each remaining ch st (2)
Fasten Yarn leaving a long tail.
Gosh, is that the time already?!