Sunday, 10 June 2012

Daisy Brooch Construction Tips, Stash-Buster Throw and Historical Tambour Chain Stitch

“It rained and rained from page 64 to page 123, said Piglet…”

How I made the Daisy

I said I would show you how to make the little petals for the ‘Spiral Buttonhole’ stitch daisy (see last post).

Working with woollen yarn this time to make it easier to see, first of all I secured the Cord row to my snippers.  Making sure the guard covered the blades at all times!  Then dangled it across my lap in the direction I was about to stitch.  Right to left for lefthanders and left to right for right handers.  This tensioned the  quasi warp thread and made it considerably easier to stitch over.  (I’m left wondering  if that could, possibly, be how they made the posy in historic times?)

Cord row anchored to snippers

Here’s a close-up of the first two petals and you can see I’ve also made the first half of the third petal.

Petals first row of buttonhole stitches

Its at that point that you turn the work and fold down the Cord row and go back into the tops of the buttonhole loops in the standard way.  This action is very similar to crocheting Irish Crochet over a foundation cord. 


In the image above you can see how straight the Cord row remains while working in this way.

How to take the stitches for left handed

Above you can just see that I am coming to the end of the last row to make the petal.

The whole thing is easier and much more stable than you would first imagine.  You continue stitching steadily and are thus able to stack your stitches into very compact rows.

4 petals complete

And there you have 4 completed petals, with everything tensioned and curling slightly.

The completed petals look remarkably like woven picots or ‘hanging’ Cluny leaves in Tatting.  After that I wanted to see how it would look to ‘weave’ in this way over a 4th and 5th row, but unfortunately ran out of time.


Long Digression on the Tyranny of a Bulging Stash

Abandoned afghans for me tend to be due to not really having enough room or daylight opportunities to spread all the yarn choices out, to work out satisfactory colour combinations.  I can remember most of the colours I have, but combining them has to be a physical exercise, where you can see ‘colour vibrations’ happening.  So, as I was in the attic last weekend, I decided to stop using organizational tubs for long-term storage, and make use of them as portable organizers instead…

Yarn stash

But you know what, it occurred to me that I cannot be alone in thinking that what was once my humble stash, is now bordering dangerously on hoarding.  I’m not quite sure how this happened? Especially as my philosophy in life has always been to ‘travel lightly and not be a problem to anyone’. 

However,  if you watch these absurdly fascinating documentaries on ‘Hoarders’, you can’t help but notice some unsettling similarities in yarn stashing and hoarding.  Most of all, the overwhelming reluctance to throw anything away (?).

I was comforted to learn that the first piece of advice hoarders are given in finding a solution or ‘cure’, is simply to stop acquiring!

I’ve decided to take that advice for myself and de-stash my way to more space and hopefully, clearer thinking!


Roses & Daisies Throw by Melody Griffiths

It therefore follows that in an effort to de-stash in a big way, I decided to make what I consider to be the ultimate stash-buster blanket, because in it we’re instructed to use ‘even the tinniest scrap of yarn’.   Its called the ‘Roses and Daisies Throw’ by Melody Griffiths.  

I’ve wanted to make that blanket for a long time and now, as I badly need the space, its something I can add to, as and when.  Here are 25 squares, but alas a few of these will not make the final selection as they are not in keeping with the pictured blanket. 

Roses & Daisies Throw - granny squares

Its so funny how even when you start a so-called ‘stash-buster’, you end up having to buy yet more colours? 

Anyway, in short, the further I get into this pattern the more I realise I don’t want any old blanket, I want the blanket in the illustration  - oh no, hear we ago again! 

In the book version of the pattern that appears in ‘Crocheted Throws’ by the same author, we’re given a handy little watercolour chart to assist in colour planning.  I have analysed the little chart and am afraid to say, sadly, it does not correspond to the blanket that’s pictured!  This is highly disconcerting to say the least, and means I will have to sit and try to work out exactly how the designer put the colours together, because after all, the strange thing about ‘random’ is that, its really difficult to be ‘random’!  I would like to add though, that I still totally adore the pattern and put it in my all-time top 5 granny square patterns. 

The daisy squares take me 30 minutes to make, including cream border and the roses about 35.  I plan to speed up once both patterns are firmly memorized.  Choosing the colours takes the longest time and as that is a daylight task, I have only managed 25 squares so far.  Each side of a square should have 16 stitches, including the corner stitch.  

Tambour Chain Stitch Bud

Tambour Chain bud

Next time I plan to talk about Tambour Chain stitching, or rather: where historically, crochet meets embroidery to form a very addictive union!

Gotta go ppl!


  1. Your work is exquisite.

    Thank you for the posts. I am learning a lot.

  2. Long time since you blogged! are you coming back to continue? it's wonderful, and I'd like to recommend it to my own readers.

  3. Thanks dlflork & Boud

    Regrettably I have not blogged in some considerable while. My materials are still in storage and I have a situation pending that will not permit me to reactivate needlework analysis. Doesn't mean the old brain is not ticking over though - lol!

    Its is so annoying when real life impinges on needlework, don't you think?

    Will keep you posted.