We stumbled upon this week’s project while trying to come up with last-minute embellishments for a couple of birthday bags.
Instructions for crocheted and knitted flowers abound online and in books, but we wanted to see if we could make a crocheted rose of our own design. The result was more a generic flower than a rose, but it was quick and easy, and adding a few more crochets here and there changed the appearance from blossom to blossom.
Our idea, in a nutshell, was to crochet a foundation chain, then use a series of single, half-double, double and treble crochets in each chain stitch basically, the same procedure used to make a spiral and curl the completed chain into a flower.
You’ll need to know a few basic stitches for this project, so we checked online and found a couple Web sites offering good illustrations of the basics. They are listed below.
Once you’ve mastered the chain and crochet stitches, you’re ready to begin.
Our basic flower was made by chaining a foundation of 20 to 40 stitches (leaving a tail of yarn about 6 inches long), depending on the fullness of the flower you desire. A longer chain makes a fuller flower; a shorter chain, a flatter flower.
At the end of the foundation chain, turn and single crochet in the second chain from the hook, then single crochet two more times in the same chain. Make three single crochets in the next chain and so on, then switch to half-double crochet, then double, then treble back to the beginning of the foundation.
You’ll decide how many chains to devote to each size stitch based on the length of the chain. For example, we made one chain of 22 stitches and devoted four chain stitches to each size stitch.
End off, leaving about 6 inches of yarn, then curl the chain into a flower shape with the single crochet end in the top center and the longer stitches on the bottom. Work the flower until it is the shape you desire, then pull the yarn tails down and up through the center to lock in place. We recommend running the ends through a couple of times to make sure the layers are secured.
To make more ruffled flowers, increase the number of crochets in each chain stitch. Take a look at our photo illustration of the four flowers: the yellow and multicolored samples were made with six crochets in each chain, the pink with four and the blue with three.
Make your foundations chains longer if you go with the more ruffled flower.
Add embellishments to the center and leaves or streamers if you like, and use the flowers as gift decorations (see photo), on clothing, on holiday wreaths and trees or anywhere you want a bit of pizzazz.
For illustrated instructions on basic crochet stitches, check out these Web sites:
To find online instructions for making traditional crocheted roses, do a search using the words “crocheted rose,” and you should come up with a list of options.
A little help from our friend
When we wrote about the Lacis Square Board Loom a few weeks back, we mentioned that we planned to try to talk our friend Pam Salisbury into giving the product a try.
Though she denies it, Pam has far more patience than we do. Case in point: The last time we visited, she was serenely knitting a pair of socks on tiny No. 1 needles, while we clunked and clanked away on our No. 35s.
You can cover a lot of ground in a short time with No. 35s, but the patience expended using No. 1s is well rewarded.
That said, Pam did give the Lacis loom a whirl and ran into several of the same problems we encountered.
“From the very beginning,” she said, “the Lacis loom was an exercise in frustration. Those little nails kept getting stuck in the little pusher tool. In the time it took to insert all those nails into the foam, I could easily have built three or four of the Weavettes.”
Pam also found the loom to be unstable and “skitterish,” and difficult to weave on because of the size.
Much as we hate to give a thumbs down to a product, given Pam’s review we must conclude that the Lacis Square Board Loom isn’t worth the investment in time, money ($15) and frustration.
Noel Culbertson of Camano Island is one of 10 national finalists in Creating Keepsakes magazine’s “Scrapbooker of the Year” contest.
We met with Noel recently at the Arlington Library and talked about her passion for scrapbooking, family and what it’s like to be a finalist in a major competition.
Read all about it before Noel heads to the Memory Trends trade show in Las Vegas, where the contest winner will be announced Sept. 18.
Contact Jonetta Coffin at email@example.com.