Having discovered that the latest book I got out from the library is a large hardback book I decided to move on from my pineapple bookmark that I have been using lately to one of my Celtic ones: the most popular one with the purple edging and pointy corners. With the pineapple bookmark the pages don’t quite lie flat where it is. But as I suspected with the Celtic one they gape rather more. Similarly with my latest version of the slip stitch one. Now with pointed corners! Even my plain Celtic cross lifts the pages a little more. Now with cord and tassel. And of course my latest Celtic cross bookmark. (Not yet with added cord) operates more like the other embellished Celtic ones.Just thought it was useful to give an idea of their relative thickness! Though when in use in the middle of the book they show slightly less!
There is a diagram to help with interleaving the ribbon together to make the bookmarks at the bottom. This is probably the hardest part!
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I would suggest using #10 crochet cotton and a 1.25mm hook for starting chain, then 1.25mm or 1mm hook for working stitches or whatever size produces a firm but not impossibly tight result. I crochet fairly tightly and I think I used a 1.25 hook throughout. Using a larger hook for the starting chain can make it easier to crochet into.
***The stitches need to be worked into the loop at the back of the starting chain. This is method 4 in my tutorial on four ways to work into a chain.***
Slip stitches or Edge should be worked in a contrasting colour to main strip.
I am writing these patterns in similar way to how I wrote the Celtic Cross pattern.
A number means to work that many stitches, one into each chain. The V and A represent using multiple stitches as described below.
These are in UK terms. [US equivalent is in brackets and italics where needed.]
Bookmark to have edge added
V = 5trs into one chain. [V = 5dcs into one chain.]
A= 5trs tog. A= [5dcs tog.]
Outer turn = V 1 V
Inner turn = A 1 A
Making main ribbon
Start with at least 395 chain. (Having a few extra will allow for miscounting or missing a stitch by mistake, or my calculation being wrong!)
Start by working tr into 4th ch from hook – equals first two trs. [Start by working dc into 4th ch from hook – equals first two dcs.]
12 (outer turn) 10 V 15 A 15 V 15 A 15 V 10
(outer turn) 15 A 15 V 15 A 15 V 15
(inner turn) 10 A 15 V 15 A 15 V 15 A 10
(inner turn) 15 V 15 A 15 V 15 A 3
Work along both sides.
Can work 3 or 4ch or just extend thread so as not to need to cut thread when reversing direction at end of strip as these will be hidden by join.
Start at beginning of strip.
1ch, then dc into each tr, except for inner and outer turns. These as below.
Outer turn: into first 5tr work dc, dc, htr, tr, dtr, Then trtr into central stitch, then reverse into next five: dtr, tr, htr, dc, dc.
Inner turn: miss out stitch either side of central stitch. That is a dc as before and after.
US – Instructions:
[1ch, then sc into each dc, except for inner and outer turns. These as below.
Outer turn: into first 5dc work sc, sc, hdc, dc, tr, Then dtr into central stitch, then reverse into next five: tr, dc, hdc, sc, sc.
Inner turn: miss out stitch either side of central stitch.That is a sc as before and after.]
This bookmark came out approximately 7 inches by 1.5 inches when I made it. (18cm x 4cm). It is the largest as you can see in this photograph.
Although the bookmark above was the most popular, for completeness, I have continued with instruction for the bookmark with a slip stitch embellishment but included options for either having my original rounded ends or pointed ends, as these seemed popular.
Bookmark to have slip stitches added
V = 5trs into one chain. [V = 5dcs into one chain.]
A= 5trs tog. A= [5dcs tog.]
For pointed ends
Outer turn = (tr, tr, tr, dtr, trtr) into first ch, then quadtr into next, (trtr, dtr, tr, tr, tr) into third ch
Inner turn = worked over 3ch but working 5 sts tog as above for first and third and a quadtr in the middle.
For rounded ends
Outer turn = V 1 V
Inner Turn = A 1 A
Making main ribbon
Start with at least 333 chain. (Having a few extra will allow for miscounting or missing a stitch by mistake, or my calculation being wrong!)
Start by working tr into 4th ch from hook – equals first two trs.
10 (outer turn) 8 V 12 A 12 V 12 A 12 V 8
(outer turn) 12 A 12 V 12 A 12 V 12
(inner turn) 8 A 12 V 12 A 12 V 12 A 8
(inner turn) 12 V 12 A 12 V 12 A 2
Adding slip stitches
Work a slip stitch into each stitch along top of trebles (including other stitches used for turns where applicable) then 2ch or extend thread for a turn and work slip stitches into the stitch equivalents of the starting chain.
This bookmark with rounded ends came out approximately 5.5 inches by 1 inch when I made it. (14cm x 3cm). And with pointed ends was 6.25 inches by 1 inch. (16cm x 3cm)
Interleaving the Ribbon to make the Bookmark
Using the above diagram as a guide find the turn that is around the middle of the ribbon. This is the one in the bottom left hand corner of the diagram.
Follow the green and orange coloured parts that extend from this turn and interleave them as shown.
Then fold in the green/red turn and the orange/blue turn.
I then turn it so the these turns are at the top and fold in the remaining lengths.
There is an asterisk showing where the final join is.
Join neatly so it doesn’t show outside the overlap.
Pull into shape, this may take a while, and then stiffen if you want to, although they will be fairly stiff anyway if you have made the ribbon firm enough.
Celtic knots and plaitwork are always drawn with an edge so that you can see clearly how the ribbons cross over each other and I thought that this did not show clearly enough on my original cross. which is why I started experimenting with adding slip stitches. At the time I did try adding the slip stitches to the back loop only so as to give an edge but found that this made the strip so much wider. I thought of using dcs (US-scs) for the central ribbon but knew this would be more fiddly so decided against it.
I was also finding slip stitching more difficult than dcs (US-scs) at this time so I tried adding a dc edge but could see that the cross was then so much bigger. (I did increase the number of stitches as well and could have reduced them a bit but it would still have been bigger than I wanted.)
Recently however I decided to bite the bullet, as they say, and try making the main ribbon of the cross out of dcs (US-scs) instead of trs (US-dcs).
I knew this would make it harder to keep track of the stitches when checking to see I hadn’t made a mistake but I persisted and my first attempt turned out like this. I could see that this was much smaller than the original and was not entirely surprised as crochet is very stretchy in a sideways direction (especially the upright of the cross) but had noticed that adding the slip stitches removed this, as with the cross with the purple slip stitches above.
So I decided to increase the number stitches and use a bigger hook.
Now I have lots of tiny steel hooks, inherited from my mother, but only a few, still small but larger, aluminium ones and the smallest of these is a number ‘3’. My smallest aluminium hook was a 2.5mm and larger so I decided I would use the no. 3.
(Looking at some crochet hook charts I now think that this might be a 1.9mm equivalent hook.)
With the increased stitches and the new hook my cross turned out like this. You can see here how these two attempts compared with the original. So I decided that as with my other slip-stitched crosses it wasn’t necessary to increase the stitch numbers except for the upright and the circle and tried again.
Here are all my three attempts next to each other together with the original. The slip stitch edged cross (bottom right) does not really need stiffening and had finally given me what I was after.
The original is of course easier to make and attractive in it’s own right but I like the new one best!
So here are the three different styles.
The one on the right with the inner slip stitches is the thickest and the top central (original one) is the thinnest.
I also experimented recently with making an equal armed cross with the added slip stitches but don’t really like it. Though I am not sure why!
I have updated my pattern page with patterns for all four different types of Celtic Cross.
This has been really hard work and I have tried to double check everything but if you decided to use one of the patterns and find anything that seems wrong, or any typos, I would be really grateful if you would let me know so I can change it for others.
This does include a universal pattern at the bottom as long as you don’t mind a bit of Maths!
Having had a few people interested in the possibility of a placemat in similar style to my Celtic Coaster, being the person I am, I wasn’t able to stop considering it.
My first thought was that it would be a lot of work and very fiddly. However……….
Imagining a placemat made in a similar way to the coaster as being made of similar width strips. I wondered how many that would need to be and in the end decided that about sixteen would equal a foot. (Not sure I am right here but it was a good place to start.)
Now the number of separate strips needed for a piece of Celtic plaitwork depends on the whether, on counting the number of bumps on each side (including the corners), the two numbers have a common factor.
No common factor: one piece (as in my odd numbered Celtic bookmarks.)
If there is a common factor that determines how many separate strips there are.
For a square, both sides are the same so you need that number of strips. Hence the style of my coasters.
I tend to think of placemats as being rectangular so having decided on sixteen colours for one foot (30cm). I chose to draw out one that was 16 x 32 bumps.
Now to be similar to my coasters each colour must be different. Sixteen was about the number of colours I used for my spectrum blanket so I coloured each strip in similar colours and produced this. Now one of the things I wanted with my coasters was for no adjacent overlaps to be the same colour.
I think, if you look closely, you will see that this breaks this rule in a vertical strip down the centre.
Of course a square placemat would not. (Each strip of the 16 x 32 placemat would need about 360 chains and there would be sixteen of them to weave together. That is a similar number of chains to those needed for each of my bookmarks.)
Now one person had asked about a matching coaster and obviously this could not match with all those colours so I looked to see what would happen if you repeated the colours of my first (non rainbow) coaster (As represented in my drawing programme) and got this. Even more matching adjacent overlaps.
Even if it was square. Some people might like the patterns it gives rise to but it wasn’t really what I wanted.
So I decided to work out how to make a bigger version of my coaster with the same shape strips but just wider.
As it was just a trial effort, I used some of my acrylic yarn that I had no specific plans for, as the cotton yarn is more expensive and I wasn’t sure I had enough anyway. Acrylic is much stretchier though and so needs more TLC to get it into shape. However I hope it will give you the general idea of what is possible.
For symmetry I decided to just make the strips three times wider and see how large it ended up. This would mean nine trebles (US-dcs) for each cross-over and over one hundred chains for each strip.
The thing that surprised me was to find that when adding further rows it takes two added rows to equal the width of one row on its own. So I ended up with five rows and not three! (And 114 starting chains see formula below.) Since each strip is approximately the same size you should need something less than 25g of each colour. As the whole thing weighed just under 85g. More of course if it was cotton. I used a 4.5mm hook for the starting chain and then a 4mm hook for the stitches. I tend to crochet quite tightly.
Here it is with a plate.
Although I was doing all this primarily for other people it has proved quite useful, as one of my first thoughts was to use plaitwork to make a cushion cover and now I have the tools to plan such a cover – watch this space!
For a square coaster, placemat etc.
If N is the number of bumps down the side (including the corners), N is also the number of strips and so also the number of colours needed if each strip is a different colour.
As an aside: I think that N is best if it is even, as if it is odd you get a square shape in the middle which I think stands out too much.
For an even number the first half of the shapes are the same as the second half and they blend together more. However the formula works for all values of N.
In all the following (US readers read ‘double crochet’ where I say ‘treble’)
Then for each strip if only one row wide:
The number of chains to start = 12(N-1) + 6. This includes the two extra chain needed for the first treble equivalent.
For thicker strips:
If m is the number of rows. I think m works best if it is odd from the point of view of symmetry. (If you chose an even numbered m you will have to adjust for any halves you get. I suggest rounding down as crochet is stretchy.)
The number of chains to start = 12[1 +(m-1)/2](N-1) + 6. This includes the two extra chain needed for the first treble equivalent.
Hope you remember your BODMAS!
I have even come up with a formula pattern for any size you might want to make.
For strips only one row wide:
Work the following, using values of ‘t’ from 1 to N.
(Following on from my remark about an even N, when N is even you can just make two each of the first N/2 shapes, which is what I did for the coaster.)
Treble into 4th chain from hook, 5tr into one chain,
Then one treble into each chain for 6(t-1) chains. (Yes this gives zero for the first ‘t’), 5trs into one chain.
Then one treble into each chain for 6(n-t) chains. 5trs into one chain.
Then one treble into each chain for 6(t-1) chains. 5trs into one chain.
Then one treble into each chain for 6(n-t)-2 chains. (This corrects for the first two trebles made at the beginning which will give a join that is underneath.)
A more general formula that will also work for thicker strips:
If N is the number of strips (colours) and m is the number of rows.
The first rows come from:-
Work the following, using values of ‘t’ from 1 to N-1. Then repeat t=1.
Treble into 4th chain from hook, Then one treble into each chain for [(m-1)/2] chains, 5tr into one chain,
Then one treble into each chain for 6(m+1)(t-1)/2 chains. (Yes this gives zero for the first ‘t’), 5trs into one chain.
Then one treble into each chain for 6(m+1)(n-t)/2 chains. 5trs into one chain.
Then one treble into each chain for 6(m+1)(t-1)/2 chains. 5trs into one chain.
Then one stitch into each chain for (6(m+1)(n-t)-(m+3))/2 chains. (This corrects for the extra trebles made at the beginning which will give a join that is underneath. If when you put the plait together the join is not underneath then you have the strip the wrong way up. I always presume that the right side is the front of the first row.)
For the rows after that work one tr into each tr except for the turns. (Remember to start with 3ch, miss the first stitch, and work the last tr into the top of the 3ch on the previous row.)
For 180deg turns, on the second row I worked into the 10 stitches of the turn as follows – (tr, tr, 2tr, 2tr, 2tr, 2tr, 2tr, 2tr, tr, tr) (16)
On the third row I worked into the central sixteen stitches of the above as follows – (tr, tr, tr, 2tr, tr, 2tr, tr, 2tr, 2tr, tr, 2tr, tr, 2tr, tr, tr, tr). (22)
Hopefully you can see a pattern here. I felt it was similar to working a circle, (or see below.)
For 90deg turns I simply worked 5trs into the central treble of the five of the previous row and one treble into all the others.
Pattern for 180deg turns continued
How the stitches increased for the fourth and fifth rows.
Over 22 stitches: (tr, tr, tr, tr, 2tr, tr, tr, 2tr, tr, tr, 2tr, 2tr, tr, tr, 2tr, tr, tr, 2tr, tr, tr, tr, tr.) (28)
Over 28 stitches: (tr, tr, tr, tr, tr, 2tr, tr, tr, tr, 2tr, tr, tr, tr, 2tr, 2tr, tr, tr, tr, 2tr, tr, tr, tr, 2tr, tr, tr, tr, tr, tr.) (34)
Caveat: Although I have checked and double checked my figures and formulae, I do make mistakes, and if anyone thinks they have found one, I am always grateful to be told so I can investigate.
Neat in both the colloquial and literal meanings of that word.
Not my pattern. You can find that HERE. (I ran out of the dark blue cotton so used the turquoise to finish up.) It weighs about 70g including flower and button so could be made with a 100g ball.
Here is the bag laid out. What is the little touch of yellow? You will see in a moment!
The base is two thicknesses and creates a pocket for the bag.
Here it is emerging from the pocket. Tuck it all in and you get – (I rescued the button from a birthday card!)
And a view from above. Just right to pop in your pocket in case you need a bag!
Following on from my making lots of Celtic crosses I have decided to offer three of them as a Giveaway. One each to three people.
This is open to anyone anywhere.
All you have to do is comment at the bottom of this post saying which of the three you would prefer.
I think that all would be suitable as bookmarks though the plain red cross is the thinnest.
If you would like me to add a cord and tassel as I have done to this one that I made for myself just say so in your comment.
The Giveaway is open till the Second Sunday of Easter (23rd April) when I will choose the winners.
Having made variations of the Celtic plaitwork bookmarks I decided to revisit my pattern for a Celtic Cross and see if I could do the same.
I notice that in my original pattern I used my 1.25mm hook. This time I have also been using a 1mm hook and later tried what I believed to be one that was slightly smaller again, though not by much.
The first thing I did was to add slip stitches to the edges. Like with the bookmarks this does make the cross rather thick, maybe even thicker. I made the one with the purple stitches first and thought that it would maybe be better if the upright was longer so I increased the number of stitches in that part and made the one with the red.
Then of course I had to try one with a coloured edge.
This time I pretty much doubled the stitches for each section and came up with this. Although the cross is about the same height as the bookmark one. It feels too large to be used as a bookmark and I think I will hang it up on a wall somewhere in the house.
I decided to try using #20 thread instead of #10 but I made a mistake and used the #10 red for the edging (which is a shame as I have lots of #20 red!) This would be useable as a bookmark or for a wall and in fact using the thicker cotton for the edge made it firmer. I am not sure what size hook I used as it was one of the ones I inherited from my mother. In those days each hook maker seems to have had their own system of numbering and I couldn’t work out what would be the metric equivalent.
I then tried making one of the original plain ones, still in what I thought was #20 cotton, so it came out smaller and a little firmer than the original. I actually think that the smaller size hook is an improvement. I was previously using the smaller of the size hooks recommended on the label.
I have stiffened all the crosses with spray starch.
The original does seem to be the best for a bookmark.
I also wanted to examine the pattern more closely and see if I was choosing the right numbers of stitches so I worked a trefoil knot.This seemed to fit together just right!
I then went on to consider where I was putting the join, as although it should have come behind the circle it seemed to have a tendency to slip towards the next over part and so become visible. I am therefore adjusting my original pattern slightly to improve it.
Using my slightly adjusted pattern and some multi-coloured thread I made another cross.
I am not sure which I like best but I unfortunately I think the plain ones work best as bookmarks.
Ever since someone put a photograph of one of my Celtic coasters on Pinterest I have had about three weeks of hundreds of people every day coming to look at the pattern. Even now it seems to be over one hundred.
I know that a thread bookmark will appeal to far fewer people but it did make me think that it might be worth revisiting my Celtic bookmarks.
My original bookmark was this.(I can’t find it at present so it is probably keeping a place in a book somewhere!)
I did find that it was a bit floppy even when sprayed with starch so this time I decided to move away from my original idea of choosing four stitches for a crossover point and used the three stitches that I used for the coasters to ensure there were no gaps.
This gave me. I found that this was naturally stiffer and was probably not worth starching.
If you look closer I think you can see that the white part shows you the ‘right’ side of the crochet whereas the red shows the ‘wrong’ side. I quite liked this as it means that the bookmark doesn’t itself have a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ side and the pattern for both parts is the same.
However I did sit down and work out a pattern for the second piece so that you could have both pieces showing the ‘right’ side.
When I created the original I liked the idea of choosing to make a configuration that needed two pieces.
[For Celtic plaits this width, there are only two main possibilities: that of two strands or one. More about the variations at the end for those who may be interested.]
However as the corners at the side come in pairs, the colours were not as separate as I might have liked so I decided to see what could be done with a version that came in one piece.
[It might be worth mentioning, even now, that if you count the right angled corners down the side and this is an even number you will get two separate strands and if it is an odd number you will always get one.]
I had chosen eight corners for the original bookmark as I thought that it gave the right proportions for a bookmark and so I decided to chose nine for my one piece bookmark.
This is what the strip looks like when it is finished.I thought that a totally plain bookmark would be boring and wouldn’t show off the plaitwork to best effect and so I decided to add a dc (US-sc) edging. I had increased the number of stiches per crossing back to four.
(This didn’t work with this strip as it still made it to wide to fold together easily so I took it off and tried adding slip stitches.)
This gave me the red and white bookmark in this photo.I thought that this was reminiscent of this style of plaitwork in my book. However I still wanted to try a dc edging so I increased the number of stitches for a crossing to five. (I made a slight adjustment to the ends too.)
This gave me the following. which is larger but I rather liked.
Here is a size comparison with some of the many bookmarks that I own. The leather bookmark on the left is rather large, more suitable for a large book like a bible, but I often use the two papyrus ones in my library books; so you can see that they are all useable.
Of course these bookmarks are twice as thick as my other crochet bookmarks (Find them HERE) because of the crossing over and in fact when you add the slip stitches that makes them slightly thicker again. Still useable I think.
Now before you leave off reading I would like to ask a couple of questions.
- Which bookmark do you like best? (If you like any!)
- Do you think it is worth publishing the pattern for any of them? If so which ones?
More about the different types of plaits
Really you can think of there being four different types of plait of this width which depend on the number of right-angled corners up the side.
The two odd ones of the four are really the same but with an even number they do show subtle differences, as you can see in this picture.
There are two main differences.
If the even number is divisible by four there are same number of corners of each colour on both sides. If the number is not divisible by four there is an extra pair of each colour on opposite sides.
From a crochet point of view it makes a difference to the 180 deg turn-around points.
The dark line represent your initial chain and as you can see for the number divisible by four the chain is on the inside of all the turn-around points.
Where the number is not divisible by four the chain is inside for one and outside for the other. It is worth noting that this also happens for the odd numbered ones where you get one of each, each end.
The extra picture at the bottom (compare with top left) is to highlight the fact that these plaits do have a handedness and although I have chosen one of them that the same piece of crochet could be used to make either. Though you would want to put the join in a different place!
Three months ago I made some crochet seahorses From this pattern, though the lavender one is my own hybrid mix of the two patterns.
I wanted to display them somewhere and thought they would make a perfect hanging for a bathroom.
With all the other things I have been wanting to make it has taken a while but finally:-
Here is the hanging display all set up on my bathroom wall.
There are many sorts of orchid but when researching what I could make all those months ago when I wrote my first post about it, I decided to try to create the Moth Orchid – Phalaenopsis.I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested in how I made the spray of orchids but since someone has asked I have decided to share what I did. I am not sure whether to call it a ‘pattern’ as my patterns are normally things I feel anyone could make and I am unable in this case to tie down a rigid method, more just a description of what I did.
This is aimed at confident crafters who can make sense of what I write. (On this occasion I have written only in UK terms)
I used Ricos Essentials Cotton, DK weight, in white. The cotton has a sheen which gives the flowers a bit of a glow. You will also need a small amount of red and also green yarn for the stems.
I used a 3.5mm hook, though I crochet fairly tightly, so you may prefer a 3mm hook. Anyway since the size of the flower is not critical, use whatever size you feel most comfortable with and that gives the best result.
Did you know that when you make a slip stitch, you can either make it so that pulling the tail tightens the loop or that you have to pull the main yarn to tighten it? Surprisingly, I didn’t realise this till recently. For this pattern you need to make your slip stitch so that pulling the tail tightens the loop. I achieve this by holding the end in my right hand. (But I wouldn’t want you to think I am trying to “teach my grandmother to suck eggs” if all this is second nature to you.)
[I have added some charts at the bottom. They have been made relatively quickly and I have used my normal trick of mirroring the stitches so the diagonals on the trebles won’t all go the right way but I thought they might be of some use to some people.]
White Orchid (make 4)
Central circle and column.
Column appears to be the most common term for the nobby bit in the centre above the two side petals.
I found that making a circle of twelve htrs worked best. I used a magic loop but any other way of starting would work as well as this part should not be seen in the final flower.
At the end of the 12 htrs, slip stitch into the first st then work 4ch, and dc into second ch from hook and the two after that, then ss into start. Pull firmly and sew in ends.
This excrescence will naturally curl up
Side Petals (make 2)
Start: 2 ch
Row 1: 3dcs into second chain from hook.
Row 2: 1 ch, 2dcs into first dc, dc into dc, 2dcs into last dc.
Row 3: 3 ch, 2trs into first dc, 2trs into next dc, then tr into next, 2trs into next and 3tr into last.
Row 4: 1ch, (dc, htr, tr) into first tr of row below. The 2trs into each of next two stitches. Now you work what I call a half double treble (hdtr) into the next stitch. (See below for explanation). Then a dtr into eah of the two central stitches, a hdtr into the next, 2trs into each of the next two stitches and (tr, htr,dc) into the last stitch.
Now continue down the side of the petal working a slip stitch into the side of the end of the three rows below. Then a final ss into the starting chain.
Followed by: 2ch, tr into starting chain, 2ch, ss into starting chain.
Now work up the other side of the petal making a ss into the side of each of the three rows.
The way I finish off is how I often finish off these day which is to extend the remaining loop on the hook until it is long enough to give a good length of yarn and cut in the middle. I then thread it on a needle and pass the needle under, in this case, the first dc of row 4. I then thread the yarn back where it came from and sew it securely into the back of the petal.
This gives the appearance of an unbroken row of stitches round the edge of the petal.
I leave the starting yarn to sew the petal on to the centre of the flower later but pull it to tighten the starting chain.
[Hdtr: I make a dtr in the normal way except that when there are three loops left on the hook. I pull the yarn through all three.]
Rounded Sepal at the top
(I discovered that this part is a sepal and not a petal as I originally thought of it.)
Just two rounds this time.
Start: 7ch. (Remember to make the slip knot so you can tighten it.)
You will be working into the back loops, then back up the other side into what have now become back loops if that makes sense.
Round 1: dc into second ch from hook, then dc into each of the next four chains. When you get to the starting chain, I work 2dcs before the knot then one after it, making three in all. You are now working down the other side. Work five more dcs, one into the one loop of each chain. Then a ss into the turning ch.
Round 2: ch1, then dc into first dc, htr into next, tr into each of next four dcs. Then 5trs into next dc, tr into each of next 4 dcs, htr into next, dc into last. Ss into start. Tighten starting chain and sew in end securely. Leaving a good length of the yarn at the other end to sew this sepal onto the centre later.
Pointy Sepals at the side (make 2)
Just two rounds again.
Start: 6ch. (Remember to make the slip knot so you can tighten it.)
Round 1:dc into second ch from hook, then dc into each of the next three chains. When you get to the starting chain, I work 2dcs before the knot then one after it, making three in all. You are now working down the other side. Work four more dcs, one into the one loop of each chain. Then a ss into the turning ch.
Round 2: 2ch, tr into first four dcs, (tr, dtr, tr) into next dc, then tr into each of last four dcs. 2ch, ss into turning ch of first round.
Finish off as sepal above.
Red Petal or Lip
Now using red yarn ch4, ss into third ch from hook, ch2, ss into starting ch, 3ch, tr into starting chain, 3ch, ss into starting chain, 4ch, ss into third ch from hook, 2ch, ss into starting chain.
This should give a wide central piece with two thin side pieces that should arch upwards either side.
The petals and sepals have a natural tendency to curl and I felt that when arranged they did so in an appropriate way so I did not try to stiffen them at all just adjusted them with my fingers at the end since they will not be being touched in use. However if you want to experiment with stiffening feel free.
The first thing I did was to attach the rounded sepal to the central circle behind the column. I then attached the two pointed sepals symmetrically at either side. They should stick out at an appropriate angle for an orchid which meant that there was an angle of about 90deg between them and one or two stitches of the edge of the circle. The sepals need to be secure.
I then took the two petals and attached them to near the centre of the circle so the narrow part was just below the column. These I sewed on with reference to pictures of orchids so they overlap both upper and lower sepals.
Finally, I threaded both ends of the red yarn of the lip into a needle, threaded the needle through the centre of the circle secured the ends either side at the back so it wouldn’t swivel then for speed and simplicity just tied the ends together in a double knot and cut off short.
I do not consider sewing things together to be one of my strong points so if you have a better method of getting the same result that is to be recommended.
Stems and attaching Orchids
When I made some knitted roses (from a book) I made a knitted I-cord for the stems and had thought to crochet something for the orchids but couldn’t quite see how. In the end the fact that I had very little green cotton yarn decided me on a simpler choice.
I had bought these flower wires when I made the roses and thought I could also use them for the orchids.
Part 1 (make three)
I took my jewellery pliers and bent over the ends to make a small loop. I left it open and made a slip knot in the green yarn leaving a very long tail. I then wound the tail yarn tightly round the wire working upwards towards the loop. When I had enough I slid it round so it filled the loop closed the loop with the pliers and tied the end to the main part of the yarn the other side of the slip knot. I used what was left to sew the loop on the back of the flower. But first I continued down the wire with the main ball of yarn, winding it so the wire didn’t show, until I had enough for the curving stem behind the flower. I then cut the yarn and took a small piece of sellotape which I wrapped round yarn and wire (50/50) to hold the yarn in place.
For the fourth orchid I did as above plus working extra to cover the gap between the stem of the end and adjacent orchid. When I came to the end I didn’t cut the yarn and used a paperclip to hold it in place.
Attaching the flowers.
I laid each wire to the back of a flower with the loop behind the centre circle and the rest of the wire pointing upwards behind the rounded sepal. I sewed the loop in place at the back of the circle (using an extra bit of white thread when I found I didn’t have enough green!)
I then bent the wires in a curve for the individual flowers stems followed by a 90deg bend for the part between the individual stems. If that makes sense. Obviously I let the yarn covered section extend just beyond the bend.
The fourth orchid was the front one (so in a sense the first!) and I took one of the other three and laid the wires against each other, so that the stems were spaced correctly and started to wind the yarn round both wires, covering the last of the green and the sellotape for the second flower. I added a third flower and then a fourth at suitable intervals then continued winding the yarn round the wires until there was no more wire left. I was not too bothered about the appearance of the stem, though I tried to make it neat, as it would be inside the vase. I think that I bent the last of the wire up and tied the yarn to stop it slipping. I am sure you can make a better job of it!
I arranged the flowers so that they overlapped each other with the end one in front as you can see in the picture. I straightened the petals and sepals and pulled the wide part of the lip so it was horizontal.
It is possible that the individual stems should have been a bit shorter and that I should bend the flowers forward more so they don’t show.
I leave that to your judgement. There are plenty of photographs of orchids online.
[As always do let me know of any mistakes. I have put this together fairly quickly.]