Celtic Cross – definitive version

Definitive Celtic crossCeltic 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. Original Celtic crosswhich is why I started experimenting with adding slip stitches. Celtic crosses with slip stitchesAt 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 Celtic cross with edgingbut 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. New Celtic cross first attemptI 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. New Celtic cross second attemptYou can see here how these two attempts compared with the original. New Celtic cross first two attempts with originalSo 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. New Celtic cross all three attempts with originalThe 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. Three different styles of Celtic cross

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!Celtic cross with equal arms

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.

Giveaway Winners

You may remember that I offered these three crosses as a Giveaway. Thee crochet crossesWell sixteen people entered and I did the choosing today.

I know a lot of people use some sort of electronic chooser but I don’t quite trust things like that and like to do it the old fashioned way. However having put all the names on a list I did decide that it was easier to write numbers rather than names on slips of card. Numbered cardsAnd the numbers I drew out showed that the winners were……….

Chosen numbers

Now 16 belonged to Patricia Lang and I am not sure if she wanted one but I had included her at the end just in case. I have sent her an email but not had a reply, so, rather than delay an announcement, I decided to draw another card and I will make Patricia one if she had meant to enter. Chosen numbers plus extraSo now the list is:-

Carol D

Smfsprout

and

Ann Slay

I have sent each of you an email to request your postal address.

Here are the crosses with cords and tassels. Crosses with cords and tassels

Easter Giveaway

Following on from my making lots of Celtic crosses I have decided to offer three of them as a Giveaway. Three Celtic crossesOne 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 Celtic cross with tasseljust say so in your comment.

The Giveaway is open till the Second Sunday of Easter (23rd April) when I will choose the winners.

Celtic Cross revisited

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. Celtic crosses with added slip stitchesLike 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. Celtic cross with purple edgingAlthough the cross is about the same height as the bookmark one. Above cross compared to bookmarkIt 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!) Two edged crossesThis 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. Two plain crossesI 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.Trefoil knotThis 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. Multi-coloured Celtic cross

I am not sure which I like best but I unfortunately I think the plain ones work best as bookmarks.

Celtic Cross crochet pattern

The pattern for all four of my Celtic crosses is now on sale on Ravelry – http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/celtic-cross-bookmark

My original cross.Crochet celtic crossWhen I used #10 crochet cotton and a 1.25mm hook (Blue cross) it came out about 4 inches high and three inches wide. (10 x 7.5 cm) However using a smaller hook will give a firmer though slightly smaller bookmark. (Red cross)You could also try multi-coloured thread. For this I used a 1.25mm for the starting chain and a 1mm hook for the rest. I also increased the picot stitches from two to three.

I’m still thinking ‘celtic’!

I am not ready to start my blanket so I have been messing around with various small projects,: one of which was to continue with my idea of making a cross bookmark based on this silver cross my brother gave me a long time ago.Ideas for patternI refined and completed my ideas for a pattern and using some spare acrylic yarn created this.Trial in acrylicThe sun was so bright and I was in a hurry but I think this gives the idea.

This told me what I needed to do to tighten up the pattern and shorten the arms and then I found a way to make the corners pointier. So I experimented with some #10 cotton thread and got this.Trial in cottonJust clipped together for speed.

This enabled me to work out just what was needed and make a final one.Finished celtic crossI was very pleased with the proportions of this one.

I was a bit worried about the lower upright, when I had made it, because of the two long pieces being separate and thought that it would not be any good as a bookmark but stiffened with the spray starch it feels a lot better, so I may continue with the idea and maybe try making one with the circle in a contrasting colour.

You can’t feel it but what do you think?

A Bonanza of bookmarks

This could be considered a follow on from my previous post, though really there is no connection.

Lately, in between other things, I have been crochetting some of my cross bookmarks in different coloured cottons. I added a tassel; as if people don’t like it they can always remove it but it’s harder to add one.

I decided to do this because although I don’t want the bother of doing something like having an Etsy shop, I thought that if I donated a few of my cross bookmarks to my parish, they could be sold to help parish funds and so I made eight bookmarks.

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I made three using my pattern no. 1

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And five using pattern no. 2.

Four similar

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and one in red with a white border.

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I wasn’t entirely happy with this last one as the red shows through the white. However two of the bookmarks were snapped up almost immediately when I showed them to a couple of people I know at church, including this one. Another bookmark was bought on Sunday.

So now I should maybe make a couple more!

April Montage

In April, I continued making squares for the CAL but got a bit behind because of pain in my hand.

I made bookmarks for the people who had commented most on my blog as part of my one year anniversay giveaway and bought lots of lovely coloured crochet cotton for this and future projects.

I also had a go at beaded knitting and made a pair of pretty slippers.

I went back to Portsmouth Dockyard with some of the family and saw HMS Warrior, an exhibition of costumes from the film ‘Les Miserables’ and also went out to Southsea for a ‘Dalek Invasion’.

Then at the end of the month I finished knitting my Buff®. and received a lovely surprise in the post from Patricia at DaniellaJoe’s

montage1304

Cross Bookmark patterns

I had intended to work on a couple of nominations for awards that I’ve had in the last few weeks but family matters have rather occupied me, so instead I am going to do something else that I have been intending to do for a long time and that is to add a US version of my Cross Bookmark patterns to the Top Menu.

0130-cross1I had been meaning to add lots of pictures to make it more of a tutorial but I think that is going to have to wait till I have more time.0130-cross2

You will find it under ‘MY PATTERNS’

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Easter cards

I made some crochet cards at Christmas with removable stars but it seemed to me after I had got into making bookmarks that cards incorporating removable bookmarks would be even more worthwhile.

Now I am not really an Easter card sending person but where people have sent me cards in the past, I have felt the need to respond. So I decided that Easter cards incorporating cross bookmarks would be something I could make for this year as I only had a few to send.

Now one of the Easter cards I get is from people who are, as far as I know, not at all religious, so for them I made this card. Quite quick and simple because I wasn’t sure what to make and as time was running short (they live in the U.S.) I had to buckle down and produce something. 🙂

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But I had already started on my cross bookmarks for my christian friends.

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and

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Finally I got out a smaller hook and made a cross with a contrasting edging using the second pattern and a picot edge this time.

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This was acceptable.

At first I hung the bookmarks on my Easter tree but it the meantime I went to ‘Paperchase’ and bought some folded card and matching envelopes as I had for Christmas.

I would have preferred a slightly less acid green but I bought three lots anyway, brought them home and printed a greeting inside.

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Then all that was left was to attach the bookmarks to the front of the card, which I did in a similar way to those I made at Christmas but more simply.

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Giving me three cards to send to people.

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Realising that up to now I have not made any bookmarks for myself I made a cross bookmark using the second pattern with my pastel rainbow mix #20 cotton.

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