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Mantilla Motif

Mantillas are head-coverings traditionally worn by Catholic women when praying in public. You will see plenty of them at a traditional Latin Mass for example. It used to be mandatory (not just customary) for women to cover their heads in church, and conversely for men to bare theirs.

I have fairly long hair now and the commercially-produced mantilla I bought isn’t big enough to cover it all.  I’ve been wanting to make my own larger one for a while.  I started to crochet one but I ran out of yarn.  I’ve found some more yarn now so I started a new one.  However, I wasn’t entirely happy with how the edges of the motifs worked when joined together so I’ve modified it slightly.  Four of the old motifs are shown joined together on the right of the photo below and four of the new ones on the left.  See below for the instructions.

Here goes (UK notation):

6 ch, ss in 1st chain to form a ring.  Now the rounds:

  1. 12 dc in ring, join with a ss to 1st dc.
  2. 5 ch, miss 1st dc, [1 tr in next dc, 2ch] 11 times, ss in 3rd of 5 ch.
  3. ss in 1st sp, 3 ch, leaving last lp of each st on hook work 3 tr in same sp as ss, yrh, draw through all 4 lps [5 ch, leaving last lp of each st on hook work 4 tr in next sp, yrh, draw through all 5 lps] 11 times, 2 ch, 1 tr in top of 1st cluster.
  4. *7 ch, ss in next 5-ch sp, [5 ch, ss in next 5-ch sp] 3 times, rep from * twice except instead of last 5ch make 2 ch, 1 tr in 1st of 7 ch at beg of round.
  5. [*7 ch, 1 tr in centre ch of next 7-ch sp, 14 ch, 1 tr in top of last tr, 1 tr in centre ch of same 7-ch sp as before, 7 ch, ss in centre ch of next 5-ch sp, 5 ch, ss in centre ch of next 5-ch sp*, 5 ch, ss in centre ch of next 5-ch sp] twice, work from * to *, 2 ch, 1 tr in 1st of 7 ch at beg of round.
  6. *5 ch, ss in centre ch of next 5-ch sp, 5ch, 8 tr in 14-ch sp (optional – work the 8th tr into the 7th ch), 6 ch, ss in top of last tr, 8 tr in same 14-ch sp (optional – work the 1st tr into the 8th ch), [5 ch, ss in centre ch of next 5-ch sp] twice, rep from * twice working last ss into 1st of 5 ch at beg of round.  Fasten off.

Sorry for any errors.


African Flower Owl

Here’s another of the crocheted creatures I made, plus a triangle that was going to be a mantilla until I ran out of yarn (motif pattern here)…

Crochet Garland


I might add a few little leaves here and there but the garland is pretty much done.  As you can see, I swapped out the pale leaves and replaced them with darker ones.  I’m not crazy about how they turned out but I think they’ll have to do.  I’ve got friction burns on my fingers from the yarn passing over the same place over and over again so I’m going to leave off crochet for a while now.  Time for some drawing (when it’s raining) and gardening (when it’s not).

Leaf Pattern

I crocheted another leaf.  You can see from the photo that I was more relaxed when I made this one – my tension is not so tight so the leaf is bigger.  The pattern is below.

leavesLeaf Pattern (UK terminology)

  1. 15 ch
  2. 1 dc into 2nd ch from hook, 1 dc into each ch except last, (1dc, 3ch, 1dc) into last ch [this forms the tip of the leaf], 1 dc into ch along opposite side of foundation ch, 2 dc into same place as last dc [this forms the base of the leaf].  For the remainder of the pattern, dc into the back loop (when viewed from the right side) of each dc. 1 dc into each of next 10 dc, 1 ch, turn work over.
  3. 1 dc into each dc until the first of the dcs at the base of the leaf.  Don’t forget to work into the back loop only – on this reverse side this means working into the front loop.  3 dc into centre of 3 dc at base.  1 dc into each dc except last 4 dc, 1 ch, turn work over.
  4. Repeat step 3, remembering to work into the back loop of the dcs, until you have the number of points on your leaf that you require.
  5. Work down to the base of the leaf as before but work the last two sts as ss and finish off in the centre dc of the base.

More Motifs

Here are some more pieces for my garland.  The leaf is a pretty standard Irish crochet motif, and the bird is my own design.  They didn’t turn out quite how I wanted but I’ve put the bird pattern below anyway.  I’ll make one more leaf to check the pattern before I publish it.


Bird Pattern (UK terminology)
I used a 3.5mm hook, and cotton yarn (which looks like DK thickness)

  1. 5 ch, ss to make ring
  2. 1 ch, 8 dc into ring, ss into first st
  3. 3 ch, 2 tr in same dc, *3 tr in next dc* seven times, ss into 3rd chain
  4. 3 ch, 1 tr in top of same tr, *3 tr in next tr, 2 tr in next tr* repeat to beg., ss
  5. Change colour. 3 ch, 1 tr in top of each tr, ss into 3rd chain
  6. 3 ch, 1 tr in top of each tr, ss into 3rd chain, fold motif in half so that the current stitch is at one end of the fold.  To form the tail, 7 ch, ss into top of fold near the base of the chains, 7 ch, ss a little further along the fold, 7 ch, ss, 5 ch, ss (see photo for guidance).  Finish off leaving enough yarn to sew the edges together.  Use the first colour to sew a beak and eyes (see photo).


New Crochet Project

I’ve started work on a crocheted garland.  It’s a bit passé – most other crocheters will have “been there, done that” years ago – but I’ve never been accused of being fashionable so I’m not worried.  Here are my first motifs:


The flower is my own design which I’m calling peony.  The pattern is below, in UK crochet terminology (e.g. UK dc = US sc).  It’s mainly for my own records because it’s only the second pattern I’ve published and I haven’t had anyone else check it.  If you want to give it a try, or adapt it, then please feel free, and let me know how you get on.  The butterfly pattern can be found by clicking this link.

Peony Pattern
I used a 3.5mm hook, and cotton yarn (which looks like DK thickness)

  1. 5 ch, ss to make ring
  2. 1 ch, 8 dc into ring, ss into first st
  3. 1 ch, *2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next dc* repeat around ring (12), ss into first st
  4. Change colour. 1 ch, *2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next dc* repeat (18), ss
  5. Change colour. *4 ch, 1 dc in 3rd dc along* repeat, ss into first 4 ch sp
  6. ss along 4 ch, 5 ch and 2 tr into 4 ch sp, 1 ch, *2 tr, 3 ch, 2 tr into next 4 ch sp, 1 ch* repeat 5 times, 1 tr into first 4 ch sp, ss into 3rd ch of first 5 ch, ss into 3 ch sp
  7. 3 ch, 6 tr in 3 ch sp, ss in 1 ch sp, *7 tr in next 3 ch sp, ss in 1 ch sp* repeat 5 times, ss into 3rd ch of 1st 3 ch, finish off
  8. Rejoin yarn in one of dcs of 4th round before a dc of 5th round.  (The trs of these front petals will straddle the dcs that join the edges of the back petals to the ring.)  5 ch, 2 tr into next empty dc of 4th round, 1 ch, *2 tr in next dc, 2 ch, 2 tr in next dc, 1 ch* repeat 5 times, 1 tr in next dc, ss into 3rd ch of 1st 5 ch, ss into sp
  9. 3 ch, 6 tr in 2 ch sp, ss in 1 ch sp, *7 tr in next 2 ch sp, ss in 1 ch sp* repeat 5 times, ss into 3rd ch of 1st 3 ch, finish off

Cute and Creepy Crochet

I had a birthday recently, and received a book called “Kawaii Amigurumi” by Sayjai Thawornsupacharoen.  The cute (‘kawaii’ or かわいい in Japanese) creature below is based on one of the designs in the book.  I used the patterns for round heads to make the septic eye, and improvised the optic nerve.  The eye was requested by someone I can’t believe I’m related to.  She thought the eye was cute too.  Can’t see it myself <shudders>. I didn’t have quite the right colours, and I made the iris too big but she loves it anyway.

African Flower Crochet

Here’s a photo of my progress on my third Heidi Bears creature:


I’m still using leftover yarn.  The white yarn is a bit thinner than I would like but hopefully it will look alright with the white stuffing behind it.  I’m using a join-as-you-go method using the crochet hook rather than sewing the pieces together at the end.  I’d like to say it’s because it’s a better method but it’s really because I’m impatient and I like to see the creature forming as I go.

If you want to know how to crochet this “African Flower” motif, and you like video instructions like I do, then here’s a couple of great videos to follow:

Geoff the Giraffe and Gardening

I’ve been letting the blog take a back seat for the last few months because I was hoping to put more energy into my artwork.  As always, life (and Microsoft) got in the way, and I wasn’t able do that.  My graphics machine is the last refuge for Windows in this house but not for much longer because a Windows update made it about as useful for drawing as a brick.  Anyway, the loss of my drawing tool freed me up to tackle a crochet project that I’d wanted to do for ages.  Anyone who has followed this blog from the beginning will probably know that I tend to binge on my hobbies.  I can go for months or years without doing any crochet, origami or whatever, but when I get started I just can’t stop.  This time I’m addicted to woolly creatures designed by Heidi Bears.  I’m on my third one.  I can only show you the second one because the others are destined to be gifts for people who might see this post.  Meet Geoff the Giraffe:

I’ve also spent quite a bit of time in the garden:

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Knitwits & Crafty Stitchers

I had to go to Galway today.  Galway is one of my favourite cities (not that I’m familiar with that many, mind you).  Today I stumbled upon a little gem tucked away on an industrial estate (Liosban Business Park to be precise).  It can be hard to find supplies in the West of Ireland so I was delighted to find such a well-stocked shop with reasonably-priced yarn.  People tell me to shop online but I like to get my hands on stuff before I buy it; I guess I’m old-fashioned.  I’ve just checked out their website and it looks like you can order on-line too (for those of you who like that sort of thing). 🙂

I bought the sparkly white yarn because I thought it would be perfect for more Christmas snowflakes.