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Christmas Crochet and Solomon’s Shawl

First, in line with my policy of full craft disclosure, I have to admit that I never finished the mantilla I was crocheting.

The yarn was too thick so I looked like I was wearing a doily on my head. Not a good look unless you’re going for crazy-like-a-loon. Also, I realised that the triangle was the wrong shape for a head covering; it needs to have one much longer side.

To cheer myself up I crocheted a few Christmas decorations. I made them up as I went along so I don’t have a pattern for them, sorry.

I haven’t stiffened them yet so hopefully I can get them straightened out a bit more.

Today I started on another triangular project. It’s going to be a shawl made from Solomon’s knots.

There are loads of tutorials on the Internet for making this lacy and deceptively simple stitch so I will let you find one that suits you. To get the triangular shape I worked as follows:

Start with 2 ch then dc (UK notation as always) into the first chain. (You could try just 1 ch to start because my starting point is looking a bit too bulky.) Next draw out the yarn to the height of stitch that suits you and your yarn. I’ve made mine about 1cm high and I’m using quite thick “string vest” yarn. Make four of the Solomon’s knot component (SKC) stitches (made up of a long loop and a dc) and join into a diamond shape by dc into the starting dc. 3 SKC, dc into next corner of the diamond. *2 SKC, make a chain to the same height as one of the loops (I’ve used 3 ch.), ss into the next corner of the original diamond and ss back along the chain and into the dc. Now 3 SKC and turn work to dc into top dc of the nearest diamond. 2 SKC, dc into top of next diamond. Repeat from * increasing the repeats of the previous instruction as each row grows in length, and using the chains to join up diamonds at the edge of the triangle.

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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)…