Crochet Garden author Suzann Thompson will be joining us for a series of Friday posts through July. Her first installment: a lovely, colorful flower scarf, all made up from trilliums!
This Trillium Flower Cloth Scarf is crocheted with the deliciously colorful “Falk” from Dale of Norway Yarns and trillium flower and leaf patterns from Crochet Garden. But first, what in the world is flower cloth?
Flower cloth is a lacy cloth made by arranging and pinning crocheted motifs face-down on a fabric template, then hand-sewing them together. The fabric template can be any shape. Since the template provides the shape, you have lots of freedom in choosing motifs and yarns for your flower cloth. You can use yarns in all kinds of textures, colors, weights, fiber content, because—may we have a drum roll, please?—gauge doesn’t matter!
Have a look at all the yarns used in the Flower Cloth Scarf on page 129 of Crochet Garden. They range from delicate fingering weight yarn to bulky mohair and woven tape yarns. Flower cloth can be a great stash-buster. I tend to get better results by sticking with one or two colors or shapes in my flower cloth projects. For instance the mostly pink yarns and two major motifs of the Flower Cloth Scarf unify the piece and allow our eyes to enjoy the many textures at play.
However that’s not a hard and fast rule. One of my prettiest flower cloth pieces is a table mat which you can see on Lark author Dora Ohrenstein’s Crochet Insider web-zine. All the different colors, yarns, and motifs worked beautifully together.
Here’s how to make the Trillium Flower Cloth Scarf. Remember, you can create your own special flower cloth by changing the motifs, the yarns, and the size and shape of the template.
You will need:
Dale of Norway Yarns “Falk” in a variety of flower and leaf colors and an accent color. Exact colors used in this scarf are listed below.
“Trillium,” “Violet Leaf,” and “Gauge Circle” patterns on pages 126, 39, and 11 of Crochet Garden–or choose your own motifs from Crochet Bouquet or other crochet motif pattern sources.
Piece of fabric, 5 inches (12.5cm) x 40 inches (1m). This can be any fabric sturdy enough to hold its shape with motifs pinned to it. The fabric will not be part of the finished project.
Lots of safety pins
Sewing thread, preferably in colors similar to your yarns
Hand sewing needle
Here’s what you do:
1. Crochet and block enough motifs to cover the fabric template. The scarf in the photo used the following:
24 Trilliums, with shades of yellow for Color A, pinks, reds, and orange for Color B;
15 Violet Leaves, with a stem length = 15 to 18 ch sts, in shades of green;
and 22 Gauge Circles in the blue accent yarn color.
2. Arrange flowers and leaves face-down on the fabric template so their edges touch wherever possible. For a denser fabric, use lots of motifs; for a lacier fabric user fewer motifs. The leaf stems are useful for filling in spaces. Use the gauge circles to fill in spaces that are too large.
3. Safety-pin the motifs to the fabric. Use as many pins as you need to keep the motifs in place.
4. Using sewing thread, sew the motifs together wherever they touch. Stitch the motifs together by running the needle under the surface of the crochet stitches. See photos: Stitching 1, 2, and 3—* push the needle through one way, then the other way; rep from * once, then pull thread tight, and it mostly disappears into the crochet.
Whenever possible sew the loop that is just inside the very edge loop of the motif on each side.
This leaves the tops of the crocheted stitches around the motif free. In the finished Flower Cloth, they outline and emphasize each motif. Study the close-up photo to see what I mean.
I like to scope out areas where several flower edges touch, so I can sew a lot before having to stop. Still, there is quite a bit of cutting and restarting. Before cutting the sewing thread, tack thread by running it back and forth under the surface of the crochet stitches a couple of times.
5. When all the motifs are sewn together, remove safety pins, turn the Flower Cloth right-side-up, and admire!
After you remove the Flower Cloth from the fabric template, look it over and see if anything needs further attention. You may see areas that need a little more stitching or a space that needs an extra motif. When you’ve worn a flower cloth creation for a while, you may notice places where it needs more support. Usually a few extra stitches or another small motif are all you need.
We used Dale of Norway Falk (100% superwash wool; 1 3/4oz/50g = 116yd/106m): for Trilliums: (A) colors Goldenrod #2427 and Dandelion #2417, (B) colors Poppy #3609, Red #4018, Pink #4415 Fuchsia #4516, Magenta #4536, Orange #3418; for Violet Leaves: colors Fern #9155, Spring Green #9133; for Gauge Circles: Cerulean Blue #6215—sport weight yarn; (3). You can use fewer colors or different colors from Falk’s great range.
If you want to make a gauge, the gauge circle for “Falk” (see page 11 of Crochet Garden) = 1″/2.5cm worked on 4.00mm (size G-6 U.S.) hook.
Finished Measurements: Trillium: 3″/7.6cm; Violet Leaf: 2-5/8″/6.7cm across at widest point