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It turned out that crocheting classical motives of irish crochet leace is very exciting and fun. I've figured out that the big flowers with puff-stitch petals, that I already had in stock require big elements with openwork. This motif looks like a willow sprig or a peony leaf, so I gave it a try and it did fit perfectly into a project. And so I've equipped myself with Yarnart Begonia and Violet yarn and the work was done/ Here is the result, a small step-vy-step instruction(or as we call it a master class) on how to crochet this element with a help of a padding cord.
A special thanks to Sally Magill, who helped with translation to english
I've used this diagram from "128 irish crochet motives" book
For this sprig you need about 80cm of padding cord. So to begin with, take 2 balls of Begonia, measure off the length required and fold the threads in half. Then 2 ends are free and 2 are attached to the balls. No need to cut them off, then if you have measured too much, you won’t need to waste the superfluous 10-15cm. With the Violet thread, make a slipstitch and then work into the folded end of the pc – this makes it easier to shape your work by gently pulling on the pc.
Now do 22 dc, working round the pc. This is actually the most difficult part, because you need to get the hang of doing the yarn-over for the first 2 sts in such a way that they do not slip off the pc. Try to crochet leaving as small a gap as possible between the stitches; the pc should not show through the crochet. If it turns out loose, pull on the pc and re-arrange the stitches evenly along the working row.
Drop the pc for the time being, turn the work and crochet as follows:
3dc, 1htr, 6tr, 1htr, 5dc
Almost all stitches in the motif are worked through the back loop of the previous row, forming a rib on the top of the leaf.
Again turn the work and do 15dc through the back loop, 1dc in the last stitch of the first row and 1dc working round the pc. Turn work, lay the pc above the previous row and crochet 16 dc through the back loop at the same time working round the padding cord
This is the end of the small leaf. Don’t forget about the density of the pc, and before moving on to the next row, pull it so that the edges do not pucker.
Turn the work and again do 12 dc through the back loop and over the pc, and 15dc above the pc forming a new small leaf.
The remaining 2 leaves are worked in the same way as the first. Finish both with 20dc on the pc, pulling on it to get the right density. To accomplish the beginning of the pc you can do the first stitch not in the beginning stitch but in a stitch on the pc, and in that way fixing its beginning.
Let us return to the top of the sprig, crocheting the pc to the previous row with dc worked into the back loop. Pull on the pc. Before reaching the 12th or 13th stitch of the top leaf, turn work and crochet a sideways net of 4ch-loops as in the diagram.
Crochet over the edge of the leaf-with-net, and working over the pc do alternately 3dc and 1dc which is worked into the holes of the net.
Here it is particularly important to maintain the right tension on the pc, because otherwise the edge soon stretches and loses its attractiveness.
Before completing the last small leaf, put down the hook for a moment, measure the pc along the whole length of the edge of the leaf and as far as the last stitch of the motif, cut it 7-8 cm longer than is needed, and carefully place the thread across the point where the last stitch will be attached. Even out the pc and fold it in two. Finish off the leaf, at the same time crocheting over 2 layers of pc. In this way it is attached to the work. After 10 – 12 dc it will be securely fixed.
This is how it looks on the wrong side, with the attaching of the pc. It only remains to cut off the superfluous “tail”. If you are not confident that it is held down firmly enough, before tucking in the foundation thread you can make a couple of stitches and sew through the pc for added strength.
Translated by Sally Magill,
sallymag on Ravelry,
7th May 2011