“How do I connect motifs?”

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“I have a great pattern, I love it!  How do I connect the pieces together?”

Trying to figure out how to connect motifs (whether they’re squares, circles, stars, or hexagons) can be frustrating if you don’t know how to do it correctly.  When I was learning, my first thought was that I would have to sew a lot of little squares together when I was done. There are a lot of good reasons why we don’t needle and thread sew them together.  1. It’s too much work to hide all those endings and 2. the connection is not as strong as a crochet connection.  I learned that lesson the hard way after my first afghan washed up in pieces after only one wash.

So what IS the right way??

Connecting motifs is sometimes the most difficult thing to understand when you’re first making altar lace, but it is also one of the easiest things to do once you understand how it is done.  In short, you connect the motifs as you are finishing the last row, crocheting them together at attachment points as you go.

This video gives a good demonstration of how to do it.

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Mary’s French Lace Pattern

This is not an original pattern, but I’m not sure the origins. Mary calls it her “French Lace Pattern”. I love it. It’s beautiful without any large holes, and should wear well.

Hers was completed in size 30 cordonnet thread.

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Visual Pattern for MJ Stegeby’s Snowflake Lace

This snowflake lace is just beautiful.  MJ Stegeby designed it and wrote the pattern.  Thank you Mary Jo!

In order to make the pattern hexagonal rather than circular, there is a small second motif that goes between patterns in each corner.  See the photo below:

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The pattern is a standard visual pattern. If you have any questions or get stuck, message me in the comments.

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This is what the pattern looks all together with a small border. I love it!
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Karenne’s Heritage Lace Edging Pattern

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I inherited some vintage embroidered pillowcases and decided to dress them up for my daughter’s room.  These beautiful designs practically cried for lace to be added to them.  Each of the pillowcases ended up with a variation of a pattern I’ve been experimenting with.  This is the final version.

Karenne’s Heritage Lace Edging Pattern:

Row 1:  Chain the length desired, connect to beginning of chain with sl st, do not turn.

Row 2:  Ch 5, dc, *ch2, skip 2 ch from previous row, dc*, repeat  across, sl to close row.

Row 3:  *(Ch 3, sc in next ch2 sp of previous row)– four times, ch 5, sc in next ch2 space of previous row* repeat across.

Row 4:  Sl 4 st to the top of the second ch3 lp of previous row, ch3, sc in next ch3 sp , ch2, tr in ch5 sp of previous row, (ch1, tr) 2 times, ch 2, tr (ch1, tr) 2 more times, all in the same ch5 sp.  Ch2, skip next ch3 sp, sc in next ch3 sp* repeat to end of row.  Sl to close.

Row 5:  Sl 1 to top of ch3 sp of previous row. Ch 6, counts as first tr and ch 3 sp, tr in the same ch3 sp. *Ch4, (sc, ch3, sc) in ch2 sp between tr’s from the previous row.  Ch 4, (tr, ch3, tr) in next ch3 sp* repeat around, sl to close.

Row 6: Ch 4, counts as first tr and ch1 sp, [(tr, ch1, tr) ch2, (tr, ch1,) 2x more, tr],  in chain 3 sp between tr’s of previous row.  *ch2, (sc, ch3, sc in the ch3 loop between sc’s from previous row), ch2, (tr, ch1) 2 times, tr, ch2, (tr, ch1) 2 times, tr in the next ch3 sp between tr’s, repeat from * to end, sl in top of first tr to close.

Row 7:  Ch3, counts as first dc and ch1 sp, dc in first ch1 sp between tr’s of previous row. Small “V” made.  Dc, ch1, dc in next ch1 sp.  Second small “V” made.  Tr, ch3, tr in ch2 sp between tr’s of previous row, large “V” made. Place small “V” in each of next two ch1 sp. Sc, ch3, sc in next ch3 sp* repeat to end. Sl in top of first dc to close.

Row 8:  Sc, ch3 in each small “V”, (sc, ch3, sc) in the top of each large “V”, (2sc, picot, 2sc) in each ch3 sp around.  Slip to close.

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Sister’s Lace

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The Sister’s Lace project has been in the works for over two years.  In all, 20 sisters participated in making this lace.  We started with a group of ladies who had never crocheted before, and ended up with an altar cloth.  The pattern is simple, but beautiful.

We met once a week for two years.  Several of our ladies made it through, start to finish, and are now completely equipped with skills to make their own altar cloths.

See more on this project here: Crochet Class– Granny Squares to Altar Cloths 

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New Pattern: The Little Light of Hope

This is a new pattern I’ve been designing.  I worked on it through Conference weekend, and it is turning out just beautifully.  I’m including the pattern below.  The motif is a flicker of light with twelve repetitions radiating around.  12 hours in each turn of the clock, 12 months in a year.

As I was listening to conference, working and reworking this motif, I heard these words quoted in one of the talks, and felt it fit:

“That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.”  —Doctrine and Covenants 50:24

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 Light of Hope Motif Pattern

This lace is being made in Turkish thread size 60 which roughly translates to size 30 in the United States.  I’m using a size 21 Tulip brand hook (equal to size 14 Boye hook).  Other thread sizes and hook sizes may be used as appropriate.

Row 1:  Chain 8, join in a ring

Row 2:  12 sc in ring, join with sl st

Row 3:  Ch 7, acts as first triple and first ch3 sp,  (tr, ch3) in each sc of previous row.  Join with sl st to 4th ch of beginning ch7.  (12 tr, 12 sp made)

Row 4:  Ch 1, 4sc in each ch 3 sp around.  Join with sl st

Row 5:  Ch 5, acts as first triple of the 5tr cluster.  Work one tr in the tr of previous row and next three sc, and next tr, saving the last loop of each tr on hook, draw one loop through all loops on hook.  5tr cluster made.  Cluster, ch7, repeat around.  (Twelve clusters made)

Row 6:   Sl st in next two ch, ch 4, acts as first triple, 3tr, ch2, 3tr, ch 5 in each ch7 loop of the previous row. Join with sl st to top of first tr.  (Twelve groups and twelve ch5 sp made)

Row 7:  Ch 8, p in 3rd ch from hook, counts as first dtr, dtr, p, tr, p, in the ch2 sp of previous row. ch2, 2sc in ch5 sp of previous row, *ch2, tr, p, dtr, p, dtr, p, dtr, p, tr, p, in next ch2 sp, ch2, 2sc in next ch5 sp* repeat around, tr, dtr in first space, join with sl st to the top of the first dtr made.

Row 8:  sl st through p of previous row, ch 6, dtr in 2nd sc of previous row, ch 6, 2sc in top of middle p of next group, repeat around.  Sl to join.

Row 9:  Sl st in next ch, ch 4, counts as first dc and ch1. *Dc, ch1, four times in each ch6 loop around. Join with sl in the  3rd ch of beginning stitch to join.

Row 10, Irish Edging– (2sc in every sp, p over gap between 4dc, ch1 group ) twice, 2sc in next sp, 1sc in next sp, ch 10, flip work and 2sc in the middle of the 4dc, ch1 group just covered with scs.  Flip work again.  Cover ch10 with 9sc, p, 9sc. Place one more sc in the ch 1 space  before ch10 adventure began.  Repeat around, close with sl.

1st motif made.

“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.”  –2Nephi 31:20

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Snowflurry Lace

A few months ago, I was asked to make an altar cloth that was very dense, for a specific altar.  This is what I came up with.  It’s called “Snowflurry”, and it’s made lengthwise rather than in squares.

I like it.  It’s simple, and elegant, but one of the things I discovered after making this lace was that even though it was dense and beautiful, it tended to stretch more in one direction than in the other, making it difficult to keep blocked.  In order to help it keep its shape, I modified it, added extra stitching in a double row around just before the border.  The stay stitching helps!  However, I’ve learned an important lesson, block patterns are better than one piece patterns for altar lace.

Interesting lesson learned!

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Crochet Class: Granny Squares to Altar Cloths

A little more than a year ago, a group of ladies in my area started taking crochet lessons from me, with the goal that they eventually wanted to make an altar cloth.  Most of these women had never crocheted before, or had just a few basics down, but not enough to follow a pattern.

We started with yarn.  There are four basic stitches in crochet.  “If you learn these four stitches, you can make almost anything!” I told them.  There are of course, fancier stitches, but most everything you make is a combination of chain, single crochet, double crochet or triple crochet.  There’s also a slip, that hardly counts as a stitch at all.  That’s it.  Four stitches.

The first pattern we tried was a traditional granny square: IMG_20150708_232259.jpg

We made a lot of granny squares, and put them together in afghans.  Some of the ladies got a little more creative with their granny squares, but the basic idea was the same.  Squares.  A basic granny square requires a chain stitch and a double crochet.  That’s it.  Not too hard.

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After our granny square afghans were completed, we started a new project with one size smaller yarn, and a modified granny square.  We discovered a need for NICU baby blankets to help preemie babies at the hospital.  This time, armed with baby yarn, we were making baby blanket granny squares. Almost the same pattern, just a little smaller.

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IMG_20150928_111229350.jpgIMG_20151006_175333.jpgWe met at the park and made NICU baby blankets all summer.  When we were confident with that size thread… we started a new project.  Size ten thread lace squares:

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The lace thread was a larger jump than going from yarn to baby yarn had been, but with a little practice, many of us are getting it.  We decided to start an altar cloth.  IMG_20160307_092104.jpg

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It’s a work in progress!  So far, seven sisters are participating in the making of this lace.  We’re calling it the “Sister’s Lace”.  Each square is only six rows, not very much different than a granny square.  This is great practice for an altar cloth.  If you are looking for a pattern that is simple and elegant, this is a good one to try.

The secret is, if you can make granny squares, and have the will to practice, you can make lace.

 

Needle Tatted Altar Lace for the Gila Valley Arizona Temple

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This altar lace is a beautiful example of needle tatting.  It was recently finished and donated to the Gila Valley Arizona temple by lacemaker Barbara Barney.  It’s a size ten thread, and took her nearly  a year to complete, with approximately 250 hours of labor.  I asked her about needle tatting and she wrote:

“I have always had a talent for needlework, crochet and knitting at a very young age.  I always wanted to learn to tat and my grandmother knew how.  The problem was that she lived in Idaho and I lived in New Mexico and our visits were never long enough for her to teach me.  I tried teaching myself from several different sources but it wasn’t until I got a copy of Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Needlework that I figured out how to tat with a shuttle.  I added it to my list of abilities and moved on to other things.

About 10 years ago, I was introduced to needle tatting and I gave it a try.  Love at First Project!!  I can do both methods, needle and shuttle, but prefer the needle for so many reasons; much more forgiving when you make a mistake, it seems faster to me, my work comes out cleaner and I love the uniformity I can get with a specific needle and thread size.”

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Barbara already has another two needle tatted altar cloths in progress. Her goal is to make an altar cloth in honor of each of her 9 children.

I am not as familiar with needle tatting as I am with shuttle tatting and crochet, but this turned out to be just beautiful.

This is the pattern from Pinterest:

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Deseret Rose Altar Cloth Pattern

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Donna’s Deseret Rose Altar Cloth

This is an altar cloth made by Marla.  It was featured about a year ago, and has been completed.  It’s beautiful!  Marla originally saw a piece of lace that had no pattern and recreated the pattern from scratch.

She wrote up the pattern and when I asked her what made her think of making an altar cloth, she included this experience in her letter to me:

“I have to tell you this little story…. a couple of weeks ago when the big final push was on to finish, I took the cloth with me to my Aunt (my Mother’s dear youngest sister) Colleen’s cabin in Island Park for a family reunion.  My mother passed away 2 years ago last July and because of that my Aunt decided to start getting all the cousins together every August at the cabin where we all spent our childhood.  I thought I could get a lot of work done while sitting and visiting in the evenings… and I did, but while working on the cloth my sister-in-law asked what made me want to make one…. I explained that I really didn’t know & I had never thought about it before, but that a few months after Mom passed I came across your site and was prompted….Strongly…. and this nagging feeling just wouldn’t go away!  I just had to do it.
My Sister-in-law calmly said that it was Mom’s pushing & insistence from the other side that made me do it.  After thinking about it I really believe she is right.  🙂  My mom worked in both the Mesa AZ & Idaho Falls Temples and Maybe a little bit in the Boise Temple I think but I’m not sure.  She did a lot of quilts & crochet tablecloths, but I don’t know if she ever made any Altar Cloths…. So this one is for her….. ‘Donna’s Deseret Rose’ Altar Cloth.  🙂   I do hope she keeps pushing me!”

 

DESERET ROSE ALTAR CLOTH PATTERN

(Remade & written up by Marla Nikirk – from an unknown vintage pattern)

Deseret Rose Motif:

Rnd 1: Foundation ring….Chain 9, slp.st. (slip stitch) in beginning stitch.

Chain 3 (counts as 1st triple), 23 triple (triple crochet) in beginning ring. Slp.st. in 3rd stitch of beginning chain 3. A ring of total of 24 triples.

Rnd 2: Chain 6, skip next triple and *single (single crochet) in top of next triple, chain 6,* repeat all the way around ending with a slp.st. in the first stitch of beginning chain 6 (a total of 12 chain-6 loops). Slp.st. in next 2 st’s. of beginning chain 6, single in the chain-6 loop.

Rnd 3: Chain 6, *single in next chain-6 loop of previous rnd., chain 6,* repeat all the way around ending with a slp.st. in the first stitch of beginning chain 6 (a total of 12 chain-6 loops). Slp. st. in next 2 st’s. of beginning chain 6, single in the chain-6 loop.

Rnd 4: Chain 8, *single in next chain-6 loop of previous rnd., chain 8,* repeat all the way around ending with a slp.st. in the first stitch of beginning chain 8 (a total of 12 chain-8 loops). Slp.st. in next 2 st’s. of beginning chain 8, single in the 4th stitch of the beginning chain 8.

Rnd 5: *Chain 6, single in the next stitch of the beg chain-8 loop. 13 Triple in the next chain-8 loop, single in the 4th stitch of the next chain-8 loop.* Repeat all the way around ending with a slp.st. in the first stitch of the beginning chain-6 loop. Slp.st. in the next stitch of the beginning chain-6 loop, single in the beginning chain-6 loop.

Rnd 6: *Chain 6 (counts as 1st triple & chain 3), triple in beginning chain-6 loop of previous rnd., chain 3, triple in same chain-6 loop, chain 3, triple in same chain-6 loop, chain 3, triple in same chain-6 loop. Total of 5 triples & 4 chain 3 spaces. Chain 4, single in top of 5th triple of previous rnd. triple grouping, chain 4, skip next 2 triples and single in next triple, chain 4, single in the next chain-6 loop, chain 3*. Continue around ending with a slp.st. in the 4th stitch of beginning chain 6. Slp.st. in the next stitch and single in the chain-6 loop.

Rnd 7: *Chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space, chain 7, single in the next chain 3 space, chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space. Chain 5, skip the next chain 4 space, 3 triples in the next chain 4 space, chain 5, skip the next chain 4 space, single in the next chain 3 space.* Continue on around ending with a slp.st. in the first stitch of the beginning chain 3. Cut and fasten off the thread and finish by sewing the tail in.

Rnd 7 at joins:

*Chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space, (@ normal chain 7) chain 3, single in the chain-7 space of adjoining motif(s), chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space, chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space.

(@ normal chain 5) chain 2, single in the chain-5 space of adjoining motif, chain 2, skip the next chain 4 space. 3 triples in the next chain 4 space.

(@ normal chain 5) chain 2, single in the chain-5 space of adjoining motif, chain 2, single in the next chain 3 space.*

Chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space, (@ normal chain 7) chain 3, single in the chain-7 space of adjoining motif(s), chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space, chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space.

Continue on around using the join counts *-* as required for attaching to adjacent motifs. If there are not adjoining motifs to connect to use the stitch counts for the regular Rnd 7 chains. End with a slp.st. in the first stitch of the beginning chain 3. Cut and fasten off the thread and finish by sewing the tail in.

Deseret Rose Motif Cloth Edging:

Rnd 1: Start with a single in one of the outer chain-7 loops along the straight side.

Down the side: *Chain 3, single in the same chain-7 loop, chain 8, single in chain 5 space, chain 8 (skip over the 3 triples of the previous round) single in next chain 5 space, chain 4. Triple in the joined chain-7 loops (between 2 joined motifs) chain 3, triple in the same joined chain-7 loops. Chain 4, single in next chain 5 space, chain 8, (skip over the 3 triples of the previous round) single in next chain 5 space, chain 8, single in next chain-7 loop.* Repeat down the straight side to the first open chain-7 loop of the corner motif.

Around the corner: Chain 3, single in same chain-7 loop, chain 8, single in the next chain 5 space, chain 8 (skip over the 3 triples of the previous round) single in next chain 5 space, chain 8. Single in the next chain-7 loop, chain 3, single in the same chain-7 loop, chain 8. Single in the next chain 5 space, chain 8, (skip over the 3 triples of the previous round) single in next chain 5 space, chain 8, single in the last open chain-7 loop of the corner motif.

Across the scalloped end: *Chain 3, single in the same chain-7 loop, chain 8. Single in the next chain 5 space, chain 8,(skip over the 3 triples of the previous round) single in next chain 5 space. Chain 4, triple in the joined chain-7 loops (between 2 joined motifs) chain 3, triple in the same joined chain-7 loops. Chain 4, single in next chain 5 space, chain 8, (skip over the 3 triples of the previous round) single in next chain 5 space. Chain 4, triple in the joined chain-7 loops (between 2 joined motifs) chain 3, triple in the same joined chain-7 loops. Chain 4, single in next chain 5 space, chain 8, (skip over the 3 triples of the previous round) single in next chain 5 space. Chain 8, single in the next chain-7 loop, chain 3, single in same chain-7 loop. Chain 8, single in the next chain 5 space, chain 8 (skip over the 3 triples of the previous round) single in next chain 5 space, chain 8. Single in the next chain-7 loop.* Repeat across the scalloped end to the first open chain-7 loop of the next corner motif.

Continue around the corner motif as before and around the cloth as directed. When you get all the way around to where your first started, slp.st. in the first stitch of the beginning chain 3, single in the beginning chain-3 loop.

Rnd 2:

Down the side: *Chain 4, single in the same chain-3 loop, chain 6, single in the same chain-3 loop, chain 4, single in the same chain-3 loop. Chain 6, single in the next chain 8 space, 13 triple in the next chain 8 space, single in the next chain 4 space. Chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space, chain 4, single in the same chain 3 space, chain 3, single in the next chain 4 space. 13 triple in the next chain 8 space, single in the next chain 8 space, chain 6, single in the next chain-3 loop.* Repeat down the straight side to the first open chain-3 loop of the corner motif.

Around the corner: Chain 4, single in same chain-3 loop, chain 6, single in the same chain-3 loop, chain 4, single in the same chain-3 loop. Chain 6, single in the next chain 8 space, 13 triple in the next chain 8 space, single in the next chain 8 space. Chain 6, single in the next chain-3 loop, chain 4, single in same chain-3 loop, chain 6, single in the same chain-3 loop, chain 4, single in the same chain-3 loop. Chain 6, single in the next chain 8 space, 13 triple in the next chain 8 space, single in the next chain 8 space. Chain 6, single in the last open chain-3 loop of the corner motif.

Across the scalloped end: *Chain 4, single in the same chain-3 loop, chain 6, single in the same chain-3 loop, chain 4, single in the same chain-3 loop. Chain 6, single in the next chain 8 space, 13 triple in the next chain 8 space, single in the next chain 4 space. Chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space, chain 4, single in the same chain 3 space, chain 3, single in the next chain 4 space. 13 triple in the next chain 8 space, single in the next chain 4 space. Chain 3, single in the next chain 3 space, chain 4, single in the same chain 3 space, chain 3, single in the next chain 4 space. 13 triple in the next chain 8 space, single in the next chain 8 space, chain 6, single in the next chain-3 loop. Chain 4, single in same chain-3 loop, chain 6, single in the same chain-3 loop, chain 4, single in the same chain-3 loop. Chain 6, single in the next chain 8 space, 13 triple in the next chain 8 space, single in the next chain 8 space. Chain 6, single in the next chain-3 loop. Repeat across the scalloped end to the first open chain-3 loop of the next corner motif.

Continue around the corner motif as before and around the cloth as directed. When you get all the way around to where your first started, slp.st. in the beginning chain-3 loop.

Cut and fasten off the thread and finish by sewing the tail in.