One of the joys of doing the blog-hops is finding the real gems. The day I found this one, I actually was praying about some other variations on a butterfly that we could do for the Craftivism Challenge. And there she was, my beautiful creative angel, Marie. You DEFINITELY need to check out her blog - she has all kinds of really amazing patterns, including several butterflies! This is the pattern she wrote down for our butterfly, in UK crochet terminology. And here's my tip if you are a crocheter in the US. Copy, paste, find, replace. Yes, it's a mnemonic. Mnemonics make life easy. Copy the pattern, paste it into a word processing program, find the UK terms and replace them with US terms. Seems simple enough, right? It is.
For the little beauty above, I copied the pattern from Marie's blog and pasted it into Word. I also took out most of the photos, because I just needed a photo of the finished product to gauge my progress. I clicked the "replace" button (which automatically finds and replaces), and started with the abbreviations. I substituted sc for dc, then dc for tr. Then I substituted for the words for these symbols (single crochet, double crochet). In three easy steps I converted this fantastic little pattern into my own crochet language.
So let me share with you how I made my butterfly from Marie's pattern. If you click through, you'll see how to start a pattern with a "magic chain". Since I know we have several beginners, we'll start with what we already know from our own projects here. If you want to give the magic chain a go, feel free. It's not that difficult (or at least not as hard as most people think it is). And once you learn it, it's another tool in your crochet tool belt. In this case, I chose to do the chain option.
I used a worsted weight acrylic yarn with a J hook. Marie used a sock weight yarn with a 1.75 mm hook. You can make these with any size hook and yarn your heart desires. When you check out her pattern, you can see that with a smaller hook and finer yarn, the butterflies develop a very lacy quality. And before I forget, a yarn needle is a must!
Here we go!
If you feel confident reading the pattern from here on out, go for it. If you've played along at home, you know how to read all the abbreviations. Aren't you proud of yourself?! One of the biggest hangups people have about crocheting and knitting is reading a pattern, and you can do it. You are a crocheter - hear you roar! If you're feeling a little less than confident (it is Monday, after all), we'll start together on round 1.
Chain (ch) 3. Make 2 double crochet (dc). This makes the first of 8 clusters that will go in this ring. Instead of inserting your hook into the chain itself, insert it into the open circle part of the ring. When you are done with those 2 dc, ch 2. This will act as your space between these clusters. 3 dc, ch 2 around until you have 8 clusters total. This is what it looks like going from cluster 1, which starts with the chain 3, and ending with cluster 2, which is a 3 dc cluster.
For round 2, you are now going to turn those clusters into shells, which will double the number of stitches. This will also make your piece get ruffly. Ruffly is good. Ruffly will get your piece to fold in half when you are done to make that gorgeous butterfly. By the way, you'll get ruffly any time you double the number of stitches from one row to the next, whether it's in the round or straight, sc, dc or something fancier. Just be aware. So here's the start of row 2 so you can see how the 3 dc, ch 2 works up into the shells.
And guess what you'll do next? You're right - ch 3, turn! You are getting so good at this - you are thinking like a crocheter! Woo Hoo!
Let's finish up round 3. After you ch 3 turn, work 7 dc in the next ch 2 space. No ch 2's this round - nope. These are going to be another variation on a shell, with many dc's worked into one space, and then anchored in the following (or other designated) space. When you've made your first shell (your turning chain and the 7 dc), sc in the next ch 2 space. Marie used sl st. Use whichever works best for you. Just don't use anything bigger than an sc, ok. Size does matter in some cases. This is the shell...
See how that stitch holds that last end in place and makes a firm foundation for the next shell? So keep working the 8 dc in a ch 2 space, then a sl st/sc in the next ch 2 space, all the way around. It will look something like this.
I made a few overcast stitches through the tops of the dc's to secure it, then wove the end in on the underside between the wing sections. Then, I trimmed it.
To make the antennae, I used a G hook, and chained 25. Then I worked one row of sc back to the beginning and finished off. Since I don't know how the museum intends to hang/mount the butterflies, I wanted to be sure the antennae had some stability to them. Make sure to weave in the ends.
Try making these with a size 10 crochet cotton and a 1.50 mm hook. Make them with a bulky yarn and a P hook. Make them with anything and everything in between, and don't forget to send them off to the museum!
And also, be sure to stop by Marie's blog and check out all her wonderful patterns. I'm heading back there myself to find a few more butterflies. Leave her a comment thanking her.