Leaf from Figures 79 and 82 in Priscilla Irish Crochet Book No. 2
Over the past summer Lily (Ms. Crochet) and I have been having a lot of fun working through some of the vintage Irish Crochet motifs from the "Priscilla Irish Crochet" books No. 1 and No. 2. Free downloadable copies in pdf format can be found on the Antique Pattern Library site http://www.antiquepatternlibrary.org/
Lily and I take turns picking motifs and then we work through them together trying to interpreting the old instructions. The language is often archaic and you have to try to figure out just what they are trying to say so we email back and forth if we run across something that can be interepreted in more than one way. For instance, a single crochet in U.S. terms is a double crochet in U.K. terms. Once you get used to it though it's not hard to convert your thinking.
Sometimes the vintage books just assume that you know something and they don't necessarily always explain what they mean. The Priscilla books often tell you how to do a technique once and then don't usually repeat the instructions again. The first book was written as a teaching tool and the techniques, once learned, are often repeated in various motifs through out the book. Sometimes they'll refer you back to a technique or motif that was worked earlier in the book and it turns into a treasure hunt, but that's part of the fun for me. :)
This past couple weeks Lily and I have "graduated" from just sending emails to actually crocheting together in real time using yahoo messenger. Quite a feat considering we live half way across the world from each other! Good thing I'm a night person and stay up all night.LOL When it's night where I live it's day time where she lives. Using head phones and mics we can actually talk to each other as we crochet and discuss what we think needs to be done next. It's the next best thing to actually being in the same room together. It's been great fun and the first night we actually finished this whole motif in one 8 hour sitting! Yes we are crazy! Whew!!! We enjoyed it so much and the time just flew by, but we have decided that we won't try that again! LOL
This motif was relatively easy to make and very gratifying. It's actually part of a collar which features grapes and leaves held together by a crocheted background. I decided just to make the leaf motif to learn how to do it. I made mine out of white #10 crochet thread for the working thread and size 3 crochet thread for the pc (padding cord). It's huge! LOL Lily made hers out of size 50 for the working thread and size 10 for the pc. She made her leaf green and also crocheted a pretty bunch of yellow grapes to go along with it. It's just beautiful.
The only thing that bothered me about this motif is the little 'sprig' off to the right side because it seems to not belong. I don't necessarly need symmetry in my designs, but this little 'growth' just seems out of place. If I make it again I may leave it off.
I hope you've enjoyed reading about our adventure.
I also belong to the Irish Crochet Lovers ravelry group. We are just about to start working a different motif every month as a group and I know that will be great fun too. They also have a sister group Irish Crochet Lovers yahoo group that goes by the same name. I've learned a lot from thes wonderful crocheters. They are always open to new members. :)