Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class – Irish Crochet

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This post is part of my Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class: Lessons and Projects from Today’s Top Crocheters series.

After finishing up with my single crochet entrelac piece last week, I looked back at my Year of Projects poll results for inspiration.  Irish crochet, bead crochet, and wire crochet were in a three way tie for second place, and I chose Irish crochet for my next Crochet Master Class adventure.

The Irish crochet master featured in Crochet Master Class is Maire Treanor, who is known for her research into and revival of Clones lace.  Crochet was introduced to Clones as a form of famine relief in the 19th century, and eventually the lace from this town developed a reputation for its beauty.

My most powerful association with Irish crochet is the Irish rose motif.  (Apparently, I’m not the only one – there are four pages of “Irish rose” patterns on Ravelry.)  I don’t generally use a lot of red yarn, so I was happy to return to my wonderful skein of Araucania Ronco Multi.

I received this beautiful yarn from HappyMouseFairy at Knitted (who blogged about why she mailed me this particular skein here) back in May when I hosted a swap with some other members of the Blog Hub group on Ravelry.  This yarn may look familiar to you, since it also made an appearance during my aborted filet crochet project.  The filet crochet project has since been frogged, and the yarn has been waiting patiently in the bin for a new project to emerge from my mind.

I looked through my books and settled on two Irish rose patterns:

Irish Crochet (p. 173) from Margaret Hubert‘s The Complete Photo Guide to Crochet

and Traditional Rose (p. 30) from Helen Jordan‘s Textured Crochet.

I started out with Irish Crochet.

I’m not feeling it.  I’m sure it will look better blocked, but I don’t like the way the last 3 rows came together.  So I decided to turn to the Traditional Rose. I really love the look of this rose.  I even made another one, adding two additional rounds to the pattern.  My two Traditional Roses, side by side, for size comparison.

These multi-layered roses are what I associate most closely with Irish crochet.

From the side, you can see how each round of petals stacks underneath the previous layer.

After finishing both roses during a particularly long subway ride, I happened to notice how the nicely the small amounts of purple coordinate with my backpack.

I’ve vowed to make more projects for myself this year, and have even joined the 12 for myself group on Ravelry.  I considered making a brooch to attach to my backpack. But then I imagined the hard life this brooch would live, exposed to the elements and rush hour subway rides, dangling precariously on my backpack.  It is definitely much too pretty for such a fate.

I am contemplating transforming my rose into a piece of crochet jewelry.  Because I so rarely crochet for myself, I never have much to show for my crochet talent when I go to fiber events or classes.  While other people will be walking around with all manner of shawls, skirts, and sweaters, I will be hanging out with my store bought clothing.  I’d like to change that for 2012.

For more Year of Projects posts, visit When Did I Become a Knitter.

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