Friday, September 18, 2009

DIY –When Bad Patterns Go Good!

I was thrilled to open my mailbox yesterday and find an e-mail from Hind, of Alexandria, Egypt.

Long time readers will remember Hind as the talented creator of a series of Poodle Soap Cozies and Pincushion. She made those poodles more beautiful than I would have ever guessed was possible. And she’s done it again!

But I’ll let Hind speak for herself:

"I send to you today some variations on a certain pattern from your blog archive. I hope you will recognize it, although it is very much hidden under a pile of ribbon and crochet flowers."

Did I recognize it? Not at all! After all, this is the original photo from 1952:


Let's look at the rest of Hind's photos, instead:

Hind writes: “It is the amazing, unique, flower-pot cover project. I tried hard to figure it out, following the trial and error method. I don't think that it was a planned project at all, as the crochet squares are incomplete. There should have been a 10th round, for which the 9th round is a chain scallop foundation, exactly as the 7th round is a chain foundation for the 8th.

I don't believe that the lady who has crocheted those pretty squares is the same one who had that bright idea of crumpling them, to force them to take the shape of the rounded pots, without much success, as the photo shows.”

Hind successfully transformed this pattern from badly-fitting flower pot diapers to an elegant pillow and set of doilies that you could display with pride anywhere. Amazing!


Hind has a theory about the origins of this pattern:

“My idea is that the staff of editors of that book were facing a financial problem which forced them to hurry up and print the issue they had not finished. They had some empty pages which had to be filled at once so they grabbed anything they found and came out with that strange idea on the spur of the moment.

One of them tried to figure out the pattern and write it down, in a haste trying her best to ‘stretch’ the written instructions. Meanwhile an artist was painting the picture in the frame, while one or two colleagues were busy sewing, tying, and trying to fit the crochet lace on the pots. They even forgot to put a plate under each pot to protect the polished table-top from water and scratches. They took one photo, sent the book to the printer, and hoped that nobody would be so foolish to try to make that unbelievable thing.”

Hind’s theory sounds completely plausible to me!


She further explains:

“My work is an attempt to use that pattern, in the way it was meant to be. I first made the small set of three doilies. I joined the squares on the 6th round. The rounds 7, 8, 9, 10 form the border. I made the pillow cover the same way, using thin Acrylic yarn, while all the doilies are made of unbleached cotton thread.”

“The square doily is the closest attempt to recreate the original pattern, as the missing 10th round suggests that the squares were meant to be joined by picots, to keep a certain distance between the individual motifs. I kept the border simple, because I did not want to distract the eyes from the main pattern. I hope that I have done justice to the unknown designer, whose work was so badly treated in the past.”

Kudos to you, Hind, for finding beauty in a very unexpected place!

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