Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tiptoe through the Tulips . . .

Tulip Time Hostess Set from Coats & Clark’s Hostess Book, 1956

Here’s a housewife who really knows how to celebrate springtime! Veronica’s invited over the entire Bridge Club and she’s going to treat them to an afternoon tea to remember. Everyone gets six chilled shrimp, two lime wedges, and exactly one table spoon of Marinara sauce.

The Marinara sauce is what gives the spread a soupçon of European sophistication. And the grapes perfectly match the placemats!

Yes, Veronica’s going to show them all that she won’t be upstaged by some ticky-tacky Rose Bouquet Hostess Set. Who does Betty think she is, anyway? Why, those boring squares of lace she made don’t even look like real roses! Unlike the Tulip Time Hostess Set which features instantly recognizable pink moths – er, tulips!

Lots and lots of tulips. Each individually crocheted and sewn in place over hours and hours.

Veronica shudders and lights a tea candle. Crocheting one hundred tulips will be worth it, she tells herself. Thanks to her tons of tulips, her party will be a legend on Wisteria Lane.

She’s absolutely correct. Though the legendary status had more to do with the discovery that very afternoon that Veronica and Betty were twin sisters separated at birth, and that they were both married to the same man, a red-headed cad.

However, everyone else agreed it was the best Wisteria Lane Bridge Club party ever.

For the complete pattern (and more snark):

Tulip Time . . . S-900

J. & P. COATS BIG BALL BEST SIX CORD MERCERIZED CROCHET, Art. A.104, Size 30: 9 balls of No. 15-A Shaded Dk. Pinks; or

CLARK’S BIG BALL MERCERIZED CROCHET, Art. B.34, Size 30: 8 balls of No. 15-A Shaded Dk. Pinks.
Yes, Coats has one big ball. Clark has another big ball. Put them together and they’ve got...

Lots of yarn, of course!
COATS & CLARK’S O.N.T. SIX STRAND EMBROIDERY FLOSS, Art. C.11, 5 skeins of No. 48-A Dk. Hunter’s Green.

Milwards Steel Crochet Hook No. 10.

2 yards of green linen, 36 inches wide.

Place Mat measures 16 inches in diameter.

PLACE MAT (Make 4) – Tulip – Center Petal . . . Starting at Center, ch 16. 1st row: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, half dc in next ch, dc in next ch, tr in next 9 ch, dc in next ch, half dc in next ch, 3 sc in last chain. Work is now done in rounds. 1st rnd: Make a sc in each ch of starting chain, 3 sc in side of end sc, sc in each remaining st across. Join. 2nd rnd: Ch 3, 3 dc in next sc, * dc in next 2 sc, 2 dc in next sc. Repeat from * around, making 3 dc in center sc of 3-sc group. 3rd rnd: Ch 3, dc in next dc, 5 sc in next dc, * dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc. Repeat from * around, making 5 dc in center dc of next 3-dc group. Join and break off.
There’s absolutely nothing amusing about Coats and Clark’s Big Balls.

Crocheting is serious business!
SIDE PETAL (Make 2) . . . Starting at center, ch 22. 1st row: Sc in 2nd ch from hook, half dc in next ch, dc in next ch, tr in next 15 ch, dc in next ch, half dc in next ch, 3 sc in last ch. Work is now done in rounds. 1st rnd: Work as for first rnd of Center Petal. 2nd rnd: Work as for 2nd rnd of Center Petal to within last 12 sc at end of rnd, half dc in next sc, sc in next sc, sl st in next sc (inner edge of Petal). Break off.

This is your final warning, ladies. I will not tolerate any more of this suggestive humour.

Although, this gentleman is welcome to tiptoe through my tulips any day.
Sew 2 Side Petals to Center Petal to form Tulip. Starch Tulips and pull into shape. Cut a circle of linen 16 inches in diameter. Roll a narrow hem. Draw a circle 3 inches in from edge. Using 3 strands of Embroidery Floss, embroider chain sts along the outline of the circle. Divide this circle in 22 equal parts and mark with pins. Draw a stem from each pin mark toward outer edge and embroider in chain sts. Sew a Tulip to each stem.
Stop tittering! I wasn’t suggesting anything sleazy. I was simply inviting him to Ottawa. Tomorrow’s the first day of the annual Tulip festival, and everyone is invited to tiptoe through our tulips . . . well, sort of.

To quote the Ottawa Information Guide: “Enjoy tiptoeing through the tulips (actually, please don't tiptoe through them – it is just an expression)! But do enjoy the colours, the sounds and the fresh spring air!”

How very Canadian of us to invite strangers to our capital, and then politely inform them that they aren’t allowed to engage in the very activity they came here to do!
APRON . . . Cut a semi-circle 15 x 31 inches. Roll a narrow hem around curved edge. Draw a line 3 inches in from edge, leaving top edge free. Divide this ... into 25 equal parts and complete as for ... Gather top edge to measure 15 inches. W ... ing material make waistband and ties and ...
Sadly, a corner was ripped off of this pattern. Possibly by Betty in a last ditch effort to prevent Veronica from upstaging her. But I’m sure the missing parts will be easy to fill in.

For example, “... make waistband and ties and then use them to restrain your guests in their chairs as you force them to endlessly ooh and ahh over your dozens and dozens of crocheted pink tulips.”

See? Easy as tiptoeing through tulips!

Click here for the printable pattern.


  1. Another brilliant amalgamation of links and laughs! Thank You!

  2. Boy, am I glad I found your blog while looking for "new" crochet ideas. I can't wait to make a few of these as gifts for my friends. Will they be surprised ;o)

  3. Sel and Poivre (I keep wanting to write Sel et Poivre!) - thank you! I'm glad I can make you laugh.

    Jeannie - hey, if you do make some of these patterns, please send me pics! I'd love to see how they turn out, and I'd also be delighted to write up a post featuring your work.

  4. Will do. The stocking hanger is really calling to me.

  5. I LOVE Your blog! Brilliant :-)

  6. And since it's likely to be a Tulip STALK Festival year (at least the tulips are mostly gone at my house), maybe the NCC will have to crochet some...

  7. Lucky Lady - thank you so much! I'm glad you're enjoying my blog.

    Anne - you're so right! The tulips are looking very sad right now.

    If I had more time, I'd crochet up a dozen, tie them to shisk kebab sticks, and put them outside in the beds. ;-) Maybe next year!

    At least the daffodils are still looking perky!

  8. what ever happend to Tiny Tim these days anyways? lol

  9. Anony, I'd imagine he's decomposing nicely among the tulips these days, as he died back in 1996. However, he died doing what he loved best, performing on stage at the Women's Club in Minneapolis.