Hello, and welcome to a very pretty little flowery-stripy Ta-dah!
This has been such a fun project, I've been feeling really ridiculously happy these past few weeks as I've worked away on it bit by bit. As you may remember, I started making the roses in early May, and the whole wreath making thing just seemed to naturally happen once the flowers started blooming. I guess I've had some sort of rose-smothered wreath idea sitting prettily in my head for a long time now, and May seemed like a good month to finally make it happen.
The base for the wreath is a 22cm polystyrene ring which I bought last year from a very good Ebay Seller (see here). There are quite a few different sizes available, also half-rings which have a flattened back for hanging against the wall.
I really adore the combination of flowers with colourful stripes, I think it's such a jolly happy partnership. My wreath was always going to be stripy, no plain one-colour nonsense for me.
These stripes were really quick to work up as each row is only 28 stitches wide. I worked the stitches in Half Treble Crochet [this is Half Double Crochet for US peeps], using a 3.5mm hook and lots of scraps of dk yarn. Some of the yarn is baby cashmerino, some of it is Rico Essentials Merino. It was brilliant fun putting the colours together at random, varying the number of rows for each stripe to give it even more of a mixed up feel. Not sure how many rows I did, I think it was eighty-something. I just kept checking the length of it around the circumference of the wreath until it seemed long enough.
Re the measurements, when I made the foundation chain, I tried to make sure it was going to be a nice snug fit around the polystyrene ring. The same thing applied to the finished length. Remember that crochet stretches and a nice snug fit gives a better finish than a loose baggy one.
Yiippeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!! Aren't these colourful stripes so beautifully joyful? They really do make my heart beat faster. Love love love them.
The first stage of making up the wreath base is to oversew the two ends of the stripy length together. Use a matching coloured length of yarn and stitch through the back loops only with a darning needle. You do this from the wrong side so that when you turn it over to the right side....
....the join/stitches are pretty much invisible (I've joined between the bright green and the red, can you see?)
The second stage is to stitch the ring of crochet together around the polystyrene form. The seam/join will run around the back of the ring so it won't be visible once the ring is hung up on the wall/door. I simply worked my way around making a small stitch into the end of each crochet row.
It's handy having the stripes as a guide cos you can use them to keep the rows lined up accurately with each other.
See how it begins to come together? At first it feels as if it's not going to work out, there seems almost too much crochet and not enough space for it to fit. But somehow it does all come together. The crochet rows stretch themselves out a little around the outer edge, and ruffle in a little around the inner edge.
Because you won't actually see the back when the wreath is hanging, you don't have to worry too much about producing a neat join. It can be messy as you like, so long as it does the job and holds it all together.
I was so very, very thrilled when the wreath was finally all stitched up and I couldn't wait to hang it up so I could stand back and take a good look. I ran upstairs and hung it on the bathroom wall, oh it really turned out great! So pleased! I loved the stripes so much I almost considered leaving it like this and not bothering with the roses after all.
But lots of the roses and leaves were already made, and I did really want to bring my May Rose Wreath into reality. It simply had to happen.
You may remember me telling you last week that I decided to add in a few teeny tiny flowers with my roses? They turned out so sweetly in yellow and blue, but the greenery was missing. So I came up with that funny little three-pronged leafy thing that you can see above there, to sit behind the flower.
......good eh? It means that the teeny tiny flowers get their greenery without a lot of fiddly hooking and messing about. The pattern for the Triple Leaf is very easy, as follows ::
Chain 4, join with a slip stitch to form a ring.
Chain 2, then work 2dc into ring.
Chain 4, then beginning in 2nd chain from hook work 1dc, 2tr, 1dc. Sl st in the same stitch as the last dc to finish the little leaf shape.
*Work 3dc into the ring
Chain 4, then beginning in 2nd chain from hook work 1dc, 2tr, 1dc. Sl st in the same stitch as the last dc to finish the little leaf shape*
Repeat between ** once more until three little leaf shapes have been made. Sl st into the top of the initial ch2 to close. Fasten off.
I also made some really weeny little flowers that I'm calling "Micro Flowers". It's hard to show you the scale of them, but they measure just 2cm across. Easy to do, as follows ::
Chain 5, then make a sl st into the first chain.
*Chain 4, then make a sl st into the very first chain*
Repeat between ** three more times until you have five chain-loop petals. Fasten off.
Just to explain, after each ch-4, you always go back to the very first chain to make your sl st, so in other words, that very first chain will become like a central ring.
I then used contrasting yarn to make some embroidery stitches in the centre just to add a little bit of detail.
Putting all my flowers and leaves together and arranging them in a pleasing way was actually the hardest part of the whole project. I fussed and faffed with them over many days, uncertain how exactly to go about it. I wanted it to be just right. This was always going to be an exuberant kind of a wreath, but at the same time I did want it to look pretty and not too ridiculous. I also realised that as I liked the stripes soooo much, I didn't want them to completely disappear under the flowers. As I say, it was quite tricky getting it right.
I decided to pin the flowers in place at first so that I could get the placement right before stitching them on. It was so easy to pin straight into the polystyrene, sooo easy, so much easier than sewing them on.............
Yeah, you guessed it, I was hit with a brilliant light bulb moment and thought....why bother stitching when I can just use PINS???!! Genius! I found the above pin wheels for £1 each in a local shop, and they were perfect for the job. You can find them on good ol' Ebay here.
I then simply chose a coloured head to match whichever flower or leaf I was pinning in place, and it was all done in a jiffy.
I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to showing you this finished project of mine.
It's so full of happiness and sunshine and fun.
And I already love it so so so much.
Do you like? Do you see how brilliantly the pin thing worked out? Do you love how beautifully the flowers sit with the stripes? How joyful it all is?
There are thirty seven components in total. As follows ::
2 double roses (use two strands of dk weight yarn and a 5mm hook, rose pattern here)
9 single roses (use dk weight yarn and a 3.5mm hook, rose pattern here)
12 single leaves (pattern here)
4 teeny tiny flowers (pattern here)
4 triple leaves (pattern above)
6 micro flowers (pattern above)
And they all came together in a horseshoe of sweet lovliness.
Sooooo sweet, I just really love it. I decided straight away to hang it on the door that opens into our main living/dining room.
When I was hanging the wreath up, I noticed that I still have that little piece of paper stuck on the door that says "this house is Best". It's been there for four and a half years now, since that's how long we've lived at number 24. I love how this house is evolving and growing as my family evolves and grows, yet so much still remains the same.
Thank you as always for sharing this sweet, flower filled journey with me. I do so appreciate your company along the way xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
ps I'm already thinking about a Christmas wreath :: stripes layered with holly leaves, berries, stars and maybe a few large layered Irish Rose type flowers.....