Whimsical Irish Crochet Motif – Victorian Doll Rattle
by Ann Reillet, c. 2015
I enjoyed making this as well as the research that went into creating it. Inspired from a Google search of items from the Victorian Era, I came across a chased sterling silver baby rattle with mother-of-pearl handle. My jaw dropped at the price and I discovered that, not only are they highly collectible, but pose a serious choking hazard. Thus it shouldn’t go without saying: this is not intended as a baby toy, but for use in Irish Crochet or for a doll only, complete with auditory squeaks and jingles.
Crochet Thread, size 20
Steel Hook, size 10 (1.30mm)
Scissors and Needle (for weaving in tails)
(2) Cotton Balls
(1) Squeaker, small 1 1/4″ (marketed for crafting dog toys) (Kongs, small Squeaker Refill $2.39)
(12) Jingle Bells, small 1/4″ or 1/2″ [I used 2 small 1/4″ per ball]
Swatch of fabric 2 3/4″ round (2 total) [I used a vintage napkin]
Strip of Lace, Fused Pearls and Velvet Ribbons, 5″ L x 1/2″ w
Office supply binder clamp, 1/2″ miniature
The finished piece measures 5″ L x 3″ W
Handle (make 2 ovals)
ch 35, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch to end (=34 sc), ch 1, turn
sc in first st, hdc in next 32 sts, 2 sc in last st, 1 sc in last st of prev row, do not turn
rotate for oval, working in the back single thread of bottom, sc in 1st, 32 hdc, 1 sc.
sc around perimeter, end, break thread.
Line up backs facing, whipstitch together, stopping occasionally to stuff with shredded cotton pulled from an ordinary cotton ball. When finished stuffing and sewing, close end and clamp with mini binder clip to flatten just the end.
Circle (make 2)
ch 4, dc in 4th ch from hook 13 times, join with sl st to 1st dc
ch 3-4dc-popcorn, *ch2, 5dc-popcorn, *repeat around, join with sl st in 1st pc
2sc in each ch-2 sp and 1sc in each pc, around, join with sl st
ch 3, dc in each dc and 2dc in each ch-1 sp, join TURN
sc, tr, alternating around, if curling put both sts in one st, join
sc, ch 4, sk 2, sc around, join with ch 1, dc, TURN
ch 1, sc in joining sp, *6 dc in next sp, sc in next sp, *repeat around, join.
In each valley work a *3-dc-tog, ch 4 and sc in center of next sh, ch 4, *repeat
sc around perimeter with 5 sc in each sp. End. Break Thread.
Circle Squeaky Pillow
Make a liner, (trace circle onto fabric and cut fabric to same size as circle, line up fabric fronts facing, hand-sew 2/3 with running stitch, turn inside out, stuff with cotton and squeaker, remove binder clip from handle and insert flattened end of handle, finish stitching.) Set aside.
In similar fashion to the liner, align crochet circles, fronts facing, whip stitch 2/3 of perimeter, turn inside out, stuff with liner/squeaky pillow, and finish sewing.
Attach thread on either side of the handle with a sc, *sk 2, [dc-ch2-dc-ch2-dc-ch2-dc], sk 2, sc, *repeat around.
Add crochet work around the top of the handle, closest to the circle. I did a small chain, worked once in sc, then dc, ch 1, sk 1, dc, followed by a row of sc. (This creates a space to lace like shoes a single thin ribbon strip [I used velvet and fused pearls]. To this I added 2 rounds of Irish Net (ch 6, sc in 4th ch from hook, ch 7, sc in 4th ch from hook, ch 2, sk 5, sc on sc for ribbon strip, repeat around twice. (This creates a net to cover a thin strip of lace and velvet trim that is sewn around the top of handle.)
Dangling Jingle Bell Balls (make 6)
ch 3, hdc in 3rd ch from hook 11 times to create circle, join with sl st to 1st hdc
(increasing round) ch 2, hdc in same, *hdc in next st, 2 hdc in next, *repeat around, join.
(maintaining round) ch 2, hdc in each st around, join
(decreasing round) ch 2, *hdc-2tog-decr, hdc in next, *repeat around
stop, insert jingle bells
(closing round) close circle with sc-tog-decr, ch 5, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each remaining ch. End. Break thread long, weave tail to end of chain and sew onto trim perimeter. Tie off, weave in, snip.