Irish Crochet Motif – Cyclamen
by Ann Reillet, c. 2015
Cyclamen is a Medieval Latin word derived from ancient Greek “kyklos” meaning “circle,” which describes the tubular pinwheel-like flowers. There are 23 species of cyclamen in the primulaceae (primrose) family. They’re native to Europe, the Mediterranian basin, Iran and Somalia. They’re pretty and fragrant yet oddly shaped and grown; sprouting in autumn to bloom in winter. They’re dormant when other flowers are in full blossom. Cyclamen are commonly called “Persian Violets” or “sowbread” because pigs are said to eat them, but they’re not a violet and their roots and tubers are toxic.
This crochet cyclamen uses a heart shaped leaf from a vintage pattern. The flower is made flat, all at once, then rolled and sewn using the tail. Stems are added separately and sewn at top and bottom. The sample above measures 6″ h x 3 1/2″ w. In IC (Irish Crochet) the netting would be made around the flowers and leaves, but the vines are easier to sew upon the ground.
- Crochet Thread, size 20
- Steel Hook, size 10
- Needle (for sewing & weaving in tails)
- Blocking/Pinning Board (for shaping)
Sophie’s Heart Shaped Leaf (Make 3)
This leaf, based on a circa 1900 pattern by Sophie T. LaCroix
• ch 10, sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each remaining ch to end, 2 extra (3 tl) in last ch to rotate for oval, sc in back loop of each ch on this opposite side to end, do not join.
• ch 4, turn, dtr (yo2x) in same, 2 dtr in each of next 3 (=8 dtr / 4 sts used), 1 dc in each of next 3, hdc in remaining, 2 extra in last st to rotate for oval, mirror sts on this opposite side to end, do not join
• *ch 1, turn, 1 sc in each st around [+2 to rotate corners], join, *repeat 1 time
• End. Break thread long. Use tails to sew the 3 leaves together.
Heart Shaped Leaf Pattern Source: Published by St. Louis Fancy Work Co., St. Louis, Mo. in 1900 under Old and New Designs in Crochet Work, Vol. 2, by Sophie T. LaCroix. It is recreated here from the 1915 edition, page 15 of 32. The original pattern can be viewed at the Antique Pattern Library: http://www.antiquepatternlibrary.org/html/warm/catalog.htm#AUTH_L
Open/Roll Petal (Make 2)
• ch 17, hdc in 3rd ch from hook and in each remaining ch to end. ch 1, turn
• seed st (alternate a sc followed by dc across row ), **ch 13, turn
• sc in 2nd ch from hook, hdc in next, dc remaining excepting last 2 chs, then hdc, sc, sl st in beg, ch 1, turn
• sc in each st back up the petal, excepting last st, sl st, ch 1, turn
• sc in next st, hdc in next, dc in remaining, excepting last 2 sts, then hdc, sc, sl st in beg, ch 1, do not turn
• sc in next two seed sts and repeat from ** until 5 petals have been created. End. Break thread long.
• weave in the short beg. tail only, fold the base around and use the long tail to sew in place. Do not cut remaining thread, but later, use this tail to sew the vine to the leaf.
Bud (Make 1)
• Beg. with ch 10, follow petal pattern, excepting 3 leaves instead of 5. At end, sew the base and also the petals.
Vines (Make 3)
• First cut a piece of thread 3x the desired length, fold in half, then fold in half again.
• ch length desired. Attach the folded thread with a sc on solid end over 2-strands, then sc over all 4-strands into each ch to end. Break thread long. Use tail to sew the vine to the petal.