Monday, March 14, 2011

Luck O' The Irish: Multiple Pattern Reviews

Hi and welcome to a St. Patrick's Day installment of Crochet With Cris - I decided to make small lapel pins for folks at work and was looking around for a tiny shamrock pattern that would suit just my purpose; however, I found a LOT of shamrock patterns. I decided that since I couldn't decide, I should make lots of them - and what better way to work through them than to review each for my blog.

Now, in all fairness, not all of them asked to be made with worsted weight yarn - I decided to make all of them using Red Heart Super Saver yarn in Paddy Green and a US 7 hook (given to me by my wonderful Crochetville friend, Deb).

So, please do remember that not all of these are originally intended for use with yarn - I just decided to do it this way.

Shamrocks By Allison Weaver
Pattern Link:

Allison's pattern includes instructions on how to make 4 different shamrocks. Shamrock 1 and 2 in her pattern are pretty much the same other than the number of times you chain for the leaf of the clover.Clovers 3 and 4 use a cluster technique that I ended up (surprisingly) preferring on the 4 leaf clover.

I will say I did not like that shamrock 3 had a "ch 3 or 4" listed as part of the actual pattern. I think she should have given a definitive number and then included, as she did, in the notes on how you can go up a chain for the loop if you have problems with working into a smaller circle.

I am not convinced that I like how the stem of this pattern works up; however, if you weave your ends right and make sure you work the last chain closest to the clover on your return of slip stitches, then the stem looks great. If you miss the last hump or do not weave your ends in appropriately, then the stem has a weak spot up by the clover and it kinda flops around a little bit. I just made sure to weave my end around the center stitches and all was well.

What I definitely liked about this pattern file was the notes section. Allison took some time to let you know how you can use these little shamrocks. I personally will be making pins for my coworkers *smiles* Of the 4 shamrocks in her pattern, I definitely preferred the 4 leaf clover with shamrock 1 coming in a close 2nd.

Oh - as for time, I worked all 4 of these lovelies up in about 15 minutes.

I give this pattern 4 out of 5 balls of yarn (mostly cuz I adore the 4 leaf clover)

Tiny Four Leaf Clovers By Julie K
Pattern Link:

Julie posted her pattern on her blog in February of 2010. I have to say that perhaps if I had some more practice in making these, I may enjoy it a little more; however, with that said - I must admit I was not a terrible fan of this pattern.

I was looking for quick and easy and got a pattern that started with using the magic circle. Granted, the magic circle is something I can do it is just not something I "prefer" to do and I recognize that not all crocheters are familiar with the technique. Heck, I've been crocheting for a while and I rarely use it (in fact, I avoid using it as much as I can).

As for technicalities, I think it is a very tight squeeze working all the stitches requested into the 5 stitches created by the magic ring. Things got tight. My other complaint was the stem just gets lost in the entire design. If it were a little longer, I think it would stand out more and really add to the overall appearance of the clover.

This was not a quick and easy pattern in comparison to the others I tried although I do give props to Julie using a little different technique for her pattern. I would have to rate this one 3 balls of yarn out of 5.

One Piece Crochet Shamrock By Jan
Pattern Link:

After turning around and saying I detest the magic circle, I was thrown another shamrock pattern using this vile technique *laughs* Oh well, serves me right, eh?

I think the biggest difference between this pattern by Jan and the one above by Julie is this one allots one more sc into the magic loop. I was a little concerned when I started the first leaf on this one because you are working 6 stitches into one; however, it did turn out for the better.

I wish the stem had asked for the slip stitch to go into the back loop of the chain, but it did not. This is one adjustment I will probably make for my pins; however, this clover was well received by my husband and for that, I give this pattern 4.5 balls of yarn out of 5 (it would have been 5 if it weren't for the magic circle and the stem not slip stitching in the back loop)

Shamrock Pin or Fridgie By Catherine

Pattern Link:

I was glad to see this pattern did not use the magic circle; however, I have got to say that Round 1 left me scratching my head. You see, it says to repeat a pattern 3 times but at the end of the row it says you should have 4 ch-3 spaces. This was not so if you follow the pattern directly. I had to modify to adjust for this considering the picture shows a 4 leaf clover.

Another issue, while you cannot tell by any of my pictures, is that this clover was HUGE compared to the others. It was a good 3 inches across while all the others are around an inch. Obviously, this one is not going to make it as a small pin. This may have a lot to do with my using regular yarn and a larger hook. I just think it would have been nice to give a size on this one.

I had issue with the stem - you are to chain 8, per the pattern, and then sc into 6 stitches, skipping the first chain from the hook. Well, 7 is less than 8 which leaves you with a gap between the clover and the thicker portion of the stem. I went ahead and did the final sc to close the gap; however, this is something that should have been addressed before posting the pattern (unless they were going with the gap as part of the desired look).

My final issue with this pattern is that the stem and leaves are curling. This is partially due to size and then the combination of stitches. If it were blocked, perhaps it would lay flatter, but for this quick project, I was not wanting to block anything.

This review may sound negative but its not. This pattern does not fit my needs for the mini pin creation project I'm working on, but it does look nice. I think that there are a few flaws in the pattern which causes me to rate it a little lower, but a beginner crocheter could correct the math on this pattern and get a nice looking shamrock.

I rate this one 3 balls of yarn out of 5.

My Irish Baby Shamrocks By Cheryl
Pattern Link:

I must admit, I was hesitant to work so much into a magic circle (yes, ANOTHER magic circle). Instead of starting the pattern with a row of single crochet stitches, this one jumps right in and asks you to build the entire shamrock into the circle and then pull the circle tight when you are through.

I was hesitant but somehow it worked. I think it would have been nice if the pattern let you know you should leave a larger circle to work into, although if you read your patterns before you start working them, you would have known you'd be working a ton of stitches into it. Of course, when you go to pull it tight, there is a bit of a moment when you aren't quite sure it'll close. I had to pull my circle's yarn out using a hook to give it a good tug. It finally went (with a sigh of relief).

Of course, when you pull it closed, all the stitches on the ring ruffle up. I'm not sure if this is the desired appearance by the pattern designer, but I must admit, it takes away from the definitive shape I'd expect my shamrock to have. I do like that the stem is worked with a thicker stitch at the tip and a narrower stitch near the clover leaves. It reminds me more of a clover stem than the other patterns I have worked.

I believe this pattern is worth 3.5 balls of yarn out of 5 simply because I was not a fan of pulling a magic circle closed with that many stitches on it and I would have preferred the pattern to maintain the shape rather than have ruffled leaves. I am considering going to 4 out of 5 balls of yarn because of the creativity of the pattern being so different in technique from all the others.

Crochet Shamrock Magnent By
Pattern Link:

This pattern had me going back and forth throughout the 5 or so minutes it took to make it.

It is slightly larger than many of the shamrocks I have made; however, it was not so big to be a negative. I actually like the size in the end.

This one works up by dc'ing in the round and then adding a second row which combines hdc's and sc's to make the bumps of the leaves.

There are a couple things though that caused me to rate this pattern a little lower than I originally thought I would. I am not sure that this shamrock is quite defined enough. If it weren't for the green and being close to St. Patrick's Day, I'm not sure people would recognize this as a shamrock. The overall shape, if you take away the St. Paddy's day element, looks more like a flower (and I do think it would make a lovely flower).

I did not like how the stem worked into it. It almost felt like an after thought - such as it was a flower converted into a shamrock.

So, while I like the size and overall speed of how this one worked up, I am going to have to rate this one 3 out of 5 balls of yarn.

Four Leaf Clover By Karrie
Pattern Link:

Ok - this one leaves me perplexed. I wouldn't think that something so small could be made as complicated as this. I think the complexities stem from reading the pattern. There were a few things I found was not easy to read on the pattern.

Karrie said it was intermediate, and I would agree - but not because it uses the magic circle.

I really was not overly happy with the shape and would like to think it is because I made my stitches too tight or made a mistake in the pattern. I don't think I did but it is possible. I also gave afterthought that perhaps Karrie is from the UK and her treble should have really been a double - this could have set the shape off oddly.

What I do like about this pattern is what goes into the magic ring. Karrie used a combination of sc/ch to create small spaces which allows for more of a floral appearance in the center. I liked the effect of the spaces as opposed to straight stitching into a ring or the magic circle.

Because I'm not sure of this, I think I can safely give this pattern 2.5 balls of yarn out of 5. If this were a UK written pattern (which I looked all over the website for some indication of Karrie's origin) then I would up it to 3 balls of yarn.

My Shamrock Pin By Suzetta
Pattern Link:

This is my final shamrock pattern review and I do think it may be the oldest posted and perhaps in my top 3 of all the patterns I worked for this review.

I did not like the little bit of extra space on the leaves and I think the stem could have been a wee bit longer; however, I like the stem was worked with sc near the tip and sl st back down towards the main piece, making for a more triangular, realistic stem shape. I just wish it were longer.

I liked that it worked up quickly and required no expert or intermediate knowledge to complete.

I think that this pattern is worth 4 balls of yarn out of 5.

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. If you have a pattern you would like me to review, please contact me via email. I would love to hear from you!

Do you have your own comments to make about these shamrocks? Drop a comment below and let us know what you think.


CrochetBlogger said...

Wow - you definitely put some effort into this. Great to see since a lot of crocheters are skipping over St. Patty's in order to start on Easter stuff. Nice roundup.

CrochetBlogger said...

Wow - you definitely put some effort into this. Great to see since a lot of crocheters are skipping over St. Patty's in order to start on Easter stuff. Nice roundup.

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