Monday, May 15, 2017

Chrysanthemums and Wickerwork - Part 2: In Filet Crochet

To continue on with this months theme.  I present a small runner in filet crochet.

With my current designing technique, I tend to design first and if I'm not working with an emotional tie, then the symbolism becomes an afterthought.  For fun I thought that I would look up some of the Japanese symbolism associated with chrysanthemums and wickerwork; since both of the pieces for this month are based off of Japanese sashiko techniques.

(The information that I found was gathered from books and websites.  Please feel free to correct me if I got something wrong.)

To start with there is the chrysanthemum.  This flower was found on clothing as early as the 12th century AD.  By early in the next century at was adopted for for imperial clothing.  In a stylized form it is still used by the Japanese government for official seals and for its passport.  The flower and its symbolism are said to have originated in China.  The chrysanthemum to symbolize the sun, nobility, purity, and long life.

Next there is the wickerwork.  This is a utilitarian repetitive motif without much attached symbolism.  Wickerwork is made by weaving together small pliable branches.  This technique can be use to make a great variety of things, but since the initial sashiko name for this design is "Ajiro" I am assuming that it refers to a basket weave.

The little runner is perfect to for a smaller shelf, or furniture top.  It can also be used to draw the eye to a small display space or simply be mounted to the wall.  Its size makes it a faster filet project to finish and easier to carry around.  I hope that you enjoy it.

Briscoe, Susan. The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook: Patterns, Projects and Inspirations. Cincinnati, OH; A David and Charles Book, 2011

Dower, John W. The Elements of Japanese Design: A Handbook of Family Crests, Heraldry & Symbolism. New York, John Weatherhill, Inc., 1979

Bess, Nancy More & Wein, Bibi. Bamboo in Japan. Google Books, Accessed May 15, 2017

Aung, Stevenson. Motifs in Japanese Design. Nalata/Nalata, August 15, 2015. Accessed May 15, 2017

If you would like a PDF of this pattern and have a Ravelry account, a copy can be found here.

If you would like a PDF of this pattern from Etsy, it can be found here.

Feel free to change the thread, gauge, or size to fit your needs.  Just please do not try to sell this pattern as your own.

If you have any problems that you think that I might be able to help you with, email me at .

Wicker Chrysanthemum Runner

(In Filet Crochet)

                        1) Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Thread, Extra Fine Size 30, 500 yards, White
                        1) Steel Crochet Hook, Size 11, 1.10mm
·         5.5 Filled Squares x 8 Rows = 1” x 1”
Finished Size:
                        7” (17.8 cm) Tall x 18” (45.7 cm) Long
·         Chart rows that are highlighted yellow are duplicate rows from a previous chart.
·         This pattern assumes that you are crocheting right handed.
·         Remember, the last double crochet stitch in a block is the first double crochet stitch of the next block.
·         Crochet terms in this pattern are in the American vernacular.

                        Filet Crochet
·          Filled Square = 1 Double Crochet Stitch through the top of the next 4 stitches from the previous row.                    
·          Open Square = 1 Double Crochet Stitch, Chain 2, Skip 2 stitches of the previous row, 1 Double Crochet Stitch in the top of the next stitch of the previous row.

·         Unfortunately, for ease of reading, the pattern had to be broken up over two pages.  The edges of each row and column are numbered and the section of the pattern is labelled with a header.  The sections are oriented as shown in the following table.  On the final page you will find the pattern in its entirety, but very small to fit on a single page.

Just the Beginning:
·         Base: Chain 43 (loosely) + chain 3 
-          (This the will create a base chain of 43 and the chain 3 will be the first double stitch of the wall of the first square)
·         Row 1: Turn work, double crochet into the fifth chain from the hook, double crochet into the next 41 ch


Monday, May 1, 2017

Chrysanthemums and Wickerwork - Part 1: In Cross Stitch

This month I decided to try something new with the designs and work within a theme.  If one looked at the beginning of the design process the theme would be sashiko.  I was looking at book on sashiko when I first got the idea.

Sashiko is a form of stitch work that started in Japan.  Originally it was a way for people to mend their clothing, but has since turned into it's own visual stitch form that is practiced by all sorts of needle workers.  The stitch patterns are all done with a running stitch on a usually dark background with contrasting thread.  It's beautiful.  One day I would like to try it for myself, but time is not on my side yet.

That said, I still like to peruse different art books to see what is out there and get ideas.  Sashiko is great for replicating and intermingled patterns.  After looking at some intricate motifs I decided that I would like to try some of the ideas in different stitch forms.

For this month the two ideas will be chrysanthemums on a wickerwork background.  To start off I tried it in cross stitch.

While working on this piece I also decided that I would like to experiment with variegated embroidery thread.  So I went for high contrast colors on a neutral background.  The chrysanthemum was originally a flower motif that I designed for filet crochet.  (Just wait, it's coming.)  The wickerwork background is similar to the stitch layout for the Ajiro motif as shown in The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook.

I hope that you enjoy this little project as much as I have.  Happy stitching.

Briscoe, Susan. The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook: Patterns, Projects and Inspirations. Cincinnati, OH; A David and Charles Book, 2011
Dower, John W. The Elements of Japanese Design: A Handbook of Family Crests, Heraldry & Symbolism. New York, John Weatherhill, Inc., 1979

Feel free to change the thread, the gauge, or the size.  Just please don't try to sell the patterns as your own.

If you would like to purchase a PDF download of this pattern from Etsy, it can be found here.

If you have any questions about the pattern, please email me at and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Flowering Weave Cross Stitch Pattern

·         18 Count Aida Clothe – Color: White
·         DMC 53 Thread
·         DMC 4210 Thread
·         Tapestry Needle
·         Embroidery Hoop

Finished Size on 18 Count Aida Clothe:
·         Approximately 3.9” Wide x  3.33” Tall

·         Each crossed stitch is done with two strands of thread over one square of 18 count Aida clothe.
·         All stitches are full crossed stitches.
·         When working with variegated thread, I find like to choose my stitching arrangements by how they fit together.  So I will stitch one entire petal before moving onto the next, or will stitch one full line before working on a bisecting line.