Good Morning Dynamos! Today is Mims' first day of Kindergarten. It is a very big deal in our household. It required a special hair style...
I know what you're thinking: 'Jaime, why did you go an muck up a beautiful crochet butterfly with those gaudy rhinestones??!' and honestly, I agree with you, but I do have a good reason. Mims is five. Beautiful, subtle crochet anything doesn't interest her, but slap some rhinestones on it and suddenly it becomes so precious that it's like the butterfly was made out of gold. There is no accounting for taste when it comes to kindergarteners...
As for the butterflies, they remind me of my childhood. I got my first paying gig as a crochet artisan when I was nine. My grandma (yes, Mema, who I live with) and I had been at a holiday craft fair and saw some adorable crochet butterfly pins for sale. They were, like, $1 each (which was crazy huge money at the time, at least to my 9 year-old brain), but my grandma bought me one anyway. Being the original Junior Crochet Dynamo that I was, the first thing I did when I got home was try to figure out how it was made. I didn't actually take it apart, but I came close. It took me a couple of days to make a pattern that looked virtually identical to the butterfly pin.
It was at this point that my grandma, being the savvy Christmas shopper that she is, offered me a job. If I made enough crochet butterfly pins for all of the women that she worked with, she would pay me a quarter each. EACH!!! It was like the greatest deal of all time. I got to crochet a dozen butterflies, they would go to good homes, and I was getting paid for it! Best. Christmas. Ever! LOL!!!
Well, I made her the dozen butterfly pins that she had ordered, and I threw in an extra, just for her. She ended up hanging it in the kitchen, where it hung for nearly 25 years, until a plumbing disaster forced a kitchen remodel (don't even get me started on THAT drama! Yikes!) about 2 years ago. Which meant that when I wanted to do a cute butterfly when I first started Crochet Dynamite, I had no idea where my prototype butterfly was.
I was certain that the internet would hold the key to my happiness. I searched and searched and couldn't find any crochet butterflies that looked like MY butterfly. Finally, I found a pattern via my friend Mariel's website http://haakmaaraan.blogspot.com/ (which is an amazing source of inspiration, btw! Have you checked it out yet?) that I thought might be right. It sure looked similar.
The butterfly pattern over at Marie's Making (http://blog.mariesmaking.com/2011/05/crochet-butterfly-pattern.html) was very close, but when I made it, it was enormous! Okay, it's not that big, but it's larger than I expected it to be. It's about 2 1/2 inches across. I remembered that MY butterflies were simple, and I am sure I hadn't done more than 2 rounds because they were fast to make even then (before I became the record-breaking-speed-crocheter that I am now). Also, my butterflies had larger top wings, and smaller bottom wings, instead of them all being the same size, so clearly, I was going to have to 'wing' (ahahahahaha! I crack myself up!) a new pattern in order to get what I wanted. So, thank you for bearing through this terribly long post, here is your reward: The Butterfly Pattern I Wish I Remembered From My Childhood... Hmm... Let's just call it, Jaime's Butterfly from now on, okay? ;D
approximately 1 1/2 inches across
Embroidery Floss in butterfly colors (You can make 1.5 butterflies from one skein of floss)
Black Embroider Floss (for body and antennae)
Size C hook (Normally I don't care what kind of a hook you use, and being a huge Boye fan, that is the brand I normally do my projects with, but I was making a mess of the butterfly until I switched my hook to a Susan Bates hook. Suddenly, the floss didn't split, I was able to put the stitches where I wanted them to go, and my butterfly looked perfect. If I was ever certain of anything, it's this: The Hook Makes the Project! ...You can quote me on that, btw... So, if for some reason you are getting crazy frustrated with this project, switch your hook out for a different one...)
Gaudy Stick-on Rhinestones and Bobby Pins (if you need to make hair pins for your favorite little Kindergartener...)
R1: in a magic loop, ch 2 (counts as first dc), 2 dc, ch, (3 dc, ch) 7 times, sl st to the ch 2 to close round, there is no need to pull the loop tight, just pull it so that the stitches sit snugly next to each other (there will be eight 3 dc clusters, and eight ch spaces)
R2: (change color if you wish) DO NOT ch, 6 dc in next ch sp, sl st in center st of next dc cluster, (5 dc in next ch sp, sl st in center st of next dc cluster) 2 times, (6 dc in next ch sp, sl st in center st of next dc cluster) 2 times, (5 dc in next ch sp, sl st in center st of next dc cluster) 2 times, 6 dc in next ch sp, sl st in center st of next dc (this will kind of be over the top of the very first dc of the round)
Fasten off. Weave in ends.
Fold butterfly in half. Using an 8 inch length of black embroidery floss, tie the butterfly together, using a square knot at the top for a head. Leave about an inch of floss to be the antennas when you trim the extra off.
Now, if you're a normal person, you can use these butterflies for anything. I'm thinking they would make a sweet mobile for in a nursery... Or, do what I did, and just run a bobby pin through a few of the stitches on the back of the butterfly.
If you really want to crazy glam them up, the self adhesive iridescent rhinestones are awesome, and you don't ruin the butterfly forever if you decide you don't adore the crystals anymore... I just slapped them onto the wings, but you could get really fancy-schmancy and add them onto the body as well. Very glamorous! ;D