Monday, February 16, 2009

Crocheted Little Brown Bulb with Roots

Time to change the Nature table!

We have had King Winter, Mrs. Thaw, a white silk, a snowflake silk, white crystals, and Ollie's Ski Trip out for quite a while. Yesterday I noticed little crocus coming up under the trees so we have switched to Little Brown Bulb's tableau. A green and yellow silk, the crocus card from C. Mary Barker's flower fairies (you can get a postcard book of flower fairy illustrations from Amazon) in a cardholder, the grass growing kit (which has three different kinds of grasses growing cheerfully in the pots) from Smith & Hawken, and my little brown bulb I crocheted sleeping contently under a piece of brown roving. It's quite cheery and lovely. Actually, as a side note, the very minute after I said "I saw crocus coming up yesterday. I think King Winter and Mrs. Thaw are over," Natalie shouted, SNOW! And sure enough a few flakes were falling. But I changed the scene anyway because we always do when the crocus pop up. I also have the figures for a little sleeping bulb and the snowdrop that he becomes and Lady Spring (from a needle felting workshop with S. Down) but I was more in the mood for the sleeping bulb today.

I found this poem in my list of resources; I'm not sure of the original author. 

The Little Brown Bulb

A little brown bulb
lay asleep in the ground,
In his little brown nightie
he made not a sound.

King Winter he roared
and he raged overhead,
But the little brown bulb
never stirred in his bed.

But when spring came
tip-toeing over the leigh, (or sea)
With fingers to lips
as soft as can be,

The little brown bulb
just lifted his head,
Slipped off his nightie
and jumped out of bed.

Crocheted Root-Child Pattern
February 2006

This project is found in The Nature Corner: Celebrating the year's cycle with a seasonal tableau by M v Leeuwen & J Moeskops, page 22.

For this project I purchased Magallenes yarn, color 300 (beiges). This is a thick and thin hand-dyed 100% wool yarn which I think will give the perfect texture for the root children (I got mine at A.C. Moore but you can also buy it online). I am using a size I hook.

  • I began this project February 17 2006 and finished it February 21 2006.
  • I never was able to comprehend the directions for this project. Partially it was technique, I just didn't understand what they were talking about, and partially it was the yarn. The thick and thin is beautiful but I would not recommend it for a new crocheter since it is VERY hard to find your place. Here is my modified design:
  • I crocheted a single chain about as long as the reach of my two outstretched arms (hold the chain on one hand, stretch your arms all the way out and the chain should reach all the way across your chest to the other hand) and then tied it off.
  • I took a yarn needle and threaded it with some more of the yarn and simply started to sew the chain up into a little bag shape as was described in the directions. to make the bottom of the root-child, sew the chain around and around like a braided rug until it is the width you want. then begin to sew the chain vertically up around the edges to make a shallow basket and continue until you have a bag the depth you want. If you are holding the yarn needle in your right hand, put your left thumb inside the root child's body (upside-down) to help shape it. the finished project will look neater if you keep the loose end of your yarn, and your needle, inside the root child's body, thereby hiding your stitches.

    when you are happy with the length of your root child, then bring the chain in closer and closer to close it up at the top leaving a little room for the wool stuffing and the little face. my chain made a root-child which was a little over 2 1/2 inches long. if you have extra chain left over, just cut it when you're done and tie off the end.

  • for the face, I used a lightweight silk/linen blend fabric in a flax color and embroidered the face in matching thread (acutally, a little bit lighter) for a sort of tone on tone effect to make the child look very pale and sleeping. I just did a very simple face, one stitch for each eye and a small mouth embroidered in satin stitch.
  • For the hair I again used the Magallenes yarn. I made six 8 inch long braids of the yarn, three strands of yarn for each braid. again, you can easily cut your braids if they turn out to be too long and just tie off the ends, so it's better to make them longer than you think you might want and adjust them when the project is done. I sewed the braids evenly around the back of the doll's head where I wanted "hair" then arranged the braids as needed to cover any sewing marks or odd edges. I left the rest of each braid hanging down to resemble the little dried roots which hang off of a bulb.
  • Then I laid our root-child under a bed of "earth", color #3 from Weir Dolls (chocolate). If any snow comes we can simply lay some white wool on top of that.

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