Hello to Jan G. and her Knitwits group! Jan asked for a tutorial about the Paired Leaflet Frond, which is part of the “Trillium and Fronds” pattern (pp. 126-127) in Crochet Garden. Thank you for asking!
The Paired Leaflet Frond’s delicate construction is worked from the top down, opposite of how we know a frond or vine grows. It has a single top leaf, which you can see on page 16, where the Paired Leaflet Frond is featured in the section on Steam Blocking. In the rest of the book, we used it as a stem, so the flowers are hiding the top leaf.
Reminder: In Crochet Garden, when you see a list of stitches, you are meant to put each stitch in the next st of the row below, unless otherwise instructed. For instance,
“2 hdc, sc, sl st” means
“hdc in next 2 sts, sc in next st, sl st in next st”
Once you have finished the top leaf, *ch 15.
To make the first leaflet of a pair, sc in 3rd ch from hook, hdc in next 2 sts, 3 sc in next st. Those last 3 sts are going to cause this leaflet to bend back in the direction of the top leaf.
For most crocheters, this will be the left-hand leaflet. Photo A shows the frond up to this point. The arrow points to the st with 3 sc in it.
Now for the second leaflet: ch 6 (see Photo A2), sc in 3rd ch from hook (arrow in Photo A2), hdc2tog over the next 2 ch-sts, sc in next ch, sl st in the same st as the 3 sc from the first leaflet. This stitch will be stretched out, so you should be able to see it well.
Photo B shows the completed second leaflet. That last sl st is on the hook.
Here’s the tricky part. You need to turn the paired leaflets so that their base is up, their tips pointing away from the hook. When I rotate them counter-clockwise (the direction of the arrow in Photo B), everything comes out in the right places: the top leaf hangs away from the hook, the yarn is behind the work and the hook in the proper working position.
Now yarn over (see Photo C, where you can see the tips of the leaf pair pointing away from the hook).
Pull the yarn through the st on the hook. The new stitch you create will show between the two leaflets (see Photo D, where the arrow points at this stitch). Now you are in the correct position to start again at the * and make as many leaflet pairs as you like.
You can make the distance between the leaflet pairs shorter or longer by chaining less or more than 15 sts at the beginning of each repeat.
Hope this helps, Jan!