Horse chestnuts! They’re such cool trees, and I would never have known about them if we hadn’t moved to England. Their flowers are fancy and frilly, and they produce very hard nuts. Their leaves inspired the “Horse Chestnut Leaf” design in Cute Crochet World (pages 74-75).
The pretty “Chestnut Wrap” in the Fall 2016 issue of Love of Crochet features a trim made with joined Horse Chestnut Leaves. The magazine will be available on the newsstand in August. You can purchase the digital edition now at www.interweavestore.com/love-of-crochet-magazine-fall-2016-digital-edition.
Here are some step-by-step photos to help you visualize the instructions in the book. I’ve made two small improvements that will make the leaf easier to make.
Row 1 of the Horse Chestnut Leaf sets up the central veins for the five leaflets or lobes. Very easy. When you’re done, ch 1 and turn. In the original pattern, I didn’t include the ch-1, because you don’t really need it. However, the ch-1 makes it slightly easier to turn.
On Row 2, you’ll run into two unusual stitches. Find instructions for the htr (U.S. half double treble) here. The other is the stitch-top picot. I believe it leaves less of a gap between the stitches on either side of it. To make the st-top picot, ch 3,
…insert hook into the Front Loop of the previous stitch and under the loop that lies just next to it as in the photo above, yo and draw through all lps on hook.
St-top picot complete.
In Cute Crochet World, at the end of the first four lobes, the instructions say “rotate piece so you are looking at the base of the lobe, sl st around the sl st at ase of lobe,…” Instead of doing that, simply sl st in the space between the lobe you just finished and the next lobe. The photo above shows where to place the hook.
Row 3 is worked along the base of the lobes. The instructions take you through how to do each stitch. If it helps, think of it this way, sc-3dc-sc-together.
After the final yo and pull through all loops on hook, the base of the leaf pulls together and looks like this.
The very best way to finish the leaf is to needle-join the stem to the base of Lobe 5. After the last stitch of the stem, cut the yarn and pull the hook straight up from the last stitch. The end of the yarn will pull out of the top of the last stitch.
Thread the yarn end into a needle. Take the needle under the first sl st of Lobe 5, Row 2.
Then take the needle back into the top of the final stem stitch (the yarn is coming out of this stitch).
On the needle’s way down, catch the loop at the back of the leaf—see the photo above. Pull the thread through, adjust the new loop to a good tension, and weave in the end.