crochet · tutorial

Butterfly Nursery Mobile

Our baby girl is due in 11 days and the word of the hour [day, week, month] is “nesting.”

Butterfly mobile

I took inspiration from Pinterest, of course. I feel that Pinterest is a kind of Oracle of Delphi for today’s DIY-er and consult her frequently.

The mobile is made from the inner ring of a cheap bamboo embroidery hoop.

Side note: to salvage the outer ring of the hoop for another project, I bent the metal fasteners back and forth until they popped neatly off and scotch-taped the hoop closed to form a complete circle. I’ll make something else out of it later like a trendy dreamcatcher or a piece of awesome wall art. Score.

hoop with tape

Back to the mobile.

Instead of wrapping the yarn around the hoop as recommended by the Oracle, I thought: “But–I’m a CROCHETER and I want to CROCHET, not wrap yarn!”

I raised my trusty size G [4.0 mm] hook into the air with hubris (not pictured).

And proceeded to single-crochet around the hoop. Which is kind of a tension nightmare until you’ve done it for awhile and get a rhythm going. I had to stop frequently to squish the stitches together so they’d actually cover the hoop. It seemed to take forever.

sc around the hoop

I ended up despising the wiggly, messy seam it created along the edge and no matter how I pinched and fussed with it, would show when I held the hoop aloft and looked at it. I considered tearing it out in a frenzy of pique.

Instead I took a walk to let the healing balm of nature soothe and inspire me. I guess it worked.

butterfly

I stitched double crochet shells (7 sts) with a 3-st center picot evenly around the hoop and you know what? I liked it.

Hurrah! Crochet again rules the world!

The shape reminds me of a merry-go-round or a big top circus tent with its bunting trim.

picot shells

On a previous visit to the Oracle, she delivered this darling free pattern for butterflies (it uses British crochet terminology, so watch yourself!). I made a few as written, squealed with delight, and began to play fast and loose with the pattern.

To make the smaller butterflies, I left off the final round of crochet on some. On others I used half-double crochet instead of double crochet to make them shorter and more compact. More Butterflies

I added long picots to the bottom wings to create some swallowtails on a few butterflies. For some, I made taller stitches–trebles and double-trebles–in the middle of the wing to round out the upper or lower wings more, give them some extra flair. Did the same at the bottom of some of them along with the picots to make more pointed fantails.

Butterflies

I hit them with a little spray starch and put a press-cloth over them before pressing with a steamy iron to get them good and flat.

I was ready to attach them and I knew it might be tricky. The Oracle had been silent on the matter of how exactly one ought to string one’s mobile charms, and it made me nervous.

Truth? During my pregnancy I have never missed alcohol more than when I was attempting to hang these butterflies.

In spiral formation.

At the right height.

Evenly.

Using skinny, weightless sewing thread.

Sigh.

More frenzies of pique as I worked on stringing butterflies while watching the dark, depressing second season of True Detective with my husband.

But I enjoyed the irony.

And I looked exactly like this.

true detective

In the end, it came together, and I feel charmed each time I walk into the nursery and see this.

finished mobile

Totally worth the aggravation.

Thanks for visiting!

♥ knit, crochet, love; rep from ♥ forever,

Sara Kay

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10 thoughts on “Butterfly Nursery Mobile

  1. Hi, love this!!! Any chance you could you please describe in a bit more detail (stitch by stitch) how you did the shell with picot stitches for the hoop??? I love how it turned out and would like to try it myself!! 🙂 thanks so much!

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    1. Hi Paige! My baby girl arrived and turned my world upside down and I’m just getting back to the blog! 😉 Okay, so to work the picot shells around the hoop, here are the instructions:

      Picot Shell: (4 dc, ch 3, sl st into top of 4th dc, 3 dc) worked into same stitch.

      Space picot shells evenly around the hoop. I ended up with 24 fitting neatly around my hoop. Don’t worry if it doesn’t come out perfectly, just adjust the spacing toward the end so that it’s pretty close. I think it will look great! Thanks for your question!

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  2. Love your mobile. I became a grandma 6 months ago to an adorable little girl called Harbor. Decided to turn your idea into Easter fun. Hope you like it. Thank you for the idea. Anne x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Anne, Thank you. What a blessing, my little one is 6 months old tomorrow! Harbor is such a beautiful name. I’d love to see a picture of your Easter project. Do you have a blog or a place you share your projects? Sara 🙂

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