This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘filet crochet’

Pattern: Filet Crochet Matzah Cover

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 24, 2012

Matzah Cover

Matzah Cover Pattern

To download a full-sze version of the chart, click the image above. On the Flickr page, right-click the image and choose Original. Click the Download link and save to your hard drive.

The matzah cover design is 11.5 inches high and 12.5 inches wide, at a gauge of 6 squares per inch. I don’t recall what thread or hook I used, but they must have been fairly fine. Mine was designed to cover a 3-compartment matzah holder for square machine-made matzah. Of course, a fabric backing or matzah holder is optional, but it gives the cover a nice finish.

The chart is 96 squares high and 85 squares wide.

Matzah Cover, 1873

And for a little visual inspiration, here’s an embroidered matzah cover, surreptitiously photographed at the Israel Museum. It is designed to cover large round matzahs. The triangular tabs at the bottom, labeled “Kohen,” “Levi,” and “Israel” for the three matzahs representing the three parts of the Jewish people, are attached to layers that divide three compartments. The name embroidered below the crown is Avraham Shtern-something. I can’t quite make out the last two letters after the resh. Probably polychrome silk on silk satin, although I can’t swear to it because I’m going by a photo, not the actual artifact (and they’re not likely to allow me to handle the fabric, in any case). It’s almost certainly professional work, judging by the materials, the gold bullion letters, and the stones set in the crown. The ruffled lace edging looks like chemical lace.

Matzah cover

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Tutorial: How to Make a Needlework Chart with Visio

Posted by Avital Pinnick on April 20, 2012

Visio for needlework chart

Crocheted matzah cover

This year I didn’t pack my filet crochet matzah cover away right after Pesach. Someone who saw my Flickr photo requested the pattern and I decided to make it available. The only problem was that I didn’t have any charting software.

Years ago, on my Windows95 machine, I had an old copy of PC Stitch, which was adequate for charting but not ideal. To be honest, it felt like an old DOS program that had been ported into Windows, which was probably what it was. I decided to use MS Visio 2007 (part of the Office suite) to see whether it would work. Voilà — A chart in one evening!

Note: I know that some people use Excel for charting. It is easier to use and more readily available than Visio. Visio’s main strength is that it is a graphics program with a built-in grid (you’re laying your grid lines on top of the background grid lines, which don’t show in the finished drawing). You can export your finished design as a PDF or JPEG. You can re-use the grid for other designs by hiding or deleting your current design layer.

How to Make a Needlework Chart with Visio

  1. Launch Visio and open a blank block diagram, stretching the canvas until its large enough for your design by pressing Ctrl and dragging the edges.
  2. Make sure your Drawing Tools toolbar is visible (right-click the toolbars and make sure the Drawing toolbar is checked).
  3. The grid is visible by default. If it isn’t, click View > Grid.
  4. Snap-to-Grid is enabled by default. If it isn’t, click Tools > Snap & Glue.
  5. Click the Line tool on the Drawing Tools toolbar and draw horizontal and vertical red lines, 10 squares apart.
  6. Select the red lines and save them to a layer called “grid_red” (Format > Layer).
  7. Lock the “grid_red” layer (View > Layer Properties).
  8. Draw a grid of black lines. This isn’t as tedious as it sounds: Draw one black line. Duplicate (Ctrl-drag or copy/paste) them until you have 9 parallel lines positioned correctly. Select all 9 lines and group them (Ctrl-G). Copy them (Ctrl-drag) them between each pair of red lines.
  9. Save the black lines to a layer called “grid_black” and lock it.
  10. Creat another layer called Design (View > Layer Properties. Click New). Check the Active checkbox so that all things you draw from now on will be saved to that layer (this should happen anyway because you have locked the grid layers).
  11. Draw a black square, no line, to fill one of the squares. Using Ctrl-drag to duplicate the box, start filling in the letter shapes. If there are long horizontal or vertical lines, stretch the black square to fit. Copy and paste duplicate letter shapes.
  12. Save file. You can export as JPG or PDF (File > Save as).

When I’ve laundered the cover, blocked it, and photographed it properly (the photo above really doesn’t do it justice), I’ll post the pattern.

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