Perfecting the suit pip

I am officially back in the saddle with what started out as my 2015 North Carolina State Fair project, which was then transformed into my 2016 state fair project, and is now in what I hope is its final incarnation, my 2017 North Carolina State Fair project.

(If you have an hour or so, you can read the entire saga thus far here.)

One element of the project that has bedeviled me is the four corners of the afghan:

Four crochet corners with tambour crochet, crochetbug, crochet circles, suit pips, granny squares, crochet squares
The four crochet corners, blocked and drying

The corners are based on a card table tablecloth that my grandmother embroidered:

diamond corner embroidered card table tablecloth, crochetbug, crochet inspiration
One quarter of my grandmother’s card table tablecloth

and while the chains I crocheted and then secured in place were serviceable, they did not, to my mind, adequately celebrate my grandmother’s handwork.

So today, after spending more time than was advisable reading up on my paternal grandmother and grandfather’s pinochle exploits. I found this entry from October 16, 1928:

Club Was Entertained
Mr. and Mr.s William E. Bardelmeier were hostesses to the members of their pinochle club at their home on Wednesday evening. There were four tables.

The prizes were awarded to Mrs. Aug. Kahtz, Mrs. John Bardelmeier, Otto Stahlhut and Edward Barnett. A delicious luncheon was served.

One month later, my grandparents were back at the pinochle table as documented in this November 15, 1928 entry:

Entertained at Pinochle
Mr. and Mrs. John Kreuzer entertained their pinochle club at their home on Troy road last evening. The ravers were awarded to Mrs. Otto Stahlhut, Mrs. He. Feldner, S. T. Lindbeck and H. Feldner. A luncheon was served.

I got back to work on perfecting the suit pips.

I had the idea that v-e-r-y long bullion stitches might be just the thing, so I looked for a square I had crocheted that ended up being too small for the final afghan but was just right for practicing my bullion stitch embroidery:

crochetbug, crochet circle, crochet square, embroidery, diamond suit pip, bullion stitch
A blank crochet corner on which to practice my embroidery

After I found the square, I traced and then cut out a paper template from a 145% enlargement I had made of the original diamond suit pip and secured the template to the square with straight pins:

crochetbug, crochet circle, crochet square, embroidery, diamond suit pip, bullion stitch
A template for the diamond suit pip

Which turned out to be very awkward to work with, so I replaced the template with yarn scraps marking the corners:

crochetbug, crochet circle, crochet square, embroidery, diamond suit pip, bullion stitch
I mark the corners with scraps of yarn

I worked at least three of the sides twice, but eventually, I got all four of them done:

crochetbug, crochet circle, crochet square, embroidery, diamond suit pip, bullion stitch
The diamond suit pip with the yarn scraps still in place

And while my bullion embroidery technique isn’t quite there yet, I definitely made progress on the overall look:

crochetbug, crochet circle, crochet square, embroidery, diamond suit pip, bullion stitch
The revised suit pip

So when the sun rises on tomorrow, I will get out my yarn and continue to practice my bullion stitch until I have a result my grandmother could be proud of.

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