After reading through a couple free patterns for clovers / shamrocks to make some thread crochet pins for this coming Monday, I improvised this pattern. Nothing out there was quite what I was looking for, and I had a very specific idea of what it was I wanted. So after a couple abortive attempts, I came up with this. =)
-03/20/2009- :::Edited from "Shamrock Pattern" to "Lucky Clover Pattern" after a tip that shamrocks actually only have 3 leaves. In order to make this into a shamrock, leave out one of the pattern repeats from each round:::
-11/12/2009- :::Edited to add different stem option:::
Irish For A Day Shamrock Pin (thread crochet)
green crochet thread, size 10 bedspread weight
thread crochet hook, size 8-1.5mm (I used a size 9 or 10 because I have a squishy comfort thing on it)
st = stitch
ch = chain
sl st = slip stitch
sc = singe crochet
hdc = half-double crochet
dc = double crochet
tc = triple crochet
dec = decrease: pull up a loop in each of the next two stitches, pull a loop through all three loops on crochet hook
Pattern Notes: This patten is worked in a spiral by rounds, do not join to the previous round at the end of the currently completed round. I know most crochet patterns have you join with a slip stitch to finish a round but this one works out best if you don't. You will be looking at the "right side" (RS) of the work until the Stem and Finishing stage.
On round 2 you'll be working the top-side of your initial ch-4's as regular stitches and then around the other side where you sc'd in the back loop.
Sorry for the case of the blurries on the progress photos, it's just me and my two hands taking shots!
Also, I've seen many comments that this bit of crochet is "fiddly", so if you lose your patience or have trouble with small gauge yarns, you may want to try this in some worsted weight leftover first to see if you like how it progresses.
Foundation Round: leaving a 3-4" tail for working with later, chain 4, slip stitch in first stitch to join in a ring.
Round 1: (ch 4, 2 sc in back loop of 2nd chain from hook, sc in back loop of next 2 ch, sc in foundation ring), repeat 3x, do not join.
Round 2: (sc in next 2 st, 2 dc in next st, 4 dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, sc in next 2 st, sl st in next st) repeat 3x, do not join.
Round 3: (sc in next 2 st, hdc, 2 dc in next st [3 dc, 1 tc, 1 dc] in next st, dec, [1 dc, 1 tc, 3 dc] in next st, 2 dc in next st, hdc, sc in next 2 st, sl st in next sl st), repeat 3x, do not join.
Stem and Finishing: turn the clover over so you're looking at the "wrong side" (WS), slide your hook beneath any back loop between your last completed round and the tail of your foundation round, do a sl st in this loop. Ch 13, sc in back loop of 2nd ch from hook and in each of next 11 back loops. Break string leaving a 3-4" tail, ch 1 and pull loop through to tie off. Make a knot with the tail from the cast-on foundation row and your finished stem, cut excess string, pin safety-pin on.
Once I figured out how it would turn out best (and how to write out this pattern so someone other than me could follow it) it took between 15-20 minutes to finish one shamrock.
So now everyone else can celebrate the teensiest bit of Irish heritage in their blood like me (1 great-great grandparent straight off the boat). Enjoy! =)
Alternate Stem: After publishing my pattern on Ravelry people actually MADE it! There are quite a few lovely examples, and one caught my eye because of a great modification on the stem. It wasn't my idea, so I won't post it here, but be sure to check out the notes on laurazlsk's lucky clover pin.