Christmas Crochet Ideas

Christmas Crochet Ideas

Christmas Crochet Ideas

I mentioned in my post “Are You On Track For Christmas?” that I have rediscovered some books with Christmas patterns in them that I had forgotten I had. They contain a number of fun ideas for a range of projects which I thought I would share with you. I have taken photos of some of the projects and hope they will provide you with some inspiration.

Christmas Crochet IdeasOne book that had a number of crochet ideas in it was the Patons book 304 “Traditional Christmas”. It contained knitting projects as well, but I am going to focus on crochet in this post. (This photo is of the back cover.)

There is a lovely pattern for a Christmas afghan in this book. As we are now well into November it would be a big ask to get the afghan finished for this Christmas, but the pattern is done in squares which would be well suited to being adapted to a smaller project. It might be a nice idea to make cushions instead using different combinations of the square patterns.

Christmas Crochet IdeasOne pattern which really caught my eye was for a wall hanging Advent Calendar. This is probably not a possibility for this year either (unless you are a much quicker crocheter than I am), but I am definitely filing this away as an idea for next year. I will have a look around to see if I can find any patterns for similar projects too.

Some other ideas which might appeal to you are things like crocheted wreaths, table centres, or even a complete table setting. The possibilities are endless, you just need to look around a bit for inspiration. I suggest that you check out some of my affiliate sites listed below by just entering “Christmas” in their site search bar. Enjoy your browsing!

Affiliate sites:

Leisure Arts, Craftsy, Annie’s, Knit Picks, LoveKnitting, Creative BugConnecting Threads

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

So What Is Lace Anyway?

 So What Is Lace Anyway?So What Is Lace Anyway?

What do you think of when you hear the term “Lace”? If you are anything like me you will probably think of something white, intricate and delicate, possibly even frilly. We usually associate lace with things like wedding dresses, christening gowns and ball dresses. Lace fabric and trims are often used for special occasions like these.

A fairly generic definition of lace is “a fine open fabric of cotton or silk, made by looping, twisting, or knitting thread in patterns and used especially for trimming garments.” As you can see, this includes a lot more than the traditional idea of lace. I would like to share with you some personal examples I have at home.

So What Is Lace Anyway? So What Is Lace Anyway?The more traditional items I have are crocheted and tatted. These items were all made by my grandmother, and I inherited them from her. The small round table cloth is crocheted. It was made using a small hook and fine cotton.

So What Is Lace Anyway? So What Is Lace Anyway?The tatted items are a bit older. These items used to be more common when lace was a lot more expensive and less readily available than it is today. People made collars, cuffs, and neck trims which could be transferred from one garment to another. This set is two collar points and a central trim a bit like a cravat.

So What Is Lace Anyway?I have also included a rather basic example of bobbin lace. This is one of the test book marks I made when I started to learn to make bobbin lace. It was made using coloured crochet cotton. You may also remember the needle lace sampler that I started earlier in the year. Unfortunately I have not made much more progress on it as yet, but hope to do some more in our upcoming school holidays.

So What Is Lace Anyway? So What Is Lace Anyway?The last photos are of a shawl I knitted for one of my grandchildren. This is a bit heavier than the other examples, but the border of this shawl still qualifies as lace. I have made a lighter, lacier baby shawl but, unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of it.

I plan to follow up with some more examples of different types of lace soon.

My Crocheted Knockers

My Crocheted Knockers

My Crocheted KnockersMy recent post about “Knitted Knockers” mentioned that there was a crochet pattern available as well as the knitting patterns. A couple of weeks ago I went away for a few days, and I decided to trial the crocheted knockers pattern. The materials required for crochet are slightly more portable than those required for knitting.

This turned out to be a very good decision. I ended up spending eleven hours at the airport as a result of cancelled and then delayed flights. The crochet pattern was in US terms, rather than the UK terms I prefer, so I had plenty of time to work my way through it. (See “The Minefield of Crochet Terminology”.) Once I had my head around how the pattern worked, I managed to start moving ahead quite quickly.

I decided I would try to make several different sizes of the pattern. During my five days away I made one each of a size A, B and C cup knocker. I did find a couple of things in the pattern that I had to be a bit careful with, but by the time I was doing the third one it was becoming more straight forward.

My Crocheted KnockersThe photos I have included show the difference in size between the three unfilled knockers: A is dark pink, B is light pink, C is white. Unfortunately I only had enough filling for one knocker, so I have filled the middle one, the size B. You can see how the stuffing fills out the shape of the knocker. I have also taken photos of the back of them as well to show how the back is left open a bit so the amount of filling can be adjusted as required.

My Crocheted Knockers My Crocheted KnockersI am even more convinced now of the importance of this programme and I will definitely be making more. My next project will be to trial several of the different knitted knocker patterns.

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Yarn Bombing – a Global Phenomenon

Yarn Bombing – a Global Phenomenon

Have you heard of Yarn Bombing yet? Yarn bombing is an activity which is spreading around the world. If you Google yarn bombing you will come up with some amazing images. For me one of the most impressive ones would have to be a train consisting of an engine and four carriages, all of which had been very colourfully covered.

It is thought that yarn bombing began with knitters in Texas in 2005, who used it as a creative way to use up leftover, unfinished projects. The movement has since spread worldwide, and evolved into things like the “stitched story” concept. This uses handmade items to tell a story or illustrate a theme. The first recorded example of this was in August 2009.

Yarn Bombing - a Global Phenomenon
Image courtesy of flikr
Yarn Bombing - a Global Phenomenon
Image courtesy of geograph.org.uk

Yarn bombing may have started off with knitted items, but there are now a large number of crocheted projects as well. The “stitched story” projects can include amigurumi figures in them as part of their narrative process. (See also “The Origin and Popularity of Amigurumi Crochet”.) I have even seen photos of projects done in cross stitch. Yarn is used to create cross stitch patterns on a wire grid which is then hung on a fence or wall.

Over the last few months I have seen yarn bombing weekends advertised in two different communities in my local area. These have involved people meeting together throughout the weekend at an arranged venue. Individuals can attend for whatever length of time suits them. It is a social gathering of people working together to produce community adornment projects.

Yarn Bombing - a Global PhenomenonA couple of weeks ago I took my camera with me on my morning walk to take photos of some yarn bombing that had appeared on the fence of one of our local primary schools. The weather here has been a bit unfriendly, as we are in the middle of winter, but the colourful webs seem to be lasting fairly well.

I see yarn bombing as a rather fun way to inject a bit of colour into some of our public spaces. Having said that, I also think that the “bombers” need to be sensitive with the areas they choose to decorate, and respectful of local regulations and significant structures.

I would love to hear other people’s opinions on this, so please feel free to leave a comment.

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Knitted Knockers

Knitted Knockers
Image courtesy of Ravelry.com

Knitted Knockers

Several months ago I came across a wonderful initiative called “Knitted Knockers”. As the name suggests, knitted knockers are handmade prosthetics for women who have had to undergo a mastectomy. They are soft, light-weight, fully adjustable, and can be made in a huge range of colours.

Knitted Knockers.org was founded by an amazing lady named Barbara as a result of her own experience with breast cancer. Complications with her initial surgery meant that she couldn’t follow her original treatment plan for immediate reconstruction, which meant she needed to look for an alternative interim solution.

Her doctor showed her a picture of a knitted knocker, and provided her with a pattern. A special friend was able to make one for her quite quickly (she actually made her two) and this is what she says on her website:

“It was FABULOUS! It was light, pretty, soft and fit in my own bra perfectly. I took off my jacket and knew right then that I wanted to make these available to other women going through the same situation. I thought, “what if my doctor had real knitted knockers to give to women rather than only having a photocopied picture on a sheet of paper to show them?””

Knitted Knockers
Image courtesy of Ravelry.com
Knitted Knockers
Image courtesy of Ravelry.com

I highly recommend that you visit Knitted Knockers.org and read Barbara’s story in full on the site. There is also a lovely video you can watch. Barbara has taken her idea and run with it. She is now trying to make knitted knockers available to any women who need them. Through her site she is connecting people in need with people who can donate. There are also a number of patterns available on the site, including crochet as well as knitting, which you can download.

Knitted Knockers
Image courtesy of Ravelry.com
Knitted Knockers
Image courtesy of Craftsy.com

While Barbara began her initiative in the United States, there are knitted knocker groups in many different countries. A quick internet search will allow you to find the group or organisation closest to you. I encourage you to get behind this wonderful movement and become part of an outreach which is making such a meaningful difference in the lives of so many women who are going through such a traumatic time in their lives.

 

See also: “Handcrafting To Support Charities“, “Octopuses (Octopi?) For Premature Babies“, “Two Jumpers and an Octopus“, and “Another Octopus and Some Scarves“.

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Easy Steps to Create a Crochet Baby Blanket Gift

Easy Steps to Create a Crochet Baby Blanket Gift
Image courtesy of Pinterest
Easy Steps to Create a Crochet Baby Blanket Gift
Image courtesy of Ravelry

Easy Steps to Create a Crochet Baby Blanket Gift

If you are thinking about making a homemade baby gift, like a baby blanket, you will find there are many options. You can quilt a blanket, do some embroidery, or you can crochet a blanket. If you choose to take the time to make a homemade baby blanket it will be much appreciated. Most people realize how much time and effort it takes to plan and make a crochet baby blanket gift and they will be grateful and feel very special that you spent the time on them and their new baby.

If you have decided to crochet a baby blanket gift and are new to crocheting you are in for a treat when you hit the yarn store. Yarn comes in so many textures, colors and fabrics now it is unreal. You can get the softest yarn that will make a soft and beautiful baby blanket. You can choose from soft wool, or chenille, acrylic and cotton can also be very soft and fluffy.

If you are thinking about crocheting a baby blanket and don’t know how to crochet, obviously you will first have to learn. There are a variety of stitches, but they are easily learned and very clear directions are readily available at a number of websites. You can do a quick search using any search engine and ask for how to crochet a baby blanket. You will get great instructions and patterns, basically everything you need to know to crochet your baby blanket. I have listed a number of sites at the bottom of this post to help you get started.

If online tutorials aren’t your best learning environment and you want a little more direct instruction you can check at your local craft store. They often have crochet classes. Learning to crochet with a teacher is nice because you get immediate feedback and can quickly correct any mistakes you make. They may offer crochet classes, where you can meet up with other people who enjoy crocheting as well. You will end up with a wonderful gift, and maybe even some new friends.

Once you have learned to crochet, you just have to find a great baby blanket pattern. You can find patterns for free online. You can often print these patterns out so you have them for reference. You can also check your local library for crochet pattern books. There are complete books of crochet patterns for you to check out. You can also get pattern ideas from craft magazines, don’t forget to check back issues.

Once you’ve made your first baby blanket you may find you enjoy crocheting so much you want to move on to something a little bigger. You could try some throw blankets or even a bedspread. The options are limitless, but it is sure to be a treasured gift.

There are countless  sites with great patterns, and most of them sell yarn and accessories as well. Two sites I would highly recommend are “Ravelry” and”LoveKnitting“. You could also check out “Annies“, “Knit Picks“,”Craftsy“, or “Leisure Arts“.

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Related Crochet Articles

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Another Octopus and Some Scarves

Another Octopus and Some Scarves

I have been putting off writing this post because I seem to have mislaid my first octopus. (See “Two Jumpers and an Octopus”.) I wanted to take a photo of both of them together to give a better idea of their similarities and differences, but my crocheted one seems to have found a “safe place” to hang out in. Consequently I have decided that I can’t wait around any longer and am going ahead without it.

I used the knitting pattern from the same website I got the crocheted one from, Prawelewe Art Studio. These patterns are downloadable pdfs and, therefore, are very convenient to use, but you can see my previous post “Octopuses (Octopi?) For Premature Babies” for other options.

It was an interesting exercise to make both versions one after the other. While I am really pleased with the finished version of both, I think I prefer the crocheted one. I found the knitted tentacles to be rather hard on my hands, and I think the crocheted tentacles are more effective. That being said, I think it’s great that there are patterns available that enable both knitters and crocheters to contribute to a really great cause. (See the “Octopus for a Preemie” Facebook page.)

One thing I noted on all the patterns I looked at was that they all recommended the same materials for making them for premature babies. These recommendations are:

  • Yarn – 100% cotton, one mentioned hypoallergenic
  • Stuffing – fibre filling which is washable at 60⁰C

I have recently started on another knitting project which you may be interested in looking at in your own area. We have just officially started winter here (I live in New Zealand) and the weather has definitely become a bit colder. I am very thankful that I am able to live in a warm, comfortable home, and have been thinking about those who are less fortunate.

My project involves knitting scarves to be donated to homeless people in my local area. I will probably look at doing hats and mittens as well, and am planning to enlist help from other people. This help could take the form of donating odd balls of wool to the cause or even knitting them up themselves. For someone living on the street, in their car, or even in a shelter, every bit of warm clothing can help, and every act of kindness can remind them that they are not forgotten.

See also “Handcrafting to Support Charities

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