Cross Stitch

Christmas Cross Stitch Ideas

Christmas Cross Stitch Ideas
Christmas Minis in Fox Collection catalogue

Continuing on the theme of my last three posts, albeit a little later than I had planned, I am now going to look at Christmas cross stitch ideas. I have recently received the latest “Fox Collection” catalogue (see “Are You On Track For Christmas?”) which had another full page of Christmas ideas in it.

I have included some photos I have taken of items in the two Christmas catalogues. I thought you might find some inspiration from some of them. In previous years I have stitched a few personalised cards for some close friends. There are some cute ideas in these photos along with a number of other projects.

Christmas Cross Stitch Ideas Christmas Cross Stitch IdeasSomething I noticed for the first time in last year’s catalogues was the wine bottle aprons. These are just a bit different and would make a nice personalised gift for a special friend or family member, especially if it was on a nice bottle of wine. There are several different themes in my catalogues, but you could choose any design of your own that was a suitable size.

Christmas minis as decorations are always a popular idea, along with Christmas sachet bags. Sachet bags can be used to contain fragrant material such as lavender or pot pourri, or edible treats like chocolates or lollies.

Christmas Cross Stitch IdeasOther cross stitch projects for Christmas include things like cushions, table runners, place mats, and tree skirts. These are all a bit bigger and probably not practical for the time frame left for this year. They would be good ideas to put on your “to do” list for next year though.

Happy stitching and best wishes for your holiday season preparations. I have included a list below of some of my affiliate sites if you would like to check them out for kitsets or more ideas.


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.

Lace Making

Christmas Snowflakes and Other Ideas

Christmas Snowflakes and Other Ideas

Last week I wrote about some “Christmas Crochet Ideas”. This week I want to pass on some more ideas from the same book, Patons book 304 “Traditional Christmas”, but these one fall more into the category of lace. They are still all crocheted, but are a lot finer and more delicate.

Christmas Snowflakes and Other Ideas Christmas Snowflakes and Other IdeasThere are several different versions of snowflakes in this book, a larger one and a smaller one. If you have any doily patterns at home, you will probably find that at least one of them has a centre pattern that you could use to make snowflakes Christmas decorations by using lightweight white crochet cotton and a fine hook. It could be fun to experiment and see what you come up with.

My book also has patterns for two different bauble covers, a heart decoration, and an angel. I have had a look on “Ravelry” and, predictably, they have patterns available for all these things plus many more Christmas ideas.

Christmas Snowflakes and Other Ideas Christmas Snowflakes and Other IdeasOne thing to remember if you are going to make some crocheted lace decorations, is that they will need to be starched. This is a lot easier to do these days as there are spray cans of starch available. You will need to pin out your finished item, spray it, and allow it to dry. (Follow the directions on the can.) This will make the snowflake, or other decorations, hard so that you are able to hang them up.

If you would prefer to look for kits to use for making decorations, you should check out some of my affiliate sites. Have fun with your decoration making!

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.


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.)

Christmas Crochet IdeasThere 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.

Karen's Korner

Are You On Track For Christmas?

Are You On Track For Christmas?
Image courtesy of Pixabay

Wow! October is nearly gone already! I don’t know whether it’s because I’m getting older (I turned 60 recently) or whether it’s just a sign of our society today, but the years seem to go by so quickly now. Ideally I should have started on Christmas projects in early September, or at least have some projects organised, but I’m afraid I’m running a bit behind.

I recently received my second Christmas catalogue from “Fox Collection” and am having as much fun browsing through it as I did going through the first one, which arrived in September. I am not in a position to buy much from the catalogue, but it is really interesting going through and getting ideas. They have kitset projects for a number of different craft areas, plus some gift ideas.

A number of my affiliate sites have Christmas hand craft kits available. You might like to check out Leisure Arts, Craftsy, Annie’s, Knit Picks, LoveKnitting, Creative Bug and Connecting Threads. If you enter “Christmas” in the site search bar of any of these sites you will be shown great selections of kits, patterns and products. Again, even if you don’t end up buying the actual kits, it is a great way to get ideas and inspiration. That being said, I would also recommend kits as a convenient and cost effective way to get all the materials you need for a project when you do decide on something.

I have also been looking through a number of my own pattern books which have Christmas themed projects in them. Several of them I hadn’t looked at for some time, and it has been good to find some patterns for projects that I had forgotten I had. I will go through my books and post some photos of interesting ideas for projects in different categories soon.

Enjoy your Christmas preparations. I would love to hear of interesting ideas you may have come across for decorations or gifts.

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

Karen's Korner

Special Occasions and Family


Do special occasions bring family together, or does family getting together make occasions special? I think the answer is probably a combination of both of these. Even gatherings which may have a sad focal point, like funerals, can still turn into really special family occasions. Remembering the past together can strengthen our sense of identity and belonging.

I was lucky enough to be part of a very special family occasion recently, so have been thinking again about the importance of family. My husband and I have our birthdays just over three weeks apart, and this year we both turned sixty. Our lovely daughters did a great job of organising a surprise party for us. We had no idea what was going on and it was wonderful to catch up with so many family members, plus a few special friends, so unexpectedly.

I have mentioned on my “About Me” page that we have four adult children and five grandchildren. It was lovely to have all the grandchildren together for a couple of days, getting to know each other a bit better. The two families live quite a distance apart, and travel between the two locations can be a bit difficult and expensive. The five grandchildren got on really well and shared some very memorable times.

The girls had managed to get our younger son and his partner over from Melbourne without us knowing, and my husband’s brother over from Brisbane. Unfortunately our older son was not able to join us as he is still on “The Longest Walk NZ”, but he did manage to talk with us on the phone during the party. I am the oldest of five siblings, and it was great to have everyone together for the first time in a long time. I have always wondered what it would be like to have a surprise party and it was GREAT!

Our families are such an integral part of who we are. Whether we come from really good families (which I am lucky enough to have done), or not so good families, the things we experience growing up help shape the people we become. Special family occasions bring groups of people together who share a common history and knowledge of background which people outside the family can never fully understand. This creates unique bonds between them.

I really value family and special family occasions. I feel truly blessed to have grown up in the family I did, and to now be able to watch my wonderful children and grandchildren living their own unique lives. I hope that you are as blessed as I am.

Crochet, Knitting, Lace Making

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? 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.

Karen's Korner

Sunrises, Spring, Kowhai and Tuis

Sunrises, Spring, Kowhai and Tuis

I love sunrises and sunsets, especially the really colourful displays. Although they can have a lot in common, they also have some subtle differences. Whereas a beautiful sunset can be a peaceful, calming end to the day, sunrise can have the opposite effect.

Sunrises, Spring, Kowhai and Tuis Sunrises, Spring, Kowhai and TuisBoth sunrises and sunsets are obviously hugely affected by the weather on the day, but this just adds to the variety of the displays we can experience. What I find special about sunrises is the sense of a fresh start and new opportunities. As the light increases, the world re-emerges from the darkness and there is a feeling of expectation. Where I live the sunrise is accompanied by a “dawn chorus” as the birds joyfully welcome the new day. I really love the singing of the birds, especially our beautiful native Tuis.

Sunrises, Spring, Kowhai and Tuis
Sunrises, Spring, Kowhai and Tuis

In New Zealand we have just entered spring which is also all about fresh starts and new opportunities. This is the season when our native Kowhai trees (pronounced kō-fai) come into flower. This coincides with the mating season for the Tuis, so we are currently being treated to amazing aerial displays as they chase each other around the neighbourhood, as well as their wonderful song.

Spring and sunrises both bring the excitement of new beginnings, which is something I also associate with starting a new hand craft project. Every new beginning holds the promise of many enjoyable hours of crafting, not to mention the final satisfaction of the finished product. I think it is really important to keep looking around us every day for any opportunity, no matter how big or small, to appreciate the expectation and promise of fresh starts and new beginnings. Let’s make sure we enjoy every day to the full.

Sunrises, Spring, Kowhai and Tuis