Felted Baubles

Another one of my very early designs for Inside Crochet, these felted baubles have become a Christmas tradition. I love to find new ways to decorate them. Hand stitched with beads or covered in sequins, they always look spectacular. Remember to use a natural fibre such as wool or mohair, not a superwash wool or they won’t felt.

Of course, you can make the same pattern in cotton yarn and just add more stuffing – they look great hung on the tree in jewel bright colours. I like to finish them with a couple of rounds of metallic thread for extra “bling”!

If you want to try making some for yourself, you can buy  the pattern on Love Crochet

Christmas Puddings

20151023_112939.jpgType the words “crochet Christmas pudding” into any search engine and you’ll pull up thousands of photographs and ideas!

Over the years I’ve come up with several ideas and often my favourites are the simplest. A combination of cream and brown wool, topped with a few red beads or sequins and some green leaves can give you several options.

Tiny puddings look so cute strung on the tree, or you can glue them to wooden pegs to hang your Christmas cards (these ones were painted with gold spray). Or why not make pencil toppers or key rings?

christmas pudding.jpg

My favourite is my festive pin cushion. The glossy berries were rescued from a wreath I had bought years before. The mice had nibbled most of it away when it was stored in  the attic at our old house, but I managed to rescue the berries and they came in very useful for  topping these puddings!

Here’s my basic “recipe” for a crochet pudding. You can easily modify it by working more rounds of increases (then work a corresponding number of straight rounds and then follow the same principle for decreasing). As usual, use a size smaller hook so that your stuffing doesn’t show through. I always start my crochet with a chain ring, if you’re a fan of the “magic” ring, by all means use that instead. Whatever the crochet police might tell you, it comes down to personal preference and I stand by my chain ring! Let’s be honest, once you’ve stitched on a couple of leaves and some beads, no-one will know the difference anyway. I always feel so frustrated when ladies come to my classes and tell me they’ve seen some gorgeous crochet patterns, but they don’t know how to make a “magic ring” so it’s obviously “too hard” for them (insert sad face emoji). Shameless plug – you can find instructions for lots of different ways to start crochet in the round in my book – with photos to help! Of course, try the method recommended by the designer, but if you get in a pickle, there’s no shame in sticking with what you know. For 40 years I only knew one way to cast on my knitting, but that didn’t stop me making all kinds of toys, scarves and jumpers – and no-one ever said I wasn’t a “real” knitter! Anyway, I digress. Back to our puddings.

I write my patterns in UK crochet terms and you’ll find a list of abbreviations here (links to Inside Crochet – a great resource for crocheters).

Pattern starts here:

With white yarn, make 4ch. Join with a slip stitch to make a ring.

Rnd 1: 6dc into ring. 6dc

Rnd 2: 2dc in each dc around. 12dc

Rnd 3: [1dc in next dc, 2dc in next dc] 6 times. 18dc

Fasten off white yarn and join Brown to any dc.

Rnds 4 – 6: 1dc in each dc around.

Rnd 7: [1dc in next dc, dc2tog in next dc] 6 times. 12dc

Stuff pudding with hollowfibre toy stuffing, old tights or wool tops.

Rnd 8: [dc2tog] 6 times. 6dc

Cut yarn and use a tapestry needle to draw the yarn through the remaining stitches, pull tight to close and weave in ends.

Use oddments of green yarn to make leaves.  For tiny ones, make 4ch, skip first ch, make 1dc in each ch, slip stitch in same place as last dc and fasten off.  You can also cut leaves from felt. For my pin cushion, I used my free mistletoe pattern (you’ll find links and more ideas in the “12 Makes for Christmas” tab. Or, look out for my holly leaf pattern tomorrow, when I’ll be unveiling my 2018 British Wool wreath.

I don’t  know about your house, but over here it’s starting to look a lot like Christmas…

 

 

A Bright Bauble Christmas

Yes, eagle eyed readers have seen this wreath before, especially when Simply Crochet magazine featured it on the front cover of the Crochet Christmas collection in 2016. I just love these bright colours!

31029452767_803aeb3a77_b.jpg

bobble wreathThis pattern can be bought from Ravelry or for the special price of £1.00 plus VAT on Love Crochet. You can choose to follow my bright colour palette or stick to more festive shades. Just remember to cover your polystyrene wreath in fabric or ribbon as some glues will cause the plastic wreath to melt! I have also made a version using a card circle, cut from the bases you sometimes get with frozen pizza!

 

I do hope you’re enjoying these festive makes and feeling inspired to make a few handmade additions to your Christmas decorations. Don’t forget to share your makes with the hashtag #grannycoolchristmas, I love to see what you’ve all been making!

 

Gingerbread Man Pattern

I used to love making gingerbread dough when my daughter was little, Rolling it out, cutting the shapes and then best of all we would go to town with sparkly sugar balls, sugar strands and icing. These crochet versions might be a “healthy” option, but they still give you lots of opportunities to decorate and embellish. Raid your button tin, use up all those oddments of ric rac and ribbon. Go wild and fill your house with happy smiling gingerbread families! This is another free pattern, as usual a pdf is available on Love Crochet and Ravelry and I would be thrilled if you share photos of your makes using the hashtag #grannycoolchristmas.

Happy making my crochet friends x

%d bloggers like this: