Last Minute Pattern: Crochet Granny Christmas Hats

Oh, how I wish I’d thought of these designs a wee bit earlier. There is literally just one week to go before Christmas Day for goodness’ sake! Better late than never I suppose and now they’re here, they’re here forever!

It was this big boy that popped into my head first (a couple of days ago). I didn’t like my other crochet Christmas hat very much as I’d not made much of an effort in the design stakes (see me talk about that disaster Here). Instead of fiddly fine fluffy mohair (yeah, that’s the other hat) I decided to go for a rush job and choose the chunkiest yarn my LYS had. In the last two days I’ve made three versions to get the result I’m really happy with (the first two I was quite chilled about frogging; this hat takes no time to work up!). Yesterday we had a lovely Christmassy lunch at a pub with friends and I sat there and worked on the mini versions!

The big hat uses just over one ball of the red and left me with about half a ball of cream. I felt bad at abandoning all those leftovers and mild to moderate guilt resulted in this collection of mini jobs. They are pretty cute in my opinion and perhaps, deserving of being called “modern” (although, does that make me sound old and clueless? Hope not).

Regarding the biggun, one size fits all. We tested it on our after-lunch walk yesterday. It fits beautifully on all heads, in different kinds of ways. The boy has it so that it is slightly oversize-in-a-good-way, it fits me like a normal hat, and it perches snuggly on a giant nut, like the one my mate’s got (cheers Paul!).

The minis can be tree decs or a garland thingy. I love both (which surprises me as I’m not a bunting person), so versatile!! Today I’ve typed up the patterns for both hat sizes as a 2 for 1 thing. The pdf is available as a download from Ravelry. More technical talk is over there so do please pop over and whilst you’re there, maybe you’ll be tempted to buy a copy! There is still time, honest!

Anyway, I hope to see you here at least one more time before Christmas as I’m hoping to record a vlogcast on Thursday (see YouTube Here). I didn’t think I’d have anything to talk about but actually, it turns out that I do. Fancy that!

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HoHoHo? X

 

The Craft Blogger’s Seasonal Nightmare.

cosy-crochet-blankets-copyAll old crochet blankets (and I don’t mean really old, they’re all this year’s but they’re just not mega recent – I renewed my Etsy listings yesterday and I’ve chosen to show these as they’re all on there waiting for someone to love them). What else can I do at this time of year?! Everything else that’s going on right now will be a Christmas present and I can’t show those. It’s a serious dilemma for a crafty blogger, I’ve got nuffink to talk about! Actually, I have managed to scrape a few bits together…

christmas-in-felt-copyI enjoyed last Saturday at the local school Christmas craft fayre. Not exactly a money spinner but it still counted as a success in my eyes. Plus it gave me an excuse to make things and making things is what I Iike best! (The owls are my new favourite).

felt-christmas-decs-copyI won’t blather on, I did that last week. Needless to say, I’ve got enough Christmas felt designs to write a book! (I even looked into that the other day but I’m still not entirely sure how it works. I’m too much of a chicken to ask the experts all the stupid questions that have arisen in me noggin).

turquoise-reindeerAnyway, Christmas came early for one person (sort of). I took part in my first (of three) secret santa type sign ups. It turns out that these things are absolutely brilliant. You get exactly the very best presents! Why wouldn’t you when like-minded crafty people are doing the buying and making? It’s great!

This crazy dolphin/reindeer was the present I made for my Colour Pop Craft Swap person. This swap was arranged by Miki at Set Free My Gypsy Soul. In my head it was the stuff of Legend: A Grand Stag of Epic Proportions! It ended up more cutesy and feeble than I’d envisaged, but do you know what? The recipient loved it and that’s what counts.

antlers-copyI used a pattern I’d found in a magazine from a couple of years ago. It’s also on Ravelry as Little Deer Toy. I designed the antlers and made two pairs, which I stitched together for a bit of stability. I also made up a little sparkly star to jazz up his rump.

crochet-coasters-copyI felt the need to compensate somewhat (I had rushed my deer and he didn’t turn out as expertly crafted as I wanted). Into the parcel, I also popped a few cotton coasters and a little toadstool brooch. I love these coasters, so so quick to knock up; I bet every crocheter has had a go at making these at some point.

christmas-colour-pop-craft-swap-copyThese are my Christmas spoils. They arrived beautifully packaged, from the Netherlands. I was so happy to receive this fabulous bundle. I can tell you that the cat has had her eye on the spangly jangly stars. She pounced on them this morning and I’ve had to put them out of reach. I’ve been wearing my wrist warmers ( I changed to mittens this morning cos it was -2) and I absolutely love my Father Christmas. He is super awesome! Mirjam from Stin’s Place is the creator behind all these marvels.

my-new-designs-hat-scarf-and-crochet-wrist-warmersThe last few days have been focussed on getting my winter set of cosy things ready. The patterns need typing up and some photographs need sorting. Then I can hopefully have a pattern for sale. This will probably take longer than I want because I’ll be making it up as I go along (when am I not?)! I’m aiming to work on it all day on Friday and I think that should get me a good way into it. Given more time and more energy, I’d make a whole other set in different colours. I really like it all would love to see it in a different guise. What I need now is a need a name!

Well, I haven’t done too badly with this blog post. This time of year is definitely a struggle. I’ll be scraping the bottom of the barrel next time. Crikey, what’ll I do!? Anyone else suffering from the same problem? At least there will be plenty to talk about in January!

 

End of November Crafty Catch up.

my-felt-decorations-for-christmasSince November started it feels like I’ve hardly had any time for making things but looking at my photos, it turns out that isn’t true. I actually appear to have been quite busy. I’ve been sewing instead of doing my crochet.

my-felt-decs felt-christmas-decsI’ve got the school’s PTA Craft Fayre on Saturday so these decorations will hopefully be sold to lots of jolly holly people. I’ve mostly used designs from previous years. There are a few new ones too. This year I designed a bunch of mistletoe, a bell, some stars and a Christmas pudding. There are three or four other designs I came up with that haven’t made the cut and some old ones that  I didn’t bother with either. They’re more complex in their construction and they’d end up costing more. One day I’ll make the whole collection, I’ve got quite a few now. I really really want to turn them into sellable patterns but first I need to work out how to transfer rough, scribbly templates into professional printable patterns.

crochet-christmas-baubles crochet-baublesI’ve made these baubles too. Get yourself to Wilko’s to grab the naked set. £2.50 for 12. I’ve used various cotton DK’s. I’ve used mostly used Drops Muskat, Stylecraft Classique and Paintbox Yarns. My favourite is the Drops. It’s hands down, the best of the bunch (although there’s nothing wrong with the others either). The pattern is a mix of existing ones. I’ve got the book Boho Crochet which has a bauble pattern for giants. I used that as a base and took out lots of rows. I saw on Kaleidoscope City a pattern which slip stitched the two halves to the bauble and that created a lovely finish.

new-crochet-booksI went into Exeter a couple of weeks ago (and actually did some Christmas shopping!). Whilst there I popped into The Works because they now have an awesome selection of craft things. A lot of it isn’t my cup of tea but if you’re into all things crafty then there’s a shed load of treasure waiting for you. I always head for the books. I bought four because when the most expensive is four quid, why the blazes would you leave any behind? I’ve since discovered that these are new publications. New! Why are they being sold in a cheapy shop for £3 or £4??! Does it get sales figures up or something? Whatevs, I’m well pleased.

my-new-autumn-scarfThis has been one of my only crochet projects over the last few weeks. I’m making myself a scarf out of some Paintbox aran. It’s the stuff that Emma from Potter & Bloom sent me for when I tested her Geoffrey scarf. I caved and bought more colours (here, that’s the blue and green).

crochet-mohair-hatOk, I made this too. Since doing the Take Care Mohair review I’ve been on a mission to find a cheaper alternative. I feel quite guilty actually (not that I’m under any obligation) but I cannot afford to buy the Wool and the Gang stuff for experiments and pattern workings. I’m using Drops Melody instead, which is nice but not super fancy. Now that I think I have a pattern sorted I might get some of the real deal. Comparatively, it is much silkier and has a thicker halo on it. I really like the designs I’ve come up with, however, I’ve been looking at and working with mohair for two months. Do I want to buy the posh stuff when the excitement is waning? Hmm.

differencesThis picture is not a good representation as the one on the left has more stitches. But it is the Take Care Mohair and you can see that it does come out thicker and it’s a nicer pink too. Not that I have any reason to favour it other than personal preference.

mohair-yarnLaying side by side there is not much difference in yarn thickness. I think it must be the halo that adds body to the yarn. I’m trying to decide if I can recommend both yarns in the pattern I write. There might be a considerable difference in the finished product. Gah, it’s mini stumbling blocks like this that make things so much trickier than they need to be. Things I didn’t think would be important but actually are if you want to be a designer.  Boo. Anyway, it is my hope that I can write a pattern for a hat and scarf combo that I can sell. I’m miles off because the Paintbox scarf has taken my attention (I think I want to write up the pattern for that too). Maybe have some wrist warmers to go with? I say this all the time yet I still only have one pattern for sale! I’m easily distracted by new pretties, that’s my problem!

crafty-secret-santaLastly, there’s this jumble of crazy. Funny that the thing I should have finished first is the thing that I’ve left until last! Must do this today. I must also remember to take pictures of it complete!

Oky doky, I must go. Got lots to do and time is not on my side. xx