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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Crochet Christmas

It’s December already!! How did that happen?! Fear not, there is still plenty of time to sort out a crochet Christmas if that’s what you want to do. In the past I’ve bust a gut trying to make something for everyone and to be perfectly honest, this year I just can’t be bothered! I’m still going to have a crochet Christmas though. ‘Course I am!!

First of all I’ve signed up to a couple of Secret Santa thingummies. One is for bloggy crafters (Stitching Santa) and the other is over on Instagram. Part of the deal for signing up is that you make handmade stuff.  The great thing is, is that I know that the participants will be as enthusiastic as me about handmade (whereas, who knows what friends and family think when I’m palming off handmade stuff on them?!).

Sooo first up I thought I’d make some wrist warmers. Quick, easy and very wearable. This year I’ve made a pair for myself and I’m making a pair each for my secret Santa peeps (the pair in the above pic are destined to be sent out). I used my own design from the Vintage Autumn set that I’ve got on Ravelry. I made the larger size as I want them to fit and whilst the small size fits me, I do have wrists like twigs. [In my last vlogcast I might have mentioned that wearing two lots of crochet at the same time was a bit like doing double denim, ie don’t do it! Therefore, the above picture amuses me as I manage three items whilst sitting on a crochet blanket!].

If making crochet presents is too stressy then you can always dec your halls instead. I’ve talked about these crochet baubles on the blog already and they have a post of their own Here. A brilliant use of scraps!

Some of my other favourite crochet decorations are some gorgeous Xmas puds from Planet June (you must check out all the other free patterns, including some more festive makes). I also found a toadstool decoration, I can’t remember if this is the pattern I’ve used but it looks like a good one. Toadstools look lovely on my tree!

I’m also doing a swap. I’m swapping some of my old makes with someone else’s, which is a brilliant way of getting something new and exciting for Christmas. Er, what else?… Well, there’s shopping! Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday. Find someone/something on Etsy, Folksy or check out local craft fairs to find independent makes that other people have worked so hard to create. I’m endeavouring to do a bit more of this this year. So far I’ve only managed to buy things  for myself though…

What are you doing for your crafty Christmas? Have you been super organised, or have you left it to the last minute like me?!

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Crochet Christmas Bauble. Free Pattern & Tutorial!!

Christmas is pretty much just around the corner, honestly, it’ll be here before you know it. I’ve noticed this year that crochet baubles are all the rage, so I’ve had a go at my own simple pattern. I’ve made a tutorial for YouTube too, so if that’s more your thing then do jump across to my YouTube channel… Here is where you’ll find the crochet bauble video!

If you would like to support my crochet adventures, please consider supporting me on Patreon. It would mean the world. Thank you. x

Things you need:

-6cm (diameter) baubles. Mine are from Sainsbury’s but I bought similar from Wilko’s last year.

-3mm hook

-DK cotton in different colours. I’ve tried many brands and they’re all good: Paintbox, Drops,  Dmc Natura, Stylecraft Classique etc

Notes:

  • Fasten off (FO) after each round and join the new colour with a ss just to the right of where you fastened off.
  • If you want to avoid sewing in most ends, crochet over them as you go.
  • UK terms are used in the written pattern, I try to use both UK & US in the video.

Pattern – make 2

Begin with a Magic Circle (or ch4 and join with a slip stitch).

  1. Ch1, 1tr,ch1, *tr2tog, ch1; rep from * 5 times, join with a ss to the top of the first petal. [6 “petals”]
  2. (Ch2, 1tr, ch1, tr2tog, ch1) in same space, (tr2tog, ch1, tr2tog, ch1) in each 1ch sp, join with a ss to the top of the first petal. [12 “petals”]
  3. Ch3, 2tr in first ch sp, 3tr in each ch sp around, join to top of the ch3. [12 clusters]
  4. Ch2, 1htr in each st around. [36 st]
  5. Ch1, 1dc in each st around, join with ss.

Make two halves. Sew in the first and last ends. Do not FO after round 5 on the second half. Place both halves together, right sides out and ss together, facing loops only. Just over half way, wriggle the bauble into its jacket and continue to ss together. This can be fiddly but it’s worth it! Sew in last end, using it to tidy around the hanging bit if you need to. Make several!!

Fancy giving it a go?! Please do give me a shout if you have found the pattern/tutorial useful. A thumbs up on YouTube helps too, I understand it gets more reach or some such thing. Thank you very much!

By the way, please do go ahead and share a link to this pattern. Sharing is truly marvellous! But I ask (really rather nicely, please, thank you, please) that you credit Zeens and Roger if you do. Just don’t rewrite it and pretend that it’s your own. I hate that. If that’s you, go and design your own bauble. Thank you ever so much.

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Scraping the Barrel (not really, it’s a fabulous crafty update).

chunky-hatChristmas is getting super close now and I’m not ready. So many ideas have not yet come to fruition. I’m probably being too ambitious in my crafty endeavours but there’s so much I want to make! If anyone else is in a panic about handmade gifts then this crochet hat is really speedy to whip up and looks great too. It’s  the Ski Lodge Hat by Mama in a Stitch. I made it last week for my friend. She didn’t want it to be itchy so I used King Cole Big Value Super Chunky, which is acrylic. The pompom is Robin yarn. I don’t like Robin, it’s proper nasty but it didn’t really matter what the quality was like for pompomming. For the hat, I made 40 chains at the beginning rather than 46. That’s because my mate’s only got a small bonce. 40 was fine for her but for me I think I’d do 44 (bigger brain obvs ;p).

knittingI bought two balls of the King Cole stuff just in case one wasn’t enough for the hat (it was). With the second, I thought I’d have a go at knitting again. It transpires that one does need to practice to become an expert knitter and I ought to have a few goes to get good. I know what I want to make now though. My blogging friend Alida from Buttercup and Bee showed a picture on Instagram of a cowl she’d knitted. I said how much I liked it and she’s given the stitch count [is this what you say?] for making it. This is my first go at purling for a very long time. I can so do this! But not yet. Get Christmas out the way. Get new circular needles.

christmas-star-garland-easy-sewingI’ve done a rush job on a Christmas star garland. It’s not up yet (won’t dec the halls for a few more days, at least). I haven’t pressed it. It’ll look tidier once I’ve had a good go with the iron (not sure I’ll look at my iron in the same way again, not since I saw what Negan gets up to with his!). I could have worked on making this neater but I had just a twenty minute window for sewing machine activity and whizzed through it. Actually, this would make a nice little tutorial. That’ll have to wait for next year.

drops-andes green-ball-of-yarnI’ve been using some lovely yarns to make presents. The green stuff is Malabrigo. Thought I’d go for something fancier than my usual purchases. It’s very pretty.

being-sillyAnd whilst I’m here, let me give an update about this lot. I’ve not finished typing up the pattern. I’m nearly there. Last friday I did do most of it but it’s surprising how much work goes into even the simplest of patterns. Not only am I constantly double checking that I’m writing it down correctly, there’s also lot of photography and editing. I’ll get there in the end, even if I end up publishing it in June.

Finally, today I posted off my two remaining parcels for crafty secret santa type things. Will everyone actually keep them under the tree until Christmas day?!

 

 

 

Winter is Coming: Get Crochet Ready.

my-new-crochet-winter-woollies

It’s properly autumn now; the urge to make woolly warm things is upon me. I’m starting with things for me (this will come as no surprise to those who know me)! Then I have lots of things waiting which, will become wintery outerwear for others. Crochet hat? Crochet scarf? Crochet gloves? I hope so! Sorry everyone, it’s another handmade Christmas!

wool-ease-lion-brand-tunisian-crochet

I ordered more Tunisian crochet hooks quite soon after I first tried it a couple of weeks ago. I very quickly spotted a gorgeous looking cowl from BHooked and I knew it was something I could do with my new skill. I ordered the same brand of wool used in the original pattern (Lion Brand Wool Ease in Barley and Mustard) and I have to say that it’s perfectly nice. I’ve got no problems with it and it’ll be lovely and warm because of the wool content. And there is no itch, which is very important when smooshing against a neck.

stopping-the-tunisian-curl

Tunisian crochet has quite a curl to it. This won’t be an issue once it’s finished. To get a good idea of my progress I have to hold it flat.  My progress is slow, I’ve found that chunky yarn is not something that can be worked on for long stretches. Achey fingers are a bit of an issue. Also, I hold the hook differently, which will hopefully improve with practise.

crochet-puff-stitch-hat

To go with my new cowl I’m making a hat. I’m picking this up when I put down the other. I’m two balls into a three ball hat. I’ve guessed at three, I think it should just do it but there probably won’t be much slouch when I’ve finished. I’m using aran weight; Big Merino by Drops (love Drops!). It’s  dense but super soft. I like it and know it’ll be lovely and warm. The pattern for this is sort of made up but before I started, I looked about on Pinterest and found that there are several patterns that essentially make this hat. Here is my hat board for Pinterest, try the Urban Slouch Beanie.

crochet-faster-winter-is-coming

There had better be enough of something left so I can make a pompom…

 

 

Thistlebear

Ho Ho Ho! It’s nearly Christmas…

mirror dec'd

It’s a bit thin on the ground this week. There are some things I can’t show and then there is also the loss of any crafty oomph. I just can’t be bothered. Meh. However, I have decked the halls, which is something and it feels lovely and festive. Hmm, the tinsel around the bannister looks pathetic, I’d better sort that out.

this year's tree.

For the first time in twelve years we have a real tree!! We were sick to death of the stupid plastic one. Didn’t like it to begin with. The smell of this year’s choice is totally awesome. We went to Cotley Farm in Whimple and within minutes, had picked out this one. We got it home and found that it was too tall, so off with its head. We didn’t mean to get such a big tree but it obviously wanted to get in our car and come back home with us.

christmas decorations

I bought some teeny painted toadstools. They are my delightful decorations for this year. I like to get something new every year but we are becoming overloaded with decorations and are having to be more selective about what goes on the branches. Not such a bad thing. And it didn’t stop me buying some cute little robins in sale yesterday.

handmade gingie

We finished Eldest boy’s gingerbread man too. He got bored after a few minutes so I helped. He tried very hard.

boy made elf boot

His effort last year is what inspired my elf boots this year.  He randomly cut this boot shape and we stitched it together. The other boy is being naughty riding his bike indoors. With wellies on!

christmas star

I still need to write out my Christmas cards. Not sure if I’ve done enough. I might have to do some more. Stamping was satisfying yet messy. I got a lino cutting kit last Christmas and am putting it to use this Christmas.

not quite finished coraline

A glimpse of one of the bigger projects of the week. I’ve been doing little bits of many projects rather than sticking to one and completing it. Therefore, this lady has no face and has only just gained hair and a coat. I am a big procrastinator. I know what I should be doing but I’d rather read my book. Or fart about online.

So, general mood of the week is, pffft. I’ll stick my face in the Christmas tree in a minute, to give myself a boost. I might be around next week, I’m not sure. I guess it depends on whether I get my craft on good and proper.

The Middle of November, Already.

lots of crochet owls.

I’ve been mega busy over the last couple of weeks, getting my craft on and all that. The weekend after next I will be busy trying to make people buy my wares at the PTA Christmas Fayre. I am not going to blather on today because I’m going to plonk myself down on the sofa in a minute and start some more stitching.

Anyway, before I add a few pictures of what I’ve been doing with my crafty ways, I’m just going to squeeze in some garden pictures. It’s all very well being smug about the prettiness of it in spring and summer [it was hard to choose those links as there are betweeny posts with lovely summery flowers in, I just looked in the garden category!] but I shouldn’t hide the tattiness out there come late autumn.

morning sky in november

This morning looked very promising but it’s since greyed over and is threatening rain. Again.

november garden Collage

Only mildly depressing.

nemesia still going

And I should get over myself because in other years there is no way I’d still have flowers in the garden at this time of year. The little purple flowers are a summer annual, Nemesia. Beyond the wall you can see flecks of orange, which is the nasturtium, still going strong.

Another november garden Collage

The blue sky didn’t last. The pumpkins are still resisting the urge to disappear. I chucked them in the runner bean grave after Halloween. Sadsack leeks are sharing the space. Just blinkin well grow, please.

november garden from above

View from above. Bottom left is where I lobbed all the twigs from the Halloween decorations. The kids have played with them in their funny games.

felt xmas decs being made

This is what I’m working on at the moment. Lots of felt decorations. Some I’ve made before, some I’m just making up as I go. I’ve designed them all myself, if you can call it that. Not sure how hard it is to draw a Christmas tree really (not very?). And it’s a big lie anyway because my eldest boy drew out the Elf boot last year and I helped modify it. That one, he is the designer of.

fabric for xmas decs

I rummaged through the fabric drawer for any green and red fabric I had. Mostly it is just scraps but I reckon I can work something out. There is new stuff there too; the reindeer fabric and the stuff above it is a recent impulse buy.

crochet owl decorations

And then there are these jobbies. To ensure I had a lot of them I have done away with the colour changes that made me thing of these as Granny owls. Making them up in just one colour was a lot quicker and they still look nice.

I did blathering when I didn’t want to. Wasting precious making time…. And I’m also trying out a C2C crochet blanket, which I forgot to take a picture of. It’s mainly for stash busting purposes and I wanted to try something new. Any way, I”m off!