This week in Cosy Crochet’s Christmas I would like to show you all the Nativity scene I made last year.
We have always had a nativity scene under the Christmas Tree (since it is the reason for Christmas!) and most of the child friendly displays avaliable are not toddler friendly. Last year Lily was just about 1 and didn’t really know not to eat the small figures, so when I saw the nativity pattern in a magazine, I knew this was the solution. There would be nothing dangerous about a crocheted nativity. They wouldn’t be ruined and it would also provide the kids with a distraction, rather than playing with the Christmas Tree decorations.
Last year the kids just played with it, but this year I hope we can use it to act out the nativity story. You can find the pattern for the nativity figures part 1 here for FREE and Part 2 here also for FREE. The pattern includes all the figures; Mary, Joseph, Jesus (and manger), 2 Shepherds and a lamb, 3 wise men and an angel. I added my own donkey and a stable with a star on top. To hold the stable in its shape I put cardboard between crochet panels and sewed them together. It seems to be holding ok, even after being in storage for a year! I also added my own mat for the whole nativity to sit on.
I hope you enjoyed my crochet nativity scene, and if you get a chance the pattern took me less than a week to make and is definitely worth it if you have little ones in the house. I’ll get a photo of it under my tree this year and put it on my social media sites.
Christmas has come to Cosy Crochet (a bit early I know, but I couldn’t wait any longer!) This week is the first of the Christmas items I have been working on for you – Jingle the Elf.
Now my children are ages 4 and 2 they definitely seem ready to properly buy into all the Christmas traditions and one I have really wanted to start is the Elf of the Shelf. However, rather than just buying any old elf, I decided to make one. Although making one elf very quickly turned in to 2 elves!
So this week I would like to introduce to you Jingle and Candy the Christmas Elves. The kids have already seen me making them and know they will be coming out closer to Christmas to report to Santa how well they are behaving. What they don’t know however, is that elves can get themselves into all sorts of mischief! I definitely look forward to seeing the kids reactions to what the elves get up to throughout the lead up to Christmas. I am really hoping they will build up their excitement to Christmas day.
We usually put our decorations up as close to the beginning of December as we can so the elves will probably come out then. The elves only took me a day to make each and so if you wanted to make 1 or 2 or several of these elves, there is still plenty of time. They use mostly single crochets (plus increases and decreases) and loop stitch to create their hair. I used the paintbox simple aran yarns to make them, but any aran yarn would work.
You can purchase the patterns for Jingle and Candy separately for £2.99 each, or get both patterns for £5. As usual you can find them for sale on both my etsy and ravelry stores.
I hope you love my elves as much as I do, and I look forward to seeing any of the elves you make. Keep an eye on my social media platforms to find out more about the mischief that Candy and Jingle get up to in our house over the Christmas period.
This week I would love to share with you some more makes from around the home. As winter is coming I wanted a hanging basket to put all the hats, scarfs and gloves in, to keep that all tiny. I also needed a new washing basket, but could never find one I liked for the price, so I decided to make one of my own.
I have been working with Bernat Home Maker Dec Yarn for these baskets, something which is completely new to me. I had 3 balls in pebble beach variegated and 2 balls in spice variegated colour. I used the spice option for the hanging basket and the pebble beach for the washing basket.
It took a while to get a good hook and gauge to create the look of the basket I wanted. I didn’t want the washing basket full of holes and I eventually ended up using a 4mm hook after much trial and error. I started with a simple circle increase in single crochet for the base and just kept extending it until the circle reached 15 inches. At this point I did a row of single crochet in back loops and then continued the sides in moss stitch to give more of a basket feel.
I worked moss stitch until it was 11 inches tall and then created the handles. For each handle, I chained 20 and skipped 10 moss stitch patterns (sc, ch1) and made sure they were opposite each other. I think continued with a further 4 rounds of moss stitch to finish off the handles and the basket. It was really simple and easy to create and looks amazing. Its quite flexible and will be easily washed perfect if anything gets too dirty.
The second basket I made was the handing basket. This time I used an 8mm hook and used 2 strands of the spice together. This time I worked my base circle in hdc until is measured 12 inches and then I stopped increasing. As this is a handing basket I decided not to work a row in back loops as I did above. I then worked 9 rows of half double crochet before working some short rows to decrease one portion of the basket and add more depth. I finished by adding a chained handle and a final row of crab stitch.
This basket looks great hanging above the bag and shoe area and has easily fitted four sets of hats, scarfs and gloves, and would probably take more if we needed it too.
I really liked how soft the Bernat home maker yarn is and would definitely use it again. I think in future I would double strand the yarn and use a larger hook as it works up much quicker. The hanging basket took me a few hours, about a third of the time of the washing basket!
I hope you have enjoyed looking at my baskets this today. See you next week,
This week I want to share with you a project that I am very proud of. For the longest time I have wanted to try a planned pooling project and this has been very challenging for me! At first just finding a wool that would pool was hard enough, and I actually ended up with Lily Sugar and Cream moondance cotton from hobbycraft (which I have since found out is harder to pool with than acrylic!)
The amount of times I started and tore apart my work as I tried desperately to pool this cotton I don’t know, I lost count! I watched videos, used the planned pooling website, and also facebook groups. I searched for everyone who had successfully pooled this cotton and saved photos, made notes of what they did and continued to try.
My first successful pool wasn’t the argyl I really wanted to achieve, but did produce some nice stripes. The panel is 30 single crochet stitches wide and 43 rows long (basically one ball) and was made on a 4mm hook. I turned it into a make up bag, just used some purple cotton (also by Lily Sugar and Cream) to crochet the sides together, then I crocheted in a zip and cotton lining. I added a crochet flower in Hobbycraft’s Womens Institute Blue Cotton and added a purple flower button as decoration in the centre of the bag. I also made a smaller flower with a smaller button as a pull cord for the zip.
After a bit more practice the planned pooling argyl effect eventually began to make sense and gradually I made the argyl effect. After doing one panel the second was much easier to use. What is slightly frustrating is the fact that (for this cotton at least) the sections of colour are all dyed to slightly different lengths, and this can also be different across different balls. It definitely makes it more challenging to achieve, but once I knew what I was doing it got a lot easier.
The argyl panels are 31 single crochet stitches wide and 47 rows long (again 1 ball each) made with a 4mm hook. I used them as the main portion of a handbag. After making these panels I made several more to make it into a bag. There are two purple panels each 31 single crochets wide and 10 rows long. One of each of these panels is single crocheted to the argyl panel. I left the ridge created from doing this face up as I kind of like the ridged look which divides the panels.
Next I made 2 smaller purple panels, each 10 single crochets wide and 10 rows tall. Plus 4 smaller turquoise panels each 10 single crochets wide and 10 rows tall. These panels are single crocheted together (ridge up) so you have a turquoise panel either side of the purple one. This strip is attached to the other short side of the argyl panel.
The side panels are made one in purple and one in turquoise. They are both 31 stitches wide and 16 rows long and are single crocheted to the front and back panels created above to create your rectangle bag. The bottom panel is 51 single crochets wide and 16 rows tall and is also single crochets to the bottom of the bag with the ridge up.
Next I cut out some cotton fabric as a lining for the bag. I sewed it inside out to create the rectangle shape and also used some to create slip pockets inside the bag. I sewed a hem around the top of the bag and turned it so the patterned side of the lining was facing inwards. I then put this inside the bag and I single crocheted through the stitching on the hem of the lining and the bag edge to attach the lining into the bag.
To add the zip, I used a simple straight stitch to sew around the edge of the zip. I then single crocheted through the sewed loops all the way around the edge to create a single crochet round with the zip in the middle. I used single crochet, chain 1, single crochet in each corner. I then added 3 more rows in the purple increasing by 1 in each corner and then 4 more rows in turquoise until I had the right amount of rows to fit the zip panel at the top of the bag. As it is longer than wider, I added an additional 4 rows in turquoise either end of the panel. The zip panel was then single crocheted ridge side up to the rest of the bag.
The handles are made with Romanian point lace cord, I held 2 strands of the turquoise cotton together and used a 6mm hook. Each end was then single crocheted to ridge around the top of the bag at the edge of each argyl pattern. Mine are 22inches long now, but it is worth noting that the cord stretches, so make it a little bit shorter than needed.
To decorate the bag I added flower buttons on the smaller patches and crocheted flowers on the larger panels. The flower, with a button sewn in was also attached to the zip as a zip pull. The pattern for my exact flower is as follows;
ch 4 and sl st to form a round
(sc, ch 2 2 trc, ch 2 , sc) rep 5 times to form 5 petals and sl st to end round and ch 1,
(sc and hdc in ch2 gap, dc, ch2, dc in between trc, hdc and sc in ch 2 gap, sl st in sc) rep 5 times to finish 5 petals, sl st to finish.
The larger flower a centre sewn on which is 5 single crochets in a magic circle and then sewn in the centre.
I love my bag, not only is it 100% homemade and completely washable (I have already tested this) but I love the fact that I finally achieved the planned pooling argyl patterns and this is displayed in my bag, which is unique to me!
I would definitely recommend trying planned pooling if you haven’t, but be prepared for a lot of hard work and trial and error. I want to try some more as Christmas decorations, so watch out for more on it later this year.
Last week I showed you the dinosaur Hooded Crochet Blanket I made for Oliver. This week I want to show you the unicorn version I have made for Lily.
Lily really loves horses and riding and well anything along that lines, but more recently she is happy with coloured ponies and also unicorns. The chunky platinum coloured wool that Aldi released recently paired perfectly with their raspberry colour and just looked like the perfect combinations for a unicorn. So a unicorn hooded blanket and toy were created from them. I used about 3 balls of the platinum and one of the pink to create the blanket and the toy.
The blanket was created from a platinum rectangle in shell stitch and a shell stitch border in pink. I also added pink triangle hand pockets and a platinum hood which was created from a shell stitch rectangle and attached before the border was added. To finish off the unicorn blanket I added the pink horn and also a pink mane.
The unicorn cuddly toy was created in a similar way, with a platinum body and pink highlighting features. I adapted this unicorn toy pattern, although I made the arms and legs attach as you go rather than having so much sewing to do at the end.
I’m not 100% happy with the shape of either the head or the body of this pattern and I am not sure if its is because of the actual pattern or how I adapted it. I will probably have another go at making another unicorn (although it will not be of the same wool) next year to see if I can improve on the shape at all. However, Lily loves her unicorn and that is really all that matters!
I hope you have enjoyed looking at the hooded blankets and toys I have made over the last couple of weeks. Join me next week for something completely different.