Sunday, 10 November 2013

Have Yourself a Handmade Little Christmas

Yep, it's all about Christmas crafting this year. Last year I felt I left it a bit late (the Christmas tree skirt was finished in time for the tree to come down!) so I have started in good time this year. It's not just crochet either - it's a multi-discipline crafting bonanza! I'm making my own cards - simple ones, but pretty ones I think. I also have 'stuff' for Little P to make her own too. That will involve heaps of glue and glitter and sequins and stickers - but she will have great fun (and so will I cleaning up after her!)
The last 3 weeks have been ridden with ailments - first me and the Little Lady were under the weather. Little P took quite some time to get over it, and is still not fully there, although she is becoming more her usual self now. The cheeky streak is back! It was hard getting out of the house at times as Little P wanted to stay in (most unlike her) but I needed a break too, so I suggested we drive to the City to the Hobbycraft store. We will just pick up a 'couple of bits' for Christmas crafting... needless to say I bought more than I anticipated, but it will definitely all get used and enjoyed. The trip did also cheer up Little P, who was very excited about making Christmas cards and picking the bits and bobs she wanted - within reason.
I have also been trying my hand at hand-sewn felt decorations. I have seen them in shops and refuse to buy them as the quality of the stitching doesn't often look great, and they aren't cheap either. It would be much more satisfying to make some - all you need is felt, stuffing, thread and buttons, and a little bit of practice at blanket stitching. So I acquired some Christmassy colours of felt and thread, and some pearl buttons and got to work.

Not bad for a first attempt hey? I found blanket stitching around the points a little tricky, but in my later creations, I've ironed it out a bit and they look a little smarter! So simple, yet so sweet, and a lot cheaper and more pleasing than shop-bought ones. I also really enjoyed hand stitching these, and it reminded me of sewing lessons at Middle School - the ones I used to hate and had no interest in, how I wish I'd listened and learned more now!

I have other 'big' ideas for Christmas crafting too... I saved the 5 'cone bobbins' that my Hoopayarn came on, and plan to turn them into nativity characters, safe ones that Little P can play with. Amongst my Hobbycraft purchases were some polystyrene balls for their heads, and a small polystyrene figure, which will become baby Jesus if all goes to plan. He has already had one accident - when reviewing my purchases, Little P managed to snap his head off! Nothing a bit of glue won't sort! 
My Mum asked if I would crochet some Christmas bunting to hang up in the lounge, so I have to figure out my plan for that too. I have made a small crochet star garland to hang on the fireplace. I needed a small, repetitive project whilst I sat and watched 'Inception' one evening, so picked some festive colours and made 12 little stars. I improvised the stars a bit after looking at various patterns, but they are pretty simple...

Round 1 - 15dc in magic ring, slip stitch to close.
Round 2 - the points, chain 6, sc in 3rd chain from hook, hdc in next, dc in next, tr in next. Skip 2 stitches from Round 1 and slip stitch into next. Do this 5 times to make 5 points.

Easy peasy little stars... I then strung them together by making a simple chain and slip stitching through the top of one of the points of the star. I think I had 30 chain stitches at each end, and 20 between stars. I used Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo and a 3.5mm hook.

Amongst all this festivity, I have made a couple of much needed beanie hats. The weather has most definitely turned for the worse, and I was searching around for a suitable slouchy hat pattern. Then right on cue my friend Curly Girl Coop alerted me to the wonderful world of MyBoshi. If you like beanies and colour, you'll love this stuff. It's a company who specialise in making customisable beanies and hats and other woolly goodness, using their own brand yarn, which is a mix of 70% acrylic and 30% merino. It's surprisingly soft, and not at all 'fluffy' or 'itchy' - two things I can't stand for a hat! It has an amazing range of colours and gives a lovely 'polished' and professional look to the hats. The only negative is that a lot of the information is in German and there are only a few 'do-it-yourself' patterns available, unlike the enormous range available to buy as ready made boshis.
The basic pattern is very simple however, and I think it could be easily adapted to create different effects. It just so happens that my local yarn store is selling this... Luckily my friend Curly Girl Coop had left me a few colours to choose from after she had raided the stand, so I bought a few to take home and try.

My first effort, the one on the left, worked up so quickly and easily. I had to add a couple of rounds to make it a bit longer so it covered my ears, but the pattern was very easy to follow. I was hooked. I had to make more. Little P picked her colours out (the brightest pink in the world and violet) so I whipped her one up too. It was a little tricky as she wouldn't let me measure her head, so it was a bit of guesstimation, but I got there in the end. The last one, bottom left, is a slouchy hat. I love the colours of this one, and can see me wearing it a lot. Also very quick to work up, I finished it in an evening - this included colour planning which takes up the most time!

I just love how the yarn looks... so polished...

My advice? If you need a winter hat and you can crochet - it's MyBoshi all the way!

I could quite happily buy loads more colours and make loads more hats! I just need more heads to wear them!

I also managed to type up a little pattern for my Father Christmas amigurumi, which can either be a toy or a hanging ornament. Find it here. I think he will look good next to Ronald the Fat Little Reindeer too...

Must be off, so until next time, happy Christmas crafting!


  1. Oooooh - lovely to see someone else already stuck into the Christmas crafting! I'm busy making felted Christmas tree decorations too, for baby friends of my baby, but if I get time I'm definitely going to to more for our own tree! Thanks for typing out the Father Christmas pattern - if I can find the time I'm totally making one of those!

  2. Wow!! you have been busy!! hats and felt and rugs and santa's and reindeer!! I am using Wink's pattern also and making a rug for my granddaughter. I love how different they all look depending on the yarn you use. I still haven't tried amigurumi yet...maybe one day. At least I know where to come to get patterns! Hope you and little lady have a great week! :)

  3. How did you adapt the Myboshi pattern for a child? I've just made one for my hubby and would like to use the leftover wool for a 2 YO. As a beginner I'm not sure whether just to half the no of sticthes ie 6 trebles into ring to start instead of 11 etc...

    1. Hi... There are a few ways to do it. If you can measure the head it helps- but I can never measure my 2yo's! If you can, measure around the circumference, and also from the crown to where you want it to finish- I did mine to cover her little ears! Then divide the circumference measurement by pi (3.14) and this gives you the diameter.
      Start with 11 stitches as instructions say, and keep increasing rounds until the diameter of the circle matches what you calculated. This may mean you do one increase round less than you did for your husbands hat. Then carry on with plain rounds until it reaches the desired length. Voila! That's basically how hats are measured to fit.
      Another way would be to use a slightly smaller hook, maybe 5mm, and follow the pattern... But either way it really helps if you can get a measurement. If not there are loads of websites with average head measurements for all ages!
      Hope that helps! :)