In between cuddling my gorgeous grandson I’ve also been knitting and crocheting away.
In the run up to Christmas I made up 2 custom orders and created a range of Christmas gifts for family and friends. I’m still working on my Dad’s final sock as I’m seeing him next week for a belated Christmas!
Today I’m going to focus on the commissions and the gifts I made for adults. I’m saving the baby knitting and crochet for Handmade Monday, and I promise its worth the wait 🙂
Here is a small selection of my festive makes – I’ve just realised that I forgot to snap all my creations so I may well be asking friends to do the honours and share 🙂
I made 2 pairs of these, 1 in red chunky yarn which were much longer in the arms, specifically for school runs.
This pair were made for a friend who loves lilac and black and I added a shamrock accent to each glove to echo her Irish roots.
I really enjoy making personalised designs that say something about the person I’m making them for.
Made for 2 little boys who love kittens. Apparently they are rarely put down and their own kitties now have a bit of a break.
I used a variegated yarn for the brown cat and a brushed DK for the black cat which gave a beautifully soft feel to it.
A friend’s children needed Christmas Jumpers from school, so she arrived with 2 charity shop jumpers for me to embellish.
I used a white yarn shot through with a shiny thread to create the snowflakes and embroidery
For Rudolph I crocheted a motif and then added crocheted eyes, nose and antlers.
Both jumpers were very popular and frequently worn by both children. Its given me an idea to pursue in the coming months!
I picked up a couple of commissions at a local craft fair. I was helping my daughter assemble her reindeer and was asked to make another. The other lady is passionate about daisies so designed and made her a trio of brooches. Do you think its worth making brooches in batches of 3 that match or co-ordinate?
I also made a beautiful crocheted beanie in a green DK shot through with primary colours, complete with curly tassels hanging from the crown for a friend who loves mad hats, a chenille cowl for a friend who’s a dinner lady and needs to keep warm and some bathroom accessories for my brother’s fiancee which I will show when she has had them delivered. I’m also working on a special present for another friend which got a bit delayed as I was shattered from being a birthing partner and then went a caught tonsilitis! Now I’m better the needles are flying as I start my next batch of special commissions.
A couple of weeks ago I received a beautiful hamper of crafting goodies in the post, via Country Baskets in order to create a decoration for a national blog competition- the Festive Face Off:
I opened it up and discovered a box of delights:
I then spent a little time drawing very rough sketches, thinking up themes and wondering how I could add a bit of yarn to the mix:
I then got to work with bark and glue to create a stable and everything to go with it. ..on the theme of my favourite verse from In the Bleak Midwinter:
‘What can I give him, Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb,
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part,
What can I give him? Give my heart.’
I crocheted a beautiful heart frame for ‘Mary’ to hold and crafted a wee manger from bark and glue. Lined with soft leaves it was perfect for a tiny crochet baby complete with his own swaddling bands, made from scraps of soft shetland yarn:
I popped to the Range for pliers and wire cutters to make wire sculptures to form crowns, , Mary, 2 shepherds and the stand for the star. And to create a beautiful angel added a delicate butterfly to make her wings and lace to create a gown:
Wrote a title onto another heart:
Then out came some more yarn and a crochet hook and with a spot of glue, ribbon, buttons and shiny beads a pile of gifts from travelling kings took shape:
I lined the stable with frosted leaves and wired snow flakes around the door to create a frosted theme:
Then added some twined wire, berries and leaves to add an au naturel touch
And sent it off to the garden for a photo shoot:
And on Monday its off to Headway as a gift to add to their Christmas decorations 🙂
Welcome to this week’s Handmade Monday, to take part or spend a lovely evening reading fantastic blogs written by a wide range of crafters, pop across to Handmade Harbour, the blog of Wendy Massey who’s creations are often found in Craft Seller
I’ve been a bit remiss with Handmade Monday for a few weeks due to a combination of being shattered by Sunday following a hectic week, needing to do a house search for car keys, involving roping in a friend who is definitely better at tuning in to answers to prayers than me and found them first attempt and having a very poorly Dad who is now on the mend we hope, its just felt like one more pressure. But today I realised I was looking forward to writing this post, so I sat here with very little idea of what to write and was inspired by bells!
Ring Out Those Bells Tonight!
Purely by accident I started making bells for Christmas – I was playing with some crochet cotton and they sort of happened.
Ringing Through History
And then I got to pondering the significance of bells and Christmas as many carols or songs either make reference to or are written about bells:
Little Donkey – “ring out those bells tonight, Bethlehem Bethlem”
Ding Dong Merrily on High
Carol of the Bells – lovely Ukraian folk song
Do They Know its Christmas?
Jingle Bell Rock
I am very into Medieval and Tudor history and in many of the books I read, bells are a significant way of communicating over long distances with a population. They might ring out sorrow as for a now dead King (or in the case of Do They Know its Christmas, sorrow over starving children);to keep the hours of the day according to the rituals of the medeival church. and of course joy for the crowning of a new King or a Royal birth.
And although bells are less significant in daily life today, when it comes to Christmas they definitely mean celebration! So whether you are a Christian and celebrating the birth of Christ or are into the secular meaning of Christmas, where bells signify the coming of Santa and a sleigh full of gifts; or like many having a foot in both camps – after all we are all human and we all love to give and receive gifts – you’ll definitely be singing about and decorating your tree with bells this Season!
So today I thought I’d share how I make my bells – I’ve chosen one of the simpler designs as I want it to be accessible to all, so here goes:
- I used crochet cotton with a 0.75 mm hook. However there’s nothing to stop you experimenting and using larger hooks and thicker fibres with this pattern, you’ll just get a bigger bell.
- You can also experiment using embroidery threads or adding in a blending filament to your bell – one of the joys of creating with crochet is that you have permission to play and try things out….. so don’t just sit there wondering – go for it!
- Ribbon or thread to hang your bell with
- Minature sleighbell to stitch inside if you want your bell to chime!
Please note all instructions are in UK crochet terms, for USA and Japan, please feel free to download my conversion sheet if this will help: UK and US Crochet Terms
SC – single crochet or slip stitch; ch – chain; tr – treble; htr – half treble; dc – double crochet; sp- space
Fnd: Make 6 ch and join with sc to make ring
Row 1: 3ch work 11tr into ring and join with sc – this forms the top of the bell
Row 2: 3ch 2tr into same st * 2ch miss1 tr , 3tr into next tr, rep from * to end join with sc
Row 3 -5 : As row 2 These rows form a tube for the side of the bell
Row 6: 1ch, 1htr, 1tr, into 1st st *1tr, 1htr, 1dc into 2nd st. 1dc into 2ch sp, 1dc, 1htr,
1ch in next st . Rep from * to end. Fasten Off. This row forms the “skirt” at the base of the bell
Sew in ends and sew ribbon onto top of bell securely
If required, sew small sleigh bell inside bell
If you’d like the pattern for this bell and another, please download my Ding Dong Merrily Freebie
I’d really like some feedback on the pattern should you choose to use it please, as I am developing a range of patterns I’ll be launching early in the New Year. I know its very easy when you write a pattern down to knit or crochet merrily away, not realising you’ve made a colossal error, because as the author and designer you know exactly what you mean and then cannot fathom out why someonelse is having problems with it, until you actually read what you’ve written…… one red faced teacher then spotted slinking to the bottom of the class 🙂