Christmas Crochet

I know it has been a couple of months since my first and only blog post, but I do have a good excuse. I have been trapped in a whirlwind of Christmas crochet!

I decided that this year I was going to make make accessories for my family, and because I like to make things more difficult for myself, I decided to design each item from scratch. This may sound ever so generous, but I had an ulterior motive: my goal for 2017 is to publish some of my crochet patterns, and this way I could use my loved ones as guinea-pigs for the prototype versions of my designs! Initially the plan was to design and make five crocheted hats. I started making the presents at the beginning of November so I’d be well prepared, and at the end of November I realised that I was well ahead of schedule, so I would have plenty of time to add a few more Christmas projects to my to-do list… right? Hats for everyone!

I also ordered a big bag of random ‘waste wool’ (mainly broken or custom blended bits of wool top) from Wingham Wool Works, and some of the scraps of dyed Merino I received were perfect colours for my Mum. I decided to spin them on my drop spindles, and make the resulting yarn into a shawl for her. I spun over 600 metres of sport weight two-ply yarn over the course of a week, and in the process I managed to injure my shoulder and back due to the repetitive strain. I spent the rest of December stiff and creaky as a result.

I also decided to have a go at wet felting and made two zippered pencil cases for my Dad and sister using natural and dyed wools. The process was a lot of fun, but the wool breeds I used weren’t the easiest to felt so it was physically hard work. Unfortunately, due to the last minute rush, I forgot to photograph the pencil cases before I wrapped them, but next time I visit my parents I’ll make sure I take a photo. I also managed to forget to photograph some of the hats I made, but luckily I’ve kept detailed pattern notes them, if I want to make them again.

Despite my early preparedness, my hands decided to seize up a couple of weeks before Christmas due to too much crocheting. Slowing down was not an option, so I was forced to alter my crocheting technique (which is easier said than done after 16 years of crocheting in one particular way) and soldier on. By Christmas Eve I found myself frantically weaving in yarn ends, wet blocking, then turning up the heating and desperately willing a host of hats stretched over balloons to dry out fully so I could gift wrap them!

hats on a tumble dryer
Our tumble dryer sprouted woolly toadstools whenever it was running, as it was the warmest part of the flat!

I am hoping to do some photo tutorial patterns for some of these designs in the very near future, starting with a free pattern for the Raised Braid Hat, so keep checking the blog!

Leafy Greens Hat for my Mum, Grizedale Hat for my Dad, Atomium Hat for my friend’s son
Slouchy hat for my niece, Raised Braid Hat for my Sister-In-Law, Zigzag hat for my nephew
Spots and Stripes Hat for my sister, Fresh Air Hat for my Mother-In-Law, Angler Hat or my Father-In-Law
The finished hand spun shawl pinned out to dry. I ended up borrowing two bath sheets from my in-laws because we didn’t have any spare towels big enough!
My Mum loved the shawl so much that she looks as though she is experiencing a Christmas vision in this photo. My crocheting is just that damn good!

Hope everyone else had a fantastic Christmas and New Year. I spent some of the Christmas money I received on lovely, lovely yarn for some new designs I am working on. I was crocheting again as soon as my hands stopped aching quite so much, which was just after Christmas dinner…

It’s an addiction.


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