Eek! It's getting close to that festive time of year again. I've made the cake and the mincemeat, I've started buying presents (well more than started, you have to plan ahead when half your family live in another country!) and I feel like I've already made a hundred crocheted Santas for the school fayre.
I started to learn how to crochet last summer and I have to say I've found it pretty addictive. I learnt a few Granny squares but was little Amigurumi that got me hooked. (Pun intended!) Amigurumi are tiny crocheted animals or figures that originated in Japan. They are totally cute and lovely. While browsing the web last year for Gnomes (it's a family thing, I wanted to wind up my mum and my Aunty who are a little 'gnome phobic') I came across Lucy Ravenscar's' blog where she was making little gnomes to go over corks . Turn the gnome coats red and suddenly you have Santa!
Consequently I've had half the PTA of my girls Primary school giving me their left over wine corks so I can make little Santas to sell in aid of school funds. (I'll make no comments about who has drunk the most wine in the last 12 months or why the government don't give us enough money for books!!) I've also adapted the pattern to produce fairies/angles.
And just so we're all clear on this, because I know it can be confusing, I am an atheist but I don't have a problem with doing this. It's not that I'd sell my soul to raise a little extra cash for the school, as clearly I don't think I have a soul to sell, it's just that I like all the seasonal trappings as much as the next person. Santa is fun and so are fairies but I think I've given my girls enough information for them to work out pretty easily that neither are real, certainly one of them has already. I kind of look at it like birthdays, it's all marking time spent on this earth so why shouldn't I celebrate it as much as anyone else? Anyway, back to the crochet.
I also found this lovely pattern for a crochet angel with a lollipop head. http://ahandmadegiftisabeautifulthing.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/free-lollipop-angel-crochet-pattern.html
Which I think should be rather popular.
Another quick thing I've found to do are bows on hairbands, just chain 17, half double crochet into the 15th chain (the 3rd from the hook). Half double crochet the rest of the row (15 stitches), chain 2, turn and repeat until you have 6 rows. Finish off then tuck in the ends. Next take a long piece of the same wool, wind it around the centre of the rectangle you just made a few times keeping the end out for tying up later. Place the hairband behind the bow and keep wrapping, this time going through the hair band until all your length of wool is used up, then tie the two ends together to secure.
My flat Reindeer 'embelishments' are also dead easy,
Chain 9, double crochet in fourth chain from hook (6 stitches) chain another 11, double crochet in fourth chain from hook and in the next 5 chains.
Congratulations you just made the legs, you are now going to chain another one then single crochet 9 stitches across the top of the legs, chain one and turn.
Single crochet 3 rows then chain 4 to make the tail. Slip stitch into the second chain from the hook and the next chain then single crochet into the first single crochet of the row below, continue to single crochet across the row, chain 1 and turn.
Three single crochets, chain 1 and turn, repeat 3 more times but on the last one crochet 3 extra stitches into the final single crochet. Chain 1 and turn.
Single crochet into each crochet of the row below, chain 4, slip stitch into the second chain from the hook and the next one, two single crochets into the row below then chain 7 to start the antlers.
Slip stitch into the 2nd chain from the hook and the next two chains then chain 3 more. Slip stitch back into the second chain from the hook and back into the original chain you branched out from. Slip stitch down the next 2 chains then again chain 3 slip stitch back into the second chain from the hook and back into the original chain you branched out from then slip stitch back down to the head, single crochet then slip stitch then finish off and weave in the ends. With a small amount of red wool sew on the red nose. When you've finished you will need to block this and fix it flat with spray starch or hairspray.
(I admit this is not my best photo ever - it's taken on the web cam as I've temporarily 'mislaid' the charger for my camera! I reserve the right to come back to this post and stick in more photos when I have the real camera working again.)
Off to do more Amigurumi (it's addictive!)