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Christmas Aftermath

I got a wild idea about the middle of November to make everyone crochet beanies for Christmas. I had just had surgery in October and was home recovering thinking I had plenty of time.

I compiled my list of hats I needed to make. There were over 50 names on that list and with a schedule of making two a day and sometimes three I could technically make a Christmas deadline. Two hats a day was an impossible task for me with a full-time job and also just how slow I am apparently at making hats. Really thought I could whip those up faster.

So here I sit the first week of February and still not done with these hats. At this point these hats are giant leap towards crochet hats for Christmas 2017 as winter will soon be over if not already in our part of the country.

My grandmother always crocheted Christmas gifts throughout the year. Every November when I decide to make gifts then spend every free moment crocheting, I see her wisdom in her planning and vow to try it. This year I will be doing this and thanks to starting in November (and not making a Christmas deadline) I have a good amount done for Christmas 2017.

Crochet Organization

For the rest of 2016, our family theme is organization as we are looking to move in a year we need to take care of our clutter. Since we will be knee deep in stuff we might as well organize it. I mean seriously organize it like put stuff in boxes, writing down was in in said box and put that info in a database.

One area for me personally that would be so much easier to use is all of my craft stuff which is primarily yarn. To better get a handle on just how and where to store my yarn, I have decided to think of the projects I am likely to do in the next six -eight months.

I like to do something for Halloween and for Valentine’s Day. I’ve done small monsters, gnomes, and even more monsters in the past. This year I have two ideas that would both be cute.

One is Pokeballs building on my Gen Con venture. The other is snakes and possibly some dragons. The snakes I had made for a girl and her brother since they have a pet snake making one to look like her snake and one to favor a Ninja Turtle since the boy loves Ninja Turtles. Since I plan on making more Pokeballs for PaxSouth, I am leaning towards the snakes and adding some wings for a few dragons. Wow. I think I’ve made my decision. It’s amazing what just talking (or writing!) it out really helps bring clarity.

Projects I know I will have within the next six months:

Halloween happies
Valentine’s Day happies
Pokeballs for PaxSouth
Baby Gift (x2)

Holiday Crocheting
Mermaid afghan (possibly 2. Large project. I’m terrible with large projects.)
Crochet Hats

So yeah for a lot of this I don’t have the yarn yet or maybe I do once it is all organized. I may have more yarn than I realize.

For my actual yarn organization, I am using clear, shallow, plastic boxes with the idea that only one layer of yarn will fit. I’ve tried larger boxes but find that after time the yarn will tangle once I start going through the boxes to find something. I had tried using gallon Ziploc bags so the yarn wouldn’t unravel but find that solution tiring. Maybe a better organization system would mean grouping better yarns together. Before I had just done it by color which – in hindsight – wasn’t the best. This time I plan to group by weight and projects.

Christmas Crochet

My Christmas crochet can best be described by one word: fast. I chose to give cup cozies because I waited too long to crochet anything else. It saddens me especially when I know that some really enjoy the gifts I make.

Next year I plan to be more on the ball. I see why my Grandmother spent all year crocheting gift items for Christmas. It does take that long to get it all done.

The end of the year makes me think about what I accomplished this year and what I want to do for the next. Next year I definitely want to do more crochet items for Christmas gifts because they are well received and let’s face it, it is just hard to buy gifts for some people.

Between now and the end of the year I will be planning out what I want to do for everyone. Then come January get busy with it. I will make a tracker that I can put here and update each month to keep me honest and hopefully help others do the same. It’s never too early to start thinking about next Christmas especially when you are crafting items.

Crochet in The Hobbit

After nearly a month after its release, we finally watched ‘The Hobbit.’ I have to admit that my husband was more interested in seeing this movie than I was. But I loved it, bought the book, and now can’t wait to see it again!

Also crochet is mentioned! How cool is that? The dwarves have gathered at Bilbo’s home and one is looking for a handkerchief when he grabs a doily. Bilbo takes it from him and tells him it isn’t a handkerchief but crochet(it has holes in it, it’s crochet) – to which the dwarf misunderstands thinks he says croquet and how he likes the sport.

Also Gandalf has some really cute knitted wrist warmers. They look to be garter stitch so I may try to knook a pair since I have no trouble with the garter stitch.

Anyway, a fun movie with a crochet reference! What could be better?

Hooks as Props

Note to self: When daughter asks to borrow your crochet hooks, you may want to ask why. Good to know that if I ever stop crocheting(HIGHLY Unlikely! 🙂 ) that my hooks can be used as stuffed animal props. I’m guessing these are ski poles or maybe the walking power sticks that Phil had on an episode of ‘Modern Family.’

Kitchen Towel Holder

Here is an easy project that makes for a great Christmas gift. It’s a crocheted kitchen towel holder. This is very simple. Just start with a chain of however long you desire the holder to be – probably around 12 inches. Then do a row of double crochet to the beginning. Then chain two and do one more row of double crochet.

You can sew a button on one end to make it attachable to a handle or do what I did. On the second row with about 15 DC to go, chain two and skip one double crochet. Then double crochet until the last two of the row. Chain two and skip the next to last DC and double crochet into the last DC of the row.

Then you can loop the other end through the two holes like a belt. You can attach it to a handle without worrying with a button. It works well. You might even consider stitching together the threading end to make it more compact and easier to thread through the holes.

It takes a small amount of yarn and can be used with any towel. It would make a great, fast gift.

Christmas Wreath

I had wanted to make a crochet Christmas wreath since I had seen one in Crochet Today. They had taken a styrofoam wreath and placed crochet roses on it. It was cute but I could never find a styrofoam wreath. I did find a yarn wreath at the thrift store. It had some decorations on it that I took off. I made some of the crochet roses and an Irish rose for the top center. I did some simple chains for added decorations.

It turned out better than I expected. I really was pleased to find a yarn wreath since it makes a great base for this project. The yarn wreath has a wire clothes hanger as its base. You then tie looped yarn(like how you might make a pom pom) around it until you have it full. It is time consuming but does make for a pretty wreath. Glad I found mine secondhand though.

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I’d rather be crocheting

Although the weather is very warm lately, I have been in a crocheting mood – which is a good thing since Christmas is coming very fast. I love to crochet when it is cold outside. The yarn between my fingers just feels so cozy and nice. I enjoy crocheting for Christmas since it I crochet for others and it gives me a deadline. Sometimes without a strict deadline projects never get finished.

This week I am working on a few small crochet projects for Christmas. Might as well get those out of the way and then I need to decide on hat patterns. I’d like to do a few hats but really have to decide which patterns would be best for my yarn. If only there was a program that would show you the finish product – kind of like the hair style computer programs that show what a certain style would look like on you. Using the right yarn is so important to getting the right results.

It is nice to be back regularly crocheting. Now let’s hope I can finish all these projects for Christmas.

Biffer Shrug

While on Ravelry a few weeks ago, I found a pattern for called biffer shrug. It’s a crocheted pad for your Swiffer. It crochets up pretty fast. I finished mine in a couple of hours spread over two days.

Now I have no more excuses for not cleaning my floors. I can’t wait to try it out. It’s almost too cute to use.

Crocheting for the Girl

Most of my crochet projects wind up in the possession of my five year old daughter. Every time I start a project, her first question is, “Who is that for?” So, usually my first attempt at a toy pattern goes to her. Then I work on the gift one.

I finished her a Hello Kitty complete with a dress. It was around 9pm when I finished the dress and placed it on the crocheted kitty. My daughter promptly took it off and said that Hello Kitty needed pajamas and didn’t wish to sleep in her dress. The next night I worked on some pajamas that look more like a swimsuit. Now her next request is high heels for Hello Kitty – so that will be tonight’s challenge.

It is nice to be in demand especially when I’m at a lull in crochet projects. I have plenty I want to do but no motivation to start any of them. At least crocheting for my daughter will give me something to do while my mind decides which crochet project to tackle next.

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