Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Crochet Santa Stars

Tomorrow launches the start of the silly season, so thought I'd show you some Santa stars. I made a couple of these last year as gifts.
I've been making fabric Santa Stars for years so I was happy to find this free vintage pattern here at Purple Kitty to make some crochet ones.

The vintage pattern is in American terminology so their sc is our (English) dc.
I've adapted the pattern a bit. I've used 8ply & a 4mm hook. I've made two Santas, stitched them together & stuffed him to give him a nice pudgy middle. (is pudgy a word? you know what I mean).This makes Santa about 25cm high & wide.

The Santas I made last year had black gloves instead of white ones, there's one in my project page on Ravelry from last November, either look fine. I used plain white yarn for the gloves, don't know if you can see them well enough in the photo.
On all the trims on the cuffs, hat & beard I've used fake fur yarn (maybe the only good use for the stuff), & flesh colour for the face
I followed the basic pattern with the following minor changes.
For the head point I didn't do the loopy row, from the beginning of the point I worked 2 rows red, 4 rows flesh, 2 rows furry white & then red until the end. I didn't bother doing a face on the back side, I just did the head piece all in red up to the white fur trim then finished with red as the front.
With the two pieces facing out, stitch them together leaving a space open to stuff, join it up when you're done stuffing.
Flat Santa -

For the Belt, I did 46 ch, 1ch for turning, & worked 45dc for 2 rows. Stitch it around his middle with the join at the back.
For the Buckle, ch 8, join to form a ring then dc into the ring until nicely filled, I think I did about 13dc, slst into first dc.
For the beard I cut 20 lengths of furry yarn double the length you want the beard plus a little longer so you can trim it up. Taking 2 pieces doubled & a smaller crochet hook latch hook them into the face starting at the fur trim of his hat & curving around the face. Trim it up when you're done.

Add a jingle bell, a couple of beads for eyes, & a hanging thread & he's done.
Oh here's a pic of the the fabric ones

I'll post a pic of the little crochet Santa garland I'm making with the same pattern  in the next post, & I hope to have time to put a couple of cup cosy patterns up soon as well. I love vintage patterns, they live on & on, go check out the other patterns at Purple Kitty, it's one of my favourite sites.
Hope everyone is ready for the next few weeks of chaos lol
Love Jen.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Rosebuds Tea Cosy

Rosebuds Tea Cosy

To fit a 6 cup Teapot measuring 44cm circ x 18cm high.
Cosy measures 42cm circ x 18cm high (stretches to fit).

I instantly fell in love with the colours & texture of the yarn I used for the body of the cosy & snatched it up one day, while I was shopping for something else. Knitted up on a tighter tension than recommended makes a wonderfully warm & stretchy tea cosy. It needs nothing but garter stitch with the yarn doing all the work, making it so simple. You can use the whole 15 rosebuds for your cosy or just a few if you prefer a simpler design.
The cosy is designed only for this specific yarn. I won't guarantee the same results from alternative yarns, but I'll list as much information as I can, if you can't source this specific yarn.

- Lincraft Big Wool 50g balls x 2 (approx 40m per 50g ball)
Colourway - pink/green/cream

The yarn is classed as Bulky & is thick & thin texture. The ball band tension is 10sts x 15 rows (10cm x 10cm) using 8mm needles.
However to achieve a thicker fabric for this cosy I used 6mm needles giving an approx tension of 12sts x 26 rows (10cm x 10cm) worked over garter stitch.

- Moda Vera Pure Wool 8ply (dk) - 50g balls x 2 in Dark Pink for Rosebuds.

- Moda Vera Pure Wool 8ply (dk) - 50g balls x 1 in Light Green for Leaves.
- 6mm needles
- 4mm needles

Front & Back Alike - make 2
 Using 6mm needles & "Lincraft Big Wool" cast on 25sts.
Working in Garter Stitch, knit until 13cm from beginning.
Next Row - ( K2, K2 tog) to last st, K1 - 19sts.
Knit 7 rows.
Next Row - (K1, K2 tog) to last st, K1 - 13sts.
Knit 5 rows.
Next Row - (K1, K2 tog) to last st, K1 - 9sts.

Thread yarn through remaining stitches, pull tight & fasten off.

Rosebuds - make 15.
With 4mm needles & Pink 8ply, cast on 34 sts.
Using St st throughout K2 rows.
Next Row - Decrease at the beginning of this row & every knit row until 10 rows from beginning. (To decrease neatly Sl1K1PO).

Cast off.
Leave a long length of yarn at the end of each rose & set of leaves for sewing up.

Leaves - Make 10
3 leaves are knitted as one piece of knitting to wrap around the rosebud. I only put leaves on 10 of the rosebuds otherwise there is too much foliage on the cosy. The rosebuds without leaves are then used for fillers at the end.

With 4mm needles & green 8 ply cast on 21 sts.
Next row - K across 7 sts turn & work on these sts for the first leaf.
St st another 5 rows, starting with a purl row.
Next row - Decrease each end of this row, &  every K row until there are 3 sts, ending with a P row.

Next row - Decrease in first 2 sts, K1.
Next row - P2 together.

Fasten off.

Attach yarn & work in the same way on the next 7 st left on needle, & then again with the final 7 sts to form 3 leaves joined at the cast on edge.

Putting it all together.
Sew the front & back pieces of the cosy together, about an inch at the bottom (or whatever suits your own teapot) & from the top down both sides leaving space for your spout & handle. I think mine was sewn about 11cm down from the top.

The Rosebuds

With the longest edge at the bottom, start by curling the side in & then sewing it in place from the bottom to halfway up the flower. I find this stops the inside of the rosebud from popping out. Now sew a gathering stitch along the bottom edge & pull the gather in about this much .....

Start curling the rosebud from the inside edge, the gathering stops the rosebud from looking just like a tube. Stitch the rounds in place on the bottom edge as you go. Try to keep the bottom flat. When you get to the end curl the decreased edge out as you do the last turn & stitch in place near the bottom.
You'll get the hang of it after 15 goes lol.

The Leaves
Run a gathering stitch along the bottom of the triple leaf piece. You only have to gather it up enough to fit around the bottom of the rosebud like this.

Sew it in place, I also put a tiny stitch halfway up each leaf into the rosebud to keep it close against the flower.

Now attach the rosebuds. I started with the ones with leaves, putting 3 around the top (you can put a filler one right in the middle of these at the end). Then alternate another row down from these leaving some space for 4 more filler flowers without leaves to fill up spaces. Just play around with it, until you're happy with the look.
The best way is to attach the flowers with a stitch while it's sitting on the teapot & fasten them on securely afterwards.
© Jennifer Stacey 2011

For personal use, not to be sold for profit.
That's about it.
Let me know if there are any mistakes. I did write this out very late at night, so please let me know if there's something you think I've left out, or if there is anything you don't understand.

Love Jen.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Rosebuds is finished.

Hi all,
Finally finished this, it's just another flowery tea cosy, nothing you haven't seen before, but with the lovely pink, green & cream yarn for the base what else would I do.

The top is full of rosebuds, I quickly took a photo of it this morning to put up while I write out the pattern, but I'll take a couple more.
The pattern could not be easier, if you can't source the same yarn I'll add as much info as I can so you can hunt for something similar. Otherwise it may be a bit boring with a plain garter stitch base. The rosebuds & leaves are so simple, even though there are 15 of them lol.

While I love the cosy, I'm dying to make a market bag with the same yarn & rosebuds, to take to knitting group. So while the cosy will be put to good use, I'm really looking forward to making & using the bag.
I'm definitely asking Santa for enough yarn for Christmas to make one (he had better get his credit card out as it's going to take a lot of yarn for this bag)!
So here's the pic (hope you didn't mind me having some fun with the posts & I hope it's not an anti-climax lol).
This one will go off to K4BN to their market table, hopefully someone might buy it.

The pattern will be up for free the next day or so.
Hope everyone is getting all Christmasy,
love Jen.