Saturday, 20 December 2014

Merry Christmas to you all! (A crochet wreath tutorial, an Alpaca Shawl and another hat or two!)

Hello my friends,

Finally I get a chance for another post! Enjoy the photos, there are plenty! I've been rather busy lately! But then I'm sure, all of you have as well. Isn't there just so much to do, no matter how you much you plan ahead?






How to make a Christmas Mini Wreath Decoration - Quick Tutorial

You will need a small wooden craft ring, I used one about 7cm and one of 5cm. But any kind of ring could be used (think curtain or shower curtain rings, rings from broken jewellery etc) The ring needs to be big enough so that you are able to crochet around it!

I used Scheepjeswol Stone Washed for the first example, but you could use any yarn you like, plus a matching crochet hook.

You start with leaving a long enough tail (10-15 cm), this will be used for a hanging loop later. Crochet once all around the ring, making sure you cover it tightly and completely, keep pushing the stitches so they are very close next to each other, but not overlapping. (In my case there were about 95 stitches for the larger ring).


Close the ring with a slip stitch, chain 3 (counts as first stitch) and begin the second round: *crochet (always) a total of 5 trebles into the first stitch, then a double crochet into the next stitch, then skip 3 stitches*. (Repeat from *to*)

You might find it a bit tight to crochet 5 stitches, you could also make this less, and depending on the size of your circle and number of total stitches, you could leave more stitches inbetween the trebles.

This is what it will look like:



Once you have crocheted this ruffly shell stitch all around the ring, close with a slip stitch. Cut your yarn, but leave a long enough tail. Knot the two yarn tails with each other a couple of times to secure.

Now you will need the contrasting yarn (if using) and a large wool needle to make large stitches around the outer row of shell stitch. See below:


Now we are adding a small bow. I crocheted a small number of chain stitches (here in red yarn) that would be enough to form a bow, then cut the end and pulled the yarn through the last stitch to secure.I had some nice bright Neon thread with which I sewed the shaped bow to the wreath at the bottom (opposite the 2 tail ends which are used as a hanging loop).




This is the second wreath I made. Here I used a different yarn (Veritas Laura which contains wool) and a smaller wooden ring. I needed to use a larger hook for the yarn, therefore the stitches looked much bigger in relation to the size of ring! I also needed less stitches in total. The number of stitches is not that important, obviously it helps if you can divide it by the number of stitches in a repeat (in my case above it was that the pattern repeats every 5 stitches).


Here I wanted to add some tiny crochet balls which I made by chaining 5, then closing into a ring with a slip stitch, cut the yarn and leave long ends, see photo. I used 3 different colours for the 'balls' and red for the bow.


Here you can see what it looks like at the back. All I did was to thread the 2 yarn ends through the shell stitch row in regular intervals, then knotting the yarn ends twice and then cutting them off (taking care not to cut into the knots obviously!) I also attached the bow with a small length of yarn, which I threaded through to the back and then knotted and cut.

Last step: Knot the 2 (green) yarn ends together and trim, this will be your hanging loop so you can hang the ornament


This is what the finished wreath looks like from the front.


And here you can see both wreaths together. Using different sizes, different yarns or colours can give different results. You can vary it according to your own taste. I thought it might also look nice if you got some pretty beads which you could sew on or even incorporate into your crocheting.
Use your own imagination! I would be very interested to see your own version if you try this out, just leave a link in the comments below!

Here are the finished Mini Wreaths

Cleo and my Maybelle Flower Bunting

Maurice Knits in Antwerpen

Recently I made a visit to a new Knit Cafe in Antwerp called Maurice Knits. It's in a temporary location in a bank building. They even got the caravan parked outside!

To find out more about Maurice knits, visit their website: http://www.mauriceknitwear.com/

The cafe inside is quite large and roomy with plenty of seats. When I went there there were lots of students working with their laptops! The coffee is tasty and the tart I sampled was yummy! Some of the furniture there is vintage and also for sale! There were quite a number of knitted items for sale, such as chunky winter jumpers and woolly hats! They also had a small amount of wool for sale! (Hooray for some nice Rowan yarns!) I had a nice time sitting there and crocheting some of my Christmas stars!

11.12.14 Maurice Knits, Antwerpen

A Christmas Market in Germany



Last Saturday we went to Hanau, Germany for a quick day trip to visit my family. After a meal, we went for a stroll across the Christmas market. In the first photo you can see some people dressed up in animal costumes which probably had something to do with the Brothers Grimm. (Hanau is the birth town of the Brothers Grimm, you can see their statue just behind the booth on the left side).

13.12.14 Christmas Market in Hanau, Germany

Little houses and tree ornaments
Lots of Red and White Christmas ornaments!
From the bottom of my heart I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!!!
Colourful wooden toys

New and finished projects

Here a quick mention of some other crochet and knitted makes....

I made this crochet sample after a pattern I found here: http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/L0435.html?utm_source=bronto&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Crochet%20Lacy%20Scarf&utm_content=12%20Popular%20Thick%20%2026%20Quick%20Patterns%20to%20Knit%20and%20Crochet&utm_campaign=Weekly%20Stitch%2011012014

I used Fenna yarn again and I like the effect of the pattern. The idea is to transform this rectangular sample into a bag later.

13.12.14 Crochet Stitch Sample
Stitch Close up
The following is my absolute favourite make of recent times! I made a large, soft Alpaca Shawl, knitted from Drops Alpaca Boucle which can be a bit tricky to knit with thanks to the Boucle loops, but it is oh, so soft!!! It measures around 1.50m wide by about 60cm high. It is my own pattern. The effect is that the stitches create a sort of double layered pattern, thus trapping the warmth inbetween. This shawl is absolutely wonderful to wear, either with the triangle tip at the front or at the back.
I can highly recommend this yarn!!!

(I first mentioned this shawl here: http://myfunkycrochet.blogspot.be/2014/11/blue-shells-cowl-hart-labeur-in.html )

12.12.14 Finished Black Alpaca Shawl
Alpaca Shawl Stitch Detail close up
And I also knitted another hat with the great Rico Tasai yarn, this one is a Birthday gift and has already been posted! Again, I love the range of colours!!!

17.12.14 Knitted Hat (5)
Here is my current WIP that I am concentrating on and that soon will be finished: I'm knitting a cape, again from Drops Alpaca Boucle, this time in a mauve pink. I've just binge watched the Outlander series which plays in Scotland in 1743 (more about the series here!!!)

I'm totally in love with the costumes in the series, especially all the shawls, capes, neckscarves etc that the main character Claire is wearing. Oh, and also you can find these original costume designs here on etsy! I already got my mind on the fabulous Sassenach Capelet! I mean, how difficult can it be???

However, my cape here is more inspired by this.  But the pattern is different, it is my own. I'm using different sized needles, starting with 8mm and currently I am down to a size 5mm.


Below you can see a new crochet hat that I also started at the same time!

15.12.14 Crochet Hat
19.12.14 Crochet Hat
I close with these cute little Christmas ornaments/garland that I made for last year's Christmas. Each decoration was completely handsewn. It took me quite a long time, I recall, but I loved making them!

My handsewn Xmas Garland from 2013

Well, that's all for now! I do hope you enjoyed reading this. Maybe you got a tiny bit of inspiration out of one or another picture, I do hope so! I want to thank you all for your kind support and loyalty, thank you for following my blog and visiting from time to time! I warmly welcome all new followers! Thanks again for all your great comments, which I enjoy reading, so please leave a little note below!

Last, not least: Here is wishing you all a wonderful Christmas!!!!

44 comments:

  1. So many beautiful things! Your wreaths are beautiful, and so is your handsewn garland! All the things at the market look amazing too. I hope that you have been and will continue to have wonderful Christmassy times. Happy Christmas! xx

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    1. Hi Amy! Glad you like my little makes! Isn't it amazing what you can make with just a little bit of felt plus fabric! I noticed you also made some felt/fabric decorations, so cute!!! <3
      Have a happy Christmas! xx

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  2. Merry christmas and a wonderful 2015!
    Thanks for all the inspiration you share with us.

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    1. Hello Jeanette! Thanks for your kind words! I'm going to follow your blog as well, such pretty ideas! Wishing you a Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year to come! xx

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  3. Hi Ingrid, wow you have been busy, those little crochet wreaths are fabulous and I adore your home made fabric garland.
    I think I would be very much at home in the Maurice Knits store, sounds perfect, lovely to see the young folk enjoying it too.
    Have a wonderful Christmas Ingrid xx

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    1. Hi Helen! Yes, it's a shame you can't pop over to this Cafe, we could sit and crochet together!!! :) The wreaths don't take long to make at all! Have a lovely Xmas!!!! xx

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  4. Ja wirklich, so viele Arbeiten in dieser Zeit und auf Reisen, toll! Die kleinen `Tannenkränze` gefallen mir sehr, besonders das rote Band ist das Tüpfelchen auch dem i (Holzgardinenringe sind vorrätig...;o)
    Dir nun ein frohes Weihnachtsfest, Birgit

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    1. Hallo Birgit! Manchmal sind so kleine Projekte was Tolles zum Zwischendurch und machen einfach viel Spass! Probier es doch einfach mal aus! Danke fuer Deinen Besuch bei mir! Ich habe vorhin Deine tollen Mandalas gesehen, die Farben sind einfach super!!! Zum Verlieben! <3 Sanft und schoen aus der Natur! Ich wuensch Dir auch schoene Weihnachten! xx

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  5. Lovely creations!!
    Happy Holidays!:*

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    1. Thanks, Ljubinka! I also want to wish you a happy Christmas! xx

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  6. Ingrid, Merry Christmas ! Happy Christmas.
    I love your garland from 2013

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    1. Thanks, Kathy! Have a lovely Xmas time and enjoy the cookies with your family!!!! xx

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  7. I really love the wreaths, they're adorable. Thank you for the tutorial, I may try to make some in time for next year.

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    1. Hi Jennifer! Glad you like them! Have a lovely Christmas!!! xx

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  8. You are so productive! What cute wreaths - it would be fun to decorate them with beads, I think.

    The Christmas market looks like great fun. :)

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    1. Hi there! Yes, beads, definitely! I was thinking of tiny metallic looking beads but unfortunately they could not be found so I had to make do with yarn instead!

      Walking over that market always brings back lots of memories from the time when I still lived there! I've always admired the wooden toys, something from a time gone by....
      Happy Christmas!!! xx

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  9. Hello Ingrid! Thanks for your comment! The mini Christmas wreaths seems quick and funny to do, thanks for sharig! Merry Christmas! :::Silvia

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    1. Hello Silvia! Thanks for your comments. Happy Christmas to you!! xx

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  10. I love all the things you've made - you have been very busy. The mini wreaths are gorgeous - I must give them a go for next year. Have a really wonderful Christmas with your family.

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    1. Hi Gillian! Guess what, I'm still busy with making a Christmas present as I type... ;) Hopefully it will be ready in time.
      I'm looking forward to having 2 daughters this Christmas here with us!!! Have a lovely time!!! xx

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  11. All your makes are lovely, Ingrid! The little wreaths are so sweet and such a perfect festive project :) Wishing you and your family a very Happy Christmas!
    Helen xox

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    1. Thanks so much, Helen! I thought of you when I photographed that Christmas market stalls, so much Red and White!!! ;))
      And a Happy Christmas, to you, too!!! xx

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  12. Wow, you have certainly been very busy. I really love the mini wreaths. Wishing you a merry Christmas

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    1. Thank you, Helda! Hope you have a lovely Christmas and time to relax!!! xx

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  13. I feel like I might need to have a bit of a rest after this post, you have been very busy my friend. I love all that you have made, and the thoughts of that caplet that doubles as a scarf are swirling in my head. I love it.
    Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday.
    Meredith

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    1. Hahaha, Thanks, Meredith!!! Enjoy being with your family at Christmas!!! xx

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  14. Love the mini wreaths Ingrid, thanks for the tutorial! Happy Holidays to you and your family!

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    1. Thanks, Hetty, glad you like them! Happy Christmas!!! xx

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  15. Again: So many great works! I am especially fond of the Alpaca Shawl. It looks very stylish and I adore the colour. Man, I really need to learn to knit in 2015!

    Thanks heaps for your christmas card! I found it in the mail box when I returned from Stockholm! I hope mine will arrive at your house for christmas! :)

    Take care
    Anne
    http://crochetbetweentwoworlds.blogspot.de

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    1. Hi Anne! Hope you had a great time in Sweden??!!! And belated Happy Birthday as well!!!

      Yes, give knitting a go in 2015!!! Making a triangular or rectangular shawl is not too difficult. I cannot tell you how much I love the black shawl already, I seem to wear it daily at the moment!!!

      I have to thank you also for the fact that you were one of the several people who always mentioned about DROPS!!! I just placed a nice order for some more Alpaca from Drops (since it has got 25% discount until 31.12.14), I got lots of plans!!! :)

      Currently I got 3 knitting WIPs on the go, one of them a last minute gift! (not to mention the Harlequin Blanket which I will work on more over Xmas).

      Have a lovely crafty Christmas!!! xx

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  16. What a gorgeous array of superb photos and projects Ingrid. The Christmas market looks wonderful-I have taught the children at school about the Grimm brothers -we did a little play about it! Your little wreaths are so cute and beautiful. Have a wonderful Christmas!
    Best wishes
    Alison xx

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    1. Hello Alison! That's nice to hear! :) Happy Christmas!!! xx

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  17. Love your Christmas wreath Ingrid! I planned to make one for the occasion but couldn't squeeze the project in :)
    Merry Christmas!

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    1. Thanks, Maya! Hope you had a nice time! xx

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    1. Thank you, dear Soraya! I'm happy you managed to find it! (And to return the favour I just looked up yours as well!) xx

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  19. A bit late, but I wish you some happy holidays !! and of course a very very happy and creative New Year !!! Hugs

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    1. ...and the same to you, Geraldine! And don't worry about late, it does not matter! Always happy to see you drop by and visit here! xx

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  20. Wow so mush great stuff, I love those wreaths, I made some last year but I didn't add the border so that is something new to try. Jo x

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  21. Hope you have had a nice time with your family.
    It was nice to get up with my man, to get an early start today.
    The house a sleap for two hours after I got up. Lovely time with the pc, my coffee and breakfast, the dogs and my wiev from the kitchen window. Watching the day wake up, to change from black to blue weather. We've had -20 Celcius for a while, today it seems like only -10 - almost summer ;o)
    Have a nice day

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    1. Hey Monica! Sounds like a nice way to start the day!! I bet you have been very busy at Christmas! Here it snowed on Saturday and it has also gone to -5 or so, nothing compared to your weather!!! However, only a few days previously we still had +9, so this feels quite different!!! I've been battling with a horrible cold all through December, not nice! :(
      I've been doing quite a bit of knitting lately!
      I've got one of my daughters visiting and after she has gone, the oldest daughter is flying over from England, so it's great to see all my children! :) xx

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  22. Everything looks so nice! I particularly want to try the little wreath, I'm sure I have a ring like that somewhere and I think that they could also be nice as napkin rings
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Hi Amalia! That sounds like a cool idea!!!
      Have a Happy New Year!!! xx

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