This year’s Christmas cards

I always like to make at least some of my Christmas cards and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do this year until I was given this book. 0527-bookthat someone didn’t want.

In it I found the perfect chart which I copied out in colour onto squared paper 0527-chartso my old eyes didn’t have to struggle!

I looked out my box of embroidery threads 0527-embroidery-threadsand chose some colours. 0527-chosen-coloursI also found a chart for a candle that was quicker to work.0527-two-designsI worked blanket stitch round one of the angels and got out some duck tape and cut a piece of card. 0527-angel-tape-and-cardI used the tape to fix the card on the back but then I decided that it would look just as good if not better (and quicker) if I used the tape for the edging. I had also been given some tiny cards that I could use for the candle. 0527-cardsOf course the angel card was not complete and so I found some stickers Lettering sheetsI had used in a previous year and made up an A5 card. 0527-finished-angel-cardJust seven angels and five candles but as I have time I may make some more.

(The angel is held on with just a bit of blu tack so it can be removed and hung up as a decoration.)

Origami angel cards

Finished card

You would think with my lack of dexterity that I would steer clear of Origami but in spite of the problems I have folding the paper accurately, I just love it.

When my first child was born I made her a mobile out of origami which had a green frog, a purple fish and two different birds in yellow and red. The frog is one of my favourites.

Here is one I made when I was trying to get my granddaughter interested.Origami including frog

I realise that it is quite a long time since I have done any origami as I tend to make things when I see a need for them. Well now I saw a need for some angels for my Christmas cards that could be made in less time than the crochet ones.

I have two lots of origami paper. This my original pack. Original origami paper And a fancier set I bought later. Newer origami paper This has three sizes of paper and the orange and red angels were made in the largest size to make it easier but I made the angels for the cards with the smallest size.

I went on the internet and found many angels including this site http://www.origami-resource-center.com/angel.html which had very many different ones. I decided to try the eighth on the list by M Bright. Which you can see here made in orange. Orange angel The instructions say to use half a square – a right- angled equilateral triangle sort of half – but I simply folded the paper in half for speed.

I also liked the angel I found here –http://www.lastufka.net/lab/misc/angel.htm I made this one in red with another large sheet and although it was too big I decided that was the one I would choose,Red angel both because it was easier to make and also because I prefered the way it looked.

These were both made late in the evening as quickly as I could.

And here are the finished angels that I made the next day. Four angels As you can see I did have difficulty with the head and I still haven’t got my head! round the right way to do it.

If you look at the link above you will also see that I chose to fold down the point at the top.

Here are the four cards completed.Four cardsI expect that you can see in the top photograph if not these that I forgot to remove the dot that told me where to make the hole for the other cards. I put this down to the sense of time pressure I am under but it would have seemed wasteful to reprint for so small a mistake.

Angel Christmas cards

I really feel that I could do with some way of lighting the items I want to photograph in a more even way and even if it is dull outside. However I have packed up all my Christmas cards now so this will have to do.

I shared with you the pattern for the angels I was making for my Christmas cards and now I will share with you the making of the final cards. Finished card Here is the final card and this is how I put them together.

First an aside. Several years ago I got a pair of folding scissors in a Christmas cracker and ever since then I had it on my key ring and it was very useful when I was out, especially when crocheting on the bus or Friday ‘Crafty Coffee’ mornings.

BUT then I lost my keys and thus the scissors!

Now for years I had wanted a Swiss Army knife but had never got around to it, partly because of the cost and partly because I could never decide which one I would buy. Now I decided that I would finally buy myself one with a scissors. The choice was really between the Climber and the Compact, as although I liked the idea of the magnifying glass on the Explorer it was a bit too chunky. In the end I bought the Climber because on Black Friday it was available locally at a good price and it is always good to see something before you buy it.

One of the things that the knife came with I wasn’t sure I would use but in fact it was the ideal tool to help with assembling my Christma cards.

And that was the ‘reamer’. Reamer I used it to make a hole and pull the loop at the end of the cord through the hole.

Here you can see an angel and a card, Angel on card the dot is to guide me as to where to make the hole.

And here is the reamer all ready to be used to pull the loop through the card. Pulling through cord Here is the inside when I had fixed the angel in place with a piece of cord securing the bottom of the robe to the loop. Inside of card These pictures were taken the other day when I was in a hurry to make a couple of cards to send abroad. On Sunday I finished the other twelve cards and here you can see all twelve angels. Twelve angels And the twelve finished cards. Twelve cardsOriginally I was intending to make more angels but pains in my wrists and lots of problems to sort out meant that I only made seventeen (including the three for the Giveaway). So for a few people that I wanted to give home-made cards to I have folded some origami angels to go on the same cards. I will share these with you next week when I have made the cards and taken some photographs.

 

 

Time for a Giveaway!

I thought that it was time for a Giveaway. Just a short time for entries. I will choose the winners next Saturday.

Crochet angelsI have three angels to give away so there will be three winners.

To enter just leave your comment below and if you have a preference as to colour you can include that.

I have added a cord for them to be used either as a bookmark or a decoration. The cord would be easy to remove if you wished. Cutting it near the halo would allow it to be unravelled and the thread pulled out.

And I will also leave you with a gallery of three autumn photographs. Taken with my phone so they are not as good as they could be. I am beginning to think I ought to make a case and carry my camera more often, as I keep seeing things I would like to photograph when I am out!

Angel bookmark/decoration Pattern

Three angelsAlthough no-one has expressed an interest I thought I would share my pattern for the angel bookmark as I think it could also make an attractive decoration. (We all know what is coming up in four month’s time. and crafters need to start early.) 🙂

Here are pdf versions to download in UK and US terms:-

Angel bookmark UK and Angel bookmark US

and below the UK version written out.

I suppose it goes without saying but, especially if you make this in cotton thread, a little stiffening will improve it’s usability.

Pattern

I used #10 cotton thread and a 1mm hook. The pattern does seem to work better with a relatively small hook.

Head

I start with a magic loop but you could use a 6 chain circle or similar instead.

Round 1 is the ‘right side’.

Round 1: 4ch(=1st dtr), 15dtr, ss together.

Round 2: 5ch(=tr, 2ch), (tr, 2ch) into each of next 12 dtrs, tr into 14th dtr. [This leaves 2 dtrs unworked for neck.] Reverse direction.

Round 3: 1ch, (dc, 2ch, dc) into each 2ch gap.

You now make the first wing.

Wing

12ch, then reverse direction.

I think the prettiest way to work the next row is to use my ‘method 3’ of this post – https://rainbowjunkiecorner.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/four-ways-to-crochet-into-a-chain/ – for crocheting into the chains as that gives a scalloped edge.

The method is to work into the front two loops of the chain as you look at it, leaving the back loop to make the scallop.

First Row: Dc into second ch from hook, dc into each of the other chs. (11sts)

Next row: 3ch(=1st tr) then repeat (ch, miss a dc, tr) 5 times.
Next row: Ch, (dc,2ch, dc) into 1st gap then repeat (ch, tr) into each gap, tr into 3rd ch at start of previous row.

Now repeat these two rows below in a diminishing manner.

Row A: 3ch(=1st tr) then repeat (ch, miss the tr, tr into gap) to end [4 repeats first time.]

Row B: Ch, (dc,2ch, dc) into 1st gap then repeat (ch, tr) into each gap, tr into 3rd ch at start of previous row.

For the last Row B:– ch, (dc, 2ch) into gap, dc into 3rd ch of previous row.

Finish off. Ends can be sewn in now or later.

Join yarn at other side of halo and repeat for second wing.

Body

With right side facing and head down, join yarn to rightmost free dtr and

Row 1: 4 Ch (=1st dtr) (dtr, 2ch 2dtr) into this dtr, and (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into other dtr.
Row 2: 3ch ss into wing at top of a ‘B’ row, (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below, 1ch, (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below. Tr into 4rd ch of previous row. Ss into wing at top of a ‘B’ row.

Row 3: 3ch, (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below, 2ch, (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below. Tr into 3rd ch of previous row.

Row 4: 3ch ss into wing at top of a ‘B’ row, (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below, 3ch, (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into last 2ch gap of row below. Tr into 3rd ch of previous row. Ss into wing at top of a ‘B’ row.

Now wings are anchored to body initial 3ch increases to 4ch.

Row 5: 4ch, (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below, (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 3ch gap of row below, (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below. Dtr into 3rd ch of previous row

Can you see the pattern?

Row 6: 4ch, [(2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below, 1 ch,] twice then (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into last 2ch gap of row below. Dtr into 4th ch of previous row.

Row 7: 4ch, [(2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below, 2 ch,] twice then (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into last 2ch gap of row below. Dtr into 4th ch of previous row.

Row 8: 4ch, [(2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below, 3 ch above 2ch gap] twice then (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into last 2ch gap of row below. Dtr into 4th ch of previous row.

Row 9: 4ch, repeat twice [(2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below, (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 3ch gap of row below]. (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into last 2ch gap of row below. Dtr into 3rd ch of previous row

Row 10: 4ch, repeat [(2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below, 1 ch,] four times then (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into last 2ch gap of row below. Dtr into 4th ch of previous row.

Row 11: 4ch, repeat [(2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into 2ch gap of row below, 2 ch,] four times then (2dtr, 2ch, 2dtr) into last 2ch gap of row below. Dtr into 4th ch of previous row.

Row12 (Last row): 6ch, dc into gap, repeat (5ch, dc into gap) eight times. 6 ch, ss into 4th ch of previous row.

Finish off and sew in ends.

This would make a nice bookmark with maybe a cord and tassel as for my Cross Bookmarks attached into the top of the halo. But it could also be used as a decoration for a Christmas tree or several angels attached to a long chain as Christmas bunting.

You could even work them in thicker yarn, even metallic, as decorations.

Silver angelThis is worked in Twilley’s Goldfingering in silver and a 2mm hook.

A size comparison.0383-angelcomparison

Snowflake wreath

As I promised on Thursday here is the item for which I made the snowflakes and the angel:-

And this is how I made it.

I was going to buy one of those polystyrene rings that you can buy in craft shops but then a few days ago I found an odd piece of pipe insulation lying on the edge of my property and decided that it would make an excellent basis for the wreath. The circumference of the pipe insulation was 10 cm so I bought 20cm of royal blue felt and cut a long piece of elastic.

I threaded the elastic through the piece of pipe insulation and tied it firmly, then added a short piece of dowel,  to keep the ends aligned and wound round a piece of sticky tape to hold the ends together while I covered it with the felt.

I cut an 11cm strip off the felt and tacked the ends together so I could check that it fitted snuggly round the ring. (I actually placed the join towards the bottom of the final wreath at about a ‘four o’clock’ position so there would be no strain on it, with the seam at the top to be covered up when it was suspended.)

Then I stitched and trimmed the seam and fitted and pinned the felt round the ring

before sewing it together at the back with some invisible thread that I had bought for the purpose.

You can see from my stitches why I don’t do this sort of thing very often.

I then made some more silver snowflakes and three with some #20 white crochet cotton that I had.

I felt that the wreath needed something to wind round it and toyed with a few ideas but ended up crocheting a long chain using both the silver thread and #20 crochet cotton.

I wound it round the ring and tied the ends together at the bottom in a bow.

Finally, I sewed on the snowflakes, again using the invisible thread, and suspended the angel in the centre.

Have you been making any new decorations this year?

CAL 43-45 Lost in action!

The action I mean is making things for Christmas.

I have not made any more squares this week because I have been wanting to get on with other things.

I have been making these that I showed you on Monday – HERE

Samples

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PRESENTS

No picture for these 🙂

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Some of my real snowflakes in silver but I need more

Silver snowflakes

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And this crochet angel

Crochet angel

I found the pattern for this HERE but I found what seemed on my reading to be a couple of mistakes.

When making the body you do need to make five picots to be the fingers. The pattern seemed to be written only for four. (And yeh! I have worked out how to make acceptable picots).

When making the wings there should be two dcs (US teminology) (UK = trebles) into the same stitch at each end of the rows even where on one row it only mentions one.

The angel in the pattern is made on #10 crochet cotton but I only had #20 cotton and anyway I wanted it fairly small so that is what I used.

Next Monday I hope to be able to show you what I needed the snowflakes and the angel for.

A Christmas angel and other stories

In my first post I talked about knitting a Christmas Crib from a book by Jean Greenhowe.

Well there were two things that I felt the crib lacked: an angel and a star and so when I had finished the rest of the crib I set out to make both an angel and a star.

The star was just a stellated dodecahedron knitted in pale yellow – a cut down version of the pattern I found HERE.
It was a terrible struggle and I wouldn’t say I had done it very well but it serves.

The angel I was quite pleased with and the reason I am creating this post is because I went to a local Knit and Natter / Stitch ‘n Bitch type group on Friday and got talking to someone who is in the middle of making Jean Greenhowe’s crib at present and I told her about my angel and as she was interested I said that I would write up the pattern.

Now I admit the pattern isn’t any good if you haven’t bought Jean Greenhowe’s book as I just give the details of how I chose to embellish the standard figure she had created. However, in case anyone might be thinking of making the crib and wanted to add an angel, I include it here.

As it is a bit long I am adding it as an extra page – HERE.

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Now for what I meant to post earlier in the week before I decided to write about my trip to Exbury gardens instead.

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Verstile Blogger – update

I was also nominated for this by Maryanne of Woolhogs

So very many thanks to Maryanne. Since the nominations were so close together I don’t think I can repeat the whole thing but I have discovered four more blogs to recommend so as to bring my tally up to fifteen overall.

These are also all creative, crafty people.

The Little Room of Rachell

SophiesHats

crafts by the sea

CrazyCrochetMama

I discovered these blogs because I had a good look after they started following mine, so please can I ask all of them to regard this as notification of their nomination and to refer to my earlier post as to the ‘rules’ of the award and to respond as they see fit.

I know there are many other worthwhile blogs out there, covering a great variety of subjects, so the fact that I have restricted my choice to crafty, creative ones, should not be taken as any denigration of all the others.