Thursday, 27 November 2014

Christmas Decorations Blog Hop (FREE Gingerbread Man Crochet Pattern)

I was asked by the lovely folks at Stitch Craft Create to make a Christmas decoration for their Christmas Blog Hop.  There have been 25 posts so far in the run up to the festive season. Yesterday we had an insightful book interview by Nicole of Follow the White Bunny with the author of Handmade Scandinavian Christmas, Hege Barnholt. She even made some paper decorations from the book.

I think as usual that I got the wrong end of the stick about the theme of the blog hop, judging by all the posts so far. Everyone else seems to have picked a project from a book to make or written a review. There are projects from Handmade Scandinavian Christmas, Washi Tape Christmas and Crochet Christmas Baubles to name a few. It is highly like that I was supposed to follow suit but instead I went off on a tangent and made something new!

Whilst pondering the subject for my blog hop I had a day out with a friend and her little girl who spotted a stall with beautifully decorated gingerbread shapes. We took a while to choose our victims from amongst the ranks of gingerbread people and it was almost a shame to devour them, they were so pretty. I got over the feeling soon enough as the gingerbread was delicious! I decided that my decoration would be my own take on this delicacy.

Made as he is of crochet, there is little danger of this little guy being eaten by the cat while he hangs on my Christmas tree, which is just as well because he can’t run like his ancestor in the fairytale could! I intend to make him some friends too, decorating them in different ways to create a variety of personalities.

Gingerbread Man Pattern

You will need:
DK yarn in biscuit / brown
4mm crochet hook
yarn needle
buttons and yarn / thread to decorate
stuffing (only if you are making a cuddly toy version, mine is flat with no stuffing)

MR – Magic Ring
dc – Double Crochet
dc2tog – dc 2 together
ch – chain
FO – fasten off
chsp – chain space
sk – skip
st – stitch

Note: All parts are worked amigurumi style in a continuous spiral. Use a stitch marker to keep track of the end of each round to avoid pickles, swearing and unravelling!

Rnd 1: 6dc into MR
Rnd 2: 2dc in each dc around (12dc)
Rnd 3: (dc in next dc, 2dc in next dc) around (18dc)
Rnd 4-7: dc in each dc around
Rnd 8: (dc in next dc, dc2tog) around (12dc)
Rnd 9: dc2tog around (6dc) FO.

Arms (make 2)
Rnd 1: 8dc into MR
Rnd 2-6: dc in each dc around
Rnd 7: dc in next 6 dc, dc2tog (7dc)
Rnd 8: dc in next 5 dc, dc2tog (6dc) FO.

Legs (make 2)
Rnd 1: 6dc into MR
Rnd 2: 2dc in each dc around (12dc)
Rnd 3-4: dc in each dc around
Rnd 5: dc2tog over next 8dc, dc in next dc around (8dc)
Rnd 6-8: dc in each dc around
Note: FO 1st arm but leave 2nd unfinished. You will continue the body from the top of this leg.

Continuing on from 2nd leg. Rnd 1 will join the two legs together. You will dc around the top of each leg, joining together with a ch1 space between them.
Rnd 1: Dc in next 7dc, 1ch, place hook in the top of 1st leg, just after where you fastened off, dc in next 8dc, 1ch, dc in last st of 2nd leg. (16dc / 2 chsp)
Rnd 2: (sk 1ch, dc in next 8dc) around (16dc)
Rnd 3-6: dc in each dc around
Rnd 7: (dc in next 2 dc, dc2tog) around (12 dc)
Rnd 8: dc in each dc around
Rnd 9: dc in next 4 dc, (moving across to top of 1st arm) dc in next 6 dc, (moving back to body) dc in next 7dc, (moving across to top of 2nd arm) dc in next 6 dc, (moving back to body) dc in last dc. (24dc)
Rnd 10: (dc in next 2 dc, dc2tog) around (18dc)
Rnd 11: dc in next dc, dc2tog around (12dc)
Rnd 12: dc2tog around (6dc) FO leaving long tail.

You could stuff the gingerbread man if preferred and you could add safety eyes to the head before finishing off if you want it as a toy. I wanted mine to look more like a biscuit so I left it unstuffed and added stitching around the edges to keep it flat.

Sew in all loose ends not hidden during the stitching of the body. Sew head and body together at neck with long tail on body.

Decorate your gingerbread with contrast yarn for ‘icing’ and buttons or beads for ‘jelly sweet buttons’. I gave my gingerbread a heart as well as buttons and used a blanket stitch around the edges as well as some couched stitches to create piping for cuffs and hems of his outfit. You could use any kind of embroidery technique you prefer for this. I would love to see how your gingerbread men turn out. 

Use this basic recipe to create all sorts of styles, you might even want to add hair or other decorations to create different characters.

Hanging loop
Sew a loop of ribbon or cord into the top of your gingerbread man, tie the ends and then poke the knot inside the crochet fabric to hide. You could do this before sewing up the head and body but if you forget that’s fine. (I did and mine worked out ok!)

Have fun making your decoration and enjoy the rest of the blog hop. The list of people taking part is here. Next up is the exceedingly talented Lauren of Guthrie andGhani. I can’t wait to read her post!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Christmas Makery

I made these for the Crochet Christmas Baubles book but had to send them away so it's back to the drawing board!

OMG! How did this happen?!!! I was going to be so prepared for Christmas this year, handmade gifts well under way and decorations done. That turned out to be an unrealistic dream and I have NOTHING done!

So the time has come to get things under control. I don't have too many things on my list but I certainly need to make sure that everything I make from here on in is a Christmas item. I plan on sticking to small things - nobody will be getting a blanket this year put it that way! I think some things like wrist warmers, mug cosies and that kind of thing would be good as gifts, and a few simple decorations to liven up the tree.

One thing which will help kick-start my Christmas creativity will be the blog hop I have been asked to join by Stitch Craft Create. I am to make a Christmas decoration and write about it. I have not decided what I will make yet but I imagine it could very well be crochet related! Whatever I make I will post some instructions in case you want to have a go at it yourselves. If all goes to plan my Christmas Blog Hop post should be live on 27th November and I will try to remember to link back from here.

Oh no! I just realised I need to make my Christmas cake too! Got my work cut out for me I think!

Last year's Christmas cake was lovely but all that decoration was hard work so I may scale back this time...

Hopefully you are all a little more organised with your gifts and decorations than me but if not, take comfort in the fact that I am in as much of a pickle as you are!

Happy last-minute-Christmas-crafting everyone!