Welcome to the Christmas season! Now that Thanksgiving (in the US) is only a few weeks away we are feeling it in earnest. In this (sometimes) overly politically correct world I often feel afraid to say the "C" word! Since I work with the public, I'm conditioned to say, "Happy Holidays" and "Enjoy the Season"! So boy am I excited to have the opportunity to shout it out loud in today's post about Edie Eckman's new book Christmas Crochet for Hearth, Home & Tree. Rest assured you'll find projects that cross over and would be appropriate in any holiday home, but for the most part this one is about decking the halls for the big day - December 25!
What's inside: stockings, ornaments, garlands and more
Edie is one of my favorite designers. I've come to rely on her books for their bounty of information and consistent quality. This collection does not disappoint. Although there are only 18 patterns, they lend themselves to being made with different yarns in various colors for unlimited versions of the original. This is a pattern book - not a how to book, and while the lesser known stitches are clearly explained, a basic knowledge of crochet is needed.
The Hearth section features 9 unique stocking patterns. It is my experience that many crocheters underestimate their skill level and shy away from anything not labeled "beginner". The small size of these projects offers a great opportunity to be bold and try something new! The Peppermint Pinstripes Stocking has the look of complex colorwork and is actually made using just the single crochet and chain stitch! The Flame Stitch Stocking is intriguing and looks quite complicated, but according to the instructions it is, "easy to learn and works up in a snap!"
Here's a look at what I made:
I always like to try at least one pattern from a book I'm reviewing. This time I made a few! I started with one of the mini mittens from the Advent Garland. This is such a fun pattern. Mini mittens and stockings to count down the days to Christmas! I found it easy to follow and an excellent way to use bits and scraps of leftover yarn.
Next I made snowflakes. There are several to choose from. Some are made with thread and others with yarn. This is another example of the flexibility of the patterns. I love to make snowflakes and then stiffen them with glue. I use them as ornaments for the tree, to decorate gifts, or include them with cards. Charts are included with all of the snowflakes, as well as with many other patterns.
Finally I made the Small Angel Ornament. Although the pattern calls for 2 strands of extra fine merino held together I opted for thread. As you can see, she came out just fine. A wee bit smaller, but lovely just the same.
Are you ready for some Christmas Crochet?
Well, I'm feeling pretty darn good about my knitting progress! I can (usually) recognize the difference between a knit stitch and a purl (even though they are the same thing when you turn them around!). I'm comfortable casting on with the long tail method. I've stopped poking myself and no longer fear putting an eye out. I'm still leery of dropping stitches and I'm not very skilled at fixing mistakes, but I know that with practice I'll get better. My tension seems to be fairly consistent in all areas except binding off. I think that I pull a bit too snugly because I'm afraid of dropping a stitch and not being able to fix it!
I was excited about my new skill and anxious to cast on again. I figured I would give the pattern for fingerless gloves that Jean had given me a try. This one had fewer stitches to start with, but was a little harder. It's a ribbing pattern that uses a fancy (for me!) stitch. I don't know what it's called, but you K2tog and instead of slipping the stitch off the left needle you knit it twice by putting your right needle into the middle of the two stitches and knitting it again. I took a few deep breathes and after a few false starts I was on my way! Could it be that all those people were right? Is it true that it really is easier than it looks??
I'm Robin and this is
Crochet Nirvana, where
laughter is essential,
learning is supported,
creativity is nurtured, and sharing is encouraged.
Thanks for stopping by,
I hope you
enjoy your visit!
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