Monday, 15 December 2014

making a crocheted Christmas wreath

I'm sorry, I don't think you're going to have enough time to make this before Christmas, but, you can make it in time for next Christmas, and if you really must have one this year, you can do the sneaky cheat which I've outlined at the bottom. Result!

I must start off by saying that this wreath was not my idea. I got inspired after seeing the glorious Autumn wreath created by Hannah Brewer of Muddling Along Mummy, which she shared on her Instagram feed, because folks, wreaths don't just have to be for Christmas.

Hannah was in turn inspired by Lucy, of Attic 24, whose blog post on her Christmas wreath is AMAZING (I would so highly recommend Lucy's blog if you're at all crafty), and it was her instructions to make it that I used as my starting point.

So here's how to make your own Christmas wreath:

First of all you need a wreath form, you can get those cheaply from craft shops. Then you need a few different colours of yarn. I used double knit acrylic in silver, white, lime green, forest green, and red. You'll also need a medium sized crochet hook.

You need to crochet basically a scarf type shape, with different width bands of colour for interest. This is going to wrap around the wreath core, so needs to be long enough to go all the way around it. Bear in mind that you'll need to stretch it a bit to get it to fit right, and you'll avoid it rucking up like mine has.

Here's my wreath form, with the start of my crocheting. If you don't like crocheting, you can knit, or even weave. The only important thing is avoiding showing the wreath form beneath.

I left long threads to sew up the back at the end, but there is no need to do this.

Basically, you crochet away until your work is big enough to go around the wreath form, and then you sew it together at the back to keep it on, thusly:

Then you have a rather pleasant looking colourful circle, ready to put a hanging device on the back (a keyring ring is ideal), and sew stuff on the front.

Now Lucy of Attic 24 made some fabulous things to put on to her wreath. Sadly, I do not have her skill or her patience, so I decided to put less things on, I also found a great little tutorial on YouTube for making easy flowers... one which I have sadly lost, so I'm very sorry whoever you were. But this is how you do it:

Chain 6, slipstitch to form a circle, chain 3, treble crochet to centre, chain 3, slipstitch to centre, repeat four times (giving five petals), then tie off. Easy.

My apologies if that was gobbledegook, but it is all easily done. Just ask someone in the know or check out a YouTube video.

I wasn't intending on having so many flowers. I fancied some holly, and luckily Lucy at Attic 24 had a tutorial (here), however, I found it rock hard to make the holly leaves, so decided to stick with the flowers, and provided some textural interest with the plastic poinsetta (from a wreath I got a few years ago), some of my daughter's beads, and a sparkly foam sticker. The holly is on there, but it may be hidden by the poinsetta.

I'm pretty pleased with it. But, when the girls told me they wanted one for their bedroom door, I was not pleased enough to make another one from scratch. Instead I cheated!  Here's how.

First I took another wreath form (well, I couldn't have bought just one, eh?), and a scarf that my Mum had knitted for one of the girls. The scarf is lovely, but the girls don't wear it a) because they hardly ever wear scarves, and b) because one of the colours is a bit itchy, but they do like the colours, so this way it's a win all 'round.

I used the middle bit of the scarf, and had to hem it at both ends, to avoid unravelling. Although it was too wide, I simply overlapped it to avoid having to hem the sides too. Unfortunately, I cut it slightly too short (stupidity can't be ruled out), but managed to hide the join using one of the scarf offcuts. This would be perfect for one of those Christmassy scarves which doesn't go with anything.

You'd think I'd done it on purpose! The girls didn't want anything else on it, so this is what their wreath looks like, although you could go mad sticking stuff to it if you fancied.

Before I go, if you like wreaths, and the idea of repurposing stuff, there is a gloriously fabulous wreath over on the Canadian blog, Northstory. It's made by Alex out of old embroidery hoops and socks. Check it out here.