Friday, December 11, 2009
personalized christmas stockings
I volunteered to be a Swap Angel for the Christmas Swap over at Crochet Lovers Victoria. A Swap Angel takes over when one of the participants isn't able to follow through on the committment of sending their gift. Otherwise, someone who had sent an item, would miss out on receiving one. And that's not nice!
Anyway, it meant making a few decorations on fairly short notice. So I decided to stick with a 'tried and trusted' pattern... something that I had made successfully before, and knew wouldn't take too long. It kind of defeats the purpose if I don't get it made until after Christmas!!!
These Christmas Stockings are a Jean Greenhowe pattern. They're from her Christmas pattern booklet. Jean also has this free online pattern for a slightly smaller version (you'll just need to scroll down the page a bit to get to it) I've raved enough about Jean in the past... so I'll keep this one short, and just go on the record as saying... SHE IS A LEGEND.
Instead of just making a generic stocking, I wanted to make them personal. Cristina is the founder of the Crochet Lovers Victoria group, so I wanted it to be special. If it were not for her efforts in setting up the group, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful crochet friends in real life.
So, I know that Cristina loves hand-dyed yarns. In fact, she has just set up her own online shop, selling yarn indulgence packs... click here to take a little peek. Anyway, I decided to hand-dye some reclaimed yarn to make her stockings.
The pink coloured one I dyed using some concentrated raspberry cordial, and the green one was made using leftovers from a food dye experiment I did a while back. I used most of it to make this dragon for my nephew, but there was a small ball left in my stash.
So I had the hand-dyed thing going on, but I wanted to add something else. Something special that would jump out and say I MADE THIS JUST FOR YOU.
At one of our recent crochet meets, Cristina brought along some beads and wire so that she could show us some of the basics of jewellery making. I made the most fabulous pair of earrings - I wear them ALL the time - they are divine with a capital D - recycled beads of course - but that's a post for another day!
But it gave me the idea of incorporating wire and beads into the stockings...
I wired the beads, shaping them into letters... with the initial of each family member, and then sewed them onto the front of the stocking with a small piece of fabric in between. Four stockings in total, green for the boys and pink for the girls. I had been aiming for red when I dyed them, but the yarn turned out suck a pretty shade of pink instead - that I had to use it anway.
Now I know that Cristina isn't planning on putting up her Christmas Tree this year, but I'm hoping that she can find somewhere else to hang these stockings - to help with the festive spirit.
Now before you all bombard me with comments about the fact that I KNITTED the gifts for a CROCHET swap... it's a crochet group, but we could use any craft for our decorations. And Cristina is such an avid NON-KNITTER (we don't even say the K word around her)... that I couldn't resist sending her something knitted!