Tag Archives: christmas tree

Manic

When we last left our hero, she was valiantly struggling with a colossal problem:  how to make this Christmas bell look less odd and forlorn?  And in only two days?

blue bell on tree

The answer?  Fight crochet with crochet!

Somehow, I got it into my head that the best way to lessen the impact of one wonky bell was to whip up SEVERAL wonky ornaments to put all over the tree.  At least then they’d be co-ordinated…

It was at this point that things got a little manic…

First of all, I hooked up a bunch of snowflakes whilst watching a very old and incredibly sexist James Bond movie with Mr Knightley (“Oh, James, it might seem like I am resisting your advances, it might sound like I’m saying ‘no’ emphatically, but just slap me round a bit and I’ll suddenly find you irresistible!”)

I love making these snowflakes.  There is an excellent tutorial for them here, at my beloved Attic 24 (incidentally, it was this very tutorial that first introduced me to the many wonders of this delightful blog)

Snowflakes with Harry's hand

I pinned them out for blocking. I usually spray them with laundry spray, but I couldn’t find any so I painted them with watered down PVA glue instead (when I found it.  The real life version of what went on here was much more manic).  Here you can see Harry going after one of the “lollypop” pins (not for the last time!).

After I made up this batch, I happened to read an awesome post by The Stitch Sharer on crochet snowflakes (by complete co-incidence, it was so weird!), which gave me the idea for this snowflake:

Star Snowflake

It’s basically Lucy’s “small” snowflake, but with treble stitches throughout instead of doubles and 5-chain loops in the last round.  I drew up a really-truly pattern for it here

Ah what fun!

So, things were looking a little better – but! – I thought, in renewed manic frenzy – what about the TOP?  It needs something on the TOP!  The whole thing is rubbish without something on the TOP!!

After much complicated deliberation (a-star-would-be-simpler-but-looks-too-much-like-a-snowflake) which I won’t bore you with here, I came up with this:

Tree Angel

I had already been playing around with 6ichthusfish’s pattern for a nativity set (as you do) which I first saw here.  So I took my Mary head and body and put wings and a halo on her.  And I left the bottom open, so it’s kinda like a finger puppet.  Then I stuffed the Christmas tree up the skirt…

And what is the result?

ta-da!

Not too bad, I guess.

And my beautiful mother-in-law, of course, made all the appropriate exclaiming noises (of happiness, I mean, not of disgust).  So I guess things aren’t so bad after all.

Panic

So, I guess it all started when I got a hankering to make a crochet bell.  One of my favourite decorations on my mum’s Christmas tree is a little red crochet lace bell and I wanted to see if I could make one too.  So I started trawling the Internet and found this pattern and then I dug through my shamefully oversized yarn stash and came across just the right amount of cotton yarn in a lovely turquoise colour.  So what if turquoise isn’t the most christmassy colour?  I’ll dress it up with silver – ooooh, and little clear buttons – and it will look a treat.

Nan's Stash

The yarn was in my nan’s old stash (well, actually, she was Mr Knightley’s nan, but she was such a warm and loving person that I like to think of her as my nan too.  The smell of the inside of the yarn bag when I first opened it made me cry and cry).  So THEN I got an idea:  what if I made the Christmas bell with Nan’s yarn and then gave it to my mother-in-law as part of her Christmas present?  Oh!  Yes!  Where’s my hooook??

So I got stuck into it on our drive to South Australia.  I was in Robe and up to the second-last round when I dropped my 3.5mm hook under the car seat.  Ack!  It never surfaced despite much grunting and scrabbling.

At Victor Harbour, I bought a new hook in a smaller size (it needed it – the first attempt was too big and flopsy) and started from the start again.

In Glenelg, I got to the last round and ran out of yarn!  Ack!

In Adelaide, I frogged a few rounds

As we drove through Keith, Nihill, Bordertown and Horsham, I had another go with tighter stitches (and then frogged a few more rounds and tried it again)

By the time i got back to Melbourne, I had a little blue bell, ready for blocking.

In retrospect, this probably would have ben a good time to check the instructions – but I’d only printed off one page and anyway, it was all too exciting to stop and do something as sobering as looking up the pattern.  As a result, the bell turned out a little misshapen and wonky.  And lame.  And I couldn’t find a silver bell anywhere, so I had to use a gold one (pilfered off one of Christopher Robin’s kinder Christmas cards), which wasn’t as good.

Wonky Blue Bell

Which would have been fine, I would just be giving it as an add-on to the main present, a quiet aside, hardly worth mentioning really, just a small bonus gift.

Except then Mr Knightley bought a miniature Christmas tree as the main present.  “And you can hang the ornament on it.” he added, cheerfully.

Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!

If I hang the wonky bell on the Christmas tree and give the present just like that, then the wonky bell becomes the FEATURE.  It says “Look at me!  Aren’t I clever?  I made you a lopsided Christmas decoration!  With its own tree: it’s that special!”

And it’s FAR too big for the tree!  It looks ridiculous!

blue bell on tree

Oh panic: the more I look at it, the more it seems like the creation of some kinder kid looking for a gold star.  The kinder kid who’s not allowed to play with scissors…

What am I going to do??

Stay tuned for the sequel…