Friday, 6 December 2013

Christmas Stockings

It's 6th December and here in Germany that means children get stockings filled with gifts from Nikolaus. As we have friends coming over tonight I've been busy working on a couple of stockings to fill with goodies for them.

I found the pattern through Ravelry, it's a good one, really easy, quick to make and a really beautiful end product. It's a free pattern from Red Heart, and I used my leftover stash from the wedding blanket I made last year ( Country).

For the first one I stuck to the pattern, making version 2 with Claret, Loden Forest and some random white wool I had lying around. I used a 5.5mm hook for the first one, which was actually a little small, I moved up to 6mm for the second one.

I decided to make the second one a little different, mostly because I had quite a lot of the purple and yellow wool to use up! I stuck to the pattern until I got to the cuff...

It started off the same with a base chain of 44 in purple
Row 1: sc in each chain across, starting with second chain from hook, turn.
Row 2: ch1, sc in each sc across, turn.
Row 3: ch1, sc across, dropping purple and picking up red, according to colour chart below. Fasten off.
Rows 4-8: Join with right side facing and fasten off at the end of each row instead of turning. Work sc across with purple and green, following the colour chart. At the end of row 8, do not fasten off, turn.
**IN ROW 5** Work in BLO when working into green stitches from row 4
Rows 9-11: ch1, sc in each sc across, turn.

Number of stitches in each colour:
P = Purple, R = Red, G= Green
  1. 43 P
  2. 43 P
  3. 3P, 1R, 6P, 1R, 6P, 1R, 7P, 1R, 6P, 1R, 6P, 1R, 3P 
  4. 1P, 5G, 2P, 5G, 2P, 5G, 3P, 5G, 2P, 5G, 2P, 5G, 1P
  5. 2P, 3G, 4P, 3G, 4P, 3G, 5P, 3G, 4P, 3G, 4P, 3G, 2P
  6. 2P, 3G, 4P, 3G, 4P, 3G, 5P, 3G, 4P, 3G, 4P, 3G, 2P
  7. 3P, 1G, 6P, 1G, 6P, 1G, 7P, 1G, 6P, 1G, 6P, 1G, 3P
  8. 3P, 1G, 6P, 1G, 6P, 1G, 7P, 1G, 6P, 1G, 6P, 1G, 3P
  9. 43P
  10. 43P
  11. 43P

Trimming the trees
In row 4 (first row with green for trees) the front loops of the green yarn should be free as row 5 worked into BLO. Work with right side facing and work upside down so that the point of the tree is nearest you. Attach green yarn with sl st into first front loop of first tree, *ch2, sl st into first ch, sl st into next front loop of tree*, repeat *-* to end of first tree. Repeat this for all 6 trees. 

I then attached green yarn to the right bottom corner of a tree and did a row of single crochet up the right hand side of the tree, ch1 at the top and sc down the LHS, just to give the edges more definition and make the whole thing a bit 3D. I used the ends to anchor down all the sc's and picot where needed.

Star: working into a magic circle, start with a sl st, *ch 2, sc in first ch, sl st in ring* [point made]. Make 5 points and join last one to first with a sl st. Pull tight and sew to cuff at point of each xmas tree.

For finishing and joining, I followed the pattern, using yellow to join the cuff (so 2 rows yellow then the third row in white).

TIPS: There's a lot of sewing involved in this, the sock, cuff, foot, and toes are all need whip stitched down the seam. It's really tempting to sew it nice and tight, if you're anything like me you have to fight the fear that if it's not super tight then it will all fall apart immediately. BUT you will end up with a solid ridge along all the seams so try and sew up nice and loose. Also, don't tuck in ALL your ends as you go, you will want to use some of them for joining. 

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Some non-crafty updates

I've been doing lots of gardening recently, the new veggie patch is coming along nicely and this morning my mother-in-law took me to a garden centre to buy some new flowers as she had noticed the flowers in my sandstone trough were looking very sad and past it.

So here's the replacement flowers...

I also got some flowers to fill some of the pots I bought at a flea market last weekend. Got some real bargains :) At one stall I walked away with the two red scheurich pots in the next couple of pics, plus a blue scheurich, a terracotta and a few plastic pots for just €4...

Here's what I bought for the terracotta...

Shown with the meerket Volker bought to guard my garden ;) He hasn't been named yet. My other meerkat is called Aleksander. Suggestions in the comments. I've been eyeing up this flower for ages, really love them. It's a climber so I need to find a permanent spot for it by a wall somewhere.

Next we have the small flower bed at the side of the patio, I planted out sweet peas the other day and this morning bought some small flowers to go in front.

And here are the other pots I got at the flea market, still need to buy something for them. I'm thinking the pretty, shiny one can go in the house. I'm growing some lemongrass from seed at the moment, maybe that can go in there for the bathroom or something...

And the veggies are growing! Onions, carrots, radishes and peas on the left, potatoes on the right, with herbs (chives and my birthday presents - oregano and rosemary) at the front and Lettuce and Kohlrabi in the coldbox.

In that last pic are also a couple of plants donated from Thomas & Christiane, a banana plant and fig tree.

And that's all for now :)