Every time I finish a crafty project, I give myself a mental high five; there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day lately. Between school runs and bouts of seasonal germ-fests, paid work and the handmade Christmas presents I've committed myself to, seeing friends and family and finishing the Christmas shopping, there doesn't seem to be much space left for crafts - but I'm determined to cross off as many of the twelve on my list as possible; so today, it's the crochet Christmas garland.
The pattern for the crochet motif is easy-peasy, I promise, and you could knock up six in a couple of hours (including weaving in those pesky ends). I used Rico Creative Cotton, as they do such a great range of colours, but any cotton based yarn will do - working it in cotton rather than wool or acrylic means that it holds its shape better, and doesn't curl over when you hang it up.
Ch - chain
tr - treble crochet
dc - double crochet
sl st - slip stitch
1. Ch3. Work 11tr into the third of ch3, then join to the top of ch3, so you have a flat circle.
2. Ch5. 1tr into the first stitch, *chain two, 1tr* into the next stitch. Repeat * around, then join into the third of ch5.
3. Ch1. *2dc into 2chain space, then dc into the top of the treble from the previous round*. Repeat * around, then join into the top of ch1.
4. Ch1. *dc, tr, ch2, tr, dc into the next two stitches, sl st, sl st*. Repeat * around and join into the top of ch1. Fasten off yarn. You should be left with a flat circle, which has several points.
5. Join a new colour into the top of any dc on the right hand side of one of the points (I realise this sounds confusing, so if you can't work out what I mean, do get in touch and ask!) *Sl st, dc [dc, tr, ch2, tr, dc] into the ch2 space from previous round*. Repeat around and fasten off. Weave in any ends.
6. Make a cuppa and admire your handy work (or email me in a rage because my rubbish instructions don't make sense....)
I'm completely not used to writing patterns down, and usually just sort of cobble things together, so if any part of this doesn't make sense, let me know and I'll do a quick video or add some pictures or whatnot.
To prepare the fabric word, first choose what you want your garland to say and write it out on the computer - I went for a simple font, because it's easier to cut out afterwards, but you could go as fancy as you like. I like anything that looks papercut-ty or letterpress-ish - Papercute is great, and Carbon Block is a particular favourite of mine as well. Choose two contrasting fabrics, then cut out two sets of letters - don't forget to reverse the letters on one of them, as it'll be the back of the word; being double sided means you can hang it across the middle of the room rather than just on a wall. Iron the front letters onto some Bondaweb, then trim, peel off the backing and iron on the reverse letters. No sewing, no seams, no fraying - happy days!
Thread a needle with two strands of embroidery thread (it comes apart quite easily if you cut a length and then pull it apart gently), then put a small stitch into the top of each crochet motif and letter. Hang up, admire, and make some more!