Hmm, I never expected this knitting blog to embrace Christmas quite so enthusiastically (we’re talking kisses-on-both-cheeks-and-a-hug levels of enthusiasm, right now). But here is the third and last of my posts on ridiculously easy-to-knit Christmas decorations. And just to reassure all those tinsel-deniers out there, I’ll be back to normal by next post.
Continuing in the vein of festive decorative knits for beginners and children, and those who just want their decorative makes to be unchallenging, I give you, (i) knitted ‘paper’ chains, that’ll last a whole lot longer than those sticky paper ones you had as a child; (ii) knitted candles that are extremely unlikely to burn the house down, and (ii) knitted wreath decorations for your tree.
Righto, let’s start with how to knit a paper chain.
The knitting couldn’t be any simpler. You’ll need to knit strips that are 20cm wide and 4cm long. Your ball band will give you an idea of needle size and stitch number to achieve 10cm width – let’s not fuss about exact gauge, here – so just double the number of stitches to cast on your 20cm-wide strip. Knit every row until you’ve worked 4cm of knitting. Cast off. Pick another colour yarn and repeat the process… and again, and again. Obviously the process is quicker and easier if you’ve chosen some reasonably hefty yarn: I chose Vanna’s Choice.
Once you’ve got a decent number of strips, sew their ends up to make a chain. You can then decorate them with beads, sequins, or – if you’re especially deviant and determined to subvert the medium – toenail clippings. And you’re done! Hurrah!
What’s next? Oh yes, how to knit candles. Ahhhhh…. candles. An essential part of everyone’s Christmas, whose soft light forgives the bags under your eyes that were caused by staying up until 3am crocheting everyone’s blimmin’ presents. Anyway, I wouldn’t recommend you actually set fire to these candles, but they do look quite cute.
So, you’ll need to knit a square (if you want to make a thinnish candle), or a wide rectangle (if you want a squat, fat candle). This design looks quite good in off-white. I used Deramores Vintage Chunky, in Chalk, 25 stitches wide, 36 rows. Don’t go crazy with the number of rows, or you’ll have to reinforce it down the middle with wire,
or a spare knitting needle.
Then roll your candle up, and sew its edge.
The ends will look something like this:-
Now, make a wick and a flame. The easiest way to do this is to take some thin metallic pipe-cleaners. I folded a dark purple one in half, leaving inch-long ends ready to stick down into the candle. Then I made a double-looped flame-shape with an orange pipe-cleaner, securing it into the folded purple wick before sticking the wick down into the centre of the top of the candle. Am I even slightly making sense? I do hope so.
And of course you can embellish and decorate your candle in any way you wish. :-)
Try displaying it in a candle stick or candle holder, potentially next to some knitted Christmas trees from a couple of posts back. ;-)
…And finally, we arrive via an inefficiently meandering route at how to knit little wreath decorations for the Christmas tree. Now for this one, you, your child, or your own inner child can use a knitting nancy (aka a knitting doll), one with four pins on top. Alternatively you can work a 4-stitch i-cord on conventional needles. Choose some rich, green yarn and knit away! You’re aiming to make about 20cm. Then cast off. Take a 45-cm piece of wire and fold it in half. Insert the folded end into the end of your knitted tube and push it all the way through the length of the knitting. Then curve the whole thing round to make a ring, and join the wire together to make a circle. This should reinforce your wreath pretty well, just in case the cat sits on it. Cut away any excess wire, or use it to make a hook. Sew the two ends of the knitting together over the join in the wire. Now you need some decoration. A little bow of thin ribbon at the top can help conceal the join. In the example below, I wrapped a red metallic thin pipe-cleaner round and left it at that, but you can decorate with embroidery, beads, or sequins. See how pretty it is? See how easy?
Now, let me just remind you of a blogger who does Christmas properly, with a colourful Norwegian twist. :-)
Right, you sorted? Ready for Christmas? Ah, if only it were that simple…