Tag Archives: Christmas

So That Was Mine. How Was Yours?

So that’s over for another year.

And look! I’m just a few stitches off completing both sleeves of Glitter Glam. Then there’s just the collar and the assembly to do.

Anyway, Christmas happened. A rotund and elderly chap dressed in red broke into our house via the chimney. But instead of stealing stuff, he left little chocolatey gifts around the place, hidden inside old socks. All normal rules of not-accepting-sweets-from-strangers were off as the twinnage tore the foil wrapping from approximately one billion chocolate coins. Then they left the foil pieces all over the floor so there was a festive jangling noise as anyone walked around.

By order of the twinnage, I wasn’t allowed to light the fire on Christmas Eve, in case it burned Santa’s bottom.

The boys recited carols in their sweet six-year-old voices, but only when they thought that nobody was listening. I’m treasuring the memory, because soon enough they’ll be disaffected teenagers rapping about how ghastly everything is. Except I don’t think the word ghastly features very much in rap songs. Anyway, it’s important to sing traditional family carols such as – just off the top of my head – Once In Royal David’s City:-

Once in royal David’s city

When the Wi-Fi went all wrong,

Folk were forced to gather round and

Join together for this song.

Phones and iPads set aside;

Kids, their parents did abide.

I could continue. Believe me, I really could continue. But anyway.

It was frosty, too.

As is traditional, the Stoic Spouse cooked so much Christmas fare that I’m beginning to suspect him of trying to murder us slowly by hardening our arteries. It would be the perfect crime. Nice nosh, though.

Ridgeway Oxfordshire

We walked a small stretch of the Ridgeway, the ancient routeway that cuts through the Oxfordshire landscape.

And then it was Boxing Day, and some sociopath posted an ‘Only 364 days until Christmas’ meme on Facebook.

T’was rather pretty, out and about.

We went to watch the mummers in the centre of a nearby market town. I use the word ‘see’ loosely because there were about a squillion tall people in front of us. Here’s a photo I took by climbing up a bus shelter:-

mummers wantage

Mummers

In case you’re not familiar with this very British, been-around-since-the-eighteenth-century tradition (mumming, I mean, not climbing bus shelters), take a look here. The best part is a long and topical poem about the year’s events. Needless to say, there was plentiful satirical reference to Brexit, Trump, and the above-average number of talented famous folk who’ve been summoned to the great Green Room in the sky this year.

I managed a run, though, just as the sun was going down.

Of course, at this time of year it’s important to enjoy traditional family games such as ‘Who can figure out why the dishwasher has suddenly stopped working on Christmas Day?’ and ‘Well somebody is going to have to do all this washing up from a three-course meal for eight.’ Also, ‘Look, I’ve been up since dawn cooking so I don’t see why I should wash up,’ and ‘Well I was up at 4am looking after a poorly child’. As well as ‘Well maybe if you hadn’t given him so much chocolate yesterday, he wouldn’t have been sick’. And that old chestnut, ‘Oh, so it’s my fault, is it? Well if you feel like that, we may as well get divorced,’ and finally, a fun round of ‘Fine. See you in court. But you’re still doing the washing up.’

I’m exaggerating, but the dishwasher really did stop working, so in a quaint show of festive togetherness, we all gathered round the iPad to watch videos about how to fix it. And I did the washing up, because between you and me, washing up for an hour is the very best way of getting warm in this freezing house.

Meanwhile, we tried to stay one step ahead of the twinnage’s sceptical questions about the existence (or not) of Father Christmas. Some of these questions were easy to field. ‘Whaddya mean, Why does he come in through the chimney and not the door? You know how hard it is to open our front door, given that the wood swells at the slightest hint of heat/cold/wet/dry. Frankly, even I’m tempted to come in via the chimney.’ Sometimes, the twinnage are more sneaky. ‘Does anyone live at the North Pole?’ Twin One asked with apparent innocence, yesterday. ‘Of course not!’ I replied, and launched into a lengthy explanation about climate and the lack of land mass at the North Pole, silently congratulating myself on how well my sons will do in their future geography lessons. ‘BUT YOU SAID THAT FATHER CHRISTMAS LIVED THERE!’ yelled Twin Two, and I realized too late that I’d been ambushed. Again. Should’ve spotted that one coming a mile off.

On a final knitting note, I received this rather splendid-looking book. I can’t wait to try it out.

So that was my Christmas. How was yours?

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Christmassing Inexpertly

It’s a tricky time here at Twisted Towers. Christmas has completely unexpectedly lumbered into view. I know that some of the wiser amongst you might argue that the fact it’s on the same date every single year does lend it a certain predictability, but I’m telling you, we’ve been caught totally off-guard.

home-made Christmas bauble decoration

Once upon a time (pre-children), I had time to design and paint silly decorations.

Also, we’re not very good at remembering to water the Christmas tree, so the poor thing is shedding needles so fast that we face gathering round a be-baubled Christmas stick on the big day to open our gifts. The twinnage are happy, though. (Don’t worry, we do remember to water/feed them.) They’ve sneaked off with some of the needles, plus the tiny wreathes that I knitted, and some baubles, to make tiny dinosaur egg nests, which I keep finding in obscure corners of the house. Full marks for creativity, boys.

Let’s hope that the catering arrangements are going rather better. The Stoic Spouse largely bans me from the cooker/oven on Christmas Day because – in his words – “If I left it to you, we’d be having cumin-roast turkey with spiced lentils for Christmas dinner. Probably at 10pm.” He does have a point. I do cook a huge tagine on Christmas Eve, though.

Some of my home-made decorations were a mischievous.

Today, I am finishing writing my Christmas cards, and feeling smug because I’m a day ahead of the last posting date. It’s ever-so-slightly tempting to write “Happy Christmas 2017” in them, thus skipping a year and instantly moving from last in the Great Christmas Card Race to FIRST PLACE (by about eleven months).

So I’m dealing with the chaos of Christmas in the same way that I deal with everything remotely challenging, by interspersing frenzied last-minute activity with picking up my knitting for “just one more row” and writing a blog post. That explains all this progress on the jumper, anyway. Here’s a sleeve:-

And on that note, I must go and finish the cards. Merry Christmas, my fine fibrous friends!

 

 

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So Shall We Find Out Which Lucky Folk Have Won The Giveaway?

I know. It’s been a fair few days since the gong sounded, marking the end of the It’s A Stitch Up giveaway. (To be fair, the gong didn’t sound particularly loudly, since it’s made entirely of yarn.) In meagre defence of my tardiness, we’ve had the inspectors in at the hospital where I work this week, and I had to pop across the Severn Bridge into south Wales, in order to go and endure the viva exam for my MPhil degree in (novel-)writing. The viva went surprisingly well. And no, the novel has absolutely nothing to do with knitting or crochet.

Photo credit: (c) Suzie Blackman

So let’s get on with the happy job. As announced here, two lucky folk amongst you are to win a gorgeous 100g skein of Awesome Aran wool, as well as the pattern with which to knit it, all courtesy of the over-generosity of Suzie at It’s A Stitch-Up.

Altogether, there were 280 entries to the contest. Wowzers! Thanks to each and every one of you for taking part. And if you’re not lucky enough to win this time, do go and have a browse amongst the goodies available through Suzie’s website. (Please note, I cannot accept responsibility for the ensuing damage to your credit card. Seriously. I can’t.) Oh, and there are more giveaways coming up soon, so you’ll have more chances to win stuff after Christmas.

So let’s find out who’s won. Usual Twisted procedures apply: all entries have been numbered, then the oracle that is random.org has been consulted for the numbers of the winning entries. OK?

So who exactly are the mysterious people hiding behind these numbers? Step forward and take a bow, M. Curran and Sheila Harvey-Larmar! CONGRATULATIONS! I shall be in touch pronto to ask for your address which I shall pass on to Suzie so that she can send you your prize.

Right, I’d best get on with starting my Christmas preparations. Oops. This is poor, even by my low standards. Still, the kitchen is sporting little touches of festive cheer…

…And we’ve enacted the annual ritual of going to buy the tree, much to the excitement of the twinnage.

…And Rudolph ‘the buck stops here’ the reindeer has come downstairs from his usual spot on the wall of the guest room.

knitted reindeer head

…Also, my friend has been making the sweetest little decorations using the husks of real silk cocoons. How clever is she?! Look! She takes orders if you ask her very nicely.

Anyway, judging by how many of you joined me on the naughty bench after my last post – sorry it was such a squeeze – it seems that I’m not alone in my festive tardiness. I think I’d better go and buy a bigger bench.

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Don’t Try This At Home, Folks…

YES! THE LOVELY, YARNY GIVEAWAY IS STILL OPEN FOR JUST A FEW MORE DAYS! ENTER HERE!

Meanwhile, would you like to make some super-easy Christmas decorations? See the links under the photos throughout this post.

easy knitted christmas trees free pattern

Christmas trees pattern HERE.

It has been brought to my attention by my children, as well as via the subtlest of hints on social media, that it’s nearly Christmas.

knitted christmas decoration candle easy free pattern

Knitted candle pattern HERE.

Now I realize that you and I may be sitting on opposite sides of the table regarding the matter, but personally I have a very strict routine for yuletide preparations. This comprises persistent denial – bordering on an ‘I’m too cool for all that’ attitude – until roughly the 15th December, followed by ten days of ‘AAAAARGH! PRESENTS! DECORATIONS! FOOD! CARDS! INVITATIONS! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRGH!’ hysteria, with precious time wasted as I try to extract a definitive answer from the Royal Mail about whether or not there’s any chance of them laying on a time-travelling postal service that will enable my Christmas cards to be delivered a week before they were actually sent, thus arriving at their destinations in time.

easy crochet christmas tree pattern

…And the crochet version, too. HERE!

By about the 20th, I reach a peak state of OK, I CONCEDE THAT YOU WERE RIGHT, ALL YOU SUPER-EARLY CHRISTMAS-PREPPERS. I BOW TO YOUR WISDOM AND SHALL ATTEMPT TO COPY YOU IN FUTURE. But the pain of Christmas preparation – just like the pain of childbirth – is eventually forgotten, and thus the sorry process of my procrastination repeats itself the following year.

crochet candle pattern

Crocheted candle, HERE!

Truly, I’m trying to change, but I’m constitutionally incapable of beginning any deadline-dependent task until the very last possible moment, and I always underestimate how much time will be needed. In my head, writing down a task on a to-do list constitutes 90% of the work of actually completing it, despite this belief having been proven wrong on many, many occasions.

knitted ‘paper’ chain HERE.

Fortunately, the Stoic Spouse is aware of my idiocy, and takes charge of the ahead-of-time tasks such as ordering the turkey, baking the Christmas cake, and telling the twinnage that no, Santa will not be able to bring either of them a live dinosaur, and no, it can’t possibly be true that George-at-school is getting a REAL LIVE T-REX AS A PET AND IT’S NOT FAIR THAT WE CAN’T HAVE ONE TOO, although if the Royal Mail does manage to establish a time-travelling delivery service then Mummy and Daddy might just reconsider the matter, but only if the twinnage both promise to eat up all of their brussels sprouts from now until the end of eternity.

Slightly crazy Santa, HERE.

Anyway.

It’s Christmas.

If you celebrate, I do hope that your preparations are going well. And if you haven’t started yet, do come and sit here beside me on the Naughty Bench.

Crochet 'paper' chain Christmas decoration

Crochet ‘paper’ chain Christmas decoration HERE.

Just in case you’re in the mood to knit or crochet some easy-to-make decorations, I’m scattering pictures and links to my free festive patterns throughout this post, just like Lego bricks sprinkled on a freshly-tidied sitting room floor. Don’t worry, you’ve got plenty of time to finish making them before the big day.*

easy knitted christmas wreath pattern

And you’ll be needing a tiny knitted wreath, HERE.

Enjoy, and happy needling/hookery. If you need me, I’ll be under the table with a bottle of affordable-yet-astonishingly-quaffable red wine, frantically Googling ‘Last minute gifts for difficult-to-impress husbands’, even though Continue reading

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Christmas

So for those of you of a Christmassy persuasion, how was your festive season?

bob8

As usual we hosted here at the brewery, but I confess that I wasn’t really feeling it after the fire (and some further sad events) at work. Instead, I had an urge to creep away to a quiet corner and think about stuff, which obviously wasn’t going to happen with small, excited twins in tow. Fortunately the Stoic Spouse did a sterling job of feeding us all to the point of near-bursting, whilst I was in charge of decorations and gifts.

bob7

On a more disappointing note, I regret to inform you that our combined extended families insisted on behaving entirely reasonably / considerately / amenably as guests, and thus I have no amusing anecdotes whatsoever about any drunken misdemeanours or shenanigans. Honestly, do these folk have no respect for the fact that I have a blog to update?!

bob13

Talking of anecdotes, this is a blog that begins with the written word, and the pictures are forced to fall in line and behave. (Contrast with Attic24, who has written about how the text of her blog posts accretes around the photos that she takes.) But just this one time, I’m beginning with the pictures, OK?

bob6

So here was our Christmas. My very kind father-in-law gave me some wonderful lenses that enable close-up photography, so I had to experiment:-

bob11

…And whilst I was in a shutterbug mood, I set a long (four-second) exposure and experimented with moving my camera around a candle flame in a heart-shape. Tip: you have to draw the heart upside-down:-

bob9

I was given a rather splendid telephoto lens by the Stoic Spouse, too, but it’s hard to use it whilst marshalling small children. Why does nobody address this very significant problem in photo manuals? (This lens really is da business, though.)

As usual, I brought out my knit-textured decorations for the season. Don’tcha just love the details?

bob15

We have more conventional decorations, too:-

bob12

And after overindulging in Christmas eats and drinks, we ventured out a little, to see the river in its dull-brown wintry livery:-

bob1

And birds’ nests visible whilst the trees are bare, much to the delight of the twinnage:-

bob4

And old houses with thick walls to protect against the cold unlike our very old house that seems permanently freezing:-

bob10

I experimented again with long exposure on a bridge over a major road, but it was hard to keep my camera sufficiently still with the twinnage a-pulling at my sleeve. Trust me, the cars didn’t really jump around this much:-

bob2

And now if you’ll excuse me, I have knitting and crochet to complete.

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Christmas? Also Mega-Yachts

Christmas is ages away, right? There’s still l-o-a-d-s of time? Yes? What’s that you say? No, no, I’m not speaking in a high-pitched, hysterical voice: I’ve just… got a bit of a cold, that’s all. But everything’s under control round here. Absolutely everything. Far be it for me to play chicken with the last posting date before Christmas… again…

Knitted reindeer head. www.thetwistedyarn.com

Knitted reindeer head all dressed up for Christmas

More seriously, thank you for all of your kind words after the shock and sadness of last week’s fatal fire. Everyone at the hospital (patients and staff alike) is doing an amazing job of metaphorically dusting themselves off and carrying on. It’s humbling to witness people’s resilience.

Knitting has been slow but soothing, and the crocheting of that project has been even slower.

knit by fire

The twinnage are excitedly helping with the Christmas preparations, if by ‘helping’ you mean placing a large seashell on top of the tree, over-indulging in chocolate, and pinching the little ornamental bells so they can pretend to be the sort of Swiss cows that roam the Alps with bells around their necks. They’ve also been helping shell the dried-out runner bean seeds from the allotment, ready to plant in the spring. (ALL, and I mean ALL credit for allotmenty know-how goes to my allotment-mate.)

101

And a cheery chap from Interflora rang the bell and delivered this gorgeous surprise! Look! How beautiful and Christmas-coloured?!

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Thank you Aunt D. This was a beautiful, beautiful surprise.

Anyway to finish, let’s have a wee spot of ruthless capitalism (yes, at Christmas: who’d have thought that could ever happen?) You may have noticed a couple of disclaimers on this blog that mention affiliate links. What that means is that a little programme reads my blog posts, not for their wit and perspicacity (I know, what a waste!) but instead for any mention of products. And every time if finds a product name, it automatically hyperlinks to somewhere you can buy that product. And if anyone clicks through and buys something from that retailer, I will get a teeny tiny weeny commission, at which point I will run outside into the street punching the air and yelling “Ha, I’m RICH! Rich, I tell thee! Henceforth, I shall cast aside my family and friends to pursue a shallow life of relentless materialism!” And then what’ll happen is that the neighbours will roll their eyes and the Stoic Spouse will follow me out to say, “Phil, you’re embarrassing yourself again. Please stop it and come indoors. And for goodness sake put some clothes on.” See? Quite a simple process, really.

Truth is, now that the twinnage are a’school, and I’m still only employed by the hospital for two days each week, this website needs to earn its keep a little bit. And I thought that this would be a fairly unobtrusive way of making that possible. Of course I’m saying this without really having observed it in action, because I don’t tend to mention very many products on this blog, which is the tiny flaw in my plan. So permit me to try an experiment by mentioning a couple of products here to see whether they get picked up and clickable-linkied. Ummm… (Pause to glance around this toy-strewn room in search of inspiration.) Lego Duplo sets! And a Britains toy tractor! I’ll have to wait and see whether that works. Edited to add: Nope, that doesn’t seem to have worked, although it seems have linkied for the name of the flower retailer I mentioned earlier in this post. Hmm, back to the drawing board.

You may be getting the impression that I’m not very sophisticated at this ruthless capitalism stuff. In which case you may in fact be right.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know. The blog won’t change. It’ll still be knitting, crochet, life, and a touch of bonkersness.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go away and cackle mirthlessly at my capitalist genius, and plot which mega-yacht I should commission with my millions. (Hey, imagine a yarn-bombed mega-yacht!)

Also, I need to empty the bins. #mybillionairelife

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The Week My Knitting Needles Fell Silent For A While

It began with a birthday: mine, as it so happens. A few days ago. How old? Let’s just say that my age is a number that provides the twinnage with the impression that they’re geniuses for having successfully counted so very high. Yeah, thanks boys. In my head, I’m still down wiv da kidz. But then, my 96-year-old grandmother said to me the other week that she still feels young until she remembers that her own daughter is now a grandmother. That fact makes her feel very old indeed. (None of us were particularly early breeders.)

For my birthday, I was given a wonderful print by David Day. Now that’s my kind of landscape:-

Credit: David Day

Credit: David Day

Also I was given an elegant wrought iron wellie-boot holder and an ornate boot scraper, both of which I love. Anyway, back to this week.

hh11

Half way through the morning of my birthday, the phone rang. It was the hospital where I work. You know, I’ve changed my mind a hundred times about writing this post. I never know how much serious stuff to put in my blog, so I tend to err on the side of frivolous. But there hasn’t been a great deal of knitting/crochet this week, and there is a reason for that. The phone call brought dark news. There was a terrible fire on my ward, and tragically, one of our patients died in the inferno. There is more, but it wouldn’t be appropriate to write it here. Let’s just say that the extreme heroism of my colleagues who were on duty that night definitely prevented more deaths from occurring. So you’ll understand that it hasn’t been a normal week, and that I’ve been at work more than usual, and that I’ve had a propensity in the evening to stare at mindless internet junk rather than doing anything constructive. Half the hospital stinks of smoke, and there are police guarding the entrance to what remains of my ward. Sad times indeed.

Sorry, you probably didn’t come here to read such stuff today. Let’s lighten the mood. I can’t show you a finished knitted Christmas garland yet, but I can show you my subversive Christmas decorations that I made a few years ago. I always enjoy putting them out on the tree. There’s the Father Christmas who’s succumbed to beer and fags:-

hh14

And the slightly more innocent festive cow:-

christmas cow decoration www.thetwistedyarn.com

There’s the cheeky beaver that felled the Christmas tree:-

hh8

And the stained glass window:-

hh7

And finally my favourite, the little Father Christmases hatching (and in one case abseiling) from a bauble. I’m really quite proud of this one. Those were the pre-kids days when I had time to design and paint such things:-

hh9

But that’s just my over-silly imagination. I really do need to begin thinking about Christmas properly, but I confess that events this week have interfered with the process. This weekend, I’m going to sort it. All of it. Effortlessly and efficiently.

hh6

As you’ll understand, time away from work has been precious and important this week. Time to just be normal and carefree and to watch the twinnage kick up leaves:-

bib4a

Time to cook a huge pan of comfort food, with venison and onions and garlic and celeriac and wine:-

hh1

And lots and lots of pearl barley:-

hh2

And then mixing some dumplings using flour, suet, thyme, salt, lashings of black pepper, and water:-

hh3

…Which taste rather delicious in the finished meal, if you’re in need of winter comfort food:-

hh5

And my favourite vegetable was available at the local farm shop:-

hh17

Such comforts help. And then late, late, late in the evening, there’s always the chance to step outside the front door and stare up at the winter moon beyond our tower:-

hh4

The world carries on turning, it would seem.

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Semi-Actively Christmassing

If you’re on Facebook then you’ll know about that feature where they show you things that you posted on this date however many years ago, and then give you the option of making a nostalgic repost of your drunken shenanigans or baby photos or heartfelt plea for the rights of narwhals. Well apparently, this exact time last year I was grudgingly acknowledging that I would need to begin thinking about Christmas at some point this month. Plus ça change. (No, I didn’t accept the repost option today: it was a rubbish post the first time round, and I like my friends too much to inflict it on them again.)

I would dearly, dearly love to say that I’ve been more ahead of the game this year, but that would be a lie so enormous that you’d be able to view the moon through its middle. The moon is very pretty though, so there’s that.

It is definitely time to begin thinking about Christmas. But what on earth to give everybody? Please don’t say knitting, because there is Not Enough Time.

Round here, we have just about started today with the easy stuff: decorations (although the Stoic Spouse did bake a Christmas cake several weeks ago). There is a Christmas tree propped up against our front door, waiting to be brought in and adorned tomorrow. And some details have begun to appear:-

Christmas lights www.thetwistedyarn.com

After my flurry of festive design ideas from last year, I had a little ponder over things I could design this year. I’m busy on a garland of tassled stars of varying sizes – a little more fiddly than last year and hence s-l-o-w. Progress:-

Christmas knitted star www.thetwistedyarn.com

And the reverse:-

bib10a

And I’m working on some smaller stars to be hung between the big ones:-

bib9a

I’m planning a string of tassled stars in various colours of Stylecraft Special DK. The finished fellow above is rocking ‘Lobelia’ from the recent limited edition collection that we judged.

Would you like the pattern? I’ll be honest: it’s a bit of a fiddly faff, but you’re welcome to it if you’d like it. ‘Tis up to you, my fine fibrous friends.

bib11a

PS: Oh, and if you’re in the UK, look at the latest edition of Simply Knitting magazine! Man, I’m embarrassed about those photos, now…

Simply Knitting www.thetwistedyarn.com

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Christmas Decorations To Knit And Crochet

Now, being a finger-on-the-pulse sort of blogger, I’m well abreast of all things sparkly and nowish. Oh yes indeed. (I’m also immeasurably modest.) I keep my ear so close to the ground that earlier today I was head-butted by a worm. But you’ll be completely gobsmacked to learn what I’ve discovered this time. Honestly, this one is big, so big that it was almost worth enduring the worm-butting. Almost.

Are you ready? Yes?

Knitters and crocheters of the world, apparently it’s nearly Christmas.

OK, let’s pause there. I’ll just give you a moment for this news to sink in.

I understand, because it came as a shock to me, too. By nature I’m the sort of person who notices the proximity of Christmas mid-December and then panics accordingly and wonders whether the last posting date for Christmas cards has passed yet. But it seems that when you have school-aged children, you are no longer allowed the luxury of sticking your metaphorical fingers in your metaphorical ears and going ‘la-la-la’ every time you walk past a shop in early December. The festive season is upon us.

So, now that I’ve dropped this bombshell, you’ll be needing to knit or crochet some seasonal decorations for your beautiful home? Fortunately, that’s something I can help you with. Would you like some super-easy patterns that you and/or your children can make in no time at all? You would?

Last year, I published a little collection of designs. Apologies to those of you who were here then and so have seen these before (but thank you for your perseverance, and please do remember to collect your The-Twisted-Yarn-Long-Service-Award before you leave). First and best of all, you might like to knit some ridiculously easy Christmas trees, like these:-

easy knitted christmas trees www.thetwistedyarn.com

The pattern for these lovelies is right here. Click, and enjoy.

What’s that I hear? You’d like a crochet version? Your wish is my command:-

Easy Crochet Christmas Tree

Easy Crochet Christmas Tree

The pattern is right here.

You might want some pretty little crochet wreaths, too, to hang on your Christmas tree? Fear not, I’ve got it covered:-

knitted Christmas wreath www.thetwistedyarn.com

Here they are.

And you’d like a knitted version of the wreaths, too? Here it is. Right here.

And…. what else? Oh yes, a ridiculously simple but aesthetically effective candle, perchance?

knitted candle www.thetwistedyarn.com

Yup, I’ve got that covered, here.

And did I hear you mention ‘paper’ chains?

knitted paper chain www.thetwistedyarn.com

So simple, so effective. And right HERE. Want a crochet version? It’s right here.

Finally, you’ll be needing some cute Father Christmases, no doubt?

knitted father christmas www.thetwistedyarn.com

Well, here they are!

And that, my fine friends, is pretty much the whole collection, although I reserve the right to add to it, probably at about midnight on the 23rd December. Meanwhile, happy knitting, happy crocheting, and, I suppose, happy Christmas!

christmas collage

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More Crocheted Christmas Decorations

OK, here’s one for those of us who are – ahem – not yet quite fully sorted on the Christmas festivity front, despite the fact that guests are starting to arrive tomorrow and the house is a squalid tip. Also for those at the other end of the spectrum who are so blisteringly well-organised that you’re already getting busy with coordinating the table ornaments for Christmas 2017. If you’re a member of the latter group, please understand that I’m ever so slightly scared of you, so if I don’t quite make eye contact, it’s nothing personal, OK?

By the way, I do like your Christmas tree – so pretty! And those ornaments you’ve put up are delightful. But how about a few more room decorations? We could crochet some ‘paper’ chains and hang them across the windows – what do you think?

The method for crocheted paper chains is just as for the knitted paper chains I showed you recently, and it’s so simple that the most nervous beginner can make them without even breaking a sweat. Since Christmas is nearly upon us, I would encourage you to make these in reasonably sizeable yarn for speed: I used Vanna’s Choice in a variety of shades. (Yes, 2017-planners, you may indeed work an intricate fairisle design in 2-ply, just to show the rest of us up.) But assuming you’re using aran/worsted-weight with a 5mm hook, here’s the deal:-

***US crochet terms used throughout.***

1. Loosely chain 27.

2. Turn. Chain 1. Skip that chain and then sc into every chain. (27s)

3. Repeat row 2 until your work is 4cm wide. Cut your yarn and pull through.

Make a few more in different colours. Once you’ve accumulated a pile of crocheted strips, give yourself a friendly pat on the back and start joining them together to form a chain. ‘Tis up to you, my fine fearless friends, how you join the edges: you can slip stitch if you want to keep your crochet hook busy, or you can whip out a tapestry needle and sew the blighters.

xmas 1a

And that’s it. Yup, it really is that simple. Of course, you can decorate your chain with all manner of beads and sequins and glitter and fancy gubbins, but the basic chain is the simplest crochet imaginable. Enjoy.

Now, what’s next?

Oh yes. Little crochet wreaths.

xmas 6a

The knitted version is at the end of this post. So to crochet your wreath, grab some lovely rich DK/light-worsted-weight, preferably in a variegated green such as Fyberspates Vivacious Deep Forest.

***US crochet terms used.***

1. Chain 5.

2. Turn. Chain 1.

3. Skip one ch, then sc into 5ch. (5s)

4. Without turning, sc into the first stitch to join into a round. Continue to sc into each sc, working a 5-stich-round spiral upwards until you achieve the desired length (sufficient to make a 5cm-diameter wreath). Pull through and cut the yarn, leaving a 10cm tail.

5. Take a piece of wire, slightly longer than twice the length of your crochet. Fold in half, and pinch the fold tightly with pliers. Insert up through the centre of your crochet.

image

Bend the crochet-covered wire round to form a circle. Join the two ends of wire and conceal inside the crochet. Use one trailing end of yarn to sew the crochet together.

xmas 2a

Now to ornament your wreath. 🙂 Use whatever materials you wish, but I recommend twisting a narrow metallic red pipe-cleaner or two around the wreath like this:-

xmas 3a

…then sewing a little bow on to finish. And you’re done! Ta-da!

xmas 5a

If I don’t get a chance to say it on the day, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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