Do you enjoy making Christmas gifts for your loved ones? If so, you still have some time between now and Christmas to finish some wonderful handmade gifts for them.
There are zillions of possibilities for nice things you could make for your family and friends. But if you live in an area where December is a cold month, mittens make lovely, practical gifts that the recipient will be able to use right away.
The Following Books Offer You Fantastic, Gift-Worthy Mitten Patterns to Knit:
Bracelets are reasonably quick projects to crochet, and I love them because they allow for so much easy experimentation — with materials, colors, textures and forms.
I find that wire crochet bracelets are particularly interesting to experiment with. There are so many different ways you can make them. The wire, being stiff, can be sculpted in different ways if you like; and when you crochet with it, a sort of magic happens. It’s almost like creating a delightful fusion of lace and metalwork; the two disparate crafts intertwine and become one. Add beads to the mix, and the results are even more spectacular.
Pictured here are a couple of wire crochet bracelets that I’ve posted online, along with free patterns in case you’d like to crochet some similar pieces. The bracelet shown above is a wire cuff bracelet crocheted in Christmas colors. I adore its lacy look.
The bracelet shown at lower right is one of my latest beaded wire crochet projects. This design is crafted using wire, red coral beads, jasper stone beads, and glass beads. If you don’t already know how to make one of these, no worries, you can learn how to do it — for free! The free bracelet pattern is available right here on our website for you to use.
I’m showing you these particular bracelets because I think they are both nice designs for Christmas, which is coming up soon; it’ll be here before you know it. If you’d like to make yourself some pretty holiday baubles, these would be lovely to whip up for wearing to any upcoming holiday parties or gatherings. If these designs aren’t quite what you have in mind, our list of free jewelry patterns offers even more options. I hope you’ll enjoy browsing through them.
Are you looking for ways to improve your crochet, find new project ideas and get up to speed on useful crochet techniques? If so, you’ll definitely want to check out our series of crochet designer interviews. In the recent past, we’ve posted a couple of new designer interviews you’ll definitely want to check out — but if you haven’t been following our website for years already, there are a significant number of other interviews you’ll also want to catch up on.
If you haven’t yet mastered the art of crocheting garments that fit you perfectly, you’ll definitely want to check out Karen Whooley’s work. One of Karen’s special talents is creating shaping that makes garments fit well. Many of her wearable patterns feature an inclusive range of sizes — with multiple plus sizes available.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Karen about her latest crochet lace patterns (among other things). She has shared some tips and interesting tidbits that I found quite helpful. In particular, I think her lace crochet tips are brilliant, and I am sure others will find this information helpful, too.
Kristi Simpson is the author of more than 40 craft books, most of which are crochet books. Kristi’s latest book is Overlay Crochet, published with Leisure Arts. In this interview, Kristi explains what overlay crochet is all about — and she gives you some ideas about why you might want to try this technique, plus some glimpses at the truly spectacular, colorful projects you can make with the technique.
This technique is exciting because it can give the illusion that you’ve worked a crochet project with multiple colors in each row, when really, you’re only ever using one color at a time to complete these projects. It’s really good stuff. If you aren’t already a pro at this technique (and even if you are!) you’ll probably want to check this out.
Kristi is also a mom of 5 children. That’s FIVE! I am not sure how anyone with multiple kids ever gets anything (other than parenting) done, at all, ever — let alone crocheting. Let alone write books about crochet! But, Kristi manages to excel at it — and in this interview, she spills one of her best hints for squeezing in more crochet time. That’s my favorite part of this interview, and I’m hoping you’ll find it helpful, too.
In general, I’ve found that crochet designers are extremely generous with sharing hard-won tips and insights about their work — if only you take the time to ask them about it. I LOVE posting these interviews and sharing them with you. Overall, I think they give you an excellent way to pick up interesting tidbits you might not figure out on your own. I hope you’ll enjoy the entire series! You’re invited to check out more crochet designer interviews HERE.
You could take any design on the potholder pattern list and crochet it in Christmas colors, but some of the designs on the list are already “Christmas-y” as is. For example, this striped potholder resembles a candy cane if you crochet it in red and white yarn. (If not, it’s just an ordinary striped potholder, as you can see here.)
I haven’t got around to crocheting this Christmas tree design in wool yarn to use as a potholder yet, but it’s on my to-do list to try. Please feel free to use that idea if you’d like.
If you do, keep in mind that the design as originally written was meant to be used as an afghan square, and was crocheted in acrylic. You don’t want to use acrylic or other synthetics for making potholders, because acrylic yarn can melt and emit toxic vapors when it gets hot (as it most certainly will when coming into contact with hot dishes). Wool is a better choice for using to make potholders, because it is self-extinguishing (which means that, if you accidentally catch it on fire, the wool will not burn — the fire will most likely just go out on its own). Wool can safely be heated and is also biodegradable; acrylic yarn does not readily biodegrade. Cascade 220 yarn is my new go-to favorite yarn for crocheting potholders — I highly recommend it.
Here’s a fun needlework project idea for those of you who celebrate Christmas. It’s a cute Christmas tree decoration to crochet.
You could use this little Christmas tree as an ornament or a door hanger. (If you want to make it a door hanger, just be sure to make the hanging loop long enough to fit over the doorknob where you want to hang it.)
This project is made by crocheting and joining two easy Christmas tree shapes that you can make using our free symbol crochet chart and pattern.
This is a quick crochet project with a lot of creative potential. You’re invited to grab the free chart and ornament pattern from our website, and give this project a try.
Have you begun your countdown to December 25, 2019? Perhaps you’ve already started your Christmas crafting, and perhaps you haven’t — but either way, you still have plenty of time to whip up some Christmastime projects. Especially potholders, which are quick projects that don’t take much commitment.
If you’re in the mood to work on some Christmas crafts, we have plenty of ideas, not to mention free patterns, for you to try.
Pictured here: peppermint-candy inspired potholders that are reminiscent of the minty sweet treats you see in stores during the holiday season. They’re festive, attractive and tasty — just the thing to have in your kitchen while you’re doing your holiday baking, or planning your holiday parties and meals. Those fun little mints are ideal for everything from decorating your Christmas cookies to covering up the scent of eggnog on your breath.
They’re also fantastic inspiration for bunches of different craft projects.
Potholders like these make excellent Christmas gifts, but they’re also nice to keep for yourself — especially if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen during the holiday season.
Happily, these little pretties work up quickly enough that you can make a pair for yourself, plus more pairs to giftwrap and present to the chefs and bakers on your Christmas gift list.
You can crochet these fun potholders in red and white, as pictured, to resemble candy cane stripes. If you change the colors, the look could be completely different, and maybe not even Christmas-y, depending on the colors you choose.
2. Overlay Crochet Produces Dense, Warm Fabric That’s Ideal for Making Snuggly Cold-Weather Projects
Overlay crochet empowers you to pile up layers of color and texture. This has the effect of creating a multi-layered fabric that can be exceptionally dense and warm — perfect for making snuggly blankets, throws and afghans to keep you cozy this fall and winter.
Check out this pretty granny square blanket you can make using the overlay crochet technique:
3. Overlay Crochet Is Gorgeous
As you can see, it’s possible to work some uniquely beautiful projects using the overlay crochet technique.
4.Overlay Crochet Is Intriguing
If you have friends who crochet, the chances are good they will stare at your projects in awe, wondering exactly how you achieved such a stunning effect.
5. It Will Give Your Mandalas Extra Pizzazz
Overlay crochet is the ideal technique to use for creating spectacular crocheted mandalas and doilies. It can add bunches of color, texture and visual interest to a mandala that you’d have a hard time incorporating using any other crochet technique.
6. Lovely New Overlay Crochet Patterns Are Available Now!
This technique is timely considering the recent release of a brand new overlay crochet pattern collection by Kristi Simpson. Her latest book is called Overlay Crochet. If you want to get your hands on crochet patterns for making any of the beautiful projects included in this blog post, you’ll definitely want to own a copy of this book.
Want to learn more about the book — and find some hints and tips for getting started with overlay crochet? Kristi Simpson has shared bunches of helpful insights in this new interview.
The holiday season is the perfect time to show off your crocheted lovelies! If you don’t have any lovelies to show off, or if you do but you want some new ones, now is a great time to make some for yourself. Some of these projects are versatile enough to be worn for any holiday from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. Others are specifically meant to be Christmas designs. Hopefully you’ll find some new wardrobe pieces to make and add to your closet now that the holiday season is upon us.
Festive Jeweled Neck Warmer
When I first imagined this easy crochet neck warmer, I was hoping to create a design that would be ideal for the the winter holiday season — something that would be warm, yet impressive enough to wear out to Christmas parties, family gatherings, holiday festivities and such.
I think this neck warmer turned out to be exactly the type of wardrobe piece I had in mind. This design is almost a hybrid between a necklace and a scarf; it’s warmer than a necklace would be, and it’s dressier than your typical winter scarf is. It’s also a quick, easy project that’s suitable for total beginners to crochet. For a crocheter with some experience, it won’t take long to whip this up. For beginners, I don’t think there’s any such thing as a truly quick project — but even for a beginner, this is a much quicker project than usual. So if you want to spend a little time kicking back and relaxing with your crochet amid the holiday hubbub, this pattern is a really good one to reach for.
Shawls and Wraps
Shawls are so beautiful, and the extra bit of warmth is always welcome during the winter season. If you think you’d like to crochet a shawl for the holidays, I highly recommend Sharon Silverman’s lovely new book called Delicate Crochet. The book features (among other things) an outstanding selection of 8 spectacular, stylish, feminine shawl and wrap patterns. All together, you get 23 different patterns in the book — and these designs are dressy and beautiful enough to wear out to all the parties, gatherings and events you might have planned during the holiday season.
If you want even more options for dressy crochet shawl patterns, take a look at Sara Kay Hartmann’s book called Poetic Crochet. It’s an intriguing book that is exclusively devoted to featuring crochet patterns for shawls and wraps — no other types of projects are included. Each of the patterns in the book was inspired by a famous classic poem.
If you’d prefer to knit a shawl, I highly recommend taking a look at Vogue Knitting Shawls & Wraps 2. This book includes some of the loveliest and most impressive shawl knitting patterns I’ve yet come across.
This stylish cuff bracelet is crocheted in two colors of wire, and it’s accented with contrasting yet complementary beads. I crocheted my sample bracelet in Christmas colors — red and green wire, with bronze-colored seed bead accents.
As is, it’s a great look for those of you who would like to wear it during the Christmas season. But, if you’d like it to be wearable all year long, all it would take is a color change to make the bracelet in more of an everyday color palette. Why not try making it in silver, gold and bronze? Or perhaps in vibrant, bohemian hues of colored wire. If you have a favorite floral dress, try using a green-colored wire that matches the green leaves on the flowers; instead of the red wire, use whichever color is the main flower color; and instead of the bronze, substitute whichever color is used in the background of the floral fabric on the dress. Voila! Now you have the perfect accessory to wear with your dress.
This is another quick project that doesn’t involve a big time commitment.
Brenda K.B. Anderson’s pattern book, Beastly Crochet, wasn’t specifically intended to be a book of Halloween patterns. However, if you celebrate Halloween, October is a great time for crocheting the patterns in the book. That’s because this pattern collection is all Halloween friendly.
For example, let’s take the critters on the Beastly Crochet book cover (pictured.) If you look closely at their mouths, you’ll see these little monsters are stuffed with candy. They’re the perfect storage units for all the Halloween candy your little trick-or-treaters or party-goers might collect on Halloween night. Cute, aren’t they? You can crochet and felt them using the pattern and instructions given in this book.
If you want to make Halloween costumes for yourself or a child you know, this book has patterns you could use. There’s a super cute pattern for Sasquatch Slippers and Mittens, which I think might also work as bear claws. So you could dress up as a sasquatch or a bear if you make these. There’s also a vampire hat which could be the basis for an interesting Halloween costume.
The sweet skull hairpins are totally Halloween friendly. If those aren’t quite what you had in mind, you can check out bunches more knit and crochet skull patterns on our website. The link takes you to a list that’s mostly free patterns aside from the ones included in this book. The book also includes a sugar skull bag pattern, which I think is a little creepy — but I guess that’s the idea, right?
One of the fantastic things about this book is that the patterns are great for Halloween, but you can also use them at other times too. That translates to a great value for the time and money you spend on both the book and the projects. A big thumbs up to that!
Overall I really enjoyed this book, which tells you a lot since I am not someone who ordinarily enjoys crocheting skulls or creepy projects.