Category Archives: Christmas

Christmas Gift Guide – Crochet for Beginners

Welcome to part three of my Christmas Gift Guide. Have you already shared the links from the previous posts with a loved one?  Here they are again:

Christmas Gift Guide – Crochet on the Go

Christmas Gift Guide – Notions

Today I’m talking beginner crochet. The perfect starter pack.  On this list are the items that I wish I had had when I was first starting out, but instead found myself standing in the yarn section of my local craft store completely clueless!

The Learn to Crochet Project

By Joanne Scrace and Kat Goldin

Kat and Joanne have been teaching crochet all over the UK and beyond for years, and this book is the culmination of all those lessons learned with great advice including choosing yarn, tools you’ll need, how to avoid simple mistakes and most importantly, the book will actually teach you how to make some beautiful and wearable items.  Not a dishcloth or mug cosy to be found!

The Learn to Crochet Project Book ~ PRINT COPY ~ A beginners crochet course available on Etsy for 10 Pounds https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/557998558/the-learn-to-crochet-project-book-print?ref=shop_home_active_3

The girls at the Crochet Project have a fantastic special offer right now too, if you buy this book as a gift, add a note to the Etsy comments and they will post a free copy of a pattern of your choice (to the same address).  Or, if you gift a copy via Ravelry, send a DM to Joanne at notsogranny who will send you a pdf of your chosen design.

The Learn to Crochet Project is available from 1st of December on Etsy and Ravelry, and is also ready for pre-order right now for 10 pounds GBP.

Clover Amour Crochet Hooks

When it comes to buying a full set of crochet hooks, I don’t think you can beat the Clover Amour hooks for quality and price.  For around 60 euros you have a set of 9 hooks and a storage case and you’ll never have to worry about not having the right hook in your stable.

Clover Amour crochet hooks, available from Wool Warehouse: http://shrsl.com/nvki

Seriously, that first day when I was standing in the craft store, I had picked out my yarn and then had to choose a hook.  I had no idea how to read a yarn label so I, no word of a lie, picked the coolest looking hook on the shelf.  It also happened to be the most expensive, and not at all suited to my hands.  Oh, and it was the wrong size, but I didn’t understand why my work was all wonky.  Ah….. Hindsight….

The Clover Amours are available from Wool Warehouse* (who ship globally) for 60 euros.  While you’re buying hooks, pick up a set of my matching stitch markers for under a tenner.

Yarn Needles

Technically I could have put this under notions, but I think it’s suited here.  You’ll absolutely need a darning needle or two to sew in your ends and you can grab them at any store that sells needles and thread, from Hema to Kmart to the supermarket.

My favourites though, are cute coloured needles like these that I picked up from Stephen and Penelope in Amsterdam.

http://www.stephenandpenelope.com/en/eight-seasons-tapestry-needles-5-pk.html

They make a great gift, and they’re only 2 euro!  Get them at Stephen and Penelope.

A Scheepjes Catona Colour Pack

This is a box chock full of mini balls of Catona in all the colours you could possibly imagine and they make the perfect starter pack.  It would be enough to make a colourful blanket or shawl, or perfect for making little amigurumis.

The yarn is mercerised, doesn’t split, and is hardwearing, so it’s the perfect yarn for a new crocheter.

The yarn packs are available from Wool Warehouse* who ship globally for just over 60 pounds GBP.

In my next (and last) post in this series, I’m going to be hosting a monster giveaway, with some of the great items that I’ve recommended here, and more!  If you haven’t already, subscribe in the top right corner so you don’t miss out.

See you next week!

*Affiliate link

Christmas Gift Guide – Notions

If you haven’t already, head back to my post from earlier in the week where I shared my recommendations for gifts for the crocheter on the go.  Loads of inspiration to be had!

Now onto today’s guide.

Notions make wonderful gifts.  Especially for loved ones who live far away and need lightweight gifts to pop in the post.

Wrist Ruler

I’ve been wearing variations of the I Love Handles Wrist Ruler for most of this year and I LOVE it! It ages beautifully and I have complete strangers regularly noticing and commenting on it.  It’s just the most convenient accessory, great for measuring gauge and I don’t know about you, but I can never find my tape measure when I need it! I’ve also been known to measure up spaces and furniture in Ikea using it.  You’ll surprise yourself with how useful it is.  I’ll have a full review coming soon!

Wrist Ruler from ILOVEHANDLES.com

This version is leather (available in multiple shades), but there is also a vegan option if you prefer.  You can buy direct from ilovehandles.com for $19.95 USD, or if you’re in the Netherlands wol-zo-eerlijk.nl stocks them for 22.95 EUR.

Stitch Markers

Ok, full disclosure: these are made by me.  They’re a set of ten colourful stitch markers/progress keepers designed to match your set of Clover Amour hooks.  Whenever I put a project down for even a few days, I often struggle to remember which size hook I was using, so I designed these markers to be attached to your work and remind you which hook to use!  Because of the large clasp, they’re easy to use and can also work with knitted projects when you need to slip markers from one needle to the other.

Stitch Markers made by Nerissa Muijs. shop on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/574419467/knitting-and-crochet-stitch-markers?ref=shop_home_active_1

They’re on Etsy for 9.50 EUR for a set of ten.

Cohana Shozaburo Scissors

I know I touched briefly on these in my last gift guide post, but these are deserving of their own recommendation.

Thread Clippers by Cohana, available at Black Sheep Wools: http://bit.ly/cohanaBSW

These Shozaburo thread clips are handmade one pair at a time by Japanese artisans; the iga braids that wraps the handles are made using a traditional method that has long been practiced in armour making.  The blades are so sharp that I keep mine stored safely up high on display, away from little fingers.

The thread clippers are available at Black Sheep Wools for 40.50 GBP

Nostepinne

I find winding yarn to be one of life’s pleasures.  I have a lovely swift from Scheepjes and a horrible cheap winder that I bought a long time ago from a bargain shop somewhere. But I find that my arms and a nostepinne are the perfect tools for winding hanks into cakes or balls.  The rhythm of winding and moving my arms is almost meditative.

You can find nostepinnes all over Etsy at varying prices, but I love these from Be Inspired in South Africa the most:

 

 

They’re essentially made to order from varying woods, and are priced between 250 and 650 RAND (15-40 EUR).

Sock Blockers

An item that has been on my wishlist for a long time is a set of sock blockers.  I know they’re not really that necessary, but they’re cool and fun and great if you’ll be gifting socks instead casting them off and sliding them on your feet.  I love these from Bryson:

Bryson stainless steel sock blockers from Loop London: http://www.loopknittingshop.com/p/3694/Bryson-Stainless-Steel-Sock-Blockers

Image credit: Loop London

They’re available from Loop London for 19.50 GBP.

Stay tuned for the next instalment of the Christmas Gift Guide!

2015 – An Inspired Year of Crochet

The New Year is almost upon us, can you believe it?  One of my dearest friends is due to have a baby – today – so I’m anxiously sitting by the phone for news, although she messaged earlier and nothing, yet.  I can’t wait for this baby to come, because 2016 is going to be amazing.

2015 hasn’t been the best year for me, health wise.  I’ve had some shit going on that I haven’t been able to get on top of.  But when it comes to crochet, life is great!  I’ve found inspiration in a lot of places, I have a lot of ideas flowing through me, and I’ve almost finished making two blankets!  That’s massive for me, usually I can’t get through such big projects, but I’m determined.  One may even be finished today!

So what were my highlights?  Two designs really stand out:

The Peek-a-Boo Button Wrap

Peek-a-boo Button Body Warmer

Egyptian Star Flower Stool

tapestry crochet stool cover | Tapestry haken krukje FREE pattern by missneriss

Such different projects.  I love the Peek-a-Boo because of its simplicity, and I love the Star Flower stool because the colours are beautiful and it looks really difficult, but is really very easy (all my designs are easy!).

Here’s a little gallery of some of the other designs and projects I made during 2015.

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I also started working on a short series of tech tips that I use in my blogging and social media world, including how to fake your own photography backdrop:

My beautiful shabby chic

But 2015 wasn’t all about me! There were so many projects out there that made me go wow! Of course I can’t not mention Sophie.  When I met Dedri in the summer and saw The Original Sophie I insisted that her design has changed crochet forever.  And I was right!  It was the most popular project on Ravelry this year, and people will be making it forever.  It’s only a matter of time before we see a Sophie draped over a couch in a sitcom.

Sophie's Universe by Dedri Uys

I also LOVED the geometric crochet that my friend Marianne is so talented at.  I looked at this cushion cover for aaaaaages.  I love the colours, the design, everything.

Triangle Cushion Covers by Marianne Dekkers

I’ve also been crazy about the Rustic Lace Square.  In fact it’s one of my WIP blankets!  I found so many new people to follow on Instagram because of it.  Check out the hashtag here: #rusticlacesquare and I love this project by Carmen, a shawl! Carmen also figured out how to make a half square for the shawl, it’s amazing.

Rustic Lace Shawl by Carmen Jorissen

But I do think the biggest, best highlight of 2015 was really finding my crochet blogger tribe.  My love for Instagram really kicked into overdrive, and thanks to they guys at Scheepjes, I’ve really fallen down the yarn rabbit hole, meeting some wonderful people and being able to get my hands on some of the best yarns on the market.

Whew!  That was quite the reflection.  I hope you made it to the end.  I can’t wait to roll over into 2016.  It’s the year I’m going to be more organised in my blogging, I’m actually even going to build an editorial calendar.  Can you believe it?!

Have a wonderful New Year celebration, wherever you may be, can’t wait to see you next year!

Crochet Christmas Gnome

Love Knitting Love Crochet Big November Sale, up to 70% off

Scheepjes Blog Hop

Welcome to day three of the Scheepjes Christmas Blog Hop!  Yesterday you would have seen the truly awesome knitted gnome made by my friend Sarah at Crafts From the Cwtch and today I’ve made a crochet version for you!

crochet amigurumi Scandinavian Christmas gnomes, free tutorial on missneriss.com

I absolutely loved making these little guys.  I made a regular gnome, a slightly taller one, and even a lady gnome!

crochet amigurumi Scandinavian Christmas gnomes, free tutorial on missneriss.comcrochet amigurumi Scandinavian Christmas gnomes, free tutorial on missneriss.com

The pattern is really very simple, and it’s definitely possible to whip out one or two of these in an evening.  They make great ornaments, or you could even attach a loop to the top of the hat and hang it in your tree.

So, what will you need?  A couple of shades of red, a grey, a brown, white and off-white mini Catona skeins, and rice!  We’re going fill the bodies with rice, so a little tip: if you crochet loosely, consider using a stocking as a lining, or size your hook down.  The pattern uses a 3mm hook, but you might consider a 2.5mm.

IMG_0115

Ready to get started?

Click here to download the Christmas Gnome pattern

crochet amigurumi Scandinavian Christmas gnomes, free tutorial on missneriss.com

I hope you love making this project as much as I’ve loved designing it.  Please don’t forget to share your creations on social media, and tag me on Facebook, Instagram and Ravelry!  And use hashtag #ScheepjesChristmasBlogHop so we can all find and like your pictures.

And most importantly, don’t forget to visit Tammy at Canadutch tomorrow to find out what the next project is.  Trust me, if you knit, you’ll love it! There are also a bunch of other amazing projects coming your way in the next week, so don’t miss a thing on the Scheepjes Facebook page.

You can pick up the yarn at Scheepjes retailers all over the Benelux, or internationally from Wool Warehouse* and Love Knitting*.

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Christmas Bunting

Today is the very last day of the Scheepjeswol Christmas Blog Hop and I’m so sad that it’s over, yet very happy to be able to send it off, hopefully in style!

A fabulous Christmas-themed blog hop hosted by @Scheepjeswol. Check out all ten fantastic creations, all with free patterns!

How incredibly beautiful is Heike from Made with Loops bag?  Fair Isle, I promise you, will be absolutely THE biggest yarn trend of 2015, so get onto it!

Here’s today’s project from me, some lovely and very simple Christmas Bunting.

Christmas Bunting, part of the Scheepjes Christmas Blog Hop, see and make all ten of the beautiful Christmas projects!I had some left over yarn once I had finished my Christmas Wreath and I wanted to use it up for something fun to decorate the house with this Christmas, and I just love bunting, so bunting it was!

I came up with a very simple half double crochet pattern that works up in a jiffy.  Each flag can be made in under ten minutes!  It’s a great scrap project too, so you don’t have to worry too much about how much yarn you have lying around.

What you’ll need:

Scheepjeswol Stone Washed in five colours.  I used the same as in my wreath: 801, 807, 815, 813 and 814.
4mm hook
Scissors
Tapestry needle
Measuring tape

IMG_2229

How To:

Choose one of your colours, then start with a slip stitch, and chain 2.  Half double crochet into the second chain from the hook and there you will have the foundation of the triangle to start building your bunting.
From here on, you will need to increase at the end of each row with 2 half double crochets into the last stitch.
Row 2: Chain 2, 2 HDC (half double crochet) into the next stitch (3 stitches in total), turn.
Row 3: Chain 2, HDC into the next stitch, 2 HDC into the last stitch (4 stitches), turn.
Row 4: Chain 2, HDC into the next 2 stitches, 2 HDC into the last stitch (5 stitches), turn.
Continue this pattern until you have a stitch count of 17 (16 rows in total), then tie off and weave in the ends, making sure you keep the nice point at the bottom of the triangle.

Make 3 of each colour (or more if you’d like to make it longer)

Here’s a chart to help make it a bit easier:

Use this chart to create a Half Double Crochet Bunting triangle for your Christmas Bunting

To join the bunting, take your lightest colour (801) and start chaining, working the end in as you go.  Chain for 60cm to create a long enough tie, then attach to the first bunting triangle by single crocheting into the first and then all 17 stitches along.  Continue to chain, leaving about 8cm in between triangles.  Repeat this pattern until you have attached all your triangles to the chain, then to finish off, chain a further 60cm before cutting the yarn and weaving in the end.  The finished bunting will measure about 4m in length.

And you’re all done!  Now all that’s left to do is find the perfect spot to hang it!

Christmas Bunting, part of the Scheepjes Christmas Blog Hop, see and make all ten of the beautiful Christmas projects!On a wall…

Christmas Bunting, part of the Scheepjes Christmas Blog Hop, see and make all ten of the beautiful Christmas projects!Or in a window…?

And that’s it.  The Christmas Blog Hop is over for this year *sob*.  I hope you found some wonderful inspiration – I certainly did.  But before I go, here’s a recap of what we’ve seen in the last ten days:

 The beautiful Knitted Star motif from Crafts from theCwtch

 The seriously cute Reindeer Mug Cozy (including fluffy butt – haha!) by Haak Maar Raak

 Jellina-Creation’s lovely Christmas Tree Garland

Atty’s cool Bauble Coasters

Christmas Wreath for the Scheepjes Christmas Blog Hop - see all ten amazing designs and their free patterns, including how to make this wreath for yourself!My Christmas Wreath

 The most beautiful Christmas Baubles you’ve ever seen, by 50 Shades of 4 Ply

 The deliciously warm Fair Isle mittens by Canadutch

Vicarnos adorable little snowman

and finally,

This spectacular Fair Isle Christmas gift bag from Made with Loops.

What a collection of designs, I’m so happy to have been involved – surrounded by such talent!

Merry Christmas.

A Christmas Wreath

If you follow me on Facebook at all (you should, btw), you would have seen me posting about the Scheepjes Christmas Blog Hop all week, and today it’s my turn!

A fabulous Christmas-themed blog hop hosted by @Scheepjeswol.  Check out all ten fantastic creations, all with free patterns!

Thanks so much to Atty’s for yesterday’s post, wasn’t it just fabulous?  I’m definitely going to make some of those coasters, but I don’t know if I’ll actually use them as coasters, or get some Christmas washi tape and decorate my walls!

So let’s get to my contribution for this fabulous event, a yarn wreath.

Christmas Wreath for the Scheepjes Christmas Blog Hop - see all ten amazing designs and their free patterns, including how to make this wreath for yourself!

For this I used a couple of different techniques instead of just crochet.  I made pom poms in varying sizes, and also made yarn-wrapped balls to decorate this gorgeous wreath.

Christmas Wreath for the Scheepjes Christmas Blog Hop - see all ten amazing designs and their free patterns, including how to make this wreath for yourself!

What do you think of my palette?  I wanted something different, yet a little bit Christmas-sy and so I took Kirsten’s advice and spent countless hours (days?) trawling through Design Seeds for just the right colours and I thought that this one was just perfect.

Christmas Palette, design seeds

So let’s get to the instructions, shall we?

What you’ll need:

3 mm crochet hook
Scheepjeswol Stone Washed yarn in five shades (801, 807, 815, 813, 814)
A 25cm Styrofoam ring that has a flat side
About 20 Styrofoam balls in three sizes (4, 5 and 6 cm)
Fabric glue
Cardboard to make pom poms (or a pom pom maker if you prefer)
Scissors

How to:

First start working on the ring.  Using the glue, fasten the end of the lightest shade of yarn (801) to the Styrofoam ring.  Once it’s a little dry, start working the yarn around and around, adding dobs of glue as you go to ensure it all stays in place.  Once you come back to the beginning, snip the yarn, and fasten it all in place.  Set aside to dry thoroughly.

To make the Yarn Wrapped balls, take the colour of choice (make multiple in each size and colour), fasten the end of the yarn to the ball with the glue and start winding the yarn around the ball, like you’re just winding any old ball of wool.  Make sure that you add dobs of glue every now and then to keep the yarn in place.  Once it’s completely covered, snip the yarn and glue the end in place.

Christmas Wreath for the Scheepjes Christmas Blog Hop - see all ten amazing designs and their free patterns, including how to make this wreath for yourself!

To make the pom poms, first cut two pieces of cardboard into corresponding sizes to your balls and make them into doughnuts.  I like to cut an opening to help wind the yarn around, but you should use your favourite pom pom method.  Using the various colours, wind the yarn around the cardboard until it’s very full, then cut and fasten it all together, trimming it to be a nice, round ball.

Christmas Wreath for the Scheepjes Christmas Blog Hop - see all ten amazing designs and their free patterns, including how to make this wreath for yourself!

To make the crochet balls, you’ll need the different size styrofoam balls and a matching stitch count.

4cm ball:
Start with a magic ring, and stitch 6 single crochets (UK double crochet) into the ring, tightening it once you’re done.
For the second round, increase into each stitch around with single crochet so that you have 12 stitches around.
Round 3: Increase, then single crochet into the next stitch, repeating around until you have 18 stitches.
Round 4: Increase, then single crochet into the next 2 stitches, repeating around until you have 24 stitches.
For the next 5 rounds, single crochet around, before beginning your decrease at round 10. Insert the ball here too.
Round 10: Decrease (2 single crochet together), then single crochet into the next 2 stitches, repeating around until you have 18 stitches.
Round 11: Decrease, then single crochet into the next stitch, repeating around until you have 12 stitches.
Round 12: Decrease around until you have 6 stitches, cut the yarn, tie off and using a tapestry needle close up the ball.

Christmas Wreath for the Scheepjes Christmas Blog Hop - see all ten amazing designs and their free patterns, including how to make this wreath for yourself!

5 cm ball:
Follow the above instructions until you’ve completed round 4.
Round 5: Increase, single crochet into the next 3 stitches, repeating around until you have 30 stitches.
Round 6-13: Single crochet around and after round 13 insert the ball.
Round 14: Decrease, single crochet into the next 3 stitches, repeating around until you have 24 stitches.
Continue with the instructions from round 10 of the 4 cm ball.

6 cm ball:
Follow the instructions for the 5 cm ball until you’ve completed round 5.
Round 6: Increase, single crochet into the next 4 stitches, repeating around until you have 36 stitches.
Round 7-19: single crochet around, and after round 19 insert the ball
Round 20: Decrease, single crochet into the next 4 stitches, repeating around until you have 30 stitches.
Complete the ball as per the instructions from round 14 of the 5 cm ball.

Assembly

Now is the time to put it all together.  I like to vary the colours, sizes and textures, trying to make sure that no two balls of the same size and texture are next to one another.  Start building your wreath using the fabric glue to attach each ball to the wreath and its neighbour.  This will take some time as the glue needs to dry a little before you can proceed.  Make sure you hold the wreath up to see how it’s coming together often so you can get a feel for the result.

Once you’re happy, leave it to dry properly over night, and then you’re ready to hang it!

Christmas Wreath for the Scheepjes Christmas Blog Hop - see all ten amazing designs and their free patterns, including how to make this wreath for yourself!

What do you think? Will you try to make one?  I’ve really enjoyed the process and I absolutely love the result.  I’ve started buying all my Christmas decorations in matching colours and if you check back here in a few days, you’ll see that I have something to go with this that I think you’ll love.  I’m also using the leftover balls as baubles for the tree – fun!

In the mean time, be sure to visit 50 Shades of 4ply tomorrow for the next installment of the Scheepjes Christmas Blog Hop!

Love,
Nerissa

Merry Mini Christmas

Happy December!  You know what that means right?  You’ll be bombarded with all things Christmas for the next 25 days until you just can’t possibly wait another minute to rip open all your presents on Christmas morning and will be devastated to have to put all your beautifully crafted decorations away in the new year.  I know I will be anyway!

So, to get us started, I’ve updated a pattern that I created last year, and am re-releasing it for the Christmas season.  I give you the new and improved Merry Mini Christmas hat!

Merry Mini Christmas - Mini Santa Hat pattern from @missnerissThe pattern has been updated and a few corrections made, and is ready to go for you to download and create the cutest little Santa Hat.  It’s just the best Christmas accessory, everyone comments and they’re just so much fun when you see them bobbing through the busy Christmas Market crowds.  I guarantee that you’ll be stopped multiple times to be asked where you found your hat, and you’ll have so much satisfaction from being able to say, “I made it myself!”

Grab it on Ravelry right now right her:  

Or on Etsy if you prefer shopping there instead!

Enjoy!

Merry Mini Christmas - Mini Santa Hat pattern from @missneriss Merry Mini Christmas - Mini Santa Hat pattern from @missneriss

How beautiful are all the Christmas ideas on Esty?  A couple of days ago I finished making the amigurumi elf by Buttonbeautiful and I went back to her shop to browse more patterns (they’re THAT good).  While I was there, I thought that I should make a Christmas Treasury to showcase other amigurumi patterns.  I was reading maRRose regular Treasury Tuesday post the other day where she shared her own Christmas inspiration and something sort of clicked in my head – I should share my treasury on the blog for all of you who don’t necessarily spend as much time on Etsy as you should!

So, here it is, what do you think?  I’m not sure I could pick a favourite if I have to be honest.  Maybe the Christmas Deer Doll, or the slightly wonky Christmas Tree?  I do know that I seem to have a thing for Reindeer though!


Amigurumi Crochet PDF Patter…

$3.8

Rudy The Reindeer Amigurumi …

$4.5

Rudolph reindeer plush – cro…

$24

Amigurumi Pattern – Frosty t…

$5

Christmas lights amigurumi /…

$15.95

Knit your own amigurumi Chri…

$4

Amigurumi Crochet PDF Patter…

$4.5

Christmas Deer Doll. – pdf …

$5

Crochet Pattern – Christmas …

$3.99

Christmas Friends Pattern

$8

Pattern, Christmas tree, Cro…

$3.5

3 Gnomes – pdf knitting patt…

$6

Waldorf Christmas Babies – p…

$4

Santa’s Reindeer Crochet…

$5

PDF Tree Pattern, Ornament P…

$3.9

If you want to, you can import your own Etsy treasury to your blog too.  This little piece of magig is powered by Handmadeology and took about 20 seconds to make, including the copying and pasting here.  It’s so simple, I’m going to make the treasury sharing a regular thing!