Friday, November 27, 2020

Crochet Thanksgiving Card Decorations

I'm one of those people who still exchange paper cards with family and friends. I've saved some sentimental cards over the years, but I've never thought much about using cards to decorate for future holidays. They usually end up going out with my paper recycle. Ths year I saw an idea in Big Book of Christmas Crochetfor making gift tags and other projects using holiday cards. I decided they'd make nice hanging decorations using the same general directions.

I needed to purchase glue and colored plain index cards to back the cards. I had no issue finding those. What proved to be a challenge was the 1/8 inch hole punch. I eventually found the Fiskars Circle Hand Punch, 1/8 Inchat my local JoAnn's but it took me 2 attempst as the first time they were sold out. I couldn't get it shipped but I was able to purchase it and pick it up in the local store. It must be a hot item.

For some of you this might be familiar but it was new to me, the holes this makes are smaller than the holes you see in notebook paper. It makes sense as you'd want smaller holes for craft projects. That being said I've never given the size of hole pucnhes much thought, so it was something I discovered when I started this project. I didn't see this size at the local office supply stores when I looked. They did have the 1/4 inch size you normally think of when you see notebook paper.

I plan on continuing this tradition when I find other cards that I love and want to save. I will likely not do as many Christmas cards as I have lots of Christmas decorations, but it is a great way to enhance the other holidays which I do get cards for but often don't have many decorations.

With that in mind I will only hole punch one of these per day in the future. It is hard on the hands. The holes for the first one came out much better than the second.

An additional note for myself the pattern uses size 10 thread and a size 7 thread crochet hook. I had plenty of thread on hand but no size 7 thread hook so I used the size 5 thread hook and it worked fine. I mention this because I'm sure when I go to make this again I'll be wondering where I lost the size 7 hook when I made these. This is my reminder it was the 5 hook I used. The 7 has been MIA for some time now. Sadly I've not been able to find replacements for the Bates Bamboo thread hooks.

Another thing I did to make these decorations special is I cut the inner message and signature and glued it to the back of the decoration before punching the holes. After crocheting the border, I added the date to the back so I have some record of when the card was received and the decoration made.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving

Well it is certainly not the Thanksgiving we've come to expect but there are certainly many reasons to be thankful this year.

I've decided to start being better about documenting my holiday projects so I can go back and remember what I made when. With that in mind I'm creating holiday posts that help me go back and search out projects that might be repurposed for a new cause.

For all of you who stop here I wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Gingerbread Baby Hand Puppet

I was looking for a crochet project to go along with one of my Christmas present books Jan Brett's Gingerbread Babyand I came across an out of print book of fairy tale and nursery rhyme puppets. The booklet is Crochet Storybook Puppets by Sheila Leslie. It was printed by House of White Birches in 1991.

There is another out of print leaflet from Leisure Arts, Story Book Puppets to Crochet Leaflet 242 by Judy Bolin that generally pops up when you start searching for story book puppets which is why I decided I'd provide as many details as I could about this one for those of you who are interested. I own both, but this one is the more interesting of the two to me. I wish I had a copy before I made my Goldilocks puppets as the bear patterns are adorable.

This booklet includes patterns for The Gingerbread Man and the Fox, Bo Peep and her Sheep, the Frog Prince, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Grandma and the Wolf. I mention this because I know from my experience the more information you have when looking for an out of print pattern the more likely you are to find it.

On to the Gingerbread Man or Baby in the case. I love Jan Brett's books and when I found this pattern the match seemed a good one. This is one of the most unique crochet puppet patterns I've made to date. It is almost a cross between a hand puppet and a finger puppet in that the legs are formed so you can make the puppet "run" by using your fingers.

Most of the hand puppets I've made have left the bottom of the puppet open for than hand to manipulate the puppet. This one was unique because it left the back open so you would have access the the feet to make them run. It was an interesting design and one I've not seen before.

I've been finding it challenging to buy middle shades of brown yarn lately. I can find light brown and dark brown but those middle shades where many of my ami and puppet projects live are becoming a more challenging find. I wish I'd have kept a record of the brands and shades I used before but now I'm left scrambling trying to find new options. For this project I tried Hobby Lobby's Yarn Bee Soft Secret Yarn in Cognac. I hadn't used this yarn before, but it does remind me a bit of Caron Simply Soft. It wouldn't be my first choice for a project like this but as I said color choices for brown have been hard to find.

If I do make the Gingerbread Man again I'm hopeful that more shades of brown in more tradition acrylics become available again as I think it would work better for this project.

I'm making the Fox with Hobby Lobby's Yarn Bee Breathe Deep Yarn in Clay and so far this has been a better match for puppets. This was the closest yarn I could find to a fox color when looking through traditional acrylic brands. Sadly this Yarn Bee yarn has extremely limited colors. I was lucky the clay was at least close to the fox color I needed as I hadn't found anyting in the traditional Caron Pounders, Red Heart SS, or Joan brand yarsn that would work for either the Gingerbread Man or the Fox.

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