Crochet your Christmas Stockings

When each of my brothers and I were born, my awesome mom used her mad cross-stitching skills to make us each a custom Christmas stocking. So when I got married I decided I wanted to make my husband and I Christmas stocking too. Since I’m a miserable cross-stitcher, I decided to do the one thing I could do and crochet our stockings.

Now, this was before I started Sweet Kiwi Crochet, and I made a dumb mistake on my husbands sock. I thought to myself “this sock would be even MORE awesome if it was lined!” and then proceeded to try to sew a lining into it. I realized I had no idea what I was doing about 1/2″ of the way around and tried to unpick it, but I couldn’t get it all out. I ended up with a big ugly piece of material sewn to the inside of the sock.

While this may not bug most people, it drove me crazy for 3 years. Luckily I only made this mistake on 1 stocking and still had 1 good one. This year I FINALLY decided to make a new one, and I thought I’d share the pattern that I used with you!

I wanted the new Christmas stocking to match the one I would be keeping around. I had made the stocking out of a free pattern I found online, but after several internet searches I couldn’t find the exact hexagon pattern.

SO, I’m going to share the hexagon pattern I used, and then link to a pattern on Ravelry that gives instructions on assembling the hexagons. You can really use any Hexagon pattern that you like, and they can be any size! For reference, my hexagons were 5″ across at their widest width, and the finished stocking measured 24″ long at it’s longest measurement. Here’s a crappy picture of the finished product:

CH 3 counts as first DC in each round. Join with a slip stitch at the top of each CH 3 at end of each round.

Round 1: CH 4 (or start with Magic Circle and chain 3), DC 11 times in 4th st from hook. (12)

Round 2: CH 3, DC in same stitch, CH 1. [DC 2 times, CH] in each st around. (24 DC, 12 CH 1)

Round 3: This round is worked in the CH 1 spaces from previous round. CH 4 (counts as first DC, CH 1). DC 3 times in next space. *DC 3 times in next space, CH 1, DC 3 times in next space*. Repeat from * to * 4 times. Be sure to only CH 1 between every other set of CH 3. DC 2 times in last space. (36 DC, 6 CH 1)

Round 4: This round is worked between the CH 3 clusters of the previous round, whether there was a CH 1 there or not. CH 3, DC 2 times in same space, CH 1, DC 3 times in same space, DC 3 times in next space. *[DC 3 times, CH 1, DC 3 times] in next space, DC 3 times in next space*. Repeat from * to * around. (54 DC, 6 CH 1 spaces)

Finish off and tuck in your end!

 And here is the link to the pattern on Ravelry for constructing your sock:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/stuffable-stockings

Obviously I just used one color, but you can do whatever you like!

Now, keep in mind, this pattern is FREE on the link I’ve provided on Ravelry. This is a vintage pattern that you don’t have to pay for, but some people are trying to sell it on Craftsy.

I know, NOT a great picture, but in my defense, we haven’t started decorating for Christmas yet!! Also, I need to be work on my photography skills!

Crochet Along and Free Granny Square Pattern templates

Next week is the kick-off for the first Sweet Kiwi Crochet CAL! I’ve added a new section to site with some information about crochet-alongs in general, as well as some FAQ. You can check it out here.

For me, though, the most exciting part of this CAL process has been putting together Granny square templates:

There are currently 16 templates available for FREE under the Crochet-Along Tab here. There are also instructions for using the templates and joining the crochet-along. Check out the entire section for some great FREE templates and well as tips and tricks for using them! I’ll be posting updates here and on Facebook about the crochet-along, so join us next week and we’ll make some great blankets together! 

Granny Hexagon’s

I don’t remember a time when I didn’t  know how to crochet. I remember making a couple of mile-a-minute afghans as a kid, but since I started Sweet Kiwi Crochet I haven’t made many blankets. In fact, I have 3 half-finished ones in my spare closet.

Using the same color for a long period of time bores me, so I like to make small things, like hats! That way, I can change it up whenever I get bored!

Lately, though, I’ve been wanting to make another blanket. Recognizing my tendency to get bored, I decided to make a granny square style blanket, and to change up the inside colors and use up some of my extra yarn!

This is a very simple pattern that you only need basic crochet skills to work up!

To Work Hexagon:

Use any size hook you like, and as many colors as you like!

Round 1: Ch 6. Join with a sl st to form a ring.

Round 2: This round is worked in the loop just created. Ch 3, (counts as first DC)DC, ch 2. *DC 2 times, ch 2*. Repeat from * to * 4 more times. Join with a sl st at the top of ch 3. You should have 12 DC and 12 chains at the end of this round.

Round 3: Ch 3. DC in next st. *DC, ch 2, DC in next ch 2 space, DC in next 2 st*. Repeat from * to * 4 more times. DC, ch 2, DC in last ch 2 space. Join with a sl st at the top of ch 3. You should have 24 DC and 12 chains at the end of this round.

Round 4: Ch 3. DC in next 2 st. *DC, ch 2, DC in next ch 2 space, DC in next 4 st*. Repeat from * to * 4 more times. DC, ch 2, DC in last ch 2 space. DC in last st. Join with a sl st at the top of ch 3. You should have 36 DC and 12 chains at the end of this round.

Fasten off.

You can change colors as often as you like, or do solid hexagons. As you can see, I chose to change colors every round.

You can make as many, or as few, hexagons as you like!

 Some people get scared of joining granny squares and are afraid that they’re going to come undone. It’s really not as scary as it might seem! Lucy from Attic 24 has a GREAT photo tutorial on joining granny squares, so check out her site if you have any problems!

Once I started into making this afghan I realized that we REALLY didn’t need another one, but I had a great cousin with a birthday coming up that would LOVE it! So I cruised through, finished the whole thing in 4 days and got it done for Kylie!

 

Hat Giveaway!

One of my favorite blogs, Chef In Training is sponsoring a giveaway for one of my hats this week!

Head over to her blog for details on how to enter!

The last day to enter is next Tuesday, 12/20.

The winner will be announced on 12/21, and I will do my VERY BEST to get the hat out the next day, 12/22, so you can get it by Christmas.

So check out Nikki’s blog and enter to win!

Cyber Monday Discount!

In honor of Cyper Monday, Sweet Kiwi Crochet is going to have a GIANT sale on all patterns! From 11:00 PM tonight until 11:00 PM tomorrow night, you can use coupon code CM2012 in my Etsy shop, www.sweetkiwicrochet.etsy.com, and you will receive 50% off ALL patterns! There is no limit on the number of patterns you can buy, so go crazy! There will be no limit on the number of patterns sold at this discount, so tell your friends and help spread the news!

Holiday Hat Giveaway!

It’s begining to look a lot like Christmas where I am, and with Thanksgiving fast approaching it’s time to start thinking about Christmas gifts! To help you in your gift-giving this holiday season, I will be hosting at least 2 giveaways, and the first one starts today!

There will be at least 2 winners for this first giveaway. Each winner will receive the hat of their choice in any size, free of charge, including shipping*!

To Enter:

1) Comment on this blog post!
2) Like us on Facebook
3) Sign up to get email notification for the new website! www.sweetkiwicrochet.com The box to enter your email address is at the bottom of the page, on the left.
4) Spread the news about the giveaway on Facebook or on your blog, or both! If you do both, you get an entry for each!

For each of the above entries, please leave a comment on this blog post stating which you did. If you promoted this giveaway on your blog, please leave a link! I’d love to see your other posts!

Want more entries!?

This Friday & Saturday Sweet Kiwi Crochet will be at two locations, Novemberfest and the Christmas Craft Show. There will be entry forms at both shows, so if you attend be sure to stop by the booth and add to your luck!

Winners will be announced on Monday, 11/28, so check back to see how you did, and for the announcement of the next giveaway.

*Free hat includes only hats normally made by Sweet Kiwi Crochet, and do not include special requests. Hats normally made can be found under the Shop tab on this site. If you have any questions, please email me at sweetkiwicrochet [at] hotmail.com

*Shipping is within the U.S. only. Winners from outside of the United States will have to  pay an extra shipping cost.

Hopes for next year…

As I work my tail off to get ready for the Christmas season, I find myself often thinking about the things I hope to do differently next year. So right now I’m setting my goals for 2012.

  1. Pace Myself! If I got more done in the early part of the year, I wouldn’t be pushing myself to finish 9 hats everyday now!
  2. Think Ahead! Especially when it comes to patterns. A couple of weeks ago I decided that this year I HAD to write a Santa Hat pattern. It had been in my head for months, and I decided that I needed to write it and get it in my shop before November got underway. Notice I said that this hat had been in my head for months. But I didn’t do anything about it until October 20th. Genius. Thanks to my wonderful group of testers, and the wonderful Camilla Olsen at Cioco Photography I was able to get it completed and posted less than 2 weeks later, but it would have been a lot less stress if I would have done it earlier!
  3. Relax! This one is actually going into affect this year! Last year I was filling orders until Christmas Ever. This year, NOT going to happen! I am going to enjoy my Christmas. I am going to buy a tree with my husband, make an early Christmas dinner with friends, and watch lots of Christmas movies. I’m going to enjoy Christmas this year!
  4. Take Care of Myself! Lately I’ve found that I don’t exercise as much as I did a couple of weeks ago. Some of that has to do with the change of weather. I can’t hike nearly as much, and sometimes it’s just too cold at night to take a really long walk. Next year I need to find an activity that I can do year round, and that I enjoy enough to stick to!
  5. Don’t Over-Commit! I actually had most of these thoughts last year, and to be honest, I did a much better job and getting more hats made earlier, but I blew that by committing to more and more shows until I ended up more stressed this year than I was this time last year! I just need to keep it going and not commit to taking orders I know it will take a miracle to fill!

So those are my 5 goals for the coming Christmas season, and for next year. Anyone else have to set crazy rules for themselves in order to keep sane!?

Wonderful Vacation and Great Inspiration!

I just spent a wonderful 4 day weekend in the sun in St. George, Utah, and Zions National Park! It was a much needed break from all the pre-Christmas crocheting madness!

On the way home we stopped at my grandparents house to have a short visit. My grandma is a crocheting-machine, and it was her and my mom that taught me how and got me “hooked”!

Aren’t they adorable!