Tales of Christmas Past

Now that Christmas has come and gone, I can finally write about my recent creative projects. I had such fun making gifts this year; the only drawback was not being able to blog about it until after the gifts were given!

My family is large, so we choose Kris Kringles (or as some say, Secret Santas). This year, I got my niece Kelly. A student at Carnegie Mellon, Kelly also likes to knit and crochet. Like me, she is also a big fan of cats, though she doesn’t own one (yet). I thought it would be fun to make her a scoodie–that is a scarf with a hood–with cat ears, so I went online and googled “scarf hat cat crochet pattern.” Jackpot! I found this adorable scoodie pattern: http://www.mooglyblog.com/cuddly-cat-crochet-scoodie/, but I was a little worried as I thought the pattern seemed a little difficult. But for Kelly, I would try it.  Off to the store, and then to the couch to try it out. There were a couple of small missteps, but once I got the picture in my head of how it all fit together, it was actually much easier than I thought it would be! And, it is adorable. Here’s Kelly when she received the gift:20151224_210028

One gift down, I was feeling good! Let’s keep going! I was heading to a handmade Christmas, and it felt good. Last Christmas my cousin’s husband mentioned that he wanted someone to knit him a Dr. Who scarf. Hmmmm…I thought. I can’t knit, but I bet that I could crochet one. I just need a pattern. So, back to Google. Unfortunately, every pattern I found was for knitting–no crochet. How could that be? I hemmed and hawed for a few days before I just decided to go for it. I chose a half-double crochet stitch to give the best approximation of a knit look. I went to doctorwhoscarf.com to research yarn, colors, and the size and order of the stripes.  Now here’s the thing, for anyone who is not terribly familiar with Dr. Who and the famous scarf that Tom Baker wore for seven seasons: there wasn’t just one scarf. There was the original, the stunt double, season 12, season 14, season 15…you get the idea. It was originally made of wool, and it stretched and faded as time went on. In addition, the first scarf was twenty feet long! While the cast loved it, it was too long to be manageable and shortened to about ten feet. Of course, over time it stretched again… So, what is the pattern then? That’s up for quite a bit of conjecture. On doctorwhoscarf.com, however, there is a link to a graphic showing the order of the stripes and how many inches long each should be (they vary). And so, I began. The beginning was great; I felt like I was flying through and really making progress. However, you do have to change colors often, and there are so many colors (7) that it is not practical to take it with you for those moments when you have to wait for something and could stitch a few rows. Before long, I was falling behind, but I felt okay as I wouldn’t see this cousin till the Sunday after Christmas. I had until December 27th, no problem…

I did finish in time–that is I finished putting the tassels on a half an hour before they arrived. Thank goodness for gift bags! There was no time to wrap! I think he likes it:

Craig in Dr Who scarf

It may have been harried at the end, but it was certainly fun making gifts for these special people. I would definitely do it again. Creative gifts come from the heart as well as the hands. Maybe you would like to think about making some Christmas gifts next year too. My best advice is start early!