Crafty Snowmen, Stockings & Santas

Posted by Amy | Posted in Creative Christmas | Posted on 21-12-2015

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This Christmas blog post is all about snowmen, stockings and Santas, lots of festive fun beginning with “S”. Talking of snowmen, have you seen the latest issue of Knit Now magazine (issue 55)? It includes a knit kit to make a Disney Olaf snowman with the pattern included in the magazine. If you are looking for a last minute Christmas gift he could be just that, all you need is some toy stuffing and knitting needles.

Knit Now magazine

Continuing with the snowman theme I have a snowman wreath sent in by Lin. A nice and frosty festive make.

snowman wreath

I can’t have a snowman themed blog post without including ‘The Snowman’. He’s popping up here on a winter scene bookmark from DMC.

The Snowman Bookmark

If you fancy knitting this little chap to pop on your tree he is a free pattern on our website, designed by Crafts from the Cwtch.

crafts from the cwtch snowman

One more snowman, from a customer called Ruth. She sent in this photo of a cabled snowman doorstop, proudly in place for Christmas. The pattern was from a 2014 issue of Simply Knitting magazine.

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A customer called Yvonne has got creative and made a hanging garland of mini knitted stockings. Some have been made for a Church Fete and the others for a friend. Could that be Sirdar Funky Fur I spot on the cuff?

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A customer called Jane sent in a photo of fabrics she had sewn using festive fabrics.

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If you have some time on your hands before Christmas Day festivities, how about making a mini crocheted stocking decoration? A lovely free pattern designed by Little Things Blogged. Find the pattern on our free patterns page.

stockings Little Things Blogged

Now on to Santa’s – starting with a Millbead Santa on evenweave fabric sent in by a customer called Jane.

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King Cole Tinsel has been incredibly popular this winter. Janet sent in a photo of two of her Christmas makes sat side by side, looking rather jolly. A Tinsel Santa and a Tinsel Elf.

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Tracy has crocheted two Santa’s with long dangling legs and fluffy beards.

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This Father Christmas pattern from Sirdar is a lovely design, knitted in a variety of Snowflake Chunky shades.

Father Christmas Toy

 

Crafty Christmas Trees

Posted by Amy | Posted in Creative Christmas | Posted on 14-12-2015

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A couple of weeks back we asked on social media and here on the blog for photos of your Christmas makes. Whether they were old or new we wanted to see what handmade decorations are part of your festive display. I have also been pottering around the likes of Pinterest and Ravelry for inspirational patterns that could prove to be positively quick and effective makes. There’s always a bit of time to make a quick decoration using up some of those unwanted oddments you can’t quite part with. We all have that stash whether it is big or small, a few lonely scraps lurking at the bottom of your knitting bag, always helpful when it comes to mini makes. Today I will start with craft Christmas trees.

First of all I have to share our fabulous crocheted Christmas tree that was kindly donated to us by the winner of our 2014 Christmas competition – Mary and her craft group.

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A customer called Tracy sent in a photo of Christmas trees she has crocheted.

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Sam from Re-Made by Sam sent in a photo of her Christmas tree bunting. This is a free pattern available on her blog.

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If you prefer a spot of needlecraft then this cross stitch kit from The Historical Sampler Company fits the theme of a crafty Christmas tree.

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One more Christmas Tree decoration to share. This was a huge hit on our Facebook page and it is already on our to do list. The crocheted tree pattern is by Poppy & Bliss blog.

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Have you made any festive decorations?

Posted by Amy | Posted in Creative Christmas | Posted on 30-11-2015

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Have you made any festive decorations / creations this year? Anything that you have crocheted, knitted, sewn or cross stitched. In any form, a jumper, hats, large scale ornaments or a decoration for the tree. We are looking for photos to share on the blog of any of the following –

  • Christmas Tree
  • Father Christmas
  •  Nativity
  • Snowman
  • Any other items (a Christmas pudding or snowflake perhaps?)

Please email photos to amy@blacksheepwools.com. Even if they are old classics that you bring out year after year, feel free to share your festive makes with us. If you could also include where the pattern is from, whether it is a free pattern you discovered on Ravelry or the latest by your favourite brand.

We want to bring them altogether in one place here on the blog for all to see in a series of blog posts in the coming weeks. It may even be the inspiration for some last minute gifts or handmade decorations.

Creative Christmas Winners 2014

Posted by Amy | Posted in Creative Christmas | Posted on 19-12-2014

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Thank you to everyone who entered this year’s #bswcreativechristmas competition. We have received all sorts of different entries from a knitted Christmas turkey to a life sized crocheted tree. Spotting them on social media and opening up the emails has been most enjoyable. Take a look below at a selection of runner’s up projects.

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After much deliberation 3 winners were chosen and contacted. Your gift cards are on their way to you now just in time for Christmas. We asked our winners to tell us a little bit more about their projects and if there was a story to share.

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Lynn has knitted this super cute gingerbread man and candy cane garland. Here is what she had to say –

“I have been only knitting now for about 3 years. As a long term M.E. sufferer I was looking for a hobby that I could do at home, and pick it up when I felt like it. I very quickly became absolutely hooked on knitting, and found it fairly easy to produce something that looked reasonably ok!

I adore Christmas and thought I would have a go at knitting some decorations to make my lounge a bit more individual and creative.

I knitted a gingerbread man, intially just as a tree decoration, then thought if I made several, they would make a great garland. I made some in light brown yarn, and some in dark brown. Each has a different coloured bow tie and different buttons down the chest.
I then had the idea of knitting candy canes to go inbetween them to add a bit of colour and festivity. These are knitted stripes in either green and white, or red and white, sewn around a pipe cleaner to add shape.
As the garland evolved, I decided to thread some red wooden beads between each piece, and add some striped ribbon either end for hanging.

I love the finished result, and hope others do to.”

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Julie has knitted a Santa hat and beard for her husband to wear over Christmas time. Here is what she had to say about her festive knit –

“My husband is always up for a laugh and anything that gets him attention he loves. Last year I knitted him a Christmas jumper but he wears overalls at work so it was hid. I was browsing Christmas patterns online and I saw the pattern with the Santa hat and beard and just knew I had to knit it. I knitted it up in one weekend and he has had so much fun with it, everyone does a double take when they see it and are amazed it’s knitted! My son has also taken a liking to it and it’s a case of whoever gets to it first wears it.” 🙂

jacqui_tree

Mary’s entry is a life sized crocheted Christmas tree. This has not been made by just Mary though, she has made this with her craft group friends. The tree has already been entered into one Christmas event at Mary’s local church to help raise money for charity. Here is what Mary had to say when we told her that she had won.

“Well how lovely! The others in the group will be delighted.
A local church holds a Festival of Christmas trees each year. This is a lovely event and many children and adults have enjoyed them over the years, and raised money in the process. The trees are all very varied, created by the WI, the Playgroup, the Brownies and some individuals. I think there were about 40 this year. We did get voted best in our group.
We started by thinking of knitted decorations for a tree, but it all got a bit silly, and we wondered if we could knit the tree as well. In fact, my daughters found crochet was the most suitable method. And they just started diamond shapes which joined together to make ‘rings’ of branches. We found some berry lights that poked through the crochet and then just made hundreds of decorations, snowmen, stars, wreaths, bells etc.
We started our knitting group about 3 years ago, just a group of friends who all enjoy the crafting, the chatting and the cake. Only about 8 of us, but my daughters join us, so we have all ages.
We are always looking for opportunities to help a charity or just to have a bit of fun and make someone smile. Our first major project was to Yarnbomb our local shopping precinct, and with the support of the Coffee Shop we raised nearly £800 for Comic relief. We covered the bike racks and a bike and had huge fun. Even got mentioned on Breakfast TV.”

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Creative Christmas Staff Projects

Posted by Amy | Posted in Creative Christmas, Staff Projects | Posted on 21-11-2014

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I have probably said this many times before, but there are some rather talented folk here at Black Sheep Wools. The enthusiasm for crafting is always bubbling away and with Christmas just around the corner the festive spirit has taken over.

Decorations are the make of choice from knitting to crochet and fabric too. All of these fantastic makes could quite easily be entries for our #BSWcreativechristmas competition.

Lesley attended Erica Pask’s next steps in crochet Christmas themed workshop last Friday, and went on to make a twinkling snowflake in Twilleys Goldfingering yarn. To achieve a sturdy structure Lesley pinned out the decoration and covered it with a PVA glue and water paste. Once dry the snowflake now holds its shape perfectly.

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Janet has knitted a nativity scene for a primary school display. She followed  a Jean Greenhowe book to make the characters. We have two other knitted nativity books – The Nativity Collection by Sirdar and  Knit the Nativity.

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Les who works picking and packing orders has knitted a cheery penguin in King Cole Glitz Dk. The pattern was in an issue of Let’s Knit magazine last year. Her grandson will love him!

knitted penguin

Barbara has been getting creative with Christmas fabrics making a delicate suffolk puff tree and decorations out of folded fabric circles!

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Both Sara and Stacey have made wreaths with fabric strips tied to a wire frame. This project is featured in Stuart Hillard’s book Sew Fabulous.

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Stacey has added a gold ribbon with Merry Christmas.

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Free Christmas crochet patterns

Posted by Amy | Posted in Creative Christmas, Crochet, Free Patterns | Posted on 14-11-2014

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Free Christmas crochet patterns, now that sounds like quite the tongue twister. We asked two fabulous crochet bloggers to create Christmas patterns for us to share. We all love a free download, and with Christmas in mind it seemed like the perfect excuse. What a delightful combination ‘Christmas’ and ‘crochet’. Both bloggers kindly accepted the challenge.

Annaboo’s House blogger Sarah has designed a funky Christmas tree. The tree is made from Rico Creative Cotton Aran, which is a favourite amongst many crocheters. Hop on over to Annaboo’s House blog and you will also spot an exclusive discount code for the yarn.
The bell detail on top adds a fun element to the tree, along with the stripes it is like a little character in itself. Maybe add a smiley face or even decorations! Please do share any photos of your version of Annaboo’s House tree.

Annaboo's house christmas tree

Greedy For Colour blogger Kate has made the most adorable, teeny, tiny advent caravans. She has used two different yarns – DMC Natura Just Cotton and Twilleys Goldfingering to adorn the caravans. If you are already a follower of the Greedy For Colour blog then you may recognise that the mini caravans have been inspired by Kate’s amazing vintage crochet caravan, which is a magnificent work of art. As Christmas falls during summer in New Zealand and many people are off on their holiday; Kate thought that caravans were an appropriate decoration for a Christmas tree packed full to the brim with treats, as are many real caravans around the festive period.
The advent caravan pattern is no exception, featuring little details such as wheels and a door.

advent caravan

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If these free patterns have inspired you to get crafty this Christmas, then please share away and enter our Christmas competition, with the hashtag #BSWcreativechristmas. We would love to see your entries for this year’s #BSWcreativechristmas.

#BSWcreativechrsitmas 2014 Competition

Posted by Amy | Posted in Creative Christmas | Posted on 12-11-2014

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#BSWcreativechristmas is back for 2014! We were thrilled with the response to our creative Christmas competition last year, so we have brought it back for a second year. We want to see what crafty treats you have in store for your festive decorations this Christmas.

Last year we had some fantastic entries sent in from far and wide. This year, rather than sending the actual entries out in the post, we would like you to email in photos to christmas@blacksheepwools.com, or share them via social media with the hashtag #BSWcreativechristmas. This way you can show off a whole host of Christmas goodies keeping them snug at home without having to post them out.

To get an idea of what kind of thing we are looking for browse through previous blog posts of creative Christmas 2013 entries here. Also why not take inspiration from our free patterns page or even our Christmas ideas page. We will pick 3 winners on 12th December that will each receive a £25 gift voucher. Happy Crafting!

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Staff Christmas decorations

Posted by Amy | Posted in Creative Christmas | Posted on 23-12-2013

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Joining in with the #BSWCreativeChristmas theme, members of staff have also been knitting and crocheting decorations. Seeing all of the pretty creations being sent in got us all in the spirit.

Lesley’s crocheting marathon is showing no signs of stopping. She has already made baby hats and blankets for friends and now decorations for her tree. These delicate snowflakes have been made in Twilleys gold fingering. Lesley followed a YouTube video and had one made up in half an hour! I haven’t asked what her project plans are for 2014. An outfit made from head to toe in crochet, maybe?

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Emma has knitted a teeny, tiny tree using up her oddments. The pattern is completely free from Fluff and Fuzz blog. It’s so pretty complete with red and gold beads.

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Catherine has knitted mistletoe for in the Craft Barn.

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I have crocheted a little Christmas pud for the tree at home. The pattern is from Mini Christmas Crochet book. This has been tucked away as a WIP (Work In Progess) for more or less a whole year. I did start it last Christmas and never actually got round to finishing it. At the moment it’s not on the tree. It is sat along side other knitted / crocheted creations I have made over the years.

pudding

 

Creative Christmas Winners!!

Posted by Amy | Posted in Creative Christmas | Posted on 19-12-2013

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The decision was a tricky one, but we have now chosen our final 5 winners of the Black Sheep Wools Creative Christmas competition. Thank you to everyone who entered and for all the hard work and thought gone into making each and every ornament. We have thoroughly enjoyed unwrapping the little treats as they have arrived in the office. Each day when the postman arrives he knows what we are going to ask – any “Creative Christmas”!

(Drum roll) Here are the top 4 and overall winner……..

Congratulations goes to Susan Smith! You are our overall winner. We absolutely loved the creativity and detail in your knitted mice pine cone, from the delicate whiskers to the teeny beady eyes. Well done Susan! A £25.00 Black Sheep Wools gift card is on its way to you.

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The runners up will each recieve a £10.00 Black Sheep Wools gift card. In no particular order they are……….

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Amy Scroggie – with her sparkly, twirly crochet. This arrived in a decorative tiny box.

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Mary Hewitt – with a lovely crocheted angel. Lots of detail and very festive!

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Svenna Yildirim – An adorable, delicate decoration measuring only approximately 3½” tall.

snowflake_alison

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Alison Urmston – an exquisite piece of crochet. Alsion has added a metallic filament to her very fine cotton yarn.

Emma’s Christmas Jumper

Posted by Amy | Posted in Creative Christmas, Staff Projects | Posted on 18-12-2013

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We have all watched Emma’s Christmas jumper gradually grow over the past couple of months. She had set herself a real challenge as this was her very first project featuring colour work. Back in September Emma attended a Rowan colour workshop, where she learnt how to perfect the intarsia technique. From then on in she was on a mission to have the jumper complete in time for Christmas Jumper day on 13th December. Did she do it? She sure did and with hours to spare, well only just! The evening before Emma was adding the final touches to her jumper, including adding the pompom nose. The jumper looks amazing and the King Cole yarn is so soft knitted up. This is a lovely jumper that she will keep for many, many years to come.

Here is the jumpers journey…….

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A little bit more of the reindeer’s face…….

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The front is nearly complete……..

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Here is Emma showing off her festive knit in all it’s glory; stood by the Craft Barn tree.

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It may be slightly too late for this year but if you fancy making this very jumper, the pattern can be found in Wendy Festive Knits book.