Over the past few months I seem to have given myself the challenge of creating any gifts that are given by me or my family. There has been a run of birthdays including those of Miss L’s preschool classmates, family and friends. Plus a new baby here and there. So I’ve been busy. Here’s the list thus far:
lavender eye pillow
lavender hand balm
two super hero costumes (plus an extra set for Miss L …the prototype actually)
two softie bunny-type creatures
half a dozen crochet hens’ eggs, and
two sets of crochet headband, wristband and brooch.
This is the one I just finished for my daughter’s little friend who’s turning five tomorrow.
I’ve certainly been doing my share of crochet lately. As I have said before I find it therapeutic…relaxing…satisfying. I had already made a few of the little flower headbands for Miss L, but with 8 ply acrylic yarn. I love the natural, crisp look and feel of cotton though.
The handy thing about small creations like these is that yarn leftovers can be utilised. In this case it was someone else’s leftovers purchased by me on ebay.
To make the bands for the headband and wristband I used a very simple crochet pattern called ‘up and down stitch’, which features treble crochet (US double) and double crochet (US single) in alternating stitches. My recent discovery of this, and plenty more patterns in my vintage copy of Reader’s Digest Complete Guide to Needlecraft was a delightful moment. I felt rather ashamed that I hadn’t looked at it sooner, especially because my mum had lovingly given it to me a couple of years ago. To think that I’d been scanning the pages of Pinterest rather than handling the leaves of a humble book that was at my fingertips all along! My grandmother would shake her head. Anyway, here is the pattern:
Chain a multiple of 2 ch plus 2 (I couldn’t work out why this isn’t just a multiple of two…perhaps it’s acknowledging that the length is the multiple of 2 ch, not the plus 2 bit as well?)
skip 2 ch, 1 dc (US sc) in next chain, *1tr (US dc), 1 dc *, 1tr, ch 2, turn
skip 1st tr stitch, *1 tr in dc of previous row, 1 dc in tr of previous row*, 1 tr in ch 2 of previous row, ch 2, turn
Rep from Row 2
I used a 4 ply cotton and 3.5mm hook for both the headband (100 chains long) and wristband (34 chains long). Obviously your chain length will vary depending on the size of the recipient (in this case, a five-year-old girl). Both the wristband and the headband are about 8 rows wide (I forgot to write this down so I’m not certain…but just make it to your desired width)! To join the ends of the headband strip I overlapped them slightly and hand sewed together using the same cotton. I found that the up and down stitch of this width produced a pattern with two tiny holes at the ends of the band – perfect button holes, which I utilised for fastening the wristband! (Alternatively you could create button holes by skipping a few stitches where you want your button hole and just chaining for this tiny section instead; or making a little chain loop at the end of the band.) Then two little buttons were stitched to the other end.
The sweet but simple flower pattern was courtesy of the very generous Scrapbooking and Cards Today Mag blog. (Note that this pattern is written in US terminology. ‘Double crochet’ (dc) equals ‘treble crochet’ (tr) in Australia and the UK, and ‘single crochet’ (sc) equals ‘double crochet’ (dc) in UK and Australian terms.) By varying the size of the hook and yarn, you can make different sized flowers. The largest hook I used was 4.0mm the smallest was 3.0mm and the yarns were 3-4ply cotton. For the other headband set I also used a 2 ply cotton with 1.75 and 2.0 mm hook and these flowers turned out very sweet (great for the smaller flowers on the brooch). The little purple flower was created by mistake. Instead of six trebles (US dc) for each petal I did six double crochet (US sc). But it turned out just right for the upper flower part of the brooch.
You can combine the flowers in whatever way you choose. For example, you might like two of different size and colour for the headband or three for the brooch. And you could put button centres on the headband and wristband too. All flowers were hand-sewn on to the bands or to each other using the same cottons (I actually used the tails in most cases). The little button was secured to the crochet flower beneath it using cotton thread. To finish off the brooch I sewed a small gold safety pin to the back with cotton yarn.
And as a final touch I added a little card with Miss L’s two striped cats drawing. (I couldn’t resist having it converted into a stamp…to Miss L’s amazement.)
Together with some good old-fashioned type-print from my old-fashioned friend.
We shall find out tomorrow if Miss Turning-Five likes her gift!