December 1st – Mary

 

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; the virgin, pregnant and about to bear a son, shall name him Emmanuel.”

Isaiah 7:14

mary

Mary is the first figure to be taken out of the pocket for Day 1 of our Advent Calendar. All the figures stand about 4-5 inches high and are perfect for little fingers to play with.

For Mary, and actually the majority of the figures, I used this pattern by Carolyn Christmas from Ravelry:

figures-pattern

Her photography skills are certainly better than mine! It is a paid for pattern but definitely worth it. The instructions are easy to follow; she suggests using a bottle lid in the base to help the figures to stand and I found this worked well. For my Mary I used traditional blue and white. I used Stylecraft Special DK for all the figures, with some other odds and ends from my stash when the colours needed it. She suggested 4mm eyes which I found on Ebay by celloexpress.ni.

Here’s a couple of photos of my grandson with the Advent Calendar, (it’s huge) so excited!

I hope you enjoy this new series through Advent. I will try to post daily, but just in case life takes over, pop over to my DressedInCrochet Facebook page where I hope to have at least a picture of the figure for each day, if not a blog post.

Thanks for stopping by.

Crocheted Nativity Advent Calendar

nativity-set

I decided to make a crocheted nativity set for my grandchildren: Benedict (3) and Rose (1). I had been collecting possible patterns for a while and knew that this year they will enjoy telling the Christmas Story through their own play. Then, looking at Advent Calendars and not seeing eating chocolate every day as a meaningful preparation for Christ’s birth, I realised I could combine the two. So I set about planning my 25 figures – yes 25 because you have to put Baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas Day and not before! 25 figures…. 3 wise men, 3 camels, 3 gifts, that’s 9 already. We could have a few shepherds and a whole flock of sheep, it could be possible! I could just picture Benedict and Rose getting a new figure every day and telling the next part of the story. So we would need to start with Mary, Joseph and a donkey, then an innkeeper and so the nativity would develop.

But how on earth to store these figures? They are amigurumi, about 4 inches tall, but quite chubby. A pocket storage organiser to hang on the back of a door should do it. But by this time I was rather busy trying to get all 25 figures crocheted before December 1st so I asked my mum “Ganna” to join in and make this a project for 4 generations. With a little trip to Hobbycraft, a lot of scissors and glue, and getting the trusty sewing machine out again, she came up with this:

advent-calendar

Thanks Mum! The pockets are the perfect size, even for the camels. The pockets are felt squares, the backing is hessian and there is a doweling running through the top for it to hang from.

So we are nearly ready for Advent; waiting for the Lord. I just have 5 more figures to make this weekend and it will be ready.

I hope to post on the blog each day with a photo of the figure, the link to the pattern and I’m hoping Tess will add some photos of the children playing with them onto my DressedInCrochet Facebook page.

Cuthbert the Sheep

This is a Work In Progress which has been hanging around for about 6 months. I had crocheted all the pieces but like many WIPs, it just then sat there in a bag, waiting for a day when I could sew it together. I loooove crocheting, but hate sewing things together! In craft magazines I’ve even seen advertisements from people who are happy to finish off the once loved project for you – a great idea, but I just need to be more disciplined. So here’s introducing Cuthbert the Sheep:

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Not a great photo, and he does have 4 legs, honest! He’s a bit lop-sided and wobbly, but maybe that makes him all the cuter. Here’s another view of him:

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I loved making his curly wool – by wrapping the yarn around your finger a couple of times. It was really hard to understand the stitch from the instructions, but thanks to youtube I found a clear tutorial. Cuthbert? oh yes, named after the patron saint of shepherds of course.

Flopsy bunny

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This cute little Flopsy Bunny is crocheted using Paton’s 100% cotton double knitting yarn. I’ve made a few of these now from a pattern in Simply Crochet, Issue 2. You can see some of the others for sale on my Etsy site: http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/DressedInCrochet

oh.. and here’s a back view of its cute little cotton tail:

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I love the way its ears and just right for tiny fingers to grab hold of. I can see it being a friend for many years …. and probably another one needed for when it goes in the wash!