A Few Secret Santa Ideas

At this time of year you can’t fail to notice the impending visit of the jolly white-haired geezer in the bright red suit.  The infection spreads like wildfire and before you know it you’re walking around singing carols and driving everyone mad (just me then?).

Anyway, across our three knitting groups we try to encourage everyone to join us for our annual Christmas get together and take part in our Secret Santa present swap.

Every year we stick to the same theme – A Christmas Decoration. The only rule is that the decoration must be handmade, preferably knitted or crocheted.  I have been posting up links to various patterns which could be used for these gifts but thought it might be an idea to put them all in one place for everyone to see.

Christmas Tree Decoration – Jill Koerner

This little tree decoration by Jill Koerner is free and is available via Ravelry on Jill’s blog. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/christmas-tree-decoration

O Christmas Tree – Jenna Krupar

Jenna Krupar has an ebook of 4 knitted patterns available on Ravelry for $6 which include this very lovely little tree decoration – http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/o-christmas-tree

Knitted Sanat Christmas Hat Decoration – Linda Dawkins

This lovely little Santa hat by Linda Dawkins is free via Ravelry on Linda’s blog. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/knitted-santa-hat-christmas-ornament

Mitten Ornaments WR2082

These lovely little mittens are free on the Red Heart website http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mitten-ornaments-wr2082

Yarn Basket Ornament – Scarlet Taylor

I was given one of these little bags of yarn last year by Caroline and I love it. I know she won’t mind me saying it’s a lovely, easy, little knit. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/yarn-basket-ornament

Christmas Knitties – Linda Regel

I’m rather fond of these 4 decorations from Linda Regel for £2.50 and downloaded them much earlier in the year. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/christmas-knitties

If you’re still stuck for ideas there are literally 1000s of them out there – there’s even my decoration that I posted last week.  Another idea if you’re not too confident is to make a felted heart or knit a little scarf and wrap it around a shop-bought snowman/reindeer or Santa ornament.  Or you can wind yarn around a polystyrene ball to make it look just like a ball of wool.

It is after all the thought that counts.

Wrapped polystyrene ball

Happy Knitting!

Heart Decoration

Little hanging heart

(Bleeding awful photos again ain’t they? Sorry! Said in my South East London accent of course)

Size (approx)

Width at widest point 11cm

Height from top of curve to point 9.5cm

Materials

A pair of 4mm needles

Rico Cotton Aran any colours

Darning Needle

Toy stuffing

A 4.5mm crochet hook or ribbon

Abbreviations

St(s): Stitch(es)

K: Knit

P: Purl

Alt: Alternate

Tog: Together

S1: Slip 1 stitch

PSSO: Pass slipped stitch over

M1: Make 1 – From the front, lift loop between stitches with left needle, knit into back of the loop.

K2tog: Knit the next 2 sts together

K3tog: Knit the next 3 sts together

P2tog: Purl 2 sts together

p2togtbl: Purl 2 sts together through back loops

SSK: Slip, slip, knit slipped stitches tog.

Heart – Make 2 pieces

Ornament is knitted in stocking stitch – knit 1 row, purl one row

Using 4mm needles and shade A cast on 3sts.

Work 2 rows in stocking stitch

3rd row: – Using shade B, k1, m1, k1, m1, k1

4th row: – purl

5th row: – Switch to shade A, k1, m1, k3, m1, k1

6th row: – Purl

Continue working 2 row stripe sequence, increasing by 1 stitch at each end on the next and every alt row until there are 21 sts.  Work 3 more rows ending with a purl row.

Decreases

Continue working in 2 row stripe sequence except for the last 3 rows, work these and the cast off in the same shade.

1st row: – k1, ssk, k7, turn. (9sts)

Working on these stitches only slip the remaining 11 sts onto a small stitch holder

2nd, 4th and 6th row: purl

3rd row: k1, ssk, k6. (8sts)

5th row: k1, ssk, k2, k2tog, k1. (6sts)

7th row: k1, ssk, k2tog, k1. (4sts)

8th row: P1, p2togtbl. (3sts)

9th row: S1, k2tog, psso, cast off remaining stitch.

Rejoin yarn to remaining sts

1st row: k2tog, k until there are 7 sts on right hand needle, k2tog, k1. (9sts)

2nd, 4th and 6th row: purl

3rd row: k6, k2tog, k1. (8sts)

5th row: k1, ssk, k2, k2tog, k1. (6sts)

7th row: k1, ssk, k2tog, k1. (4sts)

8th row: p1, p2tog, p1. (3sts)

9th row: k3tog, cast off last stitch.

You need to make a braid to hang the ornament.  I crochet 18 chains on a 4.5mm crochet hook, but you could knit a braid, plait some wool or use a piece of ribbon.

Place the hearts right sides together and sew up using a backstitch, remember to sew over your braid in order to hang your ornament.  Sew 90% of the way round, sew in and trim ends except the one you’re using to sew up.

Turn heart right sides out, stuff, if you insert the filling a little at a time you will achieve a more even fill.

Sew up remaining opening.

Christmas Wreath

They look great on a plain tinsel wreath like this.  Those of you that know me will know I prefer odd numbers so there is one missing!!!!!  The wreath was from a euro shop and cost €7 I think.

I love using Rico Creative Cotton Aran for these decorations as it comes in such a wide range of colours and it’s easy on the pocket;however, I’ve also made a good few of these little hearts in sock wool with 2.5mm needles.  Once made I omitted the hanging braid, opting instead to put them in a little felted bowl as a gift.  They work equally well for Christmas, Valentines or for when you just want to let someone know you appreciate them.  They’re quick and easy to knit and can be decorated with buttons and sequins to jazz them up a bit if you like.

They look pretty in plain colours too.