Monday, 23 December 2013

Multi-tasking Motifs

What do you do when you find an irresistible Christmas motif to crochet, but the type of project leaves you cold?  Here are some other ways to incorporate that gorgeous motif into a meaningful model of crocheted Christmas cheer.
One of the versatile things about crochet is the ability to take an idea and adapt it for use in different ways.  It always fascinates me to see how different crocheters come up with new and unique applications or interpretations.

In Christmas Tea Towels & Other Ideas, I explored resources for Christmas crochet and came across two similar projects for crocheted Father Christmas ornaments.  They were:
Size 10 crochet thread
1.5 mm hook
DK (8 ply) yarn
2.25 mm hook

Both projects are crocheted Father Christmas heads, but each one uses the Father Christmas motif differently.

Terry Kimbrough has attached Santa’s head to a Jar Lid Cover.
I crocheted this Santa Jar Lid Cover in 2009

If you like to give foodie gifts, it’s a perfect way to adorn your jars containing home baked biscuits, brownies, confectionery, jams, honey, nuts or other nibbles. Use jar lid covers on other round containers to present cosmetics, craft supplies (crocheters are bound to have other crafty gift recipients to appreciate this idea), hair accessories, paint brushes, small tools or hobby items (re-use the jar for screws, nails, fishing tackle, small pieces for hobbies like modelling etc. especially if the container is plastic or toughened glass) or even roll up a new tie and present it in a jar.

I imagine the tie idea will vex those people who like to guess their gift before unwrapping, although with a beautiful Christmas-themed jar lid cover, there’s really no need to wrap.

Annoo has added a chain loop to Father Christmas so he can be hung on the tree as an attractive ornament.

There are so many ways to use Christmas Tree ornaments, apart from the obvious use on the tree.  Anywhere you can use a motif, you can often substitute any Christmas tree ornament and vice versa. 

Terry Kimbrough’s use of thread makes Father Christmas small enough to fit on a jar lid.  Annoo used a thicker yarn and larger hook to make him big enough to hang on the Christmas tree.

Use this principle with any cute Christmas motif. Change the size for your purposes by changing the tension, yarn weight etc.  How many ways can you think of to use a Christmas motif?

Here are some gift ideas for crocheted Christmas motifs:

I discovered this Christmas yarnbomb
on 25 December 2012

  • Tree ornaments 
  • Jar Lids 
  • Brooches and earrings (smaller motifs like thread amigurumi)
  • Stitch onto Christmas stockings, especially if you have more than one stocking; each can be distinguished by a different motif
  • String them together for festive bunting
  • Add to a crocheted Christmas wreath
  • Stitch onto a cushion or throw rug
  • Decorate your car or bike by attaching them to the antenna, front grill, rear bumper, bike handlebars etc.
  • Wear on a hat band
  • Incorporate into a Christmas Yarnbomb**
  • Table decorations and ‘tablescapes’
  • Tablecloth weights–fill motif with curtain weights and attach to pegs or clips
  • Embellish or decorate bigger gifts, especially crocheted items like bags
  • Incorporate crochet into your gift wrapping. My friend “Cami” (Caissa McClinton) shared her ideas and links this month on Crochet Spot.

    What else can we add to this list?

Here’s one of my successful Christmas gift-giving solutions from previous years:

If you go to dinner parties or have friends who enjoy wine, an easy way to treat everyone at Christmas is to purchase a carton of mixed wine selections and hang a Christmas tree decoration around the neck of each bottle.  Personalise the ornaments by crocheting them yourself.

I loved doing this because:

If you are short on time, energy or stamina, you can cater for many people with only one purchase and one trip (or better still, mail order). 

If you have a disability or chronic illness or any reason that makes it difficult for you to get out and about to do Christmas shopping, this may be a convenient gift choice as I discovered for myself.  Mixed connective tissue disease limits my energy and tolerance for exercise. The fewer errands I need to make, the better.

Many of the wine labels are so attractive, that the bottles may not even need wrapping at all which is an added bonus if you find it difficult to wrestle with wrapping paper.

This gift “keeps on giving” because once the wine is all gone, your loved ones will have the ornament to keep and every year when they put it on the tree, they will think of you! 

These gifts were well received because South Australians appreciate their food and wine. Winemaking is a major industry here with world-class wineries.  South Australian wine regions you may recognise include the Barossa Valley, Clare Valley, Coonawarra region and, my favourite, McLaren Vale. South Australian wines are sold around the world so you might be able to find some of these outside of Australia.
In a vineyard near McLaren Vale (April 2009)

These days, I need to avoid alcohol because it does not mix with my medications.  I am very sad about that. My wine enjoyment is now limited to savouring the ‘bouquet’ longingly with the occasional drop (literally) on the tongue to get a tiny taste. 

Not to worry, there are now some lovely non-alcoholic sparkling beverages available. My current favourite is locally produced at Ashton in the Adelaide Hills where much of our apples are grown.  It is called Ashton Valley Crush and varieties include “Sparkling Apple & Strawberry”, “Sparkling Apple & Mango” & my favourite of them all is “Sparkling Apple & Passionfruit”–delectable!

My immune system is very sensitive so I do not tolerate artificial additives. Those ingredients are stresses my body can do without. The Ashton Valley Crush is not made from concentrates and has no preservatives or colours added. Yay!

It is nice to have something bubbly to put in the champagne glass at Christmas and New Year, which reminds me of another way to use crochet motifs. 

If you are a dab hand at amigurumi and miniatures, you could make small ornaments to place around the stems of your wine glasses so that all of your guests know whose glass is whose. That way, I won’t accidentally imbibe my best friend’s alcoholic champagne but stick to my healthy alternative.

Wishing you a happy and healthy Christmas season; and while you are celebrating, keep your eyes open and imagination active for new ideas to ‘multi-task’ those motifs!



Annoo’s Crochet World:

Crochet Spot:
McClinton, Caissa “Cami”, “3 Different Ways to Incorporate Crochet into Your Gift Wrapping”, Crochet Spot, 19 December 2013:

Kimbrough, Terry,“Christmas Jar Lid Covers: 7 Designs to Crochet” Leaflet 751, Leisure Arts, Little Rock, AR, USA, 1989 [].

*Links–Mixed Connetive Tissue Disease (MCTD)

Links–South Australian food & wine regions

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