Christmas traditions and amigurumi

9781452103600OK, so as I write this I’m munching away on Easter chocolate, and Christmas is so last year already, but I’ve been wanting to tell you about one of my family’s Christmas traditions. Every year, I make each of the kids a handmade gift. I didn’t even know that they’d noticed, or cared particularly until two Christmases ago when I said to Miss Missy that I didn’t think I’d be able to make her anything because I was running out of time.

But Mum, you ALWAYS make me something for Christmas! It just wouldn’t be right if you didn’t!

Wow, OK kid! I just couldn’t say no after that, could I? So at the last minute (and I mean seriously – I was stitching at like 5 minutes to midnight Christmas Eve) I whipped up a patchwork and applique cushion for her bed.

This Christmas (or is that last Christmas already now?) my problem wasn’t time, it was coming up with what to make. Miss Missy is a newly minted teenager – the smocked dresses, applique T-shirts, or cutesy hair accessories of years past just weren’t going to cut it. What to make was on the back of my mind for months, when I found the perfect thing: a crocheted amigurumi unicorn.

Now I had a new problem: I don’t crochet.

I don’t mean that I CAN’T crochet. I can; I learnt how years ago when I was in school (Steiner education, you know). I just never got good at it. My first attempt was supposed to be a hat for myself. But I gave up in disgust when the other kids in my class were wearing their beanies already, and all I had was a misshapen things that looked like a floppy sunhat – not for my head though, all it would fit was my Sindy doll (if you don’t remember Sindy, she’s about Barbie’s size!). It suited Sindy but I wouldn’t call the hat a success!

d2364bbd-d097-4ee7-80c4-9e70d8bce6f7A few years – and many successful non-crochet craft projects later – I tried again. This time, I decided to make some snowflake Christmas tree decorations.  They looked so pretty in the pattern book I thought it was worth giving crochet another try. Well. I stuck at it, and made three snowflakes for myself, as well as a few for friends. But sticking with it didn’t make it any easier. I was constantly making mistakes and having to undo everything. I had to concentrate so darn hard I couldn’t enjoy it.

No. I decided I liked crochet about as much as going to the dentist.

9781784940645But, for Miss Missy, I put all that aside, and set to with her gift. Turns out, I still don’t like to crochet, but I really do like amigurumi! They are so cute, it makes the frustration worth it! In fact, I decided to make another amigurumi as a gift for a friend. And when I saw a copy of  Boho Crochet I decided that the Christmas tree really could use some more crochet decorations too. Maybe crochet isn’t quite as bad as the dentist…(though I don’t love it enough to crochet myself a trophy head for the living room wall).

After beating crochet into submission, I’ve felt drawn to books on crafts I’ve never tried. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who’s keen to learn new crafts, so I’ve put together a list of some craft and hobby books that struck my fancy. Some I’m an old hand at, some I’ve never tried, but all gorgeous!

Related Resources

Happy 10th birthday, Upper Riccarton Library

Upper Riccarton Community and School Library – Te Kete Wānanga o Pūtaringamotu – is ten years old. It’s a special place, bringing together the locals with Riccarton High School and Christchurch City Libraries.

Kia ora Upper Riccarton staff and customers! Here are some pics from ten years of being at the heart of the community.

Exquisite dough sculpture - Chinese Lunar New Year festivities at Upper Riccarton Library
Exquisite dough sculpture at the Chinese Lunar New Year festivities at Upper Riccarton Library, 21 February 2015. Flickr 1278.JPG
Young dancers - Chinese Lunar New Year festivities at Upper Riccarton Library
Young dancers perform in the Chinese Lunar New Year festivities at Upper Riccarton Library, 21 February 2015. Flickr 20150221_122125.JPG
Chinese calligraphy - Chinese Lunar New Year festivities at Upper Riccarton Library
Chinese calligraphy banner – Chinese Lunar New Year festivities at Upper Riccarton Library, 21 February 2015. Flickr P1040966.JPG
Takumi Japanese drummers - Chinese Lunar New Year festivities at Upper Riccarton Library
Takumi Japanese drummers perform in the Chinese Lunar New Year festivities at Upper Riccarton Library, 21 February 2015. Flickr P1040930.JPG
Yarnbombing
Yarnbombing. Flickr CCL-2013 -03-13-IMG_0480
Zombie librarians
Zombie Day at Upper Riccarton Library. Flickr CCL-2013-01-10-P1030484
Upper Riccarton Library staff
Official Opening & Gala: Saturday 25 February 2006; first day – Monday 23 January 2006. Flickr 2006DSC01646