... a happy hooky wreath inspired by Lucy of Attic 24's beautiful one here.
Like Lucy, I used a polystyrene ring as the base and the most tedious bit of the project was making the base cover. I was very tempted to go the Lucy stripy route but as the strip needed to cover the ring is surprisingly long - about three quarters of a metre - I decided, in the interests of speed of production, to keep it plain. One ball of yarn and a hook travel anywhere and everywhere much more easily than lots of colours and I needed to whip this out and add a few rows whenever a few minutes presented themselves in order to get it done. I wanted a nice, dense background so I hooked it in double crochet (UK terms) but I think it might have been better to use treble crochet or half treble (UK terms) as it doesn't have as much stretch as it might and the fit is a bit wrinkly in places, not that this is exactly noticeable in the finished article. It looks very plain indeed unadorned but of course unadorned is just what it was not going to be!
Such fun with making the hooky decorations! The flowers are made from Sue's lovely pattern for felted crochet flowers here. I made them with thick German felting wool and a big, 7 mm, hook. I then just stuck them in the washing machine on a 40℃ cycle and, hey presto! they emerged all gorgeous and felty! The first ones I made, I washed at 60℃, which was a bit too high a temperature and all the stitch definition was lost. They are not wasted - going to use them for something else but these ones are better.
The holly is Lucy's Jolly Holly pattern which I tried last year but got in a pickle with. This year I was determined not to be beaten by it and they've come out OK. Not quite the right green for holly, I know, but I wanted this project to be a use-what-you-have-project which meant using a green I had, not one I didn't. And apart from the polystyrene base ring purchased for £1.99 from Hobbycraft, I didn't buy anything to make this at all.
The pom-poms are made with a little kit I had for Christmas when I was eight and have gone on using ever since. They are deliciously soft and the colours are yummy - leftover Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk from my Summer Has Come From The Sunny Land Blanket. They make nice fluffy centres for the felted flowers and have filled in any gaps not otherwise covered by the flowers and holly.
On the flower petals I stitched beads salvaged from broken jewellery, squirrelled away over the years, and the holly berries are scarlet wooden beads from a bead set I had when I was four and which I used to thread on shoe-laces, to make necklaces and the like. My frugal mother saved them, and when I muttered about "those wooden beads I had when I was small", lo and behold, she produced them! My mother never throws anything out. I am so grateful!
A few tiny coloured bells from a jar of assorted decorative bits and bobs in my sewing basket were added here and there, a little bunch of felt balls that came on some packaging found a happy home among the pom-poms, the whole lot was stitched in place and finished with a velvet bow and voilà!
One happy hooky Christmas wreath!