Christmas is a day of giving, to me. It has no other meaning than to celebrate friends and family. As such, I always tend to veer towards handmade gifts of some sort. Typically it involves a lot of cookies. This year, I added crochet to the items I hand out. I thought, wouldn’t it be cute to give everyone a handmade crochet ornament post all the Claude ogling?
Although I would love to have made my own design, I thought the quickest and easiest thing to do would be to find pattern online and customize it if need be. The search a la Pinterest began and amongst the many snowflakes and bulbs, my eyes fixed on the cutest little Christmas Mouse.
What I changed:
- I started each mouse using a magic ring. Crocheting into the second chain creates too large of a hole for stuffed animals.
- sc2tog always automatically becomes an invisible decrease for me. Again, in stuffed animals, you want to avoid creating gaps or holes for stuffing to show through.
- The way this pattern was written, it is simple for a beginner, but you will find your color changes happening very visibly on the mouse’s right shoulder area (although no real shoulder exists). If you feel confident enough to change colors a couple stitches into your round, you can hide the color changes on the mouse’s stomach. Just utilize those stitch markers to do so. The stitching is all the same, you’re just changing colors later.
- I decided to slip stitch the tail like the ears, into the front loop only. I found this makes it perk up a little more.
- When embroidering the eyes, I decided to add whiskers.
- Instead of using yarn for the hanging loop, I used ribbon and tediously tied a neat little bow.
- For the body colors, I did mostly brown, but I made a couple white/cream ones that looked super cute and hid the stuffing better.
That’s all the changes I made. Personally, the pattern is just adorable and I thank LucyRavenscar for creating it and sharing it for free. Please check out her blog for other great patterns.
Next, I also made an individual gift this year as well. Instead of handing out a Christmas mouse, I thought I would make a giraffe for someone who has encouraged my crocheting and has watched me make all my projects. Her favorite animal is a giraffe so I took to Google image search this time because nothing I like was coming up on Pinterest right away. I ended up finding a pattern on Ravelry. Since this website doesn’t have its own mobile app, I don’t use it as frequently which is too bad because there is a lot of ways to communicate with other people and add projects to it.
The pattern I chose was Baby Giraffe Amigurumi by Courtney Deley. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really tell until the body was almost complete that this giraffe was going to be significantly larger than I had wanted. It’s so hard to tell when finding patterns online if it’s going to be the size you want or not. That or I just don’t pay attention enough. I was hoping for something comparable in size to the mouse. This ended up being a full on stuffed animal, which of course my friend loved and it’s adorable, but I was pressed for time and had to go out and buy a second skein of yellow yarn.
Again, for this pattern, I used the magic ring which was an option in the pattern instructions (yay). My yellow yarn was DIYarn from Hobby Lobby for 99 cents. I bought it because it was a small amount of yarn and I wouldn’t need a whole regular skein, BUT due to this ending up being larger than I thought, I had to go back and purchase a second. Had I bought a regular skein, I still think I’d have half left so I probably still did good financially on that decision.
My coffee colored red heart yarn seemed to be of a heavier weight so I also had to decrease the inner ear by a whole round in order for it to be the same size as the outside. The rest I left the same.
The tail I made was smaller too because I ran out of yarn. I chained about 15 stitches, I believe, and then just slip stitched back into the chain like the mouse tails from above. I tied on the brown yarn at the end and untwisted the threads to fluff it out.
My thoughts on the finished project are that the back legs should have been further apart so that the front legs could lean down further and also, I would have like to hide my whip stitches on the spots and ears better, but I was seriously scrambling to finish this guy.
I can’t remember (because I immediately handed it over), but I believe he/she was probably about six or seven inches tall. This is perfect for a baby’s room. It was really adorable.
If you check the pattern out on Ravelry, you can see other peoples’ finished versions of this pattern and their various variations. So, that’s pretty cool.
That’s it for my Christmas crochet. I made ten mice total – and everyone that got one loved it – and one giraffe.