Monday, 23 December 2013

Nativity Crochet

As you can see with Pippa wearing a ribbon bow we are getting into the Christmas spirit here, big time.
For many years I have thought about making a crochet nativity but never actually got going on this idea.
It remained a nebulous concept a vague notion merely.
However with the making of reindeer, chameleon, robins and the little drummer boy I suddenly thought : THIS IS IT! I am going to DO it!
So much research ensued, mainly on Ravelry where I found many many patterns, mostly have to be paid for and very different in character although obviously on the same theme.
I'd like the camel in one, the donkey from another then Mary from yet another and so forth.  Oh decisions decisions! So I started with trying to make the FREE one, this one was Italian with some translation and it had a facebook crochet- along going on so was very interesting to watch.
TORRE  something group....
But then I started to make a head and it took ages and ages and was ever so big, which was worrying as there's at least 8 ''people'' and then a baby in crib and a set of animals....
So I went ahead and bought the Gourmet Crochet nativity pattern as it included all figures and over 200 people have used it and made theirs on Ravelry.
Above is the comparison on head size between Torre version and Gourmet versions.

I learned that with a stitch marker it's so much easier to keep track when working in spirals!
I used to use a piece of spare yarn but it's too tempting to just carry on and lose track,wprking over and across the yarn marker, but with a stitch marker you HAVE TO STOP , take it out and move it back in , which is an excellent discipline.
Soon I had made Mary: I gave a a fringe and  loose hair you can style , a long waistcoat in seed stitch with a white stripe and a head dress in 4 ply with a white border. The head dress can be removed and the hair plaited or put into bunches etc.
I did my own variations in dress as I want the - in the far far distant future- grandchildren- omg did I say that?- to play with these figures and set them into the stories leading up to and after the birth of CHRIST our SAVIOUR?
She has thick doubled pipe-cleaners inside her sleeves and her hands are posed in prayer.
She's made in DK yarns a mix of wools and cottons and made with a 3.5 mm hook and a 3mm hook for smaller details like hands and head-dress.

 Then came Joseph and I chose green as I really loved the Torre Joseph which reminded me of Pavarotti!
He was in green with a splendid waistcoat and amazing hair and moustache... The Torre Guiseppe that is.
 Here he is in the making and with the Torre Guiseppe on the computer screen....
 Of course Saturday we had to brave the Oxford crowds to do a bit of presents shopping...
Just JJ and me, I went round with the lists and we took turns to queue and pay...
 Oxford was looking rather elegant in a spell of lovely sunshine!

 When we arrived home Miss Y was bored so I suggested she make us a YULE LOG for Christmas and she did just that. Using a new Swiss Roll tin which was actually part of a surprise present..
And an online NIGELLA LAWSON recipe:
 Boy, it is SO GOOD! Totally delicious! She made the cake part only, and used chocolate spread for the filling and icing parts.

 It's firm and springy with a deep luscious dark chocolate taste and totally needs the spread and icing sugar to lift it that wee bit. And ever so filling! One slice is sufficient with a cup of tea.
 I made Joseph a tweedy pine green waistcoat but decided to omit the sleeves so we can see his expressive arms, he can put his arm round Mary, hold a staff or hold the baby when it's born.
 This was before I had been able to go out to buy eyes, i.e. on Sunday....
 Also to keep going I run off body bases or heads during soppy Christmas films like Santa Claus or the Muppets or White Christmas, although I hugely enjoyed the latter and was dancing in the kitchen to all those classic tunes!

 A skinny Pavarotti?!
 Tweedy waistcoat- made in half trebles in a fine tweedy yarn from market stall, held double.
 Tied with string for that authentic rustic look?
 With tweedy- head dress Pavarotti dissappears and here's Joseph!
 Mary with eyes, but I'm worried about doing the mouth, don;t want to ruin the effect?

 She's praying see?
 Joseph with staff... A coffee / tea stirrer which I have cut to size and made ''woody'' with brown felt tip pen.
 TA DAH!!!!
What do you think? Don't they look splendid together?

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