I know, I know. It’s only been a hot minute since I posted the last Christmas tutorial, but I can’t help it if the Crimbo crojo is on FIRE, right?
Last year on our yearly getaway, my husband was driving us across Spain on a road trip and I, of course, was crafting. I had an idea to make some very retro-looking baubles (flat baubles, that is) using very simple stitches and this pattern was born. I did write it down, but I lost it in amongst the piles of notebooks that I seem to accumulate from nowhere (actually, from Flying Tiger) and it went AWOL. I was pretty sad, but the other day I decided to work on an updated version, beginner-friendly and quick, that is a lovely project for cosy winter days. The design is inspired by my Nana’s old 1970’s decorations that she would dust off every Christmas, original box and all, and hang lovingly on her garish tree. I really loved the muted tones and white embellishments, silver flecks and gold accents, and the feeling of warmth and homeliness they gave me. I’m not sure where these decorations are now, but I can still smell their slightly musty aroma and hear the popping of Babycham bottles. Love it.
So, I hope you enjoy this simple pattern and make a whole load of these for your own home this Christmas. Nana Knitty approved.
This is an advanced beginner level crochet tutorial and uses American terminology.
You will need: Your chosen yarn with the recommended hook size (for this tutorial I used Hoooked Eucalyps in Grigio and a 4.5mm hook), a pair of scissors, a yarn needle, a blocking board, rust-free pins, a small length of jute or thread for hanging.
Skills: Chain stitch, sc (single crochet), hdc (half double crochet), hdc blo (half double crochet through back loop only), dc (double crochet), slip stitch.
· The yarn weight and needle size you use will determine the size of your bauble. I used a combination of fingering, sport and DK weights (using their recommended hook size) but you could also use super chunky yarn for some big statement ones!
· Make a slipknot, chain five and slip stitch into the first chain to form a circle.
· Chain three (counts as first stitch) and make nine dc into the circle, working over the tail. Slip stitch into the top of the chain three to join (10 stitches).
· Chain two and make two hdc blo in each stitch around (20 stitches).
· Now we will shape the bauble into a teardrop using simple stitches. Chain four, make one dc into the next stitch. Make one hdc into the next stitch. Make one sc into each stitch around until two stitches remain. Make one hdc into the next stitch and finally one dc. Slip stitch into the top of the chain four.
· Break yarn and pull through the loop. Snip off the yarn tail (you don’t need to weave this in as you crocheted over it at the beginning) and weave in any ends from the top of the bauble.
· Make a small mixture of two parts liquid starch/Nylon to one part water and soak the bauble in it for five minutes. Squeeze out the excess liquid and pin to your blocking board, paying attention to the top of the bauble where you worked a chain four. Pin this part up firmly to make it extra pointy and give the bauble its characteristic teardrop shape.
· Once dry, sew any embellishments onto your bauble as you wish – simple embroidery sequins, beads and even little bells look great – and attach a felt backing for a really ‘finished’ look. I always use a hot glue gun to attach felt onto the back of crochet work, but sewing also looks good.
· Attach a length of jute or thread to the top of the bauble and hang as desired. Enjoy!
This tutorial is dedicated to the memory of my grandmother Eileen Miles who passed away on November 4th 2019.