When I’m working on bigger time-consuming knitted or crocheted pieces like shawls or blankets, as soon as the end is in sight, ideas for the next project are already on my mind. In between, I like to pick up something simple and fun that can be completed in a few evenings for a quick stash-busting fix. Recently, a friend asked if anyone could make a Pac-Man and ghosts for her little nephew who is obsessed with them.
I found this free pattern by Penelope Bulnick on Instructables. It’s pretty long and detailed with photo tutorials but a lot of the rows are similar and repeated so it’s actually a lot simpler than it first appears. As size wasn’t crucial, I used Aran weight cotton yarn from my existing stash and went down a hook size to make a strong, tight fabric that the toy filling would not show through. The only other changes I made were to use plastic safety toy eyes because I wanted them to wiggle! I was pretty pleased with how they turned out!
Later I was further rewarded by photos and a lovely video of a the delighted recipient as he opened them. It made my day as I reflected that the beauty of being able to make things, is creating something that can’t be bought off the shelf.
With the same yarn I whipped up some granny stars, until the red ran out. No concentration required for these and I could hook several a night whilst watching telly. Now I’ve enough to chain together to make some Christmas bunting. My star pattern was from a recent issue of Crochet Now magazine, but there’s plenty of similar beginner-friendly patterns out there.
They are currently on the blocking board, to make the points more pointy. I ALWAYS block as it opens out the stitches and I think, makes the finished item look more professional. My preferred method is to pin the shapes to size onto foam play mats. (These are bridal pins so they’re longer and rust-proof). For convenience, and because it smells rather nice, I spray with the same eco-friendly home-made solution I use to clean my kitchen worktops. This is cooled boiled water in a spray bottle with 10 drops of tea-tree and 30 drops of lavender oil. Then after a good soaking, I just leave them to dry overnight.
There will be a few more Christmassy inbetweeners I suspect while I decide what’s the next big thing on the hook.