The 2014 winter holiday banner shows Hodge and Podge getting in the spirit of the season. After making snowsquirrels and wrapping them up with scarves they crocheted, our two favorite squirrel friends decorated a Christmas tree, complete with miniature Christmas lights! They did this all very quietly, so they wouldn’t wake the dove sleeping nearby.
This diorama took me about two months to complete. First I created the form for the holly wreath by crocheting two frames in black and sewing them together around a cardboard form. This gave it stability while also providing a surface that I knew would be easy to attach my crochet holly and poinsettias to.
Then came the real fun — designing the diorama and choosing all the patterns to create the scene I was looking for. One of my main goals was to use only free crochet patterns that are simple, clear, and thorough, so you all would enjoy using them too. I spent several weeks trying out different patterns before finally making my selections. I want to give a sincere thank-you to each of these designers for creating such lovely items and gifting the world with their patterns. So without further ado, here they are…
The holly pattern by Lucy of Attic 24 is very easy to do and it creates an elegant holly leaf. I love the slip-stitched vein down the center. Like most of her patterns (which are also amazing!), this one includes a photo tutorial to help walk you through the instructions. For these holly leaves, I used Caron Simply Soft in Forest Floor and Dark Sage.
The poinsettias were made using a pattern from Joanne Loh. You crochet three separate layers, stack and sew them together, and embellish them with seed beads. Aren’t they neat? Her pattern calls for lace thread, but I wanted to make them significantly larger so I used a light worsted-weight yarn (Caron Simply Soft in Autumn Red) and a G-6 (4.00 mm) crochet hook.
Next I crocheted the Christmas tree using a pattern by Helen Free. This pattern was a lot of fun to do. It is worked in turned rows to create layers of ruffles that look more like an evergreen than any of the other patterns I tried. In case you’re wondering, I used Caron Simply Soft in Pine for this tree. I found Helen’s pattern to be clear and thorough and it produces a tree that will look great at the center of your own holiday display.
The trees in the background were made using this pattern by Kara Gunza of Petals to Picots. They are really simple and quick to whip up. She suggests using Styrofoam cones in the center to give them form. I just filled them with polyester stuffing and sewed a crochet circle onto the bottom, but I think you should follow her method as it will provide better support and shape.
And last but not least, that darling little bird was made from the Roosting Bird pattern by Irene Strange. The pattern includes crochet instructions for the body, tail, and wings, as well as assembly and embroidery. It all comes in a very lovely PDF (free Ravelry download) that I know you will enjoy.
Some of you may recognize the snowsquirrels from last year. What can I say? Hodge and Podge just love making them! To make snowsquirrels, use this snowman pattern by The Dapper Toad. To make a snowman into a snowsquirrel, you’ll need a tail and ears too. For the tail, make another snowman but replace “Rows 11-13: sc around” with “Rows 11-15: sc around.” Then continue pattern as written. Stuff lightly. As you’re stuffing the tail, rework the shape by flattening the bottom and rounding the top. Sew the tail to the back of your snowsquirrel. Make 2 ears from my squirrel pattern and attach to the top of the snowsquirrel’s head. I also used The Dapper Toad’s pattern for the snowsquirrels’ scarves.
Before I go, I want to tell you a secret. Did you know that if you follow me on Ravelry and Instagram, you can watch my progress and see projects like these take shape? So join me. I’m always happy to make new friends and I look forward to seeing you around!
I hope that the new banner brings you a bit of holiday cheer and a smile and that you enjoy using the free crochet patterns from some of my favorite designers to make your own home as festive as can be.