How to knit and crochet an angel

This post consists of an introduction and a pattern for an angel Christmas decoration.

Introduction

This year a Christmas tree festival is planned with village organisations invited to decorate a tree. An enthusiastic crafter came to choir practice with some ideas.

My last attempt at making an angel was not as successful as I had hoped. This time I hadn’t really planned to make one. I have been taking a break from knitting due to painful thumbs, but I decided I needed the headspace, which knitting gives me, so I began knitting a child’s hat.

‘What has this to do with angels?’ I hear you mutter. The yarn I used was a similar shade to some decorations the crafter had brought to show us. It was lustrous. I thought, ‘This would make an angel’.

During the night in a half-awake state I formed an idea of how to knit an angel.

Pattern for an angel

The angel I made

Materials:

Oddments of double knitting yarn in colours suitable for angel and hair. Wool or embroidery thread for eyes and mouth. 1 pair 3.75mm knitting needles. Safety pin. Tapestry or darning needle. Small amount of toy stuffing. Crochet hook.

Skirt, body and head knitted in one piece

Cast on 32 sts using DK yarn and 3.75mm knitting needles.

Knit 6 rows.

Stocking stitch 8 rows.

Next row: (K.14, k 2 tog.) twice. 30sts.

Continuing in stocking stitch work 3 rows.

Next row (K 13, k.2.tog.) twice. 28 sts.

Continue decreasing 2 sts every 2 rows until 16 sts. remain.

Work 15 rows for the body.

*Next row: Cast off two sts. k. until 8 sts remain. Turn.

Next row: Cast off two sts. p. to end. **

Cut yarn and leave 4 sts on a safety pin.

Rejoin yarn to LHS of work.

Work from * to **.

Transfer sts. from safety pin to the empty knitting needle and purl across them.

Change colour here for the head if required.

Work 8 rows on the 8 sts..

Cut the yarn leaving a long length for making up.

Using a tapestry needle or darning needle draw the thread through the 8 stitches and secure firmly.

Arms (Knit 2)

Cast on 6 sts and work 28 rows in stocking stitch.

Cast off.

To make up

Angel with hanging cord and harp

Sew eyes and mouth on face (I did mine after stuffing the head, which was not easy!)

Join side of head and stuff it firmly with polyester toy stuffing.

Stitch around base of head to gather for neck.

Join shoulder seams and side seam of body.

Stuff body.

Stitch back and front of body together at top of skirt to secure stuffing. (I used running stitch going round twice to give the impression of back stitch.)

Fold arms in two lengthwise and join seams, gathering ends slightly. Attach to body at shoulder.

Hair

How you make the hair is open to your imagination.

I crocheted a solid base for the hair using a contrasting yarn. Then I looked up how to make looped fur in a crochet book. I worked some loops by winding the yarn twice round my finger and the crochet hook and drawing the yarn through the loops and securing them to the base with a slip stitch.

Attach hair to head.

Wings

Draw the shape of one wing on stiff paper such as a used envelope and cut it out. Place the centre line of the pattern to the fold in a piece of felt and cut around the pattern.

Sew wings to body along the centre line.

Hanging cord

Crochet a chain to the desired length and attach firmly to head.

Harp

I made the harp from part of a hat from a Christmas cracker. I stitched dark grey thread for the strings. The harp is stitched to the two hands and the body of the angel.

How did your angel turn out? Mine measures 8 inches in height from the hem of the skirt to the top of the unruly mop of hair.

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Knitting news

As most of my lockdown knitting has been premature baby cardigans and children’s hats, which have featured here previously, I have not written a knitting post for a while. This post is about a completed project and one I started recently.

A request to knit a cardigan for a young relative was accompanied by a photo of a shop-bought garment. For once I had no suitable patterns. However, I subscribe to a knitting email. Soon afterwards they offered a downloadable pattern for a pretty cardigan. The yarn for the pattern is Euro Baby Babe Jazz, which is a multi-coloured polyamide/acrylic yarn. I chose Fairy Forest as the shade, ordering it from The Knitting Network’s website.

Completed cardigan

Cardigan

I was very favourably impressed by the speed of delivery and the minimal, but effective, packaging. Fairy Forest is mainly green and blue. I began knitting in daylight. When I first saw the yarn by (energy saving) electric light I had a shock – it looked blue and yellow. (Do you remember That dress?) Fairy Forest is a magic colour-changing yarn!

I adapted the measurements from the pattern to (hopefully) fit the recipient. I had spare yarn for two hats.

The edging is bell-edging, which is straightforward to knit and very pretty. It was a new stitch-pattern to me.

Yarn, bamboo needles and a short length of scarf

Knitting kit

My current project is using up yarn from the two Aran-weight garments I have made in recent years. A friend I met at the craft group (which I stopped attending a few years ago) highlighted a charity project on Facebook. The idea is to knit, crochet or weave scarves to equal the length of one of the long-distance footpaths in this county. Dark colours are preferred. The scarves are for homeless people in this county and beyond it.

I cast on 29 stitches using 5.0mm needles (US size 9 pins), which gives the recommended width of 6 ins. There were a number of suggested stitch patterns on Facebook. I decided to use a mixture of knit and purl rows to give a ridged effect. My plan is to have a similar block of the pink yarn at each end of the scarf. I wound the pink yarn until I had two balls of equal weight.

Knitting a long scarf may take a while…

…and may not be the best way to help a homeless person. It is one way of helping and using up yarn, which is otherwise just taking up space.

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Adventures with gloves

One day when we were returning from a walk, hubby went on ahead while I made a detour to take some photos of wild flowers. (I have been a regular participant in #wildflowerhour on Twitter for a couple of years.)

I found that the sandstone paving outside the church was very slippery. (It has since been cleaned.) I managed to cross it without mishap and found more flowers. Then I found several pavement plants, so I kept stopping and crouching down, putting my phone in my pocket and getting it out again. It had become warmer (or I had with all that exercise) so my gloves were also in a pocket.

I turned a busy corner and was in the next street to home, when I checked my pockets and found I only had one glove. I was tired. I couldn’t remember when I had last had two gloves. Instead of turning back and retracing my steps I went home.

Hubby had bought the leather gloves for me and they were identical to another pair. I looked in a drawer and found that I had one good glove and one which was falling apart. Fortunately the good glove was for the same hand as the lost glove.

I kept quiet about the lost glove until the next day.

When he asked, ‘Where are we going for our walk today?’ I replied, ‘The reverse of yesterday’s walk, because I lost a glove.’

I found my glove on top of a wall not far round the busy corner. We didn’t need to visit the church grounds.

Meanwhile I had realised that I could repair the glove, which was falling apart. I used some adhesive hemming tape as the leather had pulled away from the stitching and there was nothing left to sew. I also used a small piece of fabric on the inside of the double-sided tape. The fabric was some I had kept after I had shortened a skirt. It was a fiddly job. I took photos as I went along and discovered how difficult it is to take snaps of one’s own hand.

It is another example of ‘make do and mend’ rather than throw something out. I have sorted my gloves out into an everyday pair and a better pair.