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.

2

A peg bag

A peg bag

On a rainy morning I did some tidying and suddenly noticed that our peg bag, which I made a long time ago, was badly frayed around the opening. I decided to make a new one from fabric in my stash.

The previous one was too long, so I made a shorter one. When I made the earlier one, I used three pieces of the main fabric – one for the back and two for the front. This made it easy to bind the opening with a contrasting fabric.

This time I used a single piece of fabric for the whole bag. There is a fold at one side. I sewed the top bottom and side seams before carefully cutting a straight opening. Sewing the binding fabric on was a bit tricky!

I hand-finished the binding and strengthened the small hole in the top seam, through which the coat-hanger passes.

Having made this on the spur of the moment, I didn’t stop to plan properly. An easier way of making this would have been to cut the opening before joining the seams. Then I could have bound the edges on a flat piece of material. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

2

Making masks

As the date when it will be compulsory to wear a mask in shops in England is rapidly approaching, I have made a few masks. I was already wearing a bought mask in shops and when I had a haircut. That mask was a good fit, so I used it to make a pattern for double thickness cotton masks. First I read a couple of mask-making articles on the web. Then I drew around the mask on tracing paper, added about 5/8in (1.5cm) all round for seam allowances and voilà I had a pattern for the lining. For the outer layer a side extension was necessary to accommodate a casing for elastic. I drew a second pattern piece.

Patchwork lining

Showing the shape and ties

From behind

I am always reluctant to throw out the oddments of material left over from my occasional dress-making projects. This is a time, when my stash has proved invaluable. So far I have stitched three masks and cut out two more. The third mask I stitched has a patchwork lining. My oddments were not big enough, but three joined together were! So the lining consists of six pieces.

The elastic has not been stitched. I tied a reef knot to try on the prototype and decided that it is more practical to have a knot, which may be tightened if the elastic becomes tired, than a neater join, which would need to be unpicked and sewn again. For extra tension and to give a better fit, I tied a piece of tape between the two pieces of elastic.

Subsequently I found that a single piece of elastic about 20ins long threaded through both ends and tied giving two strands across the back of the head works best.