Sunday, December 18, 2016

Xmas Tree Tutorial

Can it really only be 6 days to Xmas!?! 
For those of you, like me, who'll be crafting up to the last minute, I thought I'd share a super quick and simple ornament tutorial for you to whip up as last minute gifts or to adorn your tree.

Before we begin, here's a little breakdown of the basic stitches. I'm using US crochet terms, because I always do.
sl st [slip stitch] :: insert hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch, then through the loop on your hook.
sc [single crochet] :: insert hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch (two loops on hook), yarn over and pull through both loops on hook (this is the same as UK dc stitch)
dc [double crochet] :: yarn over, insert hook, yarn over, pull the loop back through the stitch (three loops on hook), yarn over and pull through two loops on hook (two loops left on hook), yarn over and pull through remaining two loops (this is the same as UK tre stitch)
I am using 8ply cotton and a 3mm hook for this tree to keep it a nice compact sized star, but you could use and yarn and hook that you like, or have on hand.

Okay, gather your supplies! - you will need 3 contrasting shades of 8ply cotton yarn, 3mm hook, darning needle, scissors, a firm piece of cardboard, star shaped button, cotton drill tape for tag, embroidery thread, and string for hanging. 
You will be making 2 crochet trees and joining them together.
tree 1 
To start, using shade 1 and leaving a tail of approx 25cm make a magic loop (great tutorial here). 
Row 1 - Chain 3 (this is your turning ch) and work 6dc into the magic loop as pictured below. 
tree 2
Pull the magic loop up tight before you begin Row 2 like so...
tree 3 
Row 2 - Ch3 (turning ch) and turn your work. 
dc into top of the last dc from the previous Row and into each of the next 2 dc. 
Now, 5dc into the next dc and 1dc into each of the next 2 dc.
2dc into the 3rd chain of the ch3 (turning ch) from the first Row. 
It should be looking like the picture below, right?
tree 4 
Row 3 - Ch3 and turn your work. 
dc into top of the last dc from the previous Row and into each of the next 5 dc. 
Now, 5dc into the next dc and 1dc into each of the next 5 dc.
2dc into the 3rd chain of the turning ch from the previous Row. 
tree 5 
Row 4 - Ch3 and turn your work. 
dc into top of the last dc from the previous Row and into each of the next 8 dc. 
Now, 5dc into the next dc and 1dc into each of the next 8 dc.
2dc into the 3rd chain of the turning ch from the previous Row. Fasten off.
This is the first colour section of your tree complete, we now need to add the trunk.
tree 6 
Using the 25cm tail that you left at the start slip stitch across 2 stitches at the base of your tree and ch3 like so.
tree 7 
Turn your work and work 3 dc evenly along the bottom of your tree to create a trunk and fasted off, as pictured.
tree 8 
Now make another tree exactly the same. 
tree 9 
Row 5 - Using another shade of yarn and working into the back of your work, slip stitch into the 7th dc from the egde and ch3. 
1dc into the same dc and into each of the next 5 dc.
Now, 5dc into the next dc and 1dc into each of the next 5 dc.
2dc into the next dc and fasten off.  
tree 10 
Row 5 - changing shades and working into the back of your work again, slip stitch into the 5th dc from the egde and ch3. 
1dc into the same dc and into each of the next 4 dc.
Now, 5dc into the next dc and 1dc into each of the next  dc.
2dc into the next dc and fasten off.  

Repeat row 4 and 5 for both trees but DO NOT fasten off on the 2nd trees final shade like so - you will be using this yarn to join and edge your tree to finish it off.
tree 11 
Using your cardboard, cut out an insert to wedge between your 2 trees, this is to keep your ornament flat and stiff for hanging.
tree 12 
Now, time to join your trees together.
With the right sides of both trees facing, and the tree with the yarn still attached at the back, work 1sc into each stitch along the top of both trees to join them together as pictured below.
tree 13 
Now work 2sc into the 1 corner stitch and 2 sc down the edge of the trees.
When you get to your loose ends simply tuck them to the inside of your tree and continue to crochet around your tree - this saves having to sew all of those ends in later on.
tree 14 
Continue working sc around the outside of your trees as pictured,
tree 15 
tucking in all of your ends as you go and working 2sc into each corner.
tree 16 
tree 17 tree 18 
tree 19 
When you get to the base of the trunk you will need to insert your cardboard cut out.
tree 20 
Then continue working sc around the remainder of your trees.
tree 21 
Finishing with a slip stitch into the base of the 1st sc. Fasten off.
tree 22 
Thread in your 1 end, sew on a button and attach a loop for hanging. I like to personalize my tree's with a little stitching of the year but you could stitch anything you like, a name, picture, date, etc - or skip this tag altogether, it's totally up to you.
tree 23
These trees would be great made on mass and hung in a garland. They'd also make great gift tags or why not try making just 1 tree in a chunky cotton for a cute Xmas washer or coaster.

Merry Xmas - Enjoy!