Christmas Crochet Pattern Round-Up

December has officially arrived, bringing with it a crisp chill in the air, the faint sounds of ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Deck the Halls’ drifting out of stores, and some very wet snow trying valiantly to stick to the ground while I curl up inside with a blanket, a mug of steaming hot chocolate, and my crochet hook. That’s right, it’s time for Christmas! 

With 20 days left to go, it’s not too late to make some quick last-minute Christmas gifts – especially if you’re a procrastinator like I am. I’ve rounded up my Christmas-themed crochet patterns below, most of which are fast and easy to make and therefore perfect stocking stuffers! Me being the geek that I am, most of them are also Star Wars or Marvel themed. 🙂

The majority of the below patterns (and all the geek-themed ones) are free to download on my Pattern shop. The links below will take you to my shop, where you can easily download the free patterns and purchase the paid ones. 

Please let me know if you have any questions, and enjoy!

-Julia 


Free Star Wars Christmas Ornaments

Rey

Leia

 

Porg

Santa Yoda

Santa Yoda is currently only available as my free December pattern give-away on my mailing list. Sign up for my newsletter for the free pattern!  Starting January 1, he will be available for free download through my pattern shop.


Free Marvel Christmas Ornaments

Baby Groot

Deadpool


Paid Christmas Patterns

Polar Bear Christmas Ornament

Snowman & Christmas Tree Diorama


 

Not Fade Away, 15 years later

*Note – this post contains some fairly oblique spoilers to last week’s Game of Thrones, though I tried to keep them vague. And do I need to warn about spoilers for the end of a 15-year-old show? Well, in any case, if you’re watching Angel for the first time unspoiled… maybe don’t read this. 🙂 I had a friend who was doing just that awhile back, so it can happen!*

So the other day I was walking to work, and as I did so I began brainstorming blog posts as part of my yearly pact to myself to post more. Specifically, what dolls do I have that I can turn into a blog post conveniently related to something currently happening in the world of popular culture? It’s already been a few weeks since Endgame, so I figured I missed my window there, and Game of Thrones and I aren’t currently on speaking terms after last week. Next, my brain wandered to anniversaries. What was happening 10, 20, etc years ago that I could relate to one of my dolls? Thus went my brain:

‘Hmm, I could finally post blogs about my New Zealand trip. That Tolkien movie just came out, and… holy crap it’s been 20 years since Fellowship of the Ring came out! Perfect! Also wow, I can’t believe that movie is 20 years old.”

*3 seconds later*

Other part of my brain: ‘That’s because it isn’t, it’s 18 years old. It came out in 2001.’

‘Right. I knew that. Ok, what actually happened in 1999? Oh wow, Angel started that year, didn’t it? My show turns 20 this year, hard to believe it.’

(Certain shows will always and forever be My Show. Angel is one, Babylon 5 is another. Coincidentally it also ended in 1999, but back in January so I missed that posting window too).

Followed a heartbeat later by,

‘…that means Angel ENDED 15 years ago. Well now I feel old. I wonder what actual date Not Fade Away aired? It would have been around now. Hopefully I didn’t miss it!’

One IMDB search later.

May 19, 2004.

Exactly 15 years to the day before the final episode of Game of Thrones is due to air tonight. I mean, I may have put Game of Thrones in the corner and told it to think about what it did, but it’s still been one of my favourite shows these past 7 years. So there’s something rather auspicious about it ending on the same day 15 years after one of my other all time favourite shows aired its last episode.

I know some people were disappointed by Not Fade Away, and frustrated by its perceived cliffhanger. I get that, but at the same time I thought it was the perfect way to end the show. I had my own issues with season 5, it’s true, though at the time I was younger and too caught up in my excitement to really notice. I was and still am disappointed by the lack of Lilah (I searched hopefully for Stephanie Romanov’s name in the guest credits at the start of every episode). And I was frustrated by the mind wipe that had erased nearly everything interesting that ever happened to my boy Wes in the previous two years, leaving only his Epic Love for Fred, of which I was not a fan (sorry Fresley shippers). And writing Cordelia out of the show (only to bring her back and kill her) was unconscionable. Still, Angel for all its flaws was a show I loved deeply at the time, and I’m still not sure I’ve ever been as obsessed with another fictional character as I was with Wesley Wyndam-Pryce.

So on the one hand, watching him die – and in the arms of the wrong woman to my Weslah shipper’s brain – sucked. Rather like a certain other more recent character death, in fact, but narratively at least it made sense that Wes would be thinking of Fred in his final moments. Unlike certain other shows. I digress.

But on the other hand, the theme of the show has always come down to one scene: Holland Manners in that elevator, telling Angel that hell is Earth and so everything he does is pointless, and Angel having his epiphany that if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do. Keep fighting even when you can’t win, because there is no winning – only doing what we can to help people, even if it’s just one action, even if we just make one life better then it’s worth it. And that’s what Not Fade Away was about – not the cliffhanger of ‘how will they defeat the dragon??’, but the recognition that the fight goes on and even if they all die in that alleyway, they will have made a difference.

It’s a seemingly dark and hopeless ending, but I never saw it that way. Angel was never about black vs white / good vs evil / defeat the big bad at the end of the season and head to the mall after. Angel was about fighting the good fight in the face of great odds, and knowing that your actions still matter. And in the face of a big scary world that is at once peeling back our hard-won rights with every stroke of a pen, even as we move ever closer to our planet’s demise, that seems like a pretty relevant message 15 years later. None of us individually is going to fix these problems, but we still have the power to make the world a better place in some small way – whether it be by voting in the people who CAN fix these problems (do that), or by simply helping a friend (or a stranger) in need.

This post didn’t really know what it wanted to be, and apparently it took a turn for the serious I did not expect it to. Sorry? Here, have a doll to make up for it. 🙂 After making Wesley doll 1.0, I decided I needed a smaller pocket-sized Wesley, and thus we have Wesley doll 2.0. I wanted to make a Lilah to go with him, but I don’t think I could truly capture the lusciousness of her hair using yarn. I might still make an Illyria one day, though, she would be fun!

15 years ago today I was waiting with both excitement and trepidation for my favourite show to end. Tonight I’m waiting with a kind of depressed resignation. I want to be excited, I want to feel the same love for the show I felt even 2 weeks ago when all my shipper dreams came true and I was still convinced that a certain character would do a certain thing and die in a certain way. Wes’s death made me sad, but it was an expected kind of sad. Last week just left me cold and angry. I’ve done a lot of thinking about it this past week and come to a certain amount of acceptance of it, largely because I think it could have worked fine if they hadn’t rushed this season so much, but I’m still really sad about how it went down. I hope tonight we will get some closure for my ship, one way or another. Because I have a massive cosplay project I embarked upon a few weeks ago, when I was still full of happiness and feels after a certain ceremony scene, and dammit but I still want to make it. More news coming on that once I’ve let Game of Thrones out of its corner and decided to start working on said costume again. Right now it’s also sitting in the corner in time-out.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Crest Crochet Baby Blanket Pattern

This Harry Potter baby blanket is perfect for the budding witch or wizard in your life! Download the pattern chart below for free, and enjoy! If you have any questions about the pattern, please email me at waywardpineapplecreations@gmail.com and I’m happy to help.

All details below are based on US crochet terms. I made the blanket charts based on crochet, but it works well for knitting too.

Supplies

  • Red Heart Super Saver yarn (or something similar) in the following colours:
    • Black, gold (for crest), red, yellow, green, grey/silver, blue, bronze/brown (used for both  Ravenclaw and for the shaded part of the crest, or you can get a different brown for the crest if you prefer)
  • Size H / 5.00 crochet hook
  • Darning needle
  • Scissors
  • Quilt fabric for backing (black, or whatever you prefer)
  • Sewing machine to sew on the quilt fabric (or do it by hand if you don’t have a sewing machine)

Size/gauge

Finished blanket measures approx. 1 metre by 1 metre, and is slightly taller than it is wide. The gauge doesn’t matter other than the fact that a tighter gauge will make a slightly smaller blanket, and vice versa.

How to Assemble and Read the Chart

There are four separate chart files, which each needs to be printed and taped together to make one large chart. You will work from right to left and bottom to top, not counting the chain. Each chart is 65 stitches across and 70 rows tall, so when taped together the total chart is 130 stitches across and 140 rows tall.

Start by chaining 131 in black, then the first stitch of the first row is the first pixel in the bottom right corner of the chart. One pixel corresponds to one single crochet. For the odd rows you’ll be working from the front, and for the even rows you’ll flip it and be working from the back. Make sure the ends are always hanging to the back/wrong side of the blanket – so sometimes they will be facing you, and other times they will be on the other side from you.

I subdivided each chart into 5×5 boxes since it helps me count my stitches. I like to make a little mark beside each row so I know which direction I’m going, and I cross off/scribble out each row in sharpie as I finish them. Like this:

 
This is the Hawkeye panel of an Avengers blanket I was definitely not making at a certain point in time. I dug it up recently and may still (not) make it, but we’ll see!

Colour Changes

There are various techniques for changing colours, so it really just depends on your preference and whether or not you care about what the back looks like. I recommend lining the blanket so it won’t matter what the back looks like. I personally carry each colour behind as I work, so I end up with a ton of loops at the back of the blanket. Sometimes I will also cut a colour and pick it up later, depending on how far it will be until I need it again. I hate weaving in ends, though!

If you don’t want to line the blanket, you can either crochet over the colour you’re not using (though it tends to bleed through, I find) or cut the yarn each time you change colours and then weave in all the ends. There are a LOT of colour changes, though, so this may drive you insane! You could also do a combination of the two, crocheting over the unused colour when you have a lot of quick colour changes, and then cutting the yarn when you have larger gaps between colours.

Border (optional)

The blanket in the picture doesn’t have a border, but I recommend adding 1-2 rows of a black border just to make the sides look clean. You could also use the house colours or gold for the border, up to you!

Backing

I recommend backing the blanket in a quilting fabric, which will be soft and light for a baby (and at least one side of the blanket will be easy to clean!). You can hand sew the quilting on if you don’t have a sewing machine, but it will be a time consuming process. If you have a machine then it’s pretty quick and easy to just sew the quilting to the blanket all around the edges. Just fold the edges and pin all the way around, then feed it slowly and carefully through the machine. It’s a bit terrifying at first (when I did this with my Game of Thrones blanket, I was convinced that the crochet stitches would get caught in the machine and rip my beloved blanket to pieces), but just be careful and it will be fine. 🙂

And the charts!

Click on the picture or caption to download the charts. Print each one, trim the white off where needed, then tape carefully together so make one big chart. The background is in black, but I’ve left it white because there’s no sense in printing off that much black I figure.

Gryffindor

Slytherin

Hufflepuff

Ravenclaw

 

Etsy Store Announcement!

Exciting news everyone! I’ve just added a bunch of items to my Etsy store – namely, I’m going to start selling my custom-designed hand-made crochet dolls! For over a year the only thing I’ve had up there was my Baby Groot crochet pattern, but I had various leftover dolls sitting around from FanExpo and such, so I decided to take the plunge and just put them online. Some of the dolls on there are already made and ready to ship, but I also listed several that previously sold so they will have to be custom-made for anyone who orders. I have 14 dolls up so far, check them out over at https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/WaywardPineapple!

 

 

Plans for the future include more dolls, and definitely more patterns. I’m aiming to post a pattern every week or two – that’s my New Years Resolution! So stay tuned. 🙂

Star Wars Christmas Ornaments

Happy Star Wars weekend everyone! Are we all super excited for The Last Jedi?? I definitely was – saw it last night (no spoilers I promise!) and seeing it again tomorrow night. To commemorate the occasion, I’ve written up patterns for the three Star Wars Christmas ornaments that I’ve designed over the past couple of months, and am sharing them for free! Right in time for the holidays, so you too can have a tiny Rey, Leia, or Porg to hang on your tree. 🙂

Enjoy the patterns, and let me know if you have any questions!

Rey pattern cover image

 

Leia pattern cover image

Porg pattern cover image

A Conspiracy of Pineapples

Hi everyone! It’s been nearly a year since my last post, and and those who have been here before may notice that something has changed. Become more… tropical. And pineapple-y. What happened, you ask? Where did Vancouver Crafty Geeks and Erika go? I promise she hasn’t died in a mysterious pineapple-related incident! But after a year of neither of us posting, we decided that there wasn’t much point in continuing that blog. I’ve been wanting to start my own brand name and get more serious about blogging and pattern posting (we’ll see if that actually happens), and the majority of posts on the blog were mine anyway, so with Erika’s blessing I imported everything over to WordPress, bought a domain name, changed Erika’s posts to ‘guest posts’, did some other revisionist history to some old posts, and reopened as Wayward Pineapple Creations!

Why pineapples, you ask? And why is the pineapple wayward? How can a pineapple even be wayward, and what does any of this have to do with crochet? All very good questions, and I promise there are answers… I’m just not entirely sure what they are. Pineapples came about for a few reasons. First, they are yummy. Second, I had a minor obsession for awhile with pineapple-related imagery thanks to my fling with the Psych fandom. Third, and most importantly, I recently discovered the existence of a secret and dangerous organization… one that could probably get me killed for even mentioning it… a dark secret hiding behind the pineapple and flamingo imagery that permeates summer… the Tropical Illuminati.

*looks around furtively*

You’re probably wondering now, what the holy pineapple-y hell is the Tropical Illuminati and what does it have to do with any of this? Don’t ask questions! The first rule of the Tropical Illuminati is we do not talk about the Tropical Illuminati. But if you insist… the not-so-short version is, this past spring I embarked upon that most Canadian tradition of a day trip across the border to purchase goods at somewhat cheaper prices and at exciting stores we do not possess such as Joann’s and Dress Barn. As we entered store after store, a terrifying pattern began to emerge. Pineapples, flamingos, and palm trees. Everywhere. In every store. In every window display. They were following us, haunting our dreams. We returned to Canada, thinking we were safe up here in the frozen Arctic with our moose and beavers, but the pineapples and flamingos persisted! They could be found at every turn, in the most unexpected places. Just when we thought we were safe, another would emerge. Our friend dubbed this strange phenomenon the ‘Tropical Illuminati’, a grand worldwide conspiracy to lull us all into a sense of false complacency with cute tropical images before beginning the true invasion.

…or it was just the start of summer. Either seemed equally likely.

Anyway, the point is I spent a ridiculous summer making silly jokes about flamingos and pineapples, and buying merchandise in their images such as super tacky porch lights, so when the time can to name my blog, it was on my mind. I’ve been trying without luck to think of a name for YEARS. I went through a ton of generic boring crochet and geek related names. Anything fun or clever seemed to have been taken. I came up with ‘wayward’ because I wanted something to connote travel and wandering, to go with my Groot travel photos. It was very nearly Wayward Geek Creations. But it just lacked a certain… something. (something pineapple-y?) Eventually I decided to just embrace my own weirdness and name myself something fun and a bit kooky and inexplicable. Hence, the Wayward Pineapple was born. Now I just need to design a pineapple amigurumi!

In the meantime though, I designed my logo which I’m super happy with. I spent about an hour sketching random pineapple designs and then hit upon the idea of making the pineapple look like a ball of yarn – complete with crochet hook! And if you actually made it through reading the above drivel about the Tropical Illuminati, you may notice that the hook is pink… because the flamingos are in on this too, the feathery bastards.So what can you expect to find on Wayward Pineapple Creations? Much of the same as Vancouver Crafty Geeks, really. I have various new dolls since last year that I’ll post about, and gradually I swear to god I will actually write up and post some patterns. I also have a ton of traveling Groot (and other dolls!) photos to post from various trips over the past couple of years.  While I get my butt into gear to write up those actual travel posts, check out my Instagram @waywardpineapplecreations where I’m gradually posting pics from those trips as well as recent (and old) doll creations. I may also still do the occasional guest feature post, because I have some nerdy creative amazingly talented friends and they make cool stuff I want to show off. 🙂

Ok that’s it for now! I’ll be back soon, with actual crochet pictures I promise. In the meantime, stay safe and watch out for the Tropical Illuminati.

Also, if for some crazy reason you want to learn more about the Tropical Illuminati, head over to my good friend Sam’s blog The Artisan Penguin, where she’s written a whole blog post on the matter. So far she hasn’t died in an avalanche of pineapples while being pecked to death with flamingos so I think we’re safe. For now.

FanExpo Vancouver 2016

Thanks to everyone who came out to our booth at FanExpo Vancouver! It was a great and successful weekend, and we loved meeting fellow fans and artists. If you took one of our cards and are here checking us out for the first time, you can find Erika’s (cross-stitch) and Julia’s (crochet) contact information/Instagrams/etc on our About Us page – Instagram is probably the best place to follow us to see what we’re working on, but we’ll make an effort to keep this blog updated too. I have some patterns I want to type up now and post, and I definitely need to do some more traveling Groot posts (my New Zealand trip was back in March and I have a ton of pictures, but just haven’t gotten around to it). Stay tuned!

 

Pocket Dolls Part 4: Stranger Things – Eleven

I had intentions of making at least 1 blog post a week, and suddenly it’s been nearly 2 months… whoops? But we’re at the one month countdown to FanExpo Vancouver, so I’m going to get back to it and post more of the dolls that will be at our booth next month! First up – Eleven from Stranger Things.

Like pretty much everyone I know, I inhaled Stranger Things in less than a week while cowering on my couch under blankets. In retrospect, watching alone at 11pm might not have been the greatest idea. I loved it from start to finish, so of course I had to make a little Pocket!Eleven for FanExpo. 🙂 Check her out below. I have a design drawn up for a Pocket!Dustin as well, so we’ll see if that happens.

Pocket Dolls Part 3: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

This week I’m back to posting my Pocket Dolls that will be on sale at FanExpo Vancouver in November – next up, Star Wars: The Force Awakens! I’ve made tiny versions of Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren, check them out below the cut.

Rey

The biggest challenge for Rey was the hair, and I obsessed for awhile over how I wanted to do it. I thought about sewing individual strands to her head and then forming them into buns, which I did for a larger Rey I made (I’ll post pictures of her, too!), but that ended up being hell to work with and it just fell apart unless I sewed it all in place. I ended up crocheting a base of brown directly into her head (so her head is half flesh/half hair). Then I crocheted three flat pieces that are wider in the middle (started with single crochet then worked up from half double to double to triple crochet for the middle couple of stitches, then back towards single) and sewed them into loops that I then sewed on to her head. I think it worked ok. 🙂

The staff has a pipe cleaner down the middle to keep it from being too floppy, while avoiding using actual wire that could poke out (especially if a child buys it). I’m desperately hoping that a tiny Rey cosplayer will buy her so I can take a picture of Tiny Rey with Pocket Rey. There are lots of little girls dressing up as her at cons (which I love!), so fingers crossed.

Finn

Finn was actually the first of the SW Pocket Dolls I made. Don’t have much to say about him; I think he’s cute. 🙂

 

Poe

Poe came second (I was putting off making Rey because of her hair…), so Finn wouldn’t get lonely. I’ve added a couple of details to his flightsuit but I think I might add some more, still. It’s hard to get much detail when they’re small, though. Even so, he’s recognizable especially when paired with the others.
 

 

Stormpilot feels. <3 Cuddling up together.

but uh oh… someone’s coming to ruin it all…

Kylo Ren

On my concept sketch for Kylo Ren, I just wrote ‘MORE EMO’ and ‘bigger ears’ lol. He does in fact have slightly bigger ears than the others; I added one extra stitch. Could probably be more emo, though. He needs a Hot Topic tee shirt. 😉

 

 Fight, fight, fight! Go Rey!

 Our new Trio. 🙂

That’s it for now – more coming soon!

Free Pokeball Pattern & some exciting news

First up today, I have some exciting news! If you’re in the Vancouver area/Lower Mainland, come down to Geek Crossing in Maple Ridge and you’ll be able to see some of my crochet works on display and for sale! They just opened up as a craft studio and homemade shop, showcasing works by local geeky crafters and providing a space for crafting workshops. I have a few Pokeballs in there, and my Pocket!Captain America amigurumi that I posted about a couple of weeks ago. My next project is to get crochet kits put together to sell in the shop and at FanExpo. They’re aren’t quite done yet, but soon!

Speaking of Pokeballs, I’ve been making them like crazy the past couple of weeks. They’re quick and easy, and I figure they will be popular at FanExpo in November. Plus it’s fun flinging them at my friends as I finish each one and proclaiming that I’ve caught them. I know there are already lots of Pokeball patterns out there, but I figured I’d add mine to the pot. 🙂 Check it out for free below the cut!

I took a couple of tries at this to figure out the size I wanted. The first one was too big, the second too small… this one was just right. 🙂

Hook size – H / 5.00

Yarn – Red Heart Super Saver in red, white, and black

Main ball

With red:

Magic circle 6
Inc ev st = 12
Inc ev 2nd – 18
Inc ev 3rd = 24
Inc ev 4th = 30
Inc ev 10th = 33
SC around for 3 rows = 33

Change to black

SC around for 2 rows = 33

Change to white

SC around for 4 rows = 33
Dec ev 10th = 30
Dec ev 4th = 24
Dec ev 3rd = 18
Dec ev 2nd = 12

Stuff firmly. I found it takes a lot of stuffing, just keep going until it’s the right shape and is relatively firm.

Dec ev st = 6

Finish off and close hole. Hide the ends inside the Pokeball.

Front button

With white:

Magic circle 6
Inc ev st = 12

Switch to black
Crocheting in back loops only – Inc ev 2nd = 18

Finish off and cut, leaving a long tail. Sew onto the Pokeball, over the side with the colour changes to hide them.

And done! Now you too can throw Pokeballs at all your friends in an attempt to catch them (though this may also cause them to run away… if this happens, just throw harder.)