Need ideas for crochet projects
October 6, 2011 10:20 AM   Subscribe

CrochetFilter: Please help me think of a few crochet projects I can give as Christmas gifts.

It's chilly outside and pumpkins are everywhere...crochet season is here! If I want to finish my Christmas presents, in addition to quilling many Christmas cards, I need to start now.

For the past couple of years I have gone to my now husband's family's house for Christmas and given each of them a crochet piece. I'm running low on creative ideas and would really love some help. I'm kind of sick of making scarves and hats. I am an intermediate crocheter, so I can probably make most things except a full coat or something equally complex. Also, keep in mind I will need to complete 5 total projects. Here is a list of the things I have already made for them:

Two cats: a cat mat for the arm of the couch
Mother in law: scarf, small bag
Father in law: scarf, hat
Brother in law (age 17): scarf, hat
Husband: scarf, (the two of us didn't exchange gifts last year and went to Disneyland)

Any ideas would be great with or without a link to a pattern. I especially need fun ideas for the guys! Thanks in advance.
posted by delicate_dahlias to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (23 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
These little critters are fun and quick to make, and can be jokey for the guys too.
posted by Melismata at 10:25 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Getting the "have you checked on" question out of the way in advance.

Off the top of my head:

* For the cats: toys of some ilk. Depending on your skill set (and your perception thereof) you could do anything from a simple ball to animals, people, cartoon characters, TVs or even a Dalek.

* For MIL - some kind of crochet'ed table runner, made up of a bunch of granny squares maybe.

* for the guys: messenger bag, slippers.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:26 AM on October 6, 2011

*yoga bag (to hold a mat)
*scrubby washcloths or a long back-scrubber washcloth

The most "fun" thing I've made for a guy so far is a skull-patterned black-and-white blanket for my brother. I adapted this pattern.
posted by flex at 10:28 AM on October 6, 2011

There are some extremely cute crocheted ladies' slippers out there. I've always been stymied by crocheting for men; there are a zillion manly knittables, but crochet not so much!
posted by apparently at 10:29 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

Oh, and another "fun" crochet blanket idea (that guys would like) is making a Tetris afghan. I've seen it done in squares and I've seen it done as one big, color-switching grid like the skull pattern I linked.
posted by flex at 10:30 AM on October 6, 2011

What about a pixel pillow or afghan? This one of Link is fab. You could do a sports team or a video game character pretty easily, I would think.

Crocheted cozies for things like ipads and phones are good too.

Anything with catnip inside is a cat toy, no? Some cute little amigurumi shapes.
posted by iconomy at 10:32 AM on October 6, 2011

This site always has such pretty projects--the Purl Bee
posted by biscuits at 10:36 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Coffee cup cozies (Rav link) are surprisingly practical, I think, for the person who carries around a cup of takeout coffee or tea, and coffee pot/tea pot cozies are fun too.
posted by Marionnette chaussette at 10:37 AM on October 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Here's another option for a mug cozy pattern. sample pic of one i made a while back.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:42 AM on October 6, 2011

My aunt has crocheted us all sorts of Christmas tree ornaments.

My favorites are these stars and delicate lacy balls that she crocheted out of fine thread, which were then starched with sugar and water. Very classic looking - like this one but lighter and more delicate. They don't look woolen at all.

oh - like these ones.
posted by jb at 10:43 AM on October 6, 2011

I kind of dig crocheted bowls and boxes. There are a lot to look at on Etsy. Anyone could use a few of those on their dresser or in the kitchen, I would think. I never have enough places to toss things. You could make them in box shapes as well. And they stack when empty, which is nice.
posted by iconomy at 10:45 AM on October 6, 2011

Hot water bottles, and the cozies for them, are quite popular amongst the Ravelry set.
posted by cabingirl at 11:14 AM on October 6, 2011

There are hundreds of crochet patterns here. You can introduce your search terms, then narrow searches according to hook size, yarn quality etc.

Here are some of my favourites:

Lots of slippers

Lady's jacket


This is a link to a laptop bag, instructions are for knitting and felting, but you can adapt it to crochet. I don't know if you can felt crochet as well, though.

Different pattern source:

Nice and easy lady's cardigan
posted by miorita at 11:15 AM on October 6, 2011

If you're interested in making wrist warmers to coordinate with the previous scarves and hats, check out this list of free patterns on Ravelry. As others have mentioned above, ravelry is the place to be for knit and crochet projects.

Leisure Arts has a great book of 99 crocheted star/snowflake ornaments They're done with crochet cotton and a teeny hook, but they are very impressive. Just starch them (my grandmother uses watered down elmer's glue instead of starch) and pin the corners out real tight while they dry. If you use a thicker cotton (I'm thinking peaches 'n creme), don't starch it and you'll have coasters.

Or you can follow a pattern specifically for Coasters or doilies. (those links both go to a list free patterns on ravelry.)

Here's a tutorial for how to crochet an edging onto almost anything. Pillowcases are super popular in my family (for those of us who can't embroider on a pillowcase), but so are hand towels and the collars of shirts, also baby clothes.

If anyone in the family needs/deserves/would love a lap blanket, I suggest a variation of granny ripple, unless you're dying to sew together some granny squares. You could also just do granny stripes, if keeping track of a ripple isn't fun for you.

Hemp twine is tough on the hands, but it makes great, sturdy bags and/or bowls.

Slippers are great for around chilly houses, as are hot water bottle cozies. Pillow covers are super, I make one that's a free ruffled pattern from Red Heart, it's round.

I know you said you're tired of scarves, but have you made a Queen Anne's Lace? My friends who have swear they're addictive. If you have and you want to get crazy, try your hand at designing something, for instance this always reminds me of Queen Anne's, but it's very different.
posted by bilabial at 11:20 AM on October 6, 2011

If any of your family are fans of specific shows or movies or video games like Dr. Who or Futurama or Firefly, I've seen little stuffed projects like a Tardis or Zoidberg done in crochet.
posted by CathyG at 11:26 AM on October 6, 2011

I came in to recommend the weird amigurumi Melismata linked to. They are fairly easy and quick to make (and would also work as cat toys).

Also, socks, though these are harder. I find toe-up ones are easier. Here's the link to Ravelry crochet sock patterns (and you could ask this question there too).

Also (flicking through books and magazines here - let me know if you want sources) table mats, coasters, oven gloves, bookmarks, storage boxes, frames (eg), jewellery (eg), jug covers, coffee pot cosies, tea cosies, giant letters (eg), hair clips, cowls (here), hair bands, cushion covers ...
posted by paduasoy at 12:41 PM on October 6, 2011

How about a table runner (or a shorter one for the top of a dresser).

Linen plus crochet? I still use the linen table cloths and tray cloths my grandmother embroidered and crocheted in the 1920s.

Or a suncatcher?
posted by humph at 12:47 PM on October 6, 2011

Nthing the arm warmers. Especially for your 17 year old BIL! I recommend doing his in black. Arm warmers work up fast and if you do them in soft yarn they are amazingly versatile and comfy!
posted by TooFewShoes at 12:56 PM on October 6, 2011

Some other ideas, with links to Ravelry patterns I've favorited:

-Kindle/e-reader/iPad or whatever cozy
-Moccasin slippers
-Bookmarks, particularly one suited to recipient's personality. There are tons of patterns for different types, I'm quite fond of these nesting doll ones.
posted by lrrosa at 5:00 PM on October 6, 2011

I'm feeling thready this year, so I'm planning on a bunch of filet or lace bookmarks and such. I haven't got patterns for them yet, as I'm currently committing doily to warm up for the thread work. Might throw in some slippers or something, not really sure. Trying to plan small so as to actually succeed this time around.
posted by asperity at 9:01 PM on October 6, 2011

Star Wars amigurumi. Every guy (and some girls!) that I've shown this to has been amazed. Be warned: if you've never made amigurumi, you need to crochet with a lot of tension, and it can get a bit wonky on your hands and wrists. It's no problem if you don't overdo it, but yeah, I wouldn't recommend a 4 hour long session.
posted by corn_bread at 6:58 AM on October 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

How about a set of felted bowls?
posted by fancyoats at 12:06 PM on October 11, 2011

There are all sorts of amigurumi that are cute. Last year I did a set of amigurumi angels, santas, reindeer and snowmen. Add a little cord to the top and they become ornaments. Don't feel like doing traditional christmas things and there are tons of geeky toys.
posted by kanata at 7:34 PM on October 14, 2011

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