I made some holiday bows last week! And look at my normally-dead lawn! I was so excited that it's green right now, I had to run out and take pictures on it. Uh, if the picture above looks weird, I took it myself, of my feet, and then flipped it around so that it didn't look like that was what I did... Don't the bows look Photoshopped? I swear, the bows are really on my sneakers, I think it came out weird because I pumped up the color and fixed the exposure a little on PicMonkey...
So this all came about because my friend Teeni, over at the Mad Crochet Lab, hosted a holiday collaborative project this year called the Virtual Handmade Holiday Craft Collaboration, where she helped us all create an amazing Virtual Holiday Wreath! Awesomesauce! I loved that while it was a holiday project, she specifically mentioned that this was a non-denominational wreath, and not to create any religious holiday ornaments. Not that I would have chosen a particularly Jesus-y project anyway, but it was fun to stretch my imagination to create something new that said "Holiday Spirit" without screaming "Christmas"!!!
At first I considered 'winter-themed' projects, but crochet snowflakes boggle my brain. I put them in the doily category, beautiful thread, starchy and COMPLICATED. I wanted to make something easy and fun, and most of all, FAST! I just got my shipment of holiday wrapping paper from the fundraiser at Mimsey's school, so I've been thinking about getting started with the oodles of wrapping that I'm going to do over the next couple of weeks. That, of course, got me thinking about decorating the packages, and a really cute bow I saw on Pinterest that was made out of strips of paper cut from kid art.
I had to try it in crochet! Like, right that minute!! And it worked! Yippee, it was a holiday miracle! I shot some pictures and sent them off to the Mad Crochet Lab!
Then I started the process of fine-tuning the pattern to be able to write it out for you. I think I've make nearly a dozen, trying to figure out the best way to put them together. But I think I've finally got it, and I took a TON of pictures to help clarify the instructions. So, if you'd like to make a holiday bow (or ten!) read on!
The Holiday Bow
I used worsted weight yarn and an F hook for most of these bows, but it is completely adjustable to the size of whatever yarn you choose. For a sport weight yarn use a D hook. For a Bulky yarn, I would try an I hook to start. You pretty much can't screw this one up, but tighter stitches will look better than loose ones. The bow above was made with cotton yarn, but for the tutorial, I used Red Heart Shimmer in Red.
**A quick note about the pattern: The bow is made up of three long strips of 3-stitch-wide crochet and one short strip. I have chained between the strips to keep them all together in my project bag, and so that I remember that I've done all of the strips before I switch to another yarn. Do not let the chains confuse you, it's just so that the strips don't get lost, and it saves time from having to finish off and weave in ends between strips. Okay? Okay!***
R1: sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in each ch across (3 st)
R2-8: ch 1, sc in each st across (3 st)
R9: ch 10 (this will leave a gap between strips), sc in 2nd ch from hook, 2 sc (3 st)
R10-32: ch 1, 3 sc (3 st)
R33: ch 10, sc in 2nd ch from hook, 2 sc (3 st)
R34-56: ch 1, 3 sc (3 st)
R57: ch 10, sc in 2nd ch from hook, 2 sc (3 st)
R58-80: ch 1, 3 sc (3 st)
Fasten off. It should look like this:
The first time you make this, you should cut the strips apart, and weave in all the ends. Your strips should now look like this:
|Kinda looks like crinkly bacon, huh?|
Start with one end. Using the 'natural' twist of the strip, curl the top around and down onto the back of the piece. It will look like this:
|Ooh, did you notice my fancy nails? |
Mims got fantastic grades on her very first report card, so we had a special Mommy/Daughter manicure day!
I got the gel polish, so we'll see how long it lasts... It was AWESOME to leave with DRY nails, though!
Following the twist of the strip (which should twist the opposite direction this time!) twist the other end of the strip around and down onto the back of the strip. It won't quite meet in the center, there should be a little space between the ends. Stitch it down so the piece now looks like this:
Repeat with the other 2 long strips, so you've got three pieces that look like this:
Now you're ready to start putting your bow together! Stack the strips on top of each other, little pockets UP. You may have to do a little fiddling with this part to find the combination that looks best.
Once you've got them the way that you like, stitch them in place! When you're done, it should look like this:
Now grab your center piece!
Fold it around so that the two short ends meet, and it makes a little tube. Tuck it into the center of the bow so it looks like this:
Stitch it into place! Weave in any loose ends! Add a bobby pin on the back (or safety pin!) so that you can attach it to everything!!
**Okay, so now that you know the 'right' way to make the Holiday Bow, I'm going to tell you the cheater way. You don't actually have to stitch any of this if you use a hot glue gun. Just glue all the ends down, glue the long strips together, glue the little strip into the middle. You can crank them out in a couple of minutes!
And when you get REALLY good, you don't even have to cut the strips apart before you assemble the bow. The last 5 bows I made I just covered up the extra chains by hiding them between layers. I swear, they don't show at all! It will cut another 5 minutes off your production time if you don't have to cut all the pieces apart and weave in all those ends. Awesome, right? But so confusing for a first timer!! So make a couple the 'right' way, so that you get the hang of it, and then cheat, cheat, cheat away for the rest! I promise, I won't tell!**
Why would you need more than one bow? Because you can use them for everything!!!
-add a bow to a crochet hat (like my ebook exclusive, Prim's Hat)!
-wear a bow as a festive pin!
-attach a bow to a headband (looks cute on adults too!)
-attach a couple bows to the laces of your sneakers!
-put a bow on the front of a soap dispenser cover!
-sticky-tape a pair of bows onto your fake Costco Uggs!
-hang bows from your artificial Christmas tree that your husband bought you the first year you guys were married!
-use bows to top all of your gifts!
I hope you have a ton of fun with this one! I know that I have!!!
A special thanks goes out to all of the other Virtual Handmade Holiday Craft Collaborators:
-Teeni from Mad Crochet Lab
-Kim from Kim's Sticks and Strings
-Kim from Wolly Toons
-Liz from Crochet Creations by Liz
-Amanda from Itchy Crochet
-Kate from Crafted Whimzies
Update 12/10/12: Teeni, from Mad Crochet Lab, posted a video on how to make the bow loops. It's mind blowing! And she made a cute lariat using the bow as a focal point! I wrote about it HERE with all the links!