A Scary Old Elf Was He . . .

I love making sentimental, old-fashioned Christmas ornaments, and every year try something new–sometimes crocheted golden bells, other times painted stars. This year I came across instructions for these ornaments made with recycled Christmas cards. A circle is cut from the card, holes are punched on the periphery, and a lacy border is crocheted. I downsized the pattern for the small tree we usually have, and tried different iterations with red wool, cream crochet thread, and metallic thread.

This is made with Aunt Lydia's Crochet Thread, Metallic Gold, Size 10

Looking at these photos reminds me that I have always been scared of Santa Claus. One of my earliest memories is stepping off the elevator with my mom at Carson’s in downtown Chicago. There was Santa–huge, loud, and utterly frightening. I tried to make a run for the elevator, and ended up tussling with my mom and crying. Perhaps even then, I recognized that the merry old elf has a dark side, just like the Christmas season itself. How beautiful are the candles and the carols, but beyond the candlelight is the darkness of these short days. So if Santa scares you, too, consider the bird or angel version of these ornaments.

This ruffly edge is made by chaining 5, instead of 3, between the holes.

Crocheted Santa Ornaments

Materials: Old Christmas cards or Christmas ephemera, 2-inch bottle cap, size 10 crochet thread, number 8 metal crochet hook, 1/16″ hole punch, scissors, cellophane tape

Note: A picot stitch is made by making making three chains stitches, and then making a slip stitch in the first chain–a little bump is made.

If your punch is larger, say 1/4", punch the holes farther apart, and crochet with wool.

How to: Trace around the bottle cap on your chosen motif, whether Santa, bird, or angel. Cut out the circle. Punch around the edge of the circle with the hole punch, making the holes about 1/4″ apart. Attach thread to one hole with slip stitch. Tape the loose end to the back of the circle, to stabilize. (If your motif has an up and down, attach at the top, because this is where the hanging loop will go.) Chain three, slip stitch in next punched hole, and repeat around the circle. For the second row, three single crochet, picot, three single crochet in the first loop made by the three chains in row 1. Repeat this around. Slip stitch in the first single crochet of row 2, make a three-inch chain, and slip stitch in the first single crochet again, to form a loop.

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