Monday, October 21, 2013

Crochet Christmas Bootie Candy Dish

Recently The Mom and I went to a huge community wide yard sale and wound up at my uncles house where he and his new wife were having a sale. Both lost their spouses a few years ago and are trying to pare down their belongings from two households. The Mom came across a huge tote full of Christmas decorations that belonged to my aunt so of course she bought it. We waited a while to go through it but when we did I found a little piece of nostalgia. It's a little crocheted boot that I remembered all of my aunts and my mother having when I was a kid, that I'm pretty sure my Aunt Sharon made.

It's meant to hold a small coffee can and be filled with Christmas treats but this one is good and old, and has seen better days, so I was afraid to wash it. I'm also more of a fan of a darker red and brighter green for Christmas colors so I decided I would make a new one for myself with some scrap yarn that I had on hand. The one my mother had was lost in a fire but I remember that she put in shell mixed nuts in hers. My aunts all used theirs for something different but I remember there being ribbon candy, peppermints, candy canes, and Christmas themed Kisses in these little booties. I think I'll use mine for fancy mix candy this year.         

I did wonder if I could make one in a smaller size as not everyone is going to want something that will hold a twelve ounce coffee can so I went about making one that would hold a cream of mushroom can instead. Oddly enough both cans were about twelve ounces by weight but the coffee can is two or three times bigger. I dug through my scrap yarn and found some DK yarn that I had used in a baby blanket a while back and it dawned on me that in these colors it looks like a baby bootie. These suckers work up pretty quickly so it might make a cute center piece at a baby shower that the mom can take home with her afterwards. It looks good with butter mints in it as well which is a bonus because I never fail to find butter mints at baby showers.

You could also gauge this up with thicker yarn and a bigger hook to use a larger vessel in the middle. For my large one I used Red Heart Super Saver in Cherry Red, Spring Green and White and a size I/9- 5.50 MM Boye hook. I don't remember the brand of yarn I used for the smaller one but it's acrylic DK yarn with a D sized hook. My large grannies measure 3.5 inches squared and the smaller ones measure 2.75 inches squared. If you know how to make a simple granny square use whatever method you favor to make thirteen squares. Sew them together to make the two configurations in the picture below and then follow the instructions to make the boot. 

If you don’t know how to make a granny square I’ll add a quick pattern for one near the end of this post. Once you have the boot made turn it right side out and attach your main color yarn to the top of the cuff with a slip stitch in the middle of any chain space. *DC six times in the middle DC of the next three DC on  the cuff. Slip stitch in the next chain space.* Repeat from * to * until you come back around to the original slip and slip in that stitch. 

Here is the method I use to make a granny square. With color A ch 4 and then 2 DC in the 4th chain from the hook. 

Rnd 1 Ch 1 *three DC in the same Ch then Ch1* Repeat *to* twice then slip stitch into the top of the ch3 and tie off. 

Rnd 2 Attach color B into any corner of the center square with a slip stitch and DC twice then ch1. *In the next corner 3 DC, ch 1, 3 DC all in the same ch space of the corner. Ch 1.* Repeat from * to * twice. In the corner that you started DC 3, ch 1 and connect to the top of the ch with a slip stitch. Tie off.

Rnd 3Attach color C to any corner with a slip stitch ch 3, DC 2 ch 1. *3 DC in the next ch space ch 1. 3 DC ch 1, 3 DC in the corner, ch. 1* Repeat from * to * twice. In the last corner 3 DC ch1 attach to the top of the chain with a slip stitch. Tie off sew in your ends.

I also have a few quick tips for working with grannies. Sew in the ends very well, they tend to want to come loose in grannies so you have to pay close attention to getting them good and sewn in. When I have a lot of grannies to make I tend to make them in an assembly line fashion. First I make all of the centers, then I do the second round on all of the squares, then the third round and then I sew in all of the ends. I usually start each round in the same corner so that all of my ends are in the same area when I’m finished. I almost always use a mattress stitch to sew grannies together no matter what I’m making.

Ok to put the structure of the boot together fold square 1 up toward the center and sew it to square 2 then square 3 on the other side. Next fold square 6 up to the center and sew it to 4 then 5. Now fold 7 over and sew it to 4 then 5. Next fold 9 toward 8 and sew those together to form the cuff and then place them over the hole on the lower part of the boot and sew it on taking care to line the squares up.