How do you feel about Valentine's Day? Do you like it or does it make you painfully aware of your singleness? Do you regard it as just another day or do you go all out celebrating it?
I realize that I have a rather unique view of Valentine's, one that not many share. For me, Valentine's is a lovely holiday in the middle of three birthdays, resulting in a holiday week. Because my birthday is a few days after Valentine's, and my sister's is the day before, (and my cousins is the day of), to me it is one long week of celebration.
It's not like we go all out and plan parties or go places. I suppose I've always been a person who looks for excuses to decorate, celebrate, or plan a new crafting project. I've never put much stock in dating so therefore I have never been bothered by being "single" on Valentine's. In my family we always give each other little chocolates or stuffed animals, and have a special, candlelit meal. My mother decorates a tablecloth to adorn the table with and we all have a good time doing something different and being together.
Frankly, I find it a shame that people should regard Valentine's as a time to feel sorry for themselves or scorn it all together. A day is what you make it, right?
I've actually been preparing for Valentine's since Christmas. For many years I have been designing crochet patterns, and naturally, when a holiday approaches I want to design something festive. But I have a confession to make: I'm nearly always too late. It has taken me years to teach myself to think ahead enough so that I am truly prepared for a holiday. This year I am taking the bit in my teeth and calling, "Full steam ahead!"
Just to show you what I mean, I already have a few ideas for St. Patrick's Day, and am mulling over some Carnival of Venice themes. But lets not rush things.
To start off Valentine's here at Ginger Peachy, I am going to share with you my first Valentine's garland!
I really intended to have this pattern available last week and be prepared to share my second Valentine's project this week, but with the movie review, and the pattern for Crochet Spot, I knew I couldn't pull it off.
So enough about that, are you ready to crochet?!
String of Hearts Garland and Ornaments
Skill Level Easy
Garland measures 62” (157cm) long
Light Weight yarn (approximately 56 yards for garland, 4 yards per heart)
(I used Anne Geddes in Taffy, Ladybug, Jam, and Lily)
Crochet hook E/3.50mm and 7/4.50mm
The gauge is not important for this project but if you prefer to be spot on, one heart measures 1.50” (4cm) wide.
Hearts (make 9)
Round 1: with E hook, make an adjustable ring, ch 1, 10 sc in ring, sl st in first sc: 10 sc
Round 2: ch 1, skip next sc, (dc, tr) in next sc, (dtr, tr) in next sc, 2 dc in next 2 sc, tr in enxt sc, 2 dc in next 2 sc, (tr, dtr) in next sc, (tr, dc) in next sc, sl st in base of first sl st: 17 sts
I don't know which I thought to make first, the garland or the ornaments. I knew that my small Christmas tree (this one has been dubbed Alberta, while last years was Spruce Wayne) was looking in need of some handmade decorations, so I asked my sisters which they preferred, ornaments or garland. They said both. So it was obvious then that I would be making both. I really love being able to get dual projects out of one design, don't you?
I grabbed the four Valentine's colors I had of Anne Geddes baby yarn from past hot air balloon appliques, and began making hearts. I eventually made 21 hearts in all, not counting the one's I ripped in the design stage. I made 12 hearts for my tree and yet I still think it could use more.
How to Make an Ornament
Making ornaments out of the hearts is simple. All you have to do is make the heart pattern but do not finish off. Instead, ch 10, and sl st in the base of the ch for a small loop to use for hanging. Simple, huh?
For the garland I made 9 hearts -- 3 hearts in 3 colors -- and crocheted with two strands together. I have done this with the last three garlands I have made since it seems to give it better drape. My greatest fear with my garland is seeing it drag and droop like a glass ornament on a thread line.
Making the Garland Strand
Holding two strands together, with size 7 hook, ch 5, join in 5th ch from hook, ch 1, 10 sc in ring, sl st in first sc, ch 195, join in 5th ch from hook, ch 1, 10 sc in ring, sl st in first sc.
Finishing the Garland
I think this is the funnest part, really, seeing it all come together and look so beautiful. This time called for some changes though. So far my garland has all been in the same color. But this time I was using two extra colors so that when I slip stitched the hearts to the strand it would be obvious. Maybe it isn't so important when you think about it but to me, it just felt tacky.
So I finished off the hearts and brought out the red yarn again to attach them with.
Attaching the Hearts
Find the center of the strand and attach one heart with a slip stitch. Take another heart and attach it on the other side of the heart about 5 inches away. Continue attaching along that side and then attach them in the same manner on the other side.
And there you have it, a strand of festive garland and a handful of heart ornaments you made yourself! It's a great feeling, isn't it?
I've hung mine in my room behind my little spruce all decorated in my heart ornaments. I must say though, that little spruce can really poke some holes in your fingers. But at least it's not a cactus! Yipes! (Some painful memories there).
What will you do with yours?
If you have any questions or would just like to leave a comment, please do! I would love to hear about your experiences.
You can buy an ad-free, inexpensive PDF version of this pattern at both Ravelry and Etsy!
Come back soon because next week I hope to share with you my latest Valentine's mini pillow!
[This is an original pattern created and designed by Amy Yarbrough of Ginger Peachy. You are welcome to copy the pattern for personal use but do not sell the pattern, distribute, or reprint it. Feel free to share a link to the pattern. You can sell products made from this pattern but please credit me, Amy Yarbrough of Ginger Peachy. Do not mass produce or factory manufacture using my pattern. Thanks for respecting the wishes of the designer, and be sure to ask me if you have any questions regarding this copyright.]