Advent 2019 – My wreath base cover thingy: or, Day 1!
I love the idea of making the wreath from the cardboard mailer! True upcycling in action!
In the book, Kate mentions sizes of wreath – 29cm for the outer ring and 19cm for the inner ring.
I rummage in the cupboard and find a couple of pan lids. Turns out I’m terrible at estimating and choose one which is way too big! I find one that’s about right and a plate that is also about right. I spend a lovely few minutes feeling like I’m back at school and make a plan to draw round more kitchen items at every opportunity.
I realise I am much worse at cutting out than I thought, and the cardboard circle is much bumpier than I had envisaged but no matter – it won’t be seen when all the bits and bobs are on it. Let me say that again because it’s REALLY important: YOU WON’T SEE THE WREATH BASE AT ALL!
I glue AND sellotape mine together because if I’m going to be cutting out, I want some sticking action too and there’s no way that sucker’s going to come apart on my watch. Finally, I’m ready to go.
I start the crocheting and notice early on that my piece is not curving prettily like Kate’s in the photo! It’s got – at best – a slight bend. I figure it’ll probably be alright and carry on.
By around Row 15, I realise that the piece is going to be too big at 19 rows and keep measuring it against the ring, I think I’ll probably stop around row 16. I I know that this is just a tension issue – mine is different to Kate’s – but I’m too lazy to frog and redo in a size 2mm hook and plough on.
I run out of yarn on the last row but take it back a anyway as they are not needed. It’s big enough to cover the ring. As suspected, the piece has not magically curled into the shape of the wreath. It’s still pretty much straight. Will it still work I wonder? Let’s see.
I start by sewing together the short ends.
I make a sort of circle and that makes it easier to fit over the cardboard circle.
It needed a little bit of stretching to make it the right shape and that made the edges go a bit wrinkly.
As I start sewing the edges together, those wrinkles are magically disappearing! It’s amazing!
I work all the way around and before I know it, I’ve got a perfectly respectable, if slightly lumpy wreath base! Woo hoo!
It’s good to go, and ready for all the beauty to come.
What I learned:
1. My tension is much looser than Kate’s – I might use a 2mm hook for the decorations but will see. (See tension notes in general information)
2. Even though my piece was straight, it still formed a perfectly reasonable circle!
3. You won’t see this base so I’m ok with it being a bit lumpy because of my cutting out!
I am very happy and proud of myself and feel that if I keep this up, it’s entirely possible I might get this done in time for Christmas. I plan to gift this so I better had!
Additional notes on tension, relating specifically to the wreath base:
If you run out of yarn and don’t want to make tension or hook changes, you can always use leftover yarn from later days – don’t forget you will not see this ring at all so using Ivy or Eucalyptus yarn won’t matter a jot. Make sure that you NEED to continue crocheting at that point – is the cover already big enough? UPDATE: Since writing, we’ve made the Ivy leaves from day 5 and there’s lots of yarn leftover there – that is a good match for the colour of the wreath so you could always top up with that if you needed to (make the ivy leaves first though!)
Conversely, what if your tension is too tight and the ring cover is too small – of course you can reverse matters and go up a hook size but consider this first:
Make sure your cardboard ring is not enormous. Measure it, don’t do what I did, I estimated mine and it was VASTLY too big!
The work will stretch and will be absolutely fine. It has to be taut, not baggy. Open out the piece so it’s flat (or as flat as can be!) join the shortest edge first. You can then stretch it to fit much more easily.