TENSION
Please make sure you’ve worked a tension square before you start:

Using a 3mm hook, chain 24 and starting in the second chain from the hook, work 1dc in each chain to the end (23 sts), ch 1 and turn. Work 30 rows in total. Your finished swatch should measure 10x10cm. if It comes out larger than 10×10, your tension is too loose for this project so try again with a hook a half size smaller.

I started a tension square using a 3mm hook but it became clear before I even finished it, it was going to be bigger than the recommended 10x10cm. I made another using a 2.5mm hookand it came out just right.

I’ll now use a 2.5mm hook throughout the pattern for this yarn.

I’d suggest using the AVOCADO or SCARLET yarn for the square and not the BARN RED we’re using for the coat: the Felted Tweed yarn isn’t the easiest to frog but you’ll have loads more than you’ll need of those colours to complete the project if you choose not to reuse your tension square yarn.

If you do frog this yarn, instead of the instinctive pulling up and away from yourself (which will create friction and make the fuzzy fibres even more likely to catch on themselves and knot), try pulling the yarn straight down from the base of the stitch, thereby reducing the friction. Work slowly – taking your time is better than creating an angry knotted mess! If the fibres of the yarn do become tangled, don’t just pull harder – stop pulling and gently massage the tangled spot to loosen those fibres. As you’re frogging, loosely ball up the free yarn so that it doesn’t end up as a big old heap of tangled yarn vomit.

The coat is a nice easy piece of crochet but it’s a LOT of crochet. We’ve set aside 3 days for you to work this part of the project but as I said in the INTRO blog, this project isn’t a race. You’re creating a special forever keepsake that you’ll have for many Christmases to come so don’t put any pressure on yourself. If you start to go a bit doollaly with all the coat crochet, you might like to move to another section of the project and come back to the coat? Or, do as I did, find a trashy boxset on the telly and beaver away. I can recommend Married at First Sight Australia if you like trash telly but I wouldn’t recognise a single contestant in real life because I only listened not watched!:

KEEPING TRACK

When you have a large piece of crochet like this, it can be easy to lose track of what row you’re on. You can use a row counter (there are counting apps, or ones you can wear around your neck or on your finger) but I’m old school and a pencil suits me just fine. I tick off the rows on my pattern as I complete them and write out the numbers of all the repeating rows (such as with rows 5 to 92):

Your yarn tail will tell you if you’re on an odd or even row. If you’re unsure if you’re on row 12 or 13, for example, look at your yarn tail.  If the tail is on the left, you’re working on an odd row. If the tail is on the right, you’re working on an even row.

RIGHT SIDE OR WRONG SIDE/ INCREASE ROW OR DC ROW

You can see in this photo the section of yarn I attached to the right-side of my work (we know it’s the right-side if the yarn tail is to the left) so that I can easily spot the rows that are increases:

For rows 5 to 92, we simply repeat the pattern of an increase row (this will always be your odd row number) where 2 double crochets are worked into the first and last stitches of that row, followed by a row of one dc into each stitch along (this will always be your even numbered row). This pattern will create the gentle slope of Santa’s coat.

I put stitch markers in the first and last stitches of each row to make it easier to see where to work.

From row 93, decreases will create an inwards slope. To dc3tog:

  1. 1. Insert the hook into the stitch, wrap the yarn round the hook, and draw a loop through

2. Repeat this step into the next stitch, (3 loops on hook)

3. Insert hook into a third stitch, wrap the yarn and draw through a loop, (4 loops on the hook)

  1. 4. Wrap the yarn and draw through all 4 loops on hook

You’ll work the dc2tog in the same way but only working over two stitches and not three (so omit step 3, yarn over pull through the THREE loops on your hook)

Pop a stitch marker into the top of these decrease stitches so that you can spot them easily when you work back along the row.

Hold your coat up to the cone as you progress:

I was able stop early as my coat was long enough. Julie found her coat was a bit too long for her Santa cone and she had to add a cardboard extension to it to stop the coat from pooling.

FUR TRIM

For this part, you’ll be working with TWO strands of yarn – the CAMEL Felted Tweed and the Kidsilk Haze in PARSONAGE and working a few rounds to three sides of the coat. Kidsilk Haze is just dreamy: 30% silk with 70% mohair which creates a soft floofy effect to your crochet.

FINDING THE YARN TAIL

Finding the yarn tail in this ball of floof can be a challenge! I gave it a good old shake and eventually the tail worked its way free.

Join yarns where indicated by hook

Be careful when working the two strands. As they are different weights, you may need to keep checking that you haven’t accidentally dropped a strand (especially of the lighter Kidsilk Haze). I kept smoothing together a length of the two strands as I worked.

Using a tooth brush to rough up the yarn fibres of the trim will further floofify the floofiness.