Saturday, September 20, 2014

Cozy Cottage Christmas Tissue Cover

As Fall approaches, I know all of us needleworkers really have only one thing on our minds: Christmas! If anyone else is like me, this is about the time, where if you don't know what to make someone, you start frantically searching for some ideas; perhaps that's where you may have come across this one! Either way, I hope that you find my pattern a nice fit for a present for someone special!

First, I must forewarn you that I made this cover at least 2 years ago, and have been awfully lazy in not writing up the pattern. So what I have written here is based on my old notes while I was creating the pattern (which were done excessively through trial and error). Therefore, I apologize for my disjointed instructions, and I sincerely hope that you will be able to use them to some extent.

I honestly have no idea what type of yarn I used, as the cover comprises of mostly scraps and free yarn I have bummed off of some of my peers' grandmothers. I can tell you, however, that I only used one skein of some kind of self-striping brown yarn, as well as various types of "I Love This Yarn" by hobby lobby (for the door and snowy roof). I'm not sure how well you can discern from the image, but I prompted to use some sparkly white yarn for the snowy roof, to give it some glisten. I also believe I used size 6 needles and an I Crochet hook, but if you feel you need to switch to a larger or smaller size because of your yarn, who am I to stop you? I must also mention that the cover is not supported by the tissue box, and that you will need to attach something to the inside to support it (I just hot-glued some cardboard in, because that's what I had) so be prepared to cut up something to the size of the piece, both for the square figure and to support the roof, which will collapse in on itself otherwise.

Before I start (I know, you just want me to get on with it already, but this part is actually important), I'll tell you that this piece is composed using the brick stitch, of which directions are here (because I'm too lazy to write them):


Alright....Here we go!

The piece is composed in six different parts (2 squares, 2 pentagons, the roof, and the chimney), so there will be some sewing in the end.

 The Squares (make 2)

Cast on 33 stitches. 
You then work the brick stitch until you have 12 rows of bricks (that is, you will repeat the stitch 12 times) and bind off.

The Pentagons (make 2)
Start these the same way you would the squares.
Once you have reached 12 rows of bricks, you will begin to decrease 4 (by knitting 2 together) for every row (that is, you should have 4 less stitches after each repeat- I did these at the ends, to create the steep incline: decrease 2 on one end, then 2 on the other) however you will only be working ROWS 5-8 of the brick stitch.
Keep doing this until you only have 2 stitches left. Knit these together and bind off.
If you would like a door, simply cast on 11 stitches of the self-striping yarn, 11 stitches of solid, and 11 stitches of the self striping again. (basically you will be working 3 separate pieces at once, then sewing them together.) Work the door in stockinette stitch until it reaches about halfway or so, then attach the three pieces by stitching all the way across in the self-stitching yarn, and continue as normal.

At this point, I recommend sewing the pieces together to form a box, with the pentagons being opposite one another as well as the squares.

The Roof
This is done in crochet to allow for the hole for the chimney.
I don't have a specific amount of chains to make, so just make as many to where it's about as long as the distance from pentagon to pentagon (or basically the width of your square, or perhaps a little longer, if you would like more snow to fall over the roof). I believe I worked in double crochets (because I wanted to get it done sooner), but I really think it would look nice in a single crochet as well (much lumpier and more tightly packed). 

Work until the piece reaches about an inch or two longer than the length of the top (pointy) edge of the pentagon. You will now make a hole for the chimney, which honestly, can be as large or as small as you wish (however, mine was probably about five stitches by five rows  or something like that.) To work it in one piece, you have to attach and reattach the yarn. I'll do my best to explain, and hopefully it will make sense...

Keep working as normal, but stop when you come about to where you want the edge of the chimney to be (if you wanted it closer to the middle or to the edge). For example, if I wanted to have a chimney about the size of 5 stitches by 5 rows, and two stitches from the edge, I would leave 7 stitches. Turn the work, and work as normal for 5 rows (or however long you want it to be). Bind off. Reattach the yarn on the other edge of the work, and continue working normally until you reach where you wish the other edge to be (in my example, I would only be working 2 stitches before turning my work.) Continue until this side reaches the length of the other. You will now work all the way across the entire piece, making chains across the hole, matching the amount of stitches that were there before (in my example, five). continue working normally until you reach the length that will cover the area the roof needs to cover and bind off)

(Don't forget to be weaving in your ends)

Sew the roof onto the the walls.

Now would probably be a good time to support the walls and roof, in whichever way you choose (if you're using my cardboard/hot glue method, however, if you plan on using fabric stiffener or something of that nature, it would probably be best to wait). Remember to cut a hole (if you're using cardboard or something of that nature) where the chimney will be.

The Chimney
To be honest, by this time in my creation process, I was tired of knitting, so I prompted to crochet the chimney, however, if you would like to make up a pattern for a chimney which uses the brick stitch, feel free. You could do it in the round, or in pieces, and I assume about 2 bricks for each side of it would be a good size (please do not put ANY faith in this whatsoever).

So, for the chimney, I basically just made a chain as long as the circumference of the hole I made in the roof, joined it in the round and worked it in single crochet until it was about an inch and a half/2 inches. Then I changed colors for a row (to the glittery white) to add a little snow. 

You've probably noticed that you'll have to support the chimney with some cardboard as well, otherwise it will be a bit of a barrier to the tissue you are trying to retrieve. I believe I glued in the cardboard before sewing it onto the roof, but I imagine it would work either way.

That's basically it! Woohoo!

I will tell you about the little embellishments I added, however.

The Christmas lights are small beads (that I had lying around) which I put on some thread and hot glued in intervals to the roof.

The wreath is just an I cord I knitted up really quickly out of some old rug yarn, however,  here are some suggestions on some patterns that you may want to use instead!

Once you've put it all together, and everything's dry, just put it over your tissue box, stick your hand through the chimney, and pull the tissue up!

I really hope that this pattern makes sense, and that it works out for your holidays!
Send me pictures of your pieces, if you want!
Feel free to comment with any mistakes I've made, any questions you have, or any variations you've made!

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