Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How to Crochet an Advent Christmas Caravan!

 Welcome to the caravan park where things aren't quite as they seem......
Thank you so much to Black Sheep Wools for sponsoring this project with yarn and offering a discount on the yarns used to all Greedy for Colour readers (the code will be at the end). I've loved developing this pattern but it has involved a lot of work and time so I thank you for your patience! Still, there's plenty of weeks until Christmas so get your hooks out.
Who needs a new advent calendar when these Airstream caravans can hang from your Christmas tree? This is such an appropriate Christmas decoration in the southern hemisphere as our summer break happens during the festive season. The roads are choked with people tootling off to their holiday destinations towing campers, camper vans and caravans.
These caravans can also be filled to the brim with goodies. Up for it? Let's go.
Materials
1 x DMC Natura Just Cotton Bleu Layette 05
1 x DMC Natura Just Cotton Noir 11
1 x Twilley's Goldfingering Silver 5
2.5mm hook
1 small back bead
stuffing
1 button
1 x ice-cream container lid or similar flat plastic
Abbreviations
For this tutorial, all terms are U.K.
ch = chain
ss = slip stitch
dc = double crochet (single crochet in U.S. terms)
st/sts = stitch/stitches
yarn a = Bleu Layette
yarn b = Silver
yarn c = Noir
For the body
Make 2. 
Refer to the photos above.
This section is worked from side to side.
Row 1. Using yarn a, ch 2 then work 3dc into the 2nd ch from the hook (top left photo). Ch1, turn. (3)
Row 2. 2dc into each of the next 3sts. Ch1, turn. (6)
Row 3. *1dc into the first st then 2dc into the next st*. Repeat ** twice. Ch1, turn. (9)
Row 4. *1dc into each of the next 2sts then 2dc into the following st*. Repeat** twice. Ch1, turn. (12)
Row 5. *1dc into each of the next 3sts then 2dc into the following st*. Repeat** twice. Ch1, turn. (15)
Row 6. *1dc into each of the next 4sts then 2dc into the following st*. Repeat** twice. Ch1 but don’t turn. (18)
Row 7. Work 12dc across the semi-circle’s flat base. Ch1, turn (right photo). (12)
Rows 8-9. 1dc into every st until the end of the row. Ch1, turn. (12)
Row 10. 1dc into the first st, skip the next stitch. 1dc into each of the following 8sts then skip the next st. 1dc into the last st. Ch1, turn. (10)
Rows 11-12. 1dc into every st until the end of the row. Ch1, turn. (10)
Row 13. 1dc into the first st, skip the next stitch. 1dc into each of the following 6sts then skip the next st. 1dc into the last st. Ch1, but do not turn. (8)
Row 14. Work 30dc around the sides and arch (top photo). Do not include the flat base. Ch1, turn (middle left photo).
Rows 15-30 (16 rows). 1dc into every st until the end of the row. Ch1, turn.
Cut off yarn. 
Row 31. Count 7sts along the previous row worked. Reattach yarn and pull through the 7th st. Ch1, 1dc back into the same st (middle right photo). Work 1dc into each of the next 4sts then skip the following st. 1dc into each of the next 5 sts, then skip the 6th st. 1dc into each of the next 4sts then skip the following st. 1dc into the next st. Ch1, turn. (15)
Row 32. *1dc into each of the next 4sts then skip the following st*. Repeat** once more then 1dc into each of the following 3 sts. Skip the next st then 1dc into the following st. Ch1, turn. (12)
Row 33. *1dc into each of the next 3sts then skip the following st*. Repeat** once more then 1dc into each of the following 2 sts. Skip the next st then 1dc into the following st. Ch1, turn. (9)
Row 34. *1dc into each of the next 2sts then skip the following st*. Repeat** once more then 1dc into the next st. Skip the following st then 1dc into the following st. Ch1, turn. (6)
Row 35. *Skip the first st, then 1dc into the following st*. Repeat** twice. Ch1, turn. (3)
Row 36. Ss into the last st. 
Cut yarn. 
Row 37. Return to the first st of the last row and reattach yarn. Ch1 and work 1dc back into the same st (bottom right photo). Work 11dc across the base of the semi-circle. Ch1, turn. (12)
Rows 38-39. 1dc into every st until the end of the row. Ch1, turn. (12)
Row 40. Work 1dc into the first st, skip the next stitch. 1dc into each of the following 8sts then skip the next st. 1dc into the last st. Ch1, turn. (10)
Rows 41-42. 1dc into every st until the end of the row. Ch1, turn. (10)
Row 43. Work 1dc into the first st, skip the next stitch. 1dc into each of the following 6sts then skip the next st. 1dc into the last st.  (8)
 Cut yarn leaving a long tail to stitch down the 2 sides.
For the Door
The door is worked from side to side until the final round.
Row 1. Using yarn a, ch 2 then work 3dc into the 2nd ch from the hook. Ch1, turn. (3)
Row 2. Work 2dc into each of the next 3sts. Ch1, but do not turn. (6)
Row 3. Work 4dc across the semi-circle’s flat base (top right photo). Ch1, turn. (4)
Rows 4-6 (3rows). 1dc into every st until the end of the row. Ch 1, turn. (4)
Row 7. 1dc into every st until the end of the row. Bind off. (4)
Round 1. Using yarn b and starting at the bottom right hand corner of the flat base, ch1 then 1dc back into the same st (top right photo). Work 1dc into each of the next 2sts then 1dc into the corner st. Ch1 then work 1dc back into the same st. Work 4dc up the side until the arch is reached. *1dc into the next st, then 2dc into the following st*. Repeat** twice. Work 4dc down the side then 1dc into the corner. Ch1, then ss back into the first dc of the round.
Bind off.
Stitch a small black bead on for a door handle (bottom left photo).
For the Window
Using yarn b, ch2 then work 3dc into the 2nd ch form the hook. Continuing to work into the 2nd ch, ch1, then 3dc, ch1 then 3dc, ch1 then another 3dc (top left photo). Ch1 then ss back into the first dc made (bottom left photo). Cut yarn. Pull on the tail leftover from the primary ch to tighten the central hole (top right photo). Tie the 2 tails together then snip one very short, leaving the other to stitch the window to the caravan.
For the Wheels
Make 3. 
The wheels are made in continuous, spiraling rounds.
Round 1. Using yarn b, ch2 then work 4dc into the 2nd ch from the hook. Ss back into the first dc. (4) Cut yarn
Round 2. Change to yarn c. Ch1 then 1dc into the same st. 2dc into the next 4sts then ss back into the first dc. (9)
Bind off.
To Assemble
Stuff one of the bodies to give the caravan a temporary shape. Pin on the window, door and wheels then un-stuff and stitch on. 
For the Numbers
Cut a 60cm length of yarn c and then gently separate out 3 strands to crochet with. Leaving a 22cm tail, ch15 then bind off. Pin to the caravan in the number's shape and stitch on. n.b. Some numbers such as '1' may need less then 15ch.
To Assemble
Carefully insert the inner body into the outer body so that they line up and then pin. This stage requires a bit of jiggling and stretching (think of a pair jeans one size too small), stay strong - they will come together. Stitch around the base of the two bodies.
For the Base
The base is worked in continuous, spiraling rounds.
Round 1. Using yarn a, ch 2 then work 6dc into the 2nd ch from the hook. Ss back into the first dc. (6)
Round 2. 2dc into every st until the end of the round. (12)
Round 3. *1dc into the first st, then 2dc into the next st*. Repeat ** until the end of the round. (18)
Rounds 4-18 (15 rounds). 1dc into every st until the end of the round. (18)
Pressing the base flat, trace around the shape made onto a piece of paper. 2 more rounds will be crocheted on the base so flip it around on your template to mirror the shape on the other end. Cut out the paper template shaving off an approximate 2-3mm so that it will fit inside the base. Place paper on plastic and cut out the plastic base Insert the plastic base into the crochet base then complete the following two rounds.
Round 19. *1dc into each of the next 2sts then skip the following st*. Repeat ** until the end of the round. (12)
Round 20. *1dc into the first st then skip the next st*. Repeat ** until the end of the round. (6). 
Bind off.
To Assemble
Stuff the body then insert the base making sure it rests just below the lip of the body (top photo). Pin into place then sew one side of the base and the body together (bottom photo). 
For the Button Loop
Using yarn a, ch14. Bind off leaving a decent tail at either end and stitch it to the open edge of the body. With a pin, mark out the best spot for a button (left photo) and then stitch the button on
For the Draw Bar
Using yarn a, ch10. Bind off leaving a decent tail at either end and stitch it to the front of the caravan (bottom right photo).
Thread a 15cm loop of yarn c through both layers of the roof. 
Fill with stuffing, spray liberally and leave in a warm place to dry overnight. 
Fill with the most wonderful goodies and dot them about the tree to be found each day throughout Advent.
 The boys are quite keen on this project..... hmmmmm.
Or you could make an apartment building of caravans. Imagine the tiny ladders reaching up to the top story. Even more fun than a caravan park!
I hope you are braver than me and begin with a caravan marked '1'. I'm making mine backwards this year so I know that there will be something on Christmas morning!
Black Sheep Wools have been amazing as they gave me carte blanche to choose my materials. I have an absolute passion for DMC Natura Just Cotton and Twilley's Goldfingering, so it was an absolute joy to discover that they stocked them. The cotton gives a natural stiffness to the project and comes in the most wonderful colours and the Twilley's Goldfingering has long been a favourite since I first used it for making the Christmas bauble pattern
Here are some other colours I used in this project: 
Twilley's Goldfingering Antique Gold 4
DM Naura Just Cotton in the following colours -
Geranium 52
Aguamarina 25
Golden Lemon 43
Thank you so much Black Sheep Wools, it has been so much fun to work with you and an especially big thank you to Lesley whose idea it was to embroider numbers onto the caravans' side.
And now for the code!!! Type GREEDY14 at Black Sheep Wool's check out and it will give you a 10% discount on all shades of DMC Natura Just Cotton and Twilley's Goldfingering from today until the 24th November. 
Have fun, love Kate xxooxx.

22 comments:

  1. This is the cutest thing I had seen, in forever! I am new to your blog and I love it. The dream catcher made from doily, embroidery hoop and lace is so pretty. I'll be making one of those, thanks for the inspiration. I am your newest follower #1906 . . . that is a great number, it's the year my Momma was born :) Please accept my invitation to visit my blog, too.
    Your new blogging sister,
    Connie :)

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  2. The caravans were cute enough on their own, but then to be able to open them and fill them with chocolates is just TOO MUCH!! I love them.

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  3. They are so much fun! I can see Stanley going off and having an adventure in a caravan someday in the future! xx

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  4. Campers aren't really my family's thing, but you did a fantastic job with these. I love the colors!

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  5. So cute! They would look perfect at my house! xox

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  6. Sooo Freeking Cute!! Gosh this is such an awesome idea!! Thanks for sharing kate - you clever thing you!

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  7. Wow, great idea!!
    Greetings from Marijke

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  8. These are so cute!! I love how they can be filled with goodies :)

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  9. I am so going to have to make this...just as soon as I finish my other seven projects! LOL
    Or, I'll do this one first, then finish my others.
    Choices, choices!!
    Have a great week!
    Jenn

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  10. Fabulous! How clever and a wonderful idea! One would be cute hanging from the rear view mirror as well.lol

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  11. Hey Kate, they are adorable, I can think of many adults that would love even just one on their Christmas tree to remind them of their summer getaways.
    A wonderfully fun, exceptionally clever design, thank you for sharing it with us worldwide.
    Love the gold one for Christmas day!.
    Many thanks
    Helen

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  12. Soo cute! I need to make one for our christmas tree!! :-) Thank you so much for sharing!

    Take care
    Anne
    http://crochetbetweentwoworlds.blogspot.de

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  13. What a fantastic and SO cute idea! I must try this! Love! Irka

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  14. What a lovely idea! You've put a lot of work into your Christmas caravans.

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  15. Thank you, what a lovely early Christmas present! I've started crocheting one in silver yarn for my friend who owns an Airstream.
    Best wishes from England,
    Katie x

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  16. Oh WOW,you are so clever.I wont have time to make any for this Christmas but may make some for gifts in the future.Will of course give you a shout out if I do.They really are amazing.Love your blog.xx

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  17. Just found you Kate .. Thanks so much for sharing ..
    XooX mo from Oregon .

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  18. This is fantastic - i can imagine the amount of work this involved. I too love DMC Natura yarn, lucky you to get to choose colours!
    Caz xx

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  19. I love these! I love DMC Natura, but I have the worst time with it splitting.

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  20. I love these! I love DMC Natura, but I have the worst time with it splitting.

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