Once, there was a fairy named Mama Squirrel. She lived in a treehouse with her loving husband and 3 beautiful
squirrels girls. One day she said, "My, my, I had better get started on some Christmas presents!" So, Mama Squirrel took her magic fairy wand (errrrrrr, I mean crochet hook) and waved it about...
8 hot pads and one wash cloth:
One even had a special button on it!
5 tree ornaments/decorations:
One small mat:
And two afghans (two friends tried one out) :o) :
And Mama Squirrel, her husband, and 3 lovely daughters lived happily ever after!
Mama Squirrel's Technical Notes and Sources
Panda: pattern by Lori-Jean Karluk, published in Crochet Patterns by Herrschners, July/August 1991. Yarn: leftover black and white worsted.
Mittens: Adapted from this Canadian Living pattern. Patons yarn bought on sale at the mill-ends store.
Scarves: all the same pattern, just made up as I went along. The multi-coloured scarf is made all from one ball of thrifted yarn.
Hotpads and potholders: all adapted from this pattern on Bizzy Crochet and from a variation in the comments posted about the same pattern; all made from rummage-saled and thrifted yarn. This is truly a beginner-friendly pattern--no rounds to join or rows to turn. And you can make them any size you want.
White mat: adapted from "Hanukkah Doily" by Agnes Russell, in Crochet World December 2007.
Red, white and blue afghan: adapted from "Berries and Evergreens Afghan" by Katherine Eng, in Crochet World December 2005. The designer used shades of rose, claret and greens for a holiday-toned afghan; I wanted to use up several weights and shades of thrifted red yarn (I bought a whole bagful of mixed reds), plus work in some chunky-weight red, white and denim-blue yarn I had bought a long time ago. It was fun to make because you work from the center stripe out in both directions, as if the pattern were reflected in a mirror. My afghan is a bit smaller than the original, but I had to stop when the yarn ran out.
Red, white and green throw: adapted from a basic mile-a-minute afghan pattern. One package of unidentified-label yarn from the mill-ends store.
Thread tree trims: "Seven Wonders Tree Trims" by Marcia Pope, in Crochet World December 2005. You can tell these (and the other thread things) aren't really done--I still have to stiffen them, fix the loose ends and so on.
Bells: "Crochet Bells" by Maggie Weldon, in Country Crafts Winter 1996.