By Carlyn M.
Every year I get excited to make Christmas presents for my friends. Not buying, but making them. If you didn’t know, I love to make things. Personally, I have gone through present phases, childhood toys, electronics, jewlery, just gift cards. But in this season of life I see the work and thought people put into presents and I like to share that with others. I also really love supporting small businesses. This year I found the pattern Christmas Cactus by PlanetJune while surfing on Pinterest and knew this was what I was going to make.
Christmas Cactus or Schlumbergera is a ‘cactus’ type plant found in Brazil. I think we all kind of assume cactus type plants only come from the American Southwest. But as the popularity of Cactus/Succulents has grown to household plant status I have found many of these type plants don’t actually originate here in the US. Succulents are also, strangely enough, usually found in more humid climates. I know that might sound strange but I think that’s why they are thought of as easy to care. With humid climates, it will get its water from the air and not need regular watering. Succulents do not like moist soil for extended periods time. Hence why I think they end up being easier to kill despite their known reputation.
So if you have killed one don’t fret, just make one.
No water required.
This Christmas Cactus is made in the style of amigurumi crochet. Amigurumi originated in Japan. The actual word translates to crochet or knitted stuffed doll. You will find a rather large amount of animals but I love that artists are growing their skills and getting inspiration from other concepts or ideas. Amigurumi, for me, has challenged me to think 3D in my crochet world. This and yarn bombing is why I wanted to get my groove back in crocheting. I like how crochet leans towards different shapes, gives you more freedom to think outside the box.
If you have not tried amigurumi then I would highly suggest visiting PlanetJune. This website run by June has a plethora of knowledge that I haven’t been able to scratch the surface of yet. If I had found this when I first started digging into amigurumi, I would have always gone back to her. You can tell she has been in this medium for a while and is a great resource to have in your back pocket. Not to mention the loads of patterns she has. She also has different ranges of purchasing options whether you pay outright, a donation based pattern, or free. Her website also has tutorials with videos on some and supports both right and left handed crocheter’s.
The Christmas Cactus pattern is rather easy to make, and uses worsted weight yarn which I really appreciated. Because I already have a bunch in my stash. Yea stash buster projects! Directions were easy and techniques I didn’t already know were easily found in the pattern, no hunting on websites, score. The amount of detail June went into is perfect, no questions loomed and I didn’t doubt myself as I worked through the pattern.
I did however decide to buy the pot, instead of making it as the pattern suggests. Terra Cotta pots aren’t that expensive and I love how it looks together. Plus I feel like the crocheted pot might tip over a little easier, but maybe you just need to add some weight to it, like rocks.
Well, that is it for Christmas Cactus. Thank you June from PlanetJune for letting me feature you and your pattern this week. I’m sure my friends are going to love it.