Scheepjes Christmas Blog Hop: Secret Surprise Santa

Christmas has well and truly begun in the Knight household. The children are preparing for their school performances - which means they are randomly blurting out carols - the elves are back on our shelves, and I'm planning 'all the surprises'. In fact, my favourite thing about this time of year is being able to give surprises, so when invited to take part in the Scheepjes blog hop for the second year running, I wanted to make a little character with a surprise of his own - he can hide a gift and a message under his hat!


Secret Surprise Santa - free knitting pattern at Crafts from the Cwtch blog

If you know someone who'd like to find one of these little chaps on their shelf or tree, read on - I've included the full pattern below. NOTE: This was originally planned to be an elf, but with two here already I decided on a little Santa - if you would prefer to make an elf, simply change the colours and omit the beard.

This post is a part of the Scheepjes Christmas Blog hop. Yarn supplied by Scheepjes*. Pattern is my own. 

YOU WILL NEED:

- 15g Scheepjes Merino Soft DK colour 621 (red - MC) , 
- 6g Scheepjes Merino Soft DK colour  601 (cream - CC1), 
- A tiny amount of Scheepjes Merino Soft DK colour 602 (black - CC2) just to make the gloves
- 3.25 mm double pointed knitting needles, for knitting in the round and flat (back and forth)
- 1 pair of eyes
- A safety pin or stitch marker to hold 2 sts
- 1 cardboard tube from the centre of kitchen roll, cut to 7 cm
- 1 pompom (I used a 35mm a pompom maker to make mine - you can also use home made cardboard rings or even a fork,  check out my pompom Pinterest board if you need inspiration)
- Needle for sewing in ends


GAUGE & SIZE: 

- 12 sts and 15 rows to 5cm in stocking stitch
- Finished size approximately 16 cm


TECHNIQUES USED: 

- Casting on
- Knitting in the round using double pointed needles
- Knit and purl stitches
- Kfb = knit into the front and back of the same stitch to increase by 1
- K2tog = knit two stitches together to decrease by 1
- Ssk = slip two stitches, then knit together through the back loop to decrease by 1
- Moss Stitch = knit the purls, and purl the knit sts (from the previous row) 

INSTRUCTIONS:

STEP 1: Body / head
  • Using MC cast on 1 st
  • K, p, k into the same stitch (3 sts) 
  • P3
  • Kfb three times (6 sts)
  • P6
  • Kfb six times (12 sts)
  • Split the stitches evenly onto three dpns and k12, joining to knit in the round
  • Knit one round
  • *K1, kfb; rep from * to end of round (18 sts)
  • Knit one round
  • *K2, kfb; rep from * to end of round (24 sts)
  • Knit one round
  • *K3, kfb; rep from * to end of round (30 sts) 
  • Knit one round
  • *K4, kfb; rep from * to end of round (36 sts). The work should now fit comfortably around the tube. 
  • Continue to work in rounds, without increasing, for 4 cm
  • Switch to CC1 and continue to work for a further 3 cm
  • Bind off, leaving a long tail

Secret Surprise Santa - knitting pattern on Crafts from the Cwtch Blog

STEP 2: Hat
  • Using MC, cast on 32 sts, split evenly over two needles and join to knit in the round
  • Work in k1, p1 rib for 3.5 cm
  • Work in stocking stitch for a further 6 cm 
  • Continue to work in stocking stitch, decreasing on every other row as follows, until only 8 sts remain:
    • DEC ROW 1: *K2tog, k6; rep from * to end of round (28 sts)
    • DEC ROW 2: *K2tog, k5; rep from * to end of round (24 sts)
    • DEC ROW 3: *K2tog, k4..... and so on.....
  • When 8 sts remain: *K2tog, k2; repeat from * to end (6 sts)
  • Cut yarn leaving a long tail and thread it through the remaining sts to sew closed
  • Attach pompom to the top of the hat, and sew in all ends

STEP 3: Beard
  • Using CC2, cast on 1 st
  • Row 3: [K1, p1 into the same stitch] to end
  • Row 4: Knit the purls and purl the knit sts 
  • Repeat the last two red length (mine is 4 cm)
  • Bind off in pattern, leaving a long tail for sewing up

STEP 4: Arms - make two
  • Using MC, cast on 10 sts and split evenly across two dpns to knit in the round (or use Judy's Magic Cast on, as in this tutorial)
  • Work stocking stitch in the round for 3 cms
  • Switch to CC2, knit one round
  • Purl two rounds
  • K4, slip next 2 sts onto a stitch holder (or safety pin)for later, k4 (8 sts) 
  • Knit five rounds
  • [K2tog, ssk] twice (4 sts)
  • To close the hand: k2tog using one st from each needle, repeat then bind off the remaining 2 sts
  • Pick up the 2 sts on the stitch holder to work the thumb
  • Work a two-stitch icord for 3 rows (tutorial here
  • Bind off and sew in ends closing the thumb hole - if you stitch the end of thumb to the rest of the hand, he can hold small things! 

STEP 5: Nose
  • Knit a 3 stitch icord for 3 rows
  • Bind off and sew it into a circular shape, leaving tails for sewing on
Secret Surprise Santa - knitting pattern on Crafts from the Cwtch Blog

TO MAKE UP
  1. Sew a little mouth onto the beard, using MC
  2. Sew the beard in place - along the line where the colours change.
  3. Pop the cardboard tube inside the body to decide on arm placement, then remove the tube to sew the arms on. 
  4. Place the cardboard tube inside the body and, using the long tail (left at bind off), loosely sew around the top of the work, to form a slight 'drawstring', this will hold the knitting in place. 
  5. Decide on eye placement, and make two holes through the cardboard to keep them in place, then insert the eyes and secure the backs.
  6. Sew the nose in place.
  7. Put the hat on - it will stand up straight, but I like it at a jaunty angle!
  8. Finally, the centre of the base is purposely bulbous and you may be wondering why - it's actually to allow for a good 'standing' surface. Invert it slightly with your finger, and he will stand up well on any flat surface. 
I hope you have fun knitting your "Secret Message Santa". If so please post a picture on social media and tag #ScheepjesChristmasBlogHop so I can find it - there is also a Ravelry page which you can link to. If you missed yesterday's post from Annelies Baes, you can find it here. Tomorrow there'll be another free festive pattern from Miss Neriss - hope to see you there! 

*In the UK, you can find Scheepjes yarns at Wool Warehouse and Deramores (affiliate links). Find a full list of international stockists on the Scheepjes website

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