Crochet toy car (via nephithyrion.blogspot.com)Enlarge Photo
You've done it again.
Maybe you're a chronic procrastinator. Maybe you'd hoped that the Mayans were right, and you'd be off the hook this year. But whatever the reason, you now find yourself just a few days from Christmas, with a very long, very unfinished shopping list.
Sure, you could slog to the mall and pull some tchotchkes off the clearance rack. You could even zip over to Amazon and pay through the nose for expedited shipping to get the goods home in time. Or you could do what savvy grandmothers (and a few grandfathers) have done for ages: grab some yarn, pour four fingers of scotch, and crochet your way into the annals of holiday history.
There are plenty of websites offering free crochet patterns to crafty folks like you. But after a full five minutes of Googling, we've determined that there's no listing of free auto-themed crochet patterns to be found anywhere on the internet. So we've assembled one for you. You're welcome.
Now get cracking.
Baby car seat blanket
If your family is anything like ours, the adults decided long ago to stop buying gifts for one another and just enjoy the holiday. But kids? Well, kids are a different matter. For the especially young, consider making a blanket for baby's car seat. How is a car seat blanket any different than a regular blanket? It has a hole for the seat belt, obviously. Damn, but grandmas think of everything.
Sure, you could schlep down to Walgreens or TG&Y (they still have those, right?) and pick up a $2 Matchbox car lookalike, but wouldn't it be a lot more fun to spend $20 on yarn and stuffing, then spend another couple of days crocheting one from scratch? Heck, what else have you got to do during the holidays?
A racetrack rug
You can't just give a kid a crocheted toy car and be done with it. No, the kid needs someplace to race that car -- and it's up to you to build it. A racetrack rug won't have all the loop-de-loops and hairpin turns that you'd find on a store-bought contraption, but you'll spend hours making it with yarn and love and your own two hands. Surely children will be able to appreciate that.
Steering wheel cover
When most people think of steering wheel covers, they think of leather or naugahyde or some other grippy material. But where's the fun in that? Crocheting a steering wheel cover is a great way to tell a loved one, "Your life has become dull and boring. Let's spice things up by wrapping your car's steering wheel in acrylic yarn." And just like that, you'll add an eye-opening element of danger almost as fast as if you'd clipped their brake cables.
We admit, we had to improvise a little on this one. There are, in fact, crocheted gearshift cozies for sale on the interweb, but we've been unable to track down any free patterns. (Perhaps because of liability concerns.) This pattern is technically for a vase, but shorten it by a few inches and turn that puppy upside-down, and voila: grandma done pimped your manny tranny.
Seatbelts are awesome, right? But wouldn't they be even more awesome if they were color-coordinated to match our car seats? Now, you can make the dreams of friends and enemies come true with just a few afternoons of crocheting seatbelt covers, then crocheting the buttons to attach them.
Bonus: Fuzzy dice
If you're not feeling crewel and unusual (see what we did there?), you could always opt for building sets of fuzzy dice. Recipients will be amazed by how lifelike they seem -- almost as if you spent a full $5 at Pep Boys on their gift. But in reality, these handmade goodies only cost about $10 and a couple of hours of your precious time. Best of all, you don't have to know how to crochet to make 'em, you just need to do a little sewing and be comfortable around scissors (though if you've read this far, we're not so sure you'll qualify for that last one). For extra fun, spritz them with cologne, furniture polish, or Febreeze to make them seem like the real thing.