Monthly Archives: October 2016

Inspiration: Tree Skirts

OK, I’m going to share a little peek into how my brain works.  I usually try to keep the weird, free-association-y part of my brain a little under wraps, but here we are.

Last week I talked about how I’ve been dreaming of a cozy knit skirt. And yesterday I talked about how Christmas is 81 days away (actually, now it’s 79 days away!  Eek!).

Skirt + Christmas = tree skirt.

It’s a bit of a stretch, logic-wise, but hey, that’s what I’m thinking about today.

So, let’s talk tree skirts.

For the last 10 years (or whatever it’s been since I left home after high school), I’ve always had a little fake tree.  At first it was a 2-foot tall plastic guy that I could fit in my dorm room.  Then I moved to an apartment, and I got a waist-high silver tinsel tree (it looked especially gaudy with multi-colored lights.  It was the best.  My roommates hated it). Then I got to grad school, and had a more grown-up apartment, with room for a full-size tree, so I got one for $10 from JoAnn’s After-Christmas Sale.  I really scored, since we’re still using that tree years later (though it is beginning to get a little threadbare… it might need to retire soon).

I’ve never had a tree skirt- I just shoved presents down there to hide the foot of the tree.  Or, if I felt fancy, I’d grab a blanket (white, if I could find it), and kind of mushed it around the bottom of the tree to look like snow.  It wasn’t fancy, but it worked well enough.

But, last Christmas, my mom embroidered me a gorgeous felt tree skirt, just like the one she made when I was a kid.  It’s covered in all dozens of little appliques, beads and sequins.  I’m so excited to get out the Christmas tree this year so that I can use my new tree skirt.  (I’ll show you pictures when I get it out from storage- if I dug it out right now, I think my husband would get worried.)

Anyway, with tree skirts on the brain, let’s look at some pretty knit and crochet ones, and wonder why I never thought to make one for myself…

I like the use of granny squares to make a star in this skirt, and the combo of ivory and cranberry red is gorgeous.

Christmas Tree Skirt Pattern by Kara Gunza

crochet_tree_skirt-1-3_medium1Here’s another classy star-shaped skirt.  The use of graduated chevrons is very clever, and by changing the colors or stripe pattern you could come up with some really beautiful variations.

Christmas Tree Skirt by Donna Mason-Svaraskirt2_medium21Or if you wanted to go really classy, this lace-y skirt is just gorgeous.  You could make it in ivory for a real antique look.

7-Hour Tree Skirt by Katherine Eng6148_1_medium1But who says Christmas is a classy holiday?!  Not me!  I may have graduated to a tree-colored tree, but I still have that silver tinsel tree with the bright, multi-colored lights.  Christmas should be tacky and fun, in the best possible way.  And, this multi-colored tree skirt is just the ticket.

Granny Tree Skirt by Ann Regislw3208_project_medium21What’s your favorite Christmas style?  What do you celebrate this time of year?

 

Christmas Is Coming

Oops!  I totally spaced, you guys.  I was going to give you a 100-day warning about Christmas, but… I forgot.

So this is your warning.

81 days until Christmas.christmas-bmo[1]I’m so sorry.  I know it’s early- Halloween isn’t eve here yet.  But, we’re knitters, and Christmas Knitting is our Superbowl- you can never prepare for it too much.  So get out your Christmas giving lists, dig through your stash, and start trolling Ravelry for good gift ideas.

Good luck!

Project Tea Cozy: The Spout

It’s spout time!

My original idea was to make a gusset for the spout, in the same way that I would make a thumb on a mitten.  But then I cast on, started knitting, and promptly forgot about that.

Oops.

So, I had a big rectangle of knitting that wrapped nicely around my teapot.  I knit it until it reached the split between the spout and the ‘body’ of the pot, in between two stripes (so I wouldn’t have to worry about making a hole and maintaining the colorwork pattern at the same time).  First I thought I would make a simple 8-stitch button hole, but that didn’t seem right.  I thought it would make the tea cozy pull funnily, and I want a little cuff around the spout of my tea cozy.  So, I decided to do a slight variation.

I knit to where I wanted the hole to be, then transferred 12 sts to a stitch holder, then I cast on 4 sts using a backwards-loop cast on, and knit the rest of the row.

img_3357The way I made the hole reduced my total stitch count by 8, so now I was working with 112 sts instead of 120, but that felt right to me. After all, I was going to decrease for the top of the cozy in a few inches.  I continued knitting, following the established pattern without any more shaping until I got to the top of the 10 colorwork repeats I had planned.img_3366And, when i put the unfinished cozy on my tea pot, it fit surprisingly well!  I still have to seam it on the bottom and the top needs to be knit.  The spout hole fit really well, sure the safety pin is pulling a bit, but the when I knit up those stitches into a little cuff around the spout, I’m sure it’ll fit like a glove!