Tag Archives: christmas ornaments

Christmas Balls Are Go!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

What? It’s not Christmas yet?  But I’m drinking my morning coffee with egg nog instead of milk, and I may have just eaten a sugar cookie (breakfast of champions!), and my house is festive as all get out!  It certainly feels like Christmas around here.

We decorated last weekend.  Our front yard is full of twinkling lights (though some of our strands of lights are starting to get a little sad- I think we’re going to need to buy new ones for next year).  We’ve hung the stockings by the chimney with care, and we put up out (not quite straight) Christmas tree.

Usually I’m a “let’s use every single ornament we’ve ever come across” kind of tree decorator.  It’s usually packed to the gills, with almost every branch holding at least an ornament or two.  But this year we switched it up…

And used my Christmas Balls!I managed to finish 24 balls (I still have a handful that haven’t been filled yet), which turned out to be just enough to decorate the front of the tree!  I love how bold and cheerful they turned out.They look great, and (bonus!) I don’t have to worry about the dog pulling down the tree and breaking everything.I couldn’t be happier with how they’ve turned out.  Now I just have to make the other 30-ish balls, to finish out the book.  Maybe by next year, I’ll have them all finished?

(I tried to get a nice picture of Ollie in front of the tree, but he didn’t want to cooperate.  So, here’s the best one.)Have you decorated for the holidays yet?  What

Inspiration: Advent Calendars

When my brother and I were little, we each had tiny Christmas trees that we used as advent calendars.  My mother (or maybe my grandmother… sorry Mom, I can’t remember which) had made us both these long wall-hangings with 24 little pockets for the days leading up to Christmas.

On the day after Thanksgiving, my parents would pull out the trees, wall hangings and an old cookie tin full of miniature ornaments.  My brother and I would spend the afternoon taking turns picking out ornaments and carefully putting each one in each pocket.

Every morning in December, we would add a single ornament to our trees.  The first week, the trees always looked a little sad and bare, but by the 10th or so, they started looking quite festive.  And by the week of Christmas, it was hard to find a free branch to add the day’s ornament to.

I’m not sure what happened to my little tree and wall-hanging, but I still have some of those miniature ornaments (a bunch of them are hanging on my tree right now!), but I still remember that particular holiday tradition fondly (especially the excitement my brother and I felt when we started having trouble finding space for our ornaments!).

Interested in making your own advent calendars?  Try one of these beautiful ones (although, it’s probably too late to make them for this year!)

Mini Stocking Advent Calendar by Alison Stewart-Guinee

IMGP1939_medium2[1]Smitten (a Holiday Garland) by Emily Ivey

Smitten3_medium2[1]Countdown to Christmas by Kate Heppell

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Pattern Spotlight: Weasley Sweaters

I must have mentioned at some point that I’m a huge Harry Potter nerd.  It’s true.  And I’m not one bit ashamed of it.  I’ve probably read through the books at least five or six times.  I even dressed up with my friends to go to the midnight release of one of the last book.  Then we all sat up until dawn reading.  Good times.

One of my nerdier purchases (which is saying something), is my well-used copy of Charmed Knits, by Alison Hansel.  It’s an unofficial Harry Potter knitting book, and it is utterly delightful.

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If you’ve read the books, you know that Mrs. Weasley knits sweaters for each of her seven children every Christmas.  And, if you’re a knitter, you know what an undertaking that must be (even with the help of magic!).  It’s one of the ways she demonstrates how much she loves her family and how much pride she takes in protecting them.

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In Charmed Knits, Alison Hansel has two patterns.  One pattern is for a full-sized Weasley sweater (with sizes running from toddler all the way up to adult XXL).  The other is for a miniature, Barbie-doll sized sweater.  She suggests bending a bit of wire into a teensy coat hanger to turn your tiny sweater into a Christmas ornament.  (It’s pretty much the most adorable thing ever.)  I’ve made both the full sized sweater (minus the big double-stitched letter on the front; I’m a nerd, but not that much of a nerd) and at least a half dozen mini sweaters.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(This is a mini-Weasley sweater I made for my friend Kate’s Harry Potter-themed 29th birthday party.  Also pictured, a felt Mimbulus mimbletonia and a scroll with a magic incantation.  Like I said, I’m a nerd.)

The coolest thing about these two patterns?  They are constructed in exactly the same way.  So, if you’re worried about making your first sweater, why not try knitting up a mini Weasley sweater first, to see how everything fits together before you go?  The two patterns are great beginning sweater patterns; simple, and knit at a largish gauge to make the projects go quickly.

So go find a copy of Charmed Knits, and make your family some sweaters for Christmas.

Christmas Knitting: Deck the Halls!

But what do you make for someone who is super picky about clothes, or someone whose size you don’t know?  Try making decorations.  These ornaments are fun and quick to make, and will be appreciated by everyone (or, if the recipient doesn’t like them, they only have to put them out once a year).  Start knitting away, and before you know it, you’ll have enough to cover a tree!

Balls Up! By General Hogbuffer

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Yarn Basket Ornament by Scarlet Taylor

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Deck the Balls by Sonia Ruyts

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Stjarna by Karolina Eckerdal

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