I cannot believe that we are already in December – especially because when I look out the window all I see is brilliant sunshine, green trees and birds happily picking around in our garden. Clearly I’m not the only one having trouble tuning in to things that are topically considered Christmassy in other parts, though. Air New Zealand has just released their version of a Southern Hemisphere Christmas song, Summer Wonderland, with a cool video starring none other than Ronan Keating and the young kiwi actor Julian Dennison. There you have it dear Northern Hemisphere readers, Christmas is not all snow balls and sleigh bells!
With that said, I still couldn’t stop myself from going through the Christmas-themed projects I’d favourited on Ravelry over the past years. Only to conclude that, yet another year, I’ll most likely not be knitting any Christmas decorations. I mean, who doesn’t dream of having all sorts of beautiful, although sometimes kitsch, handmade things in their home this time around? But, there is the downside being that most of this stuff actually takes a lot of time to make – hence requires… ehm… planning ahead.
Take for instance Christmas stockings. These would be the knitted Christmas item par excellence in my dictionary, but they are pretty time intensive colourwork projects. Of course, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t some relatively quick Christmassy options available for us with less foresight / enthusiasm / both.
Eventually, I ended up with two lists: 1. Kind of cool Christmas things I definitely won’t knit this year, or maybe never, 2. Christmas items I could potentially knit in the following few weeks, but probably won’t. The fact that I’m not (yet) possessed by the Christmas spirit should, of course, in no ways hold you back from making your pick and getting inspired by the projects in each list. That is the whole point!
Kinda cool, but definitely not this year – maybe never
1. Knitted christmas stockings
As I said above, these seem to me as the knitted Christmas item par excellence – well, after really kitsch Christmas sweaters, but I won’t even go there. Whether you opt for solely decorative stockings to be stuffed with presents or a more practical pair of wearable Christmas-themed socks, you are in for some serious stranded knitting. For me, the ultimate Christmas stockings would look like the ones proposed by Dorene Delaney Giordano. I mean, some traditional motives and your name on it, hanging above the fire place! How cool is that?! Never mind the fact that we haven’t got anything remotely resembling a fire place. It is still cool! A wearable alternative for practical minded knitters is this pair of socks by Drops design.
2. Mitten Garland Advent Calendar
One thing I particularly loved about Christmas as a kid were those advent calendars with a cardboard cover having a “window” for each day of December. Behind each window you would find a piece of chocolate. The chocolate was not the best quality, but the fun of finding the window with the right number – they were scattered around in no particular order – and seeing what shape the day’s chocolate would be were something to look forward to on each gloomy winter morning! I also always thought it would be kind of fun to have an advent calendar where the “gift” of each day was a real surprise, as opposed to yet another piece of chocolate. This is far from impossible to create, but I’ve always been too lazy to do it. So, imagine knitting 24 different tiny mittens to hold these gifts! I would have to start today to be ready for next Christmas! It is kind of cute though; just have a look at Kat Lewinski’s Mitten Garland Advent Calendar.
3. Christmas Mice
A Christmas round-up wouldn’t be complete without Alan Dart’s Dickensian Mice – the outdoors and indoors Christmas party edition. This must be the future old lady me speaking, but aren’t they adorable? If you are into mice, but low on time, the designer has a free pattern called Furry Fairies, which, as you might have guessed, are tiny mouse fairies to be used as Christmas ornaments.
“Quickies” that I could potentially knit, but probably won’t
All of the “quicker” projects I’ve found are of course Christmas ornaments. If you have some time on your hands, they seem like a good way to get rid of all those leftovers in your stash. Also, they can make cute and inexpensive gifts.
Stjärna by Karolina Eckerdal is by far the most appealing to me. I can see these cute stars made in some roustic natural colour wool as well as red / purple. Oh wait, I even have that in my stash! Maybe, maybe…