Happy November!! We have been very busy this month and we suspect a lot of you are busy too, preparing for the holidays and making things for people that you love.
First I have a confession to make. I am a lunatic and have pretty much no concept of how much knitting I can accomplish in a month. This little Advent stocking project has been an adventure. First I procrastinated and was no where near done…so I rewrote this entire piece confessing my not finishing but having the patterns ready to share. And then I discovered I had the deadline wrong and I had a whole extra week to knit. Which would have been very helpful had I knit on the actual project that week. And then! I got one more week and I don’t even know why and finally I got 24 tiny stockings knit. I would say based on how many I have knit and how much time I have wasted not actually knitting, you could get this project done before the first day of December. I would love to hear about it if you do.
This is the face of someone who’s relieved to be almost finished with 4 feet of lucet cord for the Advent calendar. (And then she did all four feet over because she liked icord better. Lol!)
Let’s talk for a moment about shiny yarn. As a general rule I pretty much HATE metallic yarns. They are rough and difficult and I will avoid them at all costs. And then I got a box of Vegas. This yarn is lovely! Its got lots of sparkle and shine, it feels nice and even if I had to rip back a bit the yarn cooperated nicely. Some red and green and I was happily knitting an assortment of sparkly little stockings. The cones go a long way…and Cee Cee’s project this month uses Vegas too so you might just need one in every color.
I knit four sizes of stockings using two patterns and every bit of my willpower to actually fininsh. I made one that is 16 stitches around and one that is 24, and then I did a few of the stockings holding the yarn double which created a little more variation in size. If you hold the yarn double, just know I added an extra row or two on the foot before doing the toe so the foot would look long enough. Turning a tiny heel is just as amazing as turning a full grown sized one, and that little bit of wonder will help you carry on when you are somewhere between 15 and 20 and its turning into a LOT of little stockings.
I make probably between 50 and 100 of these during the holiday season, because they are a great little gift. I keep a few on hand in case I need a hostess gift or a little something for someone. Last year all my students got a tiny stocking for Christmas. This year I sold a bunch that someone will be tucking Christmas bonus checks in. They make great package ties instead of a bow, They are a fun way to make a small gift extra special. The smallest size holds a lip balm very well, so that’s a fun way to make an inexpensive thing a special thoughtful gift. And even before I finished this project and when I was still very tired of knitting stockings, a friend needed 8 for her staff…and I agreed to do them without even flinching. They really are that delightful.
Cee Cee has been busy and actually does things with sticks beside knitting….here she is playing steel drums with composer Tyler Swick at her fall concert. (she knit him an elephant).
And then we went to see something that had been on our bucket list for awhile, the Chihuly Exhibit at Maker’s Mark in Loretto, Kentucky. And it was beautiful…
Her project this month is awesome because it involves buttons, a very small amount of yarn and a very short amount of time. The folks at Loome have figured out how to make one tool do a variety of braids, pom poms and tassels.They have a few different models to choose from, and also a tool to help you trim a pom pom that doubles as a kumihimo braiding tool. Makers’ sent her the loome tool she had been wishing for, and she got a chance to experiment with using it as a lucet and learning a very old craft. She’s a totally history nerd so she loves learning how to do really old things…and making a square braid on a lucet is a really old thing. Lucets have been made out of bone, deer antlers, and all sorts of things. This one would be fun to add a doodle to, or personalize, but she hasn’t decided what she wants to do yet.
Cee Cee says “This would be a great gift for kids to find in their Christmas stockings!” (I expect that was a hint to have every variety Loome makes in HER Christmas stocking) And I think ages 10 and up would have a lot of fun with it. The folks at Loome have a fabulous Instagram feed and lots of videos on YouTube. A lucet braid is a very simple braid to learn and hey, if you’ve got some travel time this holiday season, this would be a great thing to do instead of playing video games or watching movies the whole time.
We attach the button to the square end where we start, and then make a loop just big enough for the button when we sew through the end and securely finish it off. Don’t stop with one length…make a bracelet that wraps around 2 or three or more times. We use a lot of scraps but are very fond of CoBaSi for lucet braids…the stitch definition makes for a beautiful bracelet.
Cee Cee discovered that not all yarn makes great lucet cord and had an afternoon of frustration with beautiful ombre wool that she was crazy about. She tried and tried but the tugging on the lucet made it too tight and it would occasionally break when she was tugging it. And then she remembered the icord.
And one final gorgeous button with just a little sparkle and some icord. (Vegas yarn is so elegant used in a bracelet!)
A three stitch icord or lucet braid is so easy and works up quickly so it’s easy to have a last minute gift… less than ten yards of yarn for any of our projects here, and nothing took longer than an hour and a half.
She has two more really pretty bracelets in progress, but you’ll just have to wait to see them (since her Mom had her braiding 4 feet of cord for an Advent calendar.)
Cee Cee really enjoys giving gifts…this whole journey began with her desire to give something to comfort others. So I asked her to tell me why making gifts to give is so important to her. “When you make something to give, it shows that you took time to create something one of a kind for that person to enjoy. I love the joy of creating something that a person loves to receive and is just especially for them.”
The other thing we’ve been thinking about is presents… it’s the season for choosing things to get for the people we cherish. (And both of us absolutely love making a wish list because getting stuff is fun too!) The best part is, you can make a wish list too and somebody is going to win a wonderful prize! So here’s a list of things that both of us love from Makers’ Mercantile:
- This has been on Cee Cee’s wish list awhile…it’s a coloring book by Franklin Habit. Cee Cee got to meet Franklin a few years ago and she adores his artwork.
- We’re both working on improving our knitting skills so we want to try out Alterknit. It looks like a great book!
- Buttons…this idea was all Cee Cee. Choose a good hand full of glorious buttons and sprinkle them in a stocking. (You can point your crafter to this post, or Franklin’s post about cufflinks if they need an idea or two)
- We are both bag obsessed, and Cee Cee loved the Crafters gonna craft craft craft bag ( the tune sounds familiar) and the Love Sack bag in the blanket stripe pattern
- CoBaSi…. Just get all of it in every color. Trust us. It’s a great yarn. (The sock yarn is awesome! I’m knitting Cee Cee a gift out of it for the blog next month. Shhhh! It’s a secret )
- And because we are constantly taking them away from each other…more Flipsticks. We really like having two different tips on a needle, and Cee Cee loves that they are different colors because that helps her keep track of which needle she is on.
- : Mumbles something about olive wood interchangeable needles, hot pink scissors and a delightful sewing box:
- And maybe more yarn. Because….yarn.
- Sheep pull toy. We can’t have a real one and this one would be a beautiful addition in our crafting space.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving friends. We will see you next month with some fun last minute Christmas ideas.
P.S. Cee Cee says I have to share the little nutty moment I had 3 seconds after knitting the final stocking. I was done. You know how it is. You love a project, it’s wonderful but it is done. After counting twice, much to the amusement of my dear daughter I was coming up with 23 instead of 24 stockings. I jumped up and started fussing and Cee Cee started laughing at me…I was sitting on number 24! So as you hustle through your last minute holiday crafting, don’t forget to check the chair cushions for missing parts.
Cee Cee Creech is growing up in a home full of creativity. Mom BeLinda loves making things, and Cee Cee loves it too. In 2011, Cee Cee changed their lives when she wanted to knit elephants to comfort the residents of Joplin, MO after a tornado destroyed their town.
This mom/daughter team has raised thousands of dollars, and made/distributed toys for charities all over the world. Today, Cee Cee is a high school student, curious maker, and the teen craft ambassador for Makers’ Mercantile. Follow their adventures on the Craft Corner.