5, 4, 3, 2, ONE!!!!! Who can resist a good countdown. And what could be better than a fiberlicious countdown to Santa?!
I love countdowns. Kinda like a list. They make life so much more predictable, and build excitement as one looks forward to an upcoming special event. I have a set of blocks on my mantle counting down the days 'til I'm back in that spectacular condo on Maui, enjoying the sunrises with a cup of Kona coffee and knitting to the sound of crashing waves. 300 days. Yikes! Oh well. In the meantime, there's several other fun things on the horizon worthy of ticking off the days. Hmm? Christmas comes to mind, no?
I love advents. As a kido, I loved those fabulous paper calendars with all the glitter, snowy scenes, and little windows to open, each hiding a silly little picture that made me smile each day. My brother liked the ones with chocolate - I still remember my mom's furious face when she discovered he'd opened all the windows and eaten all the treats. Lucky for me, I preferred the paper calendars. You could still peek (I did once or twice), but it was much easier to cover your tracks by carefully closing up the window. The big one at the end, usually with double doors was always my temptation. To date, I still delight in putting together an advent calendar for my grown kids. A big Christmas wall-hanging with little pockets for daily treats. And with grownups, there's no end to the creativity. From fancy truffles, ornaments and Starbucks gift cards, to little bottles of Kahlua or Baileys. You're never too old for an advent calendar.
This year, I'm excited to have three countdown adventures on tap. The first is part of Helen Stewart's (aka Curious Handmade) annual Knitvent - a collection of patterns released one by one prior to the holidays, all intended as handmade gifts. For 2022, all of her patterns are designed around mini skeins and left-over remnants from other projects - something I know we all have in abundance. The very first pattern is an advent project - the Anthology Throw. a circular Pi-inspired project, big and versatile enough to work as a blanket or a generous wrap. A shlanket! Designed around 24 colors of fingering minis or scraps. I'm starting mine now, with the intent of knitting a different color every day or two until December 1st. My adventure, so if I want to get started before the official Christmas advent counting begins, I can do that. More holiday fun! Check out Knitvent 2022 on Ravelry HERE.
Which will bring me to my second advent project, "Gnome-made Gifts." Sarah Schira of Imagined Landscapes is once again taking us on a gnome mystery-along, starting December 1st. Here's just a taste of what's in store.
"Longest Gnight has been a favorite holiday among the gnomes of Grimblewoods for centuries. It's when the Gnome of the Gnorth brings light to every house on the darkest day of the year. The gnomes of the Grimblewoods also work to create joy during the dark days through their handmade gift exchange. Making something for another gnome gives them creativity and anticipation." Sarah Schira
An email every day from December 1st through Christmas Eve. Sometimes it'll be a clue - a small bit of knitting instructions for the next step in knitting my gnome. Other days will bring charming stories, special treats, and a recipe or two for traditional gnomish delights. In the end, I'll have yet another adorable gnome in my collection. If you want to join the fun, here's where to get started; Imagined Landscapes website.
And then it's Christmas. But not the end to my holiday countdowns. Enter the 12 Days of Madelinetosh box. A beautiful star-shaped box, inspired by the winter's night sky, and stuffed with a plethora of yarn and goodies for us makers. In the spirit of the age-old 12 Days of Christmas tradition, I'll open the first box on Christmas Day, and there after until all 12 little boxes are emptied on the evening of January 5th - the Twelfth Night. However, rather than celebrate a different saint each day with a feast (as was the tradition throughout European history), I'll be paying homage to the vaulted saint of knitting, whomever he or she may be. Sound like fun? There are still a few of these goodie boxes left, if you'd like to gift yourself and join the fun. Check it out HERE.
That's my knitting plan for now through the holidays. Hope I'll have time for all the other holiday activities. But for sure, my needles will be having a festive time. Ho, ho HO!