Holiday Countdowns and Beyond

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Holiday Countdowns and Beyond

Another adventure in Grimblewoods. A daily fiber treat from Scotland. An after the dust settles post Santa cowl. And a new adventure into embroidery. How many advent and 12 Days of Christmas projects can I juggle?!

December 15th Updates - read on!

I adore mystery knitalongs. A daily snippet of knitting. Combine that with the holidays and  . . . a maker's dream come true! A grownup's version of those sparkly little windows opened each day in the days leading up to Christmas, revealing a treat behind each. Irresistible. So imagine what happened as each email campaign popped up on my screen. Like a kid in a candy store. In addition to all the holiday cooking, shopping, tree trimming, and decorating, here's what my December and beyond will be consumed with.




"It’s almost Longest Gnight but there hasn’t been a single snowflake fluttering in the sky. The Grimblewoods are a dreary, frozen brown landscape, and the gnomes are getting worried. Without snow in the darkest days, the light doesn’t reflect very well and houses and hearts seem darker this year. The littlest gnomes are especially anxious – how will the Gnome of the Gnorth light lanterns on Longest Gnight if his sleigh can’t slide speedily through the snow?"
Sarah Schira, Imagined Landscapes


December 1st marks the beginning of one of my favorite annual traditions - the countdown to Christmas Mystery Gnome Knitalong from Imagined Landscapes. A customer turned me on to this every-December adventure three years ago, and now I'm hooked! If you've been in the shop, you've likely seen my collection of adorable little gals and guys - quite a family of gnomes. I can't wait to start the next member of my gnome menagerie. Sarah makes it easy to do, with tiny bits of knitting with each clue, occasionally interjecting a story or recipe, giving you a knitting break. Dream in Color Yarns (one of my favorites - the colors they do are awesome) created some fabulous color combinations for this year's Snow Matter What adventure; available HERE. My colors are all chosen and tucked inside a holiday themed project bag with my needles. December 1st can't get here fast enough!


Check out Snow Matter What HERE.


Progress Update. 15 days in, and I'm absolutely loving it! Sarah is so thoughtful, alternating knitting days with bits of the Grimblewoods story, recipes - even a gnome coloring page. I'm a little disappointed in my color selections - not the actual colors, but where I chose to use them. Maybe I'll just do a second one. Won't be the first time. Last clue is on Christmas Eve, and I'll be sad to see the adventure end. Until next year.


Oh, and this little guy is a gsnowman!




Designer Becky Beagell (Nomadic Knits) is doing it again.  After the torn wrapping paper is all recycled, the dishes are done, and the relatives have headed home, I'll be pulling out my needles, and casting on a post-Christmas project.  12 days of colorful knitting, ending in a cozy cowl. It's made with a skein of lace weight alpaca sil or mohair silk, and 5 mini skeins.  I have the perfect creamy Kidsilk Haze that I'll match up with some wintery colors. Hmm? Do I want a warm, cozy cabin with a blazing fire feel, or bundled up in a down coat, rolling snowballs and building a snowman vibe?  Thinking warm sounds nice. Here's the pattern link on Ravelry.


Progress Update. I have my colors picked, just waiting for clue 1 on December 26th. Saw a photo of her Knitmas cowl from last year, and fell in love. The background was a creamy white, and soft pastels faded from pink to tan to sage to powder blue. Off to my stash to find the perfect yarns.





Christmas at the Stitchery: The 12 Days of Christmas


This is a brand new making endeavor for me - embroidery. Last year, I discovered this lovely little embroidery business based in England's Northamptonshire countryside. Owner Nikki Franklin creates the most beautiful kits using antique linen. From elaborate country scenes, to cute little holiday trinkets, the thread work is irresistible. Never mind that I haven't embroidered anything since I was a teenager. I can knit and crochet, so how hard can it be? A new hobby! I hope my knitting needles don't get jealous.


In July, a newsletter arrived, announcing the holiday advent kits for 2023. There was one that took you from December 1st to Christmas Eve, and a second (12 Days of Christmas) that starts on Christmas Day. I chose the later. Based on the theme ‘Nordic Winter,' the beautiful keepsake embroidery box includes a large piece of new linen printed with 12 designs, and all the thread to create the sampler. And a Nordic Winter booklet, explaining how to create all of the designs, as well as traceable patterns for future projects. I always feel a little void after all the Christmas activities come to a close. Looks like I'll have plenty to do this year


If you're interested in learning more about The Stitchery, visit their website HERE.



And a few more advent ideas to consider

There are so many fun advent projects out there - so many, but too little time. Arne and Carlos have a free mystery Christmas stocking countdown that starts on December 1. Check it out HERE. If you're into socks, designer Natalie Sheldon has a new Advent Sock pattern for 2023. I've done a couple of her previous advent sock designs; all delightful, and great for stash busting. Skeindeer Knits usually announces a mystery mitten knitalong about now. A Norwegian Selbuvotter inspired design. You can see some of her past mitten patterns on Ravelry. Have done a couple of these as well. My personal favorite was Julenatt, with intricate imagery of a Scandinavian night sky.


There you have it - an annual present to myself for the holidays. Have I inspired you to join me? Hope so.




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