Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Holiday Ornaments

Every year I am faced with the same holiday conundrum: What do you buy for the people that already have everything? Especially on my meager law student budget. For the solution I turn to my wonderful Grandma.

My Grandma has 6 kids, 15 grandkids, and 15 great-grandkids. She gave up trying to buy gifts for all of us long ago. Instead, she makes something from the heart: scrapbooks, cookies, packages of lefse... Sometimes she even regifts something from the past like when she gave my cousin his two favorite children's books for his wedding, or when she gave my aunt the puppets she loved as a child. Whatever the gift, everyone always ends up in tears of gratitude for her thoughtfulness.

This year I'll do something similar by making knitted Christmas tree ornaments. What could be better than a hand-made personalized ornament you can use year after year? OK, maybe a Nintendo Wii would be better, but these ornaments will probably stick around a lot longer and maybe have a little more meaning down the road.

Here's the first batch:


Terms:
kfb: knit into the front and back of stitch
ssk: slip two stitches together knitwise, then pass both back onto the left-hand needle and knit them together through the back.
k2tog: Knit two stitches together.

Poinsettia:

Materials:
Patons Classic Wool, bright red
US size 6 double-pointed needles

Need supplies?

Patons Classic Merino Wool Yarn - 100% Wool



Clover Bamboo Double Point Knitting Needles 7''



Pattern:
Cast on 6 stitches - 2 on each dpn

Center:

Row 1: kfb every stitch (12)
Row 2: kfb, k1 6 times (18)
Row 3: kfb, k2 6 times (24)
Row 4: kfb, k3 6 times (30)
Row 5: kfb, k4 6 times (36)
Row 6: kfb, k5 6 times (42)
Row 7: kfb, k6 6 times (48)

Petals:

Row 1: k8, stop and turn work over so you are working at the WS
Row 2: purl back on the 8 stitches you just knitted, turn.
Row 3: ssk, k4, k2tog, turn
Row 4: purl, turn
Row 5: ssk, k2, k2tog, turn
Row 6: purl, turn
Row 7: ssk, k2tog, turn
Row 8: purl
Row 9: k2tog


Break yarn and fasten off. Reattach yarn at the next group of 8 stitches and work the same way as the last petal. Repeat until all the petals are done.

Finishing:

Weave in all ends. Now comes the fun part - Felting!
Place your poinsettia inside a pillowcase to keep the fuzz off of it and wash on the hot/cold cycle with some towels or other laundry for abrasion. My poinsettia only partially felted after one cycle, but I liked the look so I left it like that.
Next comes blocking. The petals like to curl up, but this is easily remedied by placing a heavy object on it while it dries. I used my Constitutional Law book - take that John Marshall!
Simply attach a loop of yarn on one of the points for a hanger, or use icord if you want something a little fancier. Metal ornament hangers or hook earrings will also work (you can find these at most craft stores - especially the hook earrings).


Starish thingy:


Materials:
Patons Classic Wool, bright red and winter white
US size 6 double-pointed needles

Pattern:

This one is easier than the poinsettia. It starts out the same way, but just keep going with the increases in every row.

Using red, cast on 6 stitches, 2 on each needle.

Row 1: kfb every stitch (12)
Row 2: kfb, k1 6 times (18)
Row 3: kfb, k2 6 times (24)
Row 4: kfb, k3 6 times (30)
Row 5: kfb, k4 6 times (36)
Row 6: kfb, k5 6 times (42)
Row 7: kfb, k6 6 times (48)
Row 8: kfb, k7 6 times (54)
Row 9: Switch to white yarn, kfb, k8 6 times (60)
Row 10: Switch to red yarn, kfb, k9 6 times (66)
Row 11: Switch to white yarn, kfb, k10 6 times (72)
Row 12: Switch to red yarn, kfb, k11 6 times (78)
Row 13: Switch to white yarn, kfb, k12 6 times (84)
Row 14: kfb, k13 6 times (90)

Bind off.

Finishing:

Weave in ends and felt and block just like the poinsettia.

If you want to personalize the ornament embroider the name of the beneficiary in the center using contrasting yarn.

This ornament would also make a fantastic holiday coaster.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

what are the finished measurements, approximately?

Orange Fish said...

The Poinsettia is about 4 and 1/4 inches and the star is about 4 and 1/2.

Orange Fish said...

Whoops, should have mentioned that that's after felting. Before felting they are about 6 inches in diameter.

Nzbyrd said...

Fab Patterns, thanks heaps.

www.beegeethebichon.blogspot.com

tammy said...

Thanks for the pattern! I have some Cascade 220 leftover from another project that will work up beautifuly!

greykittie said...

I'm one of those irritating people who see faces in wallpaper and tree trunks. I stop and gaze at clouds. I can't spell, and it's not a problem, just because Mr. Webster said it must be spelt a certain way, I say revolt!!
I look at the starfish thingy and I see a Christmas Rose. Gather the center together by tieing a bunch of it up with green yarn, very tight. Roses for your tree. from Greykittie