It’s been another busy week (aren’t they all?), and it’s getting closer to Christmas! It’s been so busy, that I’m a day later than usual in getting this blog out — I hope to be back on the Monday morning schedule again next week. This week, I’m going to talk about some pretty awesome knitted sweater ornaments, but first, let’s review what I’ve been up to knitting-wise.
This Week In Podcasts
It was a pretty slow week for me and knitting podcasts, with just episodes from Fiber Hooligan and Knitting Pipeline coming across my iPod. In Fiber Hooligan, Ben interviewed Amy Herzog. They talked about designing the perfect sweater. What is the perfect sweater? It’s the one that fits you exactly how you like it to fit. Amy has developed some methods to take body measurements and do math to make sure that your sweater comes out perfectly. In Knitting Pipeline, Paula released 2 episodes back-to-back. In Episode 154, Paula catches up on some book reviews and hosts an interesting giveaway for a Velveteen Rabbit kit. Please don’t enter the giveaway contest, because I really want to win that kit! In Episode 155, Paula announces the details about the next Knitting Pipeline retreat. It’s next spring. I wish I could go, but I doubt I’ll be able to carve out the time away.
This Week In Ravelry
Ravelry has been an explosion for me this week. The main reason it has exploded is because my birthday was Saturday, and I was overwhelmed with presents from members of the IBK group. All day long, my inbox was receiving messages that someone bought me a pattern as a gift. It really was very cool — lots of patterns from my Ravelry wish list, as well as a few patterns that the person giving me the gift thought I would enjoy. A lot of the patterns are designed by Susan B. Anderson, my favorite knitting designer, which is wonderful. With all the gifts I received this weekend, I’m very well set for knitting in the foreseeable future. I’ve thanked everyone for their kindness and generosity, and I’m not going re-list over a dozen patterns that I received here. Let it be sufficient that I offer my thanks.
This Week On My Needles
Mostly, this week I’ve been knitting sweater ornaments. So let’s move to the main part of this post:
Tiny Top-Down Sweater Ornaments!
Last year, Susan B. Anderson released the Tiny Top-Down Pullover Sweater and Cardigan pattern. This is a really cool pattern, and a great way to use up leftover yarn. Included in the pattern are instructions for a pullover and a cardigan, with several suggestions for customization. The knitted sweater is the perfect size for a Christmas tree ornament. It also works well to hang on a bottle of wine for a hostess gift, or use as a gift tag. It is the perfect size to hold a gift card. So not only is it a quick, fun knit, it’s endlessly useful.
What’s even more exciting about this pattern is that incorporates all of the techniques used in knitting a full-sized sweater, but since it’s done on such a small-scale, you can concentrate on the techniques. Knitting a few of these sweaters has helped give the confidence I’ll need for full-size sweaters.
In October, I knitted up this green and white sweater:
It was a lot of fun, and I think it only took me a couple of sittings to knit it. Doing the snowflake embroidery made a nice touch, and was great practice for that technique. Changing colors for the white trim was easy, and helped make the sweater stand out a little more. After finishing that sweater, I was hooked, and knew I’d be knitting more. Until recently, the green and white sweater lived on a hanger on the back of our front door. It has since migrated to my wife’s office.
The red and white sweater pictured at the top of this post was modeled after my green and white one. We hung it on the neck of a bottle of wine that we gave as a hostess gift at a holiday party last week. See how versatile this pattern is!? I completed that sweater in just two sittings, including all of the embroidery and weaving in the ends.
I’ve also knit a couple of sweaters for swaps in the IBK Ravelry group. The pattern includes instructions for a cardigan as well as a pullover, so I tried my hand at the candy-cane-inspired cardigan I mentioned last week:
I had a few tiny white buttons that worked just great, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. I think I have enough of that yarn left to knit one more sweater, but it’ll be close.
Finally, for a less traditional take on the sweater ornament, I knitted the following sweater in homage to the best Christmas movie of all time, Die Hard:
In case you’re not familiar with the movie, it’s a story of how some bad guys take over a building, and the Bruce Willis character singlehandedly saves the day. At one point, Willis’ character kills a bad guy, takes his machine gun, and sends the bad guy down the elevator with a message written on his sweatshirt. Here’s a clip from the movie that I found on YouTube:
So my sweater is meant as an homage to that scene. I knew I couldn’t fit all the words on a tiny sweater, and was trying to figure out how I’d get the point across. My wife suggested that I pin the “Now I have a machine gun” message to the sweater and embroider the “HO HO HO.” That’s exactly what I did, and I really like the way it came out. As an added bonus, if the sweater is going to be on display around people who don’t appreciate the Die Hard humor, the machine gun part can easily be removed, leaving just the “HO HO HO.” I had a hard time letting this sweater go because I liked it so much. But it was worth it when my swap partner received it and really enjoyed it.
This one just goes to show that the possibilities are endless. You can dress this ornament up however you want, limited only by your own creativity.
These sweaters are pretty much the extent of my Christmas ornament knitting this year. I plan to span out into some other patterns for next year, but knitting up these sweaters is probably going to be good standard practice for me for years to come. What about you? What kind of Christmas ornaments are you knitting this year? Join the conversation by leaving a comment about your knitted Christmas ornaments.
Until next week, keep on knitting for the ones you love!