Thinking Small

Two more ornaments, done and dusted. I’m resisting the urge here to say things like “it’s all going so well” and “so far so good” and generally putting down my feelings of success and well-being like they’re a lame horse. That way lies madness and the sort of downfall that can only be brought about by confidence. The best I’ll say is that I’m on track. Fourth of November, four ornaments, and I expect things to go to ruin over the weekend as I pull together the last of the retreat details for next week. (PS – I mentioned it on Instagram and twitter, but forgot to do it here, if you make things and wanted to put something in our goodie bags, let me know. We welcome everything, even weird things. Shoot me an email at info@strungalong.ca)

First up, a little cloud and rainbow, and the first one I didn’t use a pattern for, but I can walk you through.  (And, I know – it’s not very Christmassy, but the recipient will like it, and it’s all about them, not me.)

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I took a handful of white roving, muddled it into a pile, and went to the kitchen sink with it.  I added a single drop of dishwashing soap (not too much, or it won’t felt) and started rubbing it in my hands in hot-ish water.  When it was cloud shaped (I pulled at it a bit) I lay it flat to dry, and knit the rainbow. I knit it (more or less, it’s not precise) like this:

Cast on 12 stitches, in purple, knit a row.  Join blue, and knit two rows. Join green, and knit one, M1, knit 3, M1 – all the way across, then knit one more row. (I made one by doing a yarn over, and knitting into the back of it to twist it on the next row.) Join yellow, and do the same, doing a M1 about every three stitches, then knitting a row plain. Same thing with orange, and the same thing with red.  Done! 12 rows of knitting, changing colours every two rows. (Except for that first purple one, I did the long tail cast on, so it counts as a row.  Then I got a needle and thread, and stitched the rainbow to the cloud. Didn’t even do it neatly, because it’s on the back. Other than the time spent waiting for the cloud to dry, it was a snap.  (If you don’t have any roving, I think you could just knit yourself a little garter stitch cloud, increasing and decreasing to make the shape. Fake it. Clouds come in all shapes. 

That done, I scanned through the comments, and found that Teague had suggested these little Holiday Mice.  How could I resist?

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I knit my wee mousie from fingering weight yarn on 2.25mm needles, and followed the instructions completely.  The only hold up was that I didn’t have any pale pink yarn for the ears, so into the kitchen I went.  I soaked a little butterfly of yarn in water for a bit, then mixed a drop of food colouring into a bowlful of water, added the yarn for a swish, and took it out when it was the right shade of pink.  I rinsed it twice to make sure the colour would stay,  let it dry, and bingo. Ear yarn.

I know there are purists among you who will be disappointed that I didn’t heat set the dye, but this will never be washed enough for it to matter, and all’s fair in love, war and advent calendar knitting. Besides – look at that little mouse. Can you stand it? I made a tiny pom pom for the red hood, transforming it into a Santa Hat, and now, do you know what that bitty rodent is?

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Santa Mouse– The star of a longstanding Christmas Eve read for our family.  It couldn’t be more perfect.  The only shame about it now is that everyone wants one (actually, Sam wants five) and I feel bad that there isn’t one on Luis’ calendar.

I guess I’ll just make one when he loses something else.