I give it a week til he loses one

The feeling of peace and calm I have around the upcoming holidays continues unabated.  I keep waiting for the moment when I look how much time is left, toss it together with what’s left to do and have the world explode into a white flash of anxiety, but so far, not so much as a cramp.  Perhaps it’s that I’ve already got so much done (thank you, spreadsheet of festive power) or maybe it’s all the knitting I did all year long, now ready to be wrapped up and tucked under the tree… or maybe it’s that last night, I finished the Advent tree, and delivered it to the lucky recipient – right in time for the first ornament to be hung this morning.

treedone 2014-12-01

Done. 24 tiny things all woollen, all charming, all tailored to be of interest to the wee guy they’re for – and that guy? Luis, of course.

helikesit 2014-12-01

I know he’s a little small to be really, really delighted with a gift – I mean, he’s only two and 3/4, but if I wanted to make something I thought he would remember having at every Christmas of his life, this was probably the last year to deliver, and he was more charmed by it that I’d ever hoped.  He took out all the little things, exclaimed over what they all were (“CAMION PAPA! CAMION!” –  Perfect validation for the Auntie who thought there should absolutely be a truck ornament) and tried hanging them on the little buttons.

camion 2014-12-01

He then promptly took off eight, snatched them tight in his wee fat hands, and threw them behind the chesterfield, prompting parents to scramble on the floor, and then hang the thing higher. (He also put one or two of them in his pants. It’s a current strategy for stashing his belongings when he has no pockets.)

helikesit2 2014-12-01

I’m so glad he liked it, and almost as good, I think Katie and Carlos liked it too, and I am so stinking happy not to be knitting anymore tiny things that I can just about drop dead of joy. Or exhaustion, or something. I love how it turned out. It’s just like I imagined it, and we all know how seldom that happens with a project.  I’m going to show you all the ornaments, with links, one day at a time. (You know, if you wanted to knit one a day…)  So…

What’s Lou hanging today?

star 2014-12-01

The star.  I’d originally thought the star would go last, but upon reflection, I thought it should be first. Something else was better last, and truthfully, it’s what I put on my tree first, so why not.  The star came from this pattern, and is knit out of a scrap of fingering weight yellow wool, on 2mm needles. (Most of the patterns I used, I had to downsize so they would fit.  Most of the time I did this by using smaller yarns and needles.

treedonepockets2 2014-12-01

With this project done, I’m off to consult the spreadsheet, and see what’s left to be done, knitting wise.  I’m sure counting that up will do a lot for my sense of peace. How bad can it be?

146 thoughts on “I give it a week til he loses one

  1. Pingback: I give it a week til he loses one | Yarn Buyer

  2. That is so cute! I can’t wait to see the camion up close. It’s a bit late for me to be coveting such a thing… my kids are teenagers. Good luck with all the rest. I have half a sweater to knit!

  3. Did you just create the rest from that fertile little mind of yours? Or is there a source? It is absolutely amazing and I’m so glad he likes it!

  4. Lucky little guy! I am sure the family will treasure the gift for many years. Now, don’t you think Myrie needs one as well? 🙂

  5. Gorgeous! Many many years ago, I made a similar advent calender for my daughter (5 then, 30 now) from felt ornaments, and sadly they have not stood the test of time – wonder if I should remake it with liddle knitted ornies – hmmmmmmmmmmm

  6. OMG Steph that is amazing. You were right, they all needed to be made by you. I am dying of the cute right now. It’s one thing to create a thing, but you have created memories and a tradition, all rolled into one. It is exactly the right balance of sweet and sophisticated. But I think you’re right, I hope you kept extra felt and yarn for the inevitable replacements!

  7. Congratulations! The calendar is absolutely adorable, and you’re right, it’s something he’ll cherish forever. I can’t imagine knitting all those tiny little things – you win the auntie competition! Hope the rest of your knitting is stress-free.

  8. So I was right in thinking this calendar was for Luis. It’s gorgeous, and I hope he will come to treasure it over the years. And so happy that now the feelings of fulfillment can have full reign with the completion of the project. What a lovely gift for Luis. Isn’t there a little niece some place too ….?

  9. I can’t wait to see the remaining patterns!!

    This is stinkin’ adorable, and has inspired me to do something similar to commemorate my first Christmas in my own house (next year)…Now I have a year to plot. hehehehe

    I hope Lou enjoys it – he looks like he already is!

    Katie =^..^=

  10. I love it (and the adorable pictures of little Lou.) I’m so glad you’re linking the patterns for the ornaments. I’m STARting today. 🙂

  11. I love that so much!! I thought about making something like that this year, but ran out of time. I’ll start soon for next year! Great work!

  12. Just right! I’ve been visiting the star pattern on Rav frequently since you first mentioned it, it’s just perfect. My kids had and loved an Advent calendar and I’ve passed it on to them, but I suddenly want to start a new one for the grandchildren for next year. They’re still little. (Rubbing hands together with excitement)…

  13. That is adorable! I also have teenagers so they wouldn’t be as interested as Lou. But…sometime in the next 10, 15, 20 years I might have grandchildren and if I start now…it might be ready for them. Hmmm!
    Thanks for always giving us something to strive for.

  14. The calendar is so cute!! Maybe you should have a little side business selling them…..(somehow I seriously doubt that will happen).

    What is it about little boys and trucks? My husband has a grandson that is turning 3 in March and he is ALL about trucks. I knit a sweater for him for Christmas with a big truck on the front. Normally he couldn’t care less about clothes, but maybe the truck will make him happy.

  15. I love the second picture–the look on Luis’s face, even from the side, is pure joy. All those tiny, exquisite ornaments look to me as though they should be illustrations in a very young child’s book, the kind with pictures but no words. They are lovely and you have done a great job.

  16. Puddin’, thank you for posting the patterns (I think. I’m still entertaining the possibility that it’s part of a cunning plan to spread the crazy.) My oldest is only 3, so maybe if I sprint.

  17. Good gravy Stephanie, that’s about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen that I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole if knitting needles were involved. I just attempted my first yarn-over series for buttonholes on a cowl, and patted myself on the back for days for that one.

    It’s truly spectacular. Don’t forget to take a good, detailed picture so you can exactly match the first one he loses and wigs out over. = )

  18. I think this is absolutely wonderful, but I have a (nerdy) question.

    How will the little ornaments stay in order? Are the buttons numbered too? Are the ornaments numbered? Or is this something that can change over the years?

    • This is totally something that can change over the years. I fully expect them to be muddled and mixed, and for Luis and his family to come up with their own ideas about what ornaments should be hung when. It belongs to them now, they make all the rules!

      • bravo for that attitude. bless the gift and let it go. Now, if there were a tiny Thomas the Tank Engine–my grandson, 2 months shy of 3, loves Thomas, and my daughter (rather older) loves Advent Calendars.

  19. I have to admit I thought you were nuts taking on that project. I absolutely totally take it back. That is OUTSTANDING and yes, the little fellow will remember this always and it will always make him smile.

    Tired of knitting tiny things? What’s next, an afghan? 🙂

    Also by the way, I finished your most recent book and love,love,love it. Passed it on to my best friend — not a knitter but a huge fan of yours. [HUGS]

  20. Well, thanks. I had the “Aunt of the Year” competition sewn up for about five hours this year, with the Advent calendar I made my niece. And then along you came….

  21. Brava! What a wonderful gift. Someday he will love it even more, when he knows what went into making it. A true accomplishment.

  22. I am so glad you are going to show the ornaments. I swear I saw a reindeer head on the tree, and it looked like felt to me. I have a far away facebook friend who makes the cutest hand sewn felt items. When I asked her for help she said something like “Oh, I just cut stuff out of coloring book pages and use those as patterns.” Nice idea, but I am a kid who flunked home economics so hand sewing is beyond me. I looked on Craftsy for classes but no luck. I just needed a little more direction than she gave me, you know. I am excited to see all of your creations.

    • Judy,
      I remember taking a quilting course, and being dismayed at the quality of my hand sewing. We didn’t have Home Ec. at my school. But I bit the bullet and hand-pieced and quilted a hot pad for a set of place mats I gave my sister. The place mats were hand appliqued. Once I’d done all that hand sewing, I developed a new respect for my handmade stitches!

  23. This is absolutely amazing! Not that I don’t have enough on my plate at the moment with a pile of yarn and things I want to knit for the baby, but I might have to work on making him one of these for next year so he, too, has something he can grow up with.

  24. It’s darling! And at least as the pieces become lost, you’ll have a photo of the complete tree so you can find out what’s missing. Plus, with a daily blog, you’ll know where to find the pattern. Even if you have to replace many pieces over the years, this is such a wonderful gift.

  25. Brava!! Well done, you. How stinking cute is that little one with his brand new, beautiful Advent calendar? Love it.
    (PS You’re probably right, he’s likely to lose some. Hope you’re planning on making an extra one or two for next year. But after the holidays. After.)

  26. Tempting fate, you are, with that “how bad can it be”….
    But the advent calendar is spectacular, and Luis is obviously thrilled with it. Carry on, and knit.

  27. That is adorable, I love knitting tiny things.

    I don’t know if I will knit one or even some of them. My grandchildren are all much older then Luis. But my granddaughters just love tiny things.


  28. Love it! First time i’ve been brave enough to write a comment – read all your books and have started reading the blog from the beginning (Currently at April 05)

    • I love it when people read the archives from the beginning. It’s like my family grows really, really fast to them! Welcome.

      • I loved that part of it– watching the girls grow! It helped the parenting tips stick. (Best tip: matching intensity when bouncing a baby. IT WORKS.)

  29. The fabulousity of this is NOT surprising but boy is it awe-inspiring! Lucky Luis to have an Aunty like you!

  30. I salute you! I made an Advent tree of felt ornaments (from a Vogue holiday pattern) when my daughter was 3 and kept asking “how many days til Christmas”. I figured even if she couldn’t count, all the red Velcro dots would give her a clue as to “a lot” or “soon”. I was in nursing school at the time so each night after she went to bed I would stay up late and stitch a few more so she could have a few to choose from the next day. This year I will be sending it to her for HER children to use. And yes, I’m late getting it in the mail. Yours will probably go to his first child too. Sniff.

  31. The whole thing is just exquisite, but I have to say, the little tree to hang on the bigger tree has me in … dare I say it … stitches.

  32. I have to tell you, this really is a cut above all the rest. I didn’t read any of the other comments, so I don’t know if someone aleady said it, but you should SELL the patterns and directions. Not that I don’t want them for free……but……

  33. GET…OUT! That is SO stinkin’ cute. I have quite a few great-nieces and -nephews, I’d better start now for next year. Seeing your calendar has made a great start to the month.

  34. Simply wonderful and doesn’t even hint at all the work that went into it (I like those kinds of things.) it’s very, very good to be Luis.

  35. Stunning! Beautiful! Imaginative! Clever! What a huge gift of love for that wonderful little boy. He (and his parents) will treasure it always.

  36. I love the tiny-ness of it all. Somehow the process of taking something out of a pocket and putting it on the tree is very satisfying to a small person. I imagine they think they are in control of time and the days and hours until that special day will unfold with each moment that they hang the treasure on the carefully chosen branch.

  37. This is very similar to the one my brother and I had growing up, except with a nativity scene instead of a tree. From experience, it will likely be well-loved and treasured by Luis. After all, ours is still in use (I’m 23), and my brother and I will likely fist-fight over it when it comes time for inheritance, we both love it so much.

  38. OMG! How did you keep this train on the rails?? That spreadsheet must be full of some kind of magic. . . unless the knitting gods & goddesses decide to REALLY test your mettle before Christmas! (Don’t knit anything unless you’ve used the pattern before and swatched to see if you get tension/gauge!)

  39. Thank you so much for the links! I’ll be expanding that photo too to trace your wonderful tree. I’m going to make that through the next year – my daughter is almost the same age as Lou (she’s about 2 years 9 months, and my son is 9 months – you got me through all that awful prodromal labour on Twitter this Spring!) so I’m hoping that next year will still be young enough to really “get” it as something at every Christmas. We’re hoping to be in our own home by then too, just to make it extra special.

  40. This is SO CUTE! I don’t have the patience for tiny things, so I will just congratulate you on a job well done. So glad he liked it!

  41. I’m so glad you let us see it! It’s wonderful and will be a source of holiday memories for many years to come. What a lucky boy Luis is to have you as an Auntie, and you to have him!

  42. Wow! It’s brilliant!! I’ve been eyeing up that star pattern for about a year but suspect it’s too advanced for my knitting skills…Ii might give it a go anyway (in chunkier yarn, perhaps?) and see just how much of a mess I can make!

  43. Thank you for linking the patterns with the photos because I want to make one or two of these for next year. I am glad to read about your spreadsheet. I have just a list or two, maybe three counting the one I carry in my head.

  44. thank you for this! my daughter is 1 and three quarters and i had decided against an advent calendar for her this year. she doesn’t even really know about christmas yet, let alone the run-up to it. and i didn’t want to get her used to the idea that she gets a gift every day for the next 24 days – where will that get me?! but i’m definitely going down this route for next year – without sweets or “gifts” and she gets to actually DO something, i.e. decorate her own tree. brilliant!

  45. My husband, a big kid by any standard claims to LOVE advent calenders. That came to a screeching halt last year when I mixed Bertie Botts beans with Jelly Bellies. Apparently taking a chance on popping a dirt (or worse) flavored bean ruined it for him (at 55).
    Maybe next advent calender, you could do an ornament in between your big projects. At the end of November you’d have this task almost completed. Just an idea….

  46. Totally adorable! Thanks so much for sharing L’s excitement with us. I don’t have any little kids in my life right now so it was wonderful to see the pics of his delight. Christmas is so magical for little ones eh?

  47. Spectacular!!! I knew you would create something awesome, but that is beyond awesome. (What is beyond awesome…. hmmm…. you, I guess!) So impressed by your handiwork. I know he will cherish this for the many, many years to come. Imagine he will pull it out for his own kids someday, too. How wonderful that he could maybe even share your blog posts about it with them!?!?

  48. The joy on Lou’s face in that second picture is absolute perfection and what we all hope to see on the faces of the people we knit/crochet/sew for. Love the calendar. Gorgeous! Beautiful work, Stephanie! As always.

  49. I read here every day and never comment, but I just had to today. That is the nicest advent calendar I have ever seen and also one of the most thoughtful gifts that lucky little guy could receive. You are a gem!

  50. Absolutely charming. I love the look on Lou’s tiny face. This is something he will love for the rest of his life. This just might make it onto my project board for 2015.

  51. This so so amazingly cute, I may have to break down and make one for me, I have no kids or nieces or nephews that would appreciate it, so I will have to make it my self. My grandmother make lots of felt and sequin ornaments, I can add to the holidays by making this! 🙂

  52. Oh, my gosh!! That turned out so great!! I love it! Best of all, though, Luis loved it! I can’t wait to see each ornament!

  53. This is so full of love, I can feel my heart swelling to fill my entire chest. I wish above all right now that I had a little one in my life for whom I could make something like this.

    Knitters everywhere are happy that you are sharing this!

  54. OMG…that is so cute. I don’t know how you have time to do so much. That is precious and I’m sure he will have fun putting up an ornament a day. Very cute!!

  55. This is the most amazing advent tree I have ever seen. It is so special since you created it on your own and made all of the ornaments from wool. I read that some of those knitted miniatures were difficult to make but it is so worth it. The tree looks great. Luis’s smiling face was priceless!! Great job Stephanie! And thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  56. What a wonderful “forever down through the generations” gift you have given this beautiful child. My advice would be to immediately begin cranking out another calendar…a January project perhaps…because you will need to make several. Don’t repeat all of the same ornaments, so the expectation is not that everything matches exactly. That way you can skip the ones that drove you to the brink (sometimes the brink looms so close I don’t want to repeat a project at all), and have the fun of trying new wee things. Oh, except for the star. Everybody needs a star. Could be a different star, but that one is very nice. I love gifts that nobody outgrows! Thanks for sharing the finished project, and the links. I appreciate you.

  57. a) You are wonderful. In so many ways.
    b) Thank you for having accidentally solved for me how I should replace the missing handmade ornaments on our own holiday calendar (quilted by my sister). I don’t know why I didn’t think of knitting replacements before now, since I tend to think of knitting as the solution to EVERY OTHER ONE OF LIFE’S PROBLEMS. Weird.

    Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones, and thank you for existing. You make my online world a brighter place.

  58. I Love Lou’s advent tree. I made a cross stitch wreath advent calendar when my kids were young. Each year they argued about whose turn it was EVERY day. Now that they are adults they argue about who gets it. ;-0, and they are trying to get me to pick….absolutely no way am I going to pick. Guess I better get started making one for each…knit this time.

  59. So cute! Neither my nephew nor my niece shows any signs of having children in the near future, so I can get a head start!

  60. How adorable and creative! Luis is going to have so much fun hanging the wee ornaments – heck, I’d love it and I’m old enough to be his grandma!

  61. it is just SO beautiful! You must be so happy with how it turned out. His little face and the expression of delight almost made me tear up! xo 🙂

  62. Amazing! You should make this a pattern – sell it to make $$ for your charity – give partial pay to any pattern/designers you used. It would sell like wildfire. Even a kit – with the felt and yarn… etc.

    LOVE. Genius.

  63. Oh my goodness! Cutest Advent calendar/tree ever, and Luis is absolutely adorable in his obvious delight with it. I need one of these even though the youngest kid here is almost 17! I would enjoy putting those tiny ornaments on the tree each day! Maybe if I start on it right after the holidays I could have it finished for next year … 🙂

  64. My almost 2.5 year old would absolutely love this too. Though eventually all of the ornaments would end up in his dump truck being carted around the house and the pockets would be full of rocks, bits of broken crayon, and (clean) Thomas underwear. This arrangement would be his idea of perfection.

  65. Pingback: a gift for a tree | leighside knits

  66. Pingback: New Traditions –

  67. I love this so much!!! Just started back on your blog after taking a hiatus (sorry!! new baby took up too much time). After seeing the ornaments Dec 17 and Dec 16, I had to go back to Dec 1 and start from there. I love everything about this so much! The beautiful little ornaments, the tree, the little felt pockets and most of all, Luis’s delighted face captured in these pictures. I might have to start one this year for my little guy (he’ll be 2 1/2 next Christmas so it’ll be perfect!). I’ve never been good with knitting little items – I love small needles and fingering yarn but that combined to make teeny tiny things seems very intimidating but this is just so wonderful enough to maybe convince me to give it a try. Bravo, you really are a knitting genius. Now it’s time to work my way backwards 20 months and catch up on your knitting!

  68. Pingback: Knitting Resolutions (2015) | Knit Me For a Loop

  69. Hi Steph,
    I absolutely loved your daily posts in December chronicling Luis hanging each ornament, plus the patterns you used and modified, etc. I’m planning on making my own version this year, two ornaments per month, and I was wondering if you could provide dimensions for the actual tree/pockets/wall hanging of the project? I want to start knitting before I do the sewing, but I need a better idea of size before I do.
    Anyway I’ve shown this to every knitter I know and we are all totally obsessed… It’s beautiful!!

  70. Pingback: Christmas In July | Ready! Set! Stitch!

  71. Hello guys, I’m a new mother and I am trying to get my five month daughter to sleep longer during night. Right now I’m fortunate to get four hours rest each night. Best wishes

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