Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Nativities

Christmas Nativities are a big thing in my house.  What started out as a teaching tool for my children to teach them what our household believes Christmas is about, has become an obsession.  I have made many, many sets including some that don't get put out because they have been loved to death.  I thought I would share some of them here. 

I found this set in a series of magazines several years back and being a crocheter, I had to make it.

I bought this set from a local ceramic artist.  I just loved the simplicity of it.  Joseph is about 8 inches tall.  The pine cones are actually huge so I just had to put glitter on them.

 I love this set that I made years ago.  Joseph is only about 3 1/2 inches tall it is my smallest set.  My daughter in her youth made the counted cross stitch embroidery above it.

This is my newest set.  It is made with pom-pom balls, felt and different embellishments.  I love how it came out.

My main problem with all these nativities is I am running out of surfaces to put them on.  I would love to design a set one of these years but I need an idea that hasn't already been done.  There are so many wonderful patterns out there it is really hard to come up with something new.  The reality is it is a really old story that showed men just how much God loves each of us.

Do you have a favorite Nativity set that you set up at Christmas time?  

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Winter Tree Cable Men’s Fingerless Gloves

I love winter trees.  They are beautiful in the spring, summer and fall but in the winter against a winter sky you can see just what they have to stand against to make it.  Most of the trees out here like this Osage-Orange tree have a real bent to them to stand against the Kansas wind.

My husband asked me design some fingerless gloves for him.  Since lace knitting wouldn't work for a guy's design, I thought of cable.  In thinking about my husband, he often reminds me of a winter tree. He is steadfast and true and has weathered amazing storms in his life, and yet he stands.  I am sure that there were times in our marriage that it would have been easier to leave then withstand  the storms but because of his promise to God and me on our wedding day, he has chosen to stay and grow through it.  The character that is his because of his choices, has made him a truly amazing, loving man.

This is the design I came up with for his gloves.

 They were probably my hardest design to date because the broad part of the tree kept getting in the way of the thumb gusset.  I had to design each glove a little differently since the thumb gusset was on opposite sides, but I am really pleased with how they came out.  I used a soft acrylic yarn so that they would wash easily. He is really pleased with the design and how they fit his hand and that makes me really happy.

Here is a pair I made in a cotton thread.
I am pleased to say they work up in about 10 hours or less after I was able to get the design figured out.  They are worked in a worsted weight yarn and worked in the round so there are no irritating seams to be felt by the wearer.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Time

Christmas is my favorite holiday.  I love the colors and all the lights on houses and trees.  What a wonderful way to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  I love decorating the Christmas tree and making Christmas tree decorations. 

This year, I decided to take a break from designing so that I could have time to wrap and mail packages, decorate the tree and do some baking.  I remember some pine cone shaped ornaments with gold or silver tips that were on my folk's tree when I was a child.  I wanted to get some for my tree.  I looked at all the decorations in the stores and couldn't find any anywhere.  So the option I came up with is make my own.  It turned out to be a very short break from designing.  I just don't seem to be able to help myself

I got all the deep colors of yarn and thread I have at home.  Of course, I had to pick up a few more when I was in the stores.  I got out all my metallic gold and silver threads and started working on making a pine cone shape. 

This is what I came up used a deep red light worst weight yarn and gold metallic thread.  I am using a shell stitch to come up with individual scales.  The metallic thread really sparkles on the tree.

Here it is in a deep blue and silver metallic thread.  Pine cones just seem to fit on Christmas trees. 
And again in purple and silver.  I often use real pine cones that I have glittered and glued to go around nativity scenes but they just don't show up on Christmas trees like these crochet ones do.  While I am waiting for my men's fingerless gloves to get back from the testers, I am having fun making crochet pine cones for my tree. 

Do you like to make Christmas ornaments for your tree?