Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Ornament Thursday





Welcome to Ornament Thursday! (Once again, I'm confounded by the fact that I live in a different time zone from the good folks at Blogger. It is definitely Thursday where I live, although the date stamp on the entry is reading Wednesday. You'll just have to trust me on this.) Last week, Katie Hacker and Candie Cooper decided to have a virtual get together for holiday crafting each Thursday until Christmas. Brilliant, no? They've invited folks to participate, and I asked to join this week. I actually have two sets of ornaments today - one made by me and one made by my mother, who is currently visiting.

Since the Short One has officially reached Active Toddler status, we have four very simple criteria for the holidays. All ornaments must be:

1. unbreakable;
2. non-toxic;
3. not small enough to easily stuff up one's nose (don't ask); and
4. simple enough to make after a full day of chasing a pint-sized personal trainer around without keeling over.

My mother made the cute ones, above - the little red felt apples. As the project conforms to the above criteria (particular No. 4), we don't feel that specific instructions are really necessary. We will say that, after drawing an apple template and cutting two copies from red felt, Mom used blanket stitch to sew the ornaments up and stuffed them with polyester fiberfill. She stitched the green leaf in place with a bit of brown thread to simulate veining.

I made the odd looking knit things - they are supposed to be lollipops. I wanted to make something out of I-cord. For any non-knitters out there, the "I" in I-cord stands for "Idiot" (seriously - this is true), and I therefore felt it would be just my speed for making ornaments. The instructions (such as they are) follow.

Knit Lollipops

©2007 Melissa J. Lee

Materials:
Rowan Handknit Cotton (or any dk weight yarn) in two complementary colors - oddments
Rowan Handknit Cotton (or any dk weight yarn) in white - oddments
Any scrap yarn, ribbon or thread (for the loop of the ornament).
2 US6 double-pointed needles (I thankfully threw swatching out the window for this one - of course, if using US6 results in too tight or too loose-looking stitches to you, you know what to do)
Needle to sew up cord

The I-Cord: Cast on 3 stitches in the primary color you have chosen for the lollipop. Knit one row. Instead of turning the work as you would normally do, simply slide the work to the other end of your double-pointed needle and knit the next row from that side, pulling the yarn from the left side where it is dangling over to the right to knit the next stitch. What you are essentially doing is creating a very narrow tube - this is I-Cord. Continue knitting the tube in this way without turning your work. Bind off (when you are ready to bind off) in the way you usually would for a regular flat piece of knitting.

Knit approximately 7.5" of I-Cord in the primary color of the lollipop and approximately 4.5" of I-Cord in the secondary color of the lollipop. Coil the two colors of I-Cord around each other and stitch in place (similar to the way you would stitch a braided rug together). Knit 3-4" of I-Cord in white. Stitch to the base of the lollipop (where the coil ends). Thread scarp yarn/ribbon/thread through one of the top stitches of the lollipop for the loop. Simple, no?

But wait, there's more! For great holiday crafting ideas (all of which are undoubtedly much hipper than ours - we kind of threw hip-ness out the window this week), please visit the blogs of the other participants of this week's Ornament Thursday:

Suzanne

Rebecca Peck
Michelle McGee
Melanie Brooks Lukacs

Margot Potter
Lynn Kvigne
Linda Augsburg
Kriss Kramer
Katie Hacker
Jenny Harada
Jennifer Heynen
Hali Chambers
Candie Cooper
Art Bead Scene
Alexa Westerfield

If you would like to join in Ornament Thursday, feel free to leave me a comment, and I will forward your information to Katie, or contact Katie directly by email through her website.

On a final, unrelated note, I just learned that Mary Harding included me in her Treasury list on Etsy. Thank you, Mary! I feel so flattered to be in such beautiful company. Also, be sure to check out Mary's work, too, at her website and on Etsy. I used one of her beautiful leaf beads in a necklace earlier this year. To view Mary's Treasury, please go here.

Thanks for visiting!

13 comments:

Margot Potter said...

Oh how adorable! I love it!

Thanks for joining in the fun...and that Macbeth piece is incredible.

Cheers!
Margot

Linda at Make It Mine Mag said...

Melissa, I just decorated my tree last night, and, since I occasionally have a 2-year-old charmer who comes to visit, the bottom 3 ft. of my tree is "soft ornaments" as well, so I empathize! The lollipops are a great idea!

Katie Hacker said...

These are both super cute ideas. We haven't put up our tree yet and this is the first year our little one is mobile so I hadn't even considered the fact that we will need to have softies toward the bottom of the tree. Guess I'd better get busy!

Alexa said...

I can just see someone putting those felt apples for a kitchen tree.

Love the lollipops, too, but I like anything sweet. ha ha.

Melissa said...

Margot - Thanks so much for holding the round robin. It's such a great idea to foster a little holiday joie de vivre. (Thanks for your comment on the Macbeth necklace, too!)

Linda - Oh, you know it never occurred to me that we could have a zone for other ornaments out of his reach. Hmmm, must think about that. I guess I'm just worried he's going to pull the whole tree down on top of himself!

Katie - I think it depends so much on the little one. The SO is so attracted to small and shiny things - I'm way too afraid to put up anything even remotely breakable. Maybe your girl will be different!

Thanks, Alexa! I feel so un-hip next to your super-cool Flickr mosaic ornaments, though!

Labyrinth Gal said...

I LOVE these--the lollipops could almost be a finger labyrinth! :-)H.

P.S. I completely understand the up-the-nose prevention!

JenniferJangles said...

Melissa,
These ornaments are great! My boys are 4 and 6 and they have taken the ornaments on and off the tree about ten times now. You'll need soft ornaments for quite awhile.

Can't wait to see what you make nexty week.
Jennifer

Michelle McGee said...

ABSOLUTELY SO cute!!!!!!!!

Heather Powers said...

Hi Melissa,
My best friend uses only non-breakable ornaments too.

I made some crocheted and needle-felted ones a few years ago:
http://humblearts.typepad.com/humblearts_journal/2005/12/christmas_craft.html

rebecca said...

Melissa,

I think you're starting a new trend - "Active Toddler Hip". I love these and I'd put them on my tree, even though both of my kids are past the grab-every-ornament-off-the-tree-phase!

Rebecca

Margot Potter said...

Melissa

It was really Katie Hacker and Candie Cooper's idea, I was a Jilly come lately and put out an open call on my blog for joiners.

It's turning out to be absolutely wonderful!

Thank you again!
Margot

Kriss said...

Very cute! I always admire anyone who knits or crochet. My grandmother tried for years to teach me when I was a kid without any luck.

Melissa said...

Thanks, everyone for your comments!

Hali - Thank you! (I've been dreading the stuffing things up the nose stage for some time now, and it's finally here...)

Jennifer - I was kind of afraid of that!

Thanks, Michelle!

Heather - I love your needle felted ornaments!

Rebecca - Thanks! I love the idea of being "Toddler Hip". From now on, we're not untrendy, we're "Toddler Hip". Yeah!

Margot - Regardless, this has been a fun event! I can't wait until next week.

Kriss - except for a little origami, I can't do anything with paper to save my life! But that's what makes this Ornament Thursday so interesting, I think.