Saturday, March 10, 2012

Little Christmas Eve

When I saw this as the title for the chapter of Christmas ball patterns I tackled this week, I thought maybe the authors were just trying to find categories to plop things under, but it turns out December 23, Little Christmas Eve is a real thing in Norway. It’s the day when all the final preparations for Christmas should be made, and the tree brought in, prepared for trimming.

The chapter starts with a pattern called Sledding Run, and features a little figure sitting on a toboggan. Now, I don’t know if either Arne or Carlos have ever spent much time behind 18-wheelers on an American interstate highway, but I’m thinking they have gotten just a wee bit of inspiration from a certain silhouette commonly found on tractor-trailer mud flaps. I’ll let you know if I find any Yosemite Sam ornaments in the book. This pattern stretches across two panels, rather than four. You can’t see it in the picture easily, but there are bejeweled snowflakes on the sides between the two sledders.

Next come two tree-themed patterns, Pinecone and Christmas Tree. Pretty self-explanatory, both of them. So far, I’ve been following the color schemes as set out in the book, as to whether red or white is the background color. In most cases, I think white works better, but in both of these, I like the red.

    

I’m not sure I did the increases and decreases very well on the pinecone. It looks nice enough in the picture, but I wouldn’t inspect the top and bottom too closely. I used 48 beads across the 4 Christmas trees, including a little gold one for the star. I bought gold beads at the outset, but right away decided I didn’t want to use them. I made an exception here.

And finally, I made Decorating the Tree. Now this design, based on a mitten pattern in a booklet by the Norwegian Handcraft Association, isn’t specifically related to Christmas, but the authors say it reminds them of someone decorating a tree with garland. So I shined up the “garland” with a few beads. The three stitches at the bottom of the figure make rather realistic shoes, I think, but someone needs to tell these ladies that the bustle went out over 100 years ago. That’s some serious junk in those trunks.

I’ll be on Christmas Ball Hiatus for a few days. I finished this last one with only 5 inches of white yarn to spare. I thought I had more, but checked, and realized I’d only order one hank. So I’ll have to wait until more arrives. I’m also running low on beads and stuffing. But I’m a little over 40% of the way through this project (23 out of 55 balls), way ahead of schedule, and still enjoying it immensely.

5 comments:

  1. Maybe the ladies on that last ball are actually dancing (holding hands and whirling around), so their skirts are flying out behind them? ;)

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  2. I totally got "mudflap" too, even before I read your narrative. This is a family-friendly tree, right? :)

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  3. Your observation about the mudflap is brilliant. I did not know of Little Christmas Eve until I read this post, but December 23rd has always been my favorite part of the entire season. It is the eve before all the real stuff starts and packs the most anticipation.

    ~Jene

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  4. Yes, definitely mud flaps! Nonetheless, I love these ornaments, and really need to get this book!

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  5. I love the background red with the garland. And you are spot on about the mudflaps. haha.

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