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Santa’s Weird Little Workshop Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Well, now. Seem’s like even though we’ve gotten the year’s shortest day out of the way, there’s still work to be done!

I just finished making a cowl using my Cassidy’s Cap pattern and some beautiful Sweet Grass Wool 3-Ply. On the left, you see it as it’s fresh-off-the-needle scrunchy self — too tight. On the right? (click on all pictures for larger picture)

cowl-before-7871   cowl-after-7886

The main characteristic of this wool, from the label, is that it’s unscoured. I’m thinking, not being a spinner, that this is sort of like Right Off the Back of the Sheep, or as close as you can get ;p

It knit up chunky and full of lanolin, etc and it needed a couple of warm sudsy dunks to release its hidden beauty.

On the right, you can see it bloomed and blocked!

Want to make one of these: if you’re using Aran weight yarn like the Cassidy’s Cap, just follow the first instructions as given from the beginning cast on; if you want to make one using a gauge like the one above (which is 3.5 sts per inch), subtract 26 sts from your base cast-on count. It took 130 yards of bulky yarn (not sure on the Aran weight yardage since I haven’t knit one, but I’m guessing about the same as the cap). REMEMBER: you need to finish up the way you started. ;p

yarn-7890Stocking Stuffer: for a little seasonal cheer, I found an extra skein of this yarn (153 yds) and if you leave a comment below, we will draw randomly Sunday, the 27th, and send it to the winner!


Orn-Santa-7880Orn-Monkey-7883Orn-Elf-7873  Orn-Bird-7884

From my house to your house: as always, Christmas spirit arrived here late in the season, late last night, after visiting the Christkindlmarket (visiting Chicago from Germany) in Daley Plaza downtown. A couple of ornaments snuck into the mix from Lauschaer Glaskugelhaus and I went home and decorated the tree. (This is what happens after you eat bratwurst smothered in saurkraut, chased with a cup of glog…)

Here’s some new and old favorites from my tiny tree (3 feet). Most of the ornaments are about 1″ high. (click on all pictures for larger picture)

My all-time favorite: and the tallest guy on the tree – a very old and fragile 3″ high glass Santa. He’s from the Allegan flea market, found years ago. I love him because he’s Blue, not Red, even though he has a pretty big hole in the head.

Second in Command: this tiny blue monkey with a cheerful yellow face. He had a brother that was my all-time favorite, in lime green and because I loved him so much he ended up as a decoration on a boyfriend’s gift in a bow (because: see previous explanation). Said boyfriend actually threw it away after he opened his package; we were history by the end of first week of the New Year. (I guess it DID bother me.)

I live in the Forest: or I’d like to, with the Elves! I have several vintage elvish ornaments who have lower bodies made from pine cones and are all carrying little xmas trees. This one looks especially happy but his brothers, like some gnomes I’ve known, look a little sinister whereas this one just looks a little manic! PARTY!

New to the party: a lovely multi-colored bird with a bristled fan tail! My grandparents had many glass birds on their xmas tree like these but bigger — I haven’t seen them to buy before last night at the market. So here’s to my Busia & Dzia Dzia and if I had the bubble lights from their tree I would be in paradise :)

Happy Holidays Everybody!!

50 responses to “Santa’s Weird Little Workshop Tuesday, December 22, 2009”

  1. Merna says:

    Such a wonderful knitter you are! It’s too warm for cowls here, but I love the look — and I love unscoured yarn too.

  2. Pam Huang says:

    I’m always up for free yarn, especially wool at this cold time of year. By the way,the knuckles of your fingers can work in a pinch as a measurement tool!

  3. Lori says:

    Yay! A little giveaway! Thanks – please enter me.

  4. Susan says:

    There’s something so fundamental about unscoured yarn, as if you are going back to the root of knitting. Love it. Thanks for the photos.

  5. Theresa says:

    Less processed yarns always give you such fun surprises when you give them a bath. I had a similar experience with the Bartlett yarn I got for an aran sweater.

    Those ornaments remind me of a special box my aunt gave me from when she and my mother were children.

    No need to enter me in the drawing… I’m barely keeping my neck above water (so to speak) with my stash as it is.

    Happy Holidays!

  6. Ruth says:

    A cowl is just the thing to keep warm when you live in the arctic of Canada. The wool looks earthy and warm. I have not seen unscoured yarn, but it sounds lovely.

    Joyeux Noel!

  7. Natalie says:

    Cowls are great, and I’m always up for trying out a different kind of wool. Yes, please enter me!

  8. Eunice says:

    I am knitting some cowls for Granddaughters who are just discovering how wonderful they are. I’m always ready to try a new yarn.

  9. Pat says:

    Hi Bonne Marie,

    I would love to win the skein of yarn to make a Cassidy’s Cowl. Your tree decorations are really gorgeous.
    Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to you and yours. I hope you will all have a lovely holiday season.

  10. JaymeKnits says:

    I love those vintage glass ornaments. It irks me that most of the ornaments I see these days are “shatterproof” ie plastic. They draw you across the store from a distance and then I see the cheap seams in the plastic and miss the glow of the glass and I get very disappointed.

  11. Sarah says:

    Ah, bubble lights. My grandparents had them too and I thought they were so awesome!

  12. wazknits says:

    Just finished the mondo cowl- love it! You design great patterns- thank you! I would love to try a skein of sweet grass yarn. Happy Holidays!

  13. Diana says:

    I’m a spinner, and lanolin in wool is heavenly.

    My grandparents had those bird ornaments too; mom still has a couple. My grandmother did an all-bird tree the last few years of her life, and now my little tree at home is all birds and crystal. My main tree, at my studio, is all Scottie dogs!

  14. Darci says:

    I would love to find that little skein in my stocking…please and thank you.

  15. ~S says:

    Don’t you just love the German glass ornaments. Growing up we had a friend who dealt in Christmas and Kitchen antiques. She always had the most interesting glass ornaments and visited Germany yearly to find new items for her shop. I have several she brought back now on my tree. Love the Cowl. Merry Christmas!

  16. Gillian says:

    Looks beautiful. Yeah that’s pretty much what unscoured means. There’s something so lovely about natural wool (and the smell…yum!) Have a good holiday!

  17. Cindy says:

    The monkey is my favorite!! I love the look of a cowl, but I have longish curlyish hair, and there is no way I could take a cowl on and off and not look like a fuzz ball.

  18. Amy says:

    I’m on a complete yarn diet….I’m thankful for the new job, but it pays HALF my previous salary…so nothing but mortgage and car payments with my paychecks!

    I think it’s awesome that you are enabling some post Christmas Cheer!

  19. kelly-ann (on ravelry) says:

    I love those ornaments. We were hoping to get downtown to the Christkindlmarket this year, but I think we are running out of time and the weather is stinky over the next couple of days :(

    Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

  20. Corinne says:

    Pine Cone elves! I love them. My mom had her first set right after she was married to my dad. I have some in my collection, too. Traveling if the weather lets me tomorrow, so I didn’t haul out the decorations this year. Bah.

  21. Nancy J says:

    Love your cowl designs. I have made 2 for Christmas presents but nary a cable to be seen. I hope they are still in vogue next Christmas. Also, my Christmas tree is full of birds and my vintage bird like yours is a favorite. Thanks for the chance to win.

  22. Northmoon says:

    I love your tiny ornaments!! What a charming tree you must have.

    Happy Holidays!

  23. Melissa in El Cajon says:

    I hope I win! I like your old ornaments–especially the monkey. Trying to decide if I would wear a cowl enough here in southern california to warrant knitting one…. Thanks for the chance!

  24. Heather says:

    Love the blue santa, I like the uniqueness of it. Have a lot of cowls queued on Rav, but still only made hats and scarves. Thanks for sharing…Merry Christmas

  25. Debbie B says:

    I love the way the cowl came out and would love to give the yarn a new home! Thank you.

  26. Kathy says:

    Beautiful cowl and I love the yarn! Please include me in the drawing for a skein!

  27. Kathleen says:

    Happy Holidays! The cowl is gorgeous. Please include me in the drawing. My parents always had glass birds on their tree and I have a few too. Check out Bronners in Frankenmuth, MI for more glass bird ornaments.

  28. Kathryn says:

    Love your patterns and your blog. Merry Christmas!

  29. Cathy says:

    yea you — we embraced minimal decorating this year just to maintain some sanity while selling the house and hosting 2 mothers-in-law, our daughter, her boyfriend and his parents for a Xmas Eve feast. All that and a 4-mixed-strand scarf completed in 2 days.

  30. Maureen says:

    What beautiful Christmas ornaments! I’d love to get down to the Christkindle market but the only year I did get there it was because I had jury duty!

  31. Janet says:

    I love the cowl and the squishy earthiness of it. And I love your unique and meaningful ornaments! (My favorite kind).

    Happy Holidays!

  32. technikat says:

    I too have been finding little glass bird ornaments. My mom used to have them on her tree and I always thought they looked so pretty there. This year I found a little green parakeet that looks like those that have settled and naturalized on the south side of Chicago. I love your little cardinal!

  33. Sarah Decker says:

    I love ornaments with stories! Love the beautiful cowl too. Wishing for one for myself in this frigid VT weather. Must stick to gift knitting for the moment, however…

    Happy Holidays!

  34. Melissa G says:

    My in-laws have bubble lights. I like turning off the lights just to admire the Christmas tree anyway, but with bubble lights…! And a train, have yet to set up the train.

  35. Merry Christmas to you Bonne! Thanks for all the great patterns in 2009. Looking forward to a date with Miss BB in 2010!

  36. Seanna Lea says:

    Very cool. It’s always a treat when washing something up results in such a difference!

  37. Julia in St. Paul says:

    Merry Christmas Bonne! I could use some Christmas cheer as I hunker down to weather the big snowstorm coming our way. Snow predicted to fall from tonight through Saturday morning. Sign me up for the drawing – the clicking needles will be keeping me warm.
    Happy Holidays, Julia in St. Paul

  38. Kathy says:

    A blessed Christmas to you from the Nation’s Capital! Love your blue monkey and blue Santa. (Sorry you lost the green monkey, but, well, you know….lesson learned, huh?) Happy New Year, too!

  39. diane says:

    I love the ornaments Have a happy holiday I am looking forward to 2010 chicknits :)

  40. barb collins says:

    Hey – Merry merry! Would love a chance at the yarn. We were in Chi-town this weekend – beautiful! And my mom always had birds on her Christmas tree – that’s why I always have a few too!

  41. Deb Lewis says:

    A very merry Christmas to you Bonnie Marie. Stay warm in windy Chicago! – those cowls will certainly come in handy for that! Love the ornaments, I remember the bird with the fan tail from my childhood trees – each year they lost a few tail “feathers” and eventually were just colorful birds without tails.

  42. Barb G. says:

    Merry Christmas!
    Recently had one lonely skein of llama & silk worsted wt that I used for a cowl. Had four inches of yarn to spare. Can always use a little more in the stash.

  43. Diane in Northern CA says:

    Hope your holiday was lovely. Your Cassidy Cowl is as beautiful as the hat pattern, which I purchased from the ladies at Purlescence (my LYS). Can’t wait to add this to my knitting queue.


  44. bwilliams says:

    Gorgeous wool, which I would love to win! But, the real prize is the bird ornament you found! I keep looking but haven’t snagged any great ones in a long while. I have several of these beauties, but some are missing the spun glass from their tails. BOO to the guy who threw away such a thoughtful gift trim–sounds to me like he lost out twice–the ornament and you! Love the ornaments! Love your blog, although this is my first time commenting I have been watching behind the scenes for quite a while.

  45. lora says:

    I know the perfec person for this! Please enter me.

  46. AnnDS says:

    Merry Christmas, Bonne Marie! I hope Santa left you all sorts of yarny goodness. I just made two of your plain cowls to give to the neighbor girls. It was especially hard to part with the Malabrigo one…

    Happy New Year to you as well!

    Ann in Ohio

  47. Rachel C says:

    Thanks for the giveaway! Happy Holidays to all!

  48. Joan says:

    Merry Christmas! There is room in my stocking for that skein of yarn (hint, hint)!

  49. Susan says:

    He threw away the ornament?!?! Good riddance to him for sure!

  50. Tara N says:

    What a beautiful cowl! Hope you had a Merry Christmas.

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