early Christmas

July 13, 2015


I just finished a fun project this morning.  Even though I'd made these tiny trees before, when Martin Storey came to my town and my local yarn store, I couldn't resist taking a class from this amazing teacher, knitter, designer and gentleman.  I'm a fan!  The little trees are addictive to make and are in his book, Easy Fairisle Knits.  This book is not available in North America, but Martin said he has expanded the book to double it's size, and this new version will be available everywhere in late 2015 or early 2016.  I'll be on top of it and let you know when it's out; he says there are some great new designs he's really happy with.  He said, "I know you're going to love it!"

In the class Martin shared his tips for holding and carrying the yarn when doing fairisle.  Also, he is a big fan of beading and showed his very easy beading technique.  I am now a big fan of beading too, and can't wait to get to beading this fall when Rowan and Swarovski debut their collaboration of knitting with crystals just in time for the holidays.  What Rowan and Swarovski have come up with is completely gorgeous in every way.  As soon as I can share more, I will, believe me.

Back to the trees: I'd made the tiny trees garland from the book; there's also an adorable pillow and afghan that use the trees, but I thought this time I'd make Christmas ornaments.  Whenever I have a fiddly project like this, I like to gather my supplies on a lipped tray and set it next to me.  The little bits are easier to find than if I'd used a basket, and the lip keeps things from getting lost in between the sofa cushions.  

The yarn used was Rowan Felted Tweed DK.  A few people in the class hadn't used it before and it was a big hit!  If you haven't knit with it yet, it's one of those yarns that is very easy to handle and makes a beautiful fabric, even if your tension is less than perfect. For the backing, I used 100% wool felt from Purl Soho that I treated myself to when I was in NYC last year.  I whipped stitched knitted trees and felt together and stuffed with a tiny bit of batting.  I left the cast off end for hanging and took a picture of them dangling on some branches I have in a large vase in my kitchen.  These bare branches are great for showcasing different holiday themes: at Easter I glue-gun tiny baby chicks on them and on July 4th they get tiny flags.  As much as I don't really care for Halloween, in October I do like to glue-gun black spiders on the branches and it's been know to house a scary web too. 

Just for the class, Martin had directions for a beaded (my favorite) and striped tree.
The book has several fairisle patterns to choose from.

I was in my sewing room all morning; glorious, as it had been a long while since I'd had a chance to spend quality time in my favorite room in the house.  My husband poked his head in and said, "Playing in your room this morning, hon?" Why, yes.  I was in the middle of an extremely important project.  On Sunday I'd taken an old, unused gray organizer from the attic and spray painted it white.  This morning I reached for my impossibly-difficult-to-keep-tidy button box and COMPLETELY organized all my buttons by color and style and put them into separate drawers.  It made me so happy--I was all smiles and singing when he popped in again.  I explained what I was doing, and I must have had a crazy-mad smile on my face, because he came over and kissed my cheek and said, "You're weird."  No matter what he says, I know I'm not.

We see a movie most Monday afternoons.  We have popcorn, candy and coke for lunch. This afternoon we saw the movie, Max.  My husband and I love dogs and have had several fantastic German Shepherds bless our lives over the years.  We don't have a dog now, but we are going crazy deciding if we should or should not get a dog at this time in our lives.  We know what it means, the time, the commitment, but the reward is very great.  We'll see--we've been debating this for years, but it seems to come up more frequently now.  Back to the movie: Max is a Belgium Malinois, which looks similar to a GSD.  Just out of curiosity we looked up the breed because neither of us were familiar with it.  What a fantastic breed!  I also came across this interesting article.  It made me sad.  I had no idea people were so capricious that they would commit to having a dog, a 15 year commitment, on a whim. 


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  1. I don't know if I will see Max because I'm afraid it will make me cry! I hate sad dog movies! I love your button organization!

    1. I get is, but it's not your typical dog movie where he dies at the end, but there are going to be a few tears shed. We liked the movie.

  2. This may be one of your most inspiring posts ever! I have an organizer like that and I have alot of buttons thrown in a basket! But, I don't have a sewing room, although I am lobbying to get one.

    Lucky you to have your LYS host Martin Storey.

    1. Thank you! I just love my new button organization! Hope you win the sewing room conversation!

  3. Those tree ornaments are awesome! I have the Easy Fair Isle Knits book, and bought it specifically for the tree garland pattern. I'm hoping to make the garland this fall, but need to get my hands on some of the Rowan DK yarn first. I love your button organizer, and am more than a little jealous of your button collection. :-)

    1. I made the garland last year. It's so sweet I may have to add some more to it this year!

  4. Unfortunately people underestimate the commitment to a dog....they are social animals, need a pack (a family) to be happy and content. Puppies are cute, we overlook their digressions....adult dogs, not so much :) the breed that suited you when you were younger might not suit your lifestyle now...we downsized from Kuvasz and Bernese Mountain Dogs to first one, then two West a Highland White Terriers. For a while I thought the second one might have been a mistake...1+ 1 = 3 in activity level in the terrier world....but he has settled right into our life and we wouldn't change a thing. We also travel only once or twice a year together.....and have found a lovely house sitter.....the dogs love her :) Yes, it is a huge commitment that people take far too lightly in my opinion. When someone says they are going to get a dog, ai ask them if they would consider having another child....one that will never grow up and move out.....it is funny to watch the light bulb come on.

  5. Forgot to say.....I too love those little trees, so much so that they are still hanging in my dining room! Your button organizing got me scurrying around for a better way to store my buttons.....still haven't come up with the solution yet.

    Sorry for the rant above, but I am not surprised at how casually people adopt pets, then discard them when they become inconvenient, become sick, get old, or when the kids leave home,

    I think the fact that you and your Hubby are talking about adding a dog to your family is great....shows that you take it seriously, and I know that if you guys get a dog, it will be the most pampered pooch :)


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