Archive for September, 2006

More on sock wars

I’m dead.

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Samhain calendar

In the German protestant tradition they have “Advent Calendars” for Christmas. Advent means arrival, and these calendars were created to “help” children “survive” the December to Christmas. This tradition was created in the 19th century, and prince Albert spread it to the Anglian world.

There’s many different ways to mark the days.

One can burn candle – or candles. There’s special advent candles decorated suitably, and you’ll burn a half an inch every day.
We also have a tradition where four candles are burned – one every sunday – before the Christmas. There’s plenty of different four candle holders created for this purpose.

The most common calendar is the picture calendar. You’ll open a “door” or “window” every day of December, and another tiny picture is revealed. There’s variations of this too. I have seen calendars with candy behind the “doors”, and calendars with a quote or a joke. I have also seen calendars where the child is given a puzzle or craft idea for the day.
The on-line advent calendars or count-down calendars are variations of this theme.
Here in Scandinavia there’s a tv show every year, with a special short program made for children every day of December, and a picture calendar created for it, so that children can open the “doors” at home when the show host opens them at the television.

I’d say the most popular are the calendars that give you a small present, like candy or a tiny toy for each day. The European toy companies have taken this idea, and some companies, like Lego, make calendars with boxes to be opened and there’s a piece of Lego in each.

The crafters have naturally taken the idea, and in the German craft magazines there’s always a pattern or instructions on how to make an Advent calendar.

It’s usually a tiny set of drawers – matchboxes are often used for this purpose – or a picture with pockets or pouches where the gifts can be put.

There really are no limits to what kind of calendar one makes. The idea is to give the child a small surprise for every December day before Christmas.
(Make a search with “adventskalender basteln” to see more ideas…)

Now this “small surprise every day” is THE problem with these calendars. Scandinavia is filled with worried parents in November, trying to fill their heirloom calendars with something that is small but affordable.

The easy way out is candy. You can have a piece of candy in every pocket. It’s easy and cheap – but not original or healthy. Also, one can make a cookie calendar.

One idea is to get a big bag of tiny plastic animals, for example dinosaurs, if the child like them.

In the Christian families, the family creche is sometimes stored in the calendar, and the child gets to place the nativity scene characters in the scene and so build up the scene. It’s always a big happening when baby Jesus is put in the crib on the Christmas day.
A Pagan could use this idea to create a Sabbat scene, illustrating one of the Sabbat stories, and fill the pouches with the characters to build the scene.

There’s also different creche traditions around the world. In Krakow they use to build these amazing castles as “frames” to the scene, and in Provence they create tiny clay figurines (Santons) of every day characters to “inhabite” the nativity scene… The Santons scenes are lovely 🙂 In Italy they also create elaborate and huge scenes with high, rocky landscape filled with different animals and people from the Bible. These characters could be used to fill the advent calendar for different Sabbats.
For example for Samhain one could make Cerridwen’s cauldron scene. Cerridwen with her cauldron would be in the last, big pouch, but in the other pouches there would be for example tin soldiers. The child could then paint the soldier and place it “dead” in the scene, to then “revive” them in the Cauldron on Samhain day and play with them. There are some role playing game miniatures sold, which are much more interesting than usual tin soldiers, but they are rather expensive… One won’t easily pay a couple of hundred dollars/over thousand cronas 8 times a year… but one can make own characters of clay, salt dough or what ever 🙂

You can also write or find a story with a chapter for each day. (The traditional Christmas Advent Calendar has 24 or 25 days, but you can choose as many as you wish. My calendar for Samhain has 31 pockets, but you can choose for example three or four weeks before The Day. The Pagan Sabbats occur on different dates and it might be easier to use the calendar if it wasn’t date bound.) You print the story on nice papers and bind every chapter with pretty ribbon and put in the pockets. Then every day you read a new chapter.

You can also make the story your family tradition, and next year put a little something with connection to the chapters in the pockets. For example, if there’s a mirror found in the story, there can be a pocket mirror in the pouch. If they see something special, there can be a miniature of that something in the pouch. This can naturally be part of the day’s surprise even if the story isn’t a family tradition, but you get a new story for every year. It’s nice to illustrate the story with small surprises, and it also makes your job a lot easier. It’s easier to find a small dragon than small “something”.

There’re naturally no limits to what to put into the pockets. You can use fridge magnets; stationary, like pen, notepad, erasure; jewelry or hair decoration for a girly girl; bookmarks; pearls and beads for a beader or other craft material; tiny toys, ornaments or figurines; a hat, pair of gloves, socks you have knitted; money… look around you and see the small objects in your life.

Advent Calendars – the history. From a company which produces advent calendars.
Advent calendar at Wikipedia

This is the tea advent calendar – for every 24 days you’ll take a new tea bag, with a new flavor 🙂

I designed my Samhain calendar this morning. It’s meant to last from 1.10 – 31.10. There’s 30 smaller pockets and then one big pumpkin pocket for Samhain eve. It depicts a garden patch. Surprises are put into 30 small pouches which are decorated with applicated root vegetable and embroidered greenery with the date number in it. The one to whom the surprises are will “pull out the vegetable from the soil” and enjoy the gifts of harvest 😉

The message is that one’s death is other one’s life – we’ll all die one day to give place to another life form. Harvest festivals are celebrating this. A plant will die when its roots are pulled from ground, or when it’s cut. But in death the plant gives us the gift of life. Life takes life – plants use the dead animals turned into nutrition by the bacterias and other creepy crawlers in the soil, and animals use the dead plants. Death is a gift and should be honored, respected, venerated. It should not be seeked out, but it should not be avoided or feared either. No-one should want to live forever, and in the end of good life, the death is the Liberator.

P.S. I just added “Craft Sanity” to my links. Jackie the Snow Heart Witch posted a funny crocheted eyeball pattern from there 🙂

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Not only knitting…

This blog is supposed to be about fiber crafts… It’s “need more FIBER”, not “need more knitting”, and right now it’s been a lot about knitting. *sigh*

Well… I have all kinds of excuses. I have been sick for almost three weeks now. I have been PLANNING all kinds of things 😉

Some of you might know that I am crazy about holidays. It started with Christmas, but I am not Christian, and there was a time when I objected to about everything about Christmas, simply because… well… the connection to Christianity is quite obvious, don’t you think.
Then I found Wicca and the 8 Sabbats. The four sun Sabbats, Midwinter, Midsummer, Midspring and Midautumn, are SMALLER Sabbats… and Midwinter IS Yule – Christmas… and I thought of the Christmas madness, all the thousands of craft projects for Christmas and decorating and all that, and realized, that I can actually have Christmas all year around! 8 feasts all AT LEAST AS BIG AS CHRISTMAS!!!

But, alas, I’m a bad girl 😦 I have the know-how and all the ideas, but no perseverance and discipline 😦 You should see my home IF I did even half of all the things I have planned…

Now it was Mabon, and oh, didn’t I have some great ideas for Mabon…
Next it’s Samhain – Halloween – The Holy Night 😉 – and I have ideas…

I want to make table setting, with tablecloth, runner, napkins and table mats.
I want to make bread cloth and napkin rings.
I want to make a table cloth and some spiderweb doilies for the candy table.
I want to make some cushions and throw for the sofa.
I want to make potholders, kitchen towels, dishrags and apron.
I want to make chair cushions.
I want to make curtains, drapes, shades, what ever they are called
I want to make bedlinen, quilt bed cover and cushions
I want to make bath room sets
I want to make season mats to every room
and a lot of ornaments!

I want to have 8 different sets of decorating, change the color and textiles all over the household 8 times a year. Red and green for Yule; white and red for Imbolc; yellow and green for Ostara; green and pink for Beltane; blue and yellow, white and red for Litha; grey green, dark blue and gold for Lammas; autumn leaves (red, yellow and orange) and burgundy for Mabon and black and orange for Samhain…

The thing is that I know how to do a lot of different fiber crafts. I can knit, crochet, naalbind, tat and make bobbin and needle lace, I can sew and weave and felt and embroider and… anything. But I don’t do “anything”… and that’s a bloody shame!

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Hats, hats, hats…

So I missed whiplash this time too 😦 *sigh*
I was planning on making a little witchy kind of felted, knitted hat, made of shock pink wool, wide brim and sharp top, and the brim would have been filled with knitted and crocheted flowers in reds, pinks and whites…
With a hat like that my sisters wouldn’t loose me when we are shopping in the city 🙂 We could use me as a beakon LOL

Here’s some links to knitted hats on-line
and here’s some more 🙂

Here’s Sally Pointer’s “Pointed Hats” – with a wonderful Gandalf hat tutorial 🙂

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Update on sock wars :-)

“I know now that Assassin Baa Bonny Belle is knitting to kill Ketutar and Assassin Ketutar is knitting to kill Celtic Queen :-)”

Celtic Queen had send her socks to her victim, who had sent her socks to her victim, and my assassin missed the war and forwarded me to her assassin…
so… now Roo at war is knitting to kill me, and I have sent the socks to kill Celtic Queen – should be there on Thursday – and will be knitting to kill… Shoemouse or Boyforpele13… There is a slight difference there… Shoemouse has size UK5 and Boy US11 LOL… and they both are knitting so that the needles are smoking… so perhaps I won’t kill anyone else LOL

I just love this. I’m laughing so I have difficulties staying sitting 😀

Thank you, YarnMonkey, for this lovely invention! 🙂

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Sock Wars II

Ok… we should have got the “weapons” and “victims” yesterday, but, alas, there was a hurricane in Belfast and our war leader couldn’t send us the secret dossier…
About 9 a.m. today I found out that she had posted the sock pattern on her website, so that we can at least start… but now I’m so far on with the sock, that I need to know which size the sock is supposed to be… *sigh*
So I’m wondering, if I should knit them in size 40-41, because that is the most common sock size in the group 😉 and knit a new pair of socks if the victim’s foot is of another size…

I’ll just wait. Just like everyone else 😀

Edited just 10 minutes later 🙂
Yarn Monkey had posted all the assassins and victims on her blog, so I know now that Assassin Baa Bonny Belle is knitting to kill Ketutar and Assassin Ketutar is knitting to kill Celtic Queen 🙂 I know that Celtic Queen lives in Pittsburgh 🙂 Good 🙂 I better get the socks posted tomorrow 🙂

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These lovely red wrist warmers are from “Saartje Knits” – it’s her own design 🙂

I am in a “Warm hands, warm hearts” swap. I love gloves – with or without fingers. I also love wrist warmers, as my wrists ache pretty often, especially on the winter – and now, when I’m ill… the fever always hits the joints.

I am a yarn snob and very particular with what I like and what not… But I am also a nice girl, and understand the thought behind things, and won’t look “into the mouth of a gift horse” 😉 I will be happy about what ever I get. Besides, if I really can’t stand using them, there’s always people I know, who will 🙂 I’ll be grateful which ever way 😀

But I was asked a question of what I would like… so here goes.

I received a pair of black and purple shadow-work wrist warmers from my one skein secret pal. I think they are angora or alpacka or something else like that, because they are very soft and slightly fuzzy 🙂 Black and purple are not exactly my colors, I like red, cream white and peacock colors; blended greens, blues, teals and purples. I also like green and teals, turquoise, aqua. Pink is ok too, but nothing dusty, greyish or with brown. I like clear, bright colors.
These one are pretty nice 🙂 fingerless mitts

Not this bright, though!
Fuzzy Mabel’s patterns. Yikes! I am not fond of shock pink, neon colors, psychedelic combinations and such…
And these blue-and-yellow ones are yikes! too… the red and orange ones on the other hand are funny 🙂 I’d like those 🙂
These are yikes! too 😉

The worst would be purple or lavendel. Or browny-green with ochra… 60’s or 70’s retro style. *yuk*
This is one example of what I would NOT like: “Mitts at the beach
Here’s another: Wrist warmers

Here’s an example of BAD “peacock colored” wrist warmers… I don’t like Koigu. I like my variegated yarn to blend softly, flow from one color to another, like these 🙂 This is an example of GOOD peacock colored wrist warmers 🙂 Koigu is too messy for my taste. And this: just messy! I am not too fond of self-striping yarn either.

I love rainbows… these are very nice. Even with all the purple. 😉

I am also not too fond of effect yarns. These are pretty awful… fun fur fingerlesses

Color work is nice 🙂 Swedish fingerles Mitts
Norwegian wrist warmers and cowl
– I wouldn’t combine burgundy with apple green and orange though… Burgundy is a nice color. I love rich burgundy-maroony color. That one is a little too pale… it should be more spicy, richer and deeper color. More like this. 🙂 (Yes, yes, I know, messy variegated yarn – but very nice colors :-))

Also, I am a bit romantic, so lace would be nice 🙂
These are very pretty 🙂
Heartstring’s fiber art lacy wrist warmers
These are very pretty – awful color though…
And these are wonderful! Those long, red ones… *drool*

I like beaded wristwarmers… these green ones on the cover of the Japanese “beads knitting” book are lovely 🙂

I also like aran knitting, cables and such 🙂
Fetching from Knitty are really nice 🙂

I also have a little wacky sense of humor 😉
I love these: Knucks
“harm – none” is a good message, and I think “knit-purl” would be fun too 😀
These are SO COOL!! Lace Up Skull Arm Warmers
and these: Snowball’s Change in Hell

anyway… this is just talk. The only requirement I have is that they need to be at least 4 inches long. So even though these are really cool too, they are too short…

Here’s some patterns:
and here’s “Craft Like A Pirate” 😀
Swedish pattern for skull wrist warmers 🙂

These are from Himalaya yarns, and are kind of witty, but WHY, OH WHY THE PURPLE!!! The colors are hideous! Especially the ochra one with ruffles… Ochra, salmon, teal and purple? Is the designer blind? *brrr*

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