Day 1 of twelve days of Christmas decorations for the #blog12daysxmas challenge.
For Christmas 2012 I found under my tree Arne and Carlos’s wonderful book 55 Christmas balls to knit featuring designs and instructions for 55 stranded colourwork julekuler. I confess that I never actually thought I’d be able to knit them, but by chance I saw a post on KnittingSarah’s blog for a year-long knitalong through 2013. It’s much more fun learning something new with friends so I signed up right away!
By another chance I saw that Martine of the iMake podcast was planning to learn stranded knitting in 2013 too so I mentioned that she might like to check out KnittingSarah’s knit-along too – and the MerryKAL was on the way.
I tried my first Christmas ball with Patons Australia Bluebell which was, frankly, a bit of a disaster. If you can knit with that stuff all power to you, I found it dreadfully splitty and gave it away in frustration and instead ordered some Millamia wool yarn in snow white, Christmas red, and a little bit of mossy green for good luck.
While I was waiting for the new yarn to arrive I practised with some scraps of Rowan Felted Tweed. It was really rather lovely, but I ran out before I could finish the first ball, so when the Millamia yarn arrived I switched to that and finished about twenty balls by Christmas-time.
It was great fun knitting the Christmas balls through the year, and getting to know Sarah and Martine, and even sharing comments on Instagram with Arne and Carlos. Along the way too I met perhaps the most enthusiastic Christmas crafter of all, Pam of the Gingerbreadsnowflakes blog. Lucky Pam even got take a class with Arne and Carlos in Portland.
In 2014, looking back at that first attempt at a Christmas ball with Felted Tweed, I thought that it might be nice to create a whole set of tweedy Christmas balls so I started again back at the beginning knitting a set of tweedy julekuler.
I got 19 done by Christmas and they’re now hanging on the tree and I’m planning to keep knitting all the others through 2015 (and maybe a bit longer if I don’t get them all done!). Pam is going to join me and I think we have another taker too – join us on Instagram #merrykal if you like. The more the merrier!