Monday, November 10, 2008

It's time to make the ornaments!

Belle Angel
In case you haven't noticed, I love knitting small items and what fits into this category better than holiday ornaments? They are sort of like the microcosm of the knitting world. You can experiment with new techniques without the fear of making huge mistakes. It's much less stressful to frog something that took only a couple of hours to knit as compared to an item that took weeks to knit. Another advantage to making these miniature wonders is that you can really spread the love by giving more of your friends something you made yourself. Who says happiness doesn't come in small packages?

This fall I've been showing others how to spread the love by teaching ornament classes on the Yahoo LoomClass Group and the Beginning-LoomKnitting Group. The classes taught for LoomClass include three ornaments in each class. Bell Ornaments Class, which was taught a couple of week ago, featured Knifty Christmas Bells, Bright Bells, and a new pattern called Belle Angel. I made the first Belle Angel two years ago and wrote about it in this December 2006 post, but had never written the pattern until recently. The new Belle Angel (pictured above) is a little more sophisticated that her predecessor, but the original Belle holds a special place in my heart.

I-cord Ornaments, the second LoomClass ornament class, is currently in session. Ornaments for this class include Candy Canes, Mini-Christmas Wreaths and another new pattern called Bright Star. The little star is designed specifically for the 5-peg end of the Knifty Knitter Spool Loom.
Bright Star Ornament
The Lace Ornaments class, coming up on 11/30-12/06, is the last of the ornament classes for LoomClass. The ornaments taught in this class will be the Victorian Lace Ornament, Lacey Snowflake and a Basic Shortrow Snowflake. The first two patterns are already available, but the Basic Snowflake pattern will be posted the day before the class begins. In the meantime, I'll include a picture in this post.

Basic Shortrow Snowflake

The class I am teaching for the Beginning-LoomKnitting Group (11/24-28) is a Snowflake Angel. I'm very proud of the way this particular angel is designed. Her wings and skirt are all one piece with her arms woven into a row of mock crochet stitches in the wings. The pattern is located here and in the Pattern Box to the right. Here's a picture of my Snowflake Angel:

Snowflake Angel

One thing that both angels have in common is what I call a "picot cast on" at the beginning edge of the skirt. This is an a technique I've created for the looms that allows you to make a picot edge. I use a similar technique when binding off the wings on the Snowflake Angel. I will talk more about the picot technique in upcoming blog posts.