Thursday, 9 December 2010

Christmas Cracker alternatives

My latest bout of creativity.

I found the Jean Greenhowe website when I posted about my knitted dolls and while on there spotted a free pattern for mini Christmas stockings.  I had a moment of inspiration. 

This year we are having family over for Christmas (a rare occurence as we are usually the ones doing the visiting) so I want to make things nice.  I'll post about my tablecloth and napkins another time - when they are finished...

I hate Christmas crackers, I think they are a colossal waste of money and packaging.  But I do like the idea of having a nice little surprise on the table.

So here's what I've done:

I knitted 6 of the Christmas stockings.  They are very easy and took no more than 2 hours each, that's with me being a slow knitter, and hardly used any wool.

I printed off some Christmas quiz questions from a quiz I used at the District Scout Leaders' Social night a month ago, and with each question provided somebody else's answer, so that people have to talk to each other and work out which answer goes with which question.

I bought some little trinkets such as mini-crayons, a bouncy ball, stickers etc. from Hawkin's Bazaar spending about £4.50 in total. 

I made some tissue paper hats with Little C.  In fairness these hats aren't going to last more than 30 seconds, some of them even less than that.  For future reference normal tissue paper is too flimsy, particularly if you have a 16 month old helping with the Pritt Stick.  But I figure most people don't wear the hats for long anyway.  The tissue paper was recycled from gifts we've received over the past year or so, so it wasn't really wasted.  Little C learned about scissors and Pritt Stick.  The little stockings have a hat in anyway, so they are a bit more cracker-ish.

Then I assembled the little stockings and they are already to go on the table for Christmas dinner.

I like the stockings a lot, so over the next 12 months I plan to knit another 18.  Then next year I can fix a number to each, hang them from a cord and use them for an advent calendar for Little C.  I quite like the idea of getting a miniature conifer in a pot, and hanging the stockings nearby, each with a mini Christmas tree decoration inside.  Then as each day of advent goes past he will be gradually decorating his very own tree, finishing off on the 24th with a star for the top.  Then after Christmas he can choose where to plant it in the garden.  That's the plan - we'll see how it goes.

I'm at a bit of a knitting hiatus now that I have finished the stockings.  The next project was going to be a big chunky poncho to wear over my bump and while breastfeeding, but I was in Next looking to spend some unused vouchers (from last Christmas) and found and bought this one.  So now I don't need to knit one.  I do have some sewing to do to add the finishing touches to one or two presents, but then I'll need to come up with a new project.  I think it's about time I made something for the new baby.  If you've any ideas or recommended simple patterns then please do comment...
Navy Tassel Poncho

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