A cautionary knitting tale, and a sad Christmas story.

Ok knitters – who out there has fallen victim to the dreaded “Second Sock Syndrome?”  For those not in the know, this occurs after knitting one sock (or mitten) and then finding that you can’t bring yourself to knit the other one.  Well next time you find  yourself guilt-stricken and motivation-less over that sock or mitten you can’t seem to start, read this post.  It may just get you over the hump.

Two years ago I decided to knit the gorgeous Deep In The Forest mittens for my mom.  And about a month later I had this one.  Isn’t it nice?  Well let me tell you about this pattern.  While lovely, it is a bit of a chore because there is no pattern to the chart.  You have to look at the chart for every stitch!  So I was totally dreading going through all that again, even though I made the mistake of showing the finished mitten to my mom, who was SO excited about them.

This year I decided my poor mother should finally have her mittens.  So I dusted off my old project and began.  And this is what I ended up with :

Go ahead.  Snicker.  Laugh at my pain.  Never mind the fact that no matter WHAT I did I couldn’t get the braid to work on the second mitten.  That early irritation was totally forgotten when I realized I was going to have one tiny, pre-teen mitten and one huge oven mitt.  I used the same yarn, the same needles – how could this happen?  Why???  No problem – I thought.  I am now a full believer in the power of felting after the smashing success of my Snowbird mittens.  Felting will save me!  I will simply shrink the oven mitt to a pre-teen size and mom can have two tiny mittens.  After 5 rounds through the washing machine it became clear that this crazy mitten was not going to felt. ( I have read that it is difficult or impossible to felt light colored yarn)

In the end, I gave my mom her circus freak mittens and she swears she loves them and that you can hardly tell when they’re on.  But I will never be able to look her in the eye while she’s wearing them.

So, dear friends, next time you suffer from Second Sock (or mitten) Syndrome, remember my sad Christmas tale of gauge or tension or something gone wrong and do not wait 2 years to knit the other!  A lot can change in 2 years apparently.

Vintage Christmas Cards!

This week I lucked into an antire BOX  of greeting cards and letters from the 60s and 70s.  Mostly Christmas.  And boy howdy let me tell you the graphic design eye candy that was inside was mind blowing.  First of all I had such a great time sorting through them all and reading the sweet letters to this family. (It came from an estate – I was lucky enough to nab it before the auctioneers cleaned out the house!)  After hours of pouring over hundreds of them, I’ve pulled out a few Christmas cards to show you that I think are extra special.

I LOVE this Santa in a beaded balloon.  It actually inspired some friends and I to consider a card making party next year!

This one is totally incredible.  I mean, what exactly is going on here?  A transvestite carnie Santa?  Believe it or not, there were actually TWO of these in the box.  I love that this family got this card twice.

Sadly you can’t see the glitter that this card is highlighted with.  But isn’t it just the sweetest thing ever?  And if I were a tattoo enthusiast like Mr. Crafter I’d be tempted to get that reindeer permanently on my body.  I love it that much.

Classic, simple, beautiful.  Perfect.

I love this one.  Nighttime snowflakes and presents… dreamy…

How much do you love this sassy little kitten?  I actually had a hard time choosing which adorable kitten Christmas card to show you – there were so many!

And lastly, check out this pretty Christmas lady.  I like to imagine her name is Merry.  Also, I want to live in that house.

I can tell that from now on I’ll be checking out old greeting cards instead of passing them by like I always did before!  And I think I’ll start keeping the ones people give me.  Maybe at my estate sale someone will be glad I did.

An advent treasure hunt

I’ve been squirreling this vintage Bucilla kit away for quite some time with the intention to make it for Little Betty for Christmas.  I finally decided to bust into it and even though it took about 10 hours to complete, I really love the finished product!

Aren’t they adorbs??  Love em.  Anyhoo, I decided to use them as the prize in a treasure hunt that would originate in Little Betty’s advent calendar.

This morning when she woke up it took her no time to get into it!

She ran around the house excitedly, from one clue to the next…

and was thrilled to discover the culmination of a secret Christmas tea party with her elf, Princess Jack, and her new family of gingerbread dolls!

In no time they were cuddled up on the couch with her.  I think they have found a loving home!  Having kids is pretty fun.  I’m so glad I got to do it.

I’ve been up to no good.

No good at all, friends.

It’s Kitschmas, after all, so you know I couldn’t resist a little bit of this:

But I could not be content with simple ornament wreath making!  All those empty ornament boxes put me in mind of what Georgia Peachez does with hers.  So then there was a little of this:

and this:

and this:

I even took Little Betty down with me:

I actually really like the one she made!  She is her mother’s daughter for sure.   That girl loves to craft.

It doesn’t stop with Christmas crafting around here, of course. There are some “new” vintage Christmas decor bits around Casa Crafter this year.

I’m on a bit of a Santa kick.  I’m loving this creepy Santa.

But I might love these silly Santas even more:

I’ve also been picking up Santa head mugs all year:

And of course there’s a few new pinecone elves about:

Mr. Crafter made that tree when he was a kid.  On the bottom he carved in his name, the year, and “A-Team.”  Awesome.

How are your Christmas crafts/decorating coming along?

A new sweater for Little Betty

As soon as I saw Tanis Gray’s Scherenschnitte Cardigan in the 2011 Holiday Issue of Intervewave Knits I just knew Little Betty needed one.  I loved it so much I decided to use the exact yarn and colorway the pattern called for, which I never do.  My girl is totally insane for the color purple – almost everything has to be purple – so this was perfect for her.

It took almost no time at all to knit!  She was wearing it 3 weeks after I started it, which is totally unheard of for your pal Betty, AKA The World’s Slowest Knitter.  When I found these vintage bakelite buttons I couldn’t believe my luck.  They were meant to be on this sweater.

We both love it!

In other news, my child is getting so grown up!  It breaks and fills my heart all at the same time.  Someone stop this time machine.  It’s going too fast.