I didn’t know Karrie, KnitPurlGurl. But enough people that I know did, so I heard about her death just after Thanksgiving this year. I don’t know how she died or anything about it, but it seems that it was sudden, and it’s clear that she was young and vibrant and that her loss will affect many in our online community. We might interact on a virtual plane, but the effects are very real, and I know all of our Real Lives are enriched by each other.
So when her fans suggested people knit or crochet a snowflake to send to her family, to complete the handmade snowflake mission that Karrie had been on, well, I wanted to participate, too. I’m proud to be part of this online community that cares so deeply about our members. And I wish you all a healthy and happy holiday season.
This year, to increase the Christmas joy in our apartment, we got a real tree! This was a first for me in New York City and actually Jason’s first real tree ever. So I decided to make it a very special tree skirt. It’s just a large hexagon with one side unattached and the center cut out; each wedge of the hexagon is made up of equilateral triangles. I didn’t put this together as a tutorial but it’s pretty straightforward: I made each triangle 8 inches tall (I mastered using my long ruler’s angled markings!), and each wedge has 4 rows of triangles. I should have cut off more to make the hole larger, but live and learn! The end result is a large skirt, with a diameter around 5.5 feet—plenty of room for presents!
Between each wedge I did a small bit of welting in Kona Snow; I wanted some kind of border but didn’t want to fuss with piping. The backing is more Kona Snow, with the idea that its austere whiteness could go with a more demure tree in the future. I did use batting between the layers to give it a bit more substance and weight. The quilting lines radiate out from the center in alternating Christmassy green and red thread, which look fun on the white background, too.
I machine-stitched the binding entirely. The binding was cut on the bias but I mitered most of the corners and angles in the end. Still, it helped me get around the center of the skirt and was a technique I hadn’t done before. I used this tutorial‘s methods even though I was a bit suspicious of that last cut angle. I am not sure I would do it again this way—that last cut really isn’t precise enough—but wow it was simple!
I finished just in time for us to buy the tree and get it decorated! See more pics of our decorated tree plus a funny little video of our tree-trimming here!
As many of you have heard—since it’s been all over the news, Twitter, and Facebook—the East Coast got socked with a blizzard the Sunday after Christmas. It’s too bad it couldn’t make for a white Christmas, but it sure did make things pretty. During the day on Sunday, when the snow was falling but there wasn’t enough on the ground to play with, I was consumed by an uncontrollable burst of creative energy that had me bouncing off the walls. I tried starting a blanket, but the yarn wasn’t right. I sewed for a few hours. And then I pawed deep into my yarn stash, came up with a skein of bulky, and I cast on for a hat!
It’s all baking around these parts right now, but it’s no surprise, right—it’s the holidays! It’s baking time! Today on our snow day I decided to finally make some cherry winks. These are a traditional holiday cookie in my family, but I realized today that I’ve never made them myself. Mom always made them without me, or before I came home to visit. I love them best!
Years ago—when I was still in high school? maybe college—my mom and I were watching cooking shows one afternoon and saw Nigella Lawson make this clementine cake. It was near the holidays and mom had clementines in the house, of course, and if I remember correctly, she made one immediately after seeing the episode. Over the years she’s made it more than once, but I never had.
Clementines are so perfect this time of year—I’ve always associated them with Christmastime—and I recently bought a crate of them. Though I ate practically one a day, I still have a lot left, so this cake is perfect, as it uses up 5! Though it doesn’t have what we might consider “traditional” Christmas flavors, it’s still one of those scents and tastes that is very, very December.