The only kind of Christmas in July I don’t mind

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So last year around the last day of November we all had a little discussion about Advent calendars and how to make them and ideas for them, etc. The trouble was, the discussion left everyone about 30 minutes at a very busy time of year to try to crank something out. This year, I decided to make another Advent calendar contraption, but I thought I would share the pattern with you all in case any of you knitters want to make one too. It goes very quickly, although you can see that I have not even sort of finished mine yet. The concept is a sort of garland to hang across a mantle or curtain rod or anything with a number on each mitten. The pocket for a treat or clue or something would obviously be inside of the mitten. The string will probably just be an i-cord, and I am waiting to do all the numbers until I have them all done to make sure the colors are evened out. I go the idea from one that I saw as a prop in a Country Living photo shoot, although theirs had hats also. So, knitters, get going!

The pattern:

4 size 8 double point needles (I vote for bamboo)

worsted weight wool in multiple colors (I used Lion Brand wool in hot pink, red, and white, and Cascade wool yarn in heathery red and aqua, and two shades of solid green)

gauge: doesn’t so much matter (yay!)

extras: stitch marker, tapestry needle, and scrap yarn (but we all know you have that already)

Mitten (make 24)

cast on 26 stitches loosely onto a double point needle. Evenly divide stitches between three needles, place a marker at the beginning and join, being careful not to twist.

Rows 1-5 knit in a P1, K1 rib, slipping marker at the beginning of each row

Row 6-11 knit every row

Row 12 K12 , place marker(PM), K2, PM, knit to end of row

Row 13 Knit to marker, slip marker, M1 ( make one by lifting up stitch in front of stitch on needle and knit through the back loop), knit to last stitch before marker, M1, slip marker and knit to the end.

Row 14 Knit

Row 15 Increase 2 stitches in the same manner as before

Row 16 Knit

Row 17 Increase as before -8 stitches between markers

Row 18 Knit to marker, slip stitches between markers onto scrap yarn, knit to end of row

Knit continuously until piece measures about 4 inches

Decrease row 1 (K2, K2 tog) all the way around

Decrease row 2 Knit

Decrease row 3 (K2 tog, K1) all the way around

Decrease row 4 Knit

Decrease row 5 K2 tog the whole way around

cut yarn and thread the tail onto your tapestry needle, and then through each of your remaining stitches twice. Pull tight and weave in your end

Thumb: slide your eight stitches onto three dp needles, and start new yarn. Knit 5 or six rows. Work one decrease row by knitting two together the whole way around, and close with a tapestry needle the same way as before. Weave the tail down and close the join of the thumb to the mitten body if necessary.

Later, when I finish all the mittens I will figure out what I am doing for the loop up top. It will probably just be a crocheted chain loop with an occasional pom pom on the end, and the numbers will probably be different. Some embroidered, and some in duplicate stitch. But more on that later. Please comment if you have any questions, or if this is not clear.

note: I did not include any comments about switching colors, but the majority of mine are contrast at the rib only, although there are stripes and other patterns occasionally. I will leave that part up to you and your creative genius, just make sure that the mitten will still show a number well.

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21 thoughts on “The only kind of Christmas in July I don’t mind

  1. Would it be hard for beginners? I don’t think I’ve every knitted anything… I like to sew though! Any ideas on where could I find simple instructions? I think it’s a really cute idea. One of my favorite ornaments is a mini mitten.

  2. Katherine –
    you commented before I got the pattern up! I don’t think it would be too hard for a beginner as long as you have someone around who could help if you needed it. If you like to sew though, you should think about sewing them out of felted sweaters and embroidering the numbers. I have seen a lot of stuff out of the felted sweater, and it can be pretty wicked cute.

  3. I love this idea. Very festive! I tried to do a similar idea last year with the mantle or curtin rod, only I made little fancy bags. But I never figured out the curtain rod and ended up hanging them on the tree. Thank you for the heads up idea. I don’t knit but I would sure love to see a pictures of the final product when you get it finished. Happy knitting!

  4. Sorry… :) I must have checked my Google Reader right when you put the first part up! Thanks for the sewing idea too!

  5. Crochet is my needlecraft of choice, though knitting is on my to-learn list.

    It occurred to me, though, that for those who don’t knit, a similar concept could be followed by collecting mittens at yard sales and thrift stores and so forth. The numbers could be appliqued, embroidered, or even fabric painted.

    Great job on your mittens-they are adorable.

  6. Very cute idea! I will have to dust off (or maybe buy some new ones because I’m pretty sure I’ve lost) my old knitting needles and try this. The kids would have so much fun with these! Thanks so much!

  7. This is such a great idea!
    We really went to town with the Advent ideas last year and everyone here loved it, but we didn’t make a permanent calendar yet.
    My daughter and I are now all excited to make this with our tremendous tupperware bin of scrap yarn.
    Thank you so much for sharing this now, when there’s ample time to get it done without a panic.

  8. OFF TOPIC:

    Sorry this is so off topic, but I had a question I thought some people on here might have some wisdom about. If anyone wants to respond, please do so by email so this thread isn’t disrupted even more.

    Question – Does anyone have advice about cloth v. disposable diapers? My wide and I are planning for our first little one in November and are eager to hear advice from all sides.

    Email me at adollahite AT gmail DOT com. Thanks.

    And again, really sorry about the off topic interruption.

  9. We do something very similar at our house for the Twelve Days of Christmas. We use knitted stockings numbered #1-12 for each child, and string them together on a simple ribbon hung beside each child’s bed. Day #1 is Christmas Day, and Day #12 is Jan. 6. Then, we have a big Epiphany celebration. It’s lots of fun!

  10. Rachel- those look amazing! I’m pretty committed to sewing a similar sort of advent calendar, however these are making me think twice! Love it! And I love the color selection!

  11. So cute Rachel. I will tell Rebecca about this pattern. She is a big knitter and will love this idea. She will be in Moscow for NSA next week. Can you believe it! Weren’t you just babysitting her yesterday?

  12. Hi there Katie-
    I can’t believe Rebecca is in college now! I also can’t believe that I am now in the age group that says to college students ” I remember you when you were just toddling around with an enormous bow in you hair”. It will be fun to have her around here though, and maybe you can talk her into making an advent calendar for you all!

  13. So, here I am, a year and a half later, working on mine. :) Is it the entire mitten supposed to measure 4 inches or the part above the ribbing? I finished my first one, but the thumb seems too high, or the mitten seems too short…but then I’m also pretty sure that I’m inspecting this mitten too closely for something that will be one of 24 hanging above our heads, lol. Thanks!

  14. Bean, I am so happy to hear someone else is working on this one as well. This is the project that made me decide to knit!
    It is my first real project. :-)

  15. Melissa, ooo! You are my mitten knitting buddy. :) Except I’m only on my second one! I’m very slow, apparently. Do you have pictures anywhere? I should start a craft-stalking-Lizziejank website and we could all post pictures of our copy cat things. :)

  16. 😀 Bean, you are too funny. I am relieved to know I am not the only one stalking Lizzie-Jank’s crafts. I just love them. I am only working on the second mitten also. A month ago, I had never picked up knitting needles. I knit the first mitten, only now I have to run out to the store because I do not have a tapestry needle and had no idea what one was. I am having lots of fun though :-)

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