Last year I greatly enjoyed sharing the joys of my Traditional Advent Calendar with some friends on Twitter. We used the #traditionaladventcalendar hashtag, and tweeted what we had behind our doors each day. It was great fun, and we decided that not only would we do it again this year, but that we would also kick Advent off in style with a little swap. It was a simple swap - we just had to send a small hand-made Christmassy gift along with a few other treats to our nominated partner.
As soon as the details were finalised I knew what I wanted to make for my partner... It was an ornament that a friend had made last year as part of our knitting group's ornament swap. The Red Coat from Alicia Paulson's Snow Day Ornament Set - available as a pattern download from that link.
The pattern was really well-written and included useful things like instructions on how to work all of the required embroidery stitches. Very handy for those of use whose sewing needles are a little bit rusty! It's all the little clever details that made me fall in love with this ornament last year - there is blanket stitching round the edges of the pieces, but certain parts like the pockets and collar also have a contrast colour running stitch to emphasise the details.
The stand-out RESISTANCE-IS-FUTILE feature though, has to be the adorable little mittens on a string. When I saw these, I knew that at some point I would make this decoration. I just love them! They are even different on front and back, and the instructions remind you to make sure that the thumbs are pointing the right way... Perfection!
I naively thought that this would be a quick little project to whip up - after all it's sewing rather than knitting, and in my head at least, sewing is always faster than knitting! This wasn't the case, but I'm absolutely chuffed to bits with the results, and I think that Rachel (my swap partner) was pretty pleased with it too!
Now I just need to organise myself, and find time to finish making another one for me to put on our tree...