(For the 24 weeks leading up to December 1st, we’ll be making a Christmas ornament. Each one will be traditional to or inspired by a different country)
For our final advent calendar ornament of this year, we are staying at home in the States.
Christmas is a probably the biggest holiday of the year in the US. There are lots of different Christmas traditions throughout the country, but Santa Claus and his elves are a mainstay. Santa lives in the North Pole with Mrs. Claus, his elves and reindeer. The elves work all year making toys, while Santa keeps an eye on who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. On Christmas Eve, families hang stockings, traditionally over the fireplace, for Santa to fill. Bad children fear receiving a stocking full of coal. They also leave out milk and cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. Santa travels the world on Christmas Eve in his sleigh pulled by the flying reindeer (though in Hawaii he travels by outrigger canoe pulled by dolphins), slides down each chimney and magically delivers presents to each good child.
For our ornament, we are knitting up a Christmas ball to look like an elf. This is an easy, little knit though it does require knowing how to knit on double-pointed needles. (You could probably also do magic circle on circular needles, but I am more comfortable with double-points.) It is also a great stash buster as you don’t need much of any one color.
- worsted weight yarn in pink, white, red and green
- white cotton yarn or other white yarn that unravels nicely
- four size 3 double-pointed needles
- stitch marker
- tapestry needle
- thread to match green of hat
- hand sewing needle
Gauge: My gauge was 7 stitches per inch. Gauge is not super important here, but make sure to knit the ball and the hat at the same gauge so the hat will fit. You also want the “fabric” you knit to be tight enough that the stuffing doesn’t show through.
- knitting in the round on four needles
- basic increases and decreases
- k – knit
- li – lifted increase Lift the stitch from the row before and place on the left needle, knit into it
- kfb – knit into the front and back of the same stitch
- ssk – slip two stitches and knit them together
- k2tog – knit two stitches together
Notes for following this pattern:
When you see a set of stitches in parenthesis like this, (li, k2), followed by a number and an “x” like this, 3x, that means to do that set of stitches three times. So, when you see (li, k2)3x you would do this, li, k2, li, k2, li, k2,
1. Knit the ball
Cast on 12 stitches, make sure to leave about a 6 inch tail. Divide between 3 needles. Join together to knit in the round being careful not to twist. Place a stitch marker between the first and last stitch.
Row 1: k
Row 2: k2, (li, k3)3x, li, k1 (16 stitches)
Row 3: k
Row 4: k1, (li, k2)7x, li, k1 (24 stitches)
Row 5: k
Row 6: k1, (li, k4, li, k2)3x, li, k4, li, k1 (32 stitches)
Row 7: k
Row 8: k1, (li, k6, li, k2)3x, li, k6, li, k1 (40 stitches)
Row: 9 – 14: k
At this point, put the cast on tail on a tapestry needle. Reweave through the cast on stitches. Pull tight to close the hole. Bring the tail inside and secure with a knot.
Row 15: (ssk, k6, k2tog)4x (32 stitches)
Row 16: k
Row 17: (ssk, k4, k2tog)4x (24 stitches)
Row 18: k
Row 19: (ssk, k2, k2tog)4x 16 stitches
Row 20: k
Row 21: (ssk, k2tog)4x (8 stitches)
Cut the yarn leaving a 10″ tail. Put the tail on a tapestry needle and put through the stitches on the needles. Take the stitches off the needles and use the hole to stuff the ball. Stuff it pretty tight, shaping as you go. Pull the tail to close up the hole. Secure.
2. Knit the Hat
Cast on 32 stitches. Divide between 3 needles. Join together to knit in the round being careful not to twist. Place a stitch marker between the first and last stitch.
Row 1 – 6: k
Row 7: change to white, k
Row 8: (k6, k2tog)4x (28 stitches)
Row 9: k
Row 10: change to green, k
Row 11: (k5, k2tog)4x (24 stitches)
Row 12: k
Row 13: change to white, k
Row 14: (k4, k2tog)4x (20 stitches)
Row 15: k
Row 16: change to green, k
Row 17: (k3, k2tog)4x (16 stitches)
Row 18: k
Row 19: change to white, k
Row 20: (k2, k2tog)4x (12 stitches)
Row 21: k
Row 22: change to green, k
Row 23: (k1, k2tog)4x (8 stitches)
Row 24: k
Row 25: (k2tog)4x 4 stitches
Cut the yarn leaving a tail. Put the tail on a tapestry needle and reweave through the stitches on the needles. Remove the needles. Pull the the tail to tighten and secure it.
Weave in ends.
3. Knit the nose
With the pink yarn cast on 2 stitches leaving about a 6″ tail.
Row 1: (kfb)2x (4 stitches)
Row 2: kfb, k1, kfb, k1 (6 stitches)
Row 3: k2tog, k1, k2tog, k1 (4 stitches)
Row 4: (k2tog)2x (2 stitches)
Cut the yarn leaving about a 6″ tail. Put the tail on a tapestry needle and reweave through the stitches on the needle. Take the stitches off the needle. Tie the two tails together into a knot, pulling the sides together. Knot again. You should have a little bobble, though you may need to shape it a bit. Do not cut off the tails.
4. Sew the nose in place
You want the nose to hit right at the brim of the hat, so try on the hat and figure out that spot. With a tapestry needle sew the nose into place using the tails. You just pull the tail through the ball, sightly to the top where they will be hidden under the hat. Tie into a knot to secure.
5. Add hair
Cut lengths of the white cotton yarn, about 1 1/2″ – 2″. Tie a knot in one end. Don’t worry if the lengths aren’t exact, you’ll trim them later. Using thread and a hand sewing needle, sew the pieces around the the ball just above the nose. (You want the knots to be hidden under the hat.) Sew through the knots and put them right next to each other. You can sew around a second time if you want them even more secure, but since they are under the hat it isn’t a huge deal.
6. Sew on the hat
Put the hat in place over the hair knots. Sew into place just below the knots. Even though you are using thread that matched the green of the hat, it will look best if you sew where it will be hidden by the roll in the brim.
7. Trim hair
Use the tapestry needle or comb to unwind the hair. Trim to desired length.
8. Sew down top of hat
If you want you can add a little tassel to the end of the hat. Then sew the hat so it folds down.
9. Add hanger
Cut enough white yarn to make a hanging loop. Use the tapestry needles to bring both ends of the yarn inside the bend of the hat. Tie them into a knot and trim ends. The knit will be hidden in the bend.
Copyright 2013 Kathy Lewinski JustCraftyEnough.com
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© 2005 – 2013 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish