Amy Artisan

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O Tannenbaum!

One of my favorite parts of decorating for Christmas is the Christmas Tree. The smell of the evergreen, the twinkle of the lights, the assortment of ornaments – each time you look at a decorated Christmas tree you see something new.

Our family collection of ornaments is a story of our lives – ornaments Mom & Dad hung on trees as children, momentos from places we have lived, collections of favorite things/animals, and on and on. There are so many ornaments that each year we choose which will be on the tree – I think we would need at least a 12 foot tree in order to put them all on the tree. Each year our collection grows – on the morning after Thanksgiving, Rebecca & I always have an ornament waiting for us at the breakfast table. For the last 10 years or more, most of the ornaments have been hand painted by Artisan Dad. (Note to self…need to photograph all of the hand painted ornaments & blog about them some day…)

Artisan Dad Ornament 2006

This year’s Artisan Dad ornament is very appropriate given the resurgence of my knitting this year.

Dad & I subscribe to the “you can never have too many lights” school of tree decorating. For the 8 foot tree at home I think we use at least 500-600 mini lights. For the last couple of years we have bought our tree on the day after Thanksgiving so that I can help Dad put the lights on the tree before coming back to Chicago.

Since I have been up in Chicago I have amassed quite an ornament collection of my own – I haven’t even brought any “childhood” ornaments from home. I’ve had assorted Christmas trees – decorating a potted Norfolk pine, a small fresh cut tree, silver ornament trees when work had me traveling in Dec. When I moved into my current apartment I started getting “full size” Christmas trees. Again this year the Frasier fir is in the living room by the window and the fresh cut evergreen wafts through the air. As I was putting each ornament on the tree I was reminded of dear friends and fun travel among other memories housed in the ornaments.

Artisan Tree 2006
Last December I came across Lolly’s posting about the fun knit Christmas trees that she pulled together based on Anjo’s tree pattern. I thought these were a great idea & made a mental note “next year.”

The day after Thanksgiving I was wondering what to knit since my scarf was finished. So I pulled up the blog entries about the trees and went to Hobby Lobby with Artisan Dad and Artisan Sister. We had a fun time picking out yarn combinations – although I think Dad & Rebecca were still a little skeptical about how these would turn out. We came home with 2 different tree combinations and after lunch I got started knitting. Within an hour, the first tree was knit up so I just kept going. In no time the 2nd tree was done and so I started on a 3rd tree. After dinner I ran out of one of the yarns so Mom & I were back to Hobby Lobby – while there we picked up yarn for more trees. By Saturday evening 5 trees were off the needles & fully assembled.

Knit Christmas Trees 

Row 1: For Aunt Clara Pearl in Ohio; For Mom & Dad; Row 2: For Rebecca; For Miss Doodlebug & Miss Butterfly
My modifications: All of these were knit as triangles & then seamed together. Some of the trees started with 36-40 stitches instead of 30. The smaller trees were size 11 needles, the larger were size 13. Instead of stuffing trees 1/2/3 I put them on floral styrofoam cones that had been wrapped in batting. The bottom of the cone was covered in felt. For the girlie trees, Mom made a tree form out of Christmas fabric with felt as the bottom – she then stuffed the cone, then put the tree knit over the form & stitched it to the felt bottom. The ornaments & bows on tree 1 are from the “mini-tree” section at Hobby Lobby.

The yarn combos: 1 & 2 = LB Chenille Thick & Quick, LB Wool-Ease Chunky, Yarn Bee Playful; 3 = LB Jiffy (2 colors), Yarn Bee Playful; 4 & 5 = TLC Essentials, Patons Brilliant, Yarn Bee Feather Wisp

These are a fun project! I think that a couple more may end up being gifted this Christmas. I also want to make some for my own Christmas decorations – although I’m pretty sure that they won’t be completed before next Christmas.

The girlie trees have already been sent to Texas & are in full play use by the girls. Aunt Clara Pearls’ tree is bringing some Christmas cheer to her room while she is in a nursing home receiving some rehabilitation services based on recent health issues.

Aunt Clara Pearl's Tree in Ohio

Thanks Ruth for sharing a picture of the tree in Ohio!

What are some of your favorite Christmas tree and Christmas ornament memories and stories?

Click here to share yours!

4 Comments

  1. that is a great ornament made by your dad! Very fitting. its a good thing we have such a big tree, or there is NO way all the ornaments would fit on it. The first three feet are ones that the kids have made, or are kid friendly. One of my Aunts started giving me ornaments starting my first Christmas, those are my favorites.
    hehehe, Love your knitting tree’s! Hope your Aunt Clara feels better soon : )

  2. What a wonderful post Amy! I, too, love homemade ornaments – we have knit, crochet, dough, beaded and many more various kinds on our tree. I especially love the ornaments my children made for me when they were younger!

    Your knitted trees are great! I’ll have to give it a try, my youngest likes to knit, it might be something she enjoys making too (maybe presents for her friends) 🙂

  3. I love your trees–thanks so much for sharing them. I hope to make a few, including one for my grandmother to brighten up her room at assisted living.

  4. That’s a perfect ornament your Dad made for you! Very fitting. I love your ornament tradition!

    Those knitted trees are a good idea. Hmmmm.

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