This was a year for letting my hair down. Since my first yarnbomb last Christmas, I’ve yarnbombed from Paris to San Francisco, and created my dream job with my inspiring sister in the process. This was a year for having fun.
“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Christmas cards now pour in from the mailbox, full of happy reflections on a triumphant year. In the dark of winter, when the bedside alarm goes off before sunrise and the factory whistle blows to the stars, it’s the light and warmth and cheer of the holidays that I love to echo. Flip the radio to Christmas carols, pop the withered cranberry garland on the tree, stuff oily cloves in pungent oranges, hang a cheery wreath on the front door, and cover the kitchen countertop in powdery messes.
I’ve been called crazy and compared to a bad case of bronchitis for my forays into food fun, which makes me wonder if some people have plain forgotten how to have fun.
But those of you who still know what fun is will enjoy seeing this year’s crazy holiday creations. And those of you who don’t, hunker down with a hot buttered rum (No, don’t! Have you tried those? They’re horrid!), and get inspired.
Thanksgiving knit apple pie & crochet pumpkin pie
Last year I made mini mince pies for my grandfather, Pa, for the last time and topped a pumpkin pie with prancing moose from our trip to the Okanagan. In retrospect, I think I needed to go all out in order not to let Pa’s last mince pie stand out like a sore thumb in time. Since I had just gone all epic on his ass a month before, in my 80 hour Day of the Dead filet crochet memorial pieces, going all out might just be how I deal with emotions. Ya think?
This year a nice engrossing challenge was in order. And then that dough just called to be spun into yarn.
Click the images for nerdy deets on how I knit the lattice pie crust into shape. And if you’re wondering, the answer is: it was delicious!
Christmas gingerbread houses
A few weeks later, Curt convinced us to make gingerbread houses from scratch. One short Pinterest foray later and we had an out-of-control candy shopping list. I’ll admit that Jill and I spent one whole afternoon shopping at “several” stores for the perfect candies, many of which we didn’t find. Where are all those candies you know you’ve seen but can never find when you need them? Well, you can imagine what I did with the candy while the gingerbread was baking…
And then I let slip to Curt, “wouldn’t it be cool to make sugar stained glass windows?” Curt loves cooking that approximates science, full of crystallization and infrared thermometers, so there went Friday night. But to great effect! Curt put two electric LED candles inside his gingerbread house, and they shone bright for about a day. Now they glow very dimly, even in the dark, and sadly are trapped inside the house where we can’t change the batteries. I guess we’ll have to eat our way in!
How could you eat into this masterpiece, anyway? Curt’s gingerbread house is so fun and epic, complete with a little laundry line, a wood pile, and a gingerbread forest. The very old woman who trapped Hansel and Gretel surely lives in this Black Forest abode!
The prospect of making one big house intimidated me and Jill, so we made lots of mini houses with this template. Combined with Curt’s, it was the perfect village surrounding the big house on the hill. Admittedly, it’s more than a little bit styled after Main Street in the Epic Mickey Wii game. (Which has been my post-Christmas guilty pleasure for two years running. This year I’m making a 180 with GTAV.)
Wreath-bedecked candy cane lamp posts line the cul-de-sac. A two-passenger candy car with head lights parks in the red before nerds-cobbled paths to each doorstep. Every house is unique, with secret details to reward those who take the time to look closely.
I still can’t look at these photos without picturing all the sugar stuck in my carpets on Sunday night. In order to share the love, we made a few batches of gingerbread men, including some whacked-out and yarn-themed, of course. We really need to gift them before they destroy the village!
Because somehow we still had energy to do our annual Christmas craft tutorials, Jill replicated one of our favorite family ornaments: a walnut baby. I knit a couple micro blankets for some, which you can find instructions for in her tutorial post here.
More last-minute free Christmas crafts
You still have time to squeeze in some of our free crafts of Christmases past including these free knitting and crochet patterns:
Merry Christmas, and may you ring in the New Year with great cheer and style!