My friend showed me her Jesse tree in October, which is 25 days of advent: 25 little ornaments to open with glee, hang from a special tree, and to discuss the meaning of Christmas… and man I was HOOKED! The little crafts completely took over my mind and filled me with ideas, and I couldn’t help but start my own. And of course, such is my personality, that I thought of 5 other families I could bless these with for Christmas gifts too, so instead of making 25 ornaments I was now beginning a project to make 150 of them!! My husband is so patient with me, he just rolls his eyes, and helps me with words of praise and encouragement! (and a little wood cutting and drilling too…). So these took me 8 weeks to make, since I homeschool over half the day, had other sewing projects on the go like Finn, on top of family household life. I DID get them finished in time and in the mail to arrive before Dec 1st! hooray! So here are the first 7 days…
So my goal in making these is like everything we do: make them as natural as possible avoiding plastics and such and opting for wood and wool and cotton, AND to learn some new skills at the same time.
Day 1: The Light in Creation, a globe
I painted little 1″ wooden balls to look roughly like the earth, drilled a hole and hung them on a metal necklace peg with a stone bead at the bottom (I am pretending its the moon… but really it just looks good and helps hold to peg from slipping out of the globe…)
Day 2: The First Sin, an apple (without the snake)
I decided not to add the snake, I figured everyone knows the details of Adam and Eve and their story in our family. So these I crocheted out of wool yarn.
Small Apple: (Brown) ch 2, 6 sc in 2nd chain, join slst to 1st ch (6). (Red, working in rounds) 2sc per stitch (12). Then *2sc, 1 sc* repeat (18). *2sc, 5 sc* repeat (21). *2sc, sc 6* repeat (24). *2sc, sc 7* repeat (27). *2sc, sc 8* repeat (30). Sc 30 for 4 rows. *sc 3, sctog* repeat (24). *sc 2, sctog* repeat (18). Stuff. *sc, sctog* repeat (12). Sc2tog 6 times (6). Finish. STEM: (Brown) Ch 6, slst in 2nd chain and across to tip of stem. Finish. LEAF: (green) Ch 9, slst in 2nd ch and next 2, sc 2, dc next 4, then 6 dc in last ch, then reverse for the way back (4 dc then 2 sc then slst).
Day 3: Inside the Ark, an ark with rainbow
Well this one I enlisted the help of one of my favourite Etsy sellers, Two Raccoon Hollow. Kristen custom made me 6 small walnut arks, and she did and AMAZING job: she carefully chose and cut each piece of walnut so that a little wave appears on the side . What a beautiful and thoughtful detail!! I couldn’t have been more pleased, and this bit of artistry really added to the whole ornament set. For the crochet rainbow here is what I did: Red crochet 2, then 4sc in 1st st (5). Orange 2sc/st (10). Yellow sc 4 then 2sc (12). Green sc 5 then 2sc (14). Blue sc 6 then 2sc (14). Purple sc 7 then sc2 (18). For the white clouds I just crocheted along the bottom and then randomly made little scallops of different sizes. No rhyme or reason here, just some stitches got 1 sc others got some triples then doubles then back to singles, creating the wavy cloud bottom.
Day 4: The Call to Abraham, tent with camels
I opted out of painting the camel just for time, but I just sewed 4 triangles together for the roof (7.5X7.5X8 cm) and 4 rectangles (7.5X8.5 cm) for the sides, adding a bit of red ribbon to each corner. I used a cotton canvas. No need for finishing since these are ornaments and won’t be handled too much.
Day 5: Isaac and the Lamb, a lamb
There are three sheep needed in the Jessie Tree, and as you will soon see I made 2 others, but for this one I copied my friend and just used a Schleich sheep hung with a metal jewellery peg. We love Schleich in our family, so it seemed fitting!
Day 6: Jacob’s Ladder, a ladder
I had a hard time with this one, I didn’t want to use sticks again (you will see later that I have used sticks a number of times in this set), but anything else I saw online I didn’t fall in love with. So we stuck with the stick idea! I collected and dried driftwood off our local beach, and my husband drilled and cut them, and I hung them with twine. I added the colourful ribbon to add some festivity. Simple.
Day 7: Joseph’s Coat, a colourful coat
This was one of those ornaments that I needed to learn some new skills for. I am just beginning learning how to knit, so this was quite a stretch. But I found some rainbow yarn that I liked and followed the pattern Elegant Barbie pattern on Ravelry. I just made a few adjustments: I made it 16 stitches wide not 20, and 28 rows instead of 32. For the sleeves I made them wider at the shoulder so increased by one stitch the last 3 stitches to a total of 15 rather than 12. These little puppies took me 4-5 hours each since I am slow and learning, however I love the look better than if I had crocheted them, and I really loved learning to knit more as well.
Well there are the first few days, stay tuned for Part 2 coming up next!!