knits by sachi

More Christmas projects

I love Christmas Nativity and every year, I make at least one set of Nativity dolls. I have many sets in different designs but never get tired of making a new one.

It is certainly a lovely story with many characters including animals. It is just perfect for a doll maker like me.

This year, I made two sets with felt fabric.

One is very simple. It is this one.

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The figures are very simple without arms or legs and they all share the same basic template. It only took me half a day. Baby Jesus sleeps in a walnut shell comfortably.

This is very cute, and I was very pleased with it, but I just had to make a large set with all players including animals.

So, here I go.

The first part: Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. If I can make the main characters right, I know the set will work.
Then, I added shepherds.

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Animals are a little more challenging because proportions do matter, but I think I did all right. I made bull and sheep lying down to create the feeling of intimacy.

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Now, three wise men.
They are my favorite. I get to enjoy decorating with embroideries, beads and ornaments.

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My camels are dressed up nicely, too.

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And here is the full cast.

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Merry Christmas, everyone!

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Advent Calendar

A couple of years ago, I knitted this calendar.

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It is my improvisation of Alan Dart’s calendar published by Sirdar yarn. He knitted it in Christmas red and green and added yellow ribbon in the centre of the panel. I decided to have more fun with colours and went for pastel look.
The toys in the pockets are all my original design.

I have seen lots of calendars in different styles, but I still like this simple panel with pockets.

This year, I made one with felt fabric.

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I could use the knitted calendar as the template for this project which made the process very easy.

I thought about making it with red and green initially. You need a large felt sold by metre, but soft natural colour is not easy to find. I could not find anything I like online, but luckily, the owner of the haberdashery in my little town helped me get this cream colour. The fabric is slightly thicker than felt squares, and that worked very well.

I chose simple font for the numbers for easy cutting and sewing.

All is done with hand-sewing. I thought I would get better control over stitches and finish would be neater that way.

And here are the toys to go in pockets.

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Yes, I made a lot. Well, you need at least 24 of little toys. Or 25? Do you need one for the Christmas Day?
Never mind.

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It is so enjoyable and satisfying to work on a large project like this. I enjoyed every minute of it.

I wish my boys were a little younger, but they did give me compliments

Maybe I will get to make full use of it with my grandchildren.

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Granola cookies

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According to the “Love Food Hate Waste” website in UK, we throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, and more than half of this is food and drink we could have eaten.

Wasting this food costs the average household £470 a year, rising to £700 for a family with children, the equivalent of around £60 a month.

Can this be true?

I am a frugal shopper, especially when it comes to food. I was taught not to leave anything on a plate when I was growing up. Throwing away food was unthinkable.

So, no food goes to bin in our household.

It doesn’t mean all groceries are consumed quickly without any problem. Sometimes, we do struggle to do justice to food we buy, and one of these is breakfast cereals.

We have three or four opened boxes sometimes. My boys say they get bored with one flavour, or it gets “crumby” on the bottom.
I had this crumby granola which are left for weeks sitting on top of the fridge and decided to be a little creative.

I decided to make cookies with it.

I got the basic idea from oatmeal cookies and altered its recipe. Granola contains sugar already so that I reduced the amount of sugar considerably.

Recipe; this is what I used.

1 cup chocolate chip granola, crumbs and everything in the box. Crush large pieces over the plastic bag.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
90ml butter, softened. I know it is rather odd to measure butter in ml. I used US measuring cup. 1/4 cup and a half and I think it is about 50 g.
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
a few drops of vanilla extract
sprinkle of cinnamon

(makes about 20)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C, 350 F. (gas mark 4-5).

2. Fluff butter with electric beater for 30 sec- 1 min. Add sugar and cream the butter. Add egg and beat a little more until well mixed.

3. Add brown sugar, flour, baking powder, a few drops of vanilla and sprinkle cinnamon. Mix to combine using a spatula.

4. Drop a small ball of the dough with a spoon, 3cm apart, and bake in the oven for 10-12 mins.

You know what? These cookies turned out to be one of the best I made, and my family absolutely loved them! They all went in two days. I was very pleased because this is my original recipe!

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Holidays are coming and we tend to overstock food. When you have left-overs or unpopular items in your kitchen, take a challenge and be creative. You never know, you may come up with a fantastic recipe of your own.

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Christmas craft

I knitted this wreath earlier this year. I made it especially for the Knit Now magazine so that it was made in summer. (Took a little effort to get into the spirit…) Instead of making toys, I wanted something to decorate home this time.
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We feel like making something when Christmas approaches. Even if you are not involved in any craft usually, you may want to join a workshop or two and make something special for your home or someone special.

I remember making my first wreath many years ago in America. I wasn’t at all doing any craft then, but I enjoyed the workshop very much and proudly brought my creation home to show it to everyone.

I design many things all year around but still, I feel very creative in December.

I still knit a lot, but this year, I started to sewing a bit more. It works very well, doing sewing and knitting projects going at the same time. Sewing takes much less time than knitting. It is good to try the idea with sewing first and see if it works.

Hence, I am much busier than before, always having a go at new projects.

Recently, I made this felt wreath.

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I cut two cardboard circle rings and glue them together. I sew green felt to encase the cardboard and sew felt leaves and flowers.

I had no vision or plan at all when I started it. I made a poinsettia flower and decided I need another. I added holly leaves and berries, but I thought I needed something more. Then, came the little angel, acorns, oak leaves and pine cones.

I wanted to make a cute wreath without getting it look too childish. I think the angel was just right.

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Once I started to see how I wanted it, things got easier and quicker. It took me good three days and a quick run to a haberdashery to get the ribbon. But it certainly was very exciting and fun three days and I am happy with the result.

Just a little final touch, a dove.

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I was quite pleased with the angel and decided to make more.

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I am going to knit them next.

Handmade ornaments are great. You get to see them every Christmas for many years.
I still have the stockings my boys made in their kindergarten. They are simple felt stockings but very lovely.

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