Our first collaboration

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

In December 2013, my then 5 year old son had one of the most disappointing Christmas experiences of his life so far. 

One day, while in Target, I purchased an Angry Birds advent calendar. I'm sure I paid next to nothing for it and was fully aware that the chocolate would be waxy and awful, but ANGRY BIRDS!  

Anyway, we started opening the calendar everyday and woo hoo chocolate! 

Then, one day, we opened the little door.... no chocolate! Like most parents, I had touted the chocolate as being a reward for good behaviour, so this little boy who had been well behaved in order to gain his chocolate scrumminess opened the door to nothing and promptly burst into tears. It seemed so cruel. I remember opening a calendar as a child, they were a fabulous thing that only happened at Christmas and not a time for disappointment and tears. 

As with most 5 years olds issues, it was easily fixed. The chocolate had fallen out of the mould and collected at the bottom. I rotated the calendar 180 degrees and shook the chocolate out. However, in doing so, I shook all the chocolates out of their moulds. What followed was a month of shaken crappy chocolates out of a crappy calendar. 

At the same time, I was aware that a talented knitter on Ravelry was developing a pattern for mini stockings and that she had strung them up on a garland as an advent calendar for her partner. 

I decided that next year I would make my children's advent calendars (it is important, at this point, to remember that I have two children).

Starting in January, I knew knitting 48 stockings was completely doable. I made a plan to knit four stockings a month and got cracking.

Firstly, I didn't want to use traditional Christmas colours, I also wanted the two sets of stockings to be distinctive but clearly belong together.  I chose two colour palettes which shared two colours (the cream and the green) I also aimed to include the other colours in each set.  I used acrylic as the stockings wouldn't be worn and would be in storage for 11 months of the year.


I realised that I needed a numbering system and had no idea how I would position them but detail shmetails . 

Cleverly, I decided to ask Michelle for help. One of Michelle's many talents is sourcing and buying craft materials from the Internet. I set her on a mission to find "cool/funky/practical" numbers and, rather scarily, I didn't give her a budget. She was rather excited. 

After a couple of weeks, months, in and out of a hundred years, Michelle declared that she couldn't find a suitable set to buy but fortunately she had had a brainwave. Fimo! and, is usually the way with Michelle, she already had the set of mini cutters and mini number stamps (apparently bought from here, although not currently in stock) that we would need to complete the project. 

Working with Michelle on this project was a great experience. She kept me on track and hassled me for the number of completed stockings every time she spoke to me. Without her project management skills I don't know that I would have got all the stockings knit in time. 

By the end of September, I had all 48 stockings completed and have never been so pleased to only have two children. 

Michelle and I had a fun morning (undoubtedly a Friday) making the tags and I enlisted my Dad's help in making the timber "Christmas Trees". My Dad, having recently taken up woodworking as a hobby, is always looking for a project and quickly knocked up these awesome trees. 

Now completed, thanks to Michelle and Dad, I have an amazing family heirloom for each child and know that I never have to buy a crappy commercial calendar ever again.


  1. Wow! They look fantastic Louise, what a beautiful calendar heirloom for each of your kids...

    1. Thanks Chai69.
      The kids love them and I adore filling each stocking with a treat, a toy or the occasional coin.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you Amy.

      The kids and I love them. They are so special and now an important part of our Christmas tradition.


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