When I finished my good friend Zebedee all I knew was that I wanted to do something else right now! I didn't know exactly what it was that I wanted to knit, I just wanted to knit something. It was tough.
After a quick rifle through my knitting magazines, pattern books and booklets I decided I wanted to do something from Jean Greenhowe's pattern books. I love how beautifully simple her patterns are but how effective they are when they're knitted up. After all the different pieces to stitch together on Zebedee I knew I wanted something a little more straightforward.
Bizarrely there wasn't any doubt in my mind that I was going to knit a toy. I've got plenty of hats and I don't like the long-term commitment required on bigger projects like scarves and clothes. I wanted instant gratification knitting, and for me, that means toys.
Each year I get to November, look longingly at Jean Greenhowe's Christmas patterns and sadly put them away for another year, knowing that I'll never have time to knit something in time for Christmas.
Well not this year! I'm starting my Christmas decoration knitting in July, baby!
I have a tendency of getting bored if I do the same pattern too often and that's the one thing that's put me off this project in the past. The Wise Men, Shepherd and Joseph are all made using the same basic pattern but in different colours and with different embellishments. Once I got started on it I soon realised that's not likely to be a problem; there's so many different bits to concentrate on, different colour combinations and differences in robes, hats and other accessories.
I did briefly consider doing these figures in different colours to the ones pictured, but I've got all the right colours so I figured I might as well just do them in the colours in the example. It certainly makes it easier to keep track of things. My shades of green and blue are slightly different but I'm very pleased with how he's turned out:
I've decided that this is Balthazar. I'm yet to take any good photos of him. I'm waiting until I've got all three Wise Men and then I'll try and take some interesting photos of them together.
I'd anticipated being able to make two a month, but I think I might be able to stretch that out to three, seeing as Balthazar only took me ten days from start to finish (and that's including a couple of nights of non-knitting time). I might get all three Wise Men done by the end of the month.
I toyed with the idea of alternating between different characters from the scene (doing a Wise Man first, then a Shepherd, then Joseph, etc) but I feel like continuing with the Wise Men while I'm clearly on such a roll. It seems like there's less difference between the two Shepherds (apart from the colours of their clothes) so I might be able to do two of them at once to speed things up.
Have you knitted Jean Greenhowe's Christmas Crib? Care to share pictures?