Friday, December 21, 2012

happy you! a free pattern for yule/solstice

When my brother Rob and I were very little, we misheard our grandmother's seasonal greeting of "Happy Yule!" as "Happy You!". Of course we were happy — we were getting presents and treats. Does it get any better than that for a kid?

Oma thought this was hilarious and never bothered to correct us. Which, in a family where all the grownups knew at least three languages while the Canadian-born kids only had English and whatever French they'd learned at school, was pretty normal.

Along with all the regular presents we would each get a pair of slippers Oma had knitted us. Unfortunately for Oma, we learned very quickly that these slippers made it very easy to "surf" laminated flooring, so they were usually worn to holes in about a week.

This year, I've been requested to make cute animal boot cuffs for my nieces. Fingers crossed they won't wear out quickly — they have no soles, so they're no good for surfing laminated flooring — but since the design work took far more time than the knitting, I thought I would share them as a Yule present for any knitter who would like an extra stocking stuffer for little ones. Mine are of a kitty and a panda, but dogs, pigs, foxes, brown bears, and other animals could be figured out by mixing and matching different facial features and colours. I rather think the kitty's hair bow would make a cute bow tie on a bear or a dog.

I'd rate this project as beginner-level, so long as you're okay with doing a bit of free-form embroidery. If you're a knitter who only knows how to knit, as opposed to someone with a general background in needlecraft, this would be a good opportunity to stretch your skill set. The knitting part is very quick; if you're exchanging gifts on the 24th or 25th, you still have time.

Download the pattern PDF here. If you have any feedback (especially if you find something that needs correcting!), please leave a comment!

Happy Yule!

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