Last Christmas, I decided I wanted a nativity set.
I’m not quite sure where this admittedly random idea came from, but there it was. I didn’t want a store-bought version, I wanted it to be homemade. Heck, I wanted a knitted nativity set!
A bit of internet searching and I found this – the Jean Greenhowe Christmas Special! Published in 1991 (we’re the same age!), it includes a pattern for a full Christmas crib. The Ebay store I bought this from doesn’t have it anymore, but I recently discovered that Spotlight also sells these booklets in their yarn section for about $18.
How awesome is this! It’s pretty much knitted nativity perfection.
There’s a bit of nostalgia involved here, too.
The first ten years or so of my life were surrounded by toys hand-knitted from Jean Greenhowe’s pattern books by various relatives.
This is a very slow project – I’ve been gradually gathering cheap, acrylic yarn in as many colours as possible, magpie style. All these patterns are supposed to just use “scrap yarn”, but when you don’t have that on hand, it’s a very expensive project.
I wrote out a list of all the pieces that need to be made and it came to about 25-30 colours. Add $18 for the pattern book and it’s looking pricey! Fortunately, I’ve been swooping on yarn in op shops wherever possible, so it’s become a little cheaper.
My goal is to finish this by Christmas 2014. I’m thinking of it as in lieu of Andi’s Knit A Christmas Sweater in 2014 knitalong, which I almost jumped on, until I remembered I live in Australia and will be wearing as few clothes as socially acceptable that time of year. Most years for Christmas I just wear my swimmers all day.
I also recently found a couple more Jean Greenhowe pattern books for $3 each at a church stall at the Mount Tamborine markets and I’m itching to make a tiny policeman. I need my friends to start having babies so I can indulge in knitting some adorable toys.