Advent Projects, Anyone?

Advent is a season that begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. Each week of Advent has a theme: Hope; Love; Joy and Peace. This year, the first day of Advent is Sunday, November 27th. I thought I’d put this out on the radar for anyone who might be inspired to make Advent related crafts.

Some Advent projects focus on the 4 weeks of Advent. These usually incorporate the weekly themes of Hope, Love, Joy and Peace into the design.

A good example of this would be the advent wreath.

These traditionally hold 5 candles: one candle representing each of the Sundays of Advent and a fifth, the Christ candle, for Christmas. Most commonly the colours associated with Advent are purple (royalty, repentance, fasting) rose or pink (joy) and white (purity), although some also use blue (night sky or the waters of creation) to distinguish the sense of hopeful anticipation of the Advent season versus the more repentant and introspective nature of the season of Lent; Lent shares purple as its colour. Growing up in a German family, we always had an advent wreath of some sort.

I recently learned of the “Advent Scarf”.

This is a knitted or crocheted scarf that incorporates a new pattern each day of the Advent season (many start on December 1st and go through the 24th) often with a unifying transition strip between the various pattern blocks. These can be very ornate and beautiful. The ones I have seen are made up predominantly of lace patterns. I absolutely LOVE this idea. I would very much like to make one. I’m not sure I could keep up with the pattern each day though. I think I’d have to start in June so I have a week for each pattern block. With how busy my life is, I was thinking that maybe I should come up with an Advent Scarf pattern that has just one new pattern per week, plus transition strips. I guess it would probably be more of an Advent cowl though. Maybe next year? Here are some beautiful examples of Advent Scarves:

Advent socks made up of leftover yarn are another fun craft for this season. The designs are wild, like a scrap quilt. I know that many people really love this effect and I say, “all the power to you!” Go for it. I have to be honest. I am way too attached to symmetry to be able to cope with making this style of sock. I have been known to restart a cast on up to 6 times to get both socks to begin at exactly the same point in a self striping sock yarn! Go ahead, laugh if you must. I can’t help it. If the stripes don’t line up, it irritates me terribly. Check out these examples on ravelry.com.

Advent calendars are also a popular craft.

I’m sure everyone has seen the chocolate filled ones in the shops at this time of year. They offer a fun countdown to Christmas. The idea is that you create pockets to put small items in and each day of the Advent season, you take one out. What you put into the pockets is up to you. Some fill them with small gifts, candies, some with ornaments. Others with little notes. I found a number of variations. I like the idea of ornaments that come out of hiding from the little pockets and go onto the Christmas tree each day. After Christmas, they go back into their pockets to wait until next year. What you put into the pockets is an opportunity for creativity. I have been thinking about Christmas baking all day (wishing I had cookies to have with my coffee!) I was thinking that a different cookie recipe could go into each pocket.

For the seriously ambitious, you could then bake a small batch of the respective cookies each day of Advent. Yum! (Might need to get an extra Pilates class in if you do that, though!) The sizes of these calendars vary. Some are quite small, others are huge. I suppose that in the first year, you could work on making the calendar over the course of the Advent season. An ornament a day? Here are a couple of the examples I found. I personally love the colour-work mittens!

If you search advent calendars on Pinterest, there are so many examples that you could be lost for days searching through them. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you get too deep in the labyrinth, send up a flare and we’ll send Santa’s rescue team to pull you out!

Happy Crafting!

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