My family did not decorate for Christmas this year. At least not in the was that we normally do. My love for Christmas causes sends me into a frenzy of decorating in the day or two after Thanksgiving. The more bulbs, tinsel, evergreen and coconut flake snow, the better.
However, up until a week ago my family was crammed into a small apartment with only our essential possessions. Every tote of material Christmas cheer remained in our basement in Milwaukee while we hung a single stocking from a nail in the wall and enjoyed a the company of a naked artificial tree sent by my parents. We had nothing else.
At first I was bitter. I was even jealous of Charlie Brown and his anemic Christmas tree. At least he had ornaments! At about this time my church joined a nationwide movement called Advent Conspiracy, which boasts four tenets: Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, Love All. Slowly, my perspective began to change. Instead of focusing on a gracefully decorated home, I spent more time concentrating on my friendships. Rather than spending money on more Christmas decorations and gifts, we gave. It ended up being one of the most relaxing and meaningful Christmases of my life.
Another benefit of not having anything to adorn our tree was to use a bit of creativity (and yarn, of course!) to create something that would do the job. That’s how the Mitten State Ornament was created.
The only materials required are yarn, felt of different colors, embroidery floss, twine, and sewing pins and needles.
Crocheting circles is really easy and you can make several of them in no time flat. I followed a simple pattern for them at Crochet Spot. P.S. This is a great way to use leftover yarn.
To make the Michigan shape, I used a paper template (traced from a picture online), pinned it to the felt and cut around it. The felt shapes were then pinned to the crocheted circle and stitched onto it with embroidery floss. Some twine was then looped through the stitches at the top of the circle – this is obviously what is used to hang the ornament.
To finish, I traced and cut a circle of felt to match the crocheted circle and stitched it to the back of the ornament with embroidery floss.
The stitches around the shapes are not absolutely perfect, but it makes the ornaments seem cozy and folksy. I like it that way.
I’ve created them in a variety of colors and added a shakily embroidered “HI” onto one of them. These can be made with any state shape…or any shape imaginable. Imagination is the only limit.