Cheer, some assembly required

Have you noticed how many things require you to do lots of little steps, repeated over and over and over again, before the reveal their charms?

I’m making paper stars (yes, again, pretty much every year around this time). And I want to take pictures of them against a bright shining sky to show them off.  But it’s gray and gloomy today. So all I can do is offer these, which only hint at their true glory, and fold the rest of the pieces.

And then, after I’ve done the same little steps, over and over and over again, I’ll put them together.  And at some point the sun will come out.  And they will shine.  And it will all be worth it.

Oh, and I’ve talked about this on the blog before. I’m totally not cool enough to actually walk you through how to make them (so pretty please, don’t ask, because then I will have to feel bad for saying no). But I am cool enough to have put together a post last year with some pointers for where to find the supplies and some stuff to google if you’re so inclined.  That’s over here and it should get you most of the way there.

Oh and just as a heads up, I am very very very much not online this week. I am hibernating. I do not exist. I am a trick of the light. I am a figment of your imagination. I am but smoke and mirrors. (This is my polite way of saying I won’t see or answer questions you might have about these, what with being imaginary, but that post I mentioned above probably has what you’re looking for!)

I mean sure why not

Ok, so I asked (over on instagram) for questions about the wee tiny village (Chimney and Belfry). And one of the things that came up a few times was ‘how did you make the little tree?’

Which, I admit, I was not expecting.  But it’s super easy, so I can totally show you.

It’s just a twig from a tree in my yard (mine’s from a hawthorn tree, but look around for one with a good branching pattern that works at the scale you’re looking for). Then I yanked the top off one of those ‘sport bottles’ (the ones with the flip up lids and little nozzle) and jammed the end of the twig into the nozzle to help hold the tree up.  Then I secured that nozzle inside a broader cap.  I put a quarter in the broader cap (to put a bit of weight down there to balance out the weight of the tree).  And held all the various parts together with museum putty.

Not exactly elegant, but it worked.  I just put sand or seaweed or rocks or whatever on top of the caps when I set up the village.

Pretty much all the other questions (how big are they, what’s inside them, which pieces are in which pattern) are spelled out in frankly alarming detail on the patterns’ listing pages.  But that one totally wasn’t, so I thought I’d put it here too in case anyone was wondering and wasn’t on instagram!


Was your village missing something? I mean you have lots of options for houses, but maybe what you need is a church? Or a school house? Or a town hall?

Because I know we’re all working hard to stay home more, but I’m pretty sure the folks in your tiny, woolly village can still go out safely!  If they’ve been petitioning for somewhere else to go, Belfry is out today, and it adds a lovely new option for your town.

And really? I am, well, let’s say more than usually sympathetic to the idea that folks might want a bit of variety in their lives right now.  I do not want to deny your villagers the pleasure of some time away from home.  As long as they’ll let me live vicariously through their exploits!

Have I reached the point in the pandemic where I’m imagining rich and exciting lives for the tiny denizens of my knitted seaside village? Apparently.  Do I feel bad about this? If it keeps me safe at home not catching or sharing any germs, I’m going to say it’s fine. Do I think you should join me? Look, it gets dark at 4pm, it’s freezing outside, and we’ve got six more months of camping out at home…I think we should all do whatever it takes to get through.

If a tiny village is going to be one of your coping mechanisms, Belfry is ready for you.  You can either take 10% off with the code RINGING for the first few days it’s out, or you can pair it up with Chimney (the pattern for the houses) for a bigger discount. Details for how that works are on the pattern’s pages on ravelry and payhip, so head over there for more info on how that works.⁠

⁠Oh, and I totally say this on the pattern’s listings, but just to be super super clear, Belfry is the pattern for the two-level building with a tower on the front (the building in the picture directly above these words). Chimney is the pattern for the houses. Which I totally suspect you either already knew or would read in the pattern description. But this way there’s just no chance anyone will overlook it (right? because people totally read the whole post and pattern descriptions yeah? lie to me here…).⁠

Round two

You might have thought I’d have been clever enough to get all the pictures for the wee tiny village in one go on my first trip out.  Because really, who wants to get that cold, that wet, and that filthy more than once if they don’t have to.

But alas, no.  When I went off to take the first round, I hadn’t actually finished knitting all the other buildings that were going to be in the set.

Was I incurably lazy? Overwhelming busy? Filled with existential dread over the election? Waiting to see if enough folks bought the houses to see if it was worth knitting more pieces for the set?  Maybe a bit of each, I’ll never tell.

But this time…this time when I went back I brought both the church/schoolhouse/townhall pieces and the lighthouse pieces with me (yes, there is a lighthouse, yes, it is unspeakably adorable).  And you bet I got all the pictures I’ll need to release both of those.  Because it’s only going to get colder for the next few months, and I don’t especially want to do this again in January.

So the plan is for the church/schoolhouse/townhall pattern to come out tomorrow.  And if enough folks are smitten with it and decide to add it to their village, then I’ll get the lighthouse out some time early next year.  And if not, well then I’ll have some really nifty pictures of tiny knitted light houses that I’ll just sort of occasionally torment you with while I cackle maniacally and refuse to release the pattern. Either outcome works for me!

P.S. All that stuff they say about wet cotton being an absolute heat suck? Yeah it’s all true. I apparently need to get some pants that are of a more suitable material if I’m going to make a habit of this. I was out there for three and a half hours, I was moving around the whole time (taking these pictures is surprisingly physical every time), I had on a proper coat, and by the end I was shivery cold just because my pants were soaked.