Guess what? Today is Twelfth Night AKA the Feast of the Ephiphany AKA the first day of Mardi Gras. And who doesn’t love a good party?
But if none of these celebrations are to your taste, today is also the day on which Armenians celebrate Jesus’s birth, except for those Armenians living in the Holy Land where it’s celebrated on the 18th. However be aware that, according to this article, the Armenian Theophany must never, ever be confused with Three Kings Day, even though Wikipedia says they’re, like, totally the same thing.
Darn you, Wikipedia! How dare you lead me astray!
Yes, today you can celebrate Jesus’s birth, the arrival of the Three Kings, or even his baptism as an adult. Or if you’re feeling really energetic, all three. And if that’s not enough, just guess what special day tomorrow is!
It’s Coptic Christmas in Egypt!
So in honor of all Christmases being celebrated today, tomorrow, and on any other days I may have missed, I give you this crèche.
Mary and Joseph are smiling bravely, but considering that this is the second time in less than a month that they’ve experienced the Holy Birth – and it’s going to happen all over again tomorrow! – it’s no surprise they’re also looking a little shell-shocked.
For the complete pattern (and more snark):
SIZE: 11’’ – 12’’ tall.
Surprise! These dolls are each almost a foot tall. Your visitors won’t be able to miss them when they drop by to celebrate your January 6th holiday of choice. Just be careful not to block any fire exits with your nativity scene.MATERIALS: Knitting worsted weight yarn, 1 oz. each of white, brown, tan, dark blue, light blue, old gold; smaller amounts of yellow, pink, gray. Knitting needles No. 4. Crochet hook size G. Polyester stuffing. White felt, 9’’ x 12’’. Scraps of black and blue felt. Glue. Three gold tinsel sticks. Stick for Joseph’s staff.
And hamsters for sheep.GAUGE: 5 sts = 1’’; 7 rows = 1’’.
No, honest, hamsters love being used in Nativity scenes! And that hamster that jumped out the window when I was a kid? That totally had nothing to do with baby Jesus going for rides on his back.
LARGE FIGURES: FRONT: Beg at top of head, with pink, cast on 7 sts. Work evne in stockinette st (k 1 row, p 1 row) for 2 rows.
Row 3: Inc 1 st each side.
Rows 4 - 10: Work even.
Row 11: Dec 1 st each side.
Rows 12 - 14: Work even.
Row 15: Dec 1 st at center.
Row 16: Work even.
Row 17: Change to robe color (white for angel, light blue for Mary, tan for Joseph). Knit across, cast on 3 sts.
Row 18: P across, cast on 3 sts.
Rows 19 - 25: Work even on 12 sts.
Row 26: Inc 1 each side.
Rows 27 - 31: Work even on 14 sts.
Row 32: Inc 1 each side.
Rows 33 - 43: Work even on 16 sts.
Row 44: Inc 1 each side.
Rows 45 - 49: Work even on 18 sts.
Row 50: Inc 1 each side.
Rows 51 - 58: Work even on 20 sts.
Row 59: Inc 1 each side.
Rows 60 - 67: Work even on 22 sts. Bind off.
BACK: Work as for front, changing to dark blue for Mary, brown for Joseph on row 17. Steam-press pieces lightly. Sew back to front, right sides out, leaving bottom open. Cut oval of white felt same size as bottom opening. Stuff figure, sew felt to bottom edge.
The fact that Mary, Joseph and the Angel all share the same basic body raises certain sticky theological issues. However, the anatomical correctness of a Holy Family should probably be left up to the conscience of the individual knitter.MARY’S HOOD: With dark blue, cast on 15 sts. Work even in stockinette st for 44 rows. Bind off. Fold in half with cast-on and bound-off edges tog. Sew back seam, rounding off seam near fold to make hood round at top.
MARY’S ROBE (make 2 pieces for front): With dark blue, cast on 5 sts. Work even in stockinette st for 7 rows.
Row 8: Inc 1 st each side.
Rows 9 -18: Work even on 9 sts.
Row 19: Inc 1 st each side.
Rows 20 - 31: Work even on 11 sts.
Row 32: Inc 1 st each side.
Rows 33 - 43: Work even on 13 sts.
Row 44: Inc 1 st each side.
Rows 45 - 55: Work even on 15 sts.
Row 56: Inc 1 st each side.
Rows 57 - 60: Work even on 17 sts. Bind off. Steam press. Sew a piece to each side seam, leaving free at top, bottom and front edges. Sew hood to top of robe, gathering hood at back.
By the way, January 6 is also Befana Day in Italy.
I don’t care if she comes bearing gifts, I’d really rather La Befana doesn’t come flying through my window in the middle of the night. Let alone a whole horde of her!SLEEVES: Cast on 16 sts (white for angel, dark blue for Mary, brown for Joseph). Work even in stockinette st for 10 rows.
Row 11: Dec 2 sts evenly across.
Rows 12 - 16: Work even on 14 sts.
Row 17: Repeat row 11.
Rows 18 - 22: Work even on 12 sts.
Row 23: Repeat row 11.
Rows 24 and 25: Work even on 10 sts. Bind off. Sew side seam; sew flat across top. Sew top to shoulder.
HANDS: With pink, cast on 6 sts. Work even for 10 rows.
Next Row: (K 2 tog) 3 times. Remove sts from needle, run yarn through sts, pull up and fasten. Sew side seam; tuck ends of yarn inside. Stuff sleeves at top, position hands and glue hands inside sleeves. Mary’s hands are glued tog in prayer. Joseph’s hands are glued to stick, Angel has one arm raised a bit.
Evidently Mary, realizing that God is lying in a cradle right in front of her, has chosen to point her praying hands down towards him. Joseph, on the other hand, is trying to start a fire with his wood... wooden staff!ANGEL’S WINGS: With old gold, cast on 10 sts. Work in garter st (k each row) for 3 rows.
Sheesh. Even when I'm trying not to be controversial, the theology just gets
stickier... Oh, I give up. I'm so going to Hell.
Row 4: Inc 1 st each side.
Rows 5 and 6: Work even on 12 sts.
Row 7: Bind off 4 sts, k across.
Rows 8 and 9: Work even on 8 sts.
Row 10: K across, cast on 6 sts.
Row 11: K across 14 sts.
Rows 12 - 16: Work even.
Row 17: Bind off 4 sts, k across.
Rows 18 and 19: Work even on 10 sts.
Row 20: K across, cast on 8 sts.
Row 21: K across 18 sts.
Rows 22 - 26: Work even. Bind off. Make another piece the same. Work 1 row sc around edge. Sew to angel’s back.
MANGER: With brown, cast on 16 sts. Work in garter st for 10 rows. Bind off. This is bottom piece. For short sides, cast on 16 sts. Work even for 10 rows. Bind off. For long sides, cast on 24 sts. Work even for 10 rows. Bind off. Sew 4 sides around bottom piece, join 4 sides at corner. Fill manger with pieces of yellow or gold yarn.
BABY: Back: With pink, cast on 4 sts. Work in stockinette st for 2 rows.
Row 3: Inc 1 st in row.
Rows 4 - 7: Work even on 5 sts.
Row 8: Dec 1 st in row. Cut pink.
Row 9: With white, cast on 6 sts, k across, cast on 6 sts.
Row 10: P across – 16 sts.
Rows 11 - 14: Work even.
Rows 15 and 16: Bind off 5 sts at beg of each row.
Rows 17 and 18: Work even on 6 sts.
Row 19: Inc 1 st each side.
Rows 20 - 28: Work even on 8 sts. Bind off.
Front: Work as for back through row 8.
Row 9: With white, cast on 2 sts, k across neck sts, cast on 2 sts. Work even on 8 sts until piece is same length as back. Bind off. Fold arms, sew edges tog for 4 sts from outer edge. Sew back and front tog, stuffing as you go. Sew over ends of arms with pink for hands.
Embroider hair with straight sts and a few French knots at front. See Contents for Stitch Details.
You could possibly figure out how to do a French Knot from this illustration, but the Kitchener Stitch diagram is beyond insane. Future archeologists will study this page, convinced we could bend space and time with nothing more than an embroidery needle.FINISHING: Cut black felt circles for eyes, tiny blue circles for Baby’s eyes. Glue in place. Embroider mouths with red. For hair, place strands down back of head from top of head . Sew down at top of head. Place strands over these from side to side. Sew down center. Trim to desired length. Loop some front strands of angel’s hair into curls; tack in place. Loop some strands of yarn for Joseph’s beard; sew loops across chin.
Make halos from tinsel sticks. Sew to back of head. Make ties for Mary’s cape from strands of dark blue yarn. Run light blue yarn around angel’s neck; tie into bow at front. If desired, trim front edges of Mary’s cape with lace edging. Sew flower sequins to front of Mary’s robe. Sew gold leaves to bottom of Joseph’s robe. Sew gold flower sequins to front of Angel’s robe and wings. Sew gold rickrack around manger and tiny star sequins to front of Baby’s robe.
Gold rickrack and shiny gold star sequins? Wow, this Baby Jesus is quite the Diva. I guess we all know who he’ll grow up to be.
Click here for the printable pattern.