shopping list – Christmas tree

Tree:

Pick a colour, either green or a shade that feels festive. You can also choose a yarn with spots, sparkles or a metallic thread; there are lots of great ones out there.

If you are an intermediate or an advanced knitter, why not try a luxury wool: cashmere, alpaca, mohair, camel, angora? NB: beginners should stick to plain wool, as these are harder to work with.

Baubles:

This is where you get to have a bit of fun:

• use whatever and as few or as many colours as you like
• make it bright and cheerful
• choose different shades of the same colour
• or one or two colours and alternate, using them to create a pattern
• swap wool for beads or sequins

If you don’t have a wool stash at home to call upon or a friend’s you can raid and you want to keep your budget to a minimum, try a variegated wool (one that forms a pattern as you knit, like the type typically used for socks). That way, you will get different coloured decorations without having to invest in numerous balls. I’ve done it myself and it works really well.Star:

Again, this can be in whatever colour and yarn you like. You could also use one of those that you have chosen for the baubles, recycling it; although my preference is to have something different so it stands out: the star, after all, is your tree’s crowning glory.

Why not leave your decision to fate and beg a length of wool off one of the other workshop members or offer an exchange (although, as a plan, it could backfire: I am not responsible for their choices, their attendance or their generosity)?

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My recommendation would be to choose a medium-weight yarn, one that requires 4 – 5 mm needles. Beginners should definitely opt for the larger option, as bigger needles and thicker yarn are easier to work with. Those with more experience can experiment more (my yarn was 2ply, angora, and my needles were 2 mm).

Note: the thicker the yarn, the larger the tree. So don’t go for a chunky wool unless you want a giant tree.

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Yarn needle:

• standard size
• straight (not hooked)
• metal (not plastic)

Knitting needles:

To match yarn – so if you have bought a 4ply, your needles will need to be between 3.5 – 4.5 mm.

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Materials can be bought in all independent yarn and haberdashery shops, some pound and Chinese shops, selected department stores and also online. If you are unsure of what to pick, be sure to ask for help at the time of buying; most shop assistants are lovely and only too willing to help.

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