2018 Advent Calendar day by day

Suzie Blackman
Friday, 4 January 2019

This year our Yarn Advent Calendars travelled to customers all over the world, with many more folks following along on Facebook and Instagram as each day’s parcel was opened. In case you missed, it we have a full recap below.

The advent box is out biggest project of the year, and although the fun happens in December, many months of preparation go into making it special and our work was done by the end of October, when the first boxes were shipped across the world in order to reach their recipients on time. This year we commissioned many of the extra surprises from other artisan businesses to make the run up to the holiday season even more magical.

Creating mini-skeins in 24 brand new shades gives us a great opportunity to experiment with new colours and techniques. None of the shades have been named, there was no particular theme to the colours but there are one or two with a festive feel, and the majority are ordered loosely into a fade, should one wish to use them in one of the many wonderful advent fade patterns out there.

Day 1

Day 1's yarn

A pretty, multi-colour painted affair with a warm pink base tone

Milk chocolate lollies from SAW Chocolate

Day 1’s parcel comes with a handmade milk chocolate (or vegan) lolly from a maker local to us in Walthamstow, East London. SAW Chocolate is a tiny, artisan shop. When we approached them about our advent treats, Samantha, the owner was so helpful and enthusiastic. They produced several of the goodies in our advent box, so this is just a little taster of things to come.

Day 2

Day 2's yarn

A rich festive antique gold colour, a little bit like our Colonel Mustard shade, but with the gold turned up to 11

Day 3

Day 3's yarn

Cool aqua with warm rusts, golds and pink.

Pomp & Poms shawl by Therése Hedlund aka Brixton Purl

There was an extra bonus gift on day 3 delivered via email – a download code for the fab Pomp & Poms shawl pattern by Therése Hedlund aka Brixton Purl, which made its debut on our stand at Yarnporium in November. With 14 coloured stripes and a sprinkling of mini poms, it’s the perfect pattern for showcasing your favourite mini-skeins. How could we not share it?

Day 4

Day 4's yarn

A neon pastel aqua (yes, neon pastels are a thing).

Paper snowflake decoration

Day 4 also comes with an old fashioned tissue paper concertina snowflake decoration. These are not only beautiful but environmentally friendly, unlike so much of the seasonal paraphernalia we’ve come to expect these days.

Day 5

Day 5's yarn

Deep aqua and magenta with a pale yellow base.

Day 6

Day 6's yarn

Variegated deep greens, this is our alternative Christmas tree shade.

Yarn Maiden badge

Our Yarn Maiden pin badge, just because!

Day 7

Day 7's yarn

A deep, dark teal, reminiscent of the glaucous needles of the Norway Spruce (our Christmas tree of choice in the UK). This is a colour that I’ve been trying to capture for some time but has remained elusive – until now! It may pop up as a repeatable shade for us in 2019.

Day 8

Day 8's yarn

Warm, dusky tones that remind me of vintage velvet curtains.

Day 9

Day 9's yarn

A mottled denim blue with a hint of palest pink. For some reason I don’t dye blue shades very often so I set myself a challenge to create some for the advent skeins, and I’m really happy with this one. 

Granola chocolate from SAW Chocolate

Day 9’s parcel contains a mini bar of handmade fennel and orange granola chocolate from SAW Chocolate. When we saw this bar we just had to try some because the flavours were so unusual. The granola is made by another local chef, Henrietta Inman author of The Natural Baker, and combined with the dark chocolate it’s absolutely delicious and incredibly moreish. We demolished a full-sized bar at home in little more than an evening, oops!

Day 10

Day 10's yarn

A dark and moody shade with purple and blue.

Day 11

Day 11's yarn

Variegated plum and violet, created with help from our friend Brixton Purl on a visit to the studio in September.

Day 12

Day 12's yarn

Pale lilac with rust, purple and deep pink accents, also by Ms Purl.

Stitch Marker by The Woolly Dodo

Day 12’s gift is a custom-made stitch marker from The Woolly Dodo, a Netherlands-based maker we first discovered because she was the winner of our December 2017 giveaway! We fell in love with the adorable little characters she creates in polymer clay. When we asked if she could do some custom-coloured stars for our advent box she responded with so much enthusiasm despite our demanding wish list (“Can they be silver, and glittery, and purple, and swirly?”). They are exclusive to the advent box and go perfectly with today’s yarn. We are honoured to have these in our advent calendar.

Day 13

Day 13's yarn

A rich, deep alternative Christmas red.

Mulled wine spice and apple & cinnamon tea

…and what could be better to go with a red yarn that a lovely glass of mulled wine, or a cup of tea if it’s a bit early for a tipple. Today’s gift is a pack of mulled wine spice sachets and a spiced apple tea. They smell divine!

Day 14

Day 14's yarn

A peachy number with pink and rust accents, and the final one dyed by Brixton Purl. Rust was a colour I reached for time and again in autumn, I couldn’t help dyeing a new batch of Bracken.

Day 15

Day 15's yarn

A painted delight we liked so much it inspired our ‘What’s Your Poison?‘ shade that made its debut at Yarnporium.

Day 16

Day 16 yarn

A peach that packs a punch! Another of our new pastel neon creations.

Christmas chocolate from SAW Chocolate

A special bar of handmade Christmas chocolate from SAW Chocolate. With figs, spices and nuts it’s basically Christmas in a bar.

Day 17

Day 17's yarn

An alternative Christmas red, the brightest neonest red we could muster!

Day 18

Day 18's yarn

Candy stripe skeins!

Organic strawberry candy canes

Day 18 wouldn’t be complete without an actual candy cane. But not just any candy cane – these are organic and strawberry flavour!

Day 19

Day 19's yarn

A particularly snazzy blue version of our ‘ZX’ colourway.

Day 20

Day 20

Mid grey painted with multi-coloured highlights (and yes, rust!)

Day 21

Day 21's yarn

Bold painted primaries

Handmade Pompom by Heaven Hooked Crochet

A extra surprise: a handmade pompom in softest faux fur from Heaven Hooked Crochet, beautifully coloured and a perfect match for today’s yarn.

Day 22

Day 22 yarn

Another experiment in blue! Turquoise with pink and black speckles.

Day 23

Day 23 Yarn

A characteristically (for us) neon shade we love so much you might just see this joining our repeatable shade range.

Day 24

Day 24 Yarn

I adore this final shade, which is why I saved in until last. It reminds me of begonia flowers. It’s got it all – neon pink, dark purple, violet and more peachy-rusty tones.

Handmade buttons from The Magpie's Eye

The final parcel contains a very special treat (of course it does), a set of handmade glittery buttons from The Magpie’s Eye. When it comes to glitter and rainbows I am definitely a magpie, and on discovering this maker, based in Wales, I knew we needed to commission her sparkling buttons for our advent calendar. They were just so beautiful we saved them for day 24.

Whether you were the recipient of our advent calendar or you were admiring from afar, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed sharing these creations.

Although it seems like a long way away, we will be starting to think about our 2019 Advent Calendar in the spring. Last year’s sold out in early September and we know there were people that wanted one and missed out, which were very sorry about but because of the work involved from us and the other makers there is a very long lead time. It helps us a lot when orders come in early, so as we did in 2018, we’ll be offering earlybird discounts for the 2019 calendar. If you’d like to be notified when it goes on sale join our shop mailing list.

The author

Suzie Blackman

The dyer, designer, photographer, creative technologist and maker-of-things behind It's a Stitch Up. She lives in East London in a home filled with colour, fluff and house plants.

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