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Sit and Knit for a Bit – Christmas Countdown: Everything you need to know!

Hello and Welcome to our universe, we are delighted that you are here!

We thought we’d compile everything you need to know about our activities in December in one blog post:

 

Airing times:

On December 1st, our daily podcast and Advent calendar “Sit and Knit for a Bit – Christmas Countdown” will premiere on our YouTube channel. 

We will publish new episodes of our Christmas Countdown every day at 6:00 pm in Central Europe / noon Eastern / 11:00 am Central / 9:00 am Pacific. The final episode is scheduled for December 24th.

On Sundays (December 6th, 13th and 20th), we have a double treat for you, as we will publish our Christmas Countdown immediately after our regular “Sit and Knit for a Bit – Advent Special” podcast, which has been moved over from Wednesdays to Sundays and will be published at the usual time (6:00 pm CET / noon Eastern / 11 am Central / 9:00 am Pacific.)

The episodes are not live, and once they are published, you will be able to access them any time you like.

 

Christmas Calendar KAL:

We will reveal a new Christmas ball daily at the end of our daily podcast until December 24th and tell you the story behind each ball.

If you wish to participate in the KAL and knit the balls together with us you will need to purchase the Advent Calendar with patterns for 24 new Christmas balls. You may buy our calendar in our webshop or by clicking on the image below.

Click on the image to get the calendar

 

Important note for those who purchased the Calendar on November 8th:

Because so many people wanted to start early, all 24 downloadable charts are released at once, so that people can knit the Christmas Balls at their convenience. If you purchased the calendar on November 8th, there might be a problem with your 24 charts download, as some pdf readers are only able to open the first and last page of that download. So, if you are only seeing the first and last page, but not seeing the 24 charts, please contact us so we may send you a new pdf file which will be readable in all pdf readers.

Please note that this only applies to those who purchased the calendar on November 8th. Everyone else will have received a pdf file that will open in any pdf reader, as updated the downloads as soon as we discovered the issue.

Click here to contact us.

 

Questions about materials

We have received many questions about the yarns, as it seems our recommended yarn, Rowan Alpaca Soft DK has been challenging to find. If you can’t find this particular yarn and need to substitute it, any DK yarn will do, as long as it is 100% wool or – 70% or 80% or 90% wool blended with Alpaca. If you want to explore different weights, it is possible as well, the weight of the yarn will only affect the size of the balls, so it’s not a big deal what yarn you use, as long as it is mainly in wool. Please ask your local LYS for suggestions.

For those wondering why we have gone up one size in needles for our chosen yarn in the calendar compared to the book, it is because it is a completely different yarn which behaves differently. We think that for the Knitted Balls, the correct needle for ROWAN’S Alpaca Soft DK is one size larger (3.5 mm / US 4) than the needle we used for the yarn in our book (3 mm / US 2.5)

As for the size of the Swarovski Crystals, we found the crystals in our stash, and they were given to us 20 years ago, so we have no idea about the size, as the labels are long gone, but we think they are somewhere between 2 and 3 millimetres.

Adding crystals is optional. A less expensive option to the crystals is to substitute with rhinestones made of glass, which are available in many crafts shops.

 

A chance to win an exclusive prize!

Take photos of the Christmas balls that you knit from our 2020 Advent Calendar, post them on Instagram and hashtag them with #arnecarlos and #sitandknitforabit.

By doing that, you will be eligible to win a fabulous prize consisting of an exclusive ARNE & CARLOS project bag, one of our books personally dedicated and signed by us as well as a bunch of Prym Ergonomic Needles and hooks! We will select two lucky winners and announce them in early January. Read our contest rules below.

Good Luck!

ARNE & CARLOS

 

Contest Rules:

1. Tag your images on Instagram with #sitandknitforabit and #arnecarlos, and we will select two winners. Both tags must be used per image to enter the competition.

2. Only images of the Christmas Balls from the 2020 Advent Calendar will be considered. Images of other Christmas Ball designs, including balls from our book “55 Christmas Balls to Knit”, the mini-balls from our webshop or self-designed balls will not be considered.

3. As long as you are knitting the balls from the 2020 Advent Calendar, you may use any other colours than the ones we have used. Just be as creative as you like in your colour choices!

4. The photos must be posted and tagged on December 1st and until December 31st, 2020. Images posted before or after these dates will not be accepted.

5. The more images you post and tag during the above-mentioned dates, the more entries you have, the better the chances are to win!

6. The winners will not be selected randomly. Instead, we will select our two favourite photos based on the quality of the image and the creativity of the setting and staging.

7. We will ship the prize anywhere in the world, so everyone is eligible to enter this contest.

8. The two lucky winners will be announced at the beginning of January 2021. The prizes will ship sometime in the middle or end of January 2021.

Win an ARNE & CARLOS project bag

A signed copy of “Make Your Own Idea Book” dedicated to you.

 

And a bunch of PRYM ERGONOMIC needles and hook.

Check out their products here:

PRYM NORTH AMERICA

PRYM EUROPE / INTERNATIONAL

PRYM GERMANY

 

And while we wait for tomorrow, we hope you’ll enjoy yesterday’s Advent Special, we guarantee it will put a huge smile on your face – and make you laugh!

 

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CLICK HERE for our Christmas Merchandise.

CLICK HERE to visit our webshop.

 

    • jette Larsen on November 30, 2020 at 8:34 am

    Reply

    Hi lovely people
    I have started knitting the Christmas balls or should we say tried. I have now tried 6 times to knit a Christmas ball (a color) and it has not worked for me. So I can not figure out how to knit with 5 needles. Is it possible to make a pattern for 2 needles. Thank you so much for your super nice program.
    With kind christmas regards
    Jette Larsen

      • Linda on November 30, 2020 at 5:30 pm

      Reply

      I had the same problem and switched to magic loop. So much easier! I am sure 2 needles would work well

      • Cindy McCourt on November 30, 2020 at 6:30 pm

      Reply

      Fleece and Harmony podcast 60 has a little video about how (for her) was an easier way to start the balls on double points. I would definately give that a look. That is what I will try.,

        • Connie on December 1, 2020 at 4:49 pm

        Reply

        Thank you so much for mentioning the Fleece and Harmony podcast 60. I could manage the cast on before — but it was difficult. This method is so simple. I’m sure I will use it often!

      • Lynn on November 30, 2020 at 9:03 pm

      Reply

      Try using two circular needles. I find this way much easier than DPNs.

        • Mary-Ruth Flores on December 2, 2020 at 1:58 am

        Reply

        I also use two cir needles, with a stitch marker in the end of each section because I would loose track. The marker is in the body so I didn’t loose it off the ends

      • Mary Hudson on December 2, 2020 at 3:38 pm

      Reply

      I totally know how you feel. I have struggled with knitting on 4 needles for a long time. When I started the Christmas balls, I started with knitting row #1 straight, then added the other 3 needles for row #2. That was easier for me. You could knit another row or two straight, and when closing the end, sew the very end together. After knitting aout 10 of the Christmas Balls, I finally got comfortable enough to be able to cast on the 12 stitches and and then knit the first row onto the 4 needles. I bought the Prym double pointed needles for the Christmas Ball knit-along. I am love love loving them. They are just a bit flexible with rounded tips, and for me, at least, so much easier to use than the bamboo dps. I have also used two circular needles and also the magic loop methods. I think we need to try different ways until we find one that works best for us. It takes time and lots of patience, but I assure you that it does get easier. Good Luck!!!

        • Mary Hudson on December 2, 2020 at 3:42 pm

        Reply

        I see I said “other 3 needles” . I meant “other 4” using the 5th needle to knit onto. Sorry for the error.

  1. Reply

    Hi Jette,

    Truly hope that you will not give up trying to knit with 5 needles. It will open to you a whole world of knitting that is not possible with two needles. Looking forward to Arne and Carlos’ wonderful potcasts, great to actually see how the casting on it is done.

    Best wishes,
    Susan Middleton

    • Janice Bartone on November 30, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    Reply

    I assume you could knit them flat and then carefully sew them. But yes learning to knit on five needles takes patience, but once you master it you will be so proud of yourself. Don’t give up! Try larger needles and thicker yarn until you have the hang of it. No one cares about the size if the Christmas balls! Good luck

    • Elaine Lewis on November 30, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    Reply

    I am so excited for this!, I have been knitting the balls from the 55 Christmas balls book…i’m not sure where i’m going to put them all!
    Jette…have you tried casting on the stitches on to one needle then sharing them on to the other 3? It all comes together but it does feel like wrestling a hedgehog in the beginning!

    • Diane on November 30, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    Reply

    I have fibromyalgia in my hands and cannot negotiate dpns (double point needles) therefore I knit socks on magic loop method with a long circular needle. It works for me and I’ll knit these Christmas balls the same way. It’s almost like knitting with two straight needles but still working in the round. Maybe it would work for you.

    • Patriciakroge on November 30, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Reply

    Jette, I also have problems with the DPN’s. I have knitted quite a few balls using the circular needle, “magic loop” method. I cast on the 12 stitches, divide between 2 needles ( so 6 stitches on each needle) and place a stitch marker to indicate the 4 “sides”. Works like a charm. There are lots of videos showing the magic loop technique. “Wrestling a hedgehog” 😂 well said, Elaine!

    • Fran Snider on November 30, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    Reply

    Hello Jette,
    I find that the hardest part of knitting on 5 needles is getting started! They flop around and are fiddly until you manage to get a few rows knit; after that it all settles down.
    I have found it useful to try a less-slippery needle (e.g., bamboo or wood), not in a tiny size (not at first!).
    Here is something that might help stabilize things. Cast on your 12 stitches, onto one needle. Use a second needle to purl one row. Then slip the stitches onto the other three needles, 3 each. Curve this lot into a circle (knit side out), then take the tail yarn (yes, the tail) and knit the first stitch to join the circle. Now switch to the ball yarn, pull to tighten the stitch just knitted (just enough to snug it up), and knit stitch 2. Proceed to the chart at this point.
    Another option is to knit the balls using the Magic Loop method. There are heaps of videos on YouTube to help you with this! Be sure to put a stitch marker in the middle of each side, to separate the groups of stitches, per “panel.”
    Good luck!

      • Letty Grayson on December 1, 2020 at 11:08 am

      Reply

      Oh, such great advice! I will try this on my second ball. I just tried my first ball tonight and after 5 or 6 attempts I did manage to get on 6 rows. Are the one row of purls used to stabilize the shape? . . . . The stitch markers are a good idea too. . . . . Is there a preferred way of increasing and decreasing?

      • Connie on December 1, 2020 at 9:26 pm

      Reply

      I agree on the wood or bamboo needles. My first set of double points were metal and the needles kept sliding out of the stitches. Switching to wood or bamboo gave a little more grip. I also recently bought some Knitters Pride Cubics needles which are squared up. Really nice to work with. I’d like to try the Prym triangular ones also. Seems to make it a little easier to control in the beginning and when you’re working back down to the end.

    • Joyce Miller on November 30, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    Reply

    I am so excited about this KAL. I’m not new to knitting but I’m new to Norwegian knitting. I’m from Ohio so I had never seen it done before. On that note, I decided to do this project your way. So I have been practicing for days. A couple of things I’m struggling with. I’ve never knit anything this small and I’ve never knit in multiple colors before so the twisting of the yarn is tripping me up.

      • Kim Margittai on November 30, 2020 at 5:58 pm

      Reply

      Hi, Joyce. I can’t help with the “small,” but check out The Philosopher’s Wool site. There is a video on how to weave in the floats as you work that does NOT require you to untwist your yarns! It’s so easy and it keeps the yarns complete separate.
      Kim

    • Kelli on December 1, 2020 at 1:49 am

    Reply

    Hi Jette,

    When I was learning how to use double pointed needles I would start off with about 10 stitches on each needle, using a larger bamboo needle and thicker yarn. That helped me to visualize what was happening! Especially for the first row. Take some time practicing and work yourself down to smaller needles and thinner yarns. You’ll feel very accomplished once you master the mystery of using five double pointed needles!

    • Yvonne Klatt on December 1, 2020 at 2:50 am

    Reply

    Hello, I was so happy to have the patterns earlier in November that I got going on them right away. Looking forward to the daily podcast!
    Cheers, Yvonne

    • Connie Camp on December 1, 2020 at 5:32 am

    Reply

    Thank you so much for doing this. I am one who normally knits in the round with two circulars. But for this project, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and use 5 double points. I chose wood ones as they don’t slip out so easily. Today, I practiced knitting the pattern in one color. I am using the same yarn that I used for the squares and the primrose throw, so I’m using a size three set of needles. Size four made my stitches too loose. It is so much fun! I can’t wait until tomorrow to start day one with the rest of you. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to use instagram, so I can’t share. Maybe next time around.

    • Janet on December 1, 2020 at 6:36 am

    Reply

    That tablecloth is gorgeous!!!! The entire setting g is just so cozy and beautiful.
    Your knit along has been something for me to look forward to and it makes me happy 🙂

    • Christine Krusky on December 1, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    Reply

    I had trouble as well….I’m all thumbs……like the idea of two circular needles and marking each panel………I actually finished my ball and I was amazed at how much stuffing it took…..it does look gorgeous on our tree, so proud…….will start another ball this morning…….love Arne and Carlos! So pleased I found them. Great company when I’m knitting….Merry Christmas everyone! Christine (Canada)

    • Frankie on December 1, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    Reply

    I mastered sock knitting on 4 needles which makes a triangle. I finally figured out that with 5 needles it makes a square. I still can’t figure out the bird Pattern which I really would like to knit.

    • Karen on December 4, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    Reply

    Upward and onward to Day 4, the increase in the chain… are both stitches white? or one of each color? as noted in the pattern by the triangles,

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