Last Christmas, I saw a meme that said “It’s the time of year when I put away my regular anxiety and take out my fancy holiday anxiety,” and, man, do I feel that. The holidays are always a challenging time of year for me (and a lot of other people). The season can come with a lot of obligations (family, social, work, school) and it’s easy to get burned out.
For the past few years I’ve treated myself to a holiday advent calendar as a way to make sure I take some time each day to take care of myself.
A knitting advent calendar, and there are many, sometimes contains all the items necessary to make a project one day at a time or might contain items or tools that are useful to a specific craft. They can be twelve or twenty-four days long depending on what you buy.
One of the most popular advent calendars, and the one I get every year, is by Jimmy Beans Wool. They offer a knit version and a crochet version. Each calendar is 24 days long and contains all the items needed to create a shawl or wrap. There’s a photo of the final version of the project before you order, which can be a bummer if you love surprises, but since each calendar costs $130-150 it’s also nice to know what you’re getting.
Items included in this Craftvent include yarn (of course), needles or a crochet hook, and in past years, stitch markers, Soak, and a project bag. I’ve been very happy with the quality of the yarn, which last year included Hedgehog Fibers, and with the quality of the needles. These advents aren’t cheap, and I think so far the Jimmy Beans Wool version is the best quality for the price.
The reason I love this particular calendar is that it creates the opportunity for a little knitting every day. I’m working on being better at self-care, and this calendar helps me focus on that. There’s the excitement of getting to open a new box every day along with a small bit of knitting that encourages me to take some time to relax and do something I enjoy.
Jimmy Beans Wool isn’t the only company that offers an advent. Miss Babs offers advent yarn sets that offer twenty-five 80-yard mini skeins. These skeins are meant to work up into a single project, and the site offers pattern suggestions. They also include a few small goodies for fun. This year, Miss Babs is partnering with Ambah O’Brien in a KAL (knit a long) shawl called the ADVENTuring KAL that works with the yarn in the advent.
I love Miss Babs yarn because they have such beautiful, rich colors. Check out this example of one of this year’s advent collections:
There are also plenty of indie dyers on Etsy who offer 12 and 24 day advents as well.
There are also holiday options for Hanukkah, too. Chemknits offers a Chanukah 10g mini skein set that includes videos on the dying process. You can also add on a skein of speckle dyed sock yarn for a final treat.
Not everything is about yarn though….
Last year my husband surprised me with a stitch marker advent from Chapel View Crafts.
This stitch markers were absolutely adorable. Like squee-worthy. They were all tiny polymer clay treats, and the craftsmanship is amazing.
Chapel View is offering two 12-day stitch marker advent calendars this year. One will be cakes and biscuits and the other will be Christmas themed. I absolutely loved this advent. It was a total surprise and every morning I was delighted by the tiny, delicious looking stitch marker waiting for me.
I’m really looking forward to my advent calendar this year. By the time December rolls around, I’m already pretty stressed, so taking some time each day to open a box and work a bit on my project helps me keep my sanity.
Below is this year’s Jimmy Beans Wool Craftvent that I’ll be working on. If you want to follow along with me, check out my Instagram at @ElyseIndeed.