photo of two tone ship decoration in snow photo of candle decoration in snow photo of star decoration in snow


December 2014

It's December. My time has come. After all...

Jessica Holly

No, really, it is. I'm Jessica Holly. Hi.

I was born in mid-December and got a festive name as a result. Three guesses when my sister – Emily Autumn – was born!


Eleven Knitting Days Left

Another three or four tries and I have a final holly shape that I'm happy with. I've written it up along with a pattern for berries because that was so simple it didn't really warrant it's own page.

Next up for me is the great Christmas panic knit, where I make small, simple things as quickly as possible. Any patterns I put up over the next couple of weeks are likely to be extremely easy to make as emergency gifts.


Only Right

Given my name it's just not right that I don't have a holly leaf pattern on this site. I've been trying to work one out for years but they've never come out right. The spikes weren't pointy enough, there were too many veins, or the shape just wasn't... 3D enough. Holly leaves have edges that warp and bend so the spikes point in all directions and my leaves never did that.

I recently found inspiration for a new approach while I was knitting my bladderwrack seaweed. The thickness of the fabric, the central vein and ridged edge all reminded me strongly of holly so I decided to use that pattern as a starting point. With a bit more thought I decided that short rows around the outside would warp the leaf shape like real holly, and that a single stitch bobble, right on the edge, would make a good spike.

To keep things simple I worked on each of these stages separately. First off I wanted a simple leaf shape pattern to act as a starting point. The first version was a bit big (especially as I intend to add spikes to it) so I shrank everything down. Here is the spike-less holly leaf base shape.

Spikeless Holly

Next was adding some bumps around the outside edge. I used a combination of short-rows and extra stitches. At this stage I seem to have knitted a pretty good oak leaf but I'm ignoring that and powering through.

Bumpy Holly

I've pressed it flat for the photo but the stitches look neater when you wrinkle it, just as I intended *insert smug grin*.

Finally I tried to improve the pointiness of the bumps by adding a tiny length of i-cord at the peak of each bump. I've also stopped the central vein before the top of the leaf in this version.

Pointy Holly

It's getting better and I'm pleased with the spikes. The top edge doesn't look entirely right as it's loosing a bit of the original leaf shape. I'm going to do a few more versions trying to make the last spike a little bigger and the pair before a little close together.