(the first part of this post has appeared in Absolute Write's "Thread Killer" thread, so it may look familiar - I believe in recycling)
Yes, it's that time of year again. The time of year when Dawno wears her Intense Christmas Sweaters to work. I now have enough of them to wear for the rest of December's working days starting Monday the 6th. I can't tell you how excited I am. I just love the puzzled looks on some folk's faces. They're not sure if they should flee or just put a present under me.
(Tiara International Sweater, above)
However, I have one great sadness, much the same as last year - I haven't found any really, really highly embellished Tiara International sweaters so far this year - not even online. They used to make the best ones. I can only hope that I can get down to SoCal after Christmas and find some down there - last year I found a couple very nice ones, but the store that had them has been bought out by Macy's and they haven't had any good (for the Dawno value of "good") Christmas sweaters in a Macy's in years.
What are the elements of a certified Dawno good Christmas sweater?
Color - there needs to be lots of it but there should be a reason for the colors and they should harmonize. One of my favorite sweaters has many shades of browns and golds worked into toys and ornaments and Christmas trees. Another features shades of green that lean towards sage and olive - looks lovely with a pale sage turtleneck. I "lost" that sweater for a bit and was extremely joyful when it resurfaced last year.
Theme - the sweater should have a unified theme. Snowmen and snowflakes, trees and ornaments or trees with presents, Santa and reindeer. Let's not just clutter up a sweater with every conceivable Christmas icon. And placement is important. I like detail down the very center of cardigan style sweaters and at the bottom hem. On pullovers the entire front should be covered. Stuff on the back, it's ok, but it should be a continuation of the front, not something entirely different. I have one new sweater that has simple conical, decorated trees up the front, and there's a line of stitches that go over one shoulder to the back with Christmas light bulbs at the end of it at about mid shoulder. I approve.
Beads and metallic threads - definitely, but again, for embellishment not for their own sake. Random sequins or beading doesn't work for me. I have a sweater where the pointsettias are embellished with bugle beads and it's perfect. Sequin garlands on a Christmas tree, lovely.
Last year it was suggested in comments that I embellish my own sweater. I'd love to do that someday - I just can't make myself put aside the time for it right now. One year I searched and searched and couldn't find a new sweater. I did find a cardigan in ivory that had snowmen and snowflakes embroidered on it in off white yarn. Barely visible - certainly wouldn't show up in pictures.
I decided to get some shades of brown, tan and gold embroidery floss and stitch over parts of the sweater to give it color. I worked a few of the snowflakes and the caps on the snowmen. I put the sweater on. The snowflakes were unfortunately positioned on the sweater, which I didn't realize until I tried it on and looked in the mirror. They looked like light brown and beige yarn pasties. I picked out the work I'd done on the snowflakes but left it on the caps - they looked fine. Lucky for me I did find a sweater at the after Christmas sale at Robinson's May in Bakersfield and wore that to the family celebration later that day.
I have broadened my Christmas wardrobe this year in a new direction. My daughter and I were shopping while I visited her last month and I got a pair of flannel jammies. They were decorated with pink flamingoes wearing ski caps and scarves standing in little snow drifts outside of Airstream style trailers decorated with Christmas lights. I may now need to buy a new pair of jammies every year as well.
I will face the mall hoardes once again tomorrow. The holiday bracelets I ordered have come in at Brighton and I'll need to pick them up. I'll wander around for a few hours, hoping to be inspired by something I can get for a gift but I truly dread going out into the crowds. I think this will be more of an online Christmas than ever.