Thursday, November 24, 2011

Christmas Yo-Yos

Christmas Yo-Yos

The day before Thanksgiving my daughter telephoned. “Go to Dad’s office and look on his computer,” she said. (It’s a bigger screen than my laptop.) “I just sent some photographs.” Dean (also Dad or Grandpa) has gotten used to this.  

"Oh look," I exclaimed. "Baby Joseph is wearing the sweater I made for William. I almost forgot I knit it. It fits him perfectly,” I said now on speaker-phone.
Grandpa added, “Why didn’t you slip the sweater over the pumpkin? It would have showed it off just the same.”
Not really taking him seriously his daughter informed, “Well, he’s wearing long Johns. That’s why he might look a little stuffed.”
“Just in time for Thanksgiving,” Grandpa couldn’t resist.
“Don’t you notice something?” she asked.
Grandma noticed. “Yes,” said Grandma all agog at Baby’s progress. “He’s sitting up.”
“A minute later he fell over and cried. But he sat still long enough for the photo,” she said. 
“He’s a Humpty Dumpty,” cooed Grandma. At this last bit of "cuteness-appreciation" Grandpa winced (to be funny).

Now, to the main part of this post.

For the homemaker preparations for Christmas are mostly done on her feet. Making yo-yos for a Christmas garland is one way a she can be festive with her feet up.
Have you ever made a yo-yo? I explain how on a previous post. It is a frugal way of using up some of the smallest snippets of fabric that may be leftover from another project. For Christmastime, however, I splurged and purchased some new fabric with a Christmas theme, adding it to the calico scrapes I had on hand.

For a small yo-yo circle a cut 2 ½ in diameter makes a 1 inch yo-yo. Using the top or bottom of a half-pint jelly jar is about the right size. When strung together loosely the yo-yos can be twisted on the garland so that krinkle and smooth sides alternate along the row. A garland of yo-yos sewn together more snugly will show all fronts (krinkles) on one side and all backs (smooth) on the other – which is nice, too.

Placement over an image works well with a jelly jar or drinking glass. Brandy’s sells a template. Either way allows you to center a circle over a design. I chose to showcase a tiny dove, a wreath and a poinsettia on the back of my yo-yos.

A few years ago when I spotted a fabric of antique toys I was charmed. “I’ll make a yo-yo garland for my daughter’s large tree for the eyes of my grandchildren,” I thought. To showcase the toys, this time I needed a circle cut 3 ½ inches in diameter. This is more of a standard size yo-yo. It creates a garland that grows in far less time than one done in smaller yo-yos. The toy garland is at my daughter’s house and therefore not pictured.  

Small yo-yos compliment a small tree. Tiny prints, calico and small plaids are suitable. I like the metallic thread that glitters on the red and green plaid. Upon entering a yo-yo craze all kinds of ideas will suggest themselves to you.

Garlands mail light. This makes them good gifts for long-distance friends or relatives. I sent a garland to a long-distance friend one Christmastime. She is adept at crafting (expertly and artistically so). And I don’t know anyone who is more proficiently frugal in making one penny do the work of two. This is why what I read in her letter pleased me. My gift had given her the idea to make a garland for a long-distance friend of hers. These garlands are apparently becoming a grape vine of friendship.

Because it isn’t possible to send each of my blog friends a garland I am doing the next best thing: sharing my craft idea with you.

Post Script

Dean would like me to have my old crewel embroidery reframed. I stitched it in 1981. (Can you believe it?)

It had to be cut away from a rusty-stapled frame after it was saved from a basement flood years back. Perhaps the framer in town can do something about the shrinkage.

Click any image to enlarge.

Thank you for visiting,

Karen Andreola 


  1. Happy Thanksgiving! What a beautiful growing boy.


  2. Thanks, Karen, for the reminder about fabric yo-yos. I think it'll be a perfect project to do with granddaughters. And so fun to see Joseph--and the family traits continuing on.
    Blessings on your holiday season.

  3. Joseph is so cute - he looks much like William!

    Your garland is sweet - It looks cute on the tree!


    ps - I hope Nigel is feeling better!

  4. This is a wonderful idea, thank you. I wanted to make some Christmas decorations this year but wasn't sure what I had time for, since my 8 month old is keeping me busy and I have 3 older ones to homeschool as well. Yoyos should fit the bill nicely!

  5. Your grandson is adorable! :)( The sweater is so neat as well!) I LOVE your yo-yo's and hope to make some soon!!!

  6. What an adorable baby boy. I love yo yo's. I started a chain years ago, but never finished. Because of your posts, I feel inspired. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Hi Karen,
    The Grandson story made me chuckle! Hee (darling sweater)
    I think I shall make yo yos with my 3 Grandiedaughties next time they come to stay!;-)
    Great Post, and thanks for your visit!
    Blessings and Hugs Linnie

  8. Oh my goodness...he is a cutie!

    And the yo-yo's are just perfect for Christmas...very country and beautiful!



  9. Your little grandson is just precious in the sweater you made. I just LOVE your yo-yo garland idea. Thank you for sharing!!


  10. What a lovely blog! I came by from Coffee, Tea, Books and Me. I have never done any yo-yos, but really want to. The garland idea is so cute :)

  11. What lovely fabric! What a beautiful baby, too. :) Thank you for sharing and for inspiring.

    In HIM,

    Lisa :)

  12. yo yos for garland!

    what a fabulous idea!!!

    thank you for sharing this.

    you sure have one sweet little one:)

  13. Hi Karen!
    I came to catch up, and ended up all the way back to Nov! So much Loveliness, and GOOD information! I truely enjoyed catching up with you here today!!!
    I shall be able to finilly visit you here often again!
    Many Blessings and Hugs, Linnie

  14. I love the idea of a yo yo garland. I'm ready for some new Christmas decorations. After many years, sometimes we need something fresh.