Red and Green for Christmas

by | Dec 13, 2020 | Uncategorized

Wendy’s Christmas Star

 December has arrived and our thoughts have turned to family, gift giving and celebrating in the era of Covid 19.  
We missed our guild pot luck that usually marks the end of the years activities and the beginning of a period of delicious indulgence.  We may have saved a few (actually loads of) calories but sharing food with friends is an expression of closeness, and sharing that we sadly missed.
That closeness has been difficult to maintain during this period when physical separation is necessary.  Our executive has done a heroic job of keeping us together as a group with outdoor events, safe studio practices and Zoom meetings. 

Some things about the holiday season never change.  Many of us are still rushing to finish off that last gift.  Oh, we started planning those red and green projects back in October when the seasonal decorations first appeared but then as usual life happened.  This year has brought added pressure because a lot of those presents must travel to loved ones.  That means we can’t count on being able to hem, twist fringes or sew in loose ends on Christmas eve.  

What happens if all those red and green tea towels or mitts or decorations don’t get finished in time?  Can a red/green colour scheme work off season or do we just have a head start on next December.  Red on its own is very popular particularly with accessories such as scarves, shawls and hats.

Sheila’s lace knit shawl

 Likewise, green on its own or as the dominant colour also has its place.  We rarely see a combination of the two colours in full force except during the holiday season.  Is it because those colours have such a strong meaning when combined or is there another reason?    

Rag mats in green & variegated rags

A collection of Christmas towels
 At some point in their career all weavers learn that when red threads cross green they make muddy brown.  That may be why weavers tend to avoid a red/green combination with plain weave but they can be used effectively with other weave structures.

The photo on the right shows a collection of tea towels that were given as presents over a period of years. What a nice memory of past years and proof that hand woven towels last many years.  The towel with rectangular blocks mixes red and green very effectively.
The overshot hot pad is another red/green combination.  Here the red warp threads are strategically place in the center of the design.
Overshot hot pad

Knitters have more freedom to place colour in solid blocks so they are free to take advantage of complementary colour combinations including red and green.  A variegated yarn was used for the green and red scarf but the yarn has been dyed so that areas of solid colour tend to form and the shift from one colour to the other is graded.  The red hat was knitted, felted and blocked to create the shape.  

Wendy’s ornament

knit scarf & felted hat


Good luck with those unfinished projects even if they aren’t red and green.  Enjoy the spirit of the holiday season even if you aren’t able to be together in the flesh.  Keep safe and sane.



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