Christmas in July

Before Hallmark gave us a month of Christmas rom-coms and before the US Postal Service and churches began collecting items for missions and troops posted around the world, there was a summer camp with a big dream – what if we had Christmas in July?

According to an article in Country Living Magazine Keystone Camp, a children’s summer sleepover camp in my home state of North Carolina, celebrated the first “midsummer Noel” on July 24-25, 1933.

I am no stranger to Christmas in July as it is typically the height of my gift making season in order to have gifts ready for co-workers, family and friends.

So, when I started packing for summer vacation, everything seemed to have a Christmas theme.

Here is a list of projects I packed to take on vacation (a bit ambitious I know):

  • Christmas gifts – one pair of socks I already started for a family member and yarn to start another pair (sorry, no peaking before Christmas)
  • (Pattern pictured above left) Another Work in Progress (WIP) is a new stocking for me since mine doesn’t have my name and was made from a kit over 20 years ago.
  • My husband and I always pick up a new Christmas ornament for the tree during one of our travels and this year we picked pattern (pictured above left) that I’ll stitch and attached to a little sleigh. Stay tuned for updates.
  • I also had to bring a little work on the trip because I need to make class samples before we return home – the Baby Novus sweater (pictured below) by Laura Nelkin and “Seagrass” socks from the book “Toe-up 2-at-a-time Socks” by Melissa Morgan-Oakes.

Also tucked in my bag is a recently completed UFO I crossed off my list this summer – a triple zipper pouch!

It’s perfect for holding all my hand sewing and knitting notions and the side pockets lay completely flat. Before I used zip top sandwich bags but now I can stitch in style! My triple zipper pouch is a leftover from a private class I taught and the student was able to finish on her own.

Even the campground where we stayed hosted Christmas in July events and the campground and guests decorated.

I made some good progress on my stocking, started on the ornament but didn’t have a few of the necessary thread colors so that will have to wait until we get home. Vacation is about letting go of deadlines and lists of things we “have to” get done. So I’m not stressing over that fact that my sock class sample isn’t done (maybe I’ll use the car ride home to knock that out).

As usual, I had to make “da hubs” stop at a yarn store for some souvenir yarn and we were both able to pick yarn for our Christmas socks. We found hand dyed yarn (by the owner herself) at Black Purl Yarns. Super cute shop in an actual barn from the 1800s with cozy indoor and zen outdoor seating. I reviewed the shop on Yelp.

Have you completed any UFOs or making any handmade Christmas gifts this summer? I’d love to see them and remember to include a link to the pattern.

By stitchingcoach

High school librarian by day, crafter for life. I'm an award winning embroider, quilter and knitter. I advise a high school sewing club as well as volunteer with Days for Girls. Students will find I'm passionate about all needle arts and want to pass that along to all generations and skill levels. Learning to sew, knit or hand embroider can be intimidating, but with the right support can become a lifelong hobby that provides joy to your life. Let me show you how to get started. I look forward to helping you exercise your creative side.

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