Friday, November 15, 2019

Sweater for a Christmas Tree!

Decorating the house for Christmas can get extravagant, but simple can be lovely as well.  In my dining room for the last 3 years, I have set up a minimalistic live pine tree. I have always loved the look of Norfolk pines, and so I buy a Norfolk pine tree early in the season and decorate it with a few vintage ornaments and no lights. (Later in the season I assemble, light and decorate two other trees).

Repurposed Sweater for Christmas Tree
Repurposed Sweater Base for Christmas Tree
I wanted a softer and warmer base for my Norfolk pine tree than the plastic planter the tree came in (despite the super cool jazzy aluminum wrap the store uses...) So I repurposed an ivory cable knit sweater I had that I couldn't wear and couldn't bear give away.

Repurposed Sweater for Christmas Tree Base
Repurposed Sweater for Christmas Tree Base
I originally thought I would remove the button strip and try to sew a seam, but (genius? or laziness?) it was so much easier to stretch the sweater around the galvanized bucket and tuck the excess material under the nice clean edge that the button strip formed.

Button detail of repurposed sweater
Button Detail on the sweater base
Originally, I planned and thought I would place the base so that the button strip would be hidden in the back, and then the beautiful texture of the cable knitting would stand out, like in the photo below. 
Repurposed Sweater for Christmas Tree Base
Repurposed Sweater for Christmas Tree Base
This view (above) seem more sophisticated - but I found that I loved the homey look of the button detailing announcing the origins of the knitting - a repurposed sweater.  I even love the upside down pocket that shows in the picture below.

Altered Sweater for Christmas Tree Base
Pocket and button detail in repurposed Sweater
Incidentally, my friend coached me into placing ornaments in the base to hide the dirt, which makes watering the tree a bit harder but really improves the look. 

Repurposed Sweater for Christmas Tree
Repurposed Sweater Christmas Tree
In Wisconsin, the snowy weather and reflective snow floods the house with light, and the greenery kind of glows all day, cozy with it's little sweater.
Norfolk Pine greens with vintage ornaments
Norfolk Pine greens with vintage glass balls
I just love the tactile feel of the Norfolk pine, the feathery greens and the silhouettes of the branches. After Christmas I take down the ornaments and leave the tree up as a house plant. The green tree really brightens the room.

I think a tree like this could make a nice gift for a parent or relative who no longer wants the stress of "decorating"for Christmas.


(A quick story: I had my daughter help me pick out the Norfolk pine tree the 1st year, and she named it "Saundra". The tree did not last the summer well for several reasons, so the next year we had "Saundra 2", because the magic tree growers get fluffy trees that have great color, not desiccated and browning branches hanging down but hanging on, like a pointsetta that still insists on blooming through August. The next year we had "Saundra 3". I try to convince the kids that (perhaps) I nursed the tree to glorious health, but they know better. Then I remind them that at least I am keeping them and the dog in better health and shape then Saundra.)

(Story 2, is anyone still reading? I have always loved the cozy look of the cable knit sweaters that seem ubiquitous in old ski lodge movies and ads. So one day I found one, hoping it would transform me into, well, a ski lodge model. In fact, my pasty white skin washed out the sweater, (or was it the other way around?), and the hand knitting had tighter sleeves and it didn't hang right on me, bulging here and there, stretching funny, etc. I think it had the kind of dimensions that wouldn't have worked on almost anyone, but I could not toss out the dream.
I'm guessing I got it at a resale shop, and it stated it was hand knit in Ireland! I tried to wash it carefully and lay it to dry on towels more in the shape it should have been, but ultimately, it epic-ally failed to make me look any thing but washed out and lumpy. I could not toss it, this was my ski lodge fantasy! I'll be honest, I was very hard to make the first cut on the sweater, but I don't think the sweater would have sold well at a resellers. By the way, the sleeves could be turned into small covers for house plant planters, which I have not yet done, in 3 years, although I did keep the sleeves.)

Click on the images to see them enlarged.

If you enjoyed this post you might also like:

NY Windows Part 1
NY Windows Part 2
NY Christmas Part 3
Christmas Hutch 2
Christmas Hutch 1
Mixed Media 1
Mixed Media 2
Angel Window

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Marie-Interior Frugalista said...

I love this idea and keeping the button strip on is perfect because it adds such charm. I think our tree needs a sweater this year!

Isabel para ALROMASAR said...

oooh .... but how beautiful and "warm" your Christmas tree is, Jeanne!!
I think it's a great recycling.
I'm going to link my last post that is also Christmas and recycling.
Greetings from Spain.

Sum of their Stories said...

That looks so sweet. What a great way to use an old jumper. Cosy!!

a spirit of simplicity said...

What a great idea! It looks so nice and I love Norfolk pines.

Rhonda Gales said...

How creative, I love this idea. We need a tutorial please. Thanks for sharing on Sunday's Best.

Julie @ My Wee Abode said...

What a fun tradition you have set-up in your home. So blessed to have you at Tuesday Turn About... twas fun reading those little stories, too!

My thrift store addiction said...

This is great--I love the buttons. Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

Shelbee on the Edge said...

I love how you repurposed your ski lodge dream into a tree sweater! So very creative and it looks so festive and well, ski-lodgey! Maybe not the dream you had imagined, but still pretty cool. Could you make the sleeves into arm warmers or fingerless gloves for yourself? I swear by fingerless gloves all winter long because my hands are always cold. And they are great while I am working at the computer. And you would still be able to wear at least part of your pretty cable knit sweater.


Rachel Webber said...

This is such a great idea for covering the base of a Christmas Tree! Thank you for sharing with us at Fab ‘n’ Funky.

Rachel DT

Judith said...

What a fab idea! - it really made me smile thank you so much for playing along at fab'n'funky this week hugs judith xx

Cyna + Irena | Country Hill Cottage said...

What a lovely Christmas tree! I love how cozy repurposed sweater looks.

Teresa B said...

Oh, I love this idea! Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned.

Sum of their Stories said...

This is lovely, so cozy looking. And definitely genius not laziness!
Thank you for stopping by at Handmade Monday to share this with us.