Jul 21, 2017

Christmas in July: Kit #2 Wesley Bobs

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You read it right. I said "Wesley Bobs" but you're thinking Wesley Who?! And what does he have to do with christmas? Believe it or not it's a long-standing advent tradition from Yorkshire:
....it was the custom...for children to go from house to house singing and carrying what they called a "wesley-bob." This they kept veiled in a cloth till they came to a house door, when they uncovered it. The wesley-bob was made of holly and evergreens, like a bower, insido were placed a couple of dolls, adorned with ribbons, and the whole affair was borne upon a stick. Whilst the wesley-bob was being displayed, a song or ditty was sung. At Aberford, near Leeds, two dolls are carried about in boxes in a similar way, and such an affair here is called a wesley-box.[British Popular Customs Past & Present]
It's still a custom today except that over the years it's gone from a special advent box to mean christmas tree ornaments. Which fits since we still buy boxes of christmas balls which is sorta, kinda like what the sweet children of Yorkshire would carry around during Advent!

I stumbled across Wesley Bobs while searching endlessly on Ravelry for "christmas ornaments." Once I found Ann Kingstone's Wesley Bob pattern I knew this was the pattern for our Christmas in July extravaganza. Her pattern is easy to follow and has six motifs, charted out in both color versions. Then reading about the old-fashion tradition behind the unusual name.....I knew it was a done deal! Thankfully our shop elf, Catski whipped out several in record time too.


Originally I planned to use the Norwegian Julekulers made popular by those fun guys, Arne & Carlos. They even have a great little video on how to make little mini versions....and it's worth a watch. Seriously they make using 0 dpns look easy! They're fingers fly around using those toothpick-sized needles. But once I found the Wesley Bobs I jumped off the Norwegian ship and swam ashore in Yorkshire! (Ah Yorkshire....home of the Crawleys of Downton Abbey.....sigh......I miss them.....can't wait for the movie! But I digress.....) 

Kits contain the pattern and 1 ball ea of two colors: Red & White, Green & White or Blue & White. We used worsted weight (vs. fingering as in pattern) which make a ball about 4" diameter and the yarn should yield 2-3 Wesley bobs. 
As with toys and ornaments use a smaller needle for firmer fabric, like a US 4 or 5 set of dpn's (or circulars if you prefer magic looping it.  Order kits here.

Happy Wesley-Bobbing!

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