Thursday, November 4, 2021

Ghost of Christmas Past pattern now available!

It took a bit longer than planned, but I'm very thankful to say that Ghost of Christmas Past is now in my Etsy shop. This pattern is the third in my Ebenezer Ornament Series, which is inspired by my love for Charles Dickens' spooky Victorian novella, A Christmas Carol

You'll find the difficulty level to be intermediate – not for beginners. If you've completed my Twelve Days Ornament Series, you are likely ready to step into the Ebenezer series! (Twelve Days is a great primer as it builds your skills when you do the patterns in order.)

Skills needed for this particular pattern are backstitch, whipstitch, drawing on the face, precision cutting of small pieces, beading, and working with stem wire. This one is not as complicated as Mr Marley, IMO. And not to worry, as with all my ornament patterns, Ghost of Christmas Past is organized into detailed step by step instructions with scads of diagrams and tips.

The pattern includes 21 years to trace and embroider on the back, if you like

Male or Female Spirit?
It's a bit hard to tell, but despite his long hair and fancy tunic, this is a male spirit. My ornament is designed to reflect the ghost as written by Mr Dickens, who describes this spirit as a candle-like shape shifting youth/old man with long, white hair and blooming cheeks, wearing a flowered white tunic and golden belt. He carries a large snuffer hat under his arm and also a fresh branch of holly, and a bright clear light jets from his head. (At the end of the encounter, Mr Scrooge sends him on his way by squashing the extinguisher over his head and body, under which he disappears, though the light refuses to be extinguished.)

Despite the original text, I've seen many productions which cast this spirit as a woman, so I've provided a list of tips at the end of the pattern for converting this ornament design to a feminine version. Like skipping the sideburns and thick eyebrows, making the hair longer, adding a braid, cinching the waist, skipping the capelet, etc... I hope that will help match your nostalgia for lovely productions you may have seen. I'll have to make a female sample and photograph it for you guys. On my to-do list!

Just like my other heirloom ornament patterns, it takes about two crafternoons to make a Ghost of Christmas Past. Using metallic wool felt for the snuffer, belt and leaves and using metallic tinsel or iridescent pipe cleaners for the crown of light adds such a rich, festive sparkle to the look.

This ornament is best constructed using Sulky Stick 'n Stitch, which makes the process so fast and accurate. If you already have the materials on hand to make Scrooge or Marley, you just need a few more things like metallic wool felt, tinsel pipe cleaner, plastic or semi precious 4 mm beads (for holly berries), some larger sequins, and paper or cloth covered white stem wire. There's a full materials list on the first page of the pattern.

What's a fun collective pronoun for a group of these? A sparkle of spirits? All four samples you see above are made with the same two Benzie Ebenezer color palettes I curated for the rest of the series. I exercised a bit of artistic license in the color of his tunics #becausecolors. I will be publishing detailed color guides for these samples soon, which coordinate directly with the amazing felt/floss/notions kits put together for your buying convenience at Benzie Design

To purchase the instantly downloadable PDF pattern, visit my Etsy shop. :-) 

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