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My Favorite Things: doorbells and sleigh bells

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Today's inspiration for stress-busting knitting patterns is the lyric in the song from The Sound of Music, My Favorite Things, that reads, "Doorbells and sleigh bells." The bell is a symbol of excitement, the announcement of an important guest, and the signal of a new beginning. Here are some quick and easy knitting patterns with a bell theme that can get even the most stressed-out knitter all the way to New Year's Day.

Doorbells and sleigh bells

Christmas bell: This simple, tiny, quick bell knit with either sport-weight or DK-weight yarn and can adorn pretty much anything that needs a touch of Christmas. Debbie McGrath's simple pattern can be made in one or two colors, or with a variegated yarn, and the only stitches you need to know are knit and purl. The pattern is free on Knitting on the Net.

Jingle bell bangles: Sheila Higgins designed this pattern, available as a free download on Ravelry.com, for bangle bracelets with attached jingle bells. The bangles are made with fingering-weight yarn, but of course can be adapted to other yarn weights and sizes if necessary. The pattern was just added to Ravelry on December 9, so if you make the pattern, it would benefit the designer to give your feedback on the pattern as well.

Jester booties: The Handknit Librarian shows her sense of humor - and proves the fact that babies can be dressed in absolutely anything and still look adorable - by designing these booties for babies under a year old that have bells on the flaps, like jester shoes. Make a pair as a gift or dress your own baby in them for the holiday, and the baby will be the center of attention for more than just curly hair and a great smile. The pattern is available on the Handknit Librarian website for $4.50.

Christmas Bell knitted dishcloth: Melissa Bergland Burnham has several knitted-dishcloth patterns on her blog, but the one in particular of interest for this column is that of a pattern for a Christmas bell. The pattern is free, and the actual bell is optional; dishcloths are excellent stash- and stress-busters, and can be completed in only a few hours when the knitter just needs a break from holiday chaos.

Felted bell ornaments: The Purl Bee from Purl Soho has a free pattern for felted bell ornaments that can be made with any yarn that will felt in water. The pattern has not only easy-to-read instructions, but it also has a photo gallery full of visual aids so the knitter knows what materials were used and how. The bells are a great way to get rid of small quantities of yarn, and of course make a quick and excellent decoration at this time of year.

Jingle Bells family hats: This simple, rib-and-stockinette hat, designed by Shirley Roemer and available for free on the Red Heart Yarns website, is adaptable for both children and adults. Just one skein of Red Heart Super Saver and three jingle bells is enough to make one hat, so it is an economical project if you wanted to knit them as gifts for the family or for coworkers to show holiday spirit.

Tomorrow's theme for My Favorite Things is schnitzel with noodles. Instead of dedicating the day to inspiring patterns relating to veal, we will explore the inspiration from noodles and show patterns dedicated to incorporating an i-cord. Keep reading for more quick and easy stress-busting knits for the holiday season.

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