The Winter Solstice is very nearly upon us, and if you’re anything like me, handmade gifts are pure magic! If you’re looking for a last minute stocking stuffer, my felt Yule Goat Ornament may be just the ticket*!
|Yule Goat Ornament – made and photographed by Grey Catsidhe, 2012|
I’ve said this before, but I always feel a small tug from my Germanic ancestry at this time of the year. My husband also has Scandinavian heritage and we like to celebrate that. When I discovered the Northern European tradition of the Yule Goat, I fell in love. Goats are one of my favorite farm animals to begin with. When you consider that Thor’s chariot was pulled by goats, it makes my heart skip a beat! We actually have a straw Yule Goat as a table centerpiece in our apartment. There are small versions for decorating trees, but I’ve never found one before (and never think to save straw to try making my own until it’s too late). So why not make one out of felt? I originally tried this last year. The fruits of my labor became an offering to Thor at Muin Mound’s Winter Solstice sumbel. This year I made one for my tree and another for a Secret Santa at the Grove.
Here’s how to make one for yourself or a beloved heathen!
|Gathering materials – Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2012|
- felt (preferably a straw color like tan or dark yellow)
- red thread (red is the color most traditionally used to create Yule Goats, but you may use another if your heart so desires)
- slender red ribbon to hang the ornament
- pins to hold the pieces together
- a needle
- dark colored beads for the eyes
- red or gold colored beads for decoration
1. Print and cut the above pattern. Trace/pin onto felt and carefully cut the goat out. Pin the sides together.
2. Using a blanket stitch, work your way around the goat. Be sure to add the ribbon on the back. The easiest way to do this is knot the two raw edges together and insert it into the goat. Stitch through it to secure.
3. Attach the eyes to either side of the head as desired. If you like, hand embroider a harness and/or saddle on your goat. See the above photo for a reference. Attach any other beads to look like buckles or saddle decorations.
|Blanket stitching around the goat – photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2012|
Before you know it, you’ll have an army of wee Yule Goats to invade your Solstice tree! Alternatives for the pattern are to make pins or hair barrettes. Happy crafting as you prepare for the Sun’s rebirth!