This year saw the 10th free Advent Calendar from Buttercup Miniatures. Over those years there have been changes as the offerings evolved. We have always tried to remain true to the miniatures concept, but now extended to 1:6th scale and 1:24th scale, as well as the original 1:12th scale. We try to offer something that is challenging, but not burdensome for all levels of ability. Over the years we have found knitted, rather than crocheted, projects are more popular, resulting in the majority of projects being knitted.
The concept for the calendar usually starts around July (some may notice our Christmas in July features!) and a number of ideas are considered before a general design is decided on. Our designs are based around Christmas festivities, but we try to keep them non-religious, so everyone can join in. Once the design concept is settled; garment, tree, flat work, etc the more detailed design is worked out. Since 2016 each calendar has come with hints and tips on a particular theme which the pattern uses, we hope this helps to allay any fears of taking on the project. By September a number of dry runs have been completed, each refining the work and using these test runs to divide the project in to 24 parts. By the beginning of November panic starts to set in as the deadline draws closer and the photographs of the various stages of the project are taken! It’s around this time that the first ‘heads up’ appears on our blog and the materials required are finally worked out. By mid to late November all the 24 pattern parts, hints and tips are loaded to the back of our blog ready to be published. We then work out which patterns best fit the theme, to offer at a discounted price on the days with no hints/tips. Each day in Advent requires the days postings to be made live, which is why the time of publication varies within an hour or so, it depends on how easy it is to get up that morning! It’s then a case of pulling everything together into one or more pattern(s) in December, ready to go on sale, when the free Advent Calendar is taken down on 6th January.
The first calendar in 2009 (shown above) comprised of simple squares making up into a 1:12th scale knitted cot cover which proved popular. Since then the number of Advent page views each day on our blog has grown to 1,000’s a day. There are also over 800 members in our Ravelry group who provide a lively and supportive environment, joining in a KAL during and after the Advent period.
We view the annual Advent Calendar as a present to you from Buttercup Miniatures. The reward is the feedback we get in terms of photos of your work and comments which we like to share, with permission, on our blog pages. It never ceases to amaze us how many wonderful variations on the theme you come up with!
So, it’s time now for us to put the Advent Calendar aside for a while, sit back and enjoying viewing your creations, before starting again in summer 2019.