Christmas, 1993. My husband was still in the military, and we were living in a PMQ (military quarters) in Victoria, BC.
It was also my elder daughter's first Christmas.
One of the things I didn't want to do during her first Christmas was to worry about the tree. I wanted her to be able to enjoy the tree. She was pretty mobile already - in fact, she took her first independant steps on New Year's Day, at 9 1/2 month's of age. I wanted her to be free to be around the tree, and even handle the decorations, if that's what she wanted.
That led me on a search for child proof Christmas decorations. I had a few that were ok - some birds, apples and strawberries - but they would've meant a very empty tree. After searching many different stores, I found nothing. Decorations were either pretty, but not safe, or safe and butt ugly.
So I decided to make them. I'd just taught myself how to crochet not long before. (Story here.) It was time to extend my novice skills. I bought some sparkly yarn at Walmart, found some instructions, and made these.
(more and larger photos available here)
The first bunch were simple spirals - three double crochet into each stitch of a base chain, then finished with a row of single chain. For some, I left the ends from the sc row as tassles. The two on the bottom were from a much thicker yarn without the sparkley strand I decided to try as well.
More challenging where these balls. I hadn't done increases or decreases before, and I didn't have a pattern, either. I just winged it.
The large and small balls are made exactly the same way. I just used dc instead of sc for the larger ones. They're kind of lumpy and shapeless after all these years, but they still look kinda nice on the tree.
That first Christmas, our tree was decorated entirely with these, the birds and fruit I already had, and some lights. My daughter was free to explore the tree to her heart's content - and it didn't take long for her curiousity to be satisfied. She mostly left the tree alone after that.
I think the whole plan worked out rather well. :-)