A courtship with local sports teams is what prompted Ethel Mann to be the first on her block to have a truly authentic sweater. In fact, we are sure Ms. Mann will be the only one on her block, or anywhere else for that matter, to ever have this labor of love for the home teams.
To begin, Ethel Mann, who works for Child and Family Services, in Buffalo, spent a week of her vacation getting up at 5:30 every morning to knit.
She first had to graph out the lettering and the Bills decal and then work for more than a month (ripping some out four times) to get just the right effect of having the Buffalo Bill decal on the front and the spelling of Buffalo Bills on the back.
Then she gave equal status to the Sabres, which is spelled out in one sleeve, and the Bisons, which is on the other sleeve.
When she wears this sweater, everyone is going to know what a sports fan she is.
Ms. Mann says her office is filled with Bills paraphernalia. But this sweater is her piece de resistance. And, when asked if she was going to give this as a Christmas gift, she said, "No way, this one's for me."
A quick gift
Maybe you'd still like to fit one last craft in before the big day. If you have a bit of nylon net, some foam base, a few small ornaments and a little time, you can quickly make these net trees or a wreath.
To make a star tree: Start by drawing or tracing a star pattern 3 inches across. Trace on nylon net or any stiff fabric you prefer and cut two. Enlarge pattern all around and cut two 4-inch stars. Continue, making stars of 5, 5 1/2 , 6, 6 1/2 inches, etc., until you have 14 to 18 pairs.
Cut slits like a cross in the center of each star to slip over a candle 10 inches high. Make slits smaller in smaller stars. When ready to use, slip stars on candle in order of size, biggest on the bottom. To keep candle in shape, give it a coat of varnish or use a painted dowel instead.
Ruffled tree: Use a 12-inch plastic foam cone as a base. Spray it to match the nylon net, You'll need 8 yards of 2 1/2 -inch net. Gather the net near the edge on your sewing machine and attach it to the cone with pins and glue. Starting at the bottom, wind the net ruffle around the cone and overlap the edges about 1/4 inch. Attach an ornament to the top of the cone and glue tiny beads to the net ruffles. Decorate a foam pedestal base and attach the cone to it.
Wreath: You'll need 1 1/2 yards of 72-inch net, 9 yards of medium-width paper ribbon. Open a wire coat hanger and form a circle. Cut net into 6-inch squares, ribbon into 5-inch lengths. Gather net squares through center and attach to wire by tying ribbon in single knot around both wire and net. Push pieces close together to form a wreath. Spray with glitter and attach 10 1-inch Christmas balls or other decorations.
Both Mary Kenny of Buffalo and Norma Elliott of Port Allegany, Pa., are looking for knit and crocheted yokes for sweat shirts.
If anyone can help, please send us directions and we will print them in the paper. Send to Craft Exchange, The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240.