I can't think of a link between apples and Twelfth Night**, or apples and Epiphany.
But I needed a break from knitting strawberry bookmarks (a friend of Mum's wants to buy six and I am kind of over them). So, turning to one of the loopiest knitting books borrowed from the library in recent times, I present to you, the knitted apple cosy.
Speaking of loopy, I borrowed this book initially because I Googled knitted+fried+egg+pattern only to discover that the fried egg pattern within the book is crocheted. As is the pattern for the pint of Guinness. (Last year I spent far more time than is fitting for a grown woman in researching how to knit a fried egg).*
Anyway, the apple cover. This little dear was a quick, fun knit and I can highly recommend it, once you ignore the pattern and knit it in the round on dpns rather than the straight needles called for, because there is nothing more tedious than sewing up one's knitting. Particularly sewing up something as daft as an apple cosy, or apple protector as Rachel Matthews calls it.
I might knit a matching green one and give them to the two little boys of a family we're seeing soon. They're a Steiner family, so they'll appreciate bizarre handmade things I'm sure.
And of course my own three now desperately want one each for their lunchboxes ... ahem.
Pattern: apple protector from Knitorama: 25 Great and Glam things to knit by Rachel Matthews
Yarn: 8 ply pure wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills (I lost the colour chart, so let's call it, um, Red)
Needles: 4mm dpns
Cast on, knitted and cast off in one afternoon.
* I think I have it though: cast on 20 stitches and knit a white square in garter. Cast on 10 stitches in yellow and knit a square in garter. Run a thread around each square and pull gently to round the edges, sew the yellow square on top of the white. I'll let you know how it goes. (I know you're dying to find out).
** Updated - thank you Jane and Diana!
Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare
Act I, Scene V
Not yet old enough for a man, nor young enough for a boy;
as a squash is before 'tis a peascod, or a codling, when 'tis
almost an apple: 'tis with him e'en standing water, between boy
and man. He is very well-favoured, and he speaks very shrewishly;
one would think his mother's milk were scarce out of him.
Twelfth Night is also the traditional day for wassailing apple trees. I was being seasonally appropriate without even knowing it.