Friday, January 3, 2014

Handmade Christmas gifts.

A couple of months ago, I started jotting down ideas for what gifts I wanted to make for Christmas. I figured that most of those ideas wouldn't actually happen. I started knitting on gifts around the beginning of November, and I got such a good head start that I just decided to go for it and make as many of the things on my list as possible.

I've never made this many Christmas gifts before. It was pretty stressful, especially considering I didn't finish the last gift until about 10:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve. :) But I'm not going to was really rewarding, too. That growing pile of handmade gifts, mostly knitted items, made me so happy.

I was planning on breaking this down into at least two posts, but I really wanted to fit it into one. Since it is such a long post (with lots of photos), I'll try to keep my descriptions brief. But with the knitted gifts, I'll include a link to my Ravelry project pages in case you want more info! By the way, I'm sorry for the poor quality of most of these pictures...I was usually rushing to take pictures of the item right before I wrapped it, so a lot of them are dark.

Starting with the non-knitted gifts...

I made this little zip-up pouch for my sister-in-law. (I made myself one earlier this year. I use it as a knitting pouch and I love that little bag! It holds all of my knitting notions and most small-ish projects.)

I made my baby niece Stella these two soft rattles. They're based on this pattern (though I had to make my own pattern because our printer is out of ink and I couldn't print that one). They're made out of the leftover fabric from her quilt, so they match it. I didn't get the pattern quite the way I wanted it until the pink rattle. They both have some jingle bells inside to make noise.

A framed embroidery piece, also for my niece. The flower motifs and the decorative S and G came from this book. The rest of the letters I made up as I went along. That was slightly nerve-wracking, because usually with cross stitch you have a plan. I just had a general idea of how I wanted the piece to look. It was done on 18 count Aida and put in an 8x10 frame I painted.

I finished stitching the last flower in the evening on Christmas Eve and was pressing and framing it just before bedtime. Hence the dark photos.

A couple of months ago, I was doing school with my cousins' two kids (they're homeschooled and I keep them a couple of days a week) when the six year old asked me if I could make her a "princess scarf." I wasn't quite sure what a princess scarf was, but I figured pink and sparkly would work. So I made her this for Christmas. :) {Project page}

Her older brother's request was a lot less vague...he wanted a green stocking hat. :) {Project page} Simple hats like this go by so quickly, especially if you're doing them child-sized. I made this in a couple of hours on Thanksgiving.

My dad had been requesting some hand-knit socks for a while now, so he got two pairs for Christmas! They're worsted weight, which goes by incredibly quickly compared to typical sock yarn. Theoretically, if I wasn't working on anything else, I could finish a pair in 4 days, while regular socks would take me an average of two weeks. {Project page}

The second pair. Slightly taller because I wasn't worried about running out of yarn this time. And yes, my dad's socks are only a little big on me. :) We both have sort of short, wide feet. {Project page}

My mom always gets a pair of socks, of course. The stripes don't match because I would have had to go too far into the second ball to match them up, and I didn't want to risk running out of yarn. I love how this yarn striped up and almost looks like colorwork in spots. {Project page}

A really awful picture of a cowl/infinity scarf for my sister-in-law. It's really a royal blue color. I wasn't incredibly happy with it at first, but it has grown on me. It's long but the perfect length when doubled over, and it looks really nice on her! And she wears it a lot, so I think she likes it. :) {Project page}

A cowl for my mom. She was admiring my Downton Cowl, so I decided to make her one. This pinkish yarn was actually rather pretty and variegated, considering it's acrylic (I'm not an acrylic fan). I did one less repeat of the lace because it was already wide enough. {Project page}

I made these wristwarmers for a sweet blog friend, Natalie. Cables aren't my favorite thing to knit, but I sure do love how they look! {Project page}

I also sent some handspun yarn to two blog friends/penpals who happen to be knitters. I'm not including pictures of the purple yarn that I sent to Alannah, because I spun that a couple of months ago. But I do have pictures of the handspun that I sent Carolynn. It began as two packs of white roving from KnitPicks (I totally just typed Netflix :). I spun it into 230 yards of 3 ply worsted weight.

Then I dyed it with food coloring, using a handpainting method from this dyeing book. I used Americolor gel paste from Hobby Lobby, in a color called Electric Purple. I feel like these pictures don't show the colors that well, but it varies from hot pink to medium purple to very light pinkish-purple. (Not quite sure how "electric purple" turned out so pink, but oh well.)

Whew. Are you still here? :)

Next year I'll either start earlier or make less. Because finishing up gifts on Christmas Eve is too stressful...


  1. These are all so beautiful! Handmade presents are the best, both to make and receive. I usually crochet a lot of my Christmas gifts, but I ended up making personalized mugs this year. I'll have to share pics on my blog soon. :)

  2. Wow! You were sure busy!! I made one scarf/cowl out of the pink yarn and took some pictures (it's on rav) but haven't blogged about it yet! I love it. And I'm going to make a pair of those cable arm Warmers myself. Look so fun!!

  3. I'd be so thrilled to received something like this, that someone had clearly put so much care into!


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