Five Ideas for Handmade Gifts

This week, I’m bringing you 5 hand-made gift ideas to consider for your friends and family.

1 – Hats

Hats are quick and easy projects and make great gifts. These are some of my favorites that I made so far. The first is a hat I made for my husband several years ago. It is still the most favorite hat I have ever made. Second is a hat I made for my friend Chelsea. She wanted a couple of fun berets for summer. This one has a purple companion and was really fun to make. Number three is a fair isle hat. I love doing color work and since you’re using two yarns for the colorwork part, it’s double-thick and cozy. Finally, a little baby dinosaur hat that’s a mixture crochet (for the base of the hat) and knit (for the spikes). This one can be made in any size from newborn to adult.

2 – Mittens and Gloves

Gloves, fingerless and otherwise, as well as mittens are great warm gifts to give. They take a little more time than a hat to make, but that’s only because there’s some shaping involved.

3 – For the Kiddos

For welcoming baby to the world, what could be better than a sweet layette set? A coordinating hat, sweater, diaper cover and booties go together to make an adorable little outfit, suitable for the newborn photo shoot. Soft toys with sewn-on eyes are perfect for littles ones of all ages. For older kids, who haven’t outgrown the love of stuffed toys, getting the perfect gift that matches their interests is easy.

4 – Christmas Stocking

These things are so much fun to design and make! I really enjoy getting to know my clients and designing a pattern that fits their personality perfectly. Did you realize that each of these stockings was designed especially for the person I made it for? The designing process is as much fun for me as the knitting process, especially with Christmas stockings! We can work together to make a design that fits your style and decor perfectly.

5 – Housewares

Knitted items can be functional as will as fanciful. There are practical things such as dish cloths, swifter mop covers and bath mats. Then there are fun decorations such as doilies and knitted flowers. Then there are the bonus combo items, like a pretty knitted afghan with wonderful cabled texture or a bright baby blanket. If you’re a beer lover, you can keep that growler nice and cool with a felted cozy – the possibilities are endless with the design of that one!

Have you thought about having something handmade for a special someone on your gift list? Maybe a hat or mittens, just in case we get cold weather again. Does your family need a matching set of knit stockings, or have you added a family member (or two?) but haven’t gotten them one yet? Are there little ones in your life that would love a little softie? I know it’s only March, but it’s not a bad idea to start thinking about what you might like to do for Christmas. If you have an idea, let’s talk about it and see if we can work together!


Filed under Crochet, Knitting

Happy Baby Throw

I’ve had lots of big projects on the needles (or hook, as the case may be) lately. I recently finished a baby blanket for my sweet friend Alicja.

Alicja is a friend I met in a Friday night knitting group I attended religiously before Jellybean was born. The group changed and shifted as time went on, but the core people became some of my closest friends. When Alicja started visiting, she fit right in and became a pillar of the group.

When she told me she was pregnant, I was thrilled for her. Her due date ended up being the same as Jellybean’s – how fun! So I decided to make a bright blanket for her new little guy.

Happy Baby Throw Crocheted Blanket

Happy Throw for Alicja

The pattern is Happy Throw by Mamachee designs. I wanted it to be easy-care and be used, so I crocheted it with Knit Picks Mighty Stitch yarn. I know that Alicja can appreciate and care for a handmade item, but I also know from experience that if baby things are washable, they’re more likely to get used. The yarn is a wool and acrylic blend, so it’s machine washable and machine dryable. The yarn is a little slippery, so I tied all those ends in as securely as I possibly could. I want this blanket to take all manner of little baby messes and keep him warm for years.

Congratulations, Alicja!


Filed under Crochet, Not Knitting

Just a Thought…

I would get SO much knitting done if I had a self-driving car.

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Filed under Knitting

Anni Sweater Progress and Knitalong Afghan

So, thanks to planning a birthday party for my Jellybean and being sick with the stomach virus, I didn’t knit for about two weeks. It took me several days to catch up with the housework that had been neglected. The first chance I felt like I was caught up, though, I took some time to work on my sweater. It’s going much faster than I expected it to! I keep putting it on waste yarn and trying it on, to make sure it’s all working out.

Bathroom Selfie!

Seriously, that was the best photo of the sweater. Sorry for the toilet shot, haha!

It’s a couple of inches longer than it shows here, because it’s all rolled up. Stockinette does that. I will knit a few more inches before I start the smocking pattern at the bottom of the sweater. When I get the body done, I will come back and knit the sleeves, which are currently held on waste yarn.

The pattern for Anni is the best organized pattern I have ever seen. It’s broken down into steps and each step has a chart listing the stitch counts for each size. Typically, when knitting patterns are written for several different sizes, they will list the stitch counts in parentheses. For example, if a pattern is written to have small, medium and large sizes, it may say to cast on like this:

Cast on 10 (20, 30) stitches for small (medium, large) sizes.

But the designer for Anni, Christina Körber-Reith, writes it like this:

Cast on the following number of stitches

 small  medium  large
10 20 30

The table is SO MUCH easier to read and it makes the pattern more fun to work with. This is the first pattern of hers I’ve ever knitted, but having a look at her designs, it probably won’t be my last. I’m particularly fond of the Jella Hat and the Five Colors Hat. I’m guessing those patterns will be as easy to follow as Anni.

Now, as far as the afghan blocks go. I think I may be out. I really loved the first block but the next three leave a lot to be desired. Block 2 was a squirrel. Block three is… I have no idea what this is even supposed to be.


And surprisingly Block 4 is out already, too.


Suffice it to say, I am not a fan of either of those blocks. I think block 3 is supposed to be a plant or something, but it just looks phallic to me. Also, the textured piece is an actual pocket and the vine/leaf combo is intended to be left loose. No, thanks.

And I know that block 4 is supposed to be two hearts, but I just see a particular piece of anatomy. *sigh* I didn’t even download this pattern.

But wait! Before I published this post, block 5 was released.

Plain, but nice!

Block 5 is much better than the last four. I follow Susan B. Anderson’s blog, and when I saw this block was designed by her, I knew it would be better. This block is simple, but the texture looks very cozy. Susan’s designs are all classic and cozy. So, I’ll dig out some yarn and knit up this one. This afghan, so far, gets a 40% approval rating from me. Ha! We’ll see how the rest of it goes.

That’s all for this week, my friends!


Filed under Knitting