Tag Archives: fair isle

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

Cinioch Hat
Maeve Hat
Chelsea Summer Hat
Baby Rawr Hat

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

Lynn mitts
baby mittens
Knotty 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

Layette Set for Baby Lollypop
amigurumi elephat
Sunshine plushy

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

Ian Stocking with Train
Custom Famiy Stockings Bright
Custom Family Stockings - Stripes
Gradient 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

rose medallion crochet doily
Happy Baby Throw Crocheted Blanket
Aran Afghan
Growler Cozy

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!

2 Comments

Filed under Crochet, Knitting

Finished Project Parade!

I’ve been quiet these last few weeks. It’s been cold and rainy and snowy around here. Jellybean and I are adjusting to life in a much smaller town. It’s been tough at times – we’re used to playdates and Mother’s day out and and being able to go to the zoo or the science museum or any one of several BIG playgrounds whenever the fancy strikes us. There are a couple of parks here, and he thinks they’re fun, but it’s been so cold and wet, we haven’t had many opportunities to go and when we have gone, we’ve been the only people there.

I spent several days looking for a MDO or preschool program in the area and that turned out to be a disappointing. The one program that takes kids younger than 3 is full and he’s not eligible for the others until the fall. So, we’re having to find other things to do. He’s a very social kiddo and needs time with other people his age to play with, so I’ve been looking for other ways to keep him (and us) occupied.

We’ve made a habit of going to the local library’s story hour and he just loves that. I also signed him up for gymnastics again. He’s in a more advanced class, now, so I am not out on the gym floor with him. We had our first class last Monday and I was a little nervous about how he would do with the differently structured setting, but I was pleasantly surprised and very proud of him! He really enjoyed the class, too, so that one’s a winner! I’m still looking for maybe one more regular thing to do, but we’re both doing better now that we’re getting a routine settled.

Anyway, on to the topic of this post! I’ve finished several things in the last month that I would like to share with you.

First of all, I need to show you guys the stockings I finished this year. First up is the one I made for Ashley’s new baby boy. I love the way these look together.

Ashley stockings - all four by the fireplace

All four stockings by the fireplace. So sweet!

Next, the four stockings I made for Amanda. These were the ones that pushed me out of my comfort zone and I’m so glad they did! Projects like this help me learn new skills, polish up old skills and are a real boost to the confidence!

I just LOVE the display!

I just LOVE the display!

I also finished a sweater. Not the one I told you about, but one for Jellybean. It’s been difficult to get him to actually WEAR it, so I have no cute photos of him in it yet, but I love the way it turned out and it fits him well (at least as far as I could tell for the two minutes he had it on!)

Checking it out.

Checking it out.

He wasn’t fond of wearing last year’s sweater, either, but I thought that might have been because it was wool. This sweater is made with Knit Picks’s Mighty Stitch, which is 80% acrylic and 20% wool. It’s soft and has a silky feel to it. But he still doesn’t want to wear it. 🙁

It looks nice, anyway.

It looks nice, anyway.

We’ve had a round of snow this past week. With the snow came the realization that my kiddo had no mittens that fit. Luckily, mittens are fast and easy, especially for little hands. I used the pattern Dulaan Easy-On Mittens by Julia Farewell-Clay and I made these in an afternoon.

 

They’re awesome, but he won’t wear them. He puts on his old mittens that barely cover his hands to go out and play in the snow. *sigh* I really thought I had a few more years before he refused to wear the hand knits I made for him.

He needs a new hat, and he asked for a Mickey Mouse hat. Maybe he’ll actually wear that one if I make it.

In between these projects, I have still been working away on the re-knit of Hubby’s sweater. I’ve finished the sleeves and I’m working on the back, now. I’m also working on a birthday gift for my soon-to-be three year-old (THREE?! yes, three.) I’m looking forward to showing that to you, too.

Enjoy your week and stay warm and cozy!

1 Comment

Filed under Family, Knitting

Stocking for Ian

Carrie is a friend of mine from high school. She asked me if I could make a stocking for her son, but needed some help with ideas. When I designed the train stocking, I thought it would be fun for Ian, too.

The first stocking had a small snowflake pattern around the foot that looked really good on the pattern, but I wasn’t 100% pleased with how it turned out in knit. So I came up with a few different ideas to go around the foot. One was larger snowflakes that were offset.

Ian Stocking Front

I have a couple of other ideas for the foot section and I’m not sure how the final design will end up. I do plan on writing up the pattern for this stocking, but if I like several ideas, I may end up including more than one option on the final pattern.

Ian Stocking Back

2 Comments

Filed under Knitting

Stockings for my family

With all these stockings I’ve been making, I guess I should show you the ones that started all this.

My husband had a great aunt who was widowed early and never remarried. She was very crafty – sewed and knitted a bunch of things. She doted on all her nieces and nephews and made them all stuffed animals for Christmas every year. There’s a whole tote of things she made for my husband and they’re all pretty darn awesome. (My favorites are the 10-lb octopus who’s armspan is about 6 feet and the hot air balloon, complete with a basket.)

Is this thing not awesome?!

Is this thing not awesome?!

She also made everyone in her extended family a stocking. As the years went on, she either loosened up her grip or started using larger needles, or possibly both, but the stockings got progressively bigger with each new family member. The joke was that she liked the new ones better so they got bigger stockings. When she passed away two years ago, she had several stockings in progress. Those were given to the intended people to finish or have finished.

This is one lady I am sad to have never known.

When Jellybean came along, I knew he needed a stocking. I knitted lots of things for him before he was born. A hat, mitten and sock set (that he outgrew in the womb,) a pair of warm wool pants (that I never put on him, for some reason,) and a jacket (that he DID get to wear a lot!) I’ve knit him several hats and another wool coat, but I hadn’t yet made him a stocking. I was too scared of color work.

There are so many designs to choose from out there. I was stuck in analysis paralysis for several months, just trying to pick out a design. I finally settled on a snowman from Annie’s woolens.

James Stocking Blog

I made a few mistakes, but it was so much fun! I decided to make one each for my husband and myself. I really like the holly pattern Doug picked out for his stocking. It’s a classic.

Doug Stocking Blog

I picked out the moose for myself. That one was so off-the-wall, I figured it suits me just fine.

Abby Stocking Blog

I do have a confession, though. I am considering remaking the stocking for James. His was the first I made, it was quite the learning curve, there are mistakes that are very noticeable to me and I hadn’t yet designed the train stocking. I am thinking of doing another stocking in the train pattern for him. If not this year, then maybe next year.

Family Stockings

At any rate, we all have stockings and I will be so proud to hang these up at Christmas!

3 Comments

Filed under Knitting