Holiday Gifts

This holiday season holds the record for the number of homemade items given as gifts. Between the Holiday Cookie Marathon, Felted Soap, Popcorn Balls, Totes and now handknits, I’ve made my share of gifts and enjoyed the process for every single one equally.

I have made gifts for my Dad before but never a knitted one so I decided a gray cabled scarf was in order. Unfortunately, I waited until two weeks before Christmas to purchase the yarn, which meant it was slim pickins’ for masculine worsted or chunky weight yarn. All I could find at Yarn Tree Studio was Cascade Yarns Heritage in a gray colorway. I bought two hanks and patiently waited as the shop attendant wound them into cakes. I decided to finish my Mom’s socks before beginning the scarf and as a result I had to scramble.

I worked on the scarf for 6 hours the Tuesday before Christmas. I continued to cable my little fingers together the next three days before I asked my husband to model the finished product.

The finished product before blocking was about 4″ wide by 3.5′ long. It was too short. Thankfully blocking tends to increase width and length and the scarf ended up being about 7″ wide by just under 4′ long.

Blocking took hardly any time to setup but the drying took all day Saturday (Christmas Eve, eek!). I was afraid it would not dry in time even though I had it sitting in the sun with an oscillating fan and ceiling fan blowing on it from above. My Dad loved the scarf so much that he called me the Tuesday after Christmas to thank me again. Too sweet!

My Mom and I always have cold feet so the idea of making cozy socks that are knee highs or pretty darn close was very appealing. A fellow #knitchat person introduced me to the Ambrosia Sock pattern, which I found to be very appealing with its toe up construction and basic cables. The colors in a hank of Cascade Yarns Hertiage 150 are ones my Mom tends to wear so I decided to put the two together.

Using the magic loop technique, I started the socks in early October and hoped to fit them in between knitting other holiday gifts. I worked on the socks twice during a knit and stitch outing with friends and my Mom. Little did she know they were her socks. I even had a fellow knitter comment on how using magic loop was considered as an over-achievement. I denied any such thing and just said I’m too lazy to make a second sock after finishing the first one on dpns.

I noticed the color started puddling as they were nearing completion, which was odd because it didn’t happen anywhere else along the way. I made my own sock blockers using the socks to mark an outline on some cardboard and then cut out. I would recommend cutting the blockers narrower than the socks. I hope they keep my Mom’s feet warm during the winter months here in North Carolina.

My sister-in-law absolutely loves pink. She can’t live without it so I was on the hunt for pink yarn during the Autumn Yarn Crawl. I found two balls of Mirasol Yarn Sawya at Admit Ewe Knit. I modeled my SILs mittens after the Commuter Mittens, which I made for myself this fall, but I extended the cuff and flap so that more of the fingers are covered.

I decided to permanently attach the flaps to the body of the glove with some pink buttons. I’m very happy with the way they turned out. I hope they keep my SILs hands warm while she texts (preferably not while driving).

All-in-all my holiday crafting was very enjoyable and lots of fun. Making and receiving handmade gifts is such a joy that I hope to continue doing so for years to come. Maybe this year I’ll get even more of a head start.

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6 Replies to “Holiday Gifts”

  1. You are so good at this writing thing along with all the knitting you do. I just love the way you put it all together and I think you should write a book. That being said, what would you call it?

  2. Sounds like you had a great holiday! I love the commuter mittens version 2.0. Very cool!

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