Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Home made or store bought?

Mary Sullivan

How are you doing on your Christmas shopping?

I have only a few gifts to give, as the family decided a long time ago to limit the spending and to concentrate on enjoying each other's company and our traditions rather than the commercial aspect of the holidays.

There are still a few gifts I like to give, though, and this year I'm making them. I really enjoy giving (and receiving!) home made presents. The problem, of course, is finding the time to make them.

So, here are the few that I've managed so far. I knitted a hat and scarf for a friend. One of my favorite knitting websites for free patterns is www.garnstudio.com

They have a lot of great patterns and their yarns are gorgeous! Fortunately, there's a wonderful yarn shop in my city that carries their lovely yarns. This is the little scarf I'm just finishing up...

http://www.garnstudio.com/lang/us/pattern.php?id=6271&lang=us

I'll add a couple of pretty buttons to dress it up and to hide the seam. Here's the hat I've already made…

http://www.garnstudio.com/lang/us/pattern.php?id=3442&lang=us

They are both for the same person and I've made them in matching colors.

I'm also making the cutest hat for a friend who wears quirky clothes and who likes unusual colors, so I'm using olive green yarn…

http://www.garnstudio.com/lang/us/pattern.php?id=5268&lang=us

The yarn I'm using, called Eskimo, is thick, eleven stitches per inch, so the projects go quickly. I don't have the patience I used to have for knitting with finer yarn, or items that take a long time, especially not in this busy season!

That will be all for this year.

For the youngest member of my family, I picked up materials for bracelet-making. She's the only child in the family these days, so I will spend Christmas afternoon making these with her while dinner cooks and the adults mix and mingle.

I got the idea for the bracelets from a wonderful (!), creative DIY website called honestlywtf.com and picked up the materials the other day.

http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-wrap-bracelet/

The colors I chose are both bright and pretty, along with a fake-crystal chain that should really appeal to an eight-year-old. As well, I purchased black leather and ball chain and grey hemp, so she can make a funky version for her teenaged brother. There are enough materials to make bracelets for each of her parents if her interest holds that long! It should keep us both busy for a while :-)

Unfortunately, that's all I can manage this year.

I would love to know how you are managing your gift-giving for Christmas. Home made? Store-bought? Ordered online? Any creative ideas this year?

One last item…for you knitters, garnstudio has a Christmas advent calendar, with a new knitting pattern revealed every day. Check it out! http://www.garnstudio.com/julekalender.php?lang=us

14 comments:

kris said...

Oooh, Mary, those bracelets are fabulous! I'm tempted to get some of those supplies for my elder daughter.

I would love to make more of my own gifts. I have no problem with treating the family to a few necessities & a couple of luxuries at this time of year, but I miss putting something of myself into their gifts as well. One of my goals for 2014 is to make something for each member of the family. This should be interesting ...

mary sullivan said...

Kris, check out all of the other bracelets and DIY projects on that website. They're so much fun!

I know what you mean about putting something of yourself into the gifts. It's so lovely to receive homemade items. BUT, if I was still exchanging gifts with all of my family members (I have six siblings, plus spouses, nieces and nephews), I wouldn't be able to make something for everyone. So time-consuming.

Good luck making things for your family in 2014!

Jo's Daughter said...

The best gifts are Homemade!!! I knit things, sew Christmas decorations & bake cakes. I only have 5 people on my list, but I still really enjoy doing or making them something with my own hands. You can think about the person it's for, during the proces & hopefully add that special ingrediƫnt/ finishing touch -> love :D

Laura Drake said...

Mary, those are gorgeous! Unfortunately, my brain thinks if I can knit something, it's too easy, so I always end up on impossible projects, on #1 or #0 needles!

current project? Fair Isle fingerless gloves. Beautiful - if I live long enough to finish them!

mary sullivan said...

Jo's daughter, it sounds like you put a lot of thought and effort into your gift-giving! Your friends and family must really appreciate you :-)

Homemade baked goods are such a great idea because it seems that so few people bake these days!

Rogenna Brewer said...

It must be in the air. My mother got out her knitting last week--it's like a cold weather sport to her, I think. I've tried to learn, but I've been in the practice stage a couple years now--knit one, pull out two :)

I don't spend a lot of time doing crafts these days, but I do enjoy baking holiday gifts.

mary sullivan said...

Laura, in the past I've picked up projects that were too difficult or time-consuming, or that didn't hold my attention long enough to finish them. I keep things more simple these days to make sure I complete all of my projects :-)

The items I knitted for Christmas were on #11 needles! Nice and fast.

I love the sound of your fingerless gloves. Fair Isle is such an attractive look! I just love it. I'm so impressed that you're tackling Fair Isle. Good luck finishing them!

mary sullivan said...

Rogenna, baked goods are a real treat for people who don't bake! They can make wonderful gifts!

Kaelee said...

I haven't knitted a project for a long time. I did a lot of crochet projects at one time. The last big effort was quite a few years ago when I crocheted six afghans for my sister's six grand kids. She now has six more grand kids so maybe one day I'll get busy again.

Love the knitted projects you are doing. I think they are all very cute.

We draw names within the family now and I still have to pick up my present for my niece. It's way easier to buy for the kids than the adults so my husband has his shopping done.

Tammy Yenalavitch said...

I do not knit or crochet, I will bake cookies and fudge for Christmas gifts, but I mainly buy books for gifts.

Mary Preston said...

I love to knit. I also crochet, sew and embroider gifts. I craft all year, so by the time Christmas comes around I am all set.

mary sullivan said...

Kaelee, it sounds like you've done a fair bit of crocheting over the years! :-)

mary sullivan said...

Tammy, books are one of my favorite gifts to receive :-)

mary sullivan said...

Mary, I think you have the right idea—work all year round to get the gifts ready ahead of time.

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