I ended up making way more gifts this year than I have in a long time. It’s not because I have any desire to foist handmade stuff on everyone on my list or that I think a handmade gift is the best kind of gift. It’s really more that I hate Christmas shopping and I’m not particularly good at gift giving. Frankly, making gifts is kind of nice way to give someone something kind of generic like a hat or a scarf but in a way that feels highly personal. Yes, it’s just a hat, but it’s a hat I knit in my pajamas while I rewatched Battlestar Galactica and drank a beer. Also, that mark right there might be melted chocolate from the fistful of Reese’s Cups I was eating at the same time. How much more personal can we get? Anyway, here’s this year’s gift roundup:
Star Bellied Wallabies
Pattern: Wonderful Wallaby
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted in Light Gray, Neon Orange, and Neon Blue
Recipients: Our twin toddler nephews
Notes: This is one of my favorite patterns–so cute and wearable. I made the size 2 but added an inch to the length of the body, sleeves, and hood. I also charted out a star to add to the kangaroo pouches, which I knit using intarsia. I love how they turned out!
Modern Classics Christmas Stockings #8 and #9
Pattern: Modern Classics Christmas Stockings
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Cloud and Aurora Heather
Recipients: My in-laws
Notes: This is now the eighth and ninth time I’ve knit up this pattern. I mixed the charts from the “Modern” and “Classic” stockings like I’ve done every other time. This is, frankly, not one of my favorite patterns to make but they are at least quick to make. And that’s good, because I’m more or less locked into making these for all future family members on my husband’s side.
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash Sport in Summer Sky Heather (for the blue pair) and Malabrigo Rios in Sandbank for the brown pair
Recipients: The blue pair went to one of Aidan’s co-workers and the Malabrigo mitts were for my sister, Kayla
Notes: This is a great pattern. It comes with instructions for making these in either a sport or a worsted weight yarn. I kind of prefer the way the sport version looks, but the worsted version knits up super fast. Either way–they’re easy and they look great.
Pattern: Honey Cowl
Yarn: Malabrigo Rios in Aguas
Recipient: My sister, Jenna
Notes: I’ve made this pattern once before for myself, and it’s a very soothing and meditative knit. Sadly, I got about 60% through the cowl before realizing that my skeins were noticeably different from one another so I ended up ripping back and alternating skeins. The final product is definitely worth the extra work, but it put me under a bit more time pressure than I would have liked.
Pattern: Petal Pouch Pattern from Noodlehead
Fabric: various quilting cottons
Recipients: Three of my sisters–Sarah, Grace, and Kayla–and my dad’s girlfriend, Jess
Notes: I was inspired to make these after my youngest sisters visited us this summer. They are both big into sketching and drawing and carried all of their art supplies around in ziploc bags. Maybe that’s just their preference, but I thought these pouches were cute and practical. There are a thousand free zippered pouch patterns available online, but I’m glad I went ahead and bought this one. It’s not just the unique shape that makes it worth the purchase–as a novice bag maker, I feel like I learned some really useful techniques that will make any future pouch-making much easier and give me a nicer result. I really love how these pouches turned out. I even used some of the leftover skull print to make a small version of the pouch for myself.
So that’s Christmas 2016 wrapped and gifted. Now back to making things for me.