Monday, January 7, 2013

Christmas Gift Round-Up

 So today it's back to reality.  Christmas break is over, the kids are back at school, this is the husband's 3rd day back at work, and I guess it's time for me to get busy, too.  Getting back to real life is a rude awakening after 20 days of letting things get so out-of-hand that you find yourself happily knitting and watching old re=runs of "Family Ties" at 2am, but all good things must end, right?  So today I'm back to it: working on finishing up a sample sweater for a women's cardigan that I'm writing, and doing a little blog post to share pictures of some of the handmade gifts I gave this Christmas!

We've always made it a "thing" at our house that we let the kids open one gift on Christmas Eve.  When they were little, it was always new pajamas.  They caught on to that a few years ago, so I switched it up and sometimes gave them new books that they could read at bedtime.  This year, I granted a wish that my daughter has been requesting for at least a year now - a pair of felted clogs.  

I think these are the 7th and 8th pair that I've made.  My daughter has watched my husband and I wear them for a couple years now and always wanted them, but half our house is hardwood floors, and the living room in the middle of the house has a step down, plus we have wooden basement steps.  I had visions of my kids sliding into walls, falling down stairs, or just general mayhem if I gave them these slippers because the floors are slick, these slippers are even slicker, and my kids can occasionally still be maniacs when they're playing.

Recently though, I've noticed a little more maturity coming from both of them, and I thought they might be able to handle slick slippers with a little bit of caution.  I knew my daughter would be excited about them, but I wasn't sure about my 12-year-old son because he's the sort of "person with plenty of body heat" who tends to strut around the house in just his boxers unless specifically asked to get dressed.  Imagine my surprise when he opened them, got a big smile on his face, and started ice skating around the dining room in his boxers...and new slippers.  My daughter was equally as thrilled and wears hers all the time.  I think I got mom points from both kids for this one! 

Here's the honey cowl I gave sneak peeks of on my Facebook business page:  This was made for a friend who belongs to my mom's group.  We do a Secret Santa exchange each year, and so far, I've always handmade something for the person I'm playing Santa for.  We do it for 4 weeks: Week 1 is supposed to be a homemade gift, Week 2 is something that costs $1 (typically, we tear up the dollar bins at Target & Michaels searching for this gift, but this year I found a rubber wine bottle corker that only cost $1.50, so I decided that counted!), Week 3 is a $5 gift and Week 4 is our cookie exchange and the night we get together to reveal ourselves and give the "big gift" (supposed to be around $10, but people tend to go a little higher on that last gift.)

In the past, I've made the mistake of giving the knitted thing as my handmade item in week 1 and totally giving myself away (I'm one of two known knitters in the group, and the other person isn't as constant about the craft as I).  So this year I gave some homemade Turtle candies during week 1 (made by my neighbor, not me, but that still counts, right?) and I saved this cowl for the big gift.  Unfortunately, my giftee wasn't able to attend that night so I didn't get to see her open it.  Hopefully she liked it - I know her favorite color is red, so I know I got that right, and I know it will look great on her, but I don't know if it's something she's comfortable wearing.  So, fingers crossed, I hope she liked it!

 But the disappointment over not being able to see my friend open her gift was more than made up for by the reaction of this little lady.  I made my niece a Harry Potter scarf & hat set.  Before she opened it, I told her, "I made this special for you and it's the only one in the WHOLE WORLD."  She opened the box, looked a little confused for a moment, then the lightbulb came on.  She had it on in an instant and was mugging for the cameras.  I think I need to recruit her as a future model.

Anyway, the scarf and the hat are both double-knit.  I think I've already posted about the scarf on the blog, so I won't go into detail about that, and I just made up the hat as I went along.  I'm still going back and forth on whether to actually make a pattern for it...I haven't taken a look to see if a similar pattern already exists, and I don't know if there is much of a demand for a simple, double-knit, funky-style hat.  Decisions, decisions....

As I was setting down my camera, I caught this last picture:

So that's just about it....I do have one more thing to show you, but I'm not quite ready, so it'll have to wait until later this week.

I hope your holiday was fun & relaxing and filled with everything that you love.  Even if it's something weird like knitting and watching "Family Ties" at 2am!


  1. I like that hat very much. I've had difficulty with pom poms so I don't make them often, but I think I could muscle up the courage for this sort of hat. :) I'm not a Gryffindor fan, but I could certainly get behind a Ravenclaw version of the scarf. You did a great job on both of these projects.

    I do have a question about the cowl. Do you have any other pictures? It looks pink in this one.

    (P.S.- I found your blog via the Yarn Harlot Fans group on Ravelry. It's a good read so far and it's going to be added to my daily reading. Keep up the good writing.)

  2. Hi Heather! Welcome to the blog!

    So, the cowl picture was taken with a camera phone in bad lighting...that's actually why I turned it black & white - because of the bad lighting, my sister looks like she has the complexion of someone that's been dead for a week. Hence, the red cowl that looks pink. I wish I would have gotten better pictures before I gifted it away!

    While I might write up the hat pattern, I won't be doing one for the scarf. I don't want to get involved in potential copyright issues with the Harry Potter stuff. If you want a good source for Harry Potter charts, my Gryffindor lion can from Ann Kingstone's pattern called "Hogwarts Double Knitted Bookscarves". If you look it up on Ravelry, there's a link to her blog where you can find the pdf file for the pattern.

    Thanks for taking time to comment!

  3. edited to add: I'm a liar! There was a much redder picture of the cowl posted to this blog on November 27th! Check it out here:

  4. How ironic that I was just sitting by the fire in my OWN set of NM handmade felted clogs chugging away on the Bulle sweater! Big C's "Happy Potter" (darn auto correct, right?) set drips with awesomeness. Best. Aunt. Ever.

    PS - If you think my complexion makes me look like a zombie now, check back once we're two more months into winter! Yikes! Are you saying I need some bronzer?

  5. Girl, you are talking to Snow White! That was the pic I took late in the day on the day after Thanksgiving. The combination or you getting up at 4am, the bad lighting, and the yellow walls of mom's kitchen did not make for a flattering photo. But still, you worked it like a super model!