Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Let the Holiday Knitting Begin - Have you started yours yet?

Now that Thanksgiving is over, time to get in gear for all those holiday handmade gifts you committed yourself to make for your Uncle who lives on the Eastcoast, all your nephew and nieces scattered across the country, your best friend who you know will look good in one of those many great hat and scarf patterns you've been hoarding for just this time of year.

You only have 25 days before Christmas, how far have you gotten in your holiday gift making?  Me, I've been knitting non-stop for about 4 weeks and still going.  I'm one of those people who just can't say "no".  I volunteered myself to make socks for our office annual adopt-a-family, fortunately there is only three children - two girls and a boy.  The two little girls (2 and 6 years old) are getting a matching - what I call my Pippi Longstocking socks! I found this really great sock yarn that reminded me so much of the character and when I was a kid I really loved reading the stories of her many adventures - I really loved the movie version The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking. I may be dating myself here, but it's a classic that just doesn't go out of style. Huh, I think I found another gift for my younger nieces - I bet they would get a kick out the of the movie - I hope I can find a copy of it somewhere!

Here are my version of a pair of socks I could see Pippi wearing in one of her adventures... I certainly hope the little girl that I made them for have just as many adventures while wearing them.

My Pippi Longstocking socks! Made for our office
adopt-a-family 6 year old - her 2 year old sister
will get a matching pair
I've committed myself to making socks for the kids this year (3 nieces, 4 nephews) and my one adult nephew will be getting a hat and scarf. Since learning the two-at-a-time toe up socks, I found that I enjoy making socks now. I'm even passing along my knowledge by teaching a couple of friends the method too.  I've already started a new pair for one of my nieces - I picked up this pretty sock yarn about a year ago with the idea of making socks with it of course and now that I've started them using the two-at-a-time toe-up method the kooky pattern on the yarn doesn't seem to allow me to make matching socks!  So, the pair actually will look completely different from each other - how funny is that?  Well my niece Joi, will definitely have a pair of socks that Pippi would adore - she never seemed to wear matching socks!

So how far have you gotten with your holiday gift-making?  I read this really great article on Fiber Arts - Let the sleep deprivation begin - about scouring thrift stores for knitted items to give as gifts - not a bad idea if you find yourself not able to finish your long list. Is this cheating?  Not at all, at least I don't think so, if you're lucky you can find some really unique items, including some vintage handmade knits!

This time of year is great for all those cowl, hat, scarf, mitten, glove, and sweater patterns you've been collecting to try out and give as gifts.  Some really beautiful patterns can be found on Ravelry or check out Knitting Pattern Central for those sought after cowls you've always wanted to make - not a knitter, there are patterns for the crocheter in you too at Crochet Pattern Central.  You can always visit your Local Yarn Store, they will have plenty of designs by local designers and yarn in all the wonderful colors of the season for you to choose from. 

One of the LYS - Renaissance Yarns holds classes for those new to knitting or advanced knitters who are looking to learn something new - and on their website they have some free patterns for the season like:

The Green Gable scarf by Michelle Maurer:

The Evergreen Mitts by Nancy Skorupa:

The Easy Neck Warmer by Jessica Richey:

Can also double as a headband!

Or the Cozy Slipper Socks also by Nancy, just to name a few.

So, if you haven't already started you better get going...there isn't much time left!  Well get knitting or crocheting!!!

On a side note: I finally got my new knitting motto t-shirt that a friend's boyfriend designed for me and I absolutely love it!  I think it came out really great. I wore it at work yesterday...my co-workers seemed to get a kick out of it!

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