Thursday, November 30, 2006

Crunch Time

It's not even technically December and already I'm in crunch mode: craft crunch. Yet again, I'm determined to hand-make several Christmas gifts this year. Last year, for those who may recall, I made my sisters some fun black mittens with faux fur cuffs (crochet) and wine charms. They were well received.

This year, having been introduced into the world of knitting, I've decided to tackle hats. I know, booorrrriiinnggggg. Hats? Yes, hats. With cables. They're actually pretty cool looking, if I do say so myself. I'm using a pattern from this booklet from Leisure Arts, if anyone is interested. I just finished my first one and IT TURNED OUT PERFECT!! Sooo cute! It fits, first and foremost. Even the inside (wrong side) of the knitting looks respectable. I had to use circular knitting for the first time (fun!) as well as double-pointed needles and a cable needle. I think having years of crochet experience helps me do OK with knitting so quickly. At least, it can't hurt. I need to make at least 2 more hats - one for each sister (I'm the oldest of 4 girls, so I have 3 sisters). But don't feel bad for my sisters for getting just a lame hat for Christmas, oh no. I also scored cute microfleece zip-front hoodies for each of them as well. Target had them on sale post-Thanksgiving and I got there in time to have a choice of colors and sizes. They were each under $10. That's right: $9.88 each. And Oregon doesn't have sales tax - whoopee! So I could afford to get them each a fun little jacket AND make them a hat to match (sort of). I think that will be nice, don't you? But wait! There's more! I'm also giving serious consideration to making them beaded necklaces to boot. By crocheting with wire, no less. I've done a few and they look fantastic. I snagged a bunch of beads at Michaels and JoAnn's on Black Friday, so I have a full stash to pull from. And if I can get the hats done, I just might.

But it will all have to be on hold for a day or two because I need to put the knitting needles down and pick up my cookbook instead: I have two - count 'em, two - cookie exchanges to bake for. The first one is tomorrow. But that's the fun one because it's the annual Girls Night Cookie Exchange with my girlfriends, and it's usually a blast. So I have that to look forward to. Except that making the cookies will SUCK - my kitchen is still all torn up. And who likes to cook in a demolition site? Not me. That's why this year I'm going with no-bake cookies. A blast from my past, if you will. My all-time favorite Christmas cookies from my childhood: Cathedral Cookies. Have you had them? They seriously kick ass. You can find the recipe online if you search for Cathedral Cookies. Do it - you won't be sorry.

So that's what is going to be keeping me busy all month. It's crunch time. Time to create like a fiend. But I love it and look forward to giving my family treasures that I made for them with my own two hands. It's simply more special than running out and buying something. At least, I think so.

Is anyone else making gifts this year? I'd love to hear about them as I'm always open to new ideas. Share!

I make a lot of gifts too. I am actually doing a ton of wine charms this year. I got some cheap wine glasses at Walmart so I will probably give friends etc a glass with candy in it and 4 wine charms on it also. I also make jewelry for family and friends (usually earrings/bracelets). In the past I have done jar mixes, soap, knitted scarves with furry yarn, scrapbooks... I love crafts! Unfortunately I am so busy with school I can't put a lot of time into it. The wine charms are easy, cheap, and cute IMO! I will probably make at least 10 sets for neighbors, teachers, friends, family etc.
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